Enquiry Farce

Enquiry Farce. It’s Scotland, Our Culture and Traditions Under Attack

Greetings all,

Bryan AuchterlonieAlthough I am no longer active within the SNP and have issues with the priorities from the leadership, some things need to be said.

This enquiry has been a farce and decisions of guilt or innocence if those are the correct words to use were made before any evidence was heard.

This is a concerted attack by unionists on a small female in a political landscape dominated by those who wear an old school tie. They have targeted this “wee wuman fae Ayrshire” and identified her as a threat to the British state.

However, when you break it down to its lowest level it’s not her they are targeting, it is Scotland and our culture and institutions.

The sickening part of all this is that they are ably assisted by some of our own countrymen and women.

We have attempted to play the political game fairly and within the rules for years. If we value our country and our culture it is surely now time to be much more aggressive and confrontational within the political scene.

It is time for our leaders to rethink strategy. If that means a change in leadership then so be it, this is now a fight to exist and we must now choose.

Bryan Auchterlonie

The Unasked Question

The Unasked Question

How many electoral mandates are required for a second Independence referendum to proceed?

A very good question you may ask yourselves and one that certainly has to date had no credible answer from our Unionist friends. In fact the sound of silence immediately springs to mind. I wanted to ask this question on Debate Night Scotland yesterday evening. Maybe prior to submitting my questions I had already shot myself in the foot. Who knows how the questions are selected? During my telephone interview prior to appearing in the audience I was keen to point out that I was very active in Almond and Earn SNP and also an ardent and vocal supporter of Scotland’s Independence.

I didn’t fall at the first hurdle having made the cut to join the audience. As the programme was focused on the area around Dundee I assumed that as one of the YES cities in 2014 the audience would indeed be Indy supporting and SNP friendly. That was certainly the case and I’d thoroughly recommend all who still watch BBC to give it a view.

Our MP John Nicolson was a last minute and excellent addition to the panel. From speaking about racist bias in the majority of the mainstream media to calling out Rachel Hamilton’s nonsense on just about everything I agreed with every word he said. My hand went up more times then an umbrella during our unpredictable summer weather. Sadly many were called but I wasn’t chosen. I did however get to ask my question regarding the recent shameful behaviour of thuggish individuals who claim to support a well know Glasgow football team. Unsurprisingly there was little sympathy for the line that said football club had tried to prevent this disgusting fracas happening. As usual the club tried to blame everyone else including the Scottish government and the Police but their arguments have gone down like a lead balloon. We have all made sacrifices during the pandemic and every life has been effected detrimentally but we have behaved for the common good and done the right thing. To blatantly flout government public health regulations takes a special kind of stupidity. As is often said if the cap fits wear it and the dunce’s cap is sitting firmly on that club and a number of their supporters.

Whilst agreeing that Debate Night is a topical programme I personally see no question more topical at present than the one relating to Scotland’s ability to determine its own future.

In fact it’s not only us Indy minded folks that see this as a number one priority. From the Scottish Tory Branch office to the Tory Lite leader of Labour in Scotland, their number one priority and only policy appears to be to stop the democratic right of our fellow Scots to determine the future of our country. Even wee Willie Winkie is getting in on the act although sadly he’s not playing the starring role he thinks he has in this tragi/comedy production (Bitter Together the sequel they didn’t want to make) More of a background prop than a leading player. The latest Liberal party political broadcast the other night showed Wee Willie in his starring role as the leader of the only party in Scotland capable of preventing an SNP majority. Well all I can say is good luck with that more Basil Fawlty then Braveheart and that’s being polite!

Meanwhile the new Labour leader wastes no time in further alienating what’s left of his party’s support in Scotland. I know nothing about the prospective labour candidate Hollie Cameron who was unceremoniously dropped like a hot potato for daring to state that if the majority of Scottish folks desire an independence referendum than it is our democratic right to have one. However on this one thing I can firmly agree with her.

And talking of unexpected consequences the Scottish Tories are pure raging. Their nasty, snide and inappropriate interventions in the Holyrood Enquiry have only bolstered SNP support in this area and country wide. Our small Branch has increased in membership from 203 to 230 members in the last month. The majority have joined following the First Minister’s gruelling evidence session last week.

How the Tories envy a political leader who speaks and actually answers questions.

On Clown Minister’s Questions yesterday the non UK PM blustered and bluffed with his usual arrogance. The day he actually even attempts to answer a question will be talked about in history books for decades to come.

And what dear readers will the history books tell us. No one has a crystal ball and I’m certainly no Mystic Meg but I have a few predictions for the coming year.

Firstly, two weeks from now on 25 March those of us that haven’t voted by post will turn out in force to support our candidate Michelle Frampton SNP for Almond and Earn. With twin Tory’s already in post in our area, we cannot allow another Boris supporting clone to take this seat. Every single vote will be essential to ensuring that Michelle is elected and we are all working to achieve this aim.

There will be no respite in the following months. We will indeed need to turn our collective efforts to ensuring that Jim Fairlie is elected as our MSP. The Scottish Tory Branch Office are desperate to gain this seat and only all our collective efforts to support and vote for Jim will prevent this.

For Jim Fairlie at the appointed time we will all indeed turn South Perthshire and Kinross-shire yellow.

