Energy Production – Scots Are Getting Ripped Off By Westminster and it will Get Worse Unless We Gain Our Independence




Scottish Electricity Generation – The Black Start

Scotlands increasing reliance on renewable electricty generation places the Scottish grid at risk of “blackout” in the event of a prolonged period of calm conditions.

The risk is partially reduced by the output from the Peterhead gas power station (0.55GW) which is capable of sustaining the grid, but at a very basic level preventing Scotland’s two nuclear power stations from tripping, but its capacity is insufficient to maintain an adequate level of emergency power (3.00GW).

Emergency planning indicates that the projected shortfall in supply in the event of the threat of a “blackout” would be covered by the output from Torness (1.25GW) and HunterstoneB (1.15GW) Nuclear Power Stations……. But HunterstoneB is currently out of action due to safety concerns and the situation is unlikely to improve for some time.

In any event both power stations are scheduled to close by 2023 with result that responsibility for providing “blackout” back-up has transferred to England.

This situation would have been avoided had the coal fired Longannet Power Station been retained since its output (2.60GW) would have provided sufficient electricity, preventing a “blackout” under any circumstance.

But Westminster decides since powers previously devolved to Scotland were withdrawn by the “House of Lords” a few years back. The Sewell convention??



Going Green

Ofgem, the energy regulator, reviewed the cost to coal fired power stations of pumping their power into the national grid.

For many years this cost was heavily biased towards encouraging electricity generation near where it was consumed, in cities, mainly English cities.

This meant that power generated near to London and along the English south coast attracted a generous subsidy from Ofgem.

But electricity generated in  Scotland was subject to a heavy charge for the privilege of supplying electricity to the grid.

Longannet Power Station was subsequently refused an operating licence by the Westminster government and shut down forming part of  its plans to switch to greener energy.

Westminster then introduced the rising carbon tax, the so-called “carbon price floor” charging power plants for burning fossil fuels.

The tax was intended initially to phase out the use of coal – the dirtiest fuel – in favour of more environmentally-friendly gas plants, and eventually restrict all fossil fuel plants in favour of green technologies such as wind farms and nuclear power.

But the entire levy was passed on to the consumer pushing up wholesale power prices, costing every household between £5-£10 each year, increasing to an estimated £32 a year by 2020.

And all revenue gathered from the “carbon Tax” is passed to the Treasury.

Goodness knows what happens to the finance after is anyone’s guess.




The Capacity market – Provision of “Blackout” Facilities

But the gross incompetance of the Westminster government was then revealed with the introduction of a policy totally at odds with “Going Green”.

The “Capacity Market”, was introduced to ensure there were enough reliable operating fossil fuel power plants to prevent grid “Blackout”.

So, dirty old coal power stations in England and Wales are now being paid subsidies to the tune of £650m a year to stay online for longer, including coal plants that were otherwise at risk of closure from the carbon tax.

But not Longannet which, had it been kept open, until other arrangements were in place would have provided full “blackout” protection for Scotland removing the need for support from England.

Method in their madness no doubt.

The full cost of the policy (£1bn) has also been levied on Scots customers’ bills, alongside the cost of the “carbon price floor” which was designed to encourage switching away from coal.

So Scottish consumers are forking out up to £32 annually for the “carbon tax” and £100m for the “capacity tax”.

The “carbon price floor” and the “capacity market” are working together ensuring the policy is neither green nor affordable.




Power Generation


It is now accepted that the additional costs of renewable power production are low and ever reducing since the generating equipment is already in place.

A research paper issued by Sheffield University, indicated that wind and solar power reduced the total cost of electricity by £1.55 billion in the UK in 2014.

The Committee on Climate Change recently estimated that by 2020 the cost per megawatt hour of electricity should be less than £10.




The agreed “strike Price” for nuclear generated electricity is £92.50 per megawatt hour, fixed for the early years of the contract.

The provider EDF has not yet installed a safe fully operational “super fast” nuclear plant anywhere.

The cost of building the much-delayed Flamanville prototype reactor in France has increased by €2bn, to €8bn.



The Paradox

Scotland supplys the National Grid with very cheap electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

Costs are absorbed into the overall cost of electricity production in the UK.

Electricty unit charges reflecting the inclusion of the greater cost of electricity production in England and Wales is then averaged across the UK.

Addition of the cost of the output of the yet to be built new Nuclear Power Plants in England will markedly increase the cost of electricity to Scots households.

But this unwelcome scenario would be avoided if Scotland was an independent country.

An independent Scotland would be  guaranteed secure and cost effective energy without the need to be reliant on a supply from England.

This will be achieved through the North Sea Link (NSL) which is scheduled to be fully operational by 2021.


What is the North Sea Link (NSL)?

The UK and Norway are constructing a European Community financed electricity link between Kvilldal in Norway to Blyth in the UK.

The link will connect the electricity systems of the UK and Norway via high voltage subsea cables from .

Linking Nordic and  the UK energy markets will bring a number of benefits, including:

  • Providing opportunities for shared use of renewable energy – helping both countries to meet domestic and international renewable and climate change targets.
  • Increasing the security of electricity supplies.
  • Providing additional transmission capacity for electricity to be traded, supporting economic growth in Norway and the UK.

Passing through Norwegian and UK waters, North Sea Link will be operational in 2021 and will be the longest subsea interconnector in the world.



Better Together “Bash Street Kids” Team Resurface 3 Years After the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum – Tory Party Policy Exchange Think Tank Expose’




Policy Exchange


Better Together “Bash Street Kids” Team Resurface and Cause Mischief 3 Years After the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

On 22 May 2018 “Policy Exchange” hosted a major conference in London considering the future of the United Kingdom. Keynote speeches were delivered by:

Ruth Davidson, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers.

A report on the conference and addresses (for anyone interested in gaining an awareness of the thinking of right wing politicians) can be found at:


Michael Gove

Ruth davidson

Arlene Foster

Alistair Darling and his friend Ruth


What Is Policy Exchange?

The “Exchange” is a London based, Tory think tank, created in 2002. It is described as “the most influential think tank of the right”.  Key Figures:


Archie Norman


Archibald John Norman

Commonly known as Archie Norman, is a co-founder of “Policy Exchange”.

A businessman and former Tory politician, he is best known for cutting 5,000 jobs and creating enormous profits and growth for Asda which he then sold to Walmart for £6.5 billion, giving shareholders a 1,000 per cent return.

He became Chairman of Marks & Spencers in September 2017 and true to form very soon set about cutting back on employee benefits by abandoning the “deferred benefits” scheme.

He followed up 6 months later announcing the closure of up to 100 stores in the UK reducing staff  by around 7,000.

And that is just for starters. Much more to come since Norman is quoted as saying that the retailer has been “drifting” and promising too speed up changes.

The company has an annual revenue of nearly £11bn. Rich pickings for Mr Norman and his business associates.

As the Tory government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy lead he represents the Tory government on the “Red Tape Initiative” board.


Francis Maude



Francis Maude

Maude’s long and often controversal parliamentary career as a Tory MP started in 1983 and ended in 2016 when he retired from active politics.

He was made a “life peer” in 2015.

Together with Archie Norman, he co-founded Policy Exchange and was employed by him as a non-executive director of ASDA.


Nick Bowles


Nicholas Edward Coleridge Boles:

Commonly known as Nick Boles, a former flatmate of Michael Gove, he is a hard line Tory MP and was the first director of “Policy Exchange.”

He is also a signatory of the statement of principles of the ultra right wing Henry Jackson Society Project for Democratic Geopolitics.

Following his election as Mayor of London Boris Johnson appointed Boles as his Interim Chief of Staff.




Douglas Smith

Smith, a senior Conservative Party strategist, was a founding member of “Policy Exchange”.

It was he who introduced the infamous, morally-focused Tory “back-to-basics” policy, that John Major preached to the nation in the 1997 General Election campaign that ended in disaster for the Tory party.

He has also acted as an adviser to several senior right-wing figures, including the late Sir James Goldsmith and has written speeches for a number of leading Conservative MPs and fulfilled the role of speech writer and advisor to David Cameron.

In the early Eighties, Smith worked for the Adam Smith Institute, the free-market think tank, while pursuing a career in the Federation of Conservative Students as a prominent member of a Right-wing, libertarian faction. Indeed, he was elected in 1985 as an FCS vice-chairman.

However, it transpired that his claim to be a student at Napier College was erroneous and his election was declared null and void by Conservative Central Office following an inquiry.

