Sea Air, Pine Trees and Roses

A guest post from the very popular writer Peter Young who runs IndyScot News from his base in Denmark.

There’s something intoxicating about sea air and pine trees. And the cycle path between Hornbaek and Elsinore can certainly get you tipsy, if not drunk. The path itself is almost unbroken for those of us on two wheels. There’s either a broad cyclist-only lane, or half the pavement is shared with pedestrians. So, all in all, you’re pretty safe to ‘close off your mind, relax and float downstream’.

It was on this part of a long-ish ride that I spent a lot of time devouring audiobooks during the Covid lockdown period. Now, I would not normally recommend biking with in-ear headphones in traffic, but on dedicated cycle lanes it’s not a problem.

As a freelance working from home, Covid actually affected me very little. Work-wise, I was busier than ever. The worst part of it all was that my son had just been promoted from Denmark to a huge office block in the concrete and glass jungle of La Defense. He knew no one, and within months he was locked down and isolated in Paris. Lucky for some you might think, but restrictions there were severe. But hey, we Scots have exile and geographical displacement sewn into our DNA. He found a way to see it through, probably because he really enjoys his work.

Oddly enough, it was Mia’s article on this site that got me thinking about all of this. In her piece of the 16th of September she continued her debate with Graeme. The word ‘Sturgeon’ occurs 14 times in the piece, and at no point is it synonymous with anything remotely complimentary. In fact, the very first paragraph outlines a litany of failure attributed directly to the current First Minister.

By the way, I should add that sea and pine are not the only scents on the northern coast of Sjaelland. During the summer months there’s a strong scent of ‘Hyben Roser’ (‘Rosehip Roses’). These are wild roses with a very powerful scent that you’ll find near to many Danish and Baltic coasts. The ripe rosehips are packed with vitamins, and are good for jam making, so I’m told.

Anyway, scents and Sturgeon aside, it turns out that during lockdown, I had, among other things, got through three trilogies by Len Deighton! This surprised even me, as I’m really not into fiction at all. Still, needs must when the devil drives, and the Covid virus, origin unknown, that had found its way to our immune systems had turned into a particularly nasty form of evil. Thankfully, level-heads in Danish government were driving most of the big decisions. Lockdown restrictions were at no point near draconian. Difficult, yes, but when government ministers see no need to use pandemic briefings to massage their egos, or attack political opponents, common sense prevails and the experts are allowed to make decisions and give the briefings.

So, cycling around the north-east corner of Sjaelland was an opportunity to start with Deighton’s ‘Berlin Game’. I knew of Deighton from that Cold War classic ‘Funeral in Berlin’ — a tale of double cross and triple cross. His later work I was unaware of though, before listening to an interview about the Berlin Game trilogies.

Berlin Game is based in the 1980s, the era when, on a couple of occasions, nuclear war was narrowly avoided. The Soviets were rather paranoid about a US nuclear first strike, and not without reason. As far back as Eisenhower and Kennedy, elements of the US security establishment were actively agitating for a first strike. Kennedy flatly refused, appalled by the generals’ plan which involved the US accepting tens of millions of dead in return for wiping out the Soviet Union. As we now know, Kennedy turned into a peacemaker, something that James W. Douglass in ‘JFK and the Unspeakable’ alleges was the motive behind the assassination in Dallas.

Back in the 1980s, with Regan stoking Cold War tensions for all he was worth, the Soviets are reported to have created Operation RYAN. This was an acronym for ‘Raketno-Yadernoe Napadenie’ — ‘nuclear missile attack’. Agents abroad were on the look out for any behaviour or early-warning signs among Western politicians and any anomalous military activity. Those of us alive at the time, remember only too well the headlines about Perishing II, ‘SS-20’, and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and their protest against US cruise missiles there.

During NATO’s ‘Able Archer’ war games in November 1983, the Soviet Union believed, for a number of rational reasons, that a pre-emptive strike was being prepared. In response, planes in Poland and East Germany were loaded up with bombs, and 70 SS-20 ballistic missiles put on high alert. Aye, for the second time in just over two decades the west of Scotland faced nuclear annihilation, because it’s a ‘British’ target. Scotland in Union, ye cannae beat it.