SNP yellow a bright hopeful colour representing a Party that I predict a vast majority of my fellow citizens will get behind. Change must come and with it the better life that I and all SNP members old and new will embrace.

It’s been a long harsh winter spring is just round the corner and with it the eternal hope of a better brighter future for each and every one of us.

by Liz Lowrey, Branch Membership Secretary

Image by Radoan Tanvir from Pixabay

People Are Strange – Scots are Canny

Liz LowreyOften we look to the past to get some perspective on current events. You may wonder what the 1967 Doors song about alienation and being an outsider has to do with the current state of Unionism in Scotland. We don’t need to look far to see striking similarities. Unionism is in disarray. Increasingly the cause of Unionism is akin to ET arriving on planet earth in his spacecraft. ET was a friendly wee cratur – Unionists in Scotland not so much. Desperately they cling to the Union Jack life raft adrift at sea in danger of drowning in their misinformation and falsehoods. They are all at it from the Tory non PM to the leader of the Tory light opposition. You may be aware that our ex Tory identikit MP was unceremoniously sacked from his employment with the No 10 Downing Street Union Unit. Imagine his surprise when he was refused entry to his place of work by a door person.The look on his smug face priceless. But fear not good folks I’m sure that like a phoenix from the ashes the Tory identikit man allegedly from Ochil and South Perthshire will re-animate shortly in a Scottish area near you.

As for the Tory light leader of the opposition I can only surmise that whichever lackey thought it a good idea to promote a party political broadcast shown in Scotland featuring a large Union Jack will be standing in the unemployment line shortly. Maybe he can unite with identikit man and reform the old Bitter Together band or maybe rebrand as new group Unionists United?

Seriously so the tired old tactics are very much in evidence. How often can the refrain too wee too poor to, dare I say it, too nationalist be chanted.

Each week we have to suffer the giant buffoon knowingly misname our Party at Prime Ministers Questions . If that’s all he’s got to go on I’d politely suggest he throws in the towel with immediate effect.In fact the whole sorry saga would be better named as Prime Minister’s Evasion. If I ever see him answering a question, that’s the week I’ll put on a lottery ticket. Miracles can happen.

Much has been made of the UK army bailing out Scotland to assist with the vaccine rollout. If this isn’t pathetic party politicking at a time of national crisis I don’t know what is. Whilst we remain part of the UK it’s our army too and funded in part by our taxpayers money.

And talking of money we were told yet again in an LSE report last week how poor and incapable Scotland was and how we definitely wouldn’t survive as a small independent country. Read behind the scare headlines and the report’s author is exposed as a Tory Brexiteer. Free and unfettered by the UK there is no evidence whatsoever that we would not thrive and grow our economy. We have to pause here to thank Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancashire, Michael “Glove Puppet” Gove. He fairly set the cat among the pigeons when he actually admitted that there will be costs to Brexit. Who knew? Project Fear has become Project Reality.

All this dear readers are tired old lines from the same old Bitter Together playbook. But wait, there was an even better idea. The UK considered giving us Prince Edward! We can’t have our independence but never mind we can have the failed it’s a knock out promoter resident amongst us.

That’s it then folks. I personally am relatively new to independence but having examined the pros and cons prior to 2014 I felt a sense of optimism casting my YES vote on that day so long ago now.

Many who voted Yes have been lifelong independence supporters and I’m pretty sure that if a newbie like me won’t be turned by a Royal resident there’s not many that will. Another idea bites the dust. It appears that Buck House never got the memo or if they did they possibly couldn’t comment. One does wonder what the poor deluded Unionist Unit will come up with next .

There’s no end of possibilities for further Unionist cunning plans although so far we have learnt that flags and minor royals don’t work.

Perhaps there will be a revival of Cool Britannia featuring the dream team of Blair and Brown. Not so much getting the band back together as a swan song nosedive. Maybe we will get further visitations from the non PM. After all it seemed to work once before when the desperate UK representatives lied to Scotland in a last ditch attempt to save their precious Union. Sadly at that time there were a number of folks who believed the rumours and scare tactics. Never mind the slogan Bitter Together. Scare a Pensioner to save the Union would have been a more apt campaign slogan. Happily the myths and lies surrounding pensions have been adequately squashed and there are a number of excellent videos on this subject available including on our own almondandearnsnp.org.

We all know that only thanks to the power of the Union, Scotland thumped the English rugby team on Saturday. Wonder if this will come up at Clown Ministers Question Time on Wednesday. Somehow I don’t think so!

Unionists may be strange but luckily Scots by nature are canny. We know what is required to achieve the long awaited goal of Scotland’s independence. The upcoming Holyrood Election in May is our opportunity to once and for all show our contempt for the strange unionist agenda. By returning a majority of SNP MSPs and regional list MSPs we can further cement the inroads that our Party are making towards this goal. This will indeed be an election like no other. The pandemic has changed so much in our lives, but has also shown how well Scotland can act as a small competent country. Imagine how much better we will be when fully independent.

Now is the time to stay united. Change is coming and we can all make this happen.

A Tale of Two Leaders

I’m angry, Readers. Anyone who isn’t angry is hiding in a giant fridge and closing their ears to what is happening. Perhaps such a person is also lacking any shred of concern for their fellow citizens. Enter stage left Boris Johnson the man who would be PM and then proceeded to make an abysmal failure of this task at every faltering step.

