Features

Centralising, illiberal, catastrophic: the SNP’s one-party state

17 October 2015

9:00 AM

17 October 2015

9:00 AM

Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such a scheme was compulsory, no matter how strongly parents objected. Imagine that the ruling party controlled 95 per cent of MPs, and policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent.

Welcome to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland in 2015. The First Minister is admired the world over. She has a few curious notions — chiefly, the idea that the political and cultural differences between Scots and the English are so great that the only solution is to sue for separation. But there is no denying it: she is intelligent, thoughtful and spirited. She has even mastered the Billy Connolly technique of giving a little giggle to her own jokes. Those outside Scotland have the sense of a charismatic insurgent, already looking forward to a new referendum that she’d have a good chance of winning.

But what is far less known south of the border is that the SNP have been in government since 2007 — and that its rule has been a disaster. Their central premise, that control from Edinburgh is inherently better, has been tested to destruction. Their stream of illiberal reforms and their mistrust of the Scottish people has led to power being centralised to an unprecedented degree. The SNP avoid proper scrutiny by always steering the conversation back towards independence.

For years, I have watched this with increasing alarm from my position as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University. I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.

The proposal for a ‘named person’ — i.e., a state guardian for children — is a classic example of what is going so wrong. The person will, in the Scottish government’s chilling words, ‘monitor what children and young people need’. That parents, families, doctors and teachers do this already is not enough: the state must do it, too. Badged under the ghastly Orwellian acronym Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child), the ‘named person’ will ensure a child’s wellbeing is ‘assessed’ according to the extent to which the child is ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included’.

So Ms Sturgeon’s ‘named persons’ will not focus only on harm, risk or even neglect — but the entire human condition. If my child is judged to be underachieving, inactive or somehow lacking in respect or responsibility, the ‘named person’ can discuss my child not only with the NHS, a social worker or the police, but with bodies including the Scottish Sports Council and something called Skills Development Scotland Co. Ltd.


The illiberal control-freakery of this measure might have attracted more attention had it been unusual. But it is typical of the Scottish National Party in power. From policing to higher education, the SNP are archetypes of the top-down, authoritarian, one-size-fits-all school of government.

If you want to know what England would be like under Jeremy Corbyn, the answer would not be far off what the SNP is doing to Scotland. Stridently anti-austerity, the party’s populist and highly successful general election campaign pitched them as Britain’s progressive beacon. It won them 56 of Scotland’s 59 MPs. It also helped Mr Cameron’s return to Downing Street.

The SNP know more than anyone else what they want to achieve: independence. Almost all their statements are geared towards this goal. For example, the SNP say that Scots should vote for independence to save the NHS. But Holyrood has complete control over the NHS in Scotland, as it does over the whole of Scottish education. And policing, transport, environmental policy — a whole gamut of powers that has been accurately described by the UK Supreme Court as ‘ample’ and ‘generous’. Yet in the eight years in which the SNP have been in power, next to nothing has been done to reform the health service in Scotland, save that SNP ministers’ controls over Scotland’s 14 health boards have been tightened. (Their motto: When in doubt, centralise.)

This has not led to improved service. The latest figures show waiting times rising alarmingly. When the SNP came to power, Scotland spent a higher share of its budget on health than England, but under the nationalists this has been reversed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies ran the numbers last September, and found England’s health budget this year is 4.4 per cent higher than before David Cameron came to power; Scotland’s is 1.2 per cent lower. When given the choice, Ms Sturgeon has cut the NHS budget — and protected it from much-needed reform.

The same is true in education. Scottish schools and colleges are going from mediocre to poor. Numeracy scores are plummeting, 140,000 college places have been cut, colleges have merged and campuses have been closed. These are calamitous policies to have pursued in an economy crying out for a more highly skilled, better-trained workforce. The SNP’s famous ban on tuition fees means that a Scottish teenager from a poor background is now half as likely to go to university as an English one. And the gap is widening. The decision not to charge fees has been paid for in part by cutting grants for poorer students.

The rot has set in at primary schools: at the ages of nine and 11, the literacy skills of the poorest are getting worse. Nicolas Sturgeon boasts that ‘the attainment gap is reducing’ because richer children are getting worse even faster. Yes, the SNP talk non-stop about their ‘progressive’ credentials, and how the main reason they want separation from England is because they place greater emphasis on a ‘fairer’ society. But the reality is very different. Under the SNP, Scotland is becoming the worst place in Britain to be bright and poor.

On the relatively rare occasions when the SNP reform, two tendencies are striking, both exemplified in last year’s ‘named person’ legislation. The SNP’s illiberality should not, perhaps, surprise us — nationalism in Europe all too often having sacrificed individual freedoms on the altar of national self-determination. The party’s centralising tendencies, however, are remarkable given the SNP’s vocal opposition to rule from London.

Under the SNP, Scotland’s eight regional police constabularies were merged into a single force. While Theresa May was creating locally elected police and crime commissioners in England and Wales, increasing the accountability of the police to local voters, the SNP was doing the opposite. The chief constable of Police Scotland is accountable to a single police authority whose members are appointed by Scottish ministers. The one force now polices both the UK’s third-largest city and its most remote communities, notwithstanding the obvious and huge diversity of policing needs.

Recorded crime is falling the world over — and Scotland, happily, is no exception. Despite having fewer offences to investigate, however, Police Scotland manages to clear up 50,000 fewer crimes each year than the eight old constabularies did a decade ago. Basic policing mistakes that just were not made in the old days now fill the newspapers: in July a woman was left lying next to her dead boyfriend in a car in Bannockburn for three days after the crash was reported to police; she later died. A few weeks ago an elderly disabled woman died when police waited 20 hours after a call from a concerned family member before forcing entry to her home, where she lay collapsed next to her dead husband. A recent survey found that a third of Police Scotland’s staff planned to leave the force within three years: the merger, as Theresa May put it, is a case study in what not to do.

This is why it suits the SNP to talk about independence: any other conversation would be about how they have betrayed the country they purport to champion. Having lost last year’s referendum, Ms Sturgeon immediately demanded more powers for the Scottish Parliament. These are being delivered in a Scotland Bill nearing the end of its passage through the House of Commons. But while the SNP make a lot of noise about devolution to Scotland, they are silent when it comes to devolution within Scotland.

Scotland returns to the polls yet again next spring, when a new Scottish Parliament will be elected. The shell-shocked state of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats means the SNP will probably do well. Increasingly, the strongest voice of opposition is that of Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, whom I hope to serve in the next parliament. Her principles are those of the Scottish Enlightenment: that countries do best when the public stand tall and the power of government is kept in check.

SNP activists love to invoke the concept of freedom, but they support a party that brings no such thing. For those who believe in liberty, competition, diversity, localism and accountability, there is no point in voting for Ms Sturgeon. Fundamentally, her party places its trust in the state, rather than in the people. It’s an odd kind of patriotism, one which makes Scotland poorer and less free. It’s time for the rebellion to begin.

Adam Tomkins is the John Millar professor of public law at the University of Glasgow.

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Show comments
  • Allan D.S. Smith

    Brilliant article. Sure to rattle a few separatist cages…

    • Arron Blue

      Terrific article. It shows clearly the ever-widening political gap between Scotland and England. The so-called united kingdom is finished; unionists like Tomkins deserve much praise for their part in the union’s demise. More please.

      • Tamerlane

        There’s that record again, round and round it goes.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    Wonderfully anti-Scottish, racist bile from the vile BRITNATS at The Speccie.

    This is right up their with The Torygraph’s cartoon depiction of Scots as tartan wearing, incestuous, haggis eaters.

    Thankfully the English, BRITISH NATIONALIST, MSM are continuing with their anti-Scottish bile, and reminding Scots why we have absolutely nothing in conmon with alien BRITNATS.

    Thank you for helping the independence cause, and reminding Scots why we should vote for The SNP.

    Keep the anti-Scottish bile coming BRITNATS.

    YES SCOTLAND

    • Nuahs87

      Your copy and paste arguments don’t reflect well on you.

      • ViolinSonaten b minor.

        But why is he rattling here and not to some Scottish magazine, we don’t care we rather
        they’d left. Its the Scots who chose to stay.

        • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

          You care enough to spout your BRITNAT bile here.

        • Actually, the Scots chose Independence. But please, don’t take my word for it,Check the voting stats for yourself:-http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/there-was-no-rise-in-scottish-nationalism-understanding-the-snp-victory/

          • Owen_Morgan

            Error 404, you cretin.

    • ViolinSonaten b minor.

      A brilliant article, you apocalyptic Scotnatnut. There isn’t any anti Scottish bile as the SNP
      doesn’t speak for the whole of Scotland, if it did you’d have left the UK. #
      The SNP couldn’t prove it was capable of balancing the books, it was all about division and
      deceit. By the way, why are you rattling to the English, we didn’t get a vote as said to you
      the other day, you cant trust the Scots. Maybe start rattling on the Scotman instead, after all
      it was all their fault.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        BRITNAT racist

        • ViolinSonaten b minor.

          Actually I want you to leave and would have said that if I had a vote.
          And how am I ‘ racist’ since when have Scotland been a separate race
          deluded wombat .

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Check the definition of racism…. It’s you.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            We’re going nowhere….. We’re going to end your union.

          • ViolinSonaten b minor.

            I need to do some work now so bye. Some one needs to keep you in fried
            mars bars and beer. And for the last time SCOTLAND KEPT YOU IN THE
            UNION not the English, for Gods sake.

          • Actually, the Scots chose Independence. But please, don’t take my word for it,Check the voting stats for yourself:-http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politic…

    • LittleRedRidingHood

      Except the criticism is coming from within your own borders. Try again.

    • jonkle

      Ms Sturgeon must be proud of you.

      • Richard Ferguson

        In fairness to Ms Sturgeon, Mr Ajockalypse is an awkward beast. Like most evangelical grievance-based movements she needs his fervour to keep the whole project going but knows equally that this is precisely what repels a broad spectrum of the population from jumping on board.

    • Owen_Morgan

      You really need help. Luckily, however, you’re Scottish, so you won’t get any (because Nicola’s splurged the dosh on something more headline-grabbing than mental health).

  • Terence Wilkinson

    Brilliant article. It is just a shame that none of the so called political experts who write for this magazine have picked up on any of these facts before now. Instead they have fallen for SNP propaganda hook, line and sinker and given awards to their leader.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    SNP : 58%…… and rising.

    Support for independence parties : 63%…… and rising.

    A special thanks to The Speccie for their anti-Scottish, racist bile as this helps to remind Scots why this so called union has had it’s day.

    Keep the anti-Scottish bile coming BRITNATS….. Every little helps !

    YES SCOTLAND

    • LittleRedRidingHood

      It seems the SNP are providing future generations of illiterate drones to Rally to the cause.
      Keep the population down and they’ll do anything for you.
      Works in the middle east, No reason why it won’t work in Scotland.
      Don’t you just love socialism.

    • kodama

      Can I ask what in the article is “anti-Scottish, racist bile”?

      • OJCorbs

        nothing, he’s conflating anti-SNP with anti-Scottish (he’s also conflating Scot with SNP supporter). Where he’s getting racist from I have no idea. The irony is he’s attacking “BRITNATS” yet a supporter of independence could hold exactly the same concerns – this article does not attack independence once, it attacks SNP policy. A pro-independence Scot should be as concerned (perhaps more so) about all this as a pro-union Scot.

  • ViolinSonaten b minor.

    Do you know anything about the investigation into the SNP breaching the spending rules
    in the referendum, covertly colluding with another organisation.
    Some chap called Peter Murrel ( Nicola Sturgeon’s) was involved in that, it was reported in
    the Herald and on ConservativeHome if you are interested. They just throw taxpayers money down the drain, shocking.

    • Sunset66

      If it’s proved to be true it was wrong
      You probably want to look up theLondon based hedge fund manager who did business with Saddam Hussein who donated £ 500k to the no campaign breaking the rules agreed as part of the Edinburgh agreement
      The no campaign spent twice that of the yes

      • Owen_Morgan

        “The no campaign spent twice that of the yes”

        I’m guessing, judging from that (which does tend to justify the points made by the article above), that the nats even reject the English language, but that does raise the question: what would be the language of an “independent” Scotland?

        • Sunset66

          Hey you are a card
          I think whatever the language, what ever the words you would still be described as precious

          • Owen_Morgan

            “Whatever” is one word, not two.

          • Sunset66

            Oh for goodness sake get a grip. Large hands small keyboard, predictive text, over excited
            You got the message
            You should lighten up or people will think you are a twat

  • Harryagain

    SNP = Scottish Nazi Party.
    The “wee lassie” is the living proof there is no link between intelligence, education and common sense.
    A genius has all of them. NS seems lacking in all but especially common sense (which trumps all.)
    Of course Scotland is going down the tube.
    Socialism fails everywhere it has been implemented.
    Scotland’s industries were destroyed by decades of socialism, not the tories or the English.
    But socialists are so brain dead they always think the problem was not enough socialism.
    So you end up with E Germany or N.Korea. Where they have to fence the population in.
    The wee lassie’ll be wanting to re-build Hadrians wall next.
    Work creation?

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      BRITNAT nazi.

      Keep your anti-Scottish, racist bile coming you BRITNAT.

      Thank you for reminding Scots that we have nothing in common with vile racist bigots like you.

      YES SCOTLAND

      • Harryagain

        Yah Boo!

      • Rumin8

        If you are an example of what Scottish nationalism means in practice, any Scottish ‘no’ voter living near you would be well advised to conceal their opinions, for fear of intimidation. You would have done well in 1930s Germany.

    • Sunset66

      SNP = Scottish nazi party
      To compare a democratically elected party with one which banned all other parties and went on to murder millions of innocents is disgraceful
      Whatever you think of the SNP you really should be ashamed of yourself
      You demean the millions of innocents who died
      Shame on you

      • Harryagain

        The Nazis were elected to power in Germany.
        A lot of the wee lassies’s posturing is just the same as Hit ler

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    Keep the anti-Scottish, racist bile coming………. All good for the independence cause.

    YES SCOTLAND

  • Bertie Gee

    Excellent piece. Thanks for your thoughtfulness and clarity.

  • Clotsworth

    … ” Increasingly, the strongest voice of opposition is that of Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, whom I hope to serve in the next parliament. Her principles are those of the Scottish Enlightenment: that countries do best when the public stand tall and the power of government is kept in check…”

    and there, at the end , after the multitude of deliberate falsehoods, duplicitous arguments against real sovereignty and the usual Tory two faced treachery, we come to the crunch…

    an absurd attempt to assure us that this unelected woman who has never won any election and who has proclaimed her intention, her every ambition and her undying ambition is but to keep Blighty in the EU ” No matter what”

    and to serve that end and only that end,

    even if her overlord fails to secure any meaningful abrogation of the tenets of evil that are the ends of the rampant bureaucracy and authoritarian superstate in the making that seeks to vanquish our kingdom, to command we surrender our essential beliefs in our freedom, our ability and our right to govern ourselves .

    Typical Tory perfidy

    • Pauline Winchester

      ‘Multitude of deliberate falsehoods’ – could you explain what falsehoods were written and what the correct information should be? I only ask as it’s easy to put a broad criticism as you did without any corrections.

      • Clotsworth

        certainly, I have not much time to spare, so, just taking thr first paragraph…

        Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such a scheme was compulsory, no matter how strongly parents objected. Imagine that the ruling party controlled 95 per cent of MPs, and policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent.

        this is simply a lie from start to finish, the purpose of the exercise is to prevent vulnerable children from falling through the net when the various agencies of the state fail in their duty and pass the buck, claiming they did not know or lessons have been learned and all will be well in the future etc etc… it is compulsory only in the sense that every headmaster, social worker or other professional in charge of childern can and will be held to account, along with the parents, should a child come to harm whilst in their care…

        that 95 per cent of course applies to Westminster which is not the government of those parts of Scotland, in fact, there is cross party support in Holyrood for the legislation, particulary from MSPs who have any experience of the “care ” system

        the last claim is simply paranoid drivel….

        and on and on it goes, and I must as well

    • TommyCastro

      Hardly a convincing counter argument, in fact drivel.

      • Clotsworth

        he seeks to serve Davidson, who seeks to serve Bruxels, and neither believe in the sovereignty of the Scottish people whose parliament they hope to enter by gaining a position at the top of the Tory List by no means democratic…

        • Kennybhoy

          Er the current FM was originally elected from the SNP List…?

  • ViolinSonaten b minor.

    Oh dear still trying to make it about political division instead of a business and economical choice. It didn’t work for that exploding ego Salmond who wanted to keep the pound and never answered any serious questions put to him by the Scottish people.
    He just arrogantly swayed around Holyrood with a bunch of sinister men in black.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      It’s ALL about political division…… Scotland does not have democracy, that’s why we need independence.

      The UK government + UK opposition have a grand total of 2/59 MPs in Scotland.

      Scotland will only achieve social justice through the democracy that independence will give us.

      • It’s very early in the morning; I recommend you have a nice cup of tea and relax a bit. You’re making yourself look like a complete idiot.

        • KingEric

          I fear that he can never look anything but an idiot. He’s an embarrassment to Scottish political thought.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Thank you BRITNAT… From a clown such as yourself that is indeed a complement.

          • KingEric

            Oh, if only you could spell. Compliment is the word you are looking for. You appear to be a sad indictment of Scotland’s failing education system under the SNP.

          • Landphil

            Jocky – the benefits of a Scottish education

          • Rumin8

            “He’s an embarrassment to Scottish political thought.”
            Don’t indulge his ego.

        • ViolinSonaten b minor.

          He’s showing Scotland in a very bad light, he should indeed have a
          cup of tea and a lie down. God knows what he’ll be like once the pubs
          are open.

      • Owen_Morgan

        Jesus…

  • ThreeCheeseFondue

    I’ll say one thing: you write well.
    Good luck.