Smith’s later exploits included being arrested by the police for allegedly threatening to kill FCS member Toby Baxendale, although he was released after spending a night in the cells, and working for Right-wing millionaire David Hart’s Committee for a Free Britain.

He started the “Fever Club” ( in January 1998 with a debauched launch party in a Central London penthouse.

The 2,500 worldwide members included captains of industry, celebrities and multi-millionaire tycoons.

Critics accused the secretive organisation of being a sinister networking organisation.

Fever Party orgies for the rich and beautiful are still hosted throughout Britain and there are additional parties over the summer in New York and Ibiza.

Fever receives over 400 applications for each party and the vetting process is extremely strict with an upper age limit of 40.

In 2003 Smith was forced to cut his links with Fever by the Tory party head office.

He is married to Munira Mirza.




Munira Mirza

Mirza was recruited from Policy Exchange by Boris Johnson and was appointed , Advisor for Arts and Culture Policy of the Greater London Authority under the Conservative administration.

She is associated with the libertarian anti-environmental LM network which advocates policies benefitting corporate interests with a significant focus on influencing youth. A report on the activities of the secretive network can be found at:




Theresa Villiers

A hardline Brexiteer, and direct descendent of King Edward 2, Villiers is the Tory MP for Chipping Barnet.

She has a perchant for submitting weird and wonderful expense claims.

She claimed almost £16,000 in stamp duty and professional fees on expenses when she bought a London flat, even though she already had a house in the capital.

She is accused of courting media attention and has been described as “divorced, dogmatic and dreadful.”


Oliver Letwin



The Grenfell Tower Fire Disaster Debacle and the Unbridled Power of Policy Exchange and Its Offshoot the Red Tape Initiative

The Grenfell Tower fire broke out on 14 June 2017 at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of public housing flats in North Kensington, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, West London.

It caused at least 72 deaths, and over 70 injuries. Occupants of 23 of the 129 flats died.

Even before the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster had begun, it looked like a stitch-up, its initial terms of reference set so narrowly that government policy remained outside the frame.

An inquiry that honoured the dead would investigate the wider causes of this crime. It would examine a governing ideology that sees torching public protections as a sacred duty.

An example. On the morning of 14 June, as the tower blazed, an organisation called the “Red Tape Initiative” convened for its prearranged discussion about building regulations.

One of the organisation’s tasks was to consider whether rules determining the fire resistance of cladding materials should be removed for the sake of construction industry profits.

what is the initiative is and who runs it?

It is a perfect cameo of British politics.  A government-backed body, established “to grasp the opportunities” that Brexit offers to cut “red tape” – a disparaging term for public protections.

It is chaired by the Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who when launching the Red Tape Initiative on 19 April 2017, said:

“We need to grasp the opportunities that Brexit will give us to cut red tape in sensible ways. And we mustn’t lose any time doing that.

So the point of the “Red Tape Initiative” is to identify “early wins” that can command cross-party support in both Houses of Parliament immediately after we leave the EU.”

Letwin also claimed that; “the call to minimise risk is a call for a cowardly society”.

It is confirmed therefore as a forum in which exceedingly wealthy people help decide which protections should be stripped away from lesser beings.

Among the members of its advisory panel are Charles Moore, who was editor of the Daily Telegraph and the chair of an organisation called “Policy Exchange.” He was also best man at Letwin’s wedding.

Sitting beside him is Archie Norman, the former chief executive of Asda and the founder of “Policy Exchange“. He was once Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells – and was succeeded in that seat by Greg Clark, the minister who now provides government support for the “Red Tape Initiative”.

Until he became Environment Secretary, Michael Gove was also a member of the “Red Tape Initiative” panel. Oh, and he was appointed by Norman as the first chairman of “Policy Exchange”. (He was replaced by Moore.) “Policy Exchange” also supplied two of Letwin’s staff in the Conservative policy unit that he used to run.

“Policy Exchange” is a neoliberal lobby group funded by dark money, that seeks to tear down regulations.

The Red Tape Initiative’s management board consists of Letwin, Baroness Rock and Lord Marland. Baroness Rock is a childhood friend of the former Tory chancellor George Osborne, and is married to the wealthy financier Caspar Rock.

Marland is a multi-millionaire businessman who owns a house and four flats in London, “various properties in Salisbury”, three apartments in France and two apartments in Switzerland.

The “Red Tape Initiative” is a self-serving clique of old chums, insulated from hazard by their extreme wealth, whose role is to decide whether other people (colloquially known as “cowards”) should be exposed to risk.

Letwin’s initiative appointed a panel to investigate housing regulations. It includes representatives of trade unions and NGOs, though they are outnumbered by executives and lobbyists from the industry. And there – surprise, surprise – is a man, called Richard Blakeway, from Policy Exchange.

“Policy Exchange” financed by opaquely funded groups and individuals has imposed policies on Britain designed no only to empower corporations and the very rich, but actively to disempower everyone else, through austerity, outsourcing and privatisation.

There is an urgent need for an independent commission whose purpose is to decide when inquiries should be called, what their terms should be, and who should chair them. Governments should have no influence over any of these decisions.

A blinkered inquiry ordered by a government that chooses charges, judge and jury, threatens to clad the origins of a great crime, shielding their embarrassing ugliness from public view. We cannot, and must not, accept it.

Author: George Monbiot, of  The Guardian.’s_why_the_Grenfell_inquiry_will_be_a_stitch-up)



Scottish Secretary of State – David Mundell MP – Clueless Bunch of No-Hoper -Tory MSPs Still in Place Despite Purge – Indicative of a Dearth of Tory Political Talent







March 2007: Tory MSPs Are Clueless No-Hopers – According to Conservative MP David Mundell.

Murdo Fraser MSP had raised the spectre of a split from Westminster control so that the Party in Scotland would be able to decide upon policy.

Countering the Fraser challenge Mundell delivered a damning statement in a four-page memo to leader David Cameron revealing that Tory chiefs had lost confidence in the Holyrood team claiming there was a “lack of thinkers” among the Tory MSPs and that they were incapable of coming up with new policies.

He added: “There are more obvious problems than solutions emanating from Scotland from a party point of view. And I see little in the short term that can be done to improve the MSP group situation.”

And he was scathing about Tory MSPs’ abilities saying: “Whilst it is possible to agree in principle that the party in Scotland can make its own policy on devolved matters, the simple lack of thinkers is apparent.”

He urged a purge of lame-duck MSP’s and the speedy appointment of a new Scottish party Chairman, new Scottish party leader and new management team comprising strategic thinkers.

His advice prevailed and the Scottish Tory party was subjected to a brutal putch which brought Ruth Davidson, and her team of wanabee’s into the Scottish public domain.




9 February 2008: Former Spy Appointed To Top Scottish Tory Job

Former high ranking MI6 intelligence officer, Prof Andrew Fulton, was identified as the most effective “agent for change” available and it was agreed he would be appointed chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party and apply himself and the extensive resources of the secret service to the tasks of completing a root and branch reorganisation of the party in Scotland removing anyone who did not fully commit to Westminster Party ideal.

He would also put in place a long term strategy and resources undermining the SNP government ensuring any referendum for independence would fail.

It was believed that the SNP would fall apart in the aftermath of a failure to gain independence.

But a number of lame-duck MSPs’ all incapable of “strategic thought” survived the clear out and continue to occupy key positions within Davidson’s team;

Jackson Carlaw, Murdo Fraser, Margaret Mitchell, John Scott and Elizabeth Smith.

The emasculated Scottish Tory party in Holyrood and the inexperienced Davidson and her team of lame-duck gophers have not evolved a single new policy since its appointment. And secret agent Fulton, has moved back to London.




So what next for the Scottish Tory party and its lame-duck MSPs’ if Davidson decides to get-out of Scotland?




Scottish Press the Labour Party in Scotland and BBC Scotland Conspiracy Pact Exposed





BBC – Labour Party Bias – Not Us!!!

In denying the Scottish public their right to active promotion, through broadcasting of cultural diversity with other parts of the United Kingdom the UK government and its centrally controlled BBC is in breach of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – Article 11 – Freedom of expression and information.

A well respected and truly impartial journalist was asked if the perception that BBC Scotland was anti-SNP was, in his view, justified said “Put it this way, it probably comes more naturally to them to attack the nationalists than to attack the union.”


Just had to include Lord John


A wee bit of history;

From 1946 to 1991 media affairs in Scotland were subject to the moderating influence of a BBC Scotland Controller who effectively reported to the, “Broadcasting Council for Scotland”, on which many distinguished Scot’s served over the years.

