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Nicola Sturgeon and her Bestie friend Hillary Clinton are political Opportunists cut from the same cloth (part1)

Hillary Clinton

2022 is a midterm election year in the USA. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be up for grabs. The Republican Party is predicted to retake the senate. If affirmed it is likely that efforts will be made to jail Hillary Clinton and others closely associated in their near 5-year false and malicious disinformation campaign accusing President Trump of working with President Putin devising and implementing plans to subvert American voters enabling Trump to defeat Clinton. November 2022 might well be a pivotal period in political history.

1996: President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA) a law that defined federal marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

2000: Running for the Senate she said: “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.

2004: In a Senate debate she said that she believed that marriage was: “a sacred bond between a man and a woman and she took umbrage at anyone who might suggest that those who worry about amending the Constitution are less committed to the sanctity of marriage, or to the fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman.”

2007: Hillary Clinton answered a questionnaire for the Human Rights Campaign. About whether marriage should be made legally available to two committed adults of the same sex she entered that she was “opposed” though she supported civil unions. In a follow-up debate, she was asked “What is at the heart of your opposition to same-sex marriage?” Her reply was: “I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions. You know, it’s a personal position. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re having, and I am absolutely in favour of civil unions with full equality of benefits, rights, and privileges.”

2012: President Obama reversed his previous position and announced his support for same-sex marriage

2013: Announcing she would run for President in 2016 she announced her support for same-sex marriage stating: “LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens, and they deserve the right to citizenship. That includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and all Americans.”

2013: At St. Andrew’s University in Scotland in her first foreign visit since she announced she would run for President in 2016, she received a doctor of laws degree for her work as a politician and diplomat in championing the causes of education, human rights, democracy, civil society and promoting opportunities for women around the world.

2014: She was grilled about her ever-changing positions on gay marriage and was asked: “Would you say your view evolved since the ’90s or that the American public evolved, allowing you to state your real view?” She replied: “I think I’m an American and I think we have all evolved.”

2014: Scottish Independence Referendum: She told the BBC’s Jeremy Paxton: “I would hate to have England lose Scotland. Rebutting her unwelcome interference Alex Salmond said Scotland: “was not England’s property to be lost it is one of the oldest nations in the World deciding its own future.” Sturgeon made no comment.

2015: On the day of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments about same-sex marriage bans in a handful of states in April, she changed her “H” logo to rainbow-coloured and tweeted the message: “Every loving couple & family deserves to be recognized & treated equally under the law across our nation.”

2016: Her current support of gay marriage and the LGBT community is based on nothing more than political expediency. She had zero interest in supporting gay rights until it was no longer risky to be an LGBT advocate.

2016: It is unusual for political leaders to express their opinion on other country’s elections while campaigning is still underway. Neutrality is usually observed but Nicola Sturgeon broke with political tradition and ‘fervently’ endorsed Clinton’s bid for the American Presidency saying: Hillary Clinton would be “a great president.”

2016: Clinton released a video to the UK media attacking Donald Trump’s credibility at the time he was visiting his newly revamped Turnberry course. The video which was set to bagpipe music featured Sturgeon who said Trump was not welcome in Scotland and Michael Forbes, who challenged Trump’s bid to build his Meanie Estate golf course in Aberdeenshire.

Comments: Ever the political opportunist she opposed same-sex marriage as a candidate for the Senate, while in office as a senator, and while running for president in 2008. She expressed her support for civil unions starting in 2000 and for the rights of states to set their own laws in favour of same-sex marriage in 2006. Then as polls showed that a majority of Americans supported same-sex marriage, Clinton’s views changed, too. She announced her support for same-sex marriage in March 2013.

Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, in a 2014 blog post wrote: Clinton opposed gay marriage until public opinion shifted in its favour. Supporters have focused on the argument of her having an evolving stance, but as a high-profile Democrat for the past few decades, Clinton played a role in obstructing progress for LGBT rights. In addition to DOMA, her husband Bill Clinton signed the HIV travel ban into law, which disproportionately discriminated against the LGBT community. He also signed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. “As long as marriage equality hurt the Democrats, they were against it. Now it may even hurt Republicans, they’re for it. So Hillary is for it now.”