  • Paul Philbin

    Are we just going to ignore that the ‘named person’ is already being trialled across Scotland and has proven pretty popular? Or does that just get in the way of your SNPBAD rhetoric?

    • kodama

      Over 14000 people have signed the No2NP petition and many parents, myself included are very concerned about it. This is not “SNPBAD rhetoric”, this is genuine concern about the state intruding on family life

      • Paul Philbin

        Yet it’s proven successful and well received in practice? There have been several legal challenges that have all been thrown out fairly quickly as well. Unless SNP is in charge of the courts and is telling them what to do?

        • kodama

          I have been unable to find any impartial scrutiny of the success of trials of NP, only information provided by those with vested interests, so remain unconvinced of it’s success. Having read SHANARRI, I am concerned about the levels of potential intrusion into ordinary families by overly officious NP. The anxieties of parents need to acknowledged and addressed.
          Yes legal challenges have been thrown out, but are still ongoing. Where did I suggest that there was any interference by the SNP into the legal process?

        • Droberts2010

          Yeah like the one the other day who is now a convicted sex offender. All her kids must have been so safe eh

      • Jambo25

        That leaves the other 5.2 million who haven’t signed it and the various educational and children’s charities which are in favour.

        • Tamerlane

          The charities are in favour Jambo because they’re getting a nice bung out of it and they’ll be able to position their people in top posts within the programme from which to advance their own agenda. This in turn will demand more money shovelled onto the gravy train which the Charities can then trouser into ever deeper pockets. I do wonder Jambo, do you understand politics at all? It’s classic pork barrel stuff – they endorse the programme and in return the SNP fills their coffers with state money. Do use your brain cell from time to time. This is the oldest trick in the book.

  • Pauline Winchester

    Actually they do. That’s why the SNP don’t get 100% of the vote. That’s why the SNP referendum was lost.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      Indyref1 was lost due to the lies, deceit and scaremongering of the Westminster unionist parties, where they treated Scots like fools.

      Indyref2 will be very different.

      YES SCOTLAND

      • Aporia

        “The Scottish people are so thick, gullible and easily-led that they were brainwashed by Westminster and Unionist propaganda rather considering both sides rationally and deciding for themselves that independence is a bad idea. Yeah, it’s the Unionists treating the Scottish people like fools, alright.” – SNP AJOCKALSYPSE 15/10/2015

        In reality, the scaremongering of the Better Together campaign was a godsend to the Yes side. And you still didn’t win.

      • Tamerlane

        Blah, blah blah…change the record.

      • Rumin8

        And again and again until they learn how to vote the right way.
        If you’d got it the first time, you would now be happy indulging your wet dreams, and the rest of us would be able to get a bit of peace and quiet.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    The union is decaying day by day, and within a few short years it will be consigned to history.

    I’d like to thank the anti-Scottish bigots at The Speccie for helping with the process.

    YES SCOTLAND

    • The_greyhound

      Poor wee paddy. Like all the rest of the fenians, it can only wish its life away. The comprehensive failure of the yeSNP “government”, the crumbling of the oil-financed Scottish dream, and the convincing NO win a year ago, have disordered its few wits.

      Poor wee paddy.

  • Paul Philbin

    An honest question though, if the SNP are indeed doing such a poor job and it’s so obvious then why aren’t people turning against them? Why is there support growing in the polls? Are you suggesting people who vote SNP are stupid or just ignorant?

    • Alexsau91

      Because there is no real opposition party, and opposing a nationalist party that is seen to put Scotland before everything else, is very difficult – especially when it can blame it’s ills on a far away government in Westminster (as we’ve seen with the NHS, they do this even when it’s their sole responsibility).

      • Jambo25

        At the present time there are 4 main opposition parties which aren’t very successful because the filthy, undemocratic electorate keep voting for somebody else.

  • IAB

    So what happened to your support for an independent republican Scottish state then? Scotland votes in the SNP so it’s democracy in action. You are a very poor political entity if you can’t see that. Good luck with your attempt to be elected.

    • Alexsau91

      Democracy, yes. And he is putting his money where his mouth is and putting himself forward for election. Democracy in action.

  • Suriani

    If Scotland did become a one party state it would be because the electorate democratically decided so.

    • The_greyhound

      Given the vicious and intimidatory behaviour of natioanlists at the polling booths, it would be difficult to discover what the democratic will was. We do know that the public voted against independence, but the arrogant goose-steppng morons have chosen to ignore the sovereign will of the people. As with any fascists, democracy is only OK with nationalists when it goes their way.

      • Suriani

        You having a gut bursting ‘Hail Spode’ moment! Btw fascism was a phenomenon of the 20|30s born in quite different curcumstances….anti-communism.

      • Jambo25

        Largactil time for greyhound.

      • Frozen Turkey

        Yo Greyhound, do you have anything better to do with your life? For all the complaining about cybernats, you might just be the biggest one I’ve seen. Whining endlessly on the comment section and all that jazz.

  • weescamp

    I feel sorry for his students.

    • Felixthecat

      Any rebuttal? nah f u c k i just ad hominem, par the course for Stasi Nationalsozialistische Partei.

      • Jambo25

        And with that comment you just destroyed any credibility you might have.

  • Derek Custance

    Perhaps the SNP have been doing well in the polls because they have not been subject to the same scrutiny that exists south of the border and thanks also in part to the total collapse of a smug arrogant Labour Party who used to joke about weighing their votes in subservient Scotland. It will be interesting to watch developments as the SNP is forced to defend its record and Scottish voters see how the rest of the UK is beginning to prosper under the Tories.

    • Suriani

      ‘prosper’, a weaslish and rather subjective word.

    • victor67

      Same scrutiny South of the border?
      By who? A media owned by billionaires who wrote over 150 pro tory editorials during the election.
      Britain is an oligarchy whose politicians dance to the tune of corporate lobbyists.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      The people of Scotland scutinised The SNP after 4yrs of government……. Then voted them in again with an increased majority.

      Then the Scottish people scutinised The SNP again…. and delivered 56/59 MPs.

      Basically you’ve got no idea about Scottish politics…. but then it’s none of your business.

      YES SCOTLAND

      • The_greyhound

        56?

        I think you’ll find it’s 55, and counting.

    • Have you seen the media in Scotland Derek? If you had you would realise that the media in Scotland are (apart from 1 Sunday Newspaper) frothing at the mouth hostile to the SNP. Says a lot for the party that they continue to increase support not only for the SNP but also for independence.

  • Craig Magee

    You forgot to add that the named person is the health visitor and parents have no obligation to meet with them should they not want to! Sounds a little less Orwellian now doesn’t it?

    • David Rynn

      Incorrect. The entire policy is illiberal, intrusive and represents a massive over-reach on behalf of the socialist state. It is absolutely no business of people I have never met to consider the wellbeing of my children. They should butt out.

      Also, the named person is not necessarily the health visitor. And a failure on behalf of a parent to meet with or co-operate with this person will surely be used as “evidence” against parents by the social services busybodies involved in this nonsense.

      • ‘and something called Skills Development Scotland’ i.e. Careers Service really scary stuff having to meet with a Careers Adviser.

        • David Rynn

          Careers Advisers know nothing about careers. Hence why they work in that line.

          And why should anybody be co-orced to meet with such a person, or have their children’s confidential information shared with them, against their wishes? Surely an individual child or parent should be free to decide on this and not the State, a social worker, a named person or careers adviser? That is the point.

          • Jambo25

            Strangely enough, as someone who was in charge of several senior schools for careers and HE/FE transfer I knew a good deal about careers. Much more than virtually any of the parents I dealt with and quite a bit more than you I suspect.

      • Georgie_Kent

        It is absolutely no business of people I have never met to consider the wellbeing of my children.
        I agree it is the absolute perogative of the paterfamilias to sodomise his sons and fuck his daughters. We dont need health visitors, social services, the police or lynch mobs.

      • Jambo25

        People you may have never met already do that. They are called things like teachers, social workers, nurses, doctors, health visitors etc. As a teacher for 30 odd years I regularly considered the wellbeing of other peoples’ children: often without meeting them. More hysteria from the terminally ill-informed.

    • kodama

      Can I ask where you get the information that parents do not have to meet their child’s NP from?

    • Singapom

      The “named person” can be anyone. Have you actually read the legislation? The parents have no obligation to meet – that’s the point: the parents no longer have final say over their own child.

      • Jambo25

        They don’t at present and arguably haven’t had since before the First World War.

  • Stamford Raffles

    And if Scotland ever separated from the U.K. (highly unlikely) the SNP would get worse and worse. Nationalists are always centralisers e.g German Nazis. SNP’s current game is to try to control the BBC in Scotland.

    • Suriani

      Nazis! how old are you? re the BBC, the active voice of smug Anglo-Centrism. So good luck with that SNP. Also there would be no UK without Scotland.

      • Droberts2010

        Yeah I mean the Nazis were all about creating a visible enemy to focus on. They believed the problems of Germany were all the fault of others. They centralised control over police forces and had a massive belief in the economic independence of Germany. They built up youth to gain support and refused to engage politically with other parties. Sounds nothing at all like the SNP

        • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

          BRITnazi

          • Droberts2010

            Oh look my own cybernat! Yay at last I have a pet troll.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Nice to meet you…. CyberBRITNAT.

          • Droberts2010

            Oh snappy and with lots of Caps as well. It’s like I’m back at uni what with the intellectual cut and thrust.

          • The_greyhound

            Not just yours I’m afraid. The poor dim thing tries to hump everyone’s leg. Later it’ll ask you for 10p for a cup of tea.

        • Graeme Thomson

          It’s the other political parties who refuse to engage with the SNP. The tories are the ones using propaganda instead of the truth and forcing the suicide of the weak and vulnerable. It’s the tories who are forcing their will on a smaller neighbouring country. So who’s the Nazis here? This article is so full of propaganda and contains so little truth it’s an absolute piece of laughable nonsense. No one believes you anymore.

        • Suriani

          you might say exactly the same for communists and social democrats or even the EU outists. the watery mud you sling will not stick.

        • OldPete

          If the SNP were as bad as you claim would they not just declare Independence, after all most Scots voted for it?

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      Unionist BRITISH NATIONALISTS are right wing imperialists….. Look closer to home with your nazi comments BRITNAT.

      • The_greyhound

        Poor wee Paddy lost his job (courtesy of the nationalists’ not selling all that valuable oil at $130/barrel), and sold his house to an SNP MP, then discovered he had been robbed, and called the police, for whom he is still waiting, days later.

        Poor wee Paddy.

    • OldPete

      Think you need to look more to a right wing party that de-nationalised services and banks, reduced the size of government, removed support from the poor, destroyed workers rights and cut taxes for the rich.

      Now I wonder what party is like the Nazis, not the left leaning SNP. You like the Professor need to look much closer to home.

  • AtMyDeskToday

    This article is beyond parody. The opening lines about him standing as a Conservative candidate essentially sum up the real underlying intent behind it. It’s difficult to even get angry about the content. Yawn!

    • Singapom

      What is inaccurate in the article?

      • AtMyDeskToday

        His entire perspective.

        • Singapom

          So, given you don’t deny the statistics and figures quoted in the article, what’s your perspective on them? Do they demonstrate success from 8 years of SNP rule in Scotland?

          • AtMyDeskToday

            Are you having trouble with the meaning of “perspective”?…

            “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view”

            I do in fact deny the statistics and figures he takes a particular, partisan view on. He correctly states the actions and policies of the SNP government and then goes on to cut-n-paste statistics and figures from other Spectator articles. These views do not hold up for those of us who daily enjoy life in Scotland. Given your nom-de-plume are you some travelling Englishman (with Scottish and Welsh ancestry) enjoying life in your comfortable bolt-hole of Singapore, or do you actually know what you are talking about with regard to life in Scotland. Please enlighten me.

  • Alexsau91

    Looks like the CyberNats were very quick to police your article and dismiss it. Desent against Dear Leader Sturgeon will not be tolerated.

  • Revd Robert West

    Brilliant. The wicked, evil ‘Fake Nationalists’ of the SNP need to be flushed away in order to save the nation, the family and the children from predatory political perverts. God help England to stand-up to the likes of Corbyn and his vicious minions too.

    • ChuckieStane

      The irony of Tomkins illiberal guff about a “one-party state” being hailed as “brilliant” by the BNP’s West.

      Tomkins rails against the Scottish government’s childrens policies then is supported by a man banned from teaching “indefinitely in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England”, found “guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute”.

      • Revd Robert West

        You believe in the wisdom of the Almighty State, as do the Sturgeonites. You are to be pitied. May I criticise the State about my own record, which you have so recklesslessly soaked-up like a youthful spong or a blank slate? The National College forTeaching and Leadership – a creepy name surely – does not know the first thing about teaching or about the recruitment or retention of teachers, as news reports and my own experience confirms. If you trust the State to look after children, whether by a centralised NCTL or by a centralised Child Guardian, you are a fool. How much will it take to make folks like you realise that to trust the State (politicians in other words) with anything so responsible as child welfare and advanced education, is to take us back to the dark ages of Soviet Russia. I am proud of my British National Party membership, which is a personal attribute you are not likely to attain to.

        • ChuckieStane

          Thank God I won’t attain BNP membership – at least we agree on something.

          • Revd Robert West

            Well, at least you have got a sense of humour, and that is also something we share. But do we not also share the need to limit the power of the State, especially to ‘guard’ (indoctrinate?) our children? And should you really be making ‘ad hominem” points rather than dealing with my arguements? I have every right to be a member of the British National Party, as you have every right not to be. So, why bring it up? As to my dispute with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) you are simply begging the question at to who was right. The dispute was not about professional behaviour at all; that was simply how these ignoramuses shoe-horned it. The dispute was about what I said about Islam in a course on the Crusades. They said that I had given my own Christian views on Islam, or views which matched my own, as if that in itself was wrong. Hello? When I pointed out to them that I had given Roman Catholic views on Islam and that I was a Protestant, it was obvious they could not tell the difference between the two. This is the problem with centralisation: you can centralise power but you cannot centralise expertise. They simply lacked the expertise to judge the issues they presumed to sit in judgement upon. The Sturgeonites want to do the same with their Child Guardians. Big Sister is a threat to the Scots whom she wants to isolate and then turn their kids into her children, Caesar’s children. The article in the Spectator was brilliant in exposing that. Though we are all to a degree partisan, let us give credit where it is due.

          • Revd Robert West

            Well, at least you have got a sense of humour, and that is also something we share. But do we not also share the need to limit the power of the State, especially to ‘guard’ (indoctrinate?) our children? And should you really be making ‘ad hominem” points rather than dealing with my arguements? I have every right to be
            a member of the British National Party, as you have every right not to be. So, why bring it up? As to my dispute with the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) you are simply begging the question at to who was right. The dispute was not about professional behaviour at all; that was simply how these
            ignoramuses shoe-horned it. The dispute was about what I said about Islam in a course on the Crusades. They said that I had given my own Christian views on Islam, or views which matched my own, as if that in itself was wrong. Hello? When I pointed out to them that I had given Roman Catholic views on Islam and that I was a Protestant, it was obvious they could not tell the difference
            between the two. This is the problem with centralisation: you cancentralise power but you cannot centralise expertise. They simply lacked the expertise to judge the issues they presumed to sit in judgement upon. The Sturgeonites want to do the same with their Child Guardians. Big Sister is a threat to the Scots whom she wants to isolate and then turn their kids into her children, Caesar’s
            children. The article in the Spectator was brilliant in exposing that. Though we are all to a degree partisan, let us give credit where it is due.

  • Border Guy Scot

    Good Grief we are now in the hands of a Professor who has shown in parts of this document his lack of knowledge of the real world, from his Ivory Tower in Academia. Ruth has this one wrong ( again), in that this is far from being ” on excoriating form “, but peddling ideas he has little practical experience or knowledge of. e.g. the ” Named Person “, we may have had a bounce to 18 % in the latest You Gov. Poll, but when the full practical implications ( not the policy idea) of the Tax Credit System become evident, to the pockets of the electorate and C1 and C2 Conservative Voters, don`t expect the electorate to support us.
    The SNP will do well because of the abject failure of the SC&UP to reach out to the C1s and C2s of the community with nothing other than fear and rhetoric and in that mode Tomkins is on excoriating form.

    • The_greyhound

      The familiar attack on the man, so characteristic of the odious nationalist coward.

      • andrew hall

        Yep greyhound that one does it, you are now officialy an fool just trolling for reaction. Border guy clearly states he is a Scottish Conservative so whilst I am politically loathed to support him I must support a fellow Scot!! You’re simply an idiot in search of a village who can’t even read a full comment before howling abuse at it’s author!!

      • Border Guy Scot

        You really don`t have many strings to your bow do you. The YouGov, poll published today embarrasses me as a long term Scottish Conservative Member, when over 71 % of the electorate don`t trust the Scottish Conservatives, and the quality of your responses indicates why. The current leadership have done nothing to improve our prospects because of their policy choices, and it is incumbent upon members to do what they can- like me -, to point this out and suggest changes. Only problem is they don`t want to listen.
        .
        Change won`t be affected by the current leadership but that has been obvious for some time.

  • Why didn’t Adam Tomkins mention that the Scottish Conservative Unionist Party have just recorded their worst share of the vote in Scotland for 150 years.

  • Landphil

    The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – a well argued critique of the one party state SNP.

