Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

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Edinburgh01
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Edinburgh01 »

Biffer29 wrote:
Edinburgh01 wrote:
Biffer29 wrote:
HKCJ wrote:Shared as in disgusted? I just don’t understand how anyone views the desecration of a Scottish monument as somehow pro Union. Unionists aren’t anti Scottish they’re pro British. Even the lunatic fringe of unionist among the Rangers fans still proudly go to Scotland games. Just seems crazy to me that they think a unionist would really write ‘Black lives matter’ on our national hero’s monument as some kind of political statement. Do tin foil hats come in tartan?
Some of the loonies on the union side loved it. The orange walk, covered with rangers tattoos, nationalists should all be arrested as traitors and shot mob.
I am staggered and saddened by the complete lack of knowledge on show on this and other social media threads I have dipped into.

One of my favourites was ' Bruce can't have been a racist as the slave trade happened after he died'.
Are you saying that mob doesn’t exist?
I could not understand your post till I re-read mine.

I meant to say : 'I am staggered and saddened by the complete lack of knowledge on show on this and other topics on social media threads I have dipped into.'
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by BlackMac »

Edinburgh01 wrote:
Biffer29 wrote:
Edinburgh01 wrote:
Biffer29 wrote:
HKCJ wrote:Shared as in disgusted? I just don’t understand how anyone views the desecration of a Scottish monument as somehow pro Union. Unionists aren’t anti Scottish they’re pro British. Even the lunatic fringe of unionist among the Rangers fans still proudly go to Scotland games. Just seems crazy to me that they think a unionist would really write ‘Black lives matter’ on our national hero’s monument as some kind of political statement. Do tin foil hats come in tartan?
Some of the loonies on the union side loved it. The orange walk, covered with rangers tattoos, nationalists should all be arrested as traitors and shot mob.
I am staggered and saddened by the complete lack of knowledge on show on this and other social media threads I have dipped into.

One of my favourites was ' Bruce can't have been a racist as the slave trade happened after he died'.
Are you saying that mob doesn’t exist?
I could not understand your post till I re-read mine.

I meant to say : 'I am staggered and saddened by the complete lack of knowledge on show on this and other topics on social media threads I have dipped into.'

It's amazing how gullible this generation are to the validity of what they see on the internet. My youngest has taken to the BLM cause big style and is convinced that about 200 deaths have been covered up at Grenfell. Trying to explain that political will does not have that sort of influence and asking her to consider other things like why we did not have 200 additional missing persons reports from that night was just bloody exhausting.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

Today’s Times, interesting development with the GMB wading in against the SNP’s economic record.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scot ... -jdgfb3flg
GMB Scotland’s Gary Smith urges SNP to kick-start industrial recovery
The head of one of Scotland’s biggest trade unions has launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s record in government, accusing it of “empty rhetoric” and leading workers “up the garden path” to distract from its economic failures.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland secretary, said the SNP’s failure to address Scotland’s industrial decline was “one of the biggest failures of the devolution era”.

The union boss, whose members work across Scotland’s key economic sectors, from manufacturing to healthcare, called on the Scottish government to produce and implement a “practical” industrial strategy for Scotland’s post-Covid-19 economy focused on creating skilled jobs. “The inability of the Scottish government to present an industrial plan for Scotland came home to roost in the coronavirus crisis,” Smith said.

“The parliament has strayed too far from its core industrial purposes. It was meant to be a bulwark against the industrial vandalism of Thatcherism and a vanguard for Scotland’s industrial recovery. But it has been a failure on both counts and has led us to a point where we have to look to manufacturers abroad to provide basic PPE for the NHS and the social care sector, two of our biggest employers.”

Smith criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to green energy schemes, which he said were creating jobs abroad rather than Scotland. Official figures show there are just 1,700 full-time jobs in Scotland’s offshore wind sector.


He said: “We need to invest in our manufacturing supply chains so Scotland can compete for the lion’s share of work from our own billion-pound renewables projects.”

Smith said it was imperative Holyrood now focused on creating the right conditions for investment to attract companies capable of providing skilled employment. “That means we can rebuild our tax base and invest in the public services we need,” he said.

“Scotland’s political class needs to stop talking about what we could be, and instead concentrate on what we can be.”

The broadside comes as Holyrood is being criticised for a number of failures in the pandemic. Sturgeon has been reluctant to accelerate the reopening of the economy, despite pleas from employers, most notably construction firms and the tourism and hospitality industry. Many businesses fear they will not survive the shutdown if it continues.

The Scottish government said it has made significant investment in innovation and research and development over the past few years, and provided £75m to create the National Manufacturing Institute. It has also established a £62m Energy Transition Fund to support the transition of the oil and gas industry into a low-carbon and renewables industrial base.
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Edinburgh01
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Edinburgh01 »

That would be the GMB union that is a staunch Labour supporter and has donated large sums of money to them.

To be fair, Smith has taken a couple of pops at Labour as well, but whilst I have some sympathy with a couple of his points, he loses credibility when he starts banging on about Scotland not manufacturing PPE as a failure of the SNP, as if it was clear and obvious that every country needs its own PPE manufacturing capability.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

Edinburgh01 wrote:That would be the GMB union that is a staunch Labour supporter and has donated large sums of money to them.

To be fair, Smith has taken a couple of pops at Labour as well, but whilst I have some sympathy with a couple of his points, he loses credibility when he starts banging on about Scotland not manufacturing PPE as a failure of the SNP, as if it was clear and obvious that every country needs its own PPE manufacturing capability.
It’s more that the SNP usually have the Unions onside so this was a bit of a surprise to me. Obviously not as tight as Labour are with the unions.

Agree on PPE, that is also a UK failing where we have outsourced so much that we don’t really have “key strategic industries” that have been protected for this sort of thing.

Other than that for a unionite it was interesting to see more thought on the economic front as opposed to just banging on about workers rights, more pay etc
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by HKCJ »

One of what I considered my very good friends in Edinburgh who was always a bit leftie leaning resulting in fairly robust discussions at dinner parties etc has gone full on Black lives Matter and pro SNP in the last week as if they were somehow connected. Yesterday she posted some statements on Twitter that I thought were a bit OTT like ‘if you voted Tory you’re a racist sympathiser’ to which I messaged her ‘You know I’m a Tory Unionist right?’ and I see she has defriended me :lol: What’s wrong with having some discourse? To quite Jed Bartlett ‘is it possible to be both astonished and not surprised at the same time’
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Caley_Red »

HKCJ wrote:One of what I considered my very good friends in Edinburgh who was always a bit leftie leaning resulting in fairly robust discussions at dinner parties etc has gone full on Black lives Matter and pro SNP in the last week as if they were somehow connected. Yesterday she posted some statements on Twitter that I thought were a bit OTT like ‘if you voted Tory you’re a racist sympathiser’ to which I messaged her ‘You know I’m a Tory Unionist right?’ and I see she has defriended me :lol: What’s wrong with having some discourse? To quite Jed Bartlett ‘is it possible to be both astonished and not surprised at the same time’
Douglas Murray's lead article in the Speccie will be of interest then (posted below).

Extraordinarily puerile and childish stuff on her part.
.
In defence of liberalism: resisting a new era of intolerance

It has become fashionable in recent years to talk of the death of liberalism but as crowds high on the octane of generational self-righteousness rampage through major cities, the evidence mounts. The growing intolerance of freedom of thought, the inability to talk across divides, the way that most of the British establishment, police included, feels the need to pledge fealty to the cause — as though all terrified of ending up on the wrong side — points to a crisis of more than confidence. It is evidence of an underlying morbidity.

Each day the cultural revolution is picking up a pace, with the iconoclasts who attacked the Cenotaph and the statue of Winston Churchill looking for new focuses for their rage. The University of Liverpool has announced that its Gladstone halls of residence will be renamed after protestors pointed out that the former prime minister’s father had owned slaves. So there goes the ‘sins of the father’ ethic too. Nervous broadcasters have started removing programmes ahead of any stampede, with the BBC withdrawing Little Britain and HBO taking out Gone with the Wind from their streaming services in case the woke eye of Sauron flashes on them.

What we are seeing is nothing more or less than the death of the liberal ideal.

Of course ‘liberalism’ was always a broadly defined term; a definition made only vaguer by Americans making it synonymous with ‘left-wing’. But in the truest political sense it encapsulates most of the foundations of our political order, including (though not limited to) equality, the rule of law and freedom — including the freedom of speech that allows good ideas to win out. In the past few years, left-wing critics have been keen to identify what they see as the erasure of liberal democracy by popularly elected leaders on the political right. But in our own country, the much more serious assault on political liberalism comes not from the conservative right, but from the radical left.