But following a reorganisation control of BBC output in Scotland was transferred to the Board of Governors of the corporation in England then onto the BBC trust in London.




What’s the problem?

The way in which BBC Scotland is run, the quality of care it shows for the many good people who work for it, the standard of what it does, the public service in Scotland ethos it supposedly represents are some of the more important questions facing the Scottish nation.

But it is doubtful they can be successfully addressed within the control systems that prevail at the present time.

The result is that the BBC is failing Scots when they need it most.

The primary blockages are firmly implanted the minds of those who retain control of the state media output:

1. That the BBC, is part of the glue that holds together the concept of a United Kingdom.

2. Weaken the corporation and the United Kingdom will fall apart. So weak is the quality of the paste.

3. The BBC dictates the daily agenda for the Queens subjects, how they talk to each other and what about.

4. It is of prime importance that Scots trust the BBC and feel they have a personal investment in it, otherwise it will be lost and the United Kingdom with it.





Is the bias in BBC Scotland endemic or confined to a few employees?

The huge number of unresolved complaints and public demonstrations all voicing concern and anger about a blatant lack of impartiality by the news reporting/discussion teams in the course of the 2014 independence referendum and since gives support to the public perception that there is an on-going agenda within BBC Scotland ensuring support to Labour Party ideals, to the exclusion of other political parties in Scotland.

BBC Scotland needs to be taken away from London so that it can be truly independent and the over arching Scottish body, including members of the public, should be re-established.





Up Yours – BBC Scotland senior managers refuse to meet with MSP committee

Ken MacQuarrie, Head of BBC Scotland and his enforcer, Head of News and Current Affairs and Labour Party supporter bully boy Boothman refused to appear before the Scottish Education and Culture Committee at Holyrood stating that the BBC in Scotland was not accountable to the Scottish Government.

They were subsequently ordered to appear by the Chairman of the BBC Trust  and finally did so but stonewalled every question put to them.

Boothman (finally exposed as a bully) was later removed from his post as Head of News and Current Affairs after a protracted struggle with staff and trade unions and transferred his employment to the private sector.





BBC Scotland News & Current Affairs Team

A Labour Party pedigree is a predominant requirement within the BBC Scotland senior management team and line managers and reporters in place are appointed through nepotism.

This needs to eradicated so that the BBC can be enabled to be truly impartial and accountable to the Scottish public.

The current “modus-operanti” cannot be allowed to remain in place.

There needs to be a cull of management and media correspondents that have abandoned the “Journalist’s Code” in favour of their politically minded colleagues. (


the Joker



Nepotism/Cronyism within BBC Scotland & protection of the Labour Party (1991-2017)

John Boothman headed News and Current Affairs and was the Editor of Elections and Political Output.

In 1979 he was the Chairperson of Strathclyde University Labour Club, Chairperson Scottish Organisation of Labour Students in 1980 and Chairperson of the National (UK) Organisation of Labour Students 1981.

According to former BBC broadcaster Derek Bateman, Boothman questioned the political output of radio broadcasts after receiving complaints from Paul Sinclair.

Sinclair, (SPAD to Johann Lamont) was said to enjoy a special relationship and regular contact with Boothman through both men’s links with the Labour party.

Writing on his blog,  Bateman claimed that Boothman was “famous for his unrivalled network of contacts in the Labour movement”.

Adding  “Sinclair had a name for trying to interfere in BBC news decisions to influence output.” and, according to the former BBC presenter, Sinclair and Boothman developed an unhealthy relationship with the Labour advisor calling the shots.

Bateman added: “But what I didn’t like about Sinclair – Boothman relationship was the informal and insidious way it developed, so instead of old pals, it became almost one of master and servant. Sinclair seemed to assume the right to call the BBC head of news to account”.

Bateman also claimed that Boothman had, on more than one occasion, questioned him about the political content of his radio programme after receiving complaints from Sinclair.

John Boothman is married to Susan Deacon: Former Chairman of Scottish Labour Students.

She served on the Scottish Labour Party’s, National Executive. MSP and was a Scottish Labour Party government minister.

Boothman, Margaret Curran and Johann Lamont when students were actively and closely involved in Labour Party politics at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities.

Curran is a Labour Party Executive member and MP.

At university she was Secretary of Glasgow University Labour Club, Secretary of the Scottish Organisation of Labour Students, Chair of that organisation, and Vice-Chair of the Labour Club (the biggest of its kind in the UK) at the time.

Lamont is an MSP and former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland.

At university she was an active member Glasgow University Labour Club.

Sarah Boyack; Labour Party List MSP also attended Glasgow University and active in politics as a student, she was mentored by Margaret Curran (Chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students in 1985-86)




Catriona Renton: Reporter for the BBC Politics Show and BBC Presenter.

Renton is a former Glasgow Labour Councillor, who represented Kelvindale before losing her seat to the Lib/Dems in 2003.

She was “Glasgow’s Youth Tsar” and is a product of Balliol College, Oxford.

She was a Labour Party candidate in the 2003 Holyrood election and the 2004 European election.

She was recruited by BBC Scotland’s parliamentary unit in 2006, when Boothman, husband of Labour MSP and ex-Health Minister Susan Deacon, was a senior producer.

Her Facebook account lists as friends: Jackie Baille Labour MSP, Yousuf Hamid Labour Activist, Tom Harris Labour MP, Mike Dailly Labour Activist, David Martin Labour MEP, Frank McAvetty Labour MSP, John Robertson Labour MP John Park Labour MSP, Steven Purcell Labour Glasgow Leader, Dave Watson Vice-chair of the Scottish Labour Party.

At the centre of yet another bias storm in 2009 when attending the SNP conference in Inverness, she claimed on BBC Scotland’s Politics show that Alex Neil had confirmed the SNP’s desire to see David Cameron become the Prime Minister at the next general election. Views he had not expressed.

The BBC were forced to issue a personal apology to Alex Neil.


the Joker and Flashman



Tom Connor; BBC Head of Online News and Sport.

A friend and colleague of Boothman he was responsible for introducing and enforcing the continuation of censorship and blockage of comments to BBC Scotland political blogs.

No viewers comments or contrary views with the likes of Brian Taylor or Douglas Fraser accounts any-more.. Yet, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland BBC blogs actively encourage viewr feedback.

Conner and Boothman were censured a number of years ago for providing Labour candidates with media training using BBC Scotland facilities.


Coke King Purcell


The compliant Scottish Media & Glasgow – the labour Party Fiefdom

The Labour Party in Scotland’s abuse of Glasgow citizens was finally revealed to the public in March 2010 by newspapers published in England, the East of Scotland and Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt ( who headlined the very public downfall of Gordon Brown’s protege Steven Purcell.

The dearth of mainstream media reporting had led to online speculation of Purcell’s very cosy relationship with sectors of the Scottish media and its failure to fulfill its elusive role of holding power to account – namely, the press’s part in a regular Friday drinking date, dubbed ‘The Ritz Club’, which, Mandy Rhodes, the editor of Holyrood Magazine toyed,

“Did a misguided loyalty to a regular Friday afternoon drinking date, dubbed ‘The Ritz Club’, which included the editors of rival red tops, the Herald’s editor-in-chief and Purcell himself…influence reporting of the unravelling scandal?”

So there is no news in the truth / no truth in the news.

But still the complex network of Councillors, businessmen and public sector chiefs, all with connections to the Labour Party, in Glasgow’s iconic ‘redevelopment’ misadventure went for the time largely untroubled.

A prickled Sunday Herald driven to comment, responded to the suggestion of acquiescence towards the Labour Party;

“The absurd suggestions of a network of powerful figures working behind the scenes to influence the workings of the city and that this so-called network including leading figures from the media is now threatening to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the Scottish press”


“The hints that some Scottish newspapers pull their punches on the controversy because editors have been too close to Purcell or, worse, they have been cowed into submission by Peter Watson and PR firm Media House.”


Jack and Bridget- the knowing look??



And what about Bridget McConnell?

In 2006, she spearheaded the controversial devolution of Glasgow City Council’s Cultural and Leisure Services to form the company/charity known as Culture and Sport Glasgow with a separate trading arm, Culture and Sport Glasgow (Trading) CIC. Since March 2007, she then held the post of Chief Executive of both companies.

In 2008, Culture & Sport Glasgow were awarded a long term contract to catalogue and manage the text archive and research department for Newsquest (Herald, Sunday Herald, Evening Times).

Another link established.

Those interested in the rudiments of democracy might wish to ask how a notionally privatised arm of Glasgow City Council could be allowed to become so tightly interconnected with Glasgow’s dominant media group.