She voted for and strongly supported the Iraq War for years until she finally apologized and admitted in 2014 it was a mistake. But she has not learned. An apology isn’t enough when she continued with her war hawk tendencies, invariably pushing for regime change and perpetuating U.S. military conflicts abroad. As one of the most high-profile Democrats in the Senate, Clinton’s Iraq stance played a central role in manufacturing consent for a war we now know was launched from baseless accusations. During her service as secretary of state, Clinton supported every war demanded by the military-industrial complex.

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The Aberdeen LGBTQ cabal of activists impose their dogma on SNP policies to the permanent detriment of the Party

The insidious dogma of hyper-extremist activists is holding Scottish politics to ransom

Scotland is a colony of England and its politicians are permitted to operate only under the strict control of the Westminster government. Faced with this reality the acceptable face of politics within Scotland has become narrow-minded and focused on encouraging the development of pressure groups with narrow agendas who are able to successfully transfer their aims and ambitions across the border to England.

LGBTQ hyper-extremist and fundamentalist activists increasingly exert political influence on society in England and Scotland well in excess of levels warranted by their numbers and mainstream politicians need to be alerted to this since many of the views and demands for change they wish to impose are toxic to the vast bulk of the electorate.

Addressing the issues in Scotland requires an understanding of the modus-operandi of the activists which is to become cuckoos in the nest of the SNP and over time crowd out anyone who failed to accede to their demands.

As of February 2022, the group have grown in numbers and influence and through a process of gerrymandering, internal election processes now dictate and decide SNP policies.

The SNP no longer exists in the form many of its members signed up to yet it strangely continues to promote itself to the Scottish electorate as the party of independence.

The two main LGBTQ activist centres are located in Stirling and Aberdeen and are focussed on the leadership of two SNP MP’s: Alyn Smith and Kirsty Blackman who together with their supporters have done little to progress the cause of Scottish independence and should have the courage of their convictions and leave the SNP too form a new political party and stand for office in a by-election in a new LGBTQ Party.

The Aberdeen faction first raised its head in January 2018 when a small number of LGBTQ activists located in the Grampian Region formed an umbrella organisation the “Aberdeen Independence Movement” (AIM). Its membership comprised:

Co-Chairs:
Fatima Joji: from Westhill, Aberdeenshire, topped the SNP’s North-East regional list for the Scottish Parliament elections.
Kenny Anderson: Longtime SNP supporter. Managing Director and Majority Shareholder, Anderson Buchan Properties Ltd.

Other members
Neil Baillie: SNP Councillor
Vicky Harper: SNP Councillor
Andy Stuart: SNP Convenor Aberdeenshire West

Finance Team:
Virginia Dawod: Manager, Robert Gordon University.

Theo Forbes: Graphics Media And Communications Officer.
2016 2018: Member of the National Executive Committee and National Events and Fundraising Officer, “Young Scots for Independence”.
2017 2021: Employed by the SNP as an intern from September 2020. Attended Aberdeen University studying Politics & International Relations.

Joshua Aaron Mennie: from Aberdeen
2018: 2020: Media Consultant. Intern for Kirsty Blackwood MP.
2019 – 2020: Member National Executive Committee (NEC) and Convener for the official LGBTQ+ wing of the SNP.
2022 – Pres: Communications & Officer Manager to Karen Adam MSP at Holyrood.

Tourette’s Syndrome* sufferer, Mennie is a person to note since his rise to prominence within the Party has been remarkable. In his 3 years of membership, he has been elected as a disabled member of the NEC. Heads the “Out For Indy” group and is the leader of the party within a party, the LGBTQ+ group of the SNP.

  • The Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’) and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (‘DDA’) defines a disabled person as:

“A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” Tourette’s syndrome is not listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book (the guide used to help SSA representatives determine whether a person qualifies for disability based on their condition)

And the Mennie family are well represented in the party. His sister Jessica was elected in 2019, SNP councillor for Donside in Aberdeen (£18k annual salary). She was also the office manager (2015-2019) to Mark McDonald MSP, who was forced to resign from the Party by its leadership who outlandishly accepted an allegation of sexual harassment against him based on a joke about an autocorrect error in a single text message. It is claimed that she also works for party HQ in a new job which was allegedly not advertised and for which nobody else was interviewed.

