SCOTLAND HAS SWUNG TO THE RIGHT.

This article is republished having originally being published in Robin McAlpine’s excellent blog at robinmcalpine.org. Robin has been writing many outstanding articles lately.

For many in the SNP and the wider independence movement, things must be very disorientating right now. They overwhelmingly see themselves as left-of-centre social reformers.

So how did the party end up with an economic and public service reform programme that is basically indistinguishable from that of George Osborne? People theorise about this a lot and have drawn some pretty elaborate conclusions.

Secretly the leadership hates this stuff but it’s strategically necessary to get wavering voters, or the goal is to reassure the Scottish establishment so they don’t destabilise a future referendum, or that this is purely a function of the limitations of devolution and they’re all much more radical at heart. None of these carry any weight at all, they are a function of the disorientation.

The reality is much more depressing. To get an idea of what is driving all of this it is worth going back in time a bit. If you think of the early years of devolution then you think mostly of a strong degree of consensus on the government of Scotland.

The Tories were outliers and even they were very ‘moderate’ in comparison to what has followed down south. The political positioning of Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP was largely indistinguishable. They opposed privatisation, had a universalist approach to public services, were broadly into ‘stakeholder capitalism’ as a shared social mission and so on.

And actually there really was a pretty strong party political consensus. But you must not assume that politics in government is about political parties, because it isn’t. There was another secret consensus in Scotland which looked quite different from the political consensus.

I was very familiar with that consensus. I heard it at Chatham House-style dinners of the chattering classes organised by think tanks. I heard it in the halls of the management strata of universities. I heard it at high-level government strategy meetings. I heard it among the quango set over coffees at the edge of meetings. I heard senior business figures express it time and time again.

There was another secret consensus in Scotland which looked quite different from the political consensus

They were as one; it was ‘unsustainable’ to abolish tuition fees and they had to be reintroduced just as soon as the politicians could be made to see sense and advocate for them. The NHS as we know it is ‘unsustainable’ and it was ‘inevitable’ that the concept of universal treatment as we now understand it would be left behind in the 20th century.

The processes of government are really best carried out by a ruling class and everyone benefits if the firewall between vested interests and public policy-making was effectively removed. It is certainly not the case that transparency and accountability make for a better democracy. And that is because, fundamentally, the public can’t really be trusted with making decisions about how a country is run.

Private finance is crucial. Scottish businesses are small fry and the real game is attracting the big players. Politicians are basically all thick and none of them could get proper jobs at anything like the same seniority. On and on these Louis XV bon mots would go.

And yet you probably didn’t know this rock-solid consensus existed. Why? Because no-one would vote for it and every time they tried to change the national debate – surreptitiously or more overtly – they not only failed to get any public traction but got strong backlash.

The sheer amount of effort expended on persuading Scotland that it secretly wants tuition fees is impressive. For 20 years now the Scottish establishment has been trying to break this subject open. In fact I suffered because of this. I had to tell a meeting of university principals that they were not correct in their view that either the SNP or Labour would reverse their position after the 2007 election was over.

So the emergence of the current Thatcherite/Blairite agenda in Scotland is definitely not coming out of nowhere. It isn’t even correct to see it as a set of individual decisions made based on the influence of individual vested interest groups, one at a time. It is the result of 20 years of constant pushing.

Much had already happened behind the scenes. The McConnell administration let Big Finance into government via PFI. During the early Salmond years RBS et alhad enormous sway. The devolution era resulted in a string of core government functions (both local and national) being spun further and further out from the civil service via an increasingly sprawling network of quangos, agencies and outsourcing.

That brought the big consulting companies into power in force and all the doors into government became revolving doors. But both McConnell and Salmond kept some forms of red line. The infiltration was real and continuous, but it was a creep, not a flood.

Scotland’s policy has been taken over by people who have spent more than 20 years trying to subvert Scotland’s democratic political consensus

That’s where the Sturgeon administration comes in. The direction of travel was set clearly by the time she appointed the founder of the most secretive lobbying company in Scotland to write the prospectus for independence. The media met this with a shrug at the time, but many of the inappropriate appointments of the Johnson era are fairly neutral by comparison.

Sturgeon was sending out the message that the corporate establishment was in control of Scotland, the ‘unruly children’ of the 2014 independence movement had all been sent to the naughty step and Scotland was a safe playground for the rich and powerful, now and in the future.

Why? Why did this incredible lurch to the right happen? The answer lies in the fundamental nature of ‘Sturgeonism’; it’s not a political philosophy, it’s a PR strategy. Throughout her career in politics Sturgeon has picked up political issues when they were fashionable and dropped them again like hot stones when the weather changed.

From her opposition to the War in Iraq to her feminist credentials, these positions come and go as if out of and back into nowhere according to whether they will boost the commentator class’s perceptions of her.