  • C.U. Jimmy

    Most people in Scotland outside of political activism don’t really care what’s going on unless things get REALLY bad and they are directly affected – the SNP know their turf well and have been treading a pretty safe line. It helps that they shut debate down on social media through supporters’ aggression and their politicians can blame ‘Wastemonster’ and the ‘evil Tories’ not to mention the ‘red Tories’ for everything that goes wrong. ‘But we don’t have the powers/levers’ etc.. ‘But the Labour councillors in Glasgow were worse’ etc.. People are going to get sick of that kind of thing eventually. And the recent Police Scotland debacle(s) and the Michelle Thomson property speculation ‘business’ are perhaps getting voters’ attention. If I were a parent I’d object most strongly to the Named Person bill – it is control freakery – but until there’s a scandal I suspect most people will just meekly accept it as they do everything else. I disagree that the SNP are Corbyn-like – they’re a mixed bag, and definitely canny enough not to frighten the horses i.e. to keep the important tranche of Scottish middle-class voters friendly via pocket-friendly policies such as the council tax freeze, and iffy supporters like Brian Souter onside. It’s well-known that a lot of Scots have strong conservative instincts but wouldn’t vote Tory post-Thatcher (Salmond played this well) – however, things are moving on and there’s a fair chance the tide will turn, albeit slowly.
    Be interesting to see what happens with the devolved abortion ‘powers’…

  • Singapom

    Thank you Prof T. In one short article, just about everything that’s wrong about the SNP. They are the anti-Scots nationalists.

  • Looks like an Independent Scotland might become to England something like North Korea is to South Korea.
    It is amazing that parents tolerate the very sinister appointment of a state agent to police their children’s childhoods. Makes the Stasi look benevolent.
    Why do people Keep voting for this?

    • Sunset66

      Oh yes a developed modern democratic western nation with a long tradition of democracy is bound to end up like North Korea unless it has the guiding hand of MPs elected in England

      Honestly you are not up your own arse are you?

      • I note how well your long tradition is reflected in your charming turn of phrase.
        But I also know how far it deviates from the general politeness I have always experienced when in Scotland, which does indeed have long traditions in literature, the arts, science, philosophy and general cultured humaneness. Which is why it suprises me so much that people should be prepared to accept such intrusions of the state into their lives.

        • Sunset66

          Nothing like the input of a poster who suggests the democratically elected govt would turn the country into a depostic tyranny . Especially when they demonstrate little knowledge of politics in Scotland
          Do you honestly believe that any gov in Scotland seeking to protect its children would really be planning to impose a 1984 type state.
          As we are all too aware children have been abused and taken advantage of .
          The aim is to ensure everything is done to prevent that

          I would suggest you are an idiot if you think any party would try to impose an Orwellian structure.

          • And I would suggest that you are an ill-mannered little lout hiding behind a silly pseudonym.

          • Sunset66

            Oh dear. A trembling lip

          • Sorry to hear that. Try sticking a plaster on it. Or see your Doctor. That’s free in Scotland.

          • Sunset66

            Sunset 66 is because I might be 66 and because my children take the piss about me being in the last quarter of my life.
            What did you think it was about?
            England’s World Cup win?

        • Jambo25

          I think Sunset66 let you off lightly. The Named Person proposal does not increase state intrusion into everyday family lives. It gives no powers to state agencies other than the ones they already have. What it does is pin responsibility for the exercise of those powers onto a named person who will have a long term watching brief over children in their care.

    • Valeman

      In throwing out a christian charity’s appeal against the Scottish Government’s plans to appoint a ‘named person’ for every child Lord Carloway said:

      “It has no effect whatsoever on the legal, moral or social relationships within the family. The assertion to the contrary, without any supporting basis, has the appearance of hyperbole.”

      What’s your supporting basis for the comment above apart from subjectively opinionated hyperbole?

    • Tamerlane

      Neither Salmond nor Sturgeon have children, they are not nor ever will be parents. Apart from the very obvious psychological patterns here, from the perspective of two childless political automotons it undoubtedly seems entirely ‘normal’,

  • goneunderground

    These hardcore socialists are not as concerned with bringing up the standards of the ‘poor and needy’ as they are in bringing down the standards of the ‘posh and rich’ (except their own types of course).

    • Sunset66

      Oh yes that’s true. How did you find out their dastardly plan
      Congratulations idiot post of the day

      • goneunderground

        Thanks, it feels good to win…

        • OldPete

          How would you know you loser.

          • goneunderground

            Wow that’s brilliant, thanks for your contribution.

          • OldPete

            Your most welcome you loser.

  • Singapom

    55%

  • Sunset66

    A ludicrous article.
    A one party state.. You mean the democratically elected Scottish govt.
    Now I accept that people don’t support the SNP but when you compare them to nazis you are really defaming a political party which has contested and won elections since the sixties. In that time I am not aware of Nazi behaviour
    The combining of the police services is driven by economic factors and the view that in a country of 5-6 million you don’t need five separate forces just doesn’t make sense
    The NHS across the UK is under pressure no different in Scotland
    Good luck with your conservative campaign. You might just save your deposit

    • The_greyhound

      Since the SNP was founded by fascists, propped up for years by fascists, and pursues nazified policies, the opprobrium (nationalists will need to look up this difficult word – ask at your library for a dickshun’ary) is both accurate and deserved. The hatred the YeSNP shows toward a free press is another very instructive example of their fascist mentality. The odious lying nippy sweety was beside herself with anger and frustration that the press had exposed her friend and key ally Michelle Thomson.

      Useless, vicious, and corrupt, the SNP are Scotland’s shame.

      • OldPete

        I think like the Professor you need to realize you live in a fantasy world.
        SNP are fighting for the Scottish people, look to your right wing parties for Nazi values.

        • Peter Stroud

          Perhaps you might like to explain why an extreme right wing party, is any difference to an extreme left wing party. Both run centralist administrations. Both can be extreme nationalist in tone. And both fail to trust the individual. Both are totalitarian. If the article is half correct then it seems that the SNP in Scotland is bordering on a totalitarian country.

          • andrew hall

            except its been democratically elected….. thats a major point that the “SNP are Nazis” brigade seem to be missing.

          • OldPete

            SNP are a left of centre party.
            Agree that living in an extreme left or right wing governed country would not be good. Scotland is a democratic country the SNP can be votted out next year, unfortunately for the Professor the majority of the Scottish people don’t have his weird view of the SNP government.

      • Sunset66

        Greyhound Michelke Thomson has not been charged with any offence yet.
        The facts are a householder sold their ex council house which they bought at a discount for £ 21k and had the mortgage of £30k paid off. Subsequently and it may have been several years it was sold for £75k
        Maybe you should wait for the investigation to run its course.
        Secondly no SNP founder or member was ever charged with being a facist during the war. Ass you know many conservatives of the time thought AH wasn’t so bad and many labour MPs were sympathetic to communism . The idea that what happened in the 1940 s is relevant to the SNP of today is just crazy but you don’t do rational

      • andrew hall

        You very are a simpleton and I think also a bigot. Name one facist involved in the founding of the SNP? Please highlight our racial policies, do you think we have been plotting a “final solution” to the “english question”? such small mindedness and ignorance.

      • Jambo25

        You do realise that you simply come across as a mentalist and a grossly ahistorical one as well?

        • Wee Mental Davie

          Aye, very good … “Jambo”.

          • Jambo25

            You, at least, have the honesty to include the word ‘Mental’ in your posting name.

          • Wee Mental Davie

            I see you have an uptick from Joe from the Copland Road. SNP stooge nae doubt.

      • Tam1874

        Hahaha….nazified policies..hahaha…it’s true – I’ve witnessed Nazi salutes on the streets of Glasgow under the shadow of a flag, but not the Saltire. That other flag is now the true symbol of fascism..but please….hahaha……don’t stop…keep up the good work…….

  • popskihaynes

    Interesting but from down here south of the border, I suspect that things have changed a lot since the Independence Referendum. Before the general feeling was along the lines; “we are ‘family’ and best off together” but I suspect today it is more “Who cares, bye and good luck with that one Jimmy and don’t forget, no sharing of Sterling, we don’t want our own Euro crisis in the future”.

    Looking at some of the comments below there are clearly some Scottish people who are really keen for another shot at independence, the SNP are obviously like Brussels, keep asking the electorate the same question until they give the ‘right answer’. Well if they do hold another Referendum, this time let no Westminster politicians venture north, let no additional bribes be offered, let the Scots sort it out for themselves because we don’t care any longer, it’s gone beyond boring.

    The ‘Union’ was the uniting of the Scottish and English kingdoms and if Scotland left the UK one might say that technically the UK would cease to exist. But in reality as the vast percentage of the UK tax base and economy is in England, the UK will continue out of respect to the people of NI and Wales to call it the UK, it wouldn’t be nice to call the UK what it really is, England would it ?

  • andrew hall

    What a load of tosh, why cant the english just accept that their empire is dead?

    • The_greyhound

      But not as dead as the nationalists’ prospects of independence. The Fenian project has failed.

      You can go away and whinge (on English funded benefits, of course) for another 308 years.

      • andrew hall

        oh dear…. never quite got that argument, if we are such a burden just let us go?

        Btw never claimed a penny of benefits in my life and never will.

        • Tamerlane

          Well duh you live abroad.

      • ChuckieStane

        I wish you rabid unionists would get your story straight.

        First we have George Galloway saying indepedence was a protestant plot and their would be pogroms of catholics in a independent Scotland now it’s a “fenin project”

        • Richard Ferguson

          Both are talking p*sh, I would agree.

          However, independence from an “unaccountable” Westminster where we have lengthy cultural, linguistic and institutional ties versus the…er…”accountable” EU that the Nationalists wish to embrace, strikes me as quite a contradiction.

      • Tam1874

        The Fenian project!!!! Hahaha…masterful and yet so polite….hahaha…oh, teddy bears, eh? Funny….

      • Tam1874

        The Fenian project!!!! Hahaha…masterful and yet so polite….hahaha…oh, teddy bears, eh? Funny….

    • Peter Stroud

      I thought it was the Scots explorers, traders and soldiers that built the empire.

      • andrew hall

        It was… same as we built a world leading oil industry only to have the proceeds sucked up by London. But of course that can’t be true, we’re all just spongers really!

        Noted your previous remark re the barnet formula….. that paltry couple of grand was designed to compensate us for the theft of our nations wealth. Why does no one every mention that under the formula Northern Ireland actually receives the most cash per head of population!

        • Tamerlane

          It’s not your oil. It belongs to the Shetlands – stop stealing it from them #shetlandindependence

          • ChuckieStane

            “the Shetlands” – are there more than one of them?

            Showing your ignorance of Shetland there. Are your from the Englands or the Scotlands perhaps?

          • Tamerlane

            #shetlandindependence

      • goneunderground

        Sure they did, but in those days they had an outward-looking, creative mentality. That has largely disappeared and the balance has tipped in favour of the millions of welfare beneficiaries who feel that the ’empire’ owes them something.

        • andrew hall

          I’ve been away from the UK for to long i think, I’m so used to conversing with educated people that idiotic comments like this leave me speechless.

          • goneunderground

            I find that hard to believe – you demonstrate an intolerance of arguments you don’t like the sound of.

          • Tamerlane

            So educated you don’t know your ‘to’ from ‘too’ apparently.

          • andrew hall

            Oh 1000 pardons, please, forgive me. Hang on while I burn my MBA and MSC because a typo is clearly a showing of supreme idiocy, i obviously don’t deserve them, fool.

          • Tamerlane

            No need to apologise to me I can assure you, what’s important is that you try to do better next time. That way you won’t make such a fool of yourself.

        • Peter Stroud

          What an utterly stupid reply. Who fought in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan? The Brits, including some Scots regiments. Who assisted the UN Bosnia etc., the same. We fought together, sometimes under English generals, sometimes under Scots. Both countries gain from the union.

          • Sunset66

            Oh for goodness sake you unionists are only happy banging on about wars
            We all know the damage those wars do to our own people never mind the shambles left in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libyia . We spent £32 billion in Afghanistan . All because we want to show we can punch above our weight
            Read “losing small wars “before you bang on about Brits saving the world

        • OldPete

          What part of Scotland do you live in? Your portrayal of Scotland as having “millions of welfare beneficiaries” is flawed at best and stupid beyond belief.

    • Tamerlane

      But it’s not dead – you lot just signed up to stay in it back in Sept last year, we didn’t even have to whip you on a battlefield this time. You did it voluntarily.
      Cheers!

  • The_greyhound

    Excellent article.

    One more thing needs to be added : it’s increasingly clear that the bungling and corrupt YeSNP are slowly wrecking Scotland’s economy. We have seen a persistent tendency for unemployment to rise here, while it falls elsewhere in the UK, and output figures are only sustained by large public sector projects financed by the ever-generous English tax-payer.

    • andrew hall

      Not only a tory but an ill informed one… such a pity ignorance like this exists in the world.

    • ChuckieStane

      Scotland 16-64 year olds economically active 78.6%; England 16-64yo economically active 78.1%. Year on year Scotland economically active +0.3% England +0% (ONS).

      Perhaps you think everyone in Scotland lives off handouts because that is your personal experience? Most of us (North and South of the Border) work and pay our taxes.

    • Tam1874

      Oh, almost missed this one…hahaha…bungling and corrupt YeSNP…hahaha…comic genius…did you ‘gig’ at the Fringe this year? If so, are you back next year? Hope so…..

    • Tam1874

      Oh, almost missed this one…hahaha…bungling and corrupt YeSNP…hahaha…comic genius…did you ‘gig’ at the Fringe this year? If so, are you back next year? Hope so…..

  • Philip Kaulfuss

    Deary me. This reads like someone searched #SNPout on twitter and assembled an article from the top 20 most frothing, bonkers SNPBAD tweets they could find. And of course, if we disagree with this misleading, ill-informed pish, we’re just brainwashed cybernat cultists.

    • Andrew McLean

      Do you know, I think you have hit the nail on the head, this collection of so called facts have been roundly demolished soon after they were first uttered, now why are they rehashed here? it could be that the author is not up to date with the political discourse in Scotland!

  • Clotsworth

    rather a forlorn hope, I know well enough, but, in case there are any Speccy readers with a concern for the facts of the matter….

    the named person legislation is in response to various failures of professional persons to carry out their duties and then pass the buck with absolute impunity, no one being actually responsible for the lives of vulnerable childern, even when they are within the bounds of the professional care system, as shown with such stark horror and tragic consequence when two despairing teenage girls left their care home to walk the tree miles to jumped hand in hand to their deaths from the Erskine Bridge one winters night …

    turned out that everyone knew of their situation and the anarchy that prevailed, Doctors, Police, Social Workers and care home staff, and yet no one was prepared to take responsibility for the failure to look after two very vulnerable, frightened and despairing young girls they were being paid to look after and whose thoughts had turned to suicide, who were known to want to kill themselves, such was life within the “care” system

    see here for their story

    http://www.scottishreview.net/KRoy273.shtml

    Dont grieve for me,’ said Neve Lafferty in her suicide letter, ‘for now I’m free’. She would not have been surprised to learn that this desperate letter, leaving specific instructions for her funeral, was so little regarded that it was consigned to a file unread. ‘No one gave a shit,’ she wrote in the same letter. Two months later she left the Good Shepherd Centre for the last time, and walked with Georgia Rowe three miles to the Erskine Bridge, where the two girls linked arms on the barrier, their backs to the water.

    Have their deaths changed anything? Does anyone give a shit now?

    well, perhaps, if the SNP can bring those professionals to account for their actions, or more likely, negelect

    • Richard Ferguson

      Noted and understood. A case I know well and also a set of circumstances and a place of which I am painfully aware.

      The key point, however, is why should this legislation encompass the entire population?

      Secondly, does it not strike you that it allows a government in Edinburgh to remove any culpability and responsibility to another level of society? Thus, the Scottish Government can blame Westminster for one range of issues – let’s call them “strategic failings” – for want of a better term – while some poor sap within the system who – whether he or she gave a shit or not – can take the blame for the day-to-day operational failings of a system.

      • Clotsworth

        but which child should be exempt?

        all that the legislation seeks to do is to concentrate minds and close holes in the safety net.

        the situation in Scotland It is analogous in failing if not in scale to the dereliction of professionals in Rotherham, so far unaddressed by Westminster, and why is that?

        I agree that having in effect three governments, is a recipe for blame passing and evasion of responsibilities by self serving politicians, that rot becoming worse, varying directly with the size and distance from the governed, thus I would argue that Holyrood is more accountable and in touch than Westminster, which is at least somewhat accountable to the voters, to the EU, which is wholly unaccountable and downright evil

        • Richard Ferguson

          I’ll ignore the last point about the EU and how the SNP government views that as a superior legislative and judicial authority to Westminster. Too many of these discussions end up heading off piste.

          I can’t agree with you on the “concentrate minds” argument. As I see it, “holes” in safety nets emerge from the design of the system. All systems eventually are tinkered and tampered with that eventually they are no longer fit for purpose – it doesn’t matter whether that is an emergency response system or a bank’s IT architecture for mortgage applications.

          Therefore, legislators have a stark choice: build another layer on a legacy system -“named persons” in this case – or wholly re-shape the architecture of the existing system with accountability for failings at the top. The SNP – like most conservative, orthodox governments – lacks the adventurous spirit required to take unpopular decisions where they might be held accountable for any failings (in direct contradiction with the image they project when it comes to constitutional matters). In short, reinforce the legacy structure, name the person who is going to carry the can and then get back to the serious business of being an elite establishment.

          On the issue of which child should be exempt? Well, all three of mine for a start. Having witnessed the state’s medical and educational services first hand and close up, I’d express my unwillingness for some of these people to have any more say in the lives of my children.

          • Clotsworth

            fair enough,
            if you would have politicians assume accountability for others’ children through this new paridigm shift in law, they must also assume resume responsibilty for your children,
            or are you above the law?

          • Richard Ferguson

            *Sighs*

            I’m not suggesting that at all – and I think you probably know that. However, I suggest you take a look at some of the more egregious aspects of adoption in England and Wales to see what happens when the state takes decisions that are not in the best interests of children.

          • Jambo25

            What are you suggesting then?