NEC Meeting hijacked by LGBTQ activists

The LGBTQ group proposed that the SNP’s eight regional lists for the Scottish parliamentary election should include in top place, either a *BAME or a disabled candidate. Four regions would be allocated a BAME person and the other four a disabled person. The proposal carried the rider that disabled status should be by self-identification with no confirmatory checking being carried out.

The proposal was debated at some length since many members believed it would be illegal to adopt the proposal under equalities law. The matter was deferred and referred to the Party’s legal counsel, Jonathan Mitchell QC who warned that the policy was legally dubious and open to challenge in the courts and any case brought by a person disadvantaged by the rule would probably succeed, and cost the SNP tens of thousands of pounds in legal expenses.

But the LGBTQ group insisted the proposal should be decided by the NEC and its LGBTQ Chair, Kirsten Oswald allowed the matter to be put to a vote.
The vote was tied and it was expected that in compliance with accepted practice the Chair would cast her vote for retention of the status quo. She didn’t and passed the motion placing the Party at great risk of legal and costly claims of discrimination.

Three members announced conflicts of interest before the vote.

  • Fiona Robertson who declared that she intended to seek the top spot on the North-East list as a disabled candidate who was in attendance as a substitute for an NEC member who was unable to attend. Did not recuse herself from the vote.
  • Graham Campbell, a councillor from Glasgow who declared his intention to stand on either the Glasgow or Lothian lists, both of which were to have their top spots reserved for BAME* candidates under the proposal. Campbell, whose partner is SNP MP Anne McLauchlin, did not recuse himself from the vote.
  • Greg McCarra from the Association of Nationalist Councillors (who is neither disabled nor BAME) also declared he was seeking nomination. He did recuse himself from the vote.
  • Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates. The 2011 census identified, 2.66% of the Scottish population as Asian and 0.5% Black and the SNP policy is unfairly discrimatory against Asians. Not a lot of wisdom in directly transferring and implementing American electoral policies in Scotland

Those subsequently included on the protected list for the North East of Scotland included: Fatima Joji, Christian Allard, Fergus Mutch, William Duff, Julie Bell, Nadia El-Nakla, John Cooke, Lynne Short, Gillian Al-Samarai and Joshua Mennie.

Gillian al-Samari

Comments on the North East Scotland list candidates:

Joshua Mennie. See before. Claimed to be disabled suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome

Gillian al-Samari: Councillor for Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone (salary £18K) also worked for Mark McDonald MSP between 2013-2019. McDonald was forced to resign from the Party by its leadership who outlandishly accepted an allegation of sexual harassment against him based on a joke about an autocorrect error in a single text message. Councillor Samari ceased working for McDonald on 23 March 2019 and transferred her employment to Kirsty Blackman MP on 1 May 2019, taking up a position as a caseworker. Her swift transfer was criticised by opposition party’s who accused her of double-dipping” the taxpayer’s purse.

Fatima Joji: Caseworker for Richard Thomson MP. interests: politics and development advocacy. Holds a postgraduate diploma in ‘International Development (Poverty, Inequality & Development). Chair of AIM. Key political statements:

26 May 2021: Unsuccessful in the Scottish election in the North East regional list she tried to address the issue within the party but felt she now needed to speak out after being “harassed for months” with no support from the Party.

On her experience as a candidate for selection in Aberdeenshire West, she said that as a Black candidate it had been mixed. While the local membership was “largely positive” her name had been included in a tweet claiming that Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf had overturned the decision to fail several BAME candidates at vetting, allowing them to stand.

But Joji insisted she had passed vetting without issue. “But I think it did have an impact,” she said of the tweet.

She urged the SNP to address the under-representation of BAME candidates, particularly in areas with large communities of colour through the list system Saying. “I think there is a real opportunity there to turn rhetoric into reality.”

10 Sep 2021: I am SNP because of its progressive and inclusive policies that are built upon the foundations of equality fairness, dignity and respect.

Mennie attacks Kate Forbes

The SNP’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, fell from grace after revelations in the press that he had made sexual advances toward a 16-year-old boy, inundating him with inappropriate Facebook messages and inviting him to meet up.

