Thursday, 24 March 2016


It is thought that, had the Scottish public voted YES in September 2014, today is the day that we would have become independent.

Well, we didn't, and crying over spilt milk is as pointless as expecting George Osborne to be able to count past 10 without taking his shoes off,  Philip Hammond to get past the first sentence of a speech without everyone falling asleep, or the Tory Cabinet to come down hard on fat cat tax abusers and leave sick folk alone for a bit.

Going by the polls, on the back of a series of promises made by Better Together representatives, Scotland decided to stay in a hugely reformed United Kingdom.

Singa-longa-Gordon: God save the Queen.
Most notably Gordon Brown, on behalf of the two British political leaders who could possibly be prime minister at the time of independence, Cameron and Miliband, promised "as near federalist government as is possible in a union where 85% of the population live in one state". And, appearing on a television debate for young people alongside Ruth Davidson, speaking for the union on behalf of Better Together, George Galloway (couldn't Labour have fielded someone?) promised Devo-super-max. Whatever that was.

Its an interesting thought that neither the prime minister nor the leader of the opposition felt sufficiently confident of their popularity in Scotland to bring their promise directly to the people themselves. They were obliged to find an ex prime minister, who it was thought still had some popularity here, to do it for them. That, if you think about it, is a fairly strong indictment. In short neither possible future prime minister held much sway in Scotland.

The two of us.
Moving on, there are those who said that the YES side would never have won, were not winning at any point, could not possibly win. But if that is true why did Cameron do his famous volte face at the last moment and authorise the devo max/federal promises, having specifically ruled these out at the beginning of the debate? 

A man within sight of the winning post doesn't suddenly make concessions  that he previously specifically ruled out. Nor does he sit up all night unable to sleep, and then, when he knows the result, telephone the head of state to hear her purr (like she didn't have a radio in Buckingham palace).

Well we all know what happened...

In voting NO, by a reasonable majority, we put ourselves at the mercy of the UK government, which most people predicted would be Tory, or a Tory led coalition for some years to come.

Who said I purred?
They set up the Smith Commission with a remit to provide a report on further devolution. (The 'max' and 'federal' words had disappeared by this time, replaced by 'further' or 'enhanced' devolution.)

I remember reading that the time scale allowed to Smith was so short that the members of the commission were given a matter of minutes to read every submission and discuss it... and there were thousands, from political parties, civic Scotland, unions, employers, churches, charities and individuals, most of which must have been left unread.

So four pro independence and six anti independence representatives sat down to discuss what they hadn't read, taking orders instead from their bosses. Then the commission reported, not, as had been expected, to the people of Scotland, but to the Tory led coalition cabinet, where some of the proposals were apparently scrapped. So that was fair. Or not.

Fluffy: What he lacks in intellectual rigour, he makes up for with sleakitness. Ask Annabel Goldie.
Thence to the House of Commons in the form of a Bill, presumably overseen by David (Fluffy) Mundell or, more appropriately, Muddle, now amazingly a cabinet minister with responsibility for Scotland, where every single amendment proposed by Scottish MPs was voted down. Imagine, every single one, voted down by the Tory and Labour English MPs, while they were introducing English Votes for English Laws. You'd have thought they might have let a few minor amendments through, if only for the sake of appearance.

The Smith Commission had a policy of 'no financial detriment to Scotland', but Mundell and Osborne had ignored this and it was foreseen that the Scotland Bill would cost Scotland £7 billion in the next parliament.

Fortunately for Scotland John Swinney and his department aren't fools and the Treasury was eventually forced to make changes which ensured no detriment. The alternative would have been that the Scottish government recommend voting against the Scotland Bill.

Well, if you brag about broad shoulders and pooling and sharing, you really have to be seen to deliver.

The actual opposition.
The one that doesn't go home early or abstain.
So, we are where we are. Today we aren't celebrating. It's just another Thursday, and the brightest thing we have to look forward to is the clocks going forward on Saturday night.

But, in the biggest ever shake up in Scottish political history, the UK election which followed the referendum by 8 months, most of our seats in parliament were won by pro independence MPs, some of whom are making a real mark on the proceedings in Westminster. 

So called Scottish Labour, under the leadership of hard right winger, Jim Irn Bru Crate Murphy, was all but removed from Westminster, losing 40 of their 41 seats. This must be the most humiliating defeat for a political "leader" anywhere, ever. 

Ena Sharples.
No wait, I'm told she was sharp tongued but  a decent soul.
So it must be Alistair Carmichael, her stunt double, in drag.
Likewise the Liberals who had always been proportionally better represented in Scotland than in the UK, were reduced to one member, losing 11 of their 12 seats, and leaving only one sad little man who had felt obliged to lie about the First Minister and the French Ambassador in an attempt to retain his seat. The Tories held on to their one seat with a vastly reduced majority.

The election for our own parliament is only weeks away, and without counting chickens, pro independence parties look set to take a majority of the seats.