Over the past couple of weeks, well-meaning people have poured almost a million pounds into the coffers of Black Lives Matter UK in the belief that they are helping a movement that will help black people. In fact they have funded a deeply radical movement. On its own fundraising page, BLM UK describes its aims as: ‘to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures.’ So as well as dismantling a nonexistent menace (‘imperialism’) it intends to bring down the economy and completely alter relations between the sexes (negatively characterised as ‘patriarchy’). This is not liberalism, but far-left radicalism of a kind that has become very familiar of late.

Some people watching events of recent days will have been surprised by how far and fast such sentiments have run. By the sight of a mob in Bristol tearing down a statue and then jumping on it. By a Labour MP saying: ‘I celebrate these acts of resistance. We need a movement that will tear down systemic racism.’ By the ranks of British police who could find no way to respond to this behaviour other than (in a newly invented act of faith) to ‘take the knee’ before it. And then there is the media, which has chosen to provide cover for such violence and purge from their ranks not just people who dissent from it but, in the case of the New York Times a few days ago, anyone who helps publish someone who dissents.

As one of the last liberals left at that newspaper, Bari Weiss, explained it last week, the over-forties in the news business (like so many others) imagined that the people coming up under them shared their liberal worldview. Then they discovered that these young people believed in ‘safetyism’ over liberalism, and ‘the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe’ over ‘what were considered core liberal values, like free speech’. Actually the divide is even bigger than that, and now encompasses nearly everything. Where the liberal mind is inquiring, the woke mind is dogmatic. Where the liberal mind is capable of humility, the woke mind is capable of none. Where the liberal mind is able to forgive, the woke mind believes that to have erred just once is cause enough to be ‘cancelled’. And while the liberal mind inherited the idea of loving your neighbour, the woke mind positively itches to cast the first stone.

Readers of The Spectator have known this was coming. When this magazine first wrote about the Stepford Students, it was asked why we take this so seriously — surely the students would grow up? And they did: but they didn’t change. The virtue-signalling of large corporations — the growing legions of diversity officers and ‘implicit bias training’ — was also written off as the silliness of the corporate world. When we described the mandatory requirement in government to prove a ‘commitment to diversity’ in order to be eligible for any public appointment, it was greeted with the same dismissal. As the American journalist Andrew Sullivan (himself now seemingly muzzled, if not cancelled) put it two years ago: ‘We all live on campus now.’

Step by step, the UK came to have a public and private sector dedicated to the implementation of views which are barely distinguishable from those of the protestors who took to the streets in the past week or two. It’s an ethic which demands that our society play a set of impossible, unwinnable games of identity and ‘privilege’ that not only subvert but end any idea of tolerance.


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All of this emanates from those who come out of university educated to loathe our society, believing it to be characterised by the oppression of certain groups by other groups: a shameful history and a shameful present. Today these people head into professions where their language of aggressive superiority (‘Educate yourself’) is used to intimidate their elders, force every-one to agree with their point of view and otherwise make themselves unsackable.

As with all movements that catch, they aren’t on to nothing. Inequalities and inequities do exist, here as in all societies. Reasonable people disagree about how to address this. But the new illiberal radicals do not share that worry. For them, every inequity that exists (financial, familial, social, neurological) is the result of the same thing: discrimination. A thing we must ‘tackle’, ‘eradicate’ and otherwise cleanse from existence. There’s an awful lot of work to do.

Even the woke analysis of history that now sees them scouring the land for more statues to assault is radically different from that of the liberal mind. Liberals understand that people in history acted with the knowledge they had at the time, and that the task of those looking back is to look on it with understanding, not least in the hope of being understood in turn. The woke mind abhors this. It knows that it is right, and that everybody before this year zero was a bigot. After the weekend’s vandalism against London monuments, the capital’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that his ‘Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm’ would sit in judgment on all racist statues in the capital. Within hours, the Museum of London had already brought in the cranes to remove an errant statue on West India Quay.

In such ways has the free exchange of ideas about our past and present been replaced by a series of demands and assertions that demand everyone else’s compliance. ‘Silence is violence’ is one favoured line, meaning that if you do not agree with the radicals, you are perpetrating an act of violence. Naturally this assertion comes from the same people who have spent a lot of time asserting that words (such as ‘mis-gendering’ someone) are violence. While the violence of the past few days is not violence.

It is on the lip of this trap that our representatives and public figures have teetered over the past week or two, unable to work out how they can avoid a step they intuit to be deadly. What they need to do is pause and fundamentally change the terms, basing their appeal not just on reason but on a truly liberal spirit. It should be one which emphasises that the claims being made are unjust. It is unjust to portray the whole of American society, in all of its complexity, as typified by a policeman who is awaiting trial for murder. And it is even more unjust to think that his actions reveal some deep truth about the British police, or the British state, let alone everybody who is white. Equally, it is not just unjust but vindictive to pretend that any contradiction of your world view is merely a display of ‘white privilege’, ‘white fragility’ or ‘white tears’.

Unwittingly or otherwise, those who use these terms subvert one of the last great additions to liberal thought: that aspiration expressed by Dr Martin Luther King half a century ago. For when Dr King talked about the need to judge a person by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skin, he gave us something that was not just a great moral insight but — in an increasingly diverse society — the only solution. A year before his death, Dr King gave a speech titled ‘Where do we go from here?’ in which he said: ‘Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout, “White Power!”, when nobody will shout, “Black Power!”, but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.’

The people who have come after Dr King have spent years busily inverting that dream. In the name of black agency they try to deny white people agency. In the name of assailing white supremacy they end up by asserting black supremacy. And in order to make up for the sufferings of people who are no longer alive they demand vast wealth transfers today based on racial grouping. It is hard to imagine a more divisive programme, all carried out in the name of anti-racism. What they are actually doing is busily re-racialising our societies. Which is how you come to the situation where a cabinet minister is quizzed on Sky News about the precise ethno-racial composition of the British cabinet and certain ‘anti-racists’ can be found on social media noting with disapproval the number of people of Asian descent in the cabinet.

Any movement that says ‘Things are so bad that this whole thing needs to be pulled down’ should be encouraged to realise, before they have to experience it, the cost of what they are abandoning. And to remember the central truth about how much easier it is to pull down than it is to build. They must be responded to by people of every skin colour and background with a polite but firm ‘No’. Not just because the things that they are attempting to pull down include the only things that are capable of holding us all up. But because if everything that got us here was so bad, then what we are living in wouldn’t be so unusually good.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

Thought this was also a good piece on the theme:
The good news is that, at last, later than might have been ideal but better late than not at all, the coronavirus is being suppressed. The bad news is that things are going to get a lot worse before they can get better. The latest economic figures are a disaster. GDP has collapsed by 25% since Covid-19 landed. To put this into perspective, that is a fall four to five times greater than that experienced during the 2008 financial crisis. As Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, admits: “Things are going to be really difficult.” This is the understatement of the political year.

This calamity might have been unavoidable but now we must do what can be done to mitigate its impact. We shall do this while knowing that whatever we do will not be enough. The economic taps have been turned off and, while they have been quiet, the reservoirs have dried up. Turning the economy back on doesn’t mean water will follow but, right now, the supply of economic activity must come before the demand for it.

It should now be obvious that this is a matter of significant urgency. More than 750,000 people in Scotland are being supported by the Treasury’s various employment and income support schemes. Many, far too many, of those jobs are going to disappear. And the longer the government waits to reopen parts of the economy, the greater the number of jobs will go. Otherwise sound firms that can cope with three months of inactivity cannot survive being effectively closed for six months.

Nicola Sturgeon usually remembers to nod to the importance of the economy but it is not unfair to note that, as a matter of political instinct and preference, the first minister is more comfortable with the public and third sectors than with private enterprise. At a theoretical level, Sturgeon understands the importance of the economy but she does not, I think, feel it in her bones.

But almost everything the first minister values depends on private enterprise. The state is funded by the proceeds of consumption and profit. Remove those, and everything else collapses. The NHS, pensions, welfare, education — all of it is underpinned by enterprise of one sort or another. Too many people in public life in Scotland appear incapable of grasping this.

That scarcely means the interests of business must always come first. Nor does it require one to advocate unfettered or unregulated capitalism. It merely requires one to note that, without economic recovery, there is no societal recovery. As Forbes told the BBC last week: “There is no public sector without a thriving private sector.”

She should have a word with some of her colleagues, too many of whom subscribe to the fashionable idiocy that we can in the future spend more money without the burden of earning it in the first place. The Green Party is already actively hostile to economic growth but this virus is spreading among members of other parties too.