More remarkable with the NUJ’s Vice-President-come-President also being the head of PR for spin-off Culture & Sport Glasgow at the time?




Additional reading:

I previously researched and published a comprehensive report cataloging the disgraceful abuse of the Glasgow electorate by the Scottish Labour Party  aided and abetted by the BBC and Scottish Press in the first decade of the new millenium.

Careful reading will reveal conspiracy, at all levels of those involved in the financial asset stripping of the poorest people in Western Europe

The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 2 – 2010 A Year of Turmoil and Scandal

The Sin of Silence in Sin City Glasgow Part 3 – 2011-2012 Years of Scandal & Massive Pay-Offs



Tory Placeman Tomkins Asks the Scottish Parliament to Trust the Westminster Government and Support Their Centralising of Devolved Powers – History Indicates Such Support Would be Folly






The Application of Laws in England and Scotland before 1707

The principles of Roman Law, a system of ‘rights’ and ‘obligations’ prevalent in European countries was used to develop Scots law over many hundreds of years before 1707.

Whilst, in England, lawmaking evolved by writing “Common Law” into statute, using the decisions of judges as precedence. The two systems are not entirely compatible.




The Treaty of Union (1707)

Article 19 of the 1707 Treaty of Union with England stated that the laws of Scotland would remain in place and the authority of the Scottish College of Justice, Court of Session and Court of Justiciary would be retained by Scotland.

But the merging of the two parliaments brought with it (in direct contravention of Article 19 of the Treaty) the move to England of Scottish politicians and lords and with them the removal of legislative power to Westminster which was finalised by the transfer of the “right of appeal” from the Scottish judiciary to the House of Lords.

Essential reading: The Union and the law. – David M Walker former Regius Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow (1958-1990.)




Illegal replacement of Scots law with English law.

Despite assurances to the contrary from Westminster and a legal commitment in the 1707 treaty, there have been many reforms to the Scottish judicial system and legal procedures over the years so that it conforms with English practice.

The Home Secretary in the 1820s, Robert Peel sought to justify changes on the grounds that the Scottish system was “totally different from English practice and repugnant to English feelings”.

In the mid Nineteenth century the industrial revolution brought with it new areas of public policy such as public health, working conditions and many other practices and these were legislated for by Westminster, without consultation with the Scottish judiciary, further challenging the uniqueness of the Scottish system.

And in the later part of the nineteenth century, commercial law was assimilated and Scottish law replaced by English-based measures such as the Partnership Act 1890 and the Sale of Goods Act 1893.

The weakening of Scots Law by the Westminster political establishment became so overtly routine that Lord Rosebery, in 1882, speaking in the House of Lords voiced Scottish fears of the creeping Anglicanisation of Scottish law stating that legislation was framed on the principle that “every part of the United Kingdom must be English, because it is part of the United Kingdom”.




Acts of the Westmnister parliament imposed on Scotland

The Treason Act – 1708 – This harmonised the treason laws of England and Scotland, effective from July 1709.

The English offences of high treason and misprision of treason were extended to Scotland, and the treasonable offences then existing in Scotland were abolished.

When the Scottish Parliament was set up in 1998, treason and treason felony were among the “reserved matters” it was prohibited from legislating about, ensuring that the law of treason remained uniform throughout the United Kingdom.




Disbandment of the Privy Council – 1708 – The Privy Council, and the great offices of state, including the chancellor, secretary and treasurer, were abolished after the Acts of Union 1707, with rule direct being implemented from London.




The Scottish Runrig System of land ownership

Up to mid eighteenth century land tenure in Scotland was maintained using the “runrig system.”

Agricultural land was divided into towns or townships, comprising an area of cultivable “in-bye” land and a larger area of pasture and rough grazing. The “in-bye” was divided into “rigs” which were periodically reassigned among the tenants of the township so that no individual had continuous use of the best land.

Tenants would have a few rigs under their tenure, and it would be their job to fertilise the earth using dung from their own animals. Ploughing, planting and reaping, the farmer cultivated and cared for the land producing crops to feed the family, and hopefully have some left over to barter with.

The “rig” was a strip of ploughed and cultivated land usually 20 feet wide, and high. Only the crown of the rig was ploughed and half the width between them was taken up by huge “baulks” or open spaces filled with briars, nettles, stones and water separated from the next Rig by a “run”, which was left uncultivated.

The high rigs served as a method of water drainage for the crop, given the prevalence of rain in Scotland.

The “baulks” provided shelter from the buffeting winds and a rich habitat for beneficial insects and birds that, in the absence of chemical pesticides, did a good job of eating many of the pests that would damage a crop.



The Scottish Society of Improvers

The Society of Scottish Improvers was founded in 1723 and included in its 300 members the Dukes, Earls, Lairds and Landlords of Scotland.

Exports to England increased from 1707 and the Society members were determined to increase agriculture output improving their profit margins.

Haymaking was introduced along with the English plough and foreign grasses, the sowing of rye grass, clover, turnips and cabbages was introduced.

lime was put down, roads built and woods planted.

Drilling and sowing and crop rotation was introduced and the introduction of the potato to Scotland in 1739 greatly improved the diet of the peasantry.

The Lothians became a major centre of grain, Ayrshire of cattle breading and the borders of sheep.




The Enclosure Acts – 1707-1860

The Enclosure Acts were a series of Westminster Acts of Parliament displacing rigs, free pasture and common land in Scotland, creating legal property rights to land.

Between 1707 and 1914, thousands of individual Enclosure Acts were legislated encompassing millions of acres of Scotland.

The joined land was divided into crofts and initially given over to tenants under fixed tenancy based on the amount of land that they owned before the act.

But often the land was uncultivated and useless and owners, who were required to to fence the land in order to live on it, couldn’t afford to do this forcing them to sell or give up the land and move into urban areas.

Authorities also forcibly implemented the enclosure acts through the eviction of crofters that did not own land.

They also evicted people who said they owned land, but who could not prove it.

This resulted in tens of thousands of displaced and homeless people who were forced to leave Scotland to take up their lives in the new colonies of Canada and the Americas.

Many thousands of Scots died due to the appalling conditions on board inadequate overloaded shipping and the Westminster parliament and Lords will be forever dammed by their actions

So, after stealing the land from village farmers, the landed aristocracy forced poor labourers off the “village commons” land and enclosed it as their own property.

The increase in their landholdings enabled them to cultivate ever larger fields.

The entitlement to land enjoyed by landowners in present day Scotland was built on the imposition by Westminster of a a brutal feudal system.

Over half of Scotland is owned by less than 500 people which equates to the most concentrated pattern of land ownership in the developed world.

Further reading:



The Disarming Act – 1716:

After the inconclusive Battle of Sheriffmuir the 1715 Jackobite rebellion withered and the clansmen drifted back to the glens.

English reprisals were swift and brutal. Many estates were forfeited and thousands of Clansmen were imprisoned and or sent as slaves to the plantations in the English colonies.

The purpose of the 1716 Disarming Act was to remove all weapons from Scotland.

It failed in its purpose as the bulk of weapons handed in were old, rusty and useless the Scots preferred to hide their weapons away to be used another day.




Disarming Act – 1725

There was a further unsuccessful Jacobite uprising in 1719 in which the Earl of Seaforth and other Jacobite chiefs, supported by a body of Spanish soldiers, were defeated by General Wightman and the Royal Navy.

This affair led to more determined legislation: “An Act for more effectual disarming of the Highlands in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, and for better securing the peace and quiet of that part of the Kingdom by which the men of the clans are required to surrender their – “…broad swords, targets, poynards, whingers or durks, side pistols, guns or any other warlike weapons.”

The man given the job of enforcing the measure was Major General George Wade, Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Forces in North Britain.

Wade (an Irishman) estimated that there were, at that time, some 20,000 clansmen capable of bearing arms in the Highlands.

Half of that number, he advised, were potential Jacobites… but only around 2,500 weapons were surrendered.




Letters of an English Gentleman in the North of Scotland – 1730

There is an account of the attitude of English outsiders towards the Highland people and their culture in the writings of Captain Edmund Burt, a government engineer, who wrote his “Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland” in the 1730s.