For the ruling class consensus described above to take hold, all it needed was a leader whose ego could be massaged into permitting it, and in Sturgeon they found that leader. It is a unique position – there would be a bitter internal rebellion against what has been happening had the issue of independence not been held as a hostage. “Privatise the ferries or the independence thing bites the dust” has been a brutally effective strategy.

This ruling class power-grab would not be possible under any other conceivable leader, and even if whomever succeeds Sturgeon tried they would not have the personal authority (or husband running the party’s bureaucracy) which would enable them to suppress internal dissent.

To my eyes it seems that the establishment knows it and so their scorched earth policy is accelerating as they (like everyone else) can sense the Sturgeon era grinding to its conclusion. They know that there will be no undoing ScotWind, or Freeports, or Judy Murry’s luxury housing development, or Northlink Ferries, or that god-awful shite emoji hotel in Edinburgh, or any of the rest of it.

When I write that Scotland is being ‘asset stripped’, this is what I mean. It is not just that decisions are being made which have no real democratic legitimacy, it’s that decisions are being targetted where there is and can be no democratic redress. Once this stuff is done, it’s done (privatising the ferries will prove easy enough, renationalising them a much stiffer challenge).

Scotland’s policy has been taken over by people who have spent more than 20 years trying to subvert Scotland’s democratic political consensus. They had only limited success in doing so – until one sorry little administration handed them Scotland on a plate.


BEAT THE CENSORS

Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.

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81 thoughts on “SCOTLAND HAS SWUNG TO THE RIGHT.

  1. Being picky here but maybe you could change the title to be closer to the original “Why is the Scottish Government surging to the right?” It paints a truer picture that our current administration has drunk the neo-liberal kool-aid and believe that they are both modern and doing us all a service by selling the family silver to foreign interests.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. To avoid their fingerprints being detected MI5 have delegated management to the US State Department. State Department’s links in Sturgeon’s inner circle are there if you look.
        This quid pro quo arrangement is fairly standard practice. Remember wee Simon Bracey-Lane of the Institute for Statecraft (MI5 front), “volunteering to work for Bernie Sanders” in his primary against Hillary Clinton.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Vivian whatever you can safely share please share – it is clear to us that there is something very, very wrong with the Sturgeon regime. We need to get her exposed to the light of day for what she is. She is destroying Scotland – by accident or design.

        Liked by 8 people

    1. I would agree wholeheartedly with that Stuart unless Robin is deliberately looking for the reaction your comment makes .

      A lot of us can identify exactly what you are talking about and exposing here Robin BUT what is the antidote how do we go about changing the situation

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Why has Scotland swung to the right? Well it hasn’t … it’s the SNP, or to be more precise, the leadership of that party that has.

    Their actions reflect their unscrupulous, unprincipled and vision-less populist nature as well as the grasping opportunistic careerism of both the FM and her immediate circle of sycophants.

    Eventually the short-term will come to an end and they will be found out.

    However, as Robin MacAlpine warns, the permanent damage will have been done by then.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. BUT what Robin is alluding too if I am NOT mistaken is that sturgeon is only the CURRENT facilitator , the rot and manipulation has gone on for decades and will continue , the question is CAN it be halted and if so by whom , do we, Scotland have a leader that has the fortitude or determination to right this wrong and would the public notice or be convinced , look at all that is going on and the public literally don’t know because the establishment don’t want them to know
      WE are NOT being defeated by politicians , political parties or the establishment , WE are being beaten by the tax avoiding and evading MSM and the state BROADCASTERS Pravdas , not just the bbc but ALL the broadcasters , we are being beaten by the witholding of information and truth and the excesses of misinformation and lies

      Liked by 9 people

  3. Robin’s recent blogs have been outstanding. Which bodes well for the Wee Alba Book that he is putting together and is due soon with Stuart Campbell editing.

    The nuSNP call Alba right wing and socially conservative – irony much.

    TBF it may be more accurate to describe the SNP leadership as neo-liberal as you can be right of centre without being Thatcherite/Reaganite. The SNP are pursing Thatcherite economic policies with pseudo left social policies.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Their pseudo left social politics being obsessed with acceptance of sexual kinks and absolutely nothing to do with economic equality. What a depressing time we are living in. We’ve been played and it looks like there is sod all we can do about it because so many have been hypnotised by the swinging carrot of independence being dangled by their very own Nicky Thatcher.

      Liked by 15 people

      1. Yesterday a Scottish court declared you can effectively put any old shite in the sex question in the census. Today seeing on twitter that if at least 5000 people put “believing in Biology” under the religion category of the census it would be recorded and published under religious belief. All responses need to use the same wording so “Biology belief” wouldn’t count towards the above total.

        I sense a women (and indeed some men) won’t wheesht moment coming… We should make our views heard.