So you might think that mitigating this economic calamity would be an urgent, even all-consuming, matter for the Scottish government. If so, you might be mistaken. There is, it is true, a cabinet subcommittee charged with monitoring the economic impact of this emergency. It meets but once a week.

The Scottish government has also established an “advisory group on economic recovery” chaired by Benny Higgins, a former chief of Tesco Bank. I mean no disrespect to the group’s other members — who include the economist John Kay; Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University; and Grahame Smith, the outgoing general secretary of the Scottish TUC — if I note that Higgins is the only member of the panel with extensive private sector experience. Of the eight panellists, four are academics, one a trade unionist, and two have spent almost their entire careers in the public sector.

A summary of the group’s most recent meeting noted that among the “key points” raised were “opportunities for carbon capture and sequestration” as part of “delivering” on the government’s “commitment to meet its net zero emissions goal”, and presentations on what Scotland can offer “future international and trading and investment partners to help in the green recovery towards a wellbeing economy”. Doubtless these are worthy
long-term aspirations but not, perhaps, ones that meet the fierce urgency of now.

At its most basic level, a “wellbeing economy” is one in which people have jobs. Allowing parts of the tourism industry to reopen next month, rather than in August, is a welcome start but also an insufficient one. There is a balance of risk that must be weighed. Previously that balance weighed in favour of lockdown. Public health had to come first.
Now that balance begins to tilt in the other direction. As the virus is suppressed — some parts of Scotland now have vanishingly few cases — so the task becomes one of protecting livelihoods.

We could go further and faster on this front. The available evidence suggests a one-metre social distancing rule doubles the risk of infection when compared with a two-metre requirement. That sounds dramatic but, we are told, actually means the risk increases from an estimated 1.5% to about 3%. Not nothing, but not everything either.

Other risks must be measured. In many sectors, including hospitality and retail, insisting on two metres of social distancing rather than one likely halves the number of businesses that can return to even an approximation of normal trading. For many that will be the difference between limping along, wounded but alive, and going out of business. The public health risks remain real, but they are declining just as the economic risks are increasing.

The World Health Organisation suggests that, all things considered, one metre of social distancing suffices. Other countries agree. It is not yet apparent why the United Kingdom, including Scotland, disagrees.

All of which leaves Scotland with the possibility that it will suffer more than is required. As Forbes puts it, “there is a risk of the economic impact being very disproportionate” and hitting Scotland worse than other parts of the UK. If so, this will, in due measure, be both because of decisions taken by the Scottish government and a reflection on the lack of urgency with which it has met the economic half of this emergency.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by I like haggis »

I think where Douglas Murray is wrong is liberalism isn't a set of defined values. It changes with generations change as outlooks, circumstances and the world changes. A lot changes in 10 years. He does touch on it always being loosely defined but I think it lacks any definition whatsoever.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
Edinburgh01 wrote:That would be the GMB union that is a staunch Labour supporter and has donated large sums of money to them.

To be fair, Smith has taken a couple of pops at Labour as well, but whilst I have some sympathy with a couple of his points, he loses credibility when he starts banging on about Scotland not manufacturing PPE as a failure of the SNP, as if it was clear and obvious that every country needs its own PPE manufacturing capability.
It’s more that the SNP usually have the Unions onside so this was a bit of a surprise to me. Obviously not as tight as Labour are with the unions.

Agree on PPE, that is also a UK failing where we have outsourced so much that we don’t really have “key strategic industries” that have been protected for this sort of thing.

Other than that for a unionite it was interesting to see more thought on the economic front as opposed to just banging on about workers rights, more pay etc
It is pretty incredible that we are promoting ourselves as world leaders in offshore wind but manufacture next to nothing for the industry. 1700 jobs is a poor return on the amount that is going in to R&D etc.

This National Manufacturing Institute sounded like a great idea when I first heard about it but my worry is that it's going to be a shiny new building which has great ideals but delivers nothing, but they will still pat themselves on the back about what a fine addition it is.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by clydecloggie »

"All of this emanates from those who come out of university educated to loathe our society"

What a loathsome quote, from the Speccie piece above. There are, undoubtedly, mad fringes to be found in the humanities departments of our Unis, but this is simply a casual assault on education.

For someone who writes stuff like that, all they deserve is a firm, concussive-strength, library sandwich to the ears, preferably with hard-cover versions of Das Kapital and The Wealth of Nations.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

slick wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
Edinburgh01 wrote:That would be the GMB union that is a staunch Labour supporter and has donated large sums of money to them.

To be fair, Smith has taken a couple of pops at Labour as well, but whilst I have some sympathy with a couple of his points, he loses credibility when he starts banging on about Scotland not manufacturing PPE as a failure of the SNP, as if it was clear and obvious that every country needs its own PPE manufacturing capability.
It’s more that the SNP usually have the Unions onside so this was a bit of a surprise to me. Obviously not as tight as Labour are with the unions.

Agree on PPE, that is also a UK failing where we have outsourced so much that we don’t really have “key strategic industries” that have been protected for this sort of thing.

Other than that for a unionite it was interesting to see more thought on the economic front as opposed to just banging on about workers rights, more pay etc
It is pretty incredible that we are promoting ourselves as world leaders in offshore wind but manufacture next to nothing for the industry. 1700 jobs is a poor return on the amount that is going in to R&D etc.

This National Manufacturing Institute sounded like a great idea when I first heard about it but my worry is that it's going to be a shiny new building which has great ideals but delivers nothing, but they will still pat themselves on the back about what a fine addition it is.
Exactly this, fine idea but everything i have touched base with them on is just a regurgitation of ideas already out there, done better elsewhere, so another money pit that we will get little return from.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by I like haggis »

slick wrote:Thought this was also a good piece on the theme:
The good news is that, at last, later than might have been ideal but better late than not at all, the coronavirus is being suppressed. The bad news is that things are going to get a lot worse before they can get better. The latest economic figures are a disaster. GDP has collapsed by 25% since Covid-19 landed. To put this into perspective, that is a fall four to five times greater than that experienced during the 2008 financial crisis. As Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, admits: “Things are going to be really difficult.” This is the understatement of the political year.

This calamity might have been unavoidable but now we must do what can be done to mitigate its impact. We shall do this while knowing that whatever we do will not be enough. The economic taps have been turned off and, while they have been quiet, the reservoirs have dried up. Turning the economy back on doesn’t mean water will follow but, right now, the supply of economic activity must come before the demand for it.

It should now be obvious that this is a matter of significant urgency. More than 750,000 people in Scotland are being supported by the Treasury’s various employment and income support schemes. Many, far too many, of those jobs are going to disappear. And the longer the government waits to reopen parts of the economy, the greater the number of jobs will go. Otherwise sound firms that can cope with three months of inactivity cannot survive being effectively closed for six months.

Nicola Sturgeon usually remembers to nod to the importance of the economy but it is not unfair to note that, as a matter of political instinct and preference, the first minister is more comfortable with the public and third sectors than with private enterprise. At a theoretical level, Sturgeon understands the importance of the economy but she does not, I think, feel it in her bones.

But almost everything the first minister values depends on private enterprise. The state is funded by the proceeds of consumption and profit. Remove those, and everything else collapses. The NHS, pensions, welfare, education — all of it is underpinned by enterprise of one sort or another. Too many people in public life in Scotland appear incapable of grasping this.

That scarcely means the interests of business must always come first. Nor does it require one to advocate unfettered or unregulated capitalism. It merely requires one to note that, without economic recovery, there is no societal recovery. As Forbes told the BBC last week: “There is no public sector without a thriving private sector.”

She should have a word with some of her colleagues, too many of whom subscribe to the fashionable idiocy that we can in the future spend more money without the burden of earning it in the first place. The Green Party is already actively hostile to economic growth but this virus is spreading among members of other parties too.

So you might think that mitigating this economic calamity would be an urgent, even all-consuming, matter for the Scottish government. If so, you might be mistaken. There is, it is true, a cabinet subcommittee charged with monitoring the economic impact of this emergency. It meets but once a week.

The Scottish government has also established an “advisory group on economic recovery” chaired by Benny Higgins, a former chief of Tesco Bank. I mean no disrespect to the group’s other members — who include the economist John Kay; Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University; and Grahame Smith, the outgoing general secretary of the Scottish TUC — if I note that Higgins is the only member of the panel with extensive private sector experience. Of the eight panellists, four are academics, one a trade unionist, and two have spent almost their entire careers in the public sector.

A summary of the group’s most recent meeting noted that among the “key points” raised were “opportunities for carbon capture and sequestration” as part of “delivering” on the government’s “commitment to meet its net zero emissions goal”, and presentations on what Scotland can offer “future international and trading and investment partners to help in the green recovery towards a wellbeing economy”. Doubtless these are worthy
long-term aspirations but not, perhaps, ones that meet the fierce urgency of now.