As the UK yesterday announced a devastating death toll in excess of One Hundred Thousand lost souls I watched in disbelief as the non Prime Minister addressed the Nation.

Never in the history of TV broadcasting have I witnessed a more despicable performance. I never judge a book by its cover and we should not use personal appearance to criticise our political opponents or anyone else for that matter.

However on this one occasion I will make an exception. The non PM of the disunited Kingdom looked like he had stepped out of a dustbin. If this had been Jeremy Corbyn we would have heard no amount of wailing from the Murdoch controlled press, however the unkempt and lackadaisical PM yet again escapes scrutiny. It’s not his appearance per se that makes me angry. His total lack of ability to show empathy or leadership or any kind of normal human trait is what fills me with rage and extreme anxiety.

At every step on the road that’s led us to this somber milestone there has been dithering delays, u turns and serial incompetence that we are all aware of and are far too numerous to expand on in this piece. Even yesterday when a better human being would have genuinely apologised for the tragic loss of life he made a half hearted meaningless apology that wouldn’t have been out of place at his public school if he had been caught smoking behind the bike shed. Of course we don’t know if he ever did get caught smoking behind the bike shed. However what we do know is that this self entitled excuse of a person was a member of the Bullingdon Club. One of their many vile activities included burning large denomination banknotes in front of homeless people.

If you’re not angry yet Readers you should be. The icing on the cake happens tomorrow. Despite strict laws preventing unnecessary travel, Boris Johnson has essential work in Scotland. Yes that’s right the man described as lazy by numerous ex employers is coming up to Scotland for essential work. I think he would be better tasked doing essential work in London and at least attempting to undo some of the damage his incompetent government have inflicted on the people of the UK.

We all know the real reason for the visit. The fat controller is breaking covid travel law restrictions in a futile attempt to save the Union. It’s too late for that. The Union is broken smashed to smithereens and no amount of PR is going to save it. Every time Scotland has one of his useless visitations, support for Independence increases and I’m sure that on this occasion a similar outcome will occur.

Now that I’ve discussed my anger issues I move onto happier feelings.

It is no exaggeration to state that in Scotland we have a leader in Nicola Sturgeon that we can all be extremely proud of and grateful to. Her measured steadfast and emphathic approach to this global pandemic contrasts sharply with the Pretender in No 10.

Day in day out this Beacon of Hope and inspiration stands up and tells our country vital and useful information concerning the pandemic and how this is being used to formulate the Scottish Governments plans and rational decision making. When I listen to some of the journalist questions, which I do on a daily basis, I can only surmise that our Nicola must possess the patience of a Saint. Whilst journalistic scrutiny must always be encouraged in a free democratic country like ours, I cringe inwardly at some of the stupid and inane questions. Each question is met with a measured and professional answer and full explanation. If further clarification is required, this is advised to the journalist concerned. All this is done with good grace and honesty that those listening to PM Boris Johnson can only dream of.

In Scotland there are no clandestine briefings to favoured journalists.

Yesterday’s briefing was particularly poignant as we were all asked to take a moment to silently reflect on those we had lost throughout the course of the pandemic. This, my fellow readers, is how a real leader reacts to loss and tragedy in every day life. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person watching with a lump in my throat.

Our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to tackling the Pandemic is evident for all to see in her every decision and action. She is supported by an efficient and well functioning government of Members of the Scottish Parliament, all striving to do the best for their constituents and country. Preservation of life and wellbeing is the number one priority of Nicola Sturgeon and her government. Of this I have no doubt.

All of us have an opportunity in May to show our thanks and appreciation for the steadfast leader and First Minister guiding us through this crisis.

How can we do this?

Firstly it is vitally important that each and everyone of us registers for a Postal Vote. There’s an excellent presentation on Postal Voting which can be viewed on our website almondandearnsnp.org available to branch members only.

By registering for a postal vote and getting our postal ballots returned in good time we ensure that our voices are counted. How unfortunate would an ardent supporter be if they couldn’t attend to vote in person on election day because they had been told to isolate by the covid track and trace. That’s not a chance I’m prepared to take and neither should any one of us.

Secondly If you are an SNP member or anyone that wants a competent government in our country I believe that we must promote the Both Votes SNP message.

In the constituency vote we will vote for our elected representative. Jim Fairlie is the candidate in our area. Jim is an excellent candidate and I know when elected he will represent each and every one of us in his constituency.

Our second vote the list vote will be equally crucial in determining who is in charge of running our country.

In this vital election we need to ensure that a maximum number of Regional and List vote SNP MSPs are returned to Holyrood.

Anyone who has listened to or watched our First Minister can be in no doubt that she and the SNP Government are the correct people to lead our country out of this pandemic and on to a better future.

That better future will only be possible with full independence and I firmly believe that Nicola Sturgeon is the person that will deliver this for our country.