        Liked by 8 people

    2. They call Alba all kinds of things Panda – you know what they say about those who yell the loudest …
      Time to uncover what lives in the SNP closet and put this corrupted party out of the picture.

      Liked by 15 people

      1. Panda Paws as a male I am totally on board for anything the laaaydeees sorry real women propose BUT it has to be organised collectively , THAT is where sturgeon and her deviant perverts are winning through the independenistas are too disorganised, we NEED A LEADER who is NOT afraid to call out this perversion, not one who says they sympathise and empathise , do you see ANY weakness or leeway or respect given to women by these narcissistic spoiled are holes NO they want it ALL with NO LEEWAY given , women will have to harden up and STOP being so considerate , because THEY are not

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d prefer La Guillotine myself. Resting in the suburbs of Paris.
      You can survive the gallows. But there’s no coming back from the blade, on account of feeling slightly detached….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Bad craic when it seems ridiculously far-fetched that those guilty of serious political corruption in Scotland would have to face an honest judge in a fair trial with a jury. That would do me.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Looking back to what happened after Sep 2014, it now seems clear that maybe the only way to defeat the seemingly inevitable move towards Scotland’s independence would be to take over the means to achieving that, namely the SNP. Realistically what other options would have been available for the unionists to make their case for the UK and stand a hope in hell of winning the argument of why Scotland would be better off within the UK than as an independent country. None. They didn’t even try, knowing full well that their case for the UK would quite likely backfire and have the opposite effect. So their argument wasn’t for the UK but focused on Scotland and how it couldn’t possibly make a go of it as an independent country. The endlessly repeated GERS deficit was their main tool in that respect, but even that was a shoogly peg, and one that would only leave one option – take over the SNP to turn them into a fake party of independence. That way, as Robin mentioned, the SNP could then act as a safe outlet for the illusion that there was a political way to achieve independence whilst doing exactly the opposite. The SNP became a stalling mechanism while a bigger and long term plan was put into motion – the privatisation of Scotland’s assets and thereby selling off Scotland’s wealth. Unlike the grossly manipulated GERS figures, this would be the unequivocal removal of Scotland’s wealth.

    As Robin made clear, the effectiveness of the SNP as a UK Trojan Horse clearly couldn’t continue indefinitely, but by the time this ruse was widely rumbled, another part of the plan would have kicked in, the selling off of Scotland’s assets. This had happened previously with PFI’s, privatisation contracts that could only be broken by paying exorbitant costs, making them effectively unbreakable and an on-going cash cow for the companies involved. Bad as these were (and will be until around 2040), compared with the selling off of renewable energy they are chicken feed and do have an end date. Selling off assets such as renewable energy and no doubt with others in the queue behind them (water and the NHS being the two most obvious), will not have a clear end date and will likely be even more difficult to undo.

    The arrogance of the UK’s position on Scotland’s renewable energy resources is now becoming ever more clear. Scotland as a potentially independent country is simply dismissed as irrelevant within the UK. As with oil, they now hide just how much the UK will have to depend on Scotland’s wealth to maintain any semblance of economic health for the UK.

    They say it’s darkest just before the dawn, implying that things won’t look so bad in the light of day. Thanks to the post 2014 SNP, that’s quite possibly likely to be far from the case. With so many continuing to vote for the SNP, Scotland is sleepwalking into a position of economic suicide, and all for the relatively short term benefit of a UK that is in inevitable and terminal economic decline. Tick tock Scotland.

    Liked by 19 people

    1. If only there were no people in Scotland then THEY could squander, as THEY did oil, its abundant resources.
      The colonial attitudes expressed here, you’re just too thick, small, primitive etc are straight from the horses………
      Scots should be physically tearing down this Brit Bastille.
      Wh is this Taylor guy….an expert perchance?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t get this reasoning at all. They aren’t going to get us independence – that’s a lie – so why vote for them? That’s like saying that the only way to save a person’s life is to kill them. People have to stop seeing them as the party of independence – they are a unionist party and will never get another vote from me.

      Liked by 12 people

    2. No we don’t. There is no independence on the SNP table. That is the lie that has to be seen in the light of day. Once the May elections are done the chat about an indyref will vanish like snow off a roof. Vote SNP for the erasure and disgrace of Scotland.

      Liked by 13 people

    3. Prjohnston – nonsense. This current SNP leadership will NEVER deliver independence no matter how many and for how long people vote for them. It’s people voting for them that is PREVENTING independence. As Barrhead boy stated there is mass cognitive dissonance going on amongst SNP supporters. It’s staring them in the face but they just ignore it.

      Liked by 9 people

    4. They want you to think your in a catch 22 . Stop voting SNP and youll be surprised how quick things will change.
      The MPs and MSP will find the courage to oust Strugeon. They will pick up on the discontent rapadly. The council elections coming up is the perfect vehicle for this. Vote SP or Alba.