Recording first-hand experiences of his time with Wade in the Highlands he had this to say:

“Various reasons are given both for and against the Highland dress. Against it is that it distinguishes the natives as a body of people distinct and separate from the rest of the subjects of Great Britain, and thereby is one cause of their narrow adherence among themselves, to the exclusion of all the rest of the kingdom…”

He continued “…but the part of the habit chiefly objected to is the plaid, which is calculated for the encouragement of an idle life in lying about upon the heath, in the daytime, instead of following some lawful employment and that it serves to cover them in the night when they lie in wait among the mountains, to commit their robberies and depredations and is composed of such colours as altogether, in the mass, so nearly resemble the heath on which they lie, that it is hardly to be distinguished from it until one is so near them as to be within their power, if they have evil intention…”

The implications of Burt’s writings are that, south of the Highland Line, among folk who were properly dressed, there was an absence of idleness and criminality.

His words also expose the political dimension and racial prejudice against the highlanders, of English thinking “…that it renders them ready at a moment’s warning, to join in any rebellion, as they always carry their tents with them.”

Burt provides further evidence of the prejudice in another of his letters “…there are some among the English who are so prejudiced, that they will not allow there is anything good on this side of the Tweed.”

Burt’s observations, sixteen years before the introduction of the 1746 dress act is a harbinger of the racial and cultural intolerance of England against Scots, expressed in the years that followed by the legislation against highland clothing.




The Dress Act – 1746:

On the 2nd of August 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, eldest son of James (VIII & III – the “Old Pretender”), landed on the isle of Eriskay with seven companions.

When the standard of Royal House of Stuart was raised at Glenfinnan, Highland clans rallied to the cause.

The subsequent course of the ‘Forty-Five Rebellion has been so oft recorded, and is so well known, that suffice it to say, the army of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” looked for a time set to victory, with the Jacobites reaching Derby by December.

There was panic in the House of Hanover, with King George II preparing to flee to the Continent.

But when the promised french force, crucial to the success of the rebellion failed to materialise, Lord George Murray, counselled a Jacobite retreat and  on the 16th of April 1746, the army of Charles Edward was defeated by that of the Duke of Cumberland on Culloden Moor, outside Inverness.

There followed a bitter excess of reprisals –

As Commander-in-Chief, Cumberland was responsibile for the many atrocities committed in the aftermath of the rising, for he instigated them, actively assisted by his Generals – Hawley in particular – and junior officers, whose brutish behaviour, especially when, as they frequently were, drunk, is well documented.

This was an era when murder, rape, pillage and burning were common to the losing side in any fight but, even so, the reprisals against the ordinary highland people were, to any normal mind, excessive and left an evil memory”   (The Highland People – James D. Scarlett)

This was the mood against which the Dress Act of 1746 was drafted and passed by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke:

The purpose of it was to eradicate the military threat, to the Westminster government, of the Jacobite Highland clans, and to eliminate the culturally separate identity of the Highland people.

“From and after the first day of August, 1747, no man or boy, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as officers and soldiers in his Majesty’s Forces, shall, on any pretence whatsoever wear or put on the clothes commonly called highland clothes (that is to say) the plaid, philabeg, or little kilt, trowse, shoulder belts, or any part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the highland garb and that no tartan, or party-coloured plaid or stuff shall be used for great coats, or for upper coats. and if any such person shall presume after the first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garments, or any part of them, every such person so offending, being convicted thereof by the oath of one or more credible witness or witnesses before any Court of Justiciary shall suffer imprisonment, without bail, for six months, and on being convicted for a second offence, shall be liable to be transported to any of his Majesty’s plantations overseas and to remain there for seven years.”

The Westminster parliament in London, with breathtaking arrogance, laid down the law dictating how Scots might clothe themselves in their own land.

As might be expected, in each instance the law was treated, in large part, with the contempt it deserved and in 1782, thanks largely to the efforts of the Duke of Montrose, the hated 18th century Dress Act was repealed.




Acts against Roman Catholics

The failed Jackobite rising of 1715 brought with it an Act appointing commissioners to inquire into the estates of popish recusants with a view to confiscating two-thirds of each estate.

The scope of “An Act to oblige papists to register their names and real estates” added an additional expense of all transactions in land, the more galling as Catholics were doubly taxed under the annual land-tax acts.

In 1722 an act was passed was passed “Granting an aid to his Majesty through the levy of a tax upon Papists” by which the sum of one hundred thousand pounds was wrung from the impoverished Catholics.

These punitive acts and other legislation against catholics remained in place throughout the reigns of, George II and his successor, George III.

Repealing the acts was a long, slow, gradual, and complicated process, the chief measures of relief being;

The First Catholic Relief Act of 1778, which enabled Catholics to inherit and purchase land repealing the Act of William III, rewarding the conviction of priests.

The second Relief Act of 1791, which relieved all Catholics who took the oath therein prescribed from the operation of the Penal Code.

The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 which removed punitive anti-catholic legislation.

Disqualifications against Catholics still in force are those which prohibit the sovereign from being or marrying a Catholic, or any Catholic from holding the offices of Prime Minister or Lord Chancellor.




The Scotland Act  – (1998)

The Westminster parliament passed a law (the Scotland Act 1998) which stated that Scotland could set up and run its own parliament and in 1999, a Scottish Parliament was convened for the first time in nearly 300 years.

This was a major development for Scottish politics and Scots law since it returned some powers to make their own laws on certain topics to the new Scottish Parliament.

It is of note therefore that the Scottish Parliament only exists because of a recent law passed by the UK parliament which means that Westminster retains ultimate control of the Scottish Parliament, including the power to dismantle it at will.

An important rider highlights that Acts passed by the Scottish Parliament can be challenged.

Sections 28 and 29 of the Scotland Act 1998 set out the competencies of Holyrood and state that legislation will be ultra vires if it relates to matters reserved to the UK Parliament or would be incompatible with EU law or the European Convention of Human Rights.

Questions over the legitimacy of Acts of the Scottish Parliament are known as ‘devolution issues’.

These can arise in any court but the ultimate court for determining these issues is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.

This highlights the importance of Scots retaining an awareness that Scotland is not separate from the rest of the UK, only some legislative powers been devolved and the UK parliament still makes the bulk of laws affecting Scotland contrary to Article 19 of the 1707 Treaty of Union.

Credit to wikipedia




The Scottish rising of 1820 -Unionist spies betrayed the cause – many innocents were murdered by English soldiers – 23 Scots were tried for High Treason and Sedition and were sentenced to death by hanging

The 1820 Scottish Uprising

James Wilson, Andrew Hardie & John Baird (all weavers) were accused by the Crown of being leaders of the “1820 Rising”, a group of Scots campaigning for universal male suffrage, better working conditions and a Scottish parliament. They, together with 19 others, mostly weavers: Thomas M’Culloch, Benjamin Moir, Alex Latimer, Alex Johnstone, Andrew White, David Thomson, James Wright, William Clackson, Thomas Pink, Alex Hart, John Barr, William Smith, Thomas M’Farlane, John Anderson, John M’Millan, Andrew Dawson, Allen Murchie, Robert Gray, William Crawford and James Cleland were tried for the crime of ” high treason” at Stirling high court on 14 July 1820. All 23 were found guilty as charged and on 4 August 1820  were sentenced to death by hanging.

Martyrs Monument Glasgow

The Executions of James Wilson, Andrew Hardie, and John Baird

James Wilson was executed on 4 August 1820 in Glasgow. On mounting the cart that was to take him to the scaffold, the headsman was seated before him, cloaked in black, his face covered, holding a large axe in his right hand and a knife in his left. “Did you ever see sic a crowd as this?” Wilson remarked casually to his executioner. At five minutes to three, he mounted the scaffold and several minutes later his body was convulsing on the end of a rope, where it remained for half an hour, before being lowered and decapitated by the masked executioner, who held the bloody head aloft and proclaimed: “This is the head of a traitor.” The crowd jeered and shouts of,  “It is false, he has bled for his country!” were heard and reported in the Glasgow Herald the next morning. Barely a week later, on 8th September 1820, Andrew Hardie, from Glasgow, who told the spectators, (‘I die a martyr to the cause of truth and injustice’) and John Baird, from Condorrat, met the same fate in Stirling: The death sentence on the other 19 was changed to penal servitude for life and on 15 August 1820 they were transported to the colony of New South Wales in Australia.