Mackay resigned on the day he was supposed to present the SNP Government’s budget and the Government’s Public Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, completed the task. Her presentation was excellent and she became the front runner to replace MacKay as Cabinet Secretary for the Economy. But in Mennie’s mind, her proposed appointment, as opposed to Mackay’s resignation, became controversial.

The zealous monomaniac and ferocious tweeter ignored an actual scandal. Mackay, a 42-year-old minister, was tipped to be the next leader of Scotland being forced to resign for grooming a child, to confront an imaginary one. A church-going minister, tipped to be the next Finance Secretary, who believes, as indeed other non-church going ministers also believe, that the legal definition of male and female ought not to be changed without informed public discussion and agreement. He tweeted: “The last thing our party needs is Kate Forbes climbing the ladder when she has such questionable views on equality.”

As evidence of these “questionable” views, he also tweeted: “I’m always concerned when politicians conflate their personal religious beliefs into their work-life to the detriment of others,” confirming a complete lack of self-awareness. His tweet, (since deleted) was his response to a letter published in the press (https://www.thenational.scot/news/19859777.kate-forbes-calls-tolerance-gra-debate) highlighting concerns over the Scottish government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (a law that would replace the legal definition of sex with gender self-declaration).

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The shape of things to come if the GRA bill is passed into law

A man who describes himself as an “animal stuck inside a human body” has decided to abandon his wife and children to live the life of a squirrel in the woods.

Alan Meyers, an electrician and father of two from Dyersburg in Tennessee, has always described himself as a squirrel stuck in a man’s body and has been for years a militant of the transspecies movement.

Meyers was diagnosed with a condition called clinical lycanthropy, a rare psychiatric syndrome that involves a delusion that the affected person can transform into has transformed into or is a non-human animal.

Despite his condition, he had always lived a rather normal life until last week, when he decided to abandon his job and family to live naked in the forest.

His wife Johanna says her husband’s decision was spontaneous and unexpected, even if he talked about being a squirrel for years.

“He always said he felt like a squirrel stuck in a human body and kept hiding food around the house, but I never thought he would abandon us!”

She also fears for his health since temperatures are extremely cold at this time of the year.

“He goes around running naked in the woods and chewing bark and frozen fruits… He could really get sick or die!” 

Johanna Meyers is afraid her husband could get sick or die if he keeps living naked in the woods.

Meyers’ wife and two children are afraid that he could get sick or die if he keeps living naked in the woods.

The transspecies movement has gained in popularity in recent years and an increasing number of cases of people choosing to live as animals have attracted the attention of the media over recent years.

According to experts, only a small portion of those, like Meyers, actually suffer from medical conditions explaining their lifestyle, while others choose to live this way.

A man convinced he was a pelican attracted some attention on the issue last year after he jumped off a 45-story building and died in New Jersey, thinking he could fly.

According to official statistics, between 3,000 and 5,000 Americans consider themselves to be “transspecies”.

Nov 2021: Trans species man who identifies as a squirrel arrested for stealing two 20 ton peanut trucks

A trans-species man who lives in the woods as a squirrel was arrested this morning by deputies of the Bacon County Sheriff’s Department for hijacking two trucks containing more than twenty tons of peanuts each. 49-year old Barry Wilde is a well known trans-species activist who spends most of his time living the life of a squirrel in 460 acres of wooded area that his parents own in central Georgia. Although he claims to live off the land by eating wild fruits, mushrooms and pine nuts, he’s accused of complementing his food supply with more than 42 tons of peanuts, stolen during two violent heists near Macon in Georgia.

Deputy Eric Smith of the Bacon County Sheriff’s Department, said: “We found two huge heaps of peanuts during our search of the property. We believe he may have already buried half of it in his preparation for winter, as a squirrel would. the accused borrowed a car, a rifle and two pistols from his parent’s home without their knowledge, and used them to hijack two trucks filled with peanuts at gunpoint. Everything used in the robbery can be linked to his parents. Even the rope he used to tie up the drivers was bought by his mother for their home’s flagpole just days before the crimes. The stolen trucks have yet to be recovered.”