          • Kennybhoy

            Och man you were actually doing rather well until this… 🙁

    • Dominic Stockford

      No.There is no need for the ‘named person’ legislation, taking knowledge about and responsibility for children out of their parents hands – this does not combat inept social workers – in fact it gives them even more power. And God forbid the parents should hold a view that the named person doesn’t…

      • Clotsworth

        in point of fact there is every need,if you are a neglected or unloved and abused child, a not uncommon occurence in society today,
        I knew, very slightly the father in a case of tragic murder, a good, hard working man, with a family of multiple step childern, including two in the family group that had no birth parent present and which suffered two children murdered at the hand of their step siblings from tensions that built up over years exacerbated by the failing mental health of the mother …
        the headmaster will be the named person responsible for the well being of the children in his or her school, the teaching staff are the most likely to spot children showing signs of stress, of one sort or another, which even the parents may not recognise as being evident

      • Jambo25

        Once again. It gives no more powers to state authorities than they have already.

  • Seumas McCoo

    Sorry, but if people want to know why the Scottish Tories got their lowest vote since 1865 in the recent election all they need to do is to reread this rubbish.
    It is not lies, it is half truths. The problem is that the days when Unionists could get away with this is past.
    Were a student of the good Professor to produce an essay of this quality they would be failed. Unless the Professor can get himself top of the Glasgow list there is no danger that he will actually become a MSP.
    The first lies is that Scotland is a one party state. However this has been rubbished by the hoard of cyber warriers, who simply point out where the Unioninsts lie, and lie and lie to save the Union which they love as it gives them position

    • davidofkent

      Well, the SNP has worked its magic on you.

      • andrew hall

        oh yes bc north of the wall a massive brain washing exercise is being conducted by Nasty Nicola and her team of diabolical henchmen.

        Better to listen to the Tory rhetoric, they have at least proved over the last 150 years to be upright and honest in everything that they do. Always with Scotland’s best interests at heart!

        • davidofkent

          And you, obviously.

          • andrew hall

            and 50% of the population who voted SNP in the general election + another circa 2-3% of the population who support pro independence parties other than the SNP. If this union isn’t dead its in its death throws and another 5-10 years of tory governance will surely strangle the last breath from it.

      • OldPete

        Well, guess you are a supporter of the Conservative, Rightest, pro- Austerity, Pants party like the right whinger professor.

    • Richard Ferguson

      “Were a student of the good Professor to produce an essay of this quality they would be failed.”

      Unwittingly, you have painted a fairly accurate picture of the Scottish Higher Education system in the not-too-distant.

  • smilingvulture

    hope u make it into Scottish Parliament ,need a laugh

  • Fraser Bailey

    I am no fan of the SNP. But if Scotland is a one-party state (which is isn’t) that is due to the incompetence and unpleasantness of the other parties (particularly Labour) over many years.

  • Peter Stroud

    A very interesting article. So the SNP in Scotland is as poor as the representatives we see in the Commons. I assumed the party only sent its dross to Westminster, and kept the talented remainder in the Scots parliament. Perhaps we were wrong to fight against Scots independence, perhaps it would suit both sides better if Scotland was allowed to go its own way and learn to manage without the Barnett formula money.

  • Andrew McLean

    Oh dear half truths, downright lies and rehashed soundbites that have been systematically demolished. I have read some pish in my life, but proff you take the biscuit! One truth is that the Conservative vote is gaining in Scotland, but not because of swivel eyed lunacy like this, learn the facts before you write, and certainly don’t take quotes from Ms Dugdale as fact, you just look foolish at best, deranged at worst!

    • The_greyhound

      Has any one else remarked on the very poor quality of the cybernats this morning? Apart from the usual comic turn from the usual couple of pissed-up paddies, we seem to have only the halt, the lame, and the mindlessly inarticulate. Is all their benefits money going on adhesives and strong drink?

      Can’t the nationalists spare anything better, or are they all too busy with crooked property deals?

      • Andrew McLean

        Best you can do?, not biting, I just think you sad, really sad!

      • andrew hall

        You hide behind the anonymity of the internet and insult people…. it is you that is cowardly matey….. I’d call you out if I thought it would do any good!

      • Tam1874

        Crooked property deals….hahahaha…

  • Tamerlane

    Strange, since about 50% vote for them. Maybe yours is a different Scotland.

  • Tamerlane

    All true but so what? This isn’t a military junta, it’s a democratically elected government and there’s really no getting around that, this is the will of the people. If Scots are a wee bit dim that’s their problem.

    • The_greyhound

      The Scottish executive was elected in 2011 with 900,000 votes, less than 23% of those eligible to vote, an interesting testimony to the contempt so many people feel for the ghastly Edinburgh Parliament. Whether it’s the will of the people is anyone’s guess, and the SNP always entirely disregard all votes cast against them, even when these are the majority.

      Like most extremist fanatics, the SNP’s democratic credentials are highly dubious. Remember salmond, the world’s first self-propelled colostomy bag, wittering about UDI, immediately after his lying independence campaign had crashed to its ruin?

      • Alex Latta

        I’m sure your thinking of this sort of Liar that needs exposed for what he is “On almost every critical point raised during the debate about Scotland’s future, Salmond was deliberately misleading. I’m not just thinking of his claim that he’d received legal advice reassuring him that an independent Scotland wouldn’t need to reapply for membership of the European Union. When the Information Commissioner ordered the Scottish government to respond to an FOI request to disclose the advice it had received, Salmond’s ministers spent £19,452.92 of public money appealing the decision, only to admit later that the ‘advice’ was a figment of Salmond’s imagination. So the First Minister misled the Scottish people on this point and spent taxpayers’ money to try to conceal the fact.

        Then there were the SNP’s fictitious claims about the economic impact of independence — and I’m indebted here to the blogger Kevin Hague, who has devoted years to unpicking the SNP’s rhetoric. For instance, there was the assertion that Scotland sends more money to Westminster than it gets back, thanks to North Sea oil.

        If you factor in its share of oil revenue, Scotland has been a net contributor to Britain’s coffers in three of the last 15 years. For the other 12, oil hasn’t been sufficient to offset the fact that the Scottish government spends £1,450 more and raises £250 less per person than the rest of the UK. This makes Salmond’s claim, repeated ad infinitum, that ‘oil is just a bonus’ and Scotland could get along perfectly well without it, even more absurd. If you add the £1,450 and £250 together, you get a per capita gap of £1,700, which means that, without North Sea oil, its deficit would be £9.1 billion higher than it is as part of the UK. It turns out that oil revenue is critical to offsetting the deficit gap, which is presumably why Salmond wildly over-estimated it in the SNP’s white paper on Scotland’s future. In it, he claimed that revenue from North Sea oil in 2016/17 — the first year of Scotland’s independence — would be between £6.8 billion and £7.9 billion. In fact, it’s likely to be around £600 million.

        If you deduct the £600 million from the £9.1 billion, that means Scotland would be facing an annual deficit gap of £8.5 billion in its first year of independence and there’s no reason to think that would change over the next ten to 15 years. In order for Scotland to be better off out of the UK, oil revenue would have to increase by several thousand per cent, or the Scottish economy would have to grow by a faster amount than the rest of the UK — around 15 per cent faster. For Scotland to wash its own face would mean massive public spending cuts. Far from imposing austerity on Scotland, the British government is saving Nicola Sturgeon from having to find Greek levels of savings. Who would have thunk it?

        The SNP is, by some margin, the most dishonest party in Britain. https://spectator.com.au/2015/05/nicola-sturgeon-protests-too-much-about-alistair-carmichael/

      • Tam1874

        Colostomy bag….hahahaha….

  • Dominic Stockford

    The ‘named person’ ideological change is simply evil.

  • Wee Mental Davie

    I’ve been waiting for a hard hitting article like this one. This message must be spread all over Scotland in an appropriate manner for each target audience. I think most on here only really see the cybernats as the usual Jockalypse and co having a jolly jape, but there are many websites out there, with thousands and thousands of these fanatics and they are fanatics, all spreading their propaganda. They came to power using webspace and they’re masters controlling it.

    We must fight back. I really fear for Scotland. If the system wants to save the Union, it must start now and it must be a cross party effort. The SNP are truly an incompetent and offensive bunch who have essentially bluffed their way into power.

    When I look out my window, I look poverty straight in the eye. You must give us an alternative hope to the SNP but crucially, in contrast to the SNP, you must make it happen. Come on guys, see beyond your individual political parties and get together … please … or will Mr Farage have to sort this mess out also.

    No surrender !

    • Suriani

      Aha! an old style protestant unionist….have you a preservation order?

    • OldPete

      Once again another mental unionist comment.

    • Richard Ferguson

      All very well but can you avoid the language of “No surrender” and leave that to another bunch of fanatics. I can’t argue for a union based on another form of infantile, introverted, identity-obsessed tribalists.

      • Wee Mental Davie

        Then I’m sorry Richard Ferguson, you’re not the one to help. If you’re not aware and you’re obviously not, there are thousands of us, all loyalists and proud defenders of the Union. We are a part of the culture and history in Scotland whether you like it or not. The Scottish brethern and Ulster. A strong bond crossing the waters. Never underestimate us and the voter base you may have at your fingertips. The same goes for the green brigade at the piggery. These guys are also not all blindly following the SNP. Loose us and we might be reconstructing Hadrians wall sooner than you think. The OF vote base is huge and especially in the central belt. The SNP are already aware of this. Again, the cybernats have infested both fan bases, spreading their filth.

        • Richard Ferguson

          Oh, I’m very aware of you Davy. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I’m going through the less salubrious parts of Lanarkshire and Ayrshire in the summer months I’m aware of your presence as it stoats around with its post-march bottle of buckfast in hand.

          I suppose all societies have their bigoted narrow minded tribes. Why we are cursed with so many up here, I know not. Perhaps there is something in the water.

          • Wee Mental Davie

            Oh Richard, Richard ! Let’s not fight like rebels. That matter can be resolved later. I also much prefer lager, without the lime obviously.

          • Sunset66

            Glad you are on their side your views are despicable

    • Sunset66

      The sash my father wore

      Wee mental davie big fan of the UVF
      Funny thing is Davie English unionists are embarrassed by all that Orange loyalism
      You are about ten decades behind the times

      • Wee Mental Davie

        Looks like I’m banned from posting directly. So this is the last.

        Where exactly in my post do I mention the UVF ?

        More SNP propaganda.

  • JPJ2

    Nutjob declares his country a one party state-while standing for a second party 🙂

    • ChuckieStane

      Tomkins’ article summed up in 14 words.

  • Neil McEvoy

    For a professor you ain’t so bright. The general principle of an undemocratic one party state is that there is only one party to vote for. You’re confusing the concept with what is technically a “very popular party”. But hey if you have an agenda to push why bother with intellectual logic eh, it’s not like you’re responsible for educating oth… oh wait..

    • The_greyhound

      The usual lame-brained yestapo attack on the man.

      Dim, cowardly, and with no dignity at all. Scottish nationalism, Scotland’s shame.

      • Neil McEvoy

        Right, a professor lays claim to Scotland being a one-party state without understanding what that simple concept actually means, and I’m the lame brained one. Having such a thick and politically bigoted individual in an important academic position, and having him abuse the privilege for his own political gain, is what really constitutes Scotland’s shame.

        • The_greyhound

          What constitutes Scotland’s shame is racist bigots, the nationalsts, being prepared to support criminals like salmond and sturgeon, who would sacrifice the country’s interests to their own personal vanity. The SNP told the country a pack of lies in the referendum campaign – had they succeeded Scotland would have been headed for economic disaster.

          It’ll be interesting to see what the voters in Edinburgh West make of the lying SNP in the bye-election.

          • Neil McEvoy

            Whit are you babbling on about? Independence is about freeing Scotland to realize its full potential, nothing else.

          • Tam1874

            Racist bigots!!! Hahaha….the race card…hahaha…wonder what ‘race’ you’re on about….doesn’t matter – you’re so angry and funny…

      • Tam1874

        Yestapo again! Hahahaha….please don’t run out of material…

  • jonkle

    It is in the interests of the SNP that Scotland do badly under the Union.
    The independence movement feeds off dissent. New powers from Westminster will make no difference, whatever the SNP get, they will merely ask for more. It’s their political strategy.
    When the UK is broken up, they will go away happy.

    • Suriani

      Not a few Tories might be happy too. Then there truly would be a one party state of EWNI. It would still be democratically elected, would it not?

  • Aaron Airon

    I like this “one party” state you talk of Mr Tomkins. I can literally feel the frothing in your mouth as you write your pretty dire article. 56% of the Scots electorate are done with your brand of divisive politics where all you do is shout SNP BAAAAAD. You have as much chance of winning a seat in any parliament in Scotland as a penguin has of being able to fly.You and your kind are on the wrong side of history and its a delight watching you eat yourself alive. Try being a good loser for a change and embrace the warm cosy feeling you get from supporting the SNP , who work for all the people not just the privileged few.

    • The_greyhound

      “embrace the warm cosy feeling you get from supporting the SNP”

      Cos the fascist trash will knock your teeth out if you don’t.

      And whence comes 56%? the lying SNP polled less than 50% in the general election. It’ll be interesting to see what they get in the Edinburgh West by-election.

      • Suriani

        however one chooses to measure it a significantly higher % than the Tory govt in Westminster.

        • The_greyhound

          So you acknowledge that we have been treated to another nationalist lie.

          Dodgy property deal anyone?

      • Tam1874

        Fascist trash…..hahaha…

    • Tamerlane

      I’m sorry and I hate to be pedantic but you simply can not ‘literally feel the frothing in your mouth’, to do that you would have to be his tongue or ‘literally’ standing there with your hand in his mouth as he types. You might figuratively sense the frothing (assuming he is) but you certainly can not literally feel it. Important point I think.

      • Andrew McLean

        I don’t know why you hate it, you’re actually quite good at it, however you missed one possibility? It didn’t need to be his hand in his mouth. Now you have given me a mental picture I didn’t want, thanks for that!

        • Tamerlane

          My pleasure.

  • The individual occupying the dunces seat in his class could do better than the professor occupying the Chair of Constitutional Law at Glasgow Uni.

    This article is just Tory bile.

    • jonkle

      Scotland no longer tolerates opposing views it seems.

      • Suriani

        for 300 yrs there was only one view. alternatives were quite actively discouraged. now, we enjoy our time in the sun….lamentable isn’t it!

        • Tamerlane

          Come now, the sun’s not shone in Scotland since about 1264, everybody knows that.

          • Neil McEvoy

            Actually recent reports have shown that incident in 1264 was actually just some croft in the distance on fire.

      • The_greyhound

        Scotland does. It’s the Scottish Nazty Party that doesn’t.

        • ChuckieStane

          Neil, how about your lack of toleration of “fenians” on these message boards a few weeks ago – I would have thought real nazis were your kinda guys.

        • Tam1874

          Hahahaha….Nazty Party….hahaha…

    • Tamerlane

      It’s a Conservative supporting and Unionist publication. Whether or not it’s ‘bile’ is a matter of opinion, but what did you expect other than a Tory perspective from a right wing Unionist publication? Seems to me you’re a bit dim.

      • Suriani

        ‘dim’ appears to be your ‘mot du jour’…like it!

      • From a University professor, I expect a bit of thought allied to a little research and broadly consistent with the academic consensus.
        Professor Tomkins is like a weather man who forecasts a storm under a ridge of high pressure. The prof doesn’t write about what he sees, but rather about what he thinks will get him votes from Tory voters.

        • Tamerlane

          Really? And what is the ‘academic consensus’ in your esteemed opinion? I’ll bet it’s the one that thinks the sun shines out of Nicola Sturgeon’s bottom.

    • The_greyhound

      The usual Yestapo attack on the man.

      • Tam1874

        Hahahaha….yestapo…hahaha…

    • alleagra

      This is just name calling devoid of rational response. More polite than the ‘Tory vermin/scum’ label we’re accustomed to in the Guardian but just as pointless. It’s simple really; all you have to do is tell us why you take that position.

      • Tamerlane

        ‘Tory’ is just code for English.

        • Suriani

          tories were originally Irish…

          • Tamerlane

            No wonder their whisky is superior.

        • OldPete

          The Professor is English but most Tories in Scotland are Scottish.
          The discussion and decision on Independence for Scotland will be decided by the people who live here no matter their nationality, that is called democracy.

          • Tamerlane

            Oh blah, blah, blah…spare me the sanctimonious ‘Scotland’s future will be decided by the Scots’ drivel. Nothing of the sort will happen. Scotland remains in the UK until England says it doesn’t, then you’ll be let go. Do try to see reality from time to time. It’s all wonderful stuff the whole independence fanfare but it is just throwing treats out for the puppies to stop them ruining the sofa.

          • OldPete

            If comments like yours were headlines in the media we would be packing our bags and preparing to leave next April, more’s the pity.

          • Tamerlane

            Precisely. Well done. You understand now.

          • Alex Latta

            How blind can so many Scots be ? “On almost every critical point raised during the debate about Scotland’s future, Salmond was deliberately misleading. I’m not just thinking of his claim that he’d received legal advice reassuring him that an independent Scotland wouldn’t need to reapply for membership of the European Union. When the Information Commissioner ordered the Scottish government to respond to an FOI request to disclose the advice it had received, Salmond’s ministers spent £19,452.92 of public money appealing the decision, only to admit later that the ‘advice’ was a figment of Salmond’s imagination. So the First Minister misled the Scottish people on this point and spent taxpayers’ money to try to conceal the fact.

            Then there were the SNP’s fictitious claims about the economic impact of independence — and I’m indebted here to the blogger Kevin Hague, who has devoted years to unpicking the SNP’s rhetoric. For instance, there was the assertion that Scotland sends more money to Westminster than it gets back, thanks to North Sea oil.