Westminster Government Conspiracy

It later transpired that the Westminster government, through the agency and double-dealing of spies, actually incited the rising in the first place. But why would a government, gripped by fear of a popular revolution, incite a general strike in Scotland? To answer this question, we must unearth the roots of the 1820 Rising. In 1795, following the public stoning of King George III’s carriage as it travelled to Westminster, parliament completely redrew the laws for treason, with the effect that holding public meetings in support of reform could lead to the stiffest penalties that the courts were at liberty to dispense. The period following the American Revolution was a time in Scotland when groups including enlightened aristocrats, members of the rising middle classes, professional people, calling themselves “Friends of the People” pushed gently for reform. The weavers in Scotland were skilled and literate people who traditionally worked to commission, chose their own hours, and managed their own lives in a way that was denied to many factory workers and along with other skilled artisans, they formed an aristocracy of labour and were proud, independent, and increasingly radical in their outlook. After the Battle of Waterloo, a wicked recession gripped the UK and 1816 was a particularly black year for Glasgow, resulting in major bankruptcies across the city and its environs. This sparked a gathering of tens of thousands at Thrushgrove near Glasgow, demanding but not gaining reform and the situation worsened over the next four years so that by 1820 the stage was set for the rising that would result in the deaths of James Wilson, Andrew Hardie and John Baird and penal servitude for 19 other Scottish martyrs.

The Committee for Organising a Provisional Scottish Government

There existed in Scotland a covert group called  “the Committee for Organising a Provisional government,” which consisted of committed radicals, elected by their respective unions, who would assume responsibility of organizing the new social structure of Scotland in the aftermath of a successful rising. However, it became clear in retrospect that the committee had also been infiltrated by Westminster government spies, who were rife at the time, being one of the government’s most important defences against underground radical activities. The committee had the misfortune to convene in Marshall’s Tavern in Glasgow’s Gallowgate on March 21, 1820, in the presence of a spy. John King, a weaver from Anderston. King left the meeting early, just before the entire committee was arrested and detained in secret by the authorities. This is a vital point in relation to the events that unfolded over the next few weeks, because the organizing committee, the body of people who would be the centre of any radical rising, were off the streets and obviously not able to organize very much from their prison cells.

Glasgow Remembering the Martyrs of 1820

King and Other Unionist Spy’s Activate the Rising

The very next day, King was present at another meeting of important radicals in Anderston in Glasgow. It was also attended by another three men, also government spies: John Craig, a weaver, Duncan Turner, a tin-smith, and Robert Lees, described only as “the Englishman.” King took the initiative at this meeting and reported that a large-scale rising was imminent and that all those present should make themselves ready for armed conflict.

The 1820 Proclamation

The following day, on March 23, the spy, Duncan Turner, unveiled plans for a provisional government and revealed a draft of a proclamation, inciting widespread revolt, that was to be posted around the city for the public’s attention. This proclamation is pivotal to the whole history of the rising, and, given that the real “Committee for Establishing a Provisional Government” was in jail, the proclamation was later identified as the work of government agents, and part of a larger plan to sink the radical movement in Scotland once and for all. The events that transpired provides the evidence against King and his associates, all pointing in the direction of the Westminster government treachery and entrapment.

The Rising

On April 1, 1820, the citizens of Glasgow awoke to find the proclamation posted around the city, urging them all “to desist from their labour from and after this day…and attend wholly to the recovery of their Rights.” The proclamation opened with a rousing ideological plea for liberty: “Equality of Rights (not of property) is the object for which we contend, and which we consider as the only security for our Liberties and Lives.” The plea continues to the soldiery, asking if they could really, “plunge…Bayonets into the Bosoms of Fathers and Brothers at the unrelenting Orders of a Cruel Faction.” Strong words, and if the proclamation had been a government plan to draw underground radicals out into the open, they would have perhaps been shocked at the level of response from ordinary people and workers all over West and Central Scotland. The following Monday, people from many different trades, but especially weaving, stopped work. They were not only refusing to work, but were in many cases preparing for war. Reports flooded in of groups of men engaged in military drills, and making weapons such as pikes from any material that could be obtained. Revolt was in the air. On Tuesday 4 April, the spy, Duncan Turner, the issuer of the proclamation, was mustering a group of about 60 men in Germiston, and using all his arts of persuasion to convince the men to march to the Carron Works in Falkirk, where they could obtain arms for the coming battles. Not all were convinced, but he rallied those that would go with promises of meeting more men on the way to help them in their mission. He himself would be engaged in organizing other initiatives and wouldn’t accompany them on their long march. The leader of the group was the ill-fated Andrew Hardie, and Turner gave him half a card, which, he assured him, would match exactly with another half card held by a man waiting for him in Condorrat; a man at the head of another group of fighters. In this way the group would grow, swelling its ranks until it arrived at Carron.

The Carronshore Ambush

Waiting in Condorrat was John Baird, at the head of five men, holding the half card that had been given to him by none other than John King in one of his many guises. Both Hardie and Baird were no doubt expecting to unite with a small army when they matched their cards, and were obviously disappointed when they did match cards in the early hours of the morning. However, John King promised more support before they reached Carron, and he himself would ride ahead to rally these supporters. It is known that by this time the army already knew of a plot to take Carron, as a Lt. Hodgson had set off from Perth to protect Carron from an attack expected that day, Wednesday 5th April. Also, the band of radicals was spotted and reported twice following their departure from Condorrat, confirming for the authorities that trouble was afoot. The next time the band met King, they had been marching all night, and King told them to leave the road and wait at Bonnymuir while he mustered support from Camelon. This was the last the group was to see of King. Nor did they see more armed men rallying to their cause: instead they were shortly to meet opposing troops, with Lt Hodgson at their head, who had also left the road and incredibly found their way straight to Hardie and Baird’s band on Bonnymuir. The ensuing battle was nothing more than a skirmish, whereby Hodgson’s force of 32 soldiers, after a volley of shots from the radicals, easily overpowered them with a cavalry charge. Two soldiers and four radicals were wounded. In total, 19 of the radicals were taken prisoner and sent to Stirling Castle. The event in itself hardly constitutes a major rising, but other isolated disturbances were taking place across West and Central Scotland, and the journey of Hardie and Baird showed that at the fore of radical thinking was union with other groups in different parts of the country. However, the government seemed always to be one step ahead of the radicals, with inside knowledge at every step; also, the core organizers had been in jail since March 21st, without public knowledge, and some very suspicious men were acting on their behalf. The whole event was a plot hatched by Westminster government agent provocateurs in order to draw the radicals into open battle. On the fateful day of April 5th, troops took up position all over Glasgow, and although radical movements were reported all day, no attack was forthcoming.

Image result for Martyrs monument glasgow

Martyrs monument Glasgow

Betrayal of James Wilson

Also on April 5th, the awful fate of James Wilson was starting to unfold. Again, one of the spies was involved, this time the “Englishman” Lees, who sent a message to the Strathaven radicals that the rising had started. Wilson left with a small force of 25 the following morning, carrying a banner that declared “Scotland Free or a Desert.” By the time they neared East Kilbride, they were tipped off that an army ambush lay between them and their destination at Cathkin. Wilson returned to Strathaven, while his men avoided the ambush and reached their destination to find no action at all at Cathkin. By the following evening, the authorities had discovered the identity of 10 of the group, including Wilson, and held them under lock and key.

New Lanark 1820

English Soldiers Massacre Citizens of Greenock

The worst violence against civilians occurred on Saturday 8th April when the authorities tried to move a group of prisoners from Paisley to Greenock. The citizens of Greenock attacked the soldiers who had been ordered to move the prisoners. Even after they had completed their task, the soldiers still had to fight their way back out of the town as the crowd pelted them with stones. The army opened fire, killing eight people, including an eight-year-old child, and wounding 10 others. The government’s retribution was harsh, examples were to be made, and they took the form of the executions of Wilson, Hardie and Baird and the transportation to the colony’s of 19 others. The rising was over. There are some who regard the tragic events of 1820 as minor and of little historical importance in comparison to other Scottish rebellions. But they marked an intensification of the desire of Scots for human rights reform and their own government and the martyrs, James Wilson, Andrew Hardie, and John Baird serve as examples to those who feared that nothing can be done in the face of such a powerful centralized state as Westminster governance.

Further reading, BBC Archives:


Tory Luddite Tomkins Mocks the SNP Government Attacking Proposals For Safe Drug Taking Facilities – But fails to Bring Forward Any Answers to the Question – How do you reintegrate people to Society who were not integrated in the first place?






Drug-Control Policies in Britain

The late Prof Geoffrey Pearson was an eminent and highly respected Criminologist noted for his research into violence among the young.

In his journal, The New Heroin Users (1987) he gave a voice to users and addicts, confounding many stereotypes concerning this demonised group, who were concentrated in areas already suffering unemployment, poor housing and poverty.

He carried out a number of studies of drug use among young people in care, of drug markets, and the policing of drugs and was a member of the committee that carried out the 1971 inquiry into the misuse of drugs in the UK.