But to be fair to the Russians, and not many are, if the US felt threatened by nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962, why wouldn’t the Soviet Union fear Pershing II missiles in NATO states close to its border in 1983? It seems that nuclear submarines were sent under the Arctic ice in preparation for the coming atomic conflict. Soviet forces were only stood down when Able Archer 83 ended. It was with understandable relief, that the late Michail Gorbachov welcomed assurances that NATO would not move ‘one inch eastward’ in the post-Cold War new order of ‘peace dividends’. Whatever happened to those?

In the world of Deighton fiction, London develops an incredibly elaborate plot to insert an agent into the East German security services. This agent is manipulated into a position of influence, at the very top of the power ladder. From there the plan is to undermine the system from within. Without giving too much away, the agent destined to cause so much havoc is a female. She completely blind-sides those who trust her. As fiction goes it’s a great story and re-creates places and situations convincingly. It goes perfectly with a safe cycle ride, and a few pit stops for coffee and cake.

Anyway, back to Mia’s blog and those 14 mentions of Sturgeon. Personally, I’ve heard the word ‘betrayal’ used more than once about the FM and her inner clique. But obviously, it’s outrageous to suggest that the current leader of the SNP is a ‘kompromat’ or long-term ‘agent of influence’ for a foreign government. It’s probably paranoid to even consider that having started as a benign low-level informant, she gradually worked her way up into a position of power. That really is a bit too Len Deighton, isn’t it? 

It’s also no doubt merely co-incidental that the reverse democratisation of the SNP occurred on her watch, and that a very small group of individuals now controls every aspect of SNP policy and action — or inaction, as the case may be. It’s clearly just more bad luck, that the party’s focus has moved to hugely divisive gender issues, and that its former leader was taken to court on the basis of an absurd series of manufactured and embellished charges. It was probably just an oversight that the supermajority idea was not taken seriously. After all, what right thinking independista would not wish a decrease in Unionist representation and give Holyrood the numbers to call an election at a time of its choosing. That get-out-of-jail card would have been more than useful. 

Mia wrote about, “Sturgeon’s appalling waste of majorities, time and resources preserving Westminster’s perceived supremacy over Scotland for 8 years instead of terminating it”. To be fair, Sturgeon’s era began with great hope and no small amount of adulation. After all, she was Alex Salmond’s anointed successor. Murphy’s Law aside, what could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, the warning signs and red flags were everywhere, and I for one did not see them. Did you? For me, living abroad is no excuse. I read the same newspapers, press releases, saw the same news coverage, FMQs, and observed the same election campaigns that you all saw.

Truth be told, the rot had set in already in 2015. We now wonder how a vote for the SNP could not be a vote for independence. This is, after all, the entire basis for the existence of the party. And yet, with an SNP landslide in sight, the new FM decided to announce it would not be a mandate. Tommy Sheppard only confirmed this with his obsequious grovelling to the chair during his maiden speech. In essence, he said the ’56 had no mandate for independence, then added quite inexplicably, “neither did we seek one”. Another red flag that went unnoticed by most.

Of course, the short money rolling into the SNP was a nice little earner, as long as they remained at Westminster. There was, allegedly, enough ‘lovely moolah’ for the Westminster top dog (Angus Robertson) to award himself a leader’s allowance. In fact, questions are still being asked about what’s become of the £8m-plus in short money. But in the NuSNP asking probing questions is an entirely useless pastime.

We know from the FM’s social media feed that she likes a bit of fiction. So it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that there’s the plausible outline of a fictional plot under her very nose in Edinburgh. It involves the subversion of a popular ‘separatist movement’ in a resource rich colony of the British state. This colony, although portrayed as a poor subsidy-junkie state, is in fact the goose that lays the golden eggs for London and post-industrial England.

Elements of the story, entirely made up of course, include the idea of placing an MI5 agent in charge of the Crown prosecution service in Scotland. In a shocking development, top British civil servants get away with blatantly perjuring themselves at a Scottish government inquiry. It also encompasses members of the First Minister’s close inner circle, whom she clearly does not know — as Rene Artois might say — who are deeply involved in an attempt to destroy the former, avidly pro-independence First Minister. Another key element involves the current leader not only retaining, but promoting failed civil servants, close advisors, and ministers who support her contrived inaction on independence. It ends with ultimate success, as even when her hand is forced, she manages to opt for a route to independence that is most likely to fail.

On second thoughts, this is all so barely plausible that no one would ever believe it could actually happen.

You’ll still find hyben roser blossoming in September. Now and again they evoke a fragrance of summer as I cycle by. But as the leaves fall on the cycle paths they add another charm for two-wheel travellers as Keats’ season of mists and mellow fruitfulness arrives.