            If you factor in its share of oil revenue, Scotland has been a net contributor to Britain’s coffers in three of the last 15 years. For the other 12, oil hasn’t been sufficient to offset the fact that the Scottish government spends £1,450 more and raises £250 less per person than the rest of the UK. This makes Salmond’s claim, repeated ad infinitum, that ‘oil is just a bonus’ and Scotland could get along perfectly well without it, even more absurd. If you add the £1,450 and £250 together, you get a per capita gap of £1,700, which means that, without North Sea oil, its deficit would be £9.1 billion higher than it is as part of the UK. It turns out that oil revenue is critical to offsetting the deficit gap, which is presumably why Salmond wildly over-estimated it in the SNP’s white paper on Scotland’s future. In it, he claimed that revenue from North Sea oil in 2016/17 — the first year of Scotland’s independence — would be between £6.8 billion and £7.9 billion. In fact, it’s likely to be around £600 million.

            If you deduct the £600 million from the £9.1 billion, that means Scotland would be facing an annual deficit gap of £8.5 billion in its first year of independence and there’s no reason to think that would change over the next ten to 15 years. In order for Scotland to be better off out of the UK, oil revenue would have to increase by several thousand per cent, or the Scottish economy would have to grow by a faster amount than the rest of the UK — around 15 per cent faster. For Scotland to wash its own face would mean massive public spending cuts. Far from imposing austerity on Scotland, the British government is saving Nicola Sturgeon from having to find Greek levels of savings. Who would have thunk it?

            The SNP is, by some margin, the most dishonest party in Britain https://spectator.com.au/2015/05/nicola-sturgeon-protests-too-much-about-alistair-carmichael/

          • Jambo25

            That’ll be the Kevin Hague who made a frivolous complaint to the Electoral Commission which was dismissed out of hand. The same Kevin Hague who is seen as some kind of economic guru but actually runs a pet shop.

          • Alex Latta

            How Scotland dodged a bullet http://www.economicsuk.com/blog/002120.html

          • jonkle

            The professor lives in Scotland does he not.

          • OldPete

            My daughter attended his lectures when gaining her Law degree at Glasgow.

            Your point eludes me?

            The discussion and decision on Independence for Scotland will be decided
            by the people who live here no matter their nationality, that is called
            democracy.

            Read this and see how two faced he really is;

            http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13411783.From_Roundhead_to_Cavalier__how_Tory_Scottish_Secretary_s_advisor_wanted_to_axe_the_Royal_family/

          • jonkle

            You are saying the professor is English whereas Tories in Scotland are Scots. What is the relevance of that point ?

  • Suriani

    Some people on here seem obsessed with ‘narzis’…patently something of a preoccupation in the rest homes.

    • Tamerlane

      You should get a new job then.

  • Valeman

    Dear Prof, as someone quite brilliantly pointed out on Twitter a few months back (probably in response to ignorance much like yours):

    “A one party state is when opposition is banned – not when the opposition is f***ing useless.”

    The knowledge that you’re a Tory will come as a surprise to no one given the hoary old pish in the article above.

    I do hope you get a seat at next years elections as watching Nicola eviscerate your drivel at FMQs will be an absolute pleasure.

    • Clotsworth

      if this oaf is the top of the Glasgow Toady list,
      perhaps Ms Davidson is lining up that other towering Toady academic,
      prof Stephenson of Edinburgh Uni
      (“one of the most compelling voices in support of the Union” )
      whose formidable forensic skills rise from the Tory gutter to publicly calling the Mp for Paisley, Mhairi Black a “slut”

      • Valeman

        I doubt even the Tories would be stupid enough to stand the “Historywoman” as a candidate, it would be a complete waste of a deposit!

        • Tamerlane

          Are you two sat next to each other?

          • Valeman

            Like you and jonkle?

            Eh, NO!

          • Tamerlane

            So your answer then would be ‘Yes, we are sat next to each other.’
            Thought so.

          • Valeman

            So reading comprehension isn’t a strong point of yours?

            Shame.

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear.

  • jonkle

    Soundslike Prof Tomkins has rattled a few cages and got some cybernats out of bed early today.
    Job done.

    • Tamerlane

      And it’s not even a giro day!

      • jonkle

        They always seem to appear at the same time and in groups, except for Ajockalypse.

        • Tamerlane

          This I’ve noticed too. Funny that.

          (Jambo though is always here swinging his claymore and reminiscing about the time he met Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara down at his local pub etc etc…)

        • Wee Mental Davie

          Jocky lips has many faces on here. Each one matching the voices in his head.

    • Valeman

      Downright lies, sophistry, and innuendo (from an academic no less) tends to rattle the cages of all people, not just those who support either the SNP, Independence, or both.

      Is freedom of speech such an alien concept to cyberBRITnats that you would you prefer the good profs nonsense above remained unchallenged?

      • jonkle

        By all means keep it up, it’s very entertaining.

        • Valeman

          LOl even more!

          • jonkle

            Go for it !

        • Jambo25

          Give him those facts then.

          • jonkle

            ^What “facts” would they be then ?
            Oh, and do please explain, in you opinion, what is a “Britnat” ?

          • Jambo25

            The facts that Tomkins produced supposedly.

          • jonkle

            Perhaps you should ask him, you know where to find him.

      • Tamerlane

        Oh do get a grip.

        • Valeman

          Lol!

      • Peter Stroud

        If you call shouting “downright lies”, challenging, then I suggest you were not too well educated. The good professor has stated some facts. Let us see you challenge those facts, with other facts.

        • Valeman

          You first, what “facts” did he point out?

          • Peter Stroud

            For pity’s sake: read the article and you will see he quoted many facts, for example 50,000 less crimes cleared up under police Scotland. Reduced education budget etc., etc.

          • Valeman

            I have read the article, so I’ll ask you again.

            What “facts” did he point out?

          • Peter Stroud

            For a few facts read: paragraph beginning: “the same is true in education….

            Then the one beginning: “the rot has set in……

            And the paragraph beginning: “Recorded crime is falling……

            Just three to start with, but there are more. If you suggest these are untruths, then please quote your references.

          • Alasdair Allan

            When crime has dramatically fallen, there will always be a reduction in the number of crimes solved. It is a much smaller pie from which to carve your slice.

            Lies is the wrong word. What Tomkins does is create half-truths which have the benefit of sounding plausible but breakdown into a pool of manure when given any rational thought.

          • Valeman

            “Lies is the wrong word”

            I beg to disagree.

            Anyone writing about the SNP who claims “its rule has been a disaster.” is not only a liar, but a very blatant one at that.

          • Anser

            There might be an argument there but his arithmetic doesn’t demonstrate it. At a constant rate of successful crime solving less crime will always mean fewer crimes solved.

          • Jambo25

            Education budgets are decided by local authorities. The Scottish health budget has been re apportioned to divert money to home care for the elderly plus various para medical services such as pharmacy etc.. The process has been underway for years, even before the SNP formed its first government in 2007. Incidentally, its not Scottish hospitals which have been lacerated by today’s CQC report: Its hospitals and other services in England. Scotland has consistently higher approval ratings for the NHS than England.
            In education there was a worrying report which showed a very slight fall in certain metrics measuring literacy in certain age cohorts. The SG are taking action to remedy that. FE colleges cut large numbers of ‘hobby’ courses and a number of others which were over provided. Actual provision of courses for young people which give vocational skills has increased and the number of young people engaged on them has also increased. As for the famous claim that poor Scots are less likely to go on to degree level courses than their English counterparts: this is simply a misreading of statistics prepared some time ago by UCAS. UCAS did not compare like with like as a large number of degree level and near degree level courses undertaken in universities in England are undertaken in HE/FE Colleges in Scotland. When that is taken into consideration Tomkins’ claim is nonsense. As an HE professional Tomkins should know this . He is either dishonest or incompetent.
            Tomkins’ section on policing is at best misleading and at worst deliberate lies. A number of European states of Scotland’s size have national police services. In fact it is quite normal. It is, moreover, not exactly a secret that the Home Office has considered cutting the number of English police forces to save on HQ costs and has even considered creating joint police/fire brigade structures. If Tomkins doesn’t know this then he is woefully ill informed. His claim that the tragic cock up over the Bannockburn crash was down to the set up of Police Scotland is simply nonsense. It was a piece of sloppiness by control room staff and could equally have happened un der the old system. Likewise the story of the old lady is grossly misleading. The phone call in question was non 999 and acted on within a day. Not great but no different from what would have been the time in pre Police Scotland days and better than the vast majority of English forces. The story about 30%+ of Scottish Police planning to leave the job being imputed to the establishment of Police Scotland is also based on either lack of knowledge or a deliberate lie on the part of Tomkins. When asked why they were wishing to leave over half of the Scottish respondents said that it was due to changes in UK police pensions rules controlled by: surprise, surprise the government in London. Incidentally, the same survey was carried out amongst English and Welsh police officers and found that not 30%+ of them were planning to leave but 50%+.
            There is so much misinformation in this piece that I am forced to the conclusion that Tomkins is either an incompetent or a liar.

          • John P Hughes

            The recent tragedy on the M9 in Stirlingshire looks to be
            a direct result of centralising the former regional police forces, because of the consequences that flowed from that.
            The car which crashed on Sunday morning 5 July was seen down an embankment on the motorway very soon by a user of a local road who reported it to Police Scotland. But the Police did not send any car to investigate or see it themselves, and only after a second report from a member of the public did they go to the scene three days later. They found two people, one dead and one who had lain injured for 3 days. She died in hospital a few days later.
            The closure of the police control centre at Stirling and
            the centralisation of calls to police on an overworked and understaffed control centre south of Edinburgh; and the reduction in the number of traffic patrol cars since 2013, are likely to emerge as the reasons why the crashed car was not attended immediately, with the consequence that the occupants died.
            Had the accident happened before 2013, the call would
            have been direct into Central Police’s control centre at Stirling, whose civilian operators were local people who knew the area and would have pinpointed the location quickly while the caller was on the line. The operator
            would have directly called the nearest patrol car on the M9 or M80 and asked it to investigate whether the vehicle was abandoned or whether someone was injured
            inside. Officers would have found the crashed car within 30 minutes to an hour and called medics and no doubt the helicopter air ambulance.
            Would what actually happened in July 2015 have occurred under the old structure of regional forces? If that question is asked in the inquiry (which it probably won’t be), the conclusion should be that under the regional constabularies it would not have happened. Two reasons – they had their own control centres staffed by people with local knowledge, and they maintained an adequate number of traffic patrol cars to attend reported incidents.

          • Jambo25

            I simply do not agree. The sighting of the crashed car was notified to the the control centre. It was not then relayed to the local police. That is the fault of someone not doing their fairly routine job, not centralisation of HQ functions.

          • John P Hughes

            No. This has been the subject of many comments since the tragedy in early July. The single control centre that the caller reached is nowhere near Stirlingshire and is reported to have been staffed by older police not suited to front-line work, not experienced civilian control centre staff. And motorway patrol cars have been cut in number since 2013. These factors resulted in the report not being followed up, and the crash site not being attended.

            Had the accident happened before 2013, as stated above and elsewhere, the caller who rang 101 would have found he was talking to Central Police’s control centre in Stirling to a civilan operator who knew the area and the M9/M80 junction in particular. The operator would probably have pinpointed the spot by on-line aerial photos while he was on the phone, and called the nearest patrol car on the Central Police’s section of M9/M80. The instruction would have been direct. As it was a Sunday morning with not much else happening, the police patrol car would have been on the scene in minutes.

            The comment above shows the way things have gone by referring to ‘not relayed to the local police’. Under the regional constabularies a caller dialled 101 or 999 and found themselves talking to ‘the local police’ direct. Now you do not.

            The deaths would not have occurred had the change of police structure and organisation not taken place. No case of such a serious error in such a situation in the period of the regional constabularies (1975-2013) has been recalled.

          • Jambo25

            There is absolutely no way of proving that contention at all. It is pure speculation. One last point. All major parties save the Lib Dems were in favour of a national police service prior to 2011. Why do you think that was?

          • John P Hughes

            The evidence that the tragedy on the M9 in July would not have happened under the pre-2013 regional constabularies with their own control centres is set out above. After it happened, some ex-policemen expressed shock at the institutional failure, and considered that it would not have happened in the past. This got into the press at that time.

            Why Labour supported a single police force is unclear but could be that they saw the party as having many seats on the new Police Authority. Ruth Davidson wasn’t the Conservative leader in 2010-11. She would do well to state clearly now that the Tories should have opposed the merger. The majority public response and the response of the forces other than Strathclyde’s CC Stephen House was to oppose the merger. Sadly party politics won.

          • Jambo25

            I’ll ask you the question again. All 3 major parties supported the creation of a national police force in their 2011 manifestos. When the legislation to allow the creation of that national police force was brought before the Holyrood Parliament it got cross party support from the 3 largest parties. Why do you think that was?

          • John P Hughes

            Perhaps you can tell us. The public’s response in consultations was opposed to the single force, and seven of the eight Chief Constables and their respective police authorities opposed the plan.. Why did the politicians ignore the view of the public and the police themselves? The Police and Fire Reform Bill was not published until January 2012. The many faults and failures of Police Scotland and the recent resignations demonstrate that the public and the Chief Constables were right and the politicians who supported the single force were wrong.

          • Jambo25

            “seven of the eight Chief Constables and their respective authorities opposed the plan.” Turkeys refuse to vote for Christmas – shock, horror! I never met anyone who spontaneously brought up opposition to the re organisation of the police. Very few people cared and if it ever was discussed there was general support for the measure. I’ll fling my question back to you. Why did the 3 largest parties support the measure? I know and I suggest you do as well but just don’t want to say .

          • John P Hughes

            In previous reply I asked you to tell us why three out of four political parties supported a single national police force – I do not know. The senior police in Scotland (except Stephen House and some of his senior officers) did not support it – that does not seem in dispute. Police know their job and the best way to organise their forces and most of the forces already covered large enough areas following the Wheatley restructuring of local government in 1975. Similarly, Police Authorities opposed the merger – and members of Police Authorities are delegated by their Councils to the roles and do not have paid jobs there to protect. Ordinary voters rarely concern themselves with the structure of public services. They only complain when things go wrong as a result of a reform, as has happened with the police in Scotland.
            .

          • John P Hughes

            The CQC is a Commission set up by the Secretary of State for Health whose remit only runs in England, and its powers are in England. The comment above suggests that it hasn’t criticised Scottish NHS hospitals, but it doesn’t operate in Scotland. There is no full equivalent north of the Border.

          • Jambo25

            There are other inspecting bodies which operate in Scotland. I will repeat my point that the CQC report, released on Thursday, lacerated the English NHS, not the Scottish one. I will repeat that the Scottish NHS has higher public approval rates than the English one. I will add that no Scottish Health Minister is going out of his or her way to pick a fight with junior doctors or the BMA based on false claims and information. That is Jeremy Hunt.

          • John P Hughes

            As stated above, the CQC can’t criticise NHS hospitals in Scotland because its powers do not include Scotland. ‘Public approval rates’ are based on surveys of users, and are in no way the same as professional inspections. A suspicion is that the inspecting bodies in Scotland are not independent of the Heath Minister, and do not subject themselves to scrutiny, so their assessments may be less thorough. That was once the case in England. The CQC in England was itself completely reformed a few years ago to make it effective (its top management was replaced). It wasn’t when originally set up.

          • Jambo25

            YOU suspect that the Scottish inspecting bodies are not independent of the Scottish Health Minister but there is no proof of that and we do have the views of those pesky patients who actually use the service that they appear to be, overwhelmingly, happy with it. You’ll just have to find something else to clobber the SG with.

        • Jambo25

          The good professor has done nothing of the kind. Give au the facts that we have to challenge.

      • jonkle

        But you’re not challenging him are you, you’re ranting on a Speccie forum to an audience of mainly English people living in England who take much delight in winding you up.
        I doubt whether the professor could be bothered with reading your “challenges”on here.
        So here’s an idea, why don’t you arrange to meet him with some of your friends and challenge him face to face, that should a spectacle worth watching. If you can’t be bothered, then just send him an email. That’s not too difficult for you is it.

        • Valeman

          “But you’re not challenging him are you”

          No I’m not, I’m challenging you, you clown. Does that mean we have to arrange a meet between us?

          Name the date, time, and place, and I’ll gladly oblige.

          I’ll even pay your travel expenses.

          • jonkle

            “Is freedom of speech such an alien concept to cyberBRITnats that you would you prefer the good profs nonsense above remained unchallenged?”
            Read your own post again Valeman, then perhaps you might just see the absurdity of your own argument. You have an issue with and article written by Prof Tomkins, take it up with him directly, your line of reasoning is completely bizarre.

    • Atlas

      Oh look, a xenophobic cybernat.

      • Tamerlane

        Grow up.

        • Atlas

          Powerful stuff.

          • Tamerlane

            Well, it certainly sent me to sleep.

          • Atlas

            Your own comment sent you to sleep? We both agree then, you are incredibly tiresome.

          • Tamerlane

            You’ve got to do better than ‘xenophobic cybernat’/ ‘bigoted britnat’/ ‘bitter together’/Scottish Nasty Party…etc…etc…

          • Atlas

            No I don’t. Its a well known fact that the SNP is a thuggish and xenophobic party with totalitarian tendencies. It is a danger to the people of Scotland and the hatred of the English it has incited has put English people in Scotland at risk.

          • Tamerlane

            I couldn’t agree more, but rise above them and take the p*ss out of them, that’s what I do. This is the internet for crying out loud. Not one word written here will change a thing or anyone’s opinion and hardly anybody’s reading most of it anyhow beyond the people who write it.

          • Heidstaethefire

            You might want to try and convince the English membership of the S.N.P. of that, which, before the referendum was, within a decimal of a percentage point of the proportion of English people resident in Scotland.