He was not a supporter of the UK government approach to drug taking and clarified his understanding of the issue in his paper:

Abstract from: “Drug-Control Policies in Britain,” Crime and Justice 14 (1991): He wrote:

“The British approach to heroin addiction has been widely misunderstood. The “British system” did not break down in the 1960s under the pressure of an upsurge in heroin misuse.

The 1960s heroin phenomenon was a relatively minor difficulty almost entirely confined to London and failed to dislodge the medical profession from its central role in the British response to serious drug misuse.

During the 1980s, however, a major heroin epidemic spread rapidly through a number of towns and cities in the North of England and Scotland, concentrated mainly in areas of high unemployment and social deprivation.

Government-sponsored responses have included high-profile mass media campaigns and a strengthening of the law-enforcement effort. Even so, the “British system” has remained essentially intact.

In response to the threat of drug-related HIV transmission, public health remedies have reasserted themselves against the prevailing rhetoric of “law and order.”





Jul 2017: Tory government rejects advice of its own Advisory body

The UK government dismissed a call from its own advisory body to consider introducing drug consumption rooms.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) had said the rooms would provide a safe space for users to take class A drugs under the supervision of medical professionals.

The Tory government said it had no plans to approve drug consumption rooms and whilst it is committed to taking action to prevent the harms caused by drug use the official approach continues to be prevention of class A drug use in communities and helping drug dependent addicts recover, while ensuring that drugs laws are strictly enforced”.




10 Nov 2017: Scottish Lord advocate fails to back ‘fix room’ plan

Scotland’s top prosecutor refused to back a controversial plan to set up the UK’s first so-called “fix room”.

The proposed injecting facility in Glasgow aimed to give drug addicts a safe environment to inject under supervision.

The proposal was being driven by the city’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) which had planned to create an injecting facility between Trongate, Saltmarket and the River Clyde, by 2018, after a steep rise in HIV cases.

However, the scheme had required Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC to allow possession of street-bought heroin within the facility.

Glasgow, which has an estimated 13,600 problem drug users, has seen a growing number of addicts diagnosed with HIV.

Health officials put the cost to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde at more than £29m. (BBC News)




12 Dec 2017: Call for drug laws to be devolved to Scottish Government

The Scottish government is seeking devolution of drugs laws to allow users to take heroin safely under medical supervision.

This follows a ruling by the Home Office in London, which controls drug legislation, that introduction of a “fix room” would be illegal under existing UK drug enforcement policy and it expected Scottish police to enforce the law. (BBC News)

In 2016, 170 drug-related deaths were recorded in Glasgow – from a record total across Scotland of 867.

The previous year there had been 47 new diagnoses of HIV among those who inject drugs, compared with a previous annual average of 10.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) published “Taking away the chaos,” a review of the health needs of those injecting drugs in public places.

It said: “Public injecting in Glasgow is concentrated in lanes, closes, car parks, and public toilets of the south-east city centre and adjoining areas of the east end.

“Several informal drug consumption areas have been found in abandoned buildings and makeshift huts.”

A spokesman for Glasgow HSCP said: “We are continuing to work on our proposal to open a safer drug consumption facility in Glasgow.

“We have had initial discussions with the Scottish Government on how we can best secure the legislative framework needed to ensure the facility can open legitimately.” (BBC News)




23 Apr 2018: Typical Tory Tomkins Politisizes Scottish Approach to Drug Addict Care

The Express published an article written by Tomkins in which he attacked the SNP government wrongly attributing the proposed introduction of safe facilities to it, cheapening the efforts of highly qualified medics, social services experts and other people determined to improve the lives of drug users. See the article:



Denmark’s ‘Fix Rooms’ Give Drug Users A Safe Haven

Martin Jensen smokes heroin.

In the past, when this gaunt-faced Dane had to hide in elevators and stairwells to feed his addiction, he probably wouldn’t have been so willing to advertise that fact. Back then, his days were spent scouring Copenhagen — mostly the notorious Vesterbro neighborhood — for places to smoke, out of sight of the police and children.

He says he never felt safe, understandably, given what happened to one of his friends.

“My friend, he [was trying to] get some sleep, when he had smoked,” Jensen recalls.

That’s when an arsonist stopped by.

“They put gasoline here, on top of his head. And put on fire and just let him …” Jensen trails off, though he notes the friend survived.

All this is by way of explaining why, for Jensen, this year has meant the difference between “hell” and “heaven.”

It’s not that he’s quit — though he is taking methadone, which has helped him cut back.

It’s that now he has a place to come and take his drugs in peace.

In June 2012, the Danish Parliament passed legislation making it possible for municipalities to open so-called drug consumption rooms (known in Denmark as “fix rooms” and elsewhere, more specifically, as supervised injection sites) — facilities where adults with serious addictions can bring their illegal drugs and take them, legally, under the watchful eye of a nurse.

Within four months, Copenhagen had opened the first.

Two other cities have since followed suit. Full article at:”




27 May 2015: Denmark’s injection rooms save 300 lives

Denmark’s legal drug injection rooms have saved upwards of 301 lives according to figures from the Health Ministry.

The country’s five injection rooms – located in Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus – allow drug users to get their fix in controlled environments and under the watchful eye of healthcare professionals.

According to a Health Ministry report released on Wednesday, heroin and other drugs have been injected by around 4,300 registered users some 355,255 times since the rooms opened in 2012.

The vast majority – 94 percent – of injections took place in Copenhagen.

In 301 instances, the drug user overdosed but thanks to the presence of the rooms’ personnel there was not a single death.

“On that background, the evaluation concludes that the injection rooms must be seen to limit the risk of death and injuries,” a Health Ministry press release read.

The report also stated that the injection rooms have helped health professionals come in contact with addicts that they would not otherwise reach if the drug use remained on the streets.

There were 354 instances in which a user asked for help in breaking their habit.

According to the evaluation, it is not just users who have benefited from the injection rooms.

“Also the residents in those areas where drug abusers hang out and used to take their drugs in the streets, stairwells and hallways have noted that there aren’t as many used needles [lying around],” the ministry release stated.

The volume of used needles in Copenhagen has fallen by nearly 80 percent since the nation’s first injection room was opened there in the autumn of 2012.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said last year that the injection rooms deserve the lion’s share of the credit for the fact that drug-related deaths have reached their lowest level in nearly 20 years.”




Scotland – Englands First Colony – Ravished – Pillaged – Blockaded – Betrayed – Castigated – Absorbed on False Promises – Brexit is Our Chance to Right the Wrongs of the Past – All We Need is a Referendum






The Alien Act – Bully Boy Nation England Forces a Treaty of Union On Scotland

The 1701 Alien Act was the culmination of the England’s efforts to subjucate Scotland, and the negative impact was huge.

An embargo on Scottish goods to both England and its colonies, enforced by a naval blockade of Scottish ports and a large English army force in Berwick, cut maritime trade by fifty percent, crippling Scotland’s already fragmented economy which was struggling to recover after twenty five percent of Scotland’s total liquid capital had been lost during the Darien Scheme.

The Act also threatened inheritance rights for Scottish nationals living in England, causing unrest among Scotland’s elite.

Through this piece of legislation, English Parliament hinted at the dangers of refusing to unite the two nations.

England had the power to destroy the Scottish economy and take away the property of many of its citizens, and unless Scotland agreed to their proposals that was exactly what they would do.

In 1706 Scotland relented, activating a provision added to the end of the Alien Act that suspended the legislation as a whole following Scotland’s entrance into negotiations leading to the 1707 Act of Union with England.


Earl of Seafield



Second Thoughts On the Union – The First Earl of Seafield and His Attempt to Repeal the 1707 Treaty of Union

On 2nd June 1713 the Earl introduced a Bill in the House of Lords to repeal the 1707 Treaty of Union citing amongst the grievances of the Scots:

1. The dissolution of the Scottish Privy Council.

The Treaty of Union 1707 with England preserved the Scottish Legal System. Article XIX providing “that the Court of Session or College of Justice do after the Union and notwithstanding thereof remain in all time coming within Scotland, and that the Court of Justiciary do also after the Union … remain in all time coming.

But soon after the Union, the Union with Scotland (Amendment) Act 1707 combined the English and Scottish Privy Councils and decentralised Scottish administration through the appointment of justices of the peace in each Scottish shire to carry out administration.

In effect it took the day-to-day government of Scotland out of the hands of politicians and into those of the College of Justice who would report to the officer in post in the newly created position of Scottish Secretary of State in Westminster.




2. The Treason Act.

The Scottish Act, which was relatively humane was abandoned in favour of the more barbarous English Treason Act.