(worldnewsdailyreport)

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Oligarch President Zelensky was elected to office on a vow to end dismantle the power of corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs who illegally transfer the wealth of the nation to personal off-shore accounts and properties all over the world. But he is one of 38 Ukrainian oligarchs who continue to do this.

May 2019: Ukraine Anti-Corruption President Elected

Ukraine from the date of its independence in 1991 has had five presidents. The political legacy of all was one of political intrigues, corruption, dancing to the tunes of oligarchs and foreign powers and devoid of any popular support from the long-suffering and impoverished Ukrainian people.

The present incumbent is 41 year old, Jewish born Volodymyr Zelensky, who before taking on the role of President on 20 May 2019 enjoyed a career in the entertainment industry including participation in a popular televised comic student-led quiz show the success of which provided him with public exposure as a comedian, actor and screenwriter.

In his campaign for the Presidency, he declined to align himself with any political policies in preference for popularist addresses to the public in which he said that he represented a fresh start for Ukraine and he would end the graft, criminal influence and power of corrupt politicians and oligarchs who illegally transferred the wealth of the nation to personal off-shore accounts and properties all over the world.

Stewart McDonald — Scottish National Party

Aug 2019: Stewart McDonald MP for Glasgow South

Stewart McDonald’s interest in Ukraine and Russia is quite remarkable.

Until 2018, he showed little or no interest in the countries, but then, following an opaquely funded and organized jolly to Ukraine, he suddenly transformed into an ardent opponent of Moscow.

He also became a passionate supporter of the British establishment’s position on foreign policy.

Perhaps it was the chicken Kyiv that turned his head. But he was rewarded for his efforts with the presentation of the “Third Class of the Order of Merit of Ukrainian” award from President Zelensky for his significant personal contribution to strengthening the international prestige of Ukraine, the development of interstate cooperation and fruitful public activities.

Independence, Brexit and Scotlands Future | A Discussion with Alyn Smith MP  and Stewart McDonald MP | 177 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9EE, United  Kingdom | October 1, 2021

Oct 2021: President Zelensky and the Pandora Papers

As the avatar of reform, Zelensky promised to take down the oligarchs with their untouchable offshore assets and break their magic walls of influence throughout the country.

But Some things never change in Ukrainian politics, where power brokers with offshore wealth hold the reins. The revelation that Zelensky has his own impregnable offshore assets of ambiguous legality is yet another blow to his already damaged reputation.

The 12 million files analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed, among others, the international financial schemes of 38 highly placed Ukrainians, the most of any country.

The papers show that Zelensky and his friends set up their chain of offshore companies long before they ever considered going into politics.

When Zelensky was about to be elected president in 2019, he handed his share over to his closest adviser, Serhiy Shefir. But the papers revealed that under the arrangement, dividends would keep flowing to a company owned by Zelensky’s wife Olena.

Much of these assets went undeclared. What’s also troubling is that there’s also evidence that Zelensky’s offshore companies received payments from entities connected to Ihor Kolomoisky, the billionaire oligarch that airs Zelensky’s shows. Some of that money may have been stolen by Kolomoisky through PrivatBank from Ukrainians.

Thus far, Kolomoisky has faced no criminal charges in the $5.5 billion bank fraud that forced Ukraine to bail out the nation’s largest bank and take ownership in 2016, although he faces civil lawsuits and at least one criminal investigation in the U.S.

These revelations show that far from being different, Zelensky is a lot like his arch-rival, the oligarch and former President Petro Poroshenko, who was revealed to have a massive offshore network in the previous Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Zelensky is not dissimilar to other oligarchs he vowed to take down.

More here: https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/self-servant-of-the-people-zelenskys-offshore-schemes.html

Ukrainian, US presidents discuss regional security over phone - Daily News  Egypt
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Some Scots may be loyal to Scotland and to the United Kingdom but the English are loyal only to England for them there is no distinction between England and Britain-it is all just England 

BBC Journalist Gavin Esler

A Scot living in England Gavin William James Esler was a journalist, television presenter and author. He fronted Newsnight on BBC2 from 2003 until 2014 when he took on the role of Chancellor of the University of Kent. A confirmed Unionist he stood for election for the pro-remain party, Change UK in the 2019 UK General Election

In November 2013, at the University of Kent, he delivered a lecture on the subject of a programme he produced for the BBC. This article is taken from that lecture:

There are those who believe that Britain has had its day. There are now four significant parliaments or assemblies in the United Kingdom: Edinburgh, Belfast, sometimes Cardiff, and London. The monarchy and those other great British institutions – the Military, the Churches, the National Health Service, the BBC, the nationalised industries – have been eroded or forced to change, or they have gone completely. Now we have a prospect of a common European currency and greater power going to Brussels. But is it really UK RIP?