          • Sunset66

            Yes the courts are stacked with nat crimes and English residents are in fear of their lives.
            Any chance of some evidence to back your outrageous claim
            Mental illness appears to stalk you

      • Sunset66

        Oh look a right wing bigot

  • Boaby

    Show the SNP who’s boss by simply refusing to accept free prescriptions, free bus passes, and free higher education for your children. Take the money you saved and send it the government to spend on uranium fission bombs. And make sure you demand that they store the bombs near enough to your home so that your own family are within the accidental detonation kill radius. God save the queen.

    • Wee Mental Davie

      Another boaby from the SNP. You can’t just accidentally detonate a special weapon you …..boaby.

    • Andrew McLean

      Quite ironic you end with god Save the Queen, Queen always with a capital Q dear boy, when commenting on a piece by a republican? Or do the readers not know of the profs republicanism? 🙂

    • Alex Latta

      And please tell us then with your infinite wisdom how “accidental detonation” could even remotely occur considering Warheads are not stored or carried armed ? They are fitted with multiple interlocks and safety devices deliberately designed to avoid accidental detonation happening until the point of delivery. Your lack of knowledge on this point suggests that you actually have very little knowledge of Nuclear weapons other than what you have picked up from conspiracy theory spreading websites. Please produce an example (just one will do) of any actual accidental detonation of a Nuclear Weapon anywhere in the World. You can’t ? There is a reason for that…it simply can’t and won’t ever happen.

      • Andrew McLean

        But in the name of balance there have been a helluva lot of serious accidents!

  • Suriani

    Seems my reference to old style ‘protestant unionism’ upset somebody….right on target?

  • Good Morning After

    This “named person”, this state overseer, i was for a moment worried by the idea, i even fell for the anti’s, spin.
    Until you discover what the idea is about. You and your child are assigned a “named Person” who becomes your point of entry
    to all social services. So now instead of a random nameless bureaucrat who does not know you or your child from Adam you get
    to talk with the same person each time. They will know you your case history and your child. More to the point if you have challenges
    with them you know who to complain about. In short eminently sensible…Or Nazi social engineering? You choose.

    • Peter Stroud

      But surely, this must be increasing the number of state paid employees.

      • Jambo25

        No, because it will be done by existing teachers, social workers, health visitors etc.

        • Geoff Cookson

          And then when do they do the job they were employed to do before the legislation came in?

          • Jambo25

            That is actually one of the jobs they are employed to do now before the Named Person legislation comes in. I did it, as a teacher, for 30 odd years. Read what ‘Good Morning After’ writes.

          • Nacho

            As jambo says, it is just people doing the same job they have always done. For example, the headteacher at my school is the ‘named person’ for every pupil in the school. It does not seem to be particularly onerous, but makes it clear where responsibility lies should the child need access to one of numerous services. (For the vast majority of children, where she has no concerns, there is no extra work)

          • Charloch

            How exactly, in the explicit terms of the legislation, is it doing the same job they have always done?

          • Jambo25

            Because you were expected: in fact required, to do it by your contract of employment. All that has happened with the new proposed law is that the duty has been placed on a statutory basis rather than a contractual one.

          • Tamerlane

            So it has nothing to do with two childless SNP leaders in succession? I wonder if either Salmond or Sturgeon had children they would regard this as remotely acceptable, they are not parents and never will be parents. But then with unquestioning obedient robots like you they’ll never need to consider that.

          • ChuckieStane

            … and two childless Scottish Conservative Leaders in succession – so what? An utterly ridiculous comment

          • Tamerlane

            It’s absolutely spot on and you know it. It’s two childless leaders compensating by interfering with everyone else’s parenting.

          • Jambo25

            Do not bother answering this person. He is some kind of weirdo stalker who has been following me around from site to site. I no longer answer any posting by him. He is a troll.

          • Tamerlane

            Poor Jambers, been whipped too many times by me.

    • Charloch

      You are either disingenuous or ignorant. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are ignorant of the full implications of this authoritarian legislation. It gives the named person an absolute right to intervene in family life on the basis of a general concern over the happiness of the child. The parent has no right to refuse for refusal is itself proof of another criterion for intervention. It gives the state an absolute right to share information on the child without the consent of the parent. Thus far parental efforts to access such information has been resisted. It is not an access point to social services. It is social services’ access point to direct intervention in the private lives of potentially every family in Scotland. Maybe you will change your mind when they decide to get it right for your own children. This is not a party political issue. It is a state tyranny issue. The fact that people can’t or won’t acknowledge this demonstrates just how credulous the Scottish people have become. The state is treating us all as potential abusers and potential neglecters of our children. It is the State asserting itself as the ultimate parent of our children with an absolute right over them. Are you seriously accepting of that? This legislation will destroy many good families. Remember Orkney.

      • Valeman

        You prefer the current set up where a child presented to A&E can be referred to social services (on nothing more than a suspicion of harm/neglect) who can then without further ado impose a community care order and whisk the child off to a foster care home?

        Which to any parent innocent of wrong doing is only the start of the nightmare in which they see their child rarely on visits that are supervised at all times, and who are then at the mercy of secret kangaroo courts filled with hand wringing liberals and so called professionals who have it within their power to jail parents who dare to discuss their case to the world outside the doors of the “Childrens Reporter” where all such cases are heard?

        What the state proposes to do under the named guardian scheme will be a vast improvement on that detailed above.

        Your post above is absolute nonsense, the hyperbole that a Scottish judge has already mentioned is the illogical reaction to the proposed state guardian legislation.

      • Good Morning After

        I do and if i remember no named person existed at the time, you might as well say remember Waco. As for intervention those rules already exist, and when my son fell onto a sink when he was five i had to call the ambulance to get him to hospital. I was somewhat traumatized by the event, but the police interviewed me as i was holding my son. I was not happy about it to say the least, but i understood why it was done. I could have been abusing my son and it was a life threatening injury. The state has a duty of care, you may not like it but there it is.

  • OldPete

    Was this man not once a republican who wanted a Scottish Republic?
    Now a strong unionist can you believe any of the Tory drivel he now spouts.
    As regards Nazis, right wingers should look closer to home.

    • Geoff Cookson

      Why, the nazis were socialists?

      • What a stunningly foolish comment. The Nazis had the word “socialist” in the title of their party. They also imprisoned or murdered thousands of socialists. A fact which doesn’t quite make it above the horizon of your bigotry.

        By your dumb “logic”, North Korea is a democracy because it’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

        • flippit

          Wow, he got a reaction from you didn’t he?

          • Wessex Man

            Aye Peter A Bellender is particularly bad tempered with anyone who has studied the history of Europe and doesn’t view history his narrow perspective, how dare they!

          • OldPete

            Peter made an excellent comment confirmed if you read anything on the Nazis and their right wing ideology. Look to the rightest parties for similar attitudes and policies.

          • Sunset66

            Ah here we are again . You being naughty again just being abusive.
            Peters comment was absolutely accurate
            But hey you told me you are good really really good with the ladies
            Wow

        • The_greyhound

          “The Nazis had the word “socialist” in the title of their party. They also imprisoned or murdered thousands of socialists.”

          Eagerly supported at the time by Arthur Donaldson, noted Scottish nationalist and sometime leader of the SNP.

          Intelligent nationalists (one recognizes there aren’t too many) tend to avoid discussions of nazism, given that particular skeleton.

          • Valeman

            “Eagerly supported”

            That’s a rather large stretch of the imagination, even for an overly fertile one such as yours.

            An eager supporter of Nazis or fascists would be the likes of that old Tory/Labour fellow Oswald Mosley and his friends in the “British Union” of Fascists.

            Unionists (and trolls) should be wary of telling tall tales when their own closet is full of nasty skeletons.

          • Tam1874

            Ahahaha….one recognises there aren’t too many….hahaha…you ARE a funny little man…hahaha..

          • Shiprex

            And the British Establishment as you’ve forgotten

        • Kennybhoy

          Post deleted. Replied to wrong poster. Apologies.

        • Kennybhoy

          George Orwell, something of an authority on the subject I am sure you will grant, conceded that fascism was a species of socialism.

      • OldPete

        The Nazis were right wing and detested socialist beliefs.
        Look to the right wing not the left.

    • davidshort10

      Nationalists are fascists. They can sometimes call themselves national socialists. The SNP is nationalist and socialist. They brook no opposition and have thugs on the street to intimidate the opposition. They want people to inform on families to the state. I know what sort of party that reminds me of.

      • Shiprex

        Seriously those thugs being the ones who put kids in hospital on 19th September in George Square. BritNatz is far closer to the Nazi ideology

  • Suriani

    Very amusing to note that the ‘Kipper’ meme vis à vis Scottish nationalism is predicated on the terms ‘fascist and variants of nazi/nasty’. Given the racist track record of some of them….

  • Alasdair Allan

    The byline here is very interesting. Do the Spectator not believe in the principle of full disclosure?

    It says : –

    Adam Tomkins is the John Millar professor of public law at the University of Glasgow.

    Which is true enough but fails to reveal the whole picture.

    Where is the mention that Adam Tomkins is a prospective candidate for the Scottish Parliament representing the Conservative and Unionist Party for the Glasgow regional list? Oh it isn’t. Very convenient for the political bias of the articule but very, very bad editorial journalism.

    • duncton

      Read the second last paragraph again,

    • Leslie

      Have you not read the articule then ? it states very clearly he is standing for the conservative . If you follow a link to shout down an arguement , then at least read it first lol

      • Alasdair Allan

        I did read it in the article. But it is missing from the byline, its clearly intentional obfuscation.

        • davidshort10

          A ‘byline’ is the name of the author of an article. You really are dumb.

        • Kennybhoy

          Och this is truly embarrassing…

    • Wessex Man

      tee hee divy, learn to read.

      • Sunset66

        Ah Wessex man your mother warned you about playing with naughty boys like Greyhound. He’s like the unhappy child who shouts obscenities in the street
        Goodnes knows why you post about Scottish politics. You probably have never met an SNP supporter lived in Scotland or had experience of any Scottish govt
        But you are good really really good with ……….

    • The_greyhound

      Another wee nat for whom reading is a huge challenge, and bipedalism an impossible dream.

      • Tam1874

        Hahahaha….bipedalism an impossible dream…hahahaha….funny….hahahaha…

    • davidshort10

      He says this in the article, you dumbo.”For years, I have watched this with increasing alarm from my position as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University. I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. “

    • Kennybhoy

      Are you and the eejits who upvoted you really this fucking thick? 🙂

  • ohforheavensake
    • flippit

      Yeah, semantics though. The article’s right about state guardian system, there is no second chamber, we’re just seeing the croneyism between the governing party, law and justice and the rest with the Thomson case. That some people think there’s nothing wrong with that is just plain nuts, don’t care who’s blogged on it.

      • Valeman

        “The article’s right about state guardian system, ”

        No it isn’t! Tomkins opinion of it is couched in exactly the type of hyperbole that Lord Carloway pointed to when he dismissed an appeal against the state guardian legislation by the christian charity C.A.R.E.

        “there is no second chamber,”

        There is also no effective opposition, neither of them is the fault of the SNP though are they?

        Any proof whatsoever to back up your “croneyism” claim?

        By the looks of it, the “semantics” are all yours!

  • The UK General election in May was contested by a total of eleven parties in Scotland, four of which stood candidates in every constituency. Four is more than one. Eleven is a lot more than one.

    It seems that Adam Tomkins is relying on the “special” arithmetic known only to British nationalist fanatics.

    • Leslie

      Are you drunk Peter lol?

      • The_greyhound

        substance abuse, and benefits dependency are characteristic of “Scottish” nationalists, along with Irish ethnicity, an aversion to soap, and a devotion to cheap anti-English racism. Despite the fact the English tax-payer treats them so generously.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          What particular spit-flecked, bile-laden, abusive ethnicity did you crawl out of?

          • Atlas

            Where he comes from is irrelevant, he is right.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            The story might be right, might be wrong, it’s all in the telling. You clearly missed that point. Keep trying.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            The story might be right, might be wrong, it’s all in the telling. You clearly missed that point. Keep trying.

        • ChuckieStane

          Neil (and Davie), You do realise your hero Tomkins is a republican?

        • Tam1874

          Substance abuse…hahaha…you’re so funny you must’ve been taking something….hahaha…

    • jonkle

      Can you please remind me, what is a “British nationalist fanatic” ?

    • Atlas

      Wow thats some hypocrisy, given that the xenophobic thugs of the SNP utterly disregard arithmetic in their dreamy imaginings of an independent Scotland.

  • Heidstaethefire

    “SNP have been in government since 2007 — and that its rule has been a disaster. ” So much of a disaster that their support keeps increasing. Oh, and as a matter of interest, how can it be a one party state when it doesn’t even have a majority in parliament?

    • Leslie

      Are they not a majority in the Scottish Parliament then?

      • Heidstaethefire

        No

        • The_greyhound

          The usual half-truth from the nationalists – three nationalists in the micky mouse “parliament” masquerade as independents..

          • OldPete

            Are at least 2 of them not in the Green camp now?

          • Tam1874

            Hahaha….Micky mouse (sic) parliament…hahaha…

          • Heidstaethefire

            This “…usual half truth…” Came from the Scottish Parliament’s own website, so the description is theirs, not mine. You should stick to chasing hares instead of trying to,start them running, and you should restrict your comments to that about which you know.

      • Heidstaethefire

        Sorry for brevity of previous post – domestic crisis involving dugs. Relevant numbers here;
        http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/12450.aspx

  • flippit

    Well said to all of that. Don’t doubt for a moment that the Natz on here won’t listen to a word of it. But it’s a fight to be had in Scotland now, for us in England I doubt if it matters either way, we have to be prepared that Scots will want the setup that SNP promises, a lot of them seem to buy it.

  • jeremy Morfey

    I really do not see the problem with this article. Here we have a Scottish Tory holding the Government there to account. Let the electorate be the final judge when they vote next year. The SNP, I am sure, have counterarguments to hand.

  • Anser

    I didn’t understand the LOL response but having read the article I do now. Tosh!

  • jeffersonian

    Best of luck Professor – Scotland needs people like you.

  • ChuckieStane

    Tory slams Scottish government for keeping public spending on health within budget while English public spending on health soars out of control. You couldn’t make it up.

    • The_greyhound

      He slams the inane nationalist Executive for failing to deliver on health, on education, and on policng. He might have also talked about the increasing problems in the Scottish economy – a direct consequence of the incompetent and corrupt antics of the useless SNP.

      These clowns have been in office for eight years, and so far all Scotland has to show for it is leading the way on a 5p surcharge on a carrier bag. Their performance is enough to make a cat laugh. Still, the SNP will carry on tells its lies (its only real proficiency), and gullible trolls will swallow them whole.

      • Valeman

        Strange then that it’s reckoned almost 60% of Scots are going to vote the SNP in for a 3rd term in office next year.

        Clearly you haven’t a clue what you’re on about.

      • Tam1874

        Hahaha…don’t know about a cat but I’m certainly laughing…hahaha…lies…hahaha..unlike the unionists…hahaha….belter…

  • The_greyhound

    Pity the poor wee nats. The pathetic creatures think they’re going to have another referendum (they like losing) while the toxic nippy sweetie is trying to damp down all expectation – It’ll be years before the yeSNP can approve widescale fracking and see sufficient revenues to have another fantasy punt on independence. For the present Scotland is a basket case – run, for the present, by nutcases.

    In the mean time there’s a bye-election in Edinburgh West to look forward to. The 55, and counting.

    • Tam1874

      Hahaha…stop it! Fantasy punt on independence….and the hits just keep on coming! Hahaha….

  • ChuckieStane

    How the children of Sheffield, Leeds, Rochdale, Derby, Telford and
    Oxford, Baby P or the victims of Saville might have appreciated a “chilling”, “illiberal” named person.

    • Richard Ferguson

      Well take the case of Baby P: a “named” person would most likely not have made a difference. The entreaties of Kim Holt, a consultant paediatrician, and three colleagues were ignored by their managers, a lawyer acting on behalf of Nevres Kemal, a Haringay social worker, was ignored by the Department of Education and Science and so on. Had they been “named persons” they too would have been ignored.

      The Baby P case was a classic example of institutional failure. In the end a doctor’s contract was terminated and the heads of the council, social work, and children’s services all lost their jobs. A policy of “named persons” could easily allow institutions and their leaders to deflect blame onto individuals, absolving the former from all responsibility. The outcome would be no different.

      • ChuckieStane

        Prehpas the outcome would be no different but, as I understand it, the concept is to try and prevent children falling between the various agencies. Doing nothing, whille certainly an option, means we must accept atrocities will happen.

  • Brian

    Mr Tomkins, just 2 points. 1. Independence will not mean unending political control by the SNP. It will lead to a re-alignment of politics which may even benefit the Conservatives . Remember how you were totally opposed to devolution,but how, in fact, it led to an increased profile for the Tories and allowed very capable Scottish Tories like Ruth Davidson and the lovely Annabel a platform at home without having to decamp a la Teddy Taylor to England. 2. The vast majority of Scots are vehemently opposed to the illiberal ,unequal , elite-preserving,poor-bashing,tax-avoiding regime in London. You have had 5 years to convince the Scottish people otherwise. It doesn’t look like it is working.

    • The_greyhound

      “The vast majority of Scots are vehemently opposed to the illiberal
      ,unequal , elite-preserving,poor-bashing,tax-avoiding regime in London.”

      Which is why they vote for the illiberal, unequal, elite-preserving, poor-bashing, tax avoiding SNP instead. This week the nationalists may pretend to be socialists, but as Prof. Tonkins points out, they don’t actually deliver anything, and certainly not for the poor.

      • Brian

        Explain the graph below please.

        Oh I forgot – Mrs Tomkins claims that voting SNP in May helped put the pigfucker back in No 10 – not true.

      • Tam1874

        Hahaha….poor-bashing…haha….brilliant!