At its most basic level, a “wellbeing economy” is one in which people have jobs. Allowing parts of the tourism industry to reopen next month, rather than in August, is a welcome start but also an insufficient one. There is a balance of risk that must be weighed. Previously that balance weighed in favour of lockdown. Public health had to come first.
Now that balance begins to tilt in the other direction. As the virus is suppressed — some parts of Scotland now have vanishingly few cases — so the task becomes one of protecting livelihoods.

We could go further and faster on this front. The available evidence suggests a one-metre social distancing rule doubles the risk of infection when compared with a two-metre requirement. That sounds dramatic but, we are told, actually means the risk increases from an estimated 1.5% to about 3%. Not nothing, but not everything either.

Other risks must be measured. In many sectors, including hospitality and retail, insisting on two metres of social distancing rather than one likely halves the number of businesses that can return to even an approximation of normal trading. For many that will be the difference between limping along, wounded but alive, and going out of business. The public health risks remain real, but they are declining just as the economic risks are increasing.

The World Health Organisation suggests that, all things considered, one metre of social distancing suffices. Other countries agree. It is not yet apparent why the United Kingdom, including Scotland, disagrees.

All of which leaves Scotland with the possibility that it will suffer more than is required. As Forbes puts it, “there is a risk of the economic impact being very disproportionate” and hitting Scotland worse than other parts of the UK. If so, this will, in due measure, be both because of decisions taken by the Scottish government and a reflection on the lack of urgency with which it has met the economic half of this emergency.
Alex Massie in the ST
It is a good article but for me the worry of the newspapers and unionist (not as a dig just statement of fact I'm a unionist too I guess) columnists like Massie should be the UK govt.

We all accept mass unemployment is inevitable. We all know it's coming. Benefits and Universal Credit is UK govt controlled. The mass unemployment and universal credit being a real mess is where the next referendum could be won and lost. The SNP might be worse than the UK Govt and they don't inspire much confidence - though neither do the UK govt. But people going into the benefit systems for the first time are very unlikely to enjoy it. And sturgeon will say - an independent Scotland is not going to use the UK benefits system.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

Caley_Red wrote:
HKCJ wrote:One of what I considered my very good friends in Edinburgh who was always a bit leftie leaning resulting in fairly robust discussions at dinner parties etc has gone full on Black lives Matter and pro SNP in the last week as if they were somehow connected. Yesterday she posted some statements on Twitter that I thought were a bit OTT like ‘if you voted Tory you’re a racist sympathiser’ to which I messaged her ‘You know I’m a Tory Unionist right?’ and I see she has defriended me :lol: What’s wrong with having some discourse? To quite Jed Bartlett ‘is it possible to be both astonished and not surprised at the same time’
Douglas Murray's lead article in the Speccie will be of interest then (posted below).

Extraordinarily puerile and childish stuff on her part.
.
In defence of liberalism: resisting a new era of intolerance

It has become fashionable in recent years to talk of the death of liberalism but as crowds high on the octane of generational self-righteousness rampage through major cities, the evidence mounts. The growing intolerance of freedom of thought, the inability to talk across divides, the way that most of the British establishment, police included, feels the need to pledge fealty to the cause — as though all terrified of ending up on the wrong side — points to a crisis of more than confidence. It is evidence of an underlying morbidity.

Each day the cultural revolution is picking up a pace, with the iconoclasts who attacked the Cenotaph and the statue of Winston Churchill looking for new focuses for their rage. The University of Liverpool has announced that its Gladstone halls of residence will be renamed after protestors pointed out that the former prime minister’s father had owned slaves. So there goes the ‘sins of the father’ ethic too. Nervous broadcasters have started removing programmes ahead of any stampede, with the BBC withdrawing Little Britain and HBO taking out Gone with the Wind from their streaming services in case the woke eye of Sauron flashes on them.

What we are seeing is nothing more or less than the death of the liberal ideal.

Of course ‘liberalism’ was always a broadly defined term; a definition made only vaguer by Americans making it synonymous with ‘left-wing’. But in the truest political sense it encapsulates most of the foundations of our political order, including (though not limited to) equality, the rule of law and freedom — including the freedom of speech that allows good ideas to win out. In the past few years, left-wing critics have been keen to identify what they see as the erasure of liberal democracy by popularly elected leaders on the political right. But in our own country, the much more serious assault on political liberalism comes not from the conservative right, but from the radical left.

Over the past couple of weeks, well-meaning people have poured almost a million pounds into the coffers of Black Lives Matter UK in the belief that they are helping a movement that will help black people. In fact they have funded a deeply radical movement. On its own fundraising page, BLM UK describes its aims as: ‘to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures.’ So as well as dismantling a nonexistent menace (‘imperialism’) it intends to bring down the economy and completely alter relations between the sexes (negatively characterised as ‘patriarchy’). This is not liberalism, but far-left radicalism of a kind that has become very familiar of late.

Some people watching events of recent days will have been surprised by how far and fast such sentiments have run. By the sight of a mob in Bristol tearing down a statue and then jumping on it. By a Labour MP saying: ‘I celebrate these acts of resistance. We need a movement that will tear down systemic racism.’ By the ranks of British police who could find no way to respond to this behaviour other than (in a newly invented act of faith) to ‘take the knee’ before it. And then there is the media, which has chosen to provide cover for such violence and purge from their ranks not just people who dissent from it but, in the case of the New York Times a few days ago, anyone who helps publish someone who dissents.

As one of the last liberals left at that newspaper, Bari Weiss, explained it last week, the over-forties in the news business (like so many others) imagined that the people coming up under them shared their liberal worldview. Then they discovered that these young people believed in ‘safetyism’ over liberalism, and ‘the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe’ over ‘what were considered core liberal values, like free speech’. Actually the divide is even bigger than that, and now encompasses nearly everything. Where the liberal mind is inquiring, the woke mind is dogmatic. Where the liberal mind is capable of humility, the woke mind is capable of none. Where the liberal mind is able to forgive, the woke mind believes that to have erred just once is cause enough to be ‘cancelled’. And while the liberal mind inherited the idea of loving your neighbour, the woke mind positively itches to cast the first stone.

Readers of The Spectator have known this was coming. When this magazine first wrote about the Stepford Students, it was asked why we take this so seriously — surely the students would grow up? And they did: but they didn’t change. The virtue-signalling of large corporations — the growing legions of diversity officers and ‘implicit bias training’ — was also written off as the silliness of the corporate world. When we described the mandatory requirement in government to prove a ‘commitment to diversity’ in order to be eligible for any public appointment, it was greeted with the same dismissal. As the American journalist Andrew Sullivan (himself now seemingly muzzled, if not cancelled) put it two years ago: ‘We all live on campus now.’

Step by step, the UK came to have a public and private sector dedicated to the implementation of views which are barely distinguishable from those of the protestors who took to the streets in the past week or two. It’s an ethic which demands that our society play a set of impossible, unwinnable games of identity and ‘privilege’ that not only subvert but end any idea of tolerance.


Most popular
Alex Massie
What the cancelling of JK Rowling is really about
What the cancelling of JK Rowling is really about
All of this emanates from those who come out of university educated to loathe our society, believing it to be characterised by the oppression of certain groups by other groups: a shameful history and a shameful present. Today these people head into professions where their language of aggressive superiority (‘Educate yourself’) is used to intimidate their elders, force every-one to agree with their point of view and otherwise make themselves unsackable.

As with all movements that catch, they aren’t on to nothing. Inequalities and inequities do exist, here as in all societies. Reasonable people disagree about how to address this. But the new illiberal radicals do not share that worry. For them, every inequity that exists (financial, familial, social, neurological) is the result of the same thing: discrimination. A thing we must ‘tackle’, ‘eradicate’ and otherwise cleanse from existence. There’s an awful lot of work to do.

Even the woke analysis of history that now sees them scouring the land for more statues to assault is radically different from that of the liberal mind. Liberals understand that people in history acted with the knowledge they had at the time, and that the task of those looking back is to look on it with understanding, not least in the hope of being understood in turn. The woke mind abhors this. It knows that it is right, and that everybody before this year zero was a bigot. After the weekend’s vandalism against London monuments, the capital’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that his ‘Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm’ would sit in judgment on all racist statues in the capital. Within hours, the Museum of London had already brought in the cranes to remove an errant statue on West India Quay.