      Liked by 10 people

    5. “The irony at the moment is we need to vote SNP for independence”

      No, we don’t actually.

      The only irony in front of us is that after wasting 7 irrecoverable years of Scotland’s time, after deliberately undermining our democracy and rights, after laughing at us while walking all over our right to self determination, after enthusiastically betraying our claim of right and sovereignty, after willingly cooperating with the English establishment to destroy our laws and policies to make it more difficult for Scotland to return to the EU, after handing over our assets as if they were birthday party balloons, after deliberately stalling and dividing the yes vote, and after pandering to the political and financial forces behind the GRA trojan horse, there are still party apparatchiks and spin doctors who have the arrogance and the lack of moral compass to continue to attempt to fool indy voters peddling the bullshit that this decomposed and corrupt pseudopolitical construct that calls itself SNP today is the only party of independence, when the same apparatchiks are falling over themselves to make us believe Alba never existed or it is not an alternative, so the useless pseudopolitical construct that calls itself SNP can still appear both as a functional political party rather than a unionist tool and as a pro independence entity rather than a devolutionist one.

      In the same way that voting Labour was never the way to get rid of the tories, but rather the way to open the door to them, voting SNP is the way to ensure we are driven away from independence and instead sent back to the box with more rebranded useless devolution and the pretence of autonomy while we are robbed blind of our powers and rights and our country is being stripped off its main assets for the benefit of somebody else.

      Whoever entity took over the SNP on the 19th September 2014, be it based in the sewers of London or those across the pond, does not want independence and has been working relentlessly to stop it. Taking our assets over one by one with the help of the useful idiots in control of Scotland while giving us a few crumbs in exchange, and,leaving Scotland poor and totally dependent on external entities is a testament to this. The fact Sturgeon and her pseudopolitical SNP has been enthusiastically cooperating on this robbery of the century is the best evidence you can ever find that proves this woman and those who call themselves SNP are working against independence.

      A leader serious about independence protects the countries assets in preparation to independence. Instead, what this woman is doing is handing our assets over so independence is much harder because Scotland cannot rely on its own assets.

      Never a FM of Scotland and party of government has crushed so many of our rights and handed as many assets and powers to Westminster and foreign entities as the current fraud and her “party” of “government” have done.

      If we really want independence the best thing we can do is eject the brigade of careerists, betrayers, liars, seat warmers, labour opportunists and MI5 plants hiding behind the SNP flag and the pretence of pursuing independence, off the green seats in England’s parliament.

      We voted for the last 7 years for this party of useless amoebas and what has the fraud leading them achieved for Scotland?

      Brexit. A brexit we never asked for, we never voted for, we never gave consent for.

      We can vote for this shell and the fraud of the day leading it for another 7 years more or for another 70 that all what we will be doing is wasting our vote and achieving exactly the same this fraud and her shell of a party has achieved for Scotland in the last 7 long years: absolutely nothing other than despair and embarrassment and assets loss.

      The sooner we accept the SNP as a party of independence died on the 19th September 2014 and since then it has become a British state tool to stop independence and to hand over to Westminster the control of as many assets of Scotland as possible, the sooner we can move forward.

      A vote for the SNP in May will be a vote to save the union and a vote to give the green light to the fraud leading it to continue destroying our rights and handing our assets to Westminster while leaving our children and grandchildren without them.

      Liked by 14 people

  5. Thatcher said her greatest success was Tony Blair.

    The ruling elite have managed to push this con of “centre politics” for decades ( before that the peasants didn’t get a vote so they made the rules for us).
    The FPTP ensures that Politics is dragged Right from where it would be under PR.
    The destruction of heavy industry, shipbuilding, coal mining and Nationalised industries ensured a return to hire and fire system more like the 19th Century than the 21st. Century.
    Company Pension schemes were closed down industry by industry, sick pay, holidays and other benefits vanished.
    Companies like UBER don’t employee people. Those given work by them are “free agents” with the flexibility to work when they want….which really means when UBER wants! It looks like a World from two centuries ago when men queued hoping for work that day.

    The elite changed the Pension Pot laws to let people access their pension to boost consumer sales.
    Companies offer to merge all your little pensions but forget to tell you that the dazzling headline figure is frozen for the rest of your life and they made a fortune from you.

    When companies removed pensions to boost shareholder dividends the State didn’t step in to over help. They raised the pension age and Brown let a Pension rise of pennies go through.

    Is it not remarkable that Politicians are now one of the very, very few employees that enjoy a secure Pension from an employer….YOU.

    Anyone still buying the “trickle down” policy?
    Anyone still buying the myth that CEO’s need a salary 400 or 500 times the employee average?

    It is no surprise that the SNP like Labour before them have moved to the Right. They have fallen into the same trap. We must follow the long established rules of our betters.