Currently, I’ve left the world of fiction for that of political reality. It’s clear that things are happening outwith career politicians and their self-perpetuating re-election bandwagons. The people of Scotland are awakening, debate is flourishing on free social media and in wee halls across the country. That the Union is a millstone around Scottish necks has never been more apparent. Our ancient constitution received the prominence it deserves during recent royal events. it’s now clear that there are routes to independence available to us that do not involve political popinjays, egomaniacs, and grifters. That’s not fiction, by the way, that’s fact. Can I appeal to you all to sign up for — it’s time we Scots and our gallant allies abroad took matters into our own hands.

Prosperity to Scotland and no Union


Peter maintains his high quality of writing which I know is appreciated by so many readers of this blog. I note the optimism at the end of the article as he discerns the new found confidence and activity occurring outwith the Party setup and being driven by grassroots members of the Yes movement. I share that optimism which is so necessary when the political leadership have been such failures.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


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22 thoughts on “Sea Air, Pine Trees and Roses

  1. The twists and turns, skullduggery, double-dealing and betrayal exhibited through the initial complaints lodged with the Civil Service about the former First Minister, the Judicial Review of the procedure used to investigate, COPFS, Crown Agency and Police Scotland involvement, the Criminal Trial accounts and findings, witness statements at the subsequent Parliamentary Inquiries as well as the aftermath and impact on associated parties might make even Len Deighton’s head swim.

    Liked by 15 people

  2. I hope your optimism is correct as I see Wings is very downbeat in his post today to mark the anniversary if Indyref and I have to agree with him that with Nicola as first minister we are going nowhere. Great article as usual.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Hard not agree with Stuart Campbell on that. The worry is also that the entire NuSNP is so saturated with a cosy selection pals of pals – from Westminster ‘researchers’ to prospective low-grade MP/MSP/Council candidates – that’s it’s dead in the water as a force for independence. As Alf Baird argues so convincingly, under Sturgeon it’s entered an accommodation with the occupying colonial power.

      Liked by 17 people

  3. Thank you for an interesting article. A glimpse of lifestyle in another Nation with an external look at Scotland.

    Many of those who write the best fiction usually have a strong grasp of the reality of World affairs and human failings.
    One technique for writing fiction is to take genuine press cuttings and weave a story that connects them. This often leads to a remarkable story with a high level of believability.

    I just read such a rear view mirror article above. It makes perfect sense but I could also argue she was recruited via blackmail due to her well known “secrets”. The draw and need of the big stage and recognition of her “global talent” another.

    Regardless of “how” she was recruited or why she took that turn. One fact remains beyond doubt. Sturgeon is not going to deliver Independence.

    I wish the book had a happy ending but good fiction is often realistic and reflects the reality of life.

    Liked by 13 people

  4. In 2015 I was a huge fan of Nicola Sturgeon & I thought she was right to say a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence at that time on the basis that it was far too soon after the indyref 2014 and in many ways I still believe that but I’m open to having my mind changed.
    But since then I found myself ignoring things one after the other that I felt just didn’t seem right in the belief she has a plan she knows what she’s doing she’s smarter than me who am I to question her, I could never understand why she tried to stop Brexit which in my view it was our ticket out of the union but once again I assumed she knows what she’s doing it’s all part of the masterplan, It took me a long time to accept she was behind the Salmond conspiracy but there is no doubt in my mind now that she was,
    I honestly can’t remember what act of betrayal finally convinced me she was a sleeper for the British state there’s been so many but there comes a point no matter how much you don’t want to believe it that when something looks like a duck, waddles like a duck & quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Sturgeon likely craves adulation. She tried to stop Brexit (or at least gave the appearance of trying) to impress her peers in the EU. She turned on Salmond to impress American “feminists” and wants to make Scotland a beacon of progressive politics to impress the Democratic Party of the USA and all the World Economic Forum types around the world. That also has the fortunate coincidence of ensuring the upward trajectory of her career. Promoting nationalism and disrupting the established order in a major contributor to NATO would not be welcome in globalist, neo-liberal circles. Especially not now.

      Liked by 17 people

    2. Aye, we are many who believed in the masterplan. It was the defeatist, ill-prepared post-Brexit GE2017 campaign that suggested to me something was not right. She held all the aces (and 59% indy support at one point) yet during TV debates she allowed herself to be drawn on Holyrood issues instead of pointing out this was a Westminster election, on UK issues. Her performances were inept and deferential, and had the effect of undermining the candidates. That 56 became 35 was not a surprise.