In such ways has the free exchange of ideas about our past and present been replaced by a series of demands and assertions that demand everyone else’s compliance. ‘Silence is violence’ is one favoured line, meaning that if you do not agree with the radicals, you are perpetrating an act of violence. Naturally this assertion comes from the same people who have spent a lot of time asserting that words (such as ‘mis-gendering’ someone) are violence. While the violence of the past few days is not violence.

It is on the lip of this trap that our representatives and public figures have teetered over the past week or two, unable to work out how they can avoid a step they intuit to be deadly. What they need to do is pause and fundamentally change the terms, basing their appeal not just on reason but on a truly liberal spirit. It should be one which emphasises that the claims being made are unjust. It is unjust to portray the whole of American society, in all of its complexity, as typified by a policeman who is awaiting trial for murder. And it is even more unjust to think that his actions reveal some deep truth about the British police, or the British state, let alone everybody who is white. Equally, it is not just unjust but vindictive to pretend that any contradiction of your world view is merely a display of ‘white privilege’, ‘white fragility’ or ‘white tears’.

Unwittingly or otherwise, those who use these terms subvert one of the last great additions to liberal thought: that aspiration expressed by Dr Martin Luther King half a century ago. For when Dr King talked about the need to judge a person by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skin, he gave us something that was not just a great moral insight but — in an increasingly diverse society — the only solution. A year before his death, Dr King gave a speech titled ‘Where do we go from here?’ in which he said: ‘Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout, “White Power!”, when nobody will shout, “Black Power!”, but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.’

The people who have come after Dr King have spent years busily inverting that dream. In the name of black agency they try to deny white people agency. In the name of assailing white supremacy they end up by asserting black supremacy. And in order to make up for the sufferings of people who are no longer alive they demand vast wealth transfers today based on racial grouping. It is hard to imagine a more divisive programme, all carried out in the name of anti-racism. What they are actually doing is busily re-racialising our societies. Which is how you come to the situation where a cabinet minister is quizzed on Sky News about the precise ethno-racial composition of the British cabinet and certain ‘anti-racists’ can be found on social media noting with disapproval the number of people of Asian descent in the cabinet.

Any movement that says ‘Things are so bad that this whole thing needs to be pulled down’ should be encouraged to realise, before they have to experience it, the cost of what they are abandoning. And to remember the central truth about how much easier it is to pull down than it is to build. They must be responded to by people of every skin colour and background with a polite but firm ‘No’. Not just because the things that they are attempting to pull down include the only things that are capable of holding us all up. But because if everything that got us here was so bad, then what we are living in wouldn’t be so unusually good.

As one of my pals said at the weekend it is equality of opportunity we should be striving for not equality of outcome.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

I like haggis wrote:
It is a good article but for me the worry of the newspapers and unionist (not as a dig just statement of fact I'm a unionist too I guess) columnists like Massie should be the UK govt.

We all accept mass unemployment is inevitable. We all know it's coming. Benefits and Universal Credit is UK govt controlled. The mass unemployment and universal credit being a real mess is where the next referendum could be won and lost. The SNP might be worse than the UK Govt and they don't inspire much confidence - though neither do the UK govt. But people going into the benefit systems for the first time are very unlikely to enjoy it. And sturgeon will say - an independent Scotland is not going to use the UK benefits system.
I thought it was a good article too but certain posters didnt like opinion pieces from Massie so I didnt poke the hornets nest with this, this weekend.

I would actually like next years Holyrood election to be fought on the things that really matter - education, health, economy, policing etc and stack up what the SNP have achieved in power versus their claims and not have it descend yet again into the Indy debate. It won't happen as the bandwidth up here is 80% about Indy with only 20% devoted to the the things that actually matter to our lives as opposed to what it should be - 20% on Indy and 80% on the delivery of the things that matter. This also allows Stugeon and co to escape much scrutiny as there is obviously a large minority that want Indy above all else so she is able to drown out any criticism on delivery.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by I like haggis »

One thing about quotas and equality of outcome etc etc is its built on the premise that someone not getting a job they deserve with qualifications and experience etc etc. But how many white men have found themselves in positions of responsibility because they are a white man who speaks the right lingo or goes to the private members or golf courses or went to the right school?

There's plenty moaning on the Scottish rugby thread about the blazers who did a poor job running the show and weren't exactly there or merit. It's the same across a lot of enterprise.

Not to say I'm in support of quotas or anything. I haven't decided. But that's a conversation to be had. Equal opportunity is giving someone who will be a key performer in a certain field a senior leadership position at some point.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by I like haggis »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
It is a good article but for me the worry of the newspapers and unionist (not as a dig just statement of fact I'm a unionist too I guess) columnists like Massie should be the UK govt.

We all accept mass unemployment is inevitable. We all know it's coming. Benefits and Universal Credit is UK govt controlled. The mass unemployment and universal credit being a real mess is where the next referendum could be won and lost. The SNP might be worse than the UK Govt and they don't inspire much confidence - though neither do the UK govt. But people going into the benefit systems for the first time are very unlikely to enjoy it. And sturgeon will say - an independent Scotland is not going to use the UK benefits system.
I thought it was a good article too but certain posters didnt like opinion pieces from Massie so I didnt poke the hornets nest with this, this weekend.

I would actually like next years Holyrood election to be fought on the things that really matter - education, health, economy, policing etc and stack up what the SNP have achieved in power versus their claims and not have it descend yet again into the Indy debate. It won't happen as the bandwidth up here is 80% about Indy with only 20% devoted to the the things that actually matter to our lives as opposed to what it should be - 20% on Indy and 80% on the delivery of the things that matter. This also allows Stugeon and co to escape much scrutiny as there is obviously a large minority that want Indy above all else so she is able to drown out any criticism on delivery.
Agree LN but in my opinion it's pretty inevitable a 2021 election will be fought on the battlegrounds of independence, the coronavirus fall out including the huge unemployment and whatnot.

I absolutely agree indy means the SNPs pretty poor record isn't scrutinised as it should be. I'm probably quite aligned with them generally but the delivery hasn't been good enough.
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slick
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
It is a good article but for me the worry of the newspapers and unionist (not as a dig just statement of fact I'm a unionist too I guess) columnists like Massie should be the UK govt.

We all accept mass unemployment is inevitable. We all know it's coming. Benefits and Universal Credit is UK govt controlled. The mass unemployment and universal credit being a real mess is where the next referendum could be won and lost. The SNP might be worse than the UK Govt and they don't inspire much confidence - though neither do the UK govt. But people going into the benefit systems for the first time are very unlikely to enjoy it. And sturgeon will say - an independent Scotland is not going to use the UK benefits system.
I thought it was a good article too but certain posters didnt like opinion pieces from Massie so I didnt poke the hornets nest with this, this weekend.

I would actually like next years Holyrood election to be fought on the things that really matter - education, health, economy, policing etc and stack up what the SNP have achieved in power versus their claims and not have it descend yet again into the Indy debate. It won't happen as the bandwidth up here is 80% about Indy with only 20% devoted to the the things that actually matter to our lives as opposed to what it should be - 20% on Indy and 80% on the delivery of the things that matter. This also allows Stugeon and co to escape much scrutiny as there is obviously a large minority that want Indy above all else so she is able to drown out any criticism on delivery.
It's things like this that really get me frothing though:
A summary of the group’s most recent meeting noted that among the “key points” raised were “opportunities for carbon capture and sequestration” as part of “delivering” on the government’s “commitment to meet its net zero emissions goal”, and presentations on what Scotland can offer “future international and trading and investment partners to help in the green recovery towards a wellbeing economy”. Doubtless these are worthy
long-term aspirations but not, perhaps, ones that meet the fierce urgency of now
It just smacks of leaders who haven't really got a grip on reality. We have a good number of no nonsense international business leaders who need to be involved in these kinds of consultations but they don't get an invite if they don't sign up.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

Is it today we hear more about the easing of lockdown?

Couple of pubs here were open yesterday afternoon for outside, in the street, drinking.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

I like haggis wrote:
Agree LN but in my opinion it's pretty inevitable a 2021 election will be fought on the battlegrounds of independence, the coronavirus fall out including the huge unemployment and whatnot.

I absolutely agree indy means the SNPs pretty poor record isn't scrutinised as it should be. I'm probably quite aligned with them generally but the delivery hasn't been good enough.
I don't disagree, that will be where it is fought once again and that is partly because the opposition are so weak, that really needs addressed by the 3 main opposition parties. I would say though that on unemployment, the snails pace of the easing of the lockdown is firmly down to Sturgeon and the majority of Scots see that and are smart enough to understand the longer you keep the economy shut, the harder to bounce back it is and there will be a number of firms that just dont open again.