    Step back and look at the UK system. A Monarchy born to Rule over you. A highly expensive system of Private Education through Elton, Oxford, Cambridge etc creating connections for life. An unelected House of Lords created as a control should any real change be attempted via the Commons.
    CEOs/Directors/Politicians/Senior Military/Royal Family/Appointments to Boards, Charities, Quango’s etc all from the same filtered source.

    The Far Left have demonstrated their own madness with issues such as the TransCult.

    Why are ordinary people who make up the vast majority constantly ignored?

    My vision of an Independent Scotland was nothing like a mini UK. In fact my vision was to use the UK model as an example of how NOT to do it.

    I have to go…I think Sturgeon’s State Police are at the door.

    Liked by 18 people

  6. The Zombie Union is a stich up from the cradle to the grave so much is denied form people, the right to live a decent life free from poverty and hunger. The basics that a decent country provides.Everything that we have left the NHS ,Education is in threat from a greedy power grabbing elite you can call these people Scottish but I dont, they are of a Saxon mold. They have more money than they can spend in a life time but want more and more they own vast amounts of land our land they use for the murder of our indigenous wild life. The Labour party, infiltratrated, The SNP infuriated. Now we know the game we must be vigilant that Alba doesn’t end up the same way. We must take back control of our country our democracy our lifes and put the elites back in their box where they belong.

    Liked by 12 people

  7. Independence under this SNP is becoming further and further distant as Sturgeon implements and accepts policies irreversibly bake in changes that cannot be undone.

    Selling off in perpetuity rather than leasing renewable energy rights, accepting legislation that hands over huge swathes of SG locus to Westminster, accepting the principal of UK rad haven in Scotland known more popularly as free ports, abandoning the Yes movement and the electoral mandate, focusing on unpopular policies no one wants such as GRA and TRA, settling in at Westminster ruining Scotland sovereignty – it is all part and parcel of a Trojan Horse to destroy the independence movement.

    And yes, as the article points out the SNP have lurched absolutely to the neo conservative right in thrall to big corporate largesse.

    Liked by 9 people

  8. Right and left mean little in politics anymore. Systems cherry pick their crop of attitudes. WEF, as capitalist as they come, is very woke with more than a hint of liberal «leftism». The SNP is conforming to the proto totalitarian type,
    smug, authoritarian, in thrall to a stable of pet «experts» plus some shots of calvinist self-righteousness; useful agents of globalist corporatism, the reset, progressive, planet wide dream of many a sociopath.
    Freedom, the new evil? So much for retro notions of independence and nationhood.
    https://archive.fo/8ldrq

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Important repost and wise comments, thanks for your article Robin.

    Yeah, under the demand and orders of British nationalist minister Sturgeon, this new ‘breed’ of SNP has indeed swung to the right of the political compass / speccy – woof!

    Let’s try to identify already known and additional persons / groups who support this new political party rebranded into the once renowned and highly regarded, SNP.

    Group A: nuSNP ministers and politicians content to just sail on the gravy boat forever and eva

    Group B: ‘Le woke’ crew piggybacking the nuSNParty for their own personal gain (and encouraged by the ‘selfie-one’, in order to sew division)

    Group C: Unionists moonlighting as nuSNP supporters in order to hold up the Sturgeon Party vote (a vote for the nuSNP is NOW a vote to maintain the UK union without challenge or question)

    Group D: The fearful and innocent naive who accept and believe what the ‘MSM news’ tells them as true.

    There’s four… can anybuddy suggest any other groupings?

    Liked by 5 people

  10. In reply to marrionl99 above, Sturgeon’s Nu SNP and the US State Department part one.

    On the inauguration of the devolved administrations the US State Department announced that they would be “taking an interest”. According to our MSM, this foreign influencing operation is entirely benign. The mere suggestion of Russian troll farms or Iranian bots throws our MSM into a spasm of hysterical pearl clutching.

    So who are the persons of interest?

    Humza Yousaf and Jenny Gilruth are graduates of the State Departments International Visitors Leadership Program.
    There is nothing inherently sinister in either Yousaf or Gilruth having participated in the IVLP, others (Kezia Dugdale, Patrick Harvey, Ross Thompson) were recipients of the State Department’s largesse.
    What’s interesting are the details where Yousaf and Gilruth are concerned.
    From Yousaf’s Wiki: “In 2008, whilst working as an aide, Yousaf took part in the IVLP programme, an exchange that is run by the US State Department.” That’s right, in his second year as a humble aide, Yousaf was recognised by the US State Department as a “future leader”.
    School teacher, Gilruth was in Washington as part of an IVLP delegation on 9th July 2016. That’s 35 working days after being sworn in as a rookie MSP.
    If those two don’t strike you as State Department plants, I have a Nigerian Prince you should meet.