        • magi83

          Hahahaha…another sh*te, pointless post by Tam1874…haha…brilliant!

          • Tam1874

            Hahaha….you’re funny…pointless, oh, the irony….hahaha…on this forum…hahaha…but there is a ‘point’, you see…hahaha…and, by the way, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery….hahaha…off to work now, I’ll miss you funny little unionists. C

  • Alan Stephen

    Boaby- Free prescriptions,bus passes and education all labour policies not SNP.
    The free prescriptions were set up for the poor,unemployed,elderly,children,long time ill not for well off middle class people like me.
    Free education again to help children from poor background the SNP’s action mean that fewer children from poor backgrounds go to university than in England but it helps well off middle class home owning people like me.
    Local taxes under SNP haven’t increased in 8 years which again benefits people like me, but mean people in low paid jobs in local authorities have lost their positions.
    The SNP are no friend of the poor but no doubt to the SNP acolyte this is all pish! Such is the level of their argument level.

    • Shiprex

      Unfortunately Westminster still holds the keys to the coffers of Scotland’s wealth and prevents ScotGov from raising it’s own in it’s own way and yet imposes IT’S failed ideology of austerity which serves the establishment and wealthy far better than anyone else.

      • Tamerlane

        And so it damn well should. If Scotland wants that kind of tax raising and spending power then fine, no problem, it must go independent first. Absolutely no way you’re sitting up there junking your economy and then expecting the English to pick up the tab (and you will). Have the balls to go independent first, after that you can shoot all your veins with every kool aid fruit cake syrup Nicola offers you, be my guest.

        • Shiprex

          Scotland have paid in over 200 billion quid MORE than has been spent over the past 40 years when factoring in the oil wealth wasted by Westminster. It was Westminster who destroyed manufacturing industry in Scotland and denies Scotland any significant direct trading routes from its own shores. The Scottish economy is also doing a whole lot better than the rUK thanks to the Scottish government though still losing out on 90% of ALL the revenue from oil thanks to the rUK deeming it the price to pay to remain rather than get every penny a share is allocated.
          The westminster and British neoliberal wasters realised that if Scotland bolted and took back the wealth they had relied upon the British would be in dire straits and their war criminals arsenal would also be lost to them which would be like taking the favourite toy from a spoiled privileged brat.
          That just would not do so the media pushed Project Fear on the less well informed electorate and pressed the Labour party to get into pensioners homes and remind them their pensions would be at stake while the State media wouldn’t fix that lie it stuck. Then the non UK citizens being told they’d lose their right to stay etc. it was all a lie perpetrated by the riling class to keep Scotland under their control. Not for long though

          • Tamerlane

            P*ss off mountain man, there’s a bone through your nose, go tie it elsewhere.

          • Father Todd Untious

            Charmless, uneducated nurk.

  • davidshort10

    We are not interested. Does the Spectator make this the cover story because the editor and senior staff and managing director (Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neill) are Scottish?

  • new_number_2

    “While Theresa May was creating locally elected police and crime commissioners in England and Wales”

    You mean wasting millions of pounds on elections that only had a turnout of 15%.

    • The_greyhound

      Almost as pathetic as the mere 900,000 votes the scumbag SNP regards as a mandate.

      • Tam1874

        Ahahaha….haha…ha….scumbags….haha…

  • ChuckieStane

    Prof Tomkins complains that “one force now polices both the UK’s third-largest city and its most remote communities, notwithstanding the obvious and huge diversity of policing needs” which is little different the previous situation where Strathclyde Police covered Glasgow and a huge rural and island area from Ballantrae to Tiree.

    Strangely, when the Tories introduced the 1994 Local Government Act to do away with SRC they left the huge police area with its diversity of policing needs.

    • John P Hughes

      There wasn’t a demand in 1994 to change the regional constabulary boundaries created in 1975. An Argyll Constabulary could have been created to bring the southern end of the Highlands and Islands such as Tiree under a separate force when the District Councils became unitary authorities but it would have been too small to be viable. Or the area could have been put into Central Scotland Police, a largely rural force, run from Stirling; or less plausibly under the Northern force run from Inverness. Neither presumably offered any benefit. (And the Helensburgh and Gareloch area would have had to stay under Strathclyde Police anyway.) Also, the old rural police ways in Argyll probably lasted and policing was not an issue in 1994. Police Scotland with its centralised control and one-size-fits-all approach has been a different matter.
      Strathclyde Police was local-authority-controlled by a joint committee of councillors including some from Argyll. PS is controlled by a Police Authoruty appioined by the SNP Government. Rather a difference.

      • ChuckieStane

        There isn’t a demand to change the boundaries of Police Scotland either – just politics at play.

        Tomkins complaint was that PS area is too diverse in needs yet it isn’t really any more diverse than Strathclyde was. The tories did not break up Strathclyde Police, they campaigned on a unifiying Police Scotland manifesto and May is going to amalgamate in England. Tomkins has been called out for hypocrisy.

        Holding up SRC as a beacon of democratic accountability is unusual.

  • You will head the Glasgow list as I understand it, so if things are as bad as you claim then you and your gang should sweep the board. The fact that Ruthie skipped over to run as head of the Lothian list realistically tells you everything you need to know about your chances.

    That’s the point – if the SNP were as bad as you claim then they would be facing a wipe out, but instead they look certain to stay in office. Labour and the Lib-Dems are in a mess so this should be a perfect time for the Tories to get somewhat more than the 15 seats that they hold at the moment.

    Except the SNP really are not that bad and the Tories really are scum so you will be lucky to hold onto all those seats.

  • Iain Macdonald

    It was barely possible to read a sentence of this article without stumbling across some half truth or distortion. As a teacher, I am well aware of the recent fall in literacy standards in Scottish schools. However, that fall has happened for reasons far more various and nuanced than this SNP bashing diatribe would suggest. It is no coincidence that the recent drop has neatly coincided with the fallout of austerity policies forced upon the entire country by Westminster. The teaching unions have expressed the view that austerity has impacted badly upon education. We can at least take heart from the fact that the SNP has put into place some very serious policies for tackling the problem. I was similarly irritated by the claim that Holyrood has full control over the NHS, when everyone knows that – whilst the NHS is indeed devolved – decisions about its funding take place at Westminster, where a Tory government with no mandate whatsoever in Scotland is doing its best to erode the institution. As our Scottish NHS funding is determined by the level of spending south of the border, we can be sure that the Tory move toward privatisation (and the concomitant fall in public spending) will impact upon our Health Service. I should say that I am for various reasons very critical of the SNP, and I agree that the centralisation of the police force was idiotic; but I could well do without the flailing, scatter-shot criticisms rained down on them daily by the parties of Westminster and the press. Which leads me onto my main point. Throughout the referendum, and increasingly during the panicked latter stages, the unionists relied upon a negative, cynical, often mendacious and always manipulative campaign strategy. It may well be true that telling pensioners, long after the pensions had been guaranteed, that they would lose them after a yes vote helped to stop the terrifying advance of the yes campaign. The same might be said of the personal attacks on Salmond and Sturgeon, the lies told to immigrants, the conscription of our ‘apolitical’ head of state into warning us uppity Scots to ‘think very carefully’ and the ludicrous news stories about ISIS being all in favour of a yes vote. The problem with this approach is that, whilst it may well have had the desired short term effect, it left many of us feeling utterly disgusted and appalled by the parties of Westminster and the entire apparatus of state. Like most if not all of those who were won over to the yes side of the debate, a sense that I didn’t want to be ruled by people who could talk to me in such a fantastically patronising and dishonest way played a major role. The problem for the unionist parties in Scotland isn’t that the SNP is impervious to criticism; it’s that their (the unionists) behaviour during the referendum, in the minds of many, rendered them completely toxic. Like many others, I have never considered myself to be a nationalist in the narrow, insular sense portrayed by the parties who oppose it. I was very slow to come over to the yes side, partly drawn by their arguments, partly pushed by the grotesque strategies of Better Together. Throughout the referendum, the parties represented by Better Together colluded in the most egregious behaviour, desperate to secure the Union. In doing so, they poisoned their own well. They showed too much of themselves. That’s why they just can’t get anyone to listen to them. That’s why their criticisms of the SNP fall on deaf ears and why the newspaper smears no longer seem to work. To put it bluntly: it’s not that we feel cult-like love for the SNP, it’s that we feel revulsion for the rest.

    • gerronwithit

      Wow, as a teacher did no-one teach you about paragraphs? Makes whatever you are saying unreadable.

      • Tamerlane

        He’s a teacher, Jambo’s a teacher. A lot of them are teachers, and who pays teacher’s salary? Why tax man of course.

        • OldPete

          Are teachers less important because the Tax man pays their wages?

          • Tamerlane

            They’re more important. That’s the point. You’re having trouble keeping up Pete.

          • OldPete

            I agree with both your points, Keeping up can be a problem and teachers are very important.

      • Iain Macdonald

        ‘Makes whatever you are saying unreadable’ is a fragment. Also, you should have written ‘Makes whatever you are writing unreadable’. That aside, I’d be happy to go back and break it down into paragraphs if that’ll make it easier for you to read.

      • Iain Macdonald

        I’m just winding you up. You’re right. I should have used paragraphs.

        • Tom M

          Do you mean that you have to think about using paragraphs???

    • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

      We know this phenomenon well in many American inner cities. For example, as of 2012 in South Chicago, the median salary for public school teachers was $71,017 in a community with a per capita mean income of $27,148. Yet, in the associated school district only about half the students managed to graduate secondary school (year 12). Of those who did graduate secondary school, few were literate to a standard expected of a child finishing primary school (year 8).

      Such schools already spend much more per child than successful charter and private schools which, when offered as a choice, have been wildly successful. For example, in neighborhoods which were forced to turn to charter schools because of the destruction of public school infrastructure after Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area, student performance increase by leaps and bounds.

      Yet, the argument of the teachers unions in these failing schools has always been the same: More central control of education, no choice for parents, more spending per child. All the while, the salaries of teachers continue to outpace surrounding communities greatly, and the children who attend the inner city public schools fail to improve their lot and rise out of poverty generation after generation.

      I don’t mean to intrude on the problems of Scotland, and each country and community has its own unique issues. But the creep of collectivist authoritarianism is global, and it creates suffering and poverty everywhere. Be warned.

      • Shiprex

        Then again look at Asia and how well the teachers do there. In comparison with average salaries teachers are paid UPWARDS of double the average and I suspect you know how well China, Japan and Korea do in academic comparisons with the rest of the world. Don’t forget how poverty imposed on populations can dampen aspirations and achievement from the less well off.

        • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

          Cultural context and population differences matter, no doubt.

          • Jambo25

            Something similar is largely true of Finland which is reputed to have one of the world’s best education systems.

    • The_greyhound

      Rambling, cut and paste trash from yet another cybernat troll.

      Try to remember that the odious, incompetent, and achievement-free administration in Edinburgh governs on a mandate of a mere 900,000 votes, and that the country rejected the poisonous salmond’s lies in the referendum.

      Instead of witless name-callng, which is all a humbug like yourself is good for, cite which lies the NO campaign uttered last year. Of course, you can’t.

      On the other hand we have

      Nationalist lie : salmond’s legal advce on EU membership, which he had invented
      Nationalist lie : salmond’s absurd claim that he had an answer to the currency queston. To this day the bloated liar has never told us what that was.
      Nationalist lie : the idiotic clams that we would all be better off, when the SNP was prepared to subject the country to a massive recession to feed salmon’s insane personal quest for glory
      Nationalist lie : grotesque exaggerations of the country’s oil and gas reserves, neatly rebutted by Sir Ian Wood
      Nationalist lie : salmond’s stupid claims about the oil price – $130 a barrel anyone?
      Nationalist lie : refusal to acknowledge ballooning public spending deficit in Scotland.

      Liars. Nationalists are liars from first to last.

      • Tam1874

        Hahahaha…..you ARE hilarious!

      • Shiprex

        The Unionists challenge over legal advice in the coursts disagree on your misunderstanding
        Currency Union WOULD have been in everyones interests. The rest of your ramble is in your own words idiotic.

        • Tamerlane

          According to which economic theory is that? One potato two potato?

          • Shiprex

            The same theory that held with Eire when it achieved independence still using sterling for decades, then of course there are nations that use the Euro, US Dollar but evidence seems a bit too much for the average Yoon to accept

        • rollo_tommasi

          No it absolutely would not.

          • Shiprex

            Funny how the court found that he did NOT lie but still the Yoons go on about it because they prefer ignorance to reality.

          • rollo_tommasi

            He was cleared of breaching the ministerial code (not the same thing as misleading people) in a sham inquiry where he handpicked the person to lead it.

      • 2fishypoliticians

        Are you trying to bore your opponents into submission? You’re only telling half truths about nhs spending and education. Scandalous. I sincerely hope your lessons are more factually accurate.

    • jonkle

      A precis or bullet points would have been better.
      Poor communication skills, 2 out of 10 for effort.

      • Shiprex

        Is that because Unionists can’t handle more than 10 lines of facts in one go? Odd that this is still less than the original article yet still it’s too much.
        You jonkle have failed the IQ test

        • jonkle

          Plagiarism too, that’ll be 0 out of 10 then.

          • scotchthistle

            I think you are being too kind to Mr MacDonald

          • Shiprex

            No plagiarism though the same old truth about the Unionist establishment do tend to come up often.

      • Andrew Morton

        Classic deflection tactic.

        • jonkle

          Deflection from what ?

    • Steve

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • magi83

        I had the same reaction after reading the first few sentences.

    • magi83

      tl;dr

      Another witheringly boring post by a Scottish Nationalist.

    • Atlas

      Education policy is devolved, Scottish educational standards have fallen because the SNP is inept or malicious.

    • 2fishypoliticians

      Are you trying to bore your opponents into submission? Your claims are also half truths. Scandalous. I sincerely hope your lessons are more accurate and true

    • Gary

      Maybe I just understood better why Scottish educational attainment levels are falling – Have you had a paragraph-ectomy? Is this a standard procedure in Scotland?

    • Abie Vee

      Well said. I’d like to hear your thought too on Cameron’s astonishing triumphalist call, made on the dawn steps of Downing Steer within hours of the result , for English Votes for English Laws. Where was that obscenity during the campaign? Was that the utter humiliation, the ultimate cruel deception perpetrated upon the Scottish electorate?

      Do the Tories regard the Scots as the UK’s Palestinians ? Seems to me they do.

  • jock wishart

    I’m on the train from Edinburgh to Kings cross. I will have a great time but I don’t think I will laugh as much as I have done in the last 15 mins. The Britnats on here are totally hilarious. I came to this archive page via wings twitter and as my sides are sair I’m heading back their noo.

    • Tamerlane

      Yeah so much so you bothered to set up and register an account and post your first ever comment…nice try though. Big love to Gordon Lamb.

      • Shiprex

        Disqus isn’t JUST for Tories OR the Spectator but being a Unionist there’s a lot about the internet you don’t get. Much the same about a Modern Scotland I reckon

        • Tamerlane

          Blah…blah… easy.

          • Shiprex

            That’s not going to happen. The situation is that it’s the English who voted Tory who have sold out the national assets (that’s the stuff that the whole of the country can benefit from) and are trying to do the same in Scotland so they can keep sweet with their banking and corporate chums in the global finance world.

          • Tamerlane

            Always fascinating how the Scots Nats can’t abide the idea of the English giving it two fingers first. Makes you wonder what the real motives must be. This thread is nearly six months old and it’s a Saturday night, must be two for one night down at your local I guess. I don’t give a f*ck about Scotland, so spare me your lectures, what the Celts do in the mountains is up to them. Here, lay a string across the valley with two cups either end and if it’s dead straight you can talk to each other and you won’t have to shout any more. Amazing.

            Sling your hook mountain man, I’m English, I don’t care what you think any more than I care what the monkeys of Central Africa think. Beat it.

          • Father Todd Untious

            The whole point is you do care Tammy. You care a lot. You hate being challenged and proven wrong. You bear grudges. You are a trivial self-obsessed child.

      • jock wishart

        Who the fuck is Gordon lamb??

  • Davedeparis

    Scotland under the SNP looks more and more like Zimbabwe without the sunshine.

    • Tamerlane

      Thanks to the Saudis it’s currently looking like Kazakhstan without the potassium.

      • Shiprex

        Don’t forget its’s still Westminster who set the purse NOT Scots

        • Tamerlane

          Yeah…always blame Mama for your life.

          • Shiprex

            When it’s Mama who’s drinking and pissing away the inheritance as well as the income then yeah the can rests there.

    • Shiprex

      Aye right keep taking the meds

      • Davedeparis

        Sounds like you’ve got a good stash of happy pills yourself.

    • LG

      Yes, if you only read the right wing press and you’ve never actually been there?

      • Davedeparis

        I don’t qualify on either assumption.

  • Caligari Cryx

    For an academic, you give many in the profession a really bad name with personal attacks and; very little facts. If an electorate decide that one party is superior to all others, how does that make the country a ‘one party state’? If ‘named person’ is such a bad idea, why have there to date, been no legal challenges to this; as there have been with your own DWP draconian benefit attacks? How are the SNP to blame for a Tory government, if there are 650 seats in Westminster, and Labour only win 232 in England and Wales. Mr Thomkins your basic arithmetic skills would tell you that, even if you added the full 59 Scottish seats; it would not have been enough to beat the Tory party anyway. I think perhaps going in to politics is a good idea, especially under a Conservative banner, as you have pish and bollocks factor down nae problems.

    • jonkle

      The name’s Tomkins, Adam Tomkins.

    • Charlieboy

      Actually, there have been legal challenges under Article 8 of the ECHR – rejected by the Scottish courts, but the petitioners intend to take it the matter higher:

      http://no2np.org/named-person-legal-challenge-launched/

      If claiming to be ‘the one with the facts’ best to get yours right – kinda undermines your credibility otherwise, don’t you think?