Equally worrying for me is the noise coming our of Swinney that they are already floating the idea that they may cancel 2021's exams, this is a complete cop out, this should only be considered on the eve of the exams not as almost Plan A. I do think they are properly messing with our kids future prospects now, it is bad enough to have closed everything down from 2 weeks prior to Easter but to now not be looking to how we maximise the return to school normality as much as possible is a major failing, we are still the best part of 2 months away before the schools are due back and as we have seen a lot can happen with this virus in that time and we are seeing lots of other countries having their kids back already.
Our case load is now extremely small over the majority of the country and even in the hotspots it is very much under control.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

slick wrote:Is it today we hear more about the easing of lockdown?

Couple of pubs here were open yesterday afternoon for outside, in the street, drinking.
It's Thurdsay she makes her announcement, expect lots of newspaper briefing this week though to test the mood music! Fecking politicians :x

Saw on the beeb that is France opening right up, yet another country marching towards normality asap as we creep towards daylight.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Biffer29 »

I like haggis wrote:
slick wrote:Thought this was also a good piece on the theme:
The good news is that, at last, later than might have been ideal but better late than not at all, the coronavirus is being suppressed. The bad news is that things are going to get a lot worse before they can get better. The latest economic figures are a disaster. GDP has collapsed by 25% since Covid-19 landed. To put this into perspective, that is a fall four to five times greater than that experienced during the 2008 financial crisis. As Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, admits: “Things are going to be really difficult.” This is the understatement of the political year.

This calamity might have been unavoidable but now we must do what can be done to mitigate its impact. We shall do this while knowing that whatever we do will not be enough. The economic taps have been turned off and, while they have been quiet, the reservoirs have dried up. Turning the economy back on doesn’t mean water will follow but, right now, the supply of economic activity must come before the demand for it.

It should now be obvious that this is a matter of significant urgency. More than 750,000 people in Scotland are being supported by the Treasury’s various employment and income support schemes. Many, far too many, of those jobs are going to disappear. And the longer the government waits to reopen parts of the economy, the greater the number of jobs will go. Otherwise sound firms that can cope with three months of inactivity cannot survive being effectively closed for six months.

Nicola Sturgeon usually remembers to nod to the importance of the economy but it is not unfair to note that, as a matter of political instinct and preference, the first minister is more comfortable with the public and third sectors than with private enterprise. At a theoretical level, Sturgeon understands the importance of the economy but she does not, I think, feel it in her bones.

But almost everything the first minister values depends on private enterprise. The state is funded by the proceeds of consumption and profit. Remove those, and everything else collapses. The NHS, pensions, welfare, education — all of it is underpinned by enterprise of one sort or another. Too many people in public life in Scotland appear incapable of grasping this.

That scarcely means the interests of business must always come first. Nor does it require one to advocate unfettered or unregulated capitalism. It merely requires one to note that, without economic recovery, there is no societal recovery. As Forbes told the BBC last week: “There is no public sector without a thriving private sector.”

She should have a word with some of her colleagues, too many of whom subscribe to the fashionable idiocy that we can in the future spend more money without the burden of earning it in the first place. The Green Party is already actively hostile to economic growth but this virus is spreading among members of other parties too.

So you might think that mitigating this economic calamity would be an urgent, even all-consuming, matter for the Scottish government. If so, you might be mistaken. There is, it is true, a cabinet subcommittee charged with monitoring the economic impact of this emergency. It meets but once a week.

The Scottish government has also established an “advisory group on economic recovery” chaired by Benny Higgins, a former chief of Tesco Bank. I mean no disrespect to the group’s other members — who include the economist John Kay; Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University; and Grahame Smith, the outgoing general secretary of the Scottish TUC — if I note that Higgins is the only member of the panel with extensive private sector experience. Of the eight panellists, four are academics, one a trade unionist, and two have spent almost their entire careers in the public sector.

A summary of the group’s most recent meeting noted that among the “key points” raised were “opportunities for carbon capture and sequestration” as part of “delivering” on the government’s “commitment to meet its net zero emissions goal”, and presentations on what Scotland can offer “future international and trading and investment partners to help in the green recovery towards a wellbeing economy”. Doubtless these are worthy
long-term aspirations but not, perhaps, ones that meet the fierce urgency of now.

At its most basic level, a “wellbeing economy” is one in which people have jobs. Allowing parts of the tourism industry to reopen next month, rather than in August, is a welcome start but also an insufficient one. There is a balance of risk that must be weighed. Previously that balance weighed in favour of lockdown. Public health had to come first.
Now that balance begins to tilt in the other direction. As the virus is suppressed — some parts of Scotland now have vanishingly few cases — so the task becomes one of protecting livelihoods.

We could go further and faster on this front. The available evidence suggests a one-metre social distancing rule doubles the risk of infection when compared with a two-metre requirement. That sounds dramatic but, we are told, actually means the risk increases from an estimated 1.5% to about 3%. Not nothing, but not everything either.

Other risks must be measured. In many sectors, including hospitality and retail, insisting on two metres of social distancing rather than one likely halves the number of businesses that can return to even an approximation of normal trading. For many that will be the difference between limping along, wounded but alive, and going out of business. The public health risks remain real, but they are declining just as the economic risks are increasing.

The World Health Organisation suggests that, all things considered, one metre of social distancing suffices. Other countries agree. It is not yet apparent why the United Kingdom, including Scotland, disagrees.

All of which leaves Scotland with the possibility that it will suffer more than is required. As Forbes puts it, “there is a risk of the economic impact being very disproportionate” and hitting Scotland worse than other parts of the UK. If so, this will, in due measure, be both because of decisions taken by the Scottish government and a reflection on the lack of urgency with which it has met the economic half of this emergency.
Alex Massie in the ST
It is a good article but for me the worry of the newspapers and unionist (not as a dig just statement of fact I'm a unionist too I guess) columnists like Massie should be the UK govt.

We all accept mass unemployment is inevitable. We all know it's coming. Benefits and Universal Credit is UK govt controlled. The mass unemployment and universal credit being a real mess is where the next referendum could be won and lost. The SNP might be worse than the UK Govt and they don't inspire much confidence - though neither do the UK govt. But people going into the benefit systems for the first time are very unlikely to enjoy it. And sturgeon will say - an independent Scotland is not going to use the UK benefits system.
There are going to be a lot of people who experience the current unemployment and welfare schemes for the first time, and will suddenly realise what all the noise campaigners have been making about the cruelty of the system was all about. People who haven’t signed on for ten or twenty years are in for a shock.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Biffer29 »

Regardless of political affiliation, I’m sure we all wish MP Amy Callaghan well this morning, suffered a brain aneurysm and needed emergency surgery. Only 28, hopefully she makes a full recovery.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

Biffer29 wrote:Regardless of political affiliation, I’m sure we all wish MP Amy Callaghan well this morning, suffered a brain aneurysm and needed emergency surgery. Only 28, hopefully she makes a full recovery.
Bloody hell, that's awful. Poor girl, hope she comes out of this fully.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

slick wrote:
Biffer29 wrote:Regardless of political affiliation, I’m sure we all wish MP Amy Callaghan well this morning, suffered a brain aneurysm and needed emergency surgery. Only 28, hopefully she makes a full recovery.
Bloody hell, that's awful. Poor girl, hope she comes out of this fully.
Yep, that's terrible. Young to suffer that, not unheard of but very unlucky. My dad had a stroke 3 years ago and I was struck by how young a couple of the patients on the ward were. Hope that first of all she survives and secondly there are no long term ill effects.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Smutley »

Lorthern Nights wrote: As one of my pals said at the weekend it is equality of opportunity we should be striving for not equality of outcome.
Agree with that. However, Massie is a ponce and is wanking into the mirror here. That article could only have been written by someone who has never experienced prejudice.

What these white folks really object to is the black folks having a voice, any voice. That's not liberalism in my book.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

Smutley wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote: As one of my pals said at the weekend it is equality of opportunity we should be striving for not equality of outcome.
Agree with that. However, Massie is a ponce and is wanking into the mirror here. That article could only have been written by someone who has never experienced prejudice.

What these white folks really object to is the black folks having a voice, any voice. That's not liberalism in my book.

That was Douglas Murray I believe, not Massie, I think he was just in as part of the quote.

I'm not sure i agree on your second part as that is not how i see it.
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by robmatic »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
Caley_Red wrote:
HKCJ wrote:One of what I considered my very good friends in Edinburgh who was always a bit leftie leaning resulting in fairly robust discussions at dinner parties etc has gone full on Black lives Matter and pro SNP in the last week as if they were somehow connected. Yesterday she posted some statements on Twitter that I thought were a bit OTT like ‘if you voted Tory you’re a racist sympathiser’ to which I messaged her ‘You know I’m a Tory Unionist right?’ and I see she has defriended me :lol: What’s wrong with having some discourse? To quite Jed Bartlett ‘is it possible to be both astonished and not surprised at the same time’
Douglas Murray's lead article in the Speccie will be of interest then (posted below).