This is the stark choice facing our country in May 2021. Who will best represent us and our interests?
A self serving PM in Boris Johnson or our own First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Image by Wilson Joseph from Pixabay

The Starting Gun

After one of the worst of starts to a New Year that I can recall it feels insensitive to return to the subject of politics. Families are mourning loved ones lost to the pandemic that is tearing through our country. Tuesday saw many of us watching the livestream of our own Henry Anderson’s funeral service. A tragic loss to his family and many friends and all within the SNP who he inspired. Many are fearful of losing their employment and at present there is no end in sight. We do indeed have the vaccine to be hopeful about but as we all remain bunkered down it’s going to be a long hard winter till the onset of spring. Many people are feeling scared isolated and lonely. We are sociable creatures by nature and Zoom is no substitute for proper human interaction. We must all take heart so in knowing that after this awful start to 2021 things will improve if each of us plays a part in adhering to the rules and defeating this horrible virus that has already caused so much death and heartache.

Thereafter there is something that we can all look onward to and participate in.

Last night at 18:55 the Scottish Branch Office of the Tory party led by the hapless Dross fired the starting gun on their 2021 Holyrood election campaign. I paid no heed to a word that he said as we all know that every word uttered will be denied at a later date. The lies and misinformation spouted on a daily basis have become tedious to say the least.

Earlier in the afternoon I saw Pete Wishart repeatedly ask Dross’s master the U.K. PM why the democratic rights of our fellow citizens to determine our own future should be denied. The Fat Controller had no answer and claimed he did not understand the question!!! What a waste of a private education.

Well folks we know exactly what Pete was asking. Additionally we know that by securing an overall SNP majority in May it is inconceivable that the status quo can continue.

There have been umpteen articles of late in the Unionist press some from folks who really should know better. Apparently Dross must have missed their plaintiff cries to delay the election. You me and the man on the Clapham omnibus know why the Unionists were clamouring for delay. And no it’s not The ex PM Maybot’s dither and delay tactic. It’s an attempt to subvert a result which they fine well know will not end well for their cause and will ultimately lead to the breakup of their precious Union.

We saw an amazing result in December 2019 with a big increase in SNP MPs elected. Whilst I’m glad that they are fighting our corner and standing up for Scotland and our citizens, this is no longer enough. The only way to save Scotland from the toxicity of the current Tory government is to win big in May 2021 hold our referendum when safe to do so and exit the Union with all possible speed.

The longer we remain in this toxic Union the harder it will be for Scotland to be reshaped in the form that we desire. If a tree has a rotten branch it will be chopped off and the tree has a chance of survival.The U.K. is the rotten branch clutching at Scotland.Its long spindly tentacles are trying to keep us in its grasp, but the grasp is loosening and soon the branch will be consigned to the compost heap.

The U.K. will break up. Of this I am certain. Ireland will become a united country. Scotland will be free and independent and even in Wales the calls for separation are becoming increasingly louder.

The whole world can see England in particular and the U.K. in general for what it is . A small nasty place where only the very rich and Tory acolytes prosper. We will all have seen the pathetic offerings provided to needy and hungry children in England. I wonder what the Rees Mogg children have for their lunches? Whatever they eat I’m sure it will be served to them with a silver spoon. In spite of Rees Moggs affectations I’m certain there are no hungry children in his house asking Please Sir can I have some more.

We all watched in shock and horror as events unfolded in America. How did things ever come to this sorry state. As I write this article it appears that the Tangerine One is about to be impeached for the second time. Even some of his own republican representatives are turning against a man who will go down in history as the man that didn’t make America great again. How did this happen we may wonder. Without his twitter account and his backers he has become a small demented man howling at the moon. His legacy of misinformation and lies has destroyed people’s belief in information sources. If it’s not to our liking all we need to do is call it false he uttered. We in Scotland must now start to call it out. Every lie and false statement uttered by the Tories should be labelled as such.

Dross might have been first off the starting blocks but the tortoise and the hare springs to mind. We in Scotland have been patiently waiting for Independence for many years. Independence has always been about playing the longer game and waiting for the optimum time. In my opinion the optimum time isn’t far off. We have had a series of polls all with a majority in favour of a yes vote for Independence. There will come a point when even the Fat Controller in Downing Street will realise that inevitably he cannot hold back a swelling tide of support for Independence. Dross takes great delight from criticising the elected government of Scotland whilst closing his eyes and ears to the charlatans running the Westminster government. Like Boris on his bike ride Dross has no shame.

Scotland’s time is coming and as we emerge from our bunkers we will begin anew to campaign for our democratic right to determine our own futures. Scotland voices will be heard and become so loud that not even a baby Trump in Downing Street can ignore us.

The Shortest Day

Christmas CactusLiz Lowrey writes. They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn and as we approach the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year at first glance there is very little to be of good cheer about. Even in the worst of times if we look hard enough it’s possible to find a glimmer of hope.

In subsequent decades long after Scotland has gained Independence from the Dis United Kingdom historians will surely look back on 2020 as one of the worst years in living history.

However 2020 will also be known as the year of the great conjunction. As Jupiter and Saturn align for the first time in over 800 years and stargazers look in awe at this spectacle, we in Scotland of a more political nature will look ahead to 2021 not upwards to the stars. We will look to the day when Scotland becomes an Independent nation.

This years events have bought the many advantageous of being a small self sustained nation to the eyes of a large part of our population. New Zealand is a shining example of how well things can be done. There will always be a small percentage of Unionists who would rather allow their house to burn to a stick because they don’t like the idea of the fire service. For these individuals and their attitude there is nothing we can do. They are a lost cause as sure as the Toxic Tory Government is.