    Angela Crawley and Patrick Grady were also present in Washington on 9th July 2016 during (WoS, All the jolly boys and girls). What Crawley (SNP Defence Procurement Spokesperson at the time) and Grady (suspended Westminster Chief Whip) were doing in Washington is not at all clear. There’s no mention in either of their HoC registers of interests. Perhaps a private visit, circa Priti Patel going on “holiday” to the Golan Heights. Then again, Patel is independently wealthy (est. £2.2 m), Crawley most certainly ain’t having racked up debts pursuing her second degree. Politics graduate Crawley is (as of 01/02/21) Shadow Attorney General for the SNP at Westminster. Get this; Crawley obtained a LLB Degree in Law from the University of Glasgow AFTER she became a MP. A Shadow Attorney General that’s never practiced law! Truly we live in an age of wonder.

    An observation as an aside; taking the five graduates of the IVLP together with Crawley and Grady, we have seven individuals only one of whom is hetro. Depressing in this day and age that being homosexual apparently still qualifies you as a “target” for foreign intelligence services.

    On a recent James Kelly podcast, when asked about the attempted forcing of “Nicola’s favourites” as parliamentary candidates, the first name to spring to Denise Findlay’s mind was Stephen Gethins.
    Stephen Gethins became the first SNP, MP to be allowed a position on the HoC, Foreign Affairs Select Committee in July 2015. Gethins retained his position as SNP, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and member of the FASC following the 2017, snap election, despite having his constituency majority reduced to TWO.
    Prior to gaining a salary from UK politics, first as an advisor to Alex Salmond and then as an MP, Gethins was employed by “NGO LINKS”. NGO LINKS is based out of the University of Arizona and is funded by the US Government’s National Science Foundation (the National Endowment for Democracy may be losing its usefulness as a CIA front). NGO Links is exclusively interested in matters on Russia’s Southern border with particular emphasis on the Republic of Georgia.
    On losing his seat in the December 2019 snap election, Gethins rapidly gained (indecently so) employ at the School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews. The SoIR, was BBC Scotland’s go-to source for “Russia bad” commentary before they discovered the swivel eyed, Prof. Anthony Glees at the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. The proximity of the SoIR to the “auld haunted barn” that housed the Integrity Initiative may or may not be coincidental.

    Then there’s the relationship between Sturgeon’s inner circle and the John Smith Centre for Public Service, University of Glasgow, but that’s a whole other story. Part two perhaps?

    Liked by 14 people

    1. wow! Thanks Vivian. I have been told that the International Relations school at St Andrews is the plaything of the intelligence services… This is a lot of very interesting info.
      Bring on part 2!

      Liked by 8 people

    2. This particular Scottish fish stinks of the unholy, familiar smellscape of meddling and subversion.
      https://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-can%E2%80%99t-afford-be-awol-caucasus-195558
      You would think that the serial failures of US foreign adventurism would have registered by now. Why is America’s establishment such a slow learner. Does imperialist Washington get off on swinging the wrecking ball in other people’s territory?
      An independent Scotland, pursuing an independent foreign policy and nobody’s puppet, just imagine that?
      I’m sure there’s a US patented vaxx for that.
      Maybe it’s already being trialed.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. Good work Vivian.

      👏👏👏👏more,more👏👏👏👏more,more

      Lift the rock and shine the light. Watch them scurry away.

      Liked by 10 people

    4. The sleekit class. Plenty of these wee groups cropping up in Scotland providing cash for would-be and has-been establishment types. An innocent funneling of cash to sleekit bastards for being sleekit loyal bastards? Or a handout to the mediocre for unimportant services not yet rendered.

      Seems a lot of effort to go to? What do these organisations do?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How many more quangos are being given the ability to determine the protection and sellability our lands and resources are valued to the private sector , like Loch Lomondside and flamingo park 52,000 objections( a record) and still the quango ignores the public

        Liked by 3 people

  11. I get depressed when people start taking about laws that Westminster can implement to prevent independance as though its legal, the sovereign right of parliament design to nail you to the grave . We need there permission (help ma bob). It’s not in the Union rule book of gerrymandering so you cant do it. This is our colonial masters rules used to subvert our democracy as a result our colonial masters rules dont count. The UK government knows this. We the people are sovereign we decided, all the countries that left the Empire knew this ,why are the SNP different. They play this game for a reason to deny us our democract right to self determination. The single impediment to Independence is a complyent SNP. Cowards and Quislings the lot.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. No doubt in my mind Alisdair that we need to stick it to the SNP. The party has gone rotten, has sold out and is now a part of the establishment.

      We need to send them a message and we have the opportunity in May.

      Vote right down the card ranking the SNP last

      Liked by 2 people

  12. We are extremely lucky to have someone like Robin McAlpine doing this work. Robin would have risen to the top in any political culture… And is a social democrat.