I spent last year trying to find out. I started in the Scottish Highlands and went via Glasgow, Ibrox Stadium, Edinburgh and the new Parliament down to Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells, then over to the Welsh valleys and Northern Ireland. One thing that really struck me was how lucky we are.

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‘Brits’ caused quite a stir when, at the beginning of last year, the Home Secretary, Jack Straw told me that in his view, ‘the English are potentially very aggressive, very violent and of course, we have used that propensity to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland and then we used it in Europe and with our Empire.

You have within the UK three small nations under the cosh of the English. These small nations have inevitably sought expression by a very explicit idea of nationhood. You have this very dominant other nation England, ten times bigger than the others, which is self-confident and therefore has no reason to be explicit about it.

I think as we move into this new century,’ Mr Straw went on, ‘people’s sense of Englishness will become more articulate, and that’s partly because of the mirror that devolution provides us and partly because we’re becoming more European’.

After the Scottish referendum.

Why did these remarks cause such a furore? Jack Straw was born in Essex. He represents a Blackburn constituency, and in many ways seems the quintessential Englishman. Yet he was called anti-English by quite a few newspapers.

It may have been more politically wise to tone down some of the phrasings, but wasn’t Mr Straw merely pointing out the obvious? – that the English didn’t conquer the world just by playing cricket and having cucumber sandwiches. And the Scots or Welsh or Irish have frequently joined in this great enterprise and profited greatly from it. Complaints about the disproportionate number of Scots in the Cabinet have a history going back 200 years!

blair_for_president.1

While making this radio series I would ask English interviewees to tell me the date of St George’s Day. Most people had no idea; I was even assured by one group in Tunbridge Wells that it was 17 March (St Patrick’s Day.) The only two people I met for the series who did know the date for St George’s day were Jack Straw and a columnist for the Daily Mail called Simon Heffer who then wrote articles about why Jack Straw was an idiot!

In North London, I came across a counselling group of intelligent, well-educated, middle-income, left-wing English men and women. They spent some of their time, in this counselling group, discussing problems they had with their English identities.

They all found it easy to think of negative stereotypes of England: the lager lout, foreigner-haters, imperialists. I reminded them that whatever their flaws, the English had, for example, started the RSPCA; they were uniquely tolerant of immigrants, and they had an extraordinary cultural history.

Jack Straw told me, ‘we should stop apologising for being English and celebrate the country’s huge achievements – the industrialisation of the world, the development of institutions, the literature, music and poetry we have brought to the world. At the same time, we should recognise the downside of being English – this aggressive, jingoistic streak – and try to eliminate it.

chancellors_prize

Some of those English people I interviewed about their sense of identity, strangely to me anyway, spoke of the United Kingdom in the past tense with a sense of loss. Britain or the United Kingdom was dead, they suggested, thanks to the Scots and the Welsh.

This attitude was summed up by Sir Roy Strong who had just completed a book on the cultural history of Britain, ‘In Scotland and Wales, Sir Roy said ‘you have the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Museum of Wales, the National Gallery of Wales, but there is no National Gallery of England. You see the word English attached to very little.’

It is worth reminding ourselves of some of the reasons why the historian Norman Davies and others have concluded that Britain is ‘in a terminal phase’. Britain was an invention after the Union of Crowns in 1603 and has been re-invented repeatedly in the Union of Parliament in 1707, after union with Ireland in 1801, when the Irish Free States seceeded in 1922 and then around the Welfare State in the 1940s.

Historian Linda Colley said that what kept us together were three things that don’t seem relevant to most people now: Protestantism, Empire and War. You could add, in this century, the national industries the Coal Board, British Steel, British Rail and the great Unions.

Now the nationalised industries have gone, the Unions have lost much of their power and that other glue, Socialism, which knitted together working-class people from Glasgow to the Welsh valleys has also cracked apart.