Our Scottish Government and our First Minister have led our country and managed the crisis engulfing us all with fortitude sensitivity and a sense of openness and honesty which has been sadly lacking from politicians elsewhere. Surprisingly the branch office of the Scots Tories have been very quiet recently. How they wish they had a competent leader and I’m sure that they are well aware that for every day The Buffoon in Downing Street remains in power, support for our Independence grows.

Poll after poll evidences this and the media in the rest of Europe and the wider world are taking notice. The message of Scotland being too poor too small too everything but the kitchen sink will no longer wash. And talking of washing, no amount of spin can cleanse the Tory lies and mismanagement of this pandemic. We all know that this is just the latest example of their catalogue of failures in recent years.

As we enter a festive season that is anything but festive, we must take heart from some of the benefits we already have in Scotland thanks to our SNP government. Our country is already a kinder place, but there is much that can still be done. We have free prescriptions and personal care. Our young folks benefit from a University education without the burden of tuition fees. Our welfare and support system treats people with dignity and respect. Imagine how much more could be done when we have full control of all our fiscal policy. There’s an old saying that springs to mind relating to the Unionist argument for why Scotland couldn’t manage without the bad old UK supporting us. “He who pays the Piper calls the tune”. The UK and Unionists omit from their argument the part where Scotland contributes to the UK economy what we actually get back in return is a piper with a broken set of bagpipes.

Change must surely come. For some change can’t come quickly enough. This is a time when we must put our trust in our SNP Government. It is no fallacy to say that May 2021 will be the most important election in our lifetime. Scotland has turned the corner and I’m certain that with hard work we can secure the much needed massive majority of SNP MSPs. All of us have a part to play in this historic election.

Whilst conventional campaigning seems highly unlikely at this stage, there are many ways of promoting our cause. Let’s encourage everyone we know to complete postal vote applications. Always best to get ahead of the field. It’s something the Tories have been doing for years. We can all as individual talk to friends, families, neighbours, in fact anyone we feel comfortable having these conversations with. In some ways our task has already been made easier as the evidence builds daily of UK and Unionist failure.

We have an excellent strong candidate, Jim Fairlie, in our area. He will not shy away from the question of Independence and this fills me with hope. Following the May election, we want Holyrood to be filled with independence hungry SNP politicians. It’s time for Scotland’s voice to be heard and not silenced or ignored. Drew Hendry MP made a brilliant start in Wastemonster last week. Scotland’s voice and disgust at the way our country is being treated was heard by all loudly and clearly. The sooner our MPs are back in Scotland and not part of this archaic farce of a Parliament the better.

Finally Scotland is emerging from the dark shadow of the UK and from this we can all have reason for optimism for the future.

I moved house just over two years’ ago. Prior to the move I had for many years a Christmas cactus that without fail produced the most beautiful blooms every year. It was a magnificent plant and got bigger and better with every passing year. For the last two Christmases the poor plant was bare. No amount of feeding or watering made a bit of difference. As the house was prepared for Christmas, I moved it into the living room where it got more warmth and light. Miraculously blooms have began to appear.

Scotland is finally coming out of its dark place and heading to a future where all will have the opportunity to blossom and reach their full potential. Only with Independence can this be achieved and we must all strive collectively to achieve this prize.

I wish all readers a safe and peaceful festive time and a Guid New Year when it comes .

Carrie on Regardless

Liz Lowrey writes. The last couple of weeks have been extraordinary. Perhaps finally there is a glimmer of hope for the USA in particular and as a result the world and human kind in general. Additionally the news of a covid vaccine has been hailed as the breakthrough we have all been waiting for in order for a return to some sense of normality. Scientists worldwide have been working to achieve this goal and for this we must all hold a debt of gratitude for their endeavours.

However closer to home things are far from rosy. Whilst support for the SNP and Independence shows no signs of abating we must not become complacent. As we were told as children today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapping and now must surely be the time for all to ensure that our fortunes continue to improve. Polls come and go and we are only ever as good as the next poll result so it is vital that momentum is maintained .

The UK continues to veer on a course that can be best illustrated by the Carry On Films so prevalent in the UK in earlier decades. These films belong to a bygone age when it was acceptable to mock all aspects of life which now only the minority would find acceptable.These films ceased to be made some time ago but jump to the present day where things in the UK are far from acceptable and something is definitely very rotten in the state of No 10.

The bromance of Cummings and Johnston is dead  According to various serious political journalists and reporters who really need to try harder and know better it was Carrie who dealt the fatal blow. The UK Prime Minister who did not die in a ditch as he had previously promised has instead perhaps suffered a more mortal wound – only time will tell if the demise of Cummings heralds the end of Boris as Prime Minister. Why should we care ? Will it make a difference to the Brexit outcome? Will Boris finally discover that he does actually have a heart.?

Dominic Cummings was a disrupter. His primary function in his rather sad life was to destroy what most of us regard as fundamental norms followed by human kind who want to live in a decent and equitable society. What started with the Brexit lies and misinformation was bad enough and caused untold damage as is evidenced as we lurch ever closer to the cliff edge of a no deal Brexit. Whether a deal is secured at the eleventh hour, and I am an eternal optimist, it will in no way compensate for the loses caused by leaving the EU. Such a shame that we all have to suffer this until we become independent.