Section III of the Act required the Scottish courts to try cases of treason and misprision of treason according to English rules of procedure and evidence.

When the Scottish Parliament was established in 1998, treason and misprision of treason were designated as “reserved matters,” meaning they fell outside the jurisdiction of the Scottish government.




3. The incapacitating of the peers.

After the Scottish Parliament passed the ratifying Act it turned to the question of Scotland’s future parliamentary representation.

Article 22 of the Treaty had decreed that 16 peers and 45 commoners were to represent Scotland at Westminster, It would be for Scotland’s Parliament to settle the detail.

At this time the Edinburgh parliament was a unicameral body which, by the eve of the Union, had grown to consist of a ‘theoretical’ total of 302, made up of some 143 hereditary peers, 92 ‘shire’ or county commissioners, and 67 burgh commissioners.

Inevitably, Scotland’s loss of its representative body – symbolizing the loss of national sovereignty – in favour of a much reduced representation at Westminster produced deep resentment among the Scottish populace.

At the end of January 1707, following a series of ill-attended sittings, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation setting out the procedures for electing the 16 peers and 45 commoners. The 16 representative peers were to be chosen by the entire body of Scottish peers through ‘open election’ rather than by ballot.

Each elected peer was to serve for the duration of one Parliament. Upon the dissolution of Parliament all Scottish peers would be summoned by royal proclamation to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the names of peers were called over and each peer would then read out his list of 16 nominees.

It became standard practice for governments to canvass their preferred choices, thus ensuring a controllable bloc of support in the Upper House. The practice of electing “representative peers” of Scotland was to continue until it was abolished by the Peerage Act of 1963.

Scots legal experts were frustrated that from 1712 the House of Lords in Westminster was also the Court of Appeal for Scottish cases.

This led to “miscarriages of justice” caused by a lack of understanding of Scots law by English judges.

Scots landowners with English titles were angry in 1711 when they were prevented from taking their seats in the House of Lords.




4. The introduction of many new taxes on Scotland

After 1707, new taxes imposed on Scotland by Westminster increased the prices of Scottish goods for export to England and abroad greatly benefitting English manufacturers but to the severe detriment of Scot’s.

Duties on linen in 1711 and 1715, and the Soap Act of 1714 upset many people in Scotland.

The Salt Tax of 1711 was especially unpopular and resulted in riots.

The Malt Tax, introduced in 1713 in defiance of the Treaty of Union was imposed on the Scottish brewing industry and undermined a wide range of Scottish endeavours and entrenched a culture of evasion, amongst poor Scots who relied on a diet of inexpensive ale.

The cumulative effect of the new taxes served only to reduce legitimate trade in Scotland whilst encouraging smuggling and in some instances outright resistance.

As a result of increased goods duties, there were attacks on customs officers and an increase in the smuggling of goods into Scotland.

The Malt Tax Riots in 1725 and the Porteous Riot in 1736 both highlighted popular resentment for English intervention in the name of integration.




5. The deliberate ruination by Westminster of Scottish trade and manufacturing

Despite the promises made by England during the unification process, economic rehabilitation in Scotland was an abject failure.

While there were apparent economic benefits for the nobility and landowners, who “sensed that union would open up new opportunities to them through being able to sell their cattle and other produce to England” they represented a very small part of the socio-economic makeup of Scotland.

The benefits of maritime trade afforded to them by the union only applied to the elite, (this is still the case in 2014) and the rest of Scotland faced a new, far less attractive economic reality after 1707.

The expansion of the cattle and sheep industries in Scotland to compensate for increased demand in England also led to many tenants being forcibly cleared off of their land in order to maximize grazing.

This accumulation of injustices only served to strengthen resistance to the Union of 1707 in both the Lowlands and the Highlands and, as their economic situation worsened many turned to Jacobitism as a solution to their problems, one that supported “the old monarchy” and was inherently Scottish.




6. Introduction of the English Enclosure Act

There was great unrest as a result of introduction of the English “enclosures” system of land allocation, replacing the Scottish “runrig” system.

There were outbreaks of fence-smashing by labourers who had fallen on hard times through not being able to afford “enclosures.”




7. The Irish Diamension – The Wool Act

Westninster prohibited any export of manufactured woollen goods from Ireland in 1699.

A protection of trade measure designed to ensure English farmers and woollen manufacturers would be allowed to operate without competition.

The restrictions on the woollen trade greatly distorted the importance of the Irish linen industry, particularly in Ulster and in 1696 a Bill was passed through Westminster which encouraged the manufacturing of linen in Ireland free of tax at time of export to England and other foreign trade.

But Scotland was not considered. Linen taxes were imposed on Scotland to the detriment of the trade and its rapid closure due to the high cost of exporting the yarn and finished goods.




Outcome of the Debate

The response from the English peers who favoured the Union’s continuance principally underscored its importance in terms of protecting the succession.

At this point the coherence of the Scots’ assault broke down as some of their English allies moved in favour of adjourning the debate and suggested that separate legislation should be drafted for protecting the nation.

When the House came to divide, the bill for dissolving the Union lost by just 4 votes, and even then only because of the employment of proxies.

A few days later the malt bill passed the Lords and was enacted on 10th June.

The failure of the Scots’ rebellion was largely down to their inability to secure the unqualified support of key members of the Whig opposition.

For many of these the affair was simply an opportunity to embarrass the administration and when it came to the crunch were found to be absent from the House.

Even for those who believed genuinely that something needed to be done to improve the condition of the Scots, several preferred to concentrate on securing an amended version of the malt bill rather than threatening the Union itself.

Inevitable Rebellion: The Jacobite Risings and the Union of 1707 – Lindsay Swanson – PSU HST 102 – December 17, 2014




Syria – The US, UK and French Have Given Up On Regime Change in Syria – New Strategy is to Establish a New State East of the Euphrates – More Blood to Be SpiltCarve









6 May 2018: Tensions Rising Between Syrian Army, Kurds Amid Creation of US Bases

The probability of all-out war between the Syrian army and Kurdish militias in northern Syria has intensified amid reports of the creation of more new US bases, along with reports of a possible deployment of troops from a Saudi-led ‘Arab coalition’.

There are also reports of a growing French presence in areas of Syria under Kurdish control.

Tensions have been running high since the US sent yet another convoy of weapons to Kurdish militants in the Tal Beidar region and Kurdish forces’ actions fortifying their positions has increased the danger of a direct confrontation with the Syrian Army.

Also this week, around 30 villagers were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in the village of al-Fadel in southern Hasakah, prompting Damascus to submit another letter of complaint to the United Nations about the coalition’s “massacres” against the Syrian people and its attempts to undermine the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The letter also accuses Washington of providing “systematic support” for Daesh.




Syria – The US, UK and French Are Intent on Regime Change Regardless of the Expressed Will of the Syrian People

In the summer of 2017 the Syrian Army liberated large parts of their eastern provinces, re-establishing a land re-supply route stretching from Iran to Syria and the formidable Hezbollah forces based in the Lebanon.

This was unpalatable to the Western allies and a major offensive was launched against the Syrian army, by the US, UK, Israel and France.

The offensive, when fully completed removed the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon land route diminishing Iran’s ability to channel funds and armaments to Hezbollah adversely affecting Syria’s ability to trade with Iraq and Iran further complicating Syria’s post-war reconstruction plans.


The Syrian government and its allies became extremely concerned about the increasing build-up of French, UK and US (FUKUS) forces in Syria, East of the Euphrates and along the border with Jordan, claiming it to be an illegal occupation designed to partition the country.

Referring the matter to the UN Security Council the Syrian government pointed out that the countries concerned did not have a mandate from the UN Security Council nor an invitation from the Syrian government to be in Syria and they should be withdrawn without delay.

President Trump is previously reported indicating his intention to withdraw allied forces from Eastern Syria if and when the situation was improved.

Since that time the Allies declared the war against ISIS to be at an end.

But the occupation of Syria goes on.

It now appears the agenda has changed and (FUKUS) intend to occupy Syria, East of the Euphrates, perhaps on a permanent basis.

This will ensure control of the countries most productive oil and gas fields remains with groups loyal to (FUKUS) denying the Syrian government, and most likely Turkey and Iraq, who would otherwise delight in further military action intent on reducing the Kurd presence and influence to the East of the Euphrates.

The scene is set for further military confrontation, similar to the recent battle for control of the Deir-el-Zour oil field, which resulted in the death of around 200 Russian irregulars and an unspecified number of Syrian soldiers, as the Syrian government seeks to re-establish control of the region.

War without end regardless of cost