Extraordinarily puerile and childish stuff on her part.
.
In defence of liberalism: resisting a new era of intolerance

It has become fashionable in recent years to talk of the death of liberalism but as crowds high on the octane of generational self-righteousness rampage through major cities, the evidence mounts. The growing intolerance of freedom of thought, the inability to talk across divides, the way that most of the British establishment, police included, feels the need to pledge fealty to the cause — as though all terrified of ending up on the wrong side — points to a crisis of more than confidence. It is evidence of an underlying morbidity.

Each day the cultural revolution is picking up a pace, with the iconoclasts who attacked the Cenotaph and the statue of Winston Churchill looking for new focuses for their rage. The University of Liverpool has announced that its Gladstone halls of residence will be renamed after protestors pointed out that the former prime minister’s father had owned slaves. So there goes the ‘sins of the father’ ethic too. Nervous broadcasters have started removing programmes ahead of any stampede, with the BBC withdrawing Little Britain and HBO taking out Gone with the Wind from their streaming services in case the woke eye of Sauron flashes on them.

What we are seeing is nothing more or less than the death of the liberal ideal.

Of course ‘liberalism’ was always a broadly defined term; a definition made only vaguer by Americans making it synonymous with ‘left-wing’. But in the truest political sense it encapsulates most of the foundations of our political order, including (though not limited to) equality, the rule of law and freedom — including the freedom of speech that allows good ideas to win out. In the past few years, left-wing critics have been keen to identify what they see as the erasure of liberal democracy by popularly elected leaders on the political right. But in our own country, the much more serious assault on political liberalism comes not from the conservative right, but from the radical left.

Over the past couple of weeks, well-meaning people have poured almost a million pounds into the coffers of Black Lives Matter UK in the belief that they are helping a movement that will help black people. In fact they have funded a deeply radical movement. On its own fundraising page, BLM UK describes its aims as: ‘to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures.’ So as well as dismantling a nonexistent menace (‘imperialism’) it intends to bring down the economy and completely alter relations between the sexes (negatively characterised as ‘patriarchy’). This is not liberalism, but far-left radicalism of a kind that has become very familiar of late.

Some people watching events of recent days will have been surprised by how far and fast such sentiments have run. By the sight of a mob in Bristol tearing down a statue and then jumping on it. By a Labour MP saying: ‘I celebrate these acts of resistance. We need a movement that will tear down systemic racism.’ By the ranks of British police who could find no way to respond to this behaviour other than (in a newly invented act of faith) to ‘take the knee’ before it. And then there is the media, which has chosen to provide cover for such violence and purge from their ranks not just people who dissent from it but, in the case of the New York Times a few days ago, anyone who helps publish someone who dissents.

As one of the last liberals left at that newspaper, Bari Weiss, explained it last week, the over-forties in the news business (like so many others) imagined that the people coming up under them shared their liberal worldview. Then they discovered that these young people believed in ‘safetyism’ over liberalism, and ‘the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe’ over ‘what were considered core liberal values, like free speech’. Actually the divide is even bigger than that, and now encompasses nearly everything. Where the liberal mind is inquiring, the woke mind is dogmatic. Where the liberal mind is capable of humility, the woke mind is capable of none. Where the liberal mind is able to forgive, the woke mind believes that to have erred just once is cause enough to be ‘cancelled’. And while the liberal mind inherited the idea of loving your neighbour, the woke mind positively itches to cast the first stone.

Readers of The Spectator have known this was coming. When this magazine first wrote about the Stepford Students, it was asked why we take this so seriously — surely the students would grow up? And they did: but they didn’t change. The virtue-signalling of large corporations — the growing legions of diversity officers and ‘implicit bias training’ — was also written off as the silliness of the corporate world. When we described the mandatory requirement in government to prove a ‘commitment to diversity’ in order to be eligible for any public appointment, it was greeted with the same dismissal. As the American journalist Andrew Sullivan (himself now seemingly muzzled, if not cancelled) put it two years ago: ‘We all live on campus now.’

Step by step, the UK came to have a public and private sector dedicated to the implementation of views which are barely distinguishable from those of the protestors who took to the streets in the past week or two. It’s an ethic which demands that our society play a set of impossible, unwinnable games of identity and ‘privilege’ that not only subvert but end any idea of tolerance.


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All of this emanates from those who come out of university educated to loathe our society, believing it to be characterised by the oppression of certain groups by other groups: a shameful history and a shameful present. Today these people head into professions where their language of aggressive superiority (‘Educate yourself’) is used to intimidate their elders, force every-one to agree with their point of view and otherwise make themselves unsackable.

As with all movements that catch, they aren’t on to nothing. Inequalities and inequities do exist, here as in all societies. Reasonable people disagree about how to address this. But the new illiberal radicals do not share that worry. For them, every inequity that exists (financial, familial, social, neurological) is the result of the same thing: discrimination. A thing we must ‘tackle’, ‘eradicate’ and otherwise cleanse from existence. There’s an awful lot of work to do.

Even the woke analysis of history that now sees them scouring the land for more statues to assault is radically different from that of the liberal mind. Liberals understand that people in history acted with the knowledge they had at the time, and that the task of those looking back is to look on it with understanding, not least in the hope of being understood in turn. The woke mind abhors this. It knows that it is right, and that everybody before this year zero was a bigot. After the weekend’s vandalism against London monuments, the capital’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that his ‘Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm’ would sit in judgment on all racist statues in the capital. Within hours, the Museum of London had already brought in the cranes to remove an errant statue on West India Quay.

In such ways has the free exchange of ideas about our past and present been replaced by a series of demands and assertions that demand everyone else’s compliance. ‘Silence is violence’ is one favoured line, meaning that if you do not agree with the radicals, you are perpetrating an act of violence. Naturally this assertion comes from the same people who have spent a lot of time asserting that words (such as ‘mis-gendering’ someone) are violence. While the violence of the past few days is not violence.

It is on the lip of this trap that our representatives and public figures have teetered over the past week or two, unable to work out how they can avoid a step they intuit to be deadly. What they need to do is pause and fundamentally change the terms, basing their appeal not just on reason but on a truly liberal spirit. It should be one which emphasises that the claims being made are unjust. It is unjust to portray the whole of American society, in all of its complexity, as typified by a policeman who is awaiting trial for murder. And it is even more unjust to think that his actions reveal some deep truth about the British police, or the British state, let alone everybody who is white. Equally, it is not just unjust but vindictive to pretend that any contradiction of your world view is merely a display of ‘white privilege’, ‘white fragility’ or ‘white tears’.

Unwittingly or otherwise, those who use these terms subvert one of the last great additions to liberal thought: that aspiration expressed by Dr Martin Luther King half a century ago. For when Dr King talked about the need to judge a person by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skin, he gave us something that was not just a great moral insight but — in an increasingly diverse society — the only solution. A year before his death, Dr King gave a speech titled ‘Where do we go from here?’ in which he said: ‘Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout, “White Power!”, when nobody will shout, “Black Power!”, but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.’

The people who have come after Dr King have spent years busily inverting that dream. In the name of black agency they try to deny white people agency. In the name of assailing white supremacy they end up by asserting black supremacy. And in order to make up for the sufferings of people who are no longer alive they demand vast wealth transfers today based on racial grouping. It is hard to imagine a more divisive programme, all carried out in the name of anti-racism. What they are actually doing is busily re-racialising our societies. Which is how you come to the situation where a cabinet minister is quizzed on Sky News about the precise ethno-racial composition of the British cabinet and certain ‘anti-racists’ can be found on social media noting with disapproval the number of people of Asian descent in the cabinet.

Any movement that says ‘Things are so bad that this whole thing needs to be pulled down’ should be encouraged to realise, before they have to experience it, the cost of what they are abandoning. And to remember the central truth about how much easier it is to pull down than it is to build. They must be responded to by people of every skin colour and background with a polite but firm ‘No’. Not just because the things that they are attempting to pull down include the only things that are capable of holding us all up. But because if everything that got us here was so bad, then what we are living in wouldn’t be so unusually good.

As one of my pals said at the weekend it is equality of opportunity we should be striving for not equality of outcome.
Of course, but practically speaking social mobility is declining in the UK. All the parties at Westminster are rotten with nepotism and the media is basically a closed shop, for example.