    This SNP is right wing poison.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. They are some kind of poison tombkane. Extremes meet and they have disappeared over the horizon – or maybe through the looking glass …

      Liked by 6 people

      1. A double skipping rope over the world, Marion. Getting everyone up in the air, listing right, and dancing to a menacing tune.

        Respect.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I have no problem at all with being social democrat. Most of the best countries in the world with the highest standards are social democrat. Far Left is what I am not as I can’t think of a single country where these batty policies have worked.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. …Scottish independence would provoke a nasty tsunami on the Thames, such political turbulence would not suit the UK fairytale monarchy, poster boy image,

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Russia is the ultimate kleptocratic, gangster state and should be recognized as such. And it is still totalitarian in the extreme yet if you mentioned that to the man or woman in the street they wouldn’t even know what it meant.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sturgeon is a ‘Bird in a gilded cage”, secure but imprisoned – lacking the drive, the intellect, and arguably the integrity to pursue Scotland’s need for independence. She chanced upon Covid, an independence delaying opportunity.Now it appears she has “folded her hand” – Seabed leases,freeports, what next sellout I wonder – water? NHS?

    Her sleepless nights are ahead of her, if not already arrived, the vision of her Alec Salmond betrayal – ‘on the ceiling above my bed”.

    Vivian’s revelations are no surprise. the disconnect between the population and our political mafia is a depressing/

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Part two. Sturgeon’s inner circle and the John Smith Centre for Public Service (University of Glasgow).

    Board, John Smith Centre for Public Service.

    Catherine Smith (Chair): From her site bio.. Working Advocate. “worked in the law … on conflict resolution and democracy building for the LONDON BASED NGO LINKS (emphasis added) working particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.” “… on the board of the John Smith Trust which runs programmes in good governance for emerging international leaders.” (see also, Stephen Gethens). Here’s the thing, why doesn’t LONDON BASED quite chime true? Because we already know that NGO LINKS operates out of the University of Arizona. Why the clumsy attempt at misdirection? Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

    Rt Hon Ed Balls: Perhaps the ultimate Blairite, Trans-Atlantic player (Research Fellow at Harvard) and someone with no connection to Scottish politics.

    Dr Matt Carter: General Secretary of Labour Party under Blair.

    Professor Sara Carter: Academic, Head of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow and no relation to above.

    Rt Hon Ruth Davidson: Vermin in ermine.

    The Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill: From her site bio. “… member of the board of several organisations with interests in Russia and FSU countries.”. Smith is something of an enigma in this day and age. Little of interest appears when searched. Little snippets; “In the 1960’s Baroness Smith was an undergraduate studying Russian at Glasgow University and subsequently worked for Sir Fitzroy Maclean at the Great Britain – USSR Association.” That would be Tory MP and former spy, Fitzroy Maclean.
    Smith was onetime Director of private spook outfit Hakluyt (set up and staffed by former officers of the MIs). This too has been purged from the Net.

    Andrew Wilson: Ex SNP MSP, economist, Chair of the Sustainable Growth Commission.

    The day-to-day at the JSCfPS is run by Kezia Dugdale. Dugdale resigned from the Scottish Parliament to take up the Director role in 2019. The JSCfPS mission statement is full of the usual “enabling”, “inclusive”, “fostering respect” guff you’d expect. Translation, “pack the salaried ranks of Scottish politics with unemployable Politics graduates that have never had a proper job in their lives and probably never will. Folk who’ll do what ever their told to progress their careers.”
    Dugdale is the very embodiment of this secret mission statement. One to which Sturgeon wholeheartedly concurs.
    Dugdale was of course part of the 2016 International Visitors Leadership Programme together with her now bidie-in, Jenny Gilruth.

    Sturgeon is a big fan of the JSCfPS. Her smug coupon features prominently on its site.
    The JSCfPS “Power Hour” podcast series features two SNP politicos; John Nicolson and Stewart McDonald (there’s a shock).
    The JSCfPS 2021 Parliamentary intern programme was divided thus: SNP 6 interns, Conservatives 2, Labour 3, Greens 1.
    The “lucky” SNP recipients included Sturgeon, Yousaf and Gilruth (yep, them again).

    Here’s where the JSCfPS gets interesting. They’ve never published accounts in any meaningful sense. Trustees Annual Reports are redacted to the point that they’re meaningless. The last published report on the site of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator dates to year end 31/03/2018. These accounts state that, “The Charity has remained dormant during the year.”
    That’s pretty damn sneaky for an organisation that seeks to “promote public respect in politics”.
    Dugdale joined in July 2019. At some point they’ll have to disclose who is funding Dugdale and her five staff. My guess would be the US State Department, probably funnelled through various fronts

    Liked by 9 people

  15. ‘Scotland Has Swung To The Right’.