However it took a full scale health crisis to expose how dangerous Dominic really was.The Prime Minister who no doubt attributed his general election success in December 2019 as down to Dominic allowed himself to be led by a man who does not appear to have an emphatic bone in his body. From the much commented upon policy of herd immunity to the blatant disregard for the lockdown and travel rules everything that was done by this disrupter has undermined attempts to stem the coronavirus and also hampered public trust in the UK. governments strategy.

Now the disrupter is gone untold damage has been caused so one wonders what changed .

Through out the entire Barnard Castle fiasco Boris clung to Dominic like a limpet and a barnacle clinging to rock. An interesting fact so is that although herbivorous limpets have a tendency to devour the young barnacles. Can anyone see where I’m going yet ? Indeed the corruption of the toxic No 10 machinery has finally started to eat itself from within.

Was this the reason that Carrie wanted the disrupter gone? Surely it can’t just have been the absurd nickname which I won’t justify by repeating but I’m sure we have all seen it elsewhere.

What ever reason given for the departure of Dom there are a number of conclusions that can be drawn.

Firstly the Prime Minister is a weak and incompetent man who cannot operate without a coterie of powerful agents about him. Who will replace the team now that the toxic leave camp have left the building? Have they in fact actually left or is this more smoke and mirrors to deceive an unsuspecting public? A week is a long time in politics, but 2020 must surely go down as the longest year most have us have endured in our lifetimes .

This winter we will have a socially distanced Panto season. Many will not happen and some will be shown online. Unhappily for us all we do not need to wait for the season to begin. The farcical Panto season of the UK government is an all year ongoing event that we are seeing on a daily basis.

As a child I did not enjoy Carry On films probably as I was too young to understand the sleekit and nasty innuendos. I must also confess that I was never a fan of Panto. There was something a little scary and even sinister in the whole setup where nothing was as it appeared and the audience was led by the nose to boo for the villain and cheer for the hero.

And there lies the problem with the No 10 situation. Most are glad that the villain Dominic the disrupter has exited stage left. But wait, what’s waiting in the wings? Who will save Princess Carrie? Or will she in fact be a bigger disrupter than what proceeded her.

Whatever ensues in this ongoing saga, one fact cannot be hidden. Elected MPs in Westminster and ultimately the Prime Minister are directly responsible for their actions and will ultimately be accountable to the electorate. Their misdemeanours and bad judgement won’t be forgotten or forgiven by the people of this country. Anything they do now may be of assistance to their cause in the rest of the UK but for Scotland the door is well and truly closed . No amount of Open Sesame will allow them a further toe hold in our country.

As we proceed to independence let’s leave them in the past with their outdated ideas and beliefs .

Let’s allow them to Carry on Regardless. it’s their right and it is the right of Scotland to carry on to our independence.

Back To The Future If Only!

Liz Lowrey writes. As Election Day passes in the United States and yet another country stands on the abyss one has to wonder if we had possessed a time machine in 2014 and 2016 and looked ahead six years how different things might have been.

Much has already been written about the pros and cons of an Independent Scotland. However as we have seen in recent years and more starkly as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, there are as far as I can see absolutely no benefits of being shackled to the Dis United Kingdom.

Granted much was made of several key areas by the pro union side. There were a number of stumbling blocks but for someone like me and many others who voted Yes, these were far outweighed by the benefits of independence. Crucial decisions affecting our country would be taken by the people living in Scotland and not by a Parliament that has one purpose only to protect its own interests. ( For those not paying attention I mean little England )

Project Fear as it was aptly named played on the insecurity of a nation struggling to decide the way forward not just for themselves but for their children and all generations to come. From currency issues, of course Scotland couldn’t use the Pound, they said. And we ask what’s the pound worth now, next to nothing. An independent Scotland like many other small independent nations would have made a decision on currency and more crucially been able to manage its own finances. The current furlough fiasco demonstrates the folly of having our finances managed by a state that has no consideration for the majority of people, their well-being or their livelihoods. But what about the oil they screeched it’s running out. Who knew? Off course oil resources don’t last forever but as oil resources ran out and oil prices depreciated at least what was left would have been for the financial benefit of the Scottish people and not stuffing the coffers of the U.K.

Additionally despite all the fake words to the contrary the U.K. is only paying lip service to Green issues and technology whilst Scotland is literally awash with natural green resources and I genuinely believe the Scottish government has a desire to follow a greener path for energy consumption. The final nail that the Bitter Together side planted in the coffin of our independence was in my opinion the most despicable. Many older voters were literally terrified into voting no as they were falsely told they would lose their pensions. I myself who wasn’t anywhere near state retirement age was told by a senior manager at work that if I wanted to get my pension I’d better vote no to independence.

And so it has come to pass that all the lies, the infamous Vow and all the other misinformation that was foisted on the Scottish electorate have been proven false whilst many of the arguments presented by the Yes side have also sadly come to pass. At this point in time Scotland is literally at the mercy of the worst U.K. government in living memory for most of us. Bearing in mind many of us lived through the Thatcher years.