We have some limited powers over income tax coming in a year's time, and we will be able to change the road signs, at least within the limits of international law. Fortunately for Labour we will be able to vary the Airport Passenger Tax. I say fortunately, because is seems that their manifesto is largely dependent on the money that this will bring in, together with a scheme to lower council tax on Band D houses, presumably because their leader lives in one.

So things are better than they were. As the wise folk say:

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey!

A far more detailed analysis of what has happened since the referendum can be found on Wings' Little Black Book.


  1. ach it's been a hellish day and I'm no weel either! Tried to avoid the articles in the MSM about how fooked we'd be if it had been yes. The same papers that were telling us how fooked the UK was last week.

    Won't be watching the Holyrood election debate - apparently it's "balanced" between Brexit and Bremain. No I've no idea what that has to do with the SGE either. Though it does mean there will be lots of Yoons in the audience. I suspect hard times ahead for Nicola and Patrick, though everyone might gang up on the odious Coburn.

    I'm not even going to mention the two typos in the article - oops just did. See how bad it is - I'm off to look at cute orang pictures to cheer myself up.

    1. OK, so firstly, I'm sorry you're not well.

      Secondly it's your job to tell me about typos. What will Munguin say if he gets back from Monte Carlo to find errors in his empire? Did you think of that? Eh?

      Thirdly, I agree. I've no idea why were debating the future of the English Tories at our general election.

      Who gives a stuff whether they off Camergoon and Gidiot in favour or Boris, Graying and the devil incarnate? They are all utter crap anyway.

      And it won't make a difference to how WE change our road signs.

  2. I expect Nico, and the obverse of the same coin; Dean, will be celebrating "Dependence" day.
    They will find themselves on the wrong side of history, WHEN Scotland regains its place among the independent countries of this world.

    As for tonight's debate, I'll be avoiding it; like the plague. For the sake of my sanity and blood pressure.

    1. Yes, I'm sure we shall be lambasted by at leas one of them, telling us how now we are living in clover.

      And how under the UK until today, we would have had a fantastic economy, world beating, and as of tomorrow our economy would have tanked.

      Ho hum. I can understand dean thinking that Osbo is doing a good job counting the folded towels, but I'm damned if I can see why Niko would like it.

      I have no intention of watching the debate. I guess I'll see what they say about it on Twitter.

      I wonder how much of an arse Coburn will make of himself.

  3. We had a difficult night canvassing on stony ground. The relentless drip of Yoon propaganda is demoralising. I do hope we get a landslide in May, if only to remove the lingering doubt that we might not be right.

    Independence Day? I do hope we get it in 2021. Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.

    Alba Gu Brath!

    Saor Alba

    1. Sorry to hear that SA. It's not usual to hear that, but I guess it happens sometimes.

      Very dispiriting.

      We are right. One bad canvas doesn't make a disaster.

  4. You made the right decision Tris. "Question Time" with Scots accents and the odious Glenn Campbell doing his Dimbleby Impersonation. Dugdale and the Tank Commander getting free rein and the FM being constantly interrupted. Par for the course from BBC Scotland.

    1. I can't stand it hootsman. Mostly I can't abide the bias.

      The fact that the likes of Willie Rennie or that Coburn bloke can blether misleading crap and no one questions it.

      No I can't hack that. I'd break the computer!

  5. Down..never, way, if you were sad today, the anger and determination will be back tomorrow. It's been a big learning curve for us, but all that the establishment, westminster and their media lapdogs could throw at us, and we are still standing, stronger than we were. I am very proud of what we have achieved and the people who are travelling this road with us.

  6. The quote from Derek Bateman at the beginning of the Wee Black Book sums it up perfectly for me.
    I always thought it a strange situation that both Cameron or Miliband were afraid to campaign here during the referendum. After all by voting No, you were voting for them. That and the absence of street parties by the Yoons on the 19th tells me the UK is on a shoogly peg.

    I avoided the leaders debate as well, I've had enough Unionist trolling to last a liifetime.

    1. That's a good point. Vote for Cameron or Miliband, but little sign of them, and at the end NONE.

      Remember that time that Miliband came to Glasgow and wandered about looking bewildered with Johann and wee Dougie translating for him?

  7. The lesson the Unionists took from our referendum is that a negative fear based campaign will always win over a positive hopeful one.
    What we are seeing in England's independence referendum are two campaigns trying to out scare the voters.
    What a bunch of wee cowrin, timrous beasties and the Tories know it.
    Left out the sleekit bit,that applies mainly to Tory politicians.

    1. It's fascinating to watch them do it all over again.

      It seems though, that if they stay in they are dooooomed and if they come out they are doooooomed. With Osborne in charge of the money, selling stuff off cheap, I reckon doom is painting a pretty picture of the state.

      It's not looking good either way, and I still feel detached from it, and furious that they are hijacking the unimportant (to them) little matter of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland choosing governments to run their internal affairs, despite the pleas of the first ministers of these countries to put it off till after the elections.

      I guess they don't care that much about silly little parochial governments. They think THEY are the important ones. Self centred self important b******s.