    Has Scotland Swung To The Right?

    This and this Government in Scotland needs to answer that one…

    What do YOU think?

    Like

  16. Sorted, they cool.

    Should aye vote for Nicola’s party… nope

    Should aye vote for both ALBA & Scotland… Yes!

    Class dismissed.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tell me something, Bart…

    Ahm aye wrong, or is the world, rising?

    Choose yer quicksand, Scotland.

    Like

  18. Hi Iain and everybuddy.

    We’re in Botego… casino bound.

    Aye love Scotland X.

    Scotland is us.

    Us peeps are dancing.

    Robin knows.

    Like

  19. Hi, so, watching the poker players play. Aye ain’t gambling tonight. I love to watch the poker players play, I am the silent party.

    Something’s about to kick off…

    Handbags ladies… easy now.

    Apols for hogging this thread Iain, but hey it’s now Saturday.

    Like

  20. Hi Iain, ended up playing and SO won this morning… chippies galore.

    Anyways, back to you Scotland.

    Today is the weekend..

    Taxi X.

    Like

  21. Really excellent BTL commentary one and all . I referred to Robin’s article in a previous post , no need to comment on it here : suffice to say , it doesn’t miss .

    The intelligence , insight and passion displayed on this thread alone is worth more of real value than the combined forked-tongue babblings of every * senior * ( in reality they are all junior members of the Union Preservation Society – Chair*person * N Sturgeon ) SNP member in the last seven years .

    Intensely frustrating as it is to observe , to know , that we have an abundance of brilliant minds and burning hearts in our country desperate to contribute to it’s/our advancement , but being ignored – when not vilified – while a clique of sycophantic dummies prosper at the expense ( in every sense ) of our social/political/cultural wellbeing , it can’t last much longer , something has to give . It won’t be us . We’ve gave enough

    ” The centre cannot hold ” . Indeed it cannot , though to reverse Yeats’ formulation ……..

    The worst lack all conviction, while best are full of passionate intensity

    Liked by 7 people

    1. The Covid episode has turned citizens into subjects, dependents, consumers of the latest official decree.
      The psychology of that coonditioned state of «trust» is inimical to the thinking required.
      We need thinking that is unchained, unencumbered by the prosaic conventions and rules of the temporary established order, the risk aversion of the jobsworth and the puffed up pronouncements of the «apparatus».
      Research and stay well informed, be prepared to change your perspective, accept nothing without question, observe, seek proofs; Positively revolutionary in the field of politics.
      Oh, and a cosmos scale imagination to conceive of the alternative is beneficial too.
      Better shut up, «THOCHT POLIS».

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Spot-on Otto . ” thocht polis ” . ahahaha 🙂

        Maybe we * tin foil hat * wearers should attach a wee rainbow coloured antenna to our headwear to scramble any unwanted probing from the aforementioned short stump of the law

        Liked by 3 people

    2. My family’s wide experience of «officialdom» has taught them, and me, to treat manh aspects of life as you would a legal document, do not affix your signature until you have read the text a number of times, checked the sources and looked for hidden clauses and above all, do be hassled into signing.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. The weekend is here and the sunny Spring has arrived Scotland 🙂

    Pawn to king four…

    Your move.

    Like

  23. I have known for nearly 2 years that Sturgeon has moved Scotland not to the right but to the far right and this is explained brilliantly in this blog she needs to be stopped because Scotland is facing a dark impoverished future under her rule ”Scotland was a safe playground for the rich and powerful, now and in the future”.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. I do NOT agree with Robin that “Scotland had turned to the right” politically.

    Although I do agree with Robin and most contributors about the sheer self-interest of Sturgeon, the Murrells and their clique, what is “right-wing” about:

    Nationalising Ferguson’s shipyard?

    Nationalising Prestwick Airport and subsiding it operations?

    Nationalising the railways?

    Tryin to appointing “state guardians” for all our children?

    Pursuing GRA reform in all its stupidity?

    Fiddling the forthcoming census questions?

    Implementing a Hate Crime Bill?

    Introducing current financial help for Council Tax band A to D only?

    Etc etc?

    The sale of Scotwind licences for a measly £700 million was a reflection of the birdbrains at the top of the SG decision-making tree who continue to think I was a good deal!

    The NewSNP with “Big Sister” at the top is leading us into a dystopian nightmare, envisaged by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Neither right-wing nor left-wing, just pure evil authoritarianism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Define the «terms». What is, within the current context, signified by the terms right, left?
      These archaic positions with regard to the throne, mean little today.
      Contemprary political systems are eclectic ie they cherry pick. Capitalism has embraced woke for example.
      Fool the electorate with sleight of hand, doublespeak and call it democracy.
      You’d think that after the nazis, fascists etc we would be much wiser.

      Liked by 1 person

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