Now imagine if you can if on 19 September 2014 we had woken up as a free and independent country. How fresh the air would have smelt and how much bluer would the sky have been. Of course nothing would in fact have changed. There would have been tense negotiations and I’m certain the path to independence would not have been an easy one. However it would be our path and on each step of the way we would have had a measured and rational government as compared to the current fiasco of Brexit negotiating carried out by Westminster.

But wait something else came to pass. Having lost the independence referendum David Cameron was no longer emboldened to proceed with the Brexit referendum fiasco. Having seen the abysmal failure of Project fear a decision was taken to leave the anti EU sentiments festering within the Tory party and not subject the U.K. to any further upheaval. The rest of the U.K. remained within the EU and following a series of negotiations an independent Scotland was admitted to the EU and there was no border impeding trade between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. Scotland began to flourish as the chains of the bonds that had held us back for centuries were released. A new sense of optimism was apparent in Scotland and unsurprisingly folks in England saw what a proper government was capable of. The snap election in December 2015 in the rest of the U.K. saw the toxic Tories relegated to carping from the sidelines. A new and invigorated Labour Party cleaned up their act and formed a friendly coalition with the Green Party. The Liberal Democrats fractured into several splinter groups but never reached the point of changing their name to Tiggers.

And as for America when the populism of Brexit was squashed back into the internal mechanisms of the Tory party and left to fester undisturbed there was less demand for a populist movement in America. Trump unsurprisingly lost the 2016 US presidential race and retired to his secret golf hotel somewhere in the former Soviet Republic .

Of course as we all know we cannot live in this parallel universe and must look to the future .We cannot change the past but each and everyone of us committed to independence can work constructively to shape the future we desire for ourselves and our country. May 2021 will be the most important Scottish Parliament election to date and we must be cautious of over reliance on favourable polls . As my little fantasy piece evidences at the end of the day it’s hard facts and actual votes that matter. Dreams and aspirations are well and good but in order to make them a reality we must all work together, forget internal arguments and proceed as one strong United Party.

No one can predict the future otherwise I’d be writing this from my luxury home in the Maldives having successfully scooped several Euro Million jackpots.

One thing is certain so the future ahead is an unwritten book and I hope that Scotland and it’s people write each chapter well.

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SNP Cllr. Henry Anderson Reports

SNP Councillor for P&K Ward 9 and Almond and Earn branch member, Henry Anderson writes.
I hope you are all coping with the challenging times we have been enduring since March. I don’t imagine anyone will ever forget Covid-19, as every generation has been impacted in one way or another. My thoughts and condolences go out to those who have lost loved ones during this time, whether directly due to Covid-19 or for other reasons. The restrictions introduced to protect us against the virus have made it difficult to say our goodbyes as we normally would.

It is regrettable that I have not been able to get around the Ward as much as I would have liked. However, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any issues that I can assist you with. During this year to date, I have kept busy with Ward issues and a bit of volunteering, to help when I can, ensuring that those who are more vulnerable receive all the support we can possibly give them.

You may ask what was done when we were in lockdown. There were great community initiatives involved in the distribution of food parcels to those who asked for help. We need to thank all those that were involved in Almond and Earn and Perth as we all worked extremely well together to ensure that everyone who needed a food parcel received one.

Transport was another issue, for key workers in the care sector and those who needed to attend medical appointments. Delivery of prescriptions was another task that many volunteers undertook for their neighbours. Leaflets produced by the Council, giving information and advice, were delivered by volunteers.

All these tasks and much more were done by ordinary folk looking after one another. It is with great pride I can say that SNP Members were among those who stepped up to the task in Perth and Kinross. They rallied around and got all these tasks and countless more done, and I thank you all. Covid-19 has impacted on our businesses. It is heart-breaking to see local businesses being double-whammied with both the virus and the disastrous Brexit that will happen in December. Covid-19 could not been avoided, and as little was known about this disease we went into it making the most of what little knowledge we had. However, Brexit was and is a different matter. As we are all aware, Scotland clearly didn’t want it, and little notice of our desire to remain was taken on board at Westminster.

In Scotland there are more things that unite us than there are to divide us. Therefore we need to ensure we have the maximum number of SNP MSP’s at Holyrood in the 2021 elections. Voting for the ‘Pop-up’ political parties are not an option, as apart from agreeing on an Independence referendum, they cannot be relied on to support a minority SNP government scenario to push through the policies we require for a stable Scottish Government in these challenging times.

So, what can we do to mitigate against Brexit and Covid-19 in the meantime? Well, we can support our local businesses by shopping locally, and eating and drinking in establishments with locally sourced food and drink. We must not accept the removal of local and Scottish branding on our products, to be replaced by UK branding, as we then do not know where the produce is sourced from.

Across the area covered by Almond and Earn branch, Abernethy has now lived with the Binn Ecopark for many years. Local people have rightly been concerned when new developments happen. Working with the Ecopark companies and in dialogue with SEPA, PKC officers and your local Councillors will ensure the projects that go ahead are monitored, and health and safety is paramount for the community and the workforce. I will continue to make it my job to ensure that any further developments will be scrutinised, and expert guidance will be followed if these projects are to progress.

Elsewhere in the Ward we are seeing housing development at Oudenarde which will open up opportunities for lobbying for a new primary school, health centre and public transport infrastructure, all of which I will be wholeheartedly supporting.