      • Jambo25

        Actually, the rejection by the Court of Session, last month was couched in terms so categorical as to be rarely seen as findings of the court so weak was the petitioners’ case.

    • Atlas

      One can always tell a bigoted, xenophobic cybernat because their constant outpourings of hate are speckled with words like “nae” in a desperate attempt to imply difference between the Scottish and the English.

      Scottish nationalists are pathetic hate filled creatures.

  • Skyeward

    The SNP are the Mississippi GOP of the UK. They are heavily subsidized, absolutely convinced of their righteousness, and busily constructing a state no one would want to live or work in.

    • JPJ2

      In your opinion, but apparently not in the opinion of the majority of those intending to vote SNP in 2016.
      Does that not give even someone of your arrogance pause for thought?

      • Skyeward

        The majority who remain you mean? Crazy government = brain drain

        • JPJ2

          Scottish population at an all time high-brain drain Zero

          • Skyeward

            The thing is when you so visibly demonstrate your ignorance on how to perform the calculation, you make at least two of the points in the article. Not to mention your resemblance to a Tea Partier grows.

          • JPJ2

            What are you rambling on about?
            Anyway, I am sure you recollect that when a Scot moves to England he increases the IQ of both countries.

          • Skyeward

            Losing the thread of your own argument is another bad sign.

  • Suriani

    There is a ‘subtext’ here. All the other so-called mainstream parties in Scotland are blindly unionist. Is it not possible that some brave souls might have the bottle to found alternatives to the SNP? Until such time as the democratic options widen the above ‘whinge’ is simply tendentious.

  • OldPete
  • Observer

    Oh how I laughed. The insults against you always show that you are winning the argument. This guy trots out out the same old MSM propaganda, and he has some truly ridiculous notions.
    He should do stand up.

    • Alasdair Allan

      He’s running for the Tories at the Holyrood election on the Glasgow List. That is a form of stand up, pure comedy.

  • Andrew Morton

    Wait, what? This surely can’t be the same Professot Tomkins who was wheeled out as a ‘respected independent expert’ during the independence referendum. This spittle flecked, terminological inexactitude packed rant couldn’t possibly have come from the pen of that grave, balanced academic, could it?

  • scotchthistle

    An excellent article – and only too true. Scotland has never been worse governed than we are now.
    However, anyone who is prepared to stand up and spell out what is happening to this once great people will find that the bearer of bad news is never welcome. So much has been invested in the will-o’-the-wisp of Independence that its supporters cannot now afford to admit the truth. There are none so blind as those that will not see.

    • Suriani

      The Scots, up off their knees, are ‘greater’ now than they have been for centuries.

    • Andrew McLean

      You sire are misinformed , if you actually were scotch (sic) you would understand this article is complete and utter codswallop!

      • Andrew McLean: ‘You sire are misinformed
        Is scotchthistle of noble birth?
        Andrew McLean: ‘, if you actually were scotch (sic)
        Why the ‘sic’? His chosen pseudonym is ‘scotch thistle’—has Sturgeon gone and renamed Onopordum acanthium (‘Scotch thistle’), the ‘SNP thistle’? There’s nothing wrong with ‘Scotch’ being applied to us Scots anyway: its usage was good enough for Robert Louis Stevenson, good enough for ‘John Wilson—and good enough for the 94th Regiment of Foot, the Scotch Brigade, whose distinguished history included the battle honours of Seringapatam and Salamanca.
        Andrew McLean: ‘you would understand this article is complete and utter codswallop!
        Insults do not an argument make—at least, not amongst grown-ups.

      • scotchthistle

        Mr McLean
        I can assure you that 15 of my 16 great great grand parents were Scottish – the 16th was Irish (and may have had Scottish blood, but I would not know). I have lived the whole of my life in central Scotland, within a few miles of Falkirk.
        I recognised the article as an accurate description of the mess that Scotland has become since Devolution, simply because I live here and see Scotland lagging now in areas in which she used to excel (until Devolution).
        My father was a committed Scottish Nationalist (before that was fashionable), and I understand my mother also voted Scottish Nationalist when she could. Both are now dead, but I have no doubt both would be horrified to see what the SNP in particular has done to Scotland.
        I am sorry you dislike the term Scotch. It is a perfectly valid term for “Scottish”, though now considered “old-fashioned”. If you are ashamed of it, that is your problem.

  • Andrew Morton

    ‘Under the SNP, Scotland’s eight regional police constabularies were merged into a single force. While Theresa May was creating locally elected police and crime commissioners in England and Wales, increasing the accountability of the police to local voters, the SNP was doing the opposite. The chief constable of Police Scotland is accountable to a single police authority whose members are appointed by Scottish ministers. The one force now polices both the UK’s third-largest city and its most remote communities, notwithstanding the obvious and huge diversity of policing needs.’

    But wait, what’s this?

    The Scottish Conservative manifesto for the 2011 Holyrood election contained a commitment to merge all Scotland’s police forces in to one force to save money.

    ‘Scottish Conservatives were responsible for delivering 1,000 additional Police Officers in Scotland over the last four years as a result of our budget negotiations, and we are committed to maintaining Police numbers over the next Parliament. In order to ensure we can achieve this at a time when the public sector has to make savings, we will merge Scotland’s eight police forces into one.’

    Shouldn’t prospective Conservative candidates be aware of this?

    • Suriani

      It was the Conservatives who abolished the local county structure and created the spurious ‘regions’. They also messed with Glasgow reducing its population to suit their electoral ambitions. Then there was their imposition of the ‘poll tax’. A remarkably patient and long suffering people the Scots; fortunately no longer.

      • Charlieboy

        Oh PLEASE. If you want to talk about having autonomy and being masters of your own destiny then fine – I (and most reasonable English people) can totally understand that.

        However this constant assertion of victim-hood and how hard-done-by you are is both totally inaccurate and really gets up the nose of people south of the border (and one thing is for sure: if/when iScotland becomes a reality it will need the goodwill of rUK to help it on its feet). Scotland enjoys higher per-capita representation at Westminster that anywhere in rUK, plus one of the most powerful devolved parliaments anywhere in the world, plus higher public spending per capita than anywhere except NI (where all the extra is spent on security). This is the reason you get lovely freebies like prescriptions & university tuition which rUK can’t afford to give the rest of us. You also get to have blatantly discriminatory policies like charging English, Welsh and NI students for Scottish universities when all other EU citizens can go for free – something we accept with good grace (and which iScotland within the EU would not be allowed to continue doing, incidentally).

        The UK system has bent over backwards to accommodate the fact that you are outnumbered 10:1 by giving you a louder voice and more money proportional to your population than anywhere else. If that’s not enough for you and you want complete autonomy, fine – I have no objection. But enough with this ‘long suffering’ rubbish, frankly you sound like a spoilt brat who is moaning because you only got a BMW instead of a Ferrari for your 18th birthday.

        • Andrew Morton

          Any comment on my point that Tomkins is prevaricating on this issue, not to mention many others?

          • Jambo25

            No. He’s simply an English person with a well balanced personality. A chip on either shoulder. Don’t many of the cousins from down south aim that piece of un amusing banality at us?

          • Tamerlane

            Because it’s true, not just one but bags of chips on Scottish shoulders, that’s why you bleat on about it so much.

          • Charlieboy

            If you say the unification of PS was in the Scot Con’s manifesto I’m quite prepared to believe you (and also to believe that Tomkins would deliberately gloss over this!). And yes, this does show a degree of hypocrisy on their part, although I imagine they would say it wasn’t the idea but the execution that was botched.

            Personally, given the continual stream of bad news coverage over the last year, I’m pretty sure that it was a bad idea from the get-go, no matter who originally conceived it!

        • Helen Oyintando Ilitha

          As a Scot, I agree entirely with you Charlieboy. You have to remember, Scots love to moan. Previously, this was a trait we tried to suppress, but sadly no more 🙁

          • Hades2

            So do the English
            Miserablism is a British curse or something to cosy up to.

        • Tamerlane

          Spot on.

        • rollo_tommasi

          Great post.

      • John P Hughes

        The Wheatley Commission which assessed the need for and form of local government reform was set up by the Labour Government before 1970. The Conservatives largely accepted its recommendations, to create regions; in England they did not and city-regions were dropped in favour of strengthened County Councils. If Labour had been in power in 1973 the Wheatley restructuring would have been much the same. Under Wheatley some suburbs of Glasgow became Districts in Strathclyde but for strategic planning, public transport, police and some other services they were all administered together.
        The one significant change from Wheatley was that the proposal to ‘partition’ Fife between city regions centred on Edinburgh and Dundee was rejected by Parliament. It resolved that Fife should be a region of its own. This has lasted; Fife has been a legally a County, a Region and a District (or just a ‘Council’) over the years, but to its people it remains a Kingdom. And until 2013 it had its own locally-governed police, the Fife Constabulary.

    • John P Hughes

      The merger of the Scottish Police Forces was backed by politicians of other parties than the SNP at various stages, but that appears to be a result of polittical maneouvering and not responding to public opinion. What is more important is that the merger and (as important) bringing the police under the Scottish |Government was opposed by the non-political respondents when the plans were consulted on, by all the police forces other than Strathclyde, and by the local authorities who made up the police authorities. Of the Chief Constables, only Stephen House of Strathclyde supported merger; and who got the job of Chief Constable of Police Scotland?
      By taking the police out of the remit of local government, the control by elected representatives on joint committees (Police Authorities) was lost. In addition the police became liable for VAT in all purchasing because they were no longer part of local government, which is VAT-immune. That led to the trouble over pensions and call for more Treasury money.
      The decline of the police has been as the article described. The deaths of two people in a car which ran off the M9 in Stirlingshire in July and was not attended by the police for 3 days brought the crisis to a head; but much else was going wrong by then. The resignations of the Chief Constable and the Convener of the Police Authority (a Ministerial appointment) since the M9 tragedy underline how badly the change has gone and how unwise it was .
      As Theresa May has said, the police reform in Scotland is a good example of how not to carry out change. It is noticeable how talk of police amalgamations in England & Wales (which was around during the Blair Governments) has faded away.

    • John P Hughes

      The Scottish Conservatives’ unwise support in 2011 for the police merger was evidently for the rather simple (and poorly thought out) reason stated. For the view of the police forces and the public, and its actual effects, see my post below. If Ruth Davidson hasn’t already stated that the Conservative position in 2011 (established before she was Leader) was mistaken, she should do soon.

  • Arthur Thistlewood

    Centralizing, illiberal, catastrophic … you could be describing the similar one-party state in Wales.

  • Nine Ball

    “The proposal for a ‘named person’ — i.e., a state guardian for children — is a classic example of what is going so wrong. The person will, in the Scottish government’s chilling words, ‘monitor what children and young people need’. That parents, families, doctors and teachers do this already is not enough: the state must do it, too. Badged under the ghastly Orwellian acronym Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child), the ‘named person’ will ensure a child’s wellbeing is ‘assessed’ according to the extent to which the child is ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included’.

    So Ms Sturgeon’s ‘named persons’ will not focus only on harm, risk or even neglect — but the entire human condition. If my child is judged to be underachieving, inactive or somehow lacking in respect or responsibility, the ‘named person’ can discuss my child not only with the NHS, a social worker or the police, but with bodies including the Scottish Sports Council and something called Skills Development Scotland Co. Ltd.”

    This is not correct. This is quite simply the distribution of misinformation propaganda, and it’s dangerous.

    I would demand that the publication withdraw the article, but it’s pointlesss. The braying cabal of middle class Tory voters in the home counties who read The Spectator don’t care about poor kids anyway.

    • Charlieboy

      I’m happy to consider both sides of any argument, but to simply say “it’s not correct and just misinformation propaganda” tells me nothing. Please provide a bit more detail as to exactly WHAT is not correct and point to any factual inaccuracies.

      • Nine Ball

        The named person is not “a state guardian for children”. The article fails to inform the reader that the Named Person role is only activated when two or more other external agencies (Social Work, Local Authority, Police, Third Sector etc.) are already engaged in a child’s case. It’s not a pro-active role where some shadowy individual is pro-actively snooping through the lives and backgrounds of each child in the land. I think that’s an important point which has been disregarded.

        “the ‘named person’ will ensure a child’s wellbeing is ‘assessed’ according to the extent to which the child is ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included’.”

        Yes, but only in cases where a significant risk has been identified by a childcare professional.

        ” the ‘named person’ can discuss my child not only with the NHS, a social worker or the police, but with bodies including the Scottish Sports Council and something called Skills Development Scotland Co. Ltd.”

        This is misleading, the case can only be discussed with childcare professionals directly involved with the child and who have obtained a confidentiality agreement and passed a PVG Enhanced Disclosure check.

        Also “something called Skills Development Scotland” is deliberately misleading and condescending, as a legal and education professional in Scotland, Tomkins knows exactly what Skills Development Scotland is and they work they do.

        • Charlieboy

          You raise interesting points, but I’m a little confused – all the other things I’ve read on this issue have stated that a Named Person will be allocated to every single child in Scotland as a matter of course and you are the first person I’ve come across who has suggested otherwise – one would think the SNP themselves might have made this clearer if it were not the case. Certainly the phrase “Getting it right for every child” suggests that this is a blanket one-size-fits-all policy to be applied universally.

          I imagine what you mean is that a Named Person is allocated to every single child, but such people are the equivalent of a ‘sleeper agent’ – remaining totally uninvolved until 2 other agencies are involved in an individual case. If so, does this not make the whole scheme somewhat obsolete and simply add another layer of bureaucracy at additional cost to the taxpayer? If Social Work/Local Authority/Police (i.e. experienced childcare/investigatory professionals) are already looking into a case, what additional value is a Named Person (who is probably neither of these) expected to bring to the process? Isn’t this just a waste of resources and an additional burden to the Named Person themselves? I’ve seen articles suggesting that the people who would be expected to fulfil such a role – e.g. teachers – in the main aren’t too keen on this extra responsibility being foisted onto them when most already have full-time careers to consider.

          On the other hand, if (as I think this article – and others I’ve seen – suggests) the Named Person role is designed to actively assess the upbringing of every child with the intention of ‘heading off’ abuse/mistreatment before it becomes too serious, imo this does raise major concerns about government intrusion into people’s private lives and probably constitutes a breach of ECHR article 8.

          In either case, I’m really not convinced it is a good idea.

          • Nine Ball

            One way to interpret the legislation is that each named person will have a “constituency” of children, similar to an MP with their constituency.

            Obviously every member of the public in the UK, based on where they live, has an MP who represents them and whom they can refer to if a particular situation dictates as such. In reality, though, how many people really end up interacting personally with their MP?

            (The MP analogy isn’t exactly perfect; i.e. You don’t vote for your named person, most commonly it’s a school headteacher, or community healthcare professional for pre-schoolers, but the analogy does help to get across the manner in which every child will be allocated a named person, which seems to be a matter of consternation amongst those opposed to the scheme.)

            The named person does not add another layer of bureaucracy, or increase costs to the taxpayer, because the named person is already – today, right now – occupying the appropriate role, and being paid for it. Nobody is going to be recruited into a full-time job as a “Named Person”. In effect, they’re all already doing the job – the scheme just clarifies things for everyone.

            In many ways, the named person is already working to “actively assess the upbringing of every child”. This is what happens in school. Remember getting your homework marked? Or being sent to the headteacher’s office for kicking a ball through the gym window? In today’s parlance that’s “ongoing assessment”.

            The reason for the named person role is in the first instance, to collate reports from other childcare professionals if and when they arrive. For example, a child visiting the hospital is of itself not unusual or suspicious, but a visit to the hospital, coupled with a police report, and third sector support, all for the same child in the same timeframe, might require closer examination.

            Often, in the most serious cases, such as Baby P, Victoria Climbié and Daniel Pelka, there was evidence that various support agencies who were involved didn’t know that the other agencies were involved too, and that had someone been able to oversee the reports from the various agencies, and allow them to compare notes, then perhaps the children would have been spared their tragic fates.

            That’s what the Named Person is for. That’s all. It’s not intrusive, it’s not complicated, and it might help save some poor kid’s life.

          • ChuckieStane

            Thanks for your calm and sensible summary.

          • Charlieboy

            I can see the point of a role which facilitates inter-agency coordination, whose job is to ensure that all relevant public agencies are on the same page when it comes to each active individual case & if necessary acting as a point of contact for the child/family themselves. There are probably already liaison structures in place for such cooperation. But, if they are not considered adequate, and the Named Person role is solely designed to do is make these existing systems more efficient (creating a better, more formalised structure) I don’t have a problem with that.

            One point though – the job you are describing is essentially one of an ‘agency super-liaison’ for a particular area/catchment – probably a civil servant on the council’s payroll. This is a serious, full-time role and will need to be budgeted for – it is not something a head teacher could or should be expected to do ‘on the side’. Just a thought – not a bad idea though.

            However, in terms of interaction with the child or family, the above job would be pretty minimal and ‘passive’ – as you suggest only taking an active interest when other agencies are already invovled. This does seem somewhat at odds to the role quoted by the SG in this article as one which will ‘monitor what children and young people want’. Or from the SG’s own website:

            ” What will a Named Person do?
            The Named Person will be available to listen, advise and help a child or young person and their family, providing direct support or helping them to access other services. They can help families address their concerns early and prevent them becoming more serious.
            They can also help other services if they think a child, young person, or parent may need extra support.”

            http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/named-person

            This suggests a considerably more (pro-)active role in the child’s life, so I’m still confused on this. I think I’ll to have to get round to reading the legislation for myself to gather the exact parameters of the job and extent of the powers granted – bummer!

            Can I add that I’ve very much enjoyed this exchange and wish I had more like this online – more light less heat!

          • Nine Ball

            “One point