      Liked by 15 people

  5. Add to the mists of subterfuge and espionage a MI5 outstation in a ancient and respected academic institution disguised as a political think tank. A registered charity that admits to a staff of six, that’s never published accounts. Accounts are allegedly filed with the Scottish Government controlled charity regulator, only to fall down the back of the filing cabinet.
    An ancient academic institution so corrupted and bent to the will of the deep state that it awards a £65k no-show position to the Director of the “think tank”.

    Liked by 12 people

  6. Another great article by Peter who manages to write in a way that stops you putting it down to do something else.
    We, in the true independence movement are very fortunate to have people like Peter, Ian , Mia, Roddy , Grousbeater , Bruce , Stuart and more , for without them , ask yourself, where would we be in the fight for independence?
    As for sturgeon , I do believe she is now being uncovered and laid bare for what she is.
    As for when this become apparent , well to me it began during the referendum campaign as she was the head of the Yes Scotland organisation.
    I actually meant to write a wee blog about it On the anniversary of the vote, and just put up with the “ conspiracy theory”accusations but these articles by Mia and Peter have added some flesh to the bones of my thoughts and how my suspicions came about whilst running the Yes Bus team in Dundee.
    Once again, thank you Ian , Peter and Mia

    Liked by 13 people

  7. re “level-heads in Danish government were driving most of the big decisions”

    My understanding is that the Danish government (or its hemedical authority?) has now banned covid vaccines for people under 50 unless they are considered vulnerable (a decision which, if you’re willing to think about it, could define criminal insanity) so am obliged to conclude they must be as complicit as anyone in the shambles.

    As to MIA, like the poor lad with the funny name that got (justifiably?) blocked btl for complaining about anonymous women getting a forum to air controversial views atl whilst themselves posting a controversial view under a funny name

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, comment posted itself mid edit;
      should either read “health/ medical authority” and end with “am inclined to believe she’d be more trustworthy if she turned out to be Nicola Sturgeon herself”
      – or have been memory holed in its entirety


    2. The comments about the Danish gov referred mainly to their lockdown measures. Apologies for not making that entirely clear. That said, mRNA vaccines remain a contentious issue and as more research data on immunity becomes available, medical advice changes.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. From

        “On 3 November 2020, Statens Serum Institut identified a new variant of COVID-19 present in Denmark’s 17-million-strong mink population, prompting PM Mette Frederiksen’s government to demand a mass culling.”

        “However, only later did it come to light that the PM gave the kill order without legal authority. As a result, Parliament created the Mink Commission to investigate what failures in governance led to the mistake, ultimately resulting in a report that found Frederiksen’s actions to have been “grossly misleading and clearly illegal”. A slew of ministers and department heads were also slammed in the document, with several of them now involved in disciplinary cases.”

        Given what else happened that day it looks a lot like your level headed government might have been abusing the trust of its populace and practising blood sacrifice rather than anything remotely competent from a medical perspective – leaving King Charles with an interesting dilema as to how he might best avenge or discipline such Godlessness in strict accordance with his inviolable vow to the Church of Scotland.


  8. A most interesting read and summarizes very well the reality of where we are.

    Colonisation is dug deep into Scotland but an awakening to the extent of it is now taking root. And it is the same root as those grew in so many nations around the globe to throw off their imperial colonial masters.

    No one for any moment should not misunderstand the extent to which colonial rule seeped into countries around the world. Overt and covert the English Empire colonised a huge part of the world, with more often than not resort to force where more covert means did not prevail.

    But one after one from America to Ireland to India to Kenya the colonies all went their own way despatching the colonial asset strippers. And today, whilst Scotland is still a colony, all that Britain has in truth left as it declines down the world stage, is things like this absolutely huge stage performance of pomp and circumstance of the death of their Queen and the installation of her son as the new King.

    It might be mandatory listening and watching for the UK subjects as the government, including our own pretend government shut down industries, GP surgeries, hospital operations, but will this deathfest celebration do what it’s intended to do.

    In Scotland I think it is having very much the opposite effect to what it was intended to do. People are losing doctor’s appointments, operations, are losing a day’s pay. And businesses they are having to sustain the cost of a shut down. Ok maybe for the public sector where a day’s paid leave at the expense of the public purse is welcome, but at what cost all this lost production to the economy.