  8. tris and the other sore losers

    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    So let's sing a song of cheer again
    Happy days are here again

    Best Day of the year by far even beats Alex Salmond resigning
    after al BS he had been spewing out for years and years.
    Still the snp can be proud for winning the wooden spoon
    after the people the Good honest and true people of Scotland
    voted to continue with our glorious and loved Union.

    I see New Zealand voted to keep the Union in their Flag
    well done and good for them .

    What's that fluttering in the breeze?
    It's just a piece of cloth
    that brings a nation to its knees.

    What's that unfurling from a pole?
    It's just a piece of cloth
    That makes the guts of men grow bold.

    What's that rising over the tent?
    It's just a piece of cloth
    that dares the coward to relent.

    What's that flying across a field?
    It's just a piece of cloth
    that will outlive the blood you bleed.

    How can I possess such a cloth?
    Just ask for a flag my friend.
    Then blind your conscience to the end.

    1. Butcher's Apron - Sale - up to 70% off

    2. Niko dear

      The Saltire flies fae yonder hill
      Scots don't bow down, they never will
      The Brit Nats live doon on their knees
      And the Saltire flutters in the breeze

    3. Just look closer to home at the Republic of Ireland over the next week or so. Not much reminiscing over the Union Jack there.

    4. Is this to the tune of the "Rebellious Scots to crush" song?

    5. Well, you rejoice if you want to Niko.

      After all, things are going nicely for the UK.

      Food banks at record high; NHS pretty near sold off; people with terminal illnesses being done out of money; retirement ages going up and up and up; debt at £1.6 trillion; Large stores faced with having to pay what Osborne considers a living wage, but wouldn't keep him in...erm stuff... for more than a morning, reducing overtime and premium payment (Tesco is at it too); steel jobs disappearing...

      And of course we should remember all the things we were promised would disappear if we were independent. And they all disappeared anyway.

      There's a lot to be grateful for, if you like that kind of misery.

    6. LOL Dan.

      Lovely wee poem fairfor.

      Never forget going there PS. Very prosperous, very happy... lovely place.

      Yes, Jimmy. We are all supposed to stand and sing along about crushing ourselves. But we have to wear a smart suit and do our ties up. Or so Mrs Cameron would have said. Bloody joke of a place.

  9. Please ask that prick to remove the provocative butchers apron from your side bar. It has no place in our lives any more except as a symbol of colonialism.

    Saor Alba

    1. anon or sore albert whatever

      And a clear majority of Scots do not want snp propaganda
      rammed aggressively down our throats accompanied by
      abuse and insults

    2. We will find out pretty soon whether you are correct or not.
      If the majority of Scots are happy with the SNP message,they will return them to government.
      If not then,perhaps you may have a case.

    3. People expressing pro independence views on a site that supports Scottish independence.....shockerooni.

      Insults? I refer you to your reply on the previous thread.

    4. It's nauseating SA, but in fairness to him our flag is flying in his side bar!!! :)

      Strange that, Niko. How many unionist MPs are there again?

      Fair comment, Bringiton.

      Absolutely PS. If people don;t want to read pro independence (as opposed to pro SNP) stuff, Munguin's Republic might be the wrong place to be.

    5. tris

      All of them they all took a solemn vow to serve
      our queen and protect the union every last one
      of them including Alex Salmond.....
      unless of course the all lied ?

    6. Tony Benn's diaries says that he and his republican friends crossed their fingers behind their backs when saying the oath to Saxe Coberg Gothas which apparently negates it. Clearly Mr Corbnyn doesn't sing GSTQ with any enthusiasm. Cameron recently called him out on it when he lost his posh boy temper.

      Alex Salmond on the other hand is a royalist, a devotee of the Queen and is a friend of Charlie, although he does still have to call him "sir".

      Even, it seems, if you are a mate of Chic Saxe Coberg Gotha, you have to call him sir.

      21st century or what?

  10. A good read, Tris, as usual. Being at the mercy of the UK Govt is a prospect that for plenty of us is unthinkable if not downright terrifying. Seeing the back of IDS only makes us wonder what have they got in store for us next? It's no exaggeration to say that lives are at risk nor is mercy much in evidence and let's not forget Labour were promising to be as ruthless.

    1. Anyway, here's a cheery wee Independence Day number ...

    2. Thanks Bloo.

      There was a guy who appeared on YouTube the day after the referendum. He made a really hard hitting, strong language video saying... You voted for it; now watch what the Tories will do to you. F*****g embrace it... you voted for it. He was sooooo right.

      There's no need for what the Tories are doing to us. Their ghastly treatment of people who are sick, denying them enough to live; calling people with terminal progressive illnesses back for more and more humiliating interviews with nurses (why aren't these people working for the health service?) and telling they are ok if they can pat their dog or smile at their kid.

      We didn't vote for these inhuman monsters. But we got them. Thanks a million.

      The replacement for IDS is a religious nut job. He believes that prayer can cure things.

      So look forward to the disabled being sent to church and made to kneel before their lord.

      I suppose the English should be grateful he's nothing to do with the Health Service.

      Great wee video! But but but!!