There is, as we all know, no shared British football team or football league. There is no common legal system, no national British church, no national anthem. Nonetheless, I am unconvinced of the inevitability of the break-up of the United Kingdom.

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Professor of Government at Oxford University Vernon Bogden told me, ‘Britishness is not an artificial construct, but something deeply organic. It would need more than devolution to undermine the attachment to the British state. We are the most Euro-sceptic country in the EU. That’s a sign of the organic sense of Britishness that still survives.’

What else? There is a certain nostalgia. In a British Legion Club in Cardiff a wonderful World War II veteran, Tony Jones, explained to me why he ripped up his exemption papers to fight Hitler, ‘not because I was Welsh,’ Tony Jones said, ‘but because I was British. We were defending this island – Scots, Welsh, English. We were all the same when it came to the last war.’

Britain is not unique in questioning its continuing status as a nation-state. In the case of the former Soviet Union or Indonesia or Yugoslavia, ‘nation state’ means not a lot. But many other nations are re-inventing themselves in ways that do have a parallel for us. A generation ago Spain and Ireland both had appalling images of backwardness with poor, agriculture-based economies. One was a semi-Fascist dictatorship and both were bastions of traditional Catholicism.

Now Ireland, as we all know, has re-invented itself as the ‘Celtic Tiger’ and Spain has obviously thrown off the Franco image. In Barcelona where the Mayor’s office carries three flags; those of the City of Barcelona, the region of Catalonia and the Spanish national flag. The Mayor, educated in Edinburgh, suggested to me that it was a British notion that devolution meant the country would fall apart. He believed that the result would be exactly the opposite.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, one of the most prominent and outspoken Unionists in Labour, put it to me this way. ‘A lot of this debate is based on a misapprehension that without an institutional formula the UK could break up.

But Britain exists because people want it to exist. Gordon Brown and William Hague believe that all kinds of values – fair play, tolerance, self-reliance, decency, inventiveness, enterprise, a sense of personal privacy, love of the eccentric, a sense of humour – somehow keep Britain together.

As I travelled across the country quite often I’d hear the same complaints. Too many Scots in important positions; it was unfair for Scottish and Welsh politicians to vote on issues affecting them in devolved parliaments but also to vote on issues affecting England. Disproportionate amounts of taxpayers’ money were being spent on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

westminster-rigged-scottish-independence-vote

Let me point to what I think is more important than all this: something which does keep up altogether and that’s a shared sense of British culture in its wider sense. This has been reflected, it seems to me, by the Tate Gallery, which in March this year split into two: Tate Modern and Tate Britain. I suggested to Stephen Dukar who is the Director of Tate Britain that to some people Tate Britain might seem a daft idea because if Britain really is dead he has named his gallery after the corpse. He responded that it was a perfect moment to engage in a debate about what British art might mean, whether Britain was any longer a valid concept and how it was changing. He saw Tate Britain as contributing to the new debate in the 21st century about the relationships within these islands.

YOU WILL

Modern British culture is so diverse and inventive it stretches from John Le Carré to Bryn Terfyll to Dwight York, from the Royal Opera House to your local Balti house, from Glasgow Rangers to Chelsea. Fans from Northern Ireland travel every week to football games in Glasgow, in Manchester, in Liverpool. TV sets in the Irish Republic will tune in to the BBC. Eastenders and Coronation Street, English soap operas, remain British institutions in Glasgow and Cardiff and Belfast. Even the historian Norman Davies, one of those who said that the British state was on its last legs, concedes that British culture, in its widest sense, will remain robust.

Pensioners-in-Scotland

What is it that has kept the idea of Scotland as a nation alive for 400 years and does it offer a clue about Britishness? Why do most Scots, including myself (despite the fact I’ve lived outside Scotland for longer than I’ve lived in it), still feel Scottish in one way or another – despite the power of the greatest empire the world has ever known, the British Empire, despite the drift of so many Scots southwards to help run that Empire, and despite the superior cultural power of England.

Each of these three smaller nations was never completely overwhelmed by England or by the British State because in some small corner of our hearts most of us retain the belief that we were still Scots too, or Welsh or Irish even when we were British.