    And then of course there is the small matter of inequality. If ever anything reinforced the rank inequality in Britain, then it is the Royal Family. Even the new King not a couple of days into his kingship is filmed twice on the world stage throwing a hissy fit and cussing due to a little ink on his hand, and in another instance his teeth bared snarl to have a flunky move a pen set off a desk for him.

    With its lost empire and declining economy, Britain is a busted flush, and this extravaganza, is in so many ways the last hurrah for a country in decline. And Scotland, full of establishment agents of the colonial master, that too is moving on, moving forward, getting ready to take its place as an independent country.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. Enjoyable and informative writing Peter. I contributed for years to W.O.S. and recall very well, being castigated by many who I had respect for previously, when pointing out the logical and political idiocy of electing a massive majority of SNP MPs and at the same time achieving a majority popular vote underlining it, when the Green vote ( supposedly Independence supporting) was included and yet still not dissolving the Act of Union.

    I was advised to ‘waken up at the back’, because apparently the SNP had indicated that they were not seeking Independence. This was news to me. I had joined the ‘Yes’ campaign, then in the REF aftermath defeat , I joined a political party, the SNP, like a 100,00 others, for the first time in my life. I enquired from these SNP loyalists on W.O.S how were we supposed to attain Independence if not through the representative democratic majority of SNP? The answers were not clear or convincing. The majority of these defenders of the first major betrayal of Scotland mainly cleared off and are resident on the WGD site.

    This brings to my point or observation: Scots, because of our oppressed history and colonised governance are traditionally a cantankerous nation with each other. It produces individuals who are strong minded and capable of forging ahead…a bit like yourself Peter!
    But that stubbornness leads us to demonstrate a paradox: that of sometimes an intransigent loyalty to a cause of a political party or religion or cause. For instance, take the Scottish Labour Party: a municipal outfit of low-level performing puppets for the official Labour Party in England. A grouping which managed to cross even the sectarian divisions in West Central Scotland by feigning its role as a ‘Working man/woman’s party. It held its support seemingly impregnably until finally it crumbled under leadership so lacking in insight or actual care for its supporters that one of its leaders declared us to be ‘genetically incapable of making political decisions’ and that ‘Scottish’ Labour were treated like a ‘Branch Office’ by their masters in London.

    That cultural trait of adhering to lost causes goes back, at least to Bonnie Prince Charlie. It is still in evidence today with the rank and file of the SNP. It is symptomatic also of brainwashing. A colonial directed army of m.s.m. , BBC, social media trolls and bots. Even our education system in the hands of mainly non-Scots ensures continuing misdirection and disinformation. Only today I read that James Kelly ex Celtic Director, Graeme Souness ex Scotland international were arguing respectively for Celtic apparently always being a supporter of monarchy and for Rangers the right to play the ‘national anthem’ at football game!
    Many will remember the array of dupes and puppets brought out of the empire play set during the ‘REF’ to persuade us that we were too inferior to run our own country.

    The problem facing those of us in Scotland who are divided by factions and misdirection is that there is no organised or organising radical party in existence yet that can challenge Sturgeon and her band of rogues. Alba is not the answer. We need a coalition of all groupings, a national movement. But most of all we need leaders. People untainted by a political past. People who are flesh and blood nationalists. Even those with a ‘past’ that our scabrous media will attempt to smear them with. This demands bravery and sacrifice. If we don’t rise to this challenge, then our fate will be sealed: a deliberately sabotaged ‘REF’ followed by a new British Constitution which will ban Scotland ever again attempting separation. The Spanish did it in the 1970s and Catalonia is forever restrained by it. This is not a Len Deighton novel, this is 21st century Scotland, England’s last colony. Surely, it’s up to us to ensure the plot ends with our Independence?

    Liked by 7 people

  10. thanks for the interesting read, Peter. You are right that the story unfolding since the referendum in 2014 reads like a spy novel. With the betrayal, corruption, abuse of power and plotting, it also looks like a repeat of what happened to Scotland in the eighteenth century when the Scottish nation was run by rogues.

    The rose in the picture is a Rugosa. These are very tough Japanese roses which can flourish in poor soil and cold maritime climates. They have distinctive, rough, crinkled foliage and can produce large, tomato coloured hips. The flowers have a delicious scent. The species are often used nowadays to minimise soil erosion.

    Liked by 1 person

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