Methven is also seeing an increase in house building, and the community is expanding as the ‘gated’ development at Station Road, and the ongoing growth of the Hayfield Brae/Taylor Avenue site continues. However work needs doing to assist those in social housing in Methven, who require additional support. Historically Perthshire has a high cost of living tempered with a low wage economy, hence even in places with a broadly good quality of living such as Methven, we have pockets of social deprivation.

Road safety and core footpaths are also an issue for Methven and the surrounding area. The A85 running through the main street is an important and busy trunk road, serving areas to the west of Perthshire and beyond, managed by Bear Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland. It is crucial that as the SNP councillor, I relay concerns about speed and vehicle habits to Bear and Transport Scotland, and request solutions to any issues and get them resolved to all interested parties.

Core footpaths are higher up on my list of to do items. With Covid-19 restrictions encouraging people to get out and exercise daily, there has been an increase in walkers and cyclists on core footpaths. The majority of users and landowners are working together well. Unfortunately, a very small minority cannot seem to work in harmony, and this saddens me greatly. Users must obey the country code and show consideration for the countryside, while motorists need to be aware of higher footfall on these country roads. Landowners have a duty of care to both the land they own, and the safety of those who properly use and enjoy it. They are custodians and should be able to share and educate with those who wish to appreciate our great outdoors, especially this year.

As November dawns, I have been working closely with colleagues in Perth North and Perth South, to distribute leaflets on behalf of the 2 SNP candidates standing in the by-elections. These by-elections are very important, as they are to fill the vacant seats in the Council which were created by the very sad loss of our much-missed friend and fellow SNP Councillor Bob Band, and by the election to Westminster of our friend Dave Doogan.

Best wishes to you all for the remainder of 2020. Please bear with the Scottish Government and follow the rules and regulations which will hopefully lead us out of this pandemic, so we can all safely look forward to a happy and healthy 2021.

Brexit, Boris, Independence.

Liz LowreyLiz Lowrey writes. I remember as the clocks chimed midnight at the start of this year looking at trending Twitter trends.

# Roaring Twenties was a popular one and this was mix of optimism from Brexiteer types along the lines of Britain will rise again and be a great and mighty force in the world .The flip side of this trend on which I firmly fell was that there was a lot of negativity and parallels being drawn with the previous roaring twenties which started so well yet ended in misery and chaos for much of the world.

Whilst most in Scotland could see positivity with the great results for the SNP at GE 2019 and in particular our area ousting the unwelcome Tory MP there was also much to feel anxious and concerned about.

The morning following the landslide victory of Boris in the GE2019 filled me with dread. I couldn’t believe that the previous Red North who had suffered and endured the Thatcher years could vote for a charlatan best known for the amount of lies he openly told. How I asked myself could they have elected this man and his government and the simple explanation was they believed his bluster that he would level up the north and of course get Brexit done.I believed that those who had loaned their vote to the Tories to get Brexit done would live to regret this.

Who knew on 1 January 2020 that the trials and tribulations of Brexit would pale into insignificance as the world was slowly engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic. At times of national crisis strong and trustworthy leadership is what people crave and we in Scotland have been blessed with a First Minister and government that is working tirelessly to protect life ,wellbeing and the economy no mean feat especially as we are constantly hampered by being shackled to the dis United Kingdom.

I watched and listened in horror and disgust as Boris and his coterie of yes men stalled, blundered and out did themselves with ever increasing incompetence.It will be many years before the lackadaisical approach to tackling the pandemic reaches the enquiry stage if it ever does . It seems however that the majority of thinking is that action was taken too slowly and many lives were lost needlessly .

Currently more and more people in England are no doubt living to regret where they put their cross on the ballot paper only a few short months ago. Brexit and all its horrendous consequences is an ever looming threat not just for us in Scotland who did not vote for this but for the whole of the U.K. When prices rise and there are food and medicine shortages who will Boris blame? Unless you dear reader have not been paying attention it will be anyone but himself and his shoddy government .

Who knew as 2020 dawned that the U.K. would be a pariah state that openly states it will break international law. This coupled with the prospect of the devolution power grab and not to mention the toxic food that will be arriving shortly in our shops must surely be the tipping point for many in Scotland.

I personally am happy to see that polling for independence is consistently rising and also an increasing number of our fellow citizens who voted no in 2014 have now come to see that the arguments presented by the no side had no substance. The Scottish Tories may have a new leader but a leopard doesn’t change its spots . A Scottish Tory is a Tory however much they try and disguise this as was evidenced when 5 out of the 6 Scottish Tory MPs voted to prevent hungry children in England receiving a hot meal during four weeks of school holidays in what remains of 2020. What ever way they try and justify their actions there is no excuse for this cruel heartless decision. Prior to retiring I worked with vulnerable people and families and the hardships that people have to endure just wouldn’t feature on a Tory radar.

As the clocks go back on Saturday night and the days shorten we must look at some of the reasons for optimism although it can be very hard in these trying times. We have recently planted our spring bulbs and this is a reminder that even in the darkest and most desperate times there will always be new life and new beginnings.

The Holyrood Election in May 2021 is a perfect starting point for Scotland to seize a chance for a new and fresh beginning. We want to live in an independent country where decisions made are made for and by the people of Scotland. A country where no child goes to bed hungry and where all people

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