The question for the future it seems to me is whether the idea of being British will continue to reside in some small corner of our hearts. If it does, Britain will somehow be reinvented. If it ceases to be important to us, then no matter what constitutional arrangements we make, Britain will die. https://www.kent.ac.uk/alumni/pdf/kent36.pdf

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Sometimes the truth is the biggest threat when exposure threatens a certain group. Such groups could be guilty of subverting the rule of law and this brings with it the possibility that someone will be going to jail over the truth and it shouldn’t have been Craig Murray

The judgement of Lady Dorrian

The arbitrary judgement of Lady Dorrian introducing a division of accountability between journalists of the “new media” and “mainstream media”, needs to be challenged and set aside since its retention as a legal judgement will establish dangerous precedence in Scottish law. The glaring flaw in her pronouncements is that control of media is retained by Westminster and online safety legislation is clearly at odds with her views.

Extract: Craig Murray’s report on his appeal hearing 23 February 2022

Lord Matthews said that the protection quoted in the ECHR case extended to investigative journalism and this was not investigative journalism. It said this applied to press offences, but was this a press offence? Was I a journalist?

Lord Woolman asked whether, if I could be called a journalist, did that mean just anybody could be a journalist who published on social media?

Dunlop replied anybody who was fulfilling the role of a public watchdog, according to the European Court of Human Rights.

Lord Pentland said that particular judgement appeared to refer to NGOs rather than individuals.

Dunlop said it specifically included bloggers.

Pentland said he thought it mainly meant NGO but they would look at it.

(https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2022/02/your-man-with-the-petition-my-appeal-against-imprisonment-for-journalism-23-february)

Comment: Dearie me!!! and this lot sit in judgement!!

2021: The online-safety-bill-journalism-safeguards

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that citizen journalists will have the same protections for their work as professional news providers. (https://pressgazette.co.uk/online-safety-bill-journalism-safeguards)

2014- Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

The High Commissioner stated that sound, bold and independent journalism was vital in any democratic society. It drove the right to hold and express opinions and the right to seek, impart and receive information and ideas; it ensured transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs and other matters of public interest; and was the lifeblood that fuels the full and informed participation of all individuals in political life and decision-making processes.

The Security Council, in its resolution 1738 (2006), the General Assembly, in its resolution 68/163, and the Human Rights Council, in its resolution 21/12, had all condemned attacks against journalists. They had called upon all States to act on their legal obligations to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists so that they were able to perform their work independently and without undue interference.

States must create an enabling environment in which the rights of journalists and other members of society could be fully respected, with clear and public agreement by officials that issues of public interest could, and should, be examined and discussed openly in the media.

On the question of who could be considered a journalist, the High Commissioner confirmed that, from a human rights perspective, all individuals were entitled to the full protection of their human rights whether the State recognized them as journalists or not; whether they were professional reporters or “citizen journalists”; whether or not they had a degree in journalism; and whether they reported online or offline. In this context, she reminded the Council that the Human Rights Committee had, in its general comment no. 34, defined journalism as “a function shared by a wide range of actors, including professional full-time reporters and analysts, as well as bloggers and others who engage in forms of self-publication in print, on the Internet or elsewhere”.

When fear prompts journalists to self-censor, the free flow of information is impaired, and the public is deprived of reliable, critical and independent information. States had both a duty to respect and a duty to protect journalists, who should be able to carry out their work unhindered and without fear. Governments were called upon to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists, online as well as offline, so that they could perform their work independently, without undue interference and without fear of censorship, persecution or prosecution. This required political will, as well as legal and judicial measures, but also the fostering of a culture of respect for the critical role of the media in any democracy.

Speakers noted that bloggers, online journalists and citizen journalists played an important role in the promotion of human rights. Threats and attacks against such actors, including through their unlawful or arbitrary detention, were condemned. Delegates stated that the protection of journalists should cover all news providers, both professional and non-professional. (https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/regularsessions/session27/documents/a-hrc-27-35_en.doc)

Comment: Sometimes the truth is the biggest threat when exposure threatens a certain group. Such groups could be guilty of subverting the rule of law and this brings with it the possibility that someone will be going to jail over the truth and it shouldn’t be the Blogger.