To be fair to the Speccie and Douglas Murray, they probably are more open to diversity than the Guardian and their internship scheme is remarkably enlightened, but it's a pretty low bar and I would be surprised if their hiring process in general is all that meritocratic.
tc27
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by tc27 »

I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
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Edinburgh01
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Edinburgh01 »

slick wrote:It's things like this that really get me frothing though:
A summary of the group’s most recent meeting noted that among the “key points” raised were “opportunities for carbon capture and sequestration” as part of “delivering” on the government’s “commitment to meet its net zero emissions goal”, and presentations on what Scotland can offer “future international and trading and investment partners to help in the green recovery towards a wellbeing economy”. Doubtless these are worthy
long-term aspirations but not, perhaps, ones that meet the fierce urgency of now
It just smacks of leaders who haven't really got a grip on reality. We have a good number of no nonsense international business leaders who need to be involved in these kinds of consultations but they don't get an invite if they don't sign up.
I am surprised Benny (or 'Bonking Benny as he was known in both RBS and HBOS) puts up with that. He was never one for suffering fools gladly.

Had HBOS listened to Benny, they may never have gone under. There are others of who can say that they put up warnings before hand, but most satisfied themselves with raising their warnings, then when those warnings were dismissed, they put their heads back down and carried on taking the money. Benny was one of the very few with the courage of his convictions to actually follow through and do what needed to be done.

He was both very, very bright, and an actual banking / finance professional unlike most at the top of HBOS at the time. So of course he was sacked for standing up to the grocers and wide boys ruining the business.
I like haggis
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by I like haggis »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Agree LN but in my opinion it's pretty inevitable a 2021 election will be fought on the battlegrounds of independence, the coronavirus fall out including the huge unemployment and whatnot.

I absolutely agree indy means the SNPs pretty poor record isn't scrutinised as it should be. I'm probably quite aligned with them generally but the delivery hasn't been good enough.
I don't disagree, that will be where it is fought once again and that is partly because the opposition are so weak, that really needs addressed by the 3 main opposition parties. I would say though that on unemployment, the snails pace of the easing of the lockdown is firmly down to Sturgeon and the majority of Scots see that and are smart enough to understand the longer you keep the economy shut, the harder to bounce back it is and there will be a number of firms that just dont open again.

Equally worrying for me is the noise coming our of Swinney that they are already floating the idea that they may cancel 2021's exams, this is a complete cop out, this should only be considered on the eve of the exams not as almost Plan A. I do think they are properly messing with our kids future prospects now, it is bad enough to have closed everything down from 2 weeks prior to Easter but to now not be looking to how we maximise the return to school normality as much as possible is a major failing, we are still the best part of 2 months away before the schools are due back and as we have seen a lot can happen with this virus in that time and we are seeing lots of other countries having their kids back already.
Our case load is now extremely small over the majority of the country and even in the hotspots it is very much under control.
Agree very concerning to hear him say no exams in 2021. Allowances will have to be made because kids lost a quarter of the school year but have to have exams.

I don't understand why there has to be a summer holiday to be honest. Get kids back during the holidays if need be.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
tc27
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by tc27 »

Lorthern Nights wrote:
tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
Yes, also he's fighting a war against the SNP over the trans issue.
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slick
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

tc27 wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
Yes, also he's fighting a war against the SNP over the trans issue.
Is he the Wings guy? If so, hasn't he said he's quite happy to pull the whole thing down to get his own way?
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slick
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by slick »

I like haggis wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Agree LN but in my opinion it's pretty inevitable a 2021 election will be fought on the battlegrounds of independence, the coronavirus fall out including the huge unemployment and whatnot.

I absolutely agree indy means the SNPs pretty poor record isn't scrutinised as it should be. I'm probably quite aligned with them generally but the delivery hasn't been good enough.
I don't disagree, that will be where it is fought once again and that is partly because the opposition are so weak, that really needs addressed by the 3 main opposition parties. I would say though that on unemployment, the snails pace of the easing of the lockdown is firmly down to Sturgeon and the majority of Scots see that and are smart enough to understand the longer you keep the economy shut, the harder to bounce back it is and there will be a number of firms that just dont open again.

Equally worrying for me is the noise coming our of Swinney that they are already floating the idea that they may cancel 2021's exams, this is a complete cop out, this should only be considered on the eve of the exams not as almost Plan A. I do think they are properly messing with our kids future prospects now, it is bad enough to have closed everything down from 2 weeks prior to Easter but to now not be looking to how we maximise the return to school normality as much as possible is a major failing, we are still the best part of 2 months away before the schools are due back and as we have seen a lot can happen with this virus in that time and we are seeing lots of other countries having their kids back already.
Our case load is now extremely small over the majority of the country and even in the hotspots it is very much under control.
Agree very concerning to hear him say no exams in 2021. Allowances will have to be made because kids lost a quarter of the school year but have to have exams.

I don't understand why there has to be a summer holiday to be honest. Get kids back during the holidays if need be.
I think Nicola slapped that down this afternoon.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

tc27 wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
Yes, also he's fighting a war against the SNP over the trans issue.
Ah, what side is he on? I assume against as i thought the SNP were pro gender choice although they have now dropped that bit of legislation, well for now.
Lorthern Nights

Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Lorthern Nights »

slick wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
I like haggis wrote:
Agree LN but in my opinion it's pretty inevitable a 2021 election will be fought on the battlegrounds of independence, the coronavirus fall out including the huge unemployment and whatnot.

I absolutely agree indy means the SNPs pretty poor record isn't scrutinised as it should be. I'm probably quite aligned with them generally but the delivery hasn't been good enough.
I don't disagree, that will be where it is fought once again and that is partly because the opposition are so weak, that really needs addressed by the 3 main opposition parties. I would say though that on unemployment, the snails pace of the easing of the lockdown is firmly down to Sturgeon and the majority of Scots see that and are smart enough to understand the longer you keep the economy shut, the harder to bounce back it is and there will be a number of firms that just dont open again.

Equally worrying for me is the noise coming our of Swinney that they are already floating the idea that they may cancel 2021's exams, this is a complete cop out, this should only be considered on the eve of the exams not as almost Plan A. I do think they are properly messing with our kids future prospects now, it is bad enough to have closed everything down from 2 weeks prior to Easter but to now not be looking to how we maximise the return to school normality as much as possible is a major failing, we are still the best part of 2 months away before the schools are due back and as we have seen a lot can happen with this virus in that time and we are seeing lots of other countries having their kids back already.
Our case load is now extremely small over the majority of the country and even in the hotspots it is very much under control.
Agree very concerning to hear him say no exams in 2021. Allowances will have to be made because kids lost a quarter of the school year but have to have exams.

I don't understand why there has to be a summer holiday to be honest. Get kids back during the holidays if need be.
I think Nicola slapped that down this afternoon.
It's the usual with them at the moment, one of the sidekicks comes out with something, public kick off about it, Nicola then rides to the rescue to rubbish what they said.

Swinney hasnt been good in education, should have him back in Finance.
Biffer29
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by Biffer29 »

slick wrote:
tc27 wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
Yes, also he's fighting a war against the SNP over the trans issue.
Is he the Wings guy? If so, hasn't he said he's quite happy to pull the whole thing down to get his own way?
Yeah, he's similar to Dominic Cummings in that regard.
tc27
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by tc27 »

I think Wings/Campbell is part of the faction within Scottish nationalism that wants to bring down Sturgeon for various reasons (seen as too incrementalist, some people think she set up AS, support for gender self ID).
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Re: Sturgeon, Covid and Scottish political stuff

Post by clydecloggie »

Biffer29 wrote:
slick wrote:
tc27 wrote:
Lorthern Nights wrote:
tc27 wrote:I think this is the new party started by the blogger Stuart Campbell.

https://isp.scot/
Probably sees it as the best way to get a majority for Indy in the Holyrood elections, those sympathetic to the cause can now give their second pref to them as it will be very hard for the SNP to repeat Salmond's 2010 feat and if they lose ground that just allows Westminster to kick another vote into the long grass which they are trying to do anyway.
Yes, also he's fighting a war against the SNP over the trans issue.
Is he the Wings guy? If so, hasn't he said he's quite happy to pull the whole thing down to get his own way?
Yeah, he's similar to Dominic Cummings in that regard.
Aye, he's a grade A cvnt who seems to think his foul-mouthed rants are OK because 'that is how Scots are'. Dick.

He is also an incredibly astute commentator on Scottish politics with a photographic memory and dog-with-a-bone mindset, and he has found a really interesting loophole in the Scottish electoral system. If that party manages to rake in the pro-Indy list vote, the Unionist parties will be hit hard as they get a lot of MSPs through the list rather than constituencies. I would assume he will not stand himself, so the part of the Indy support he has successfully antagonised might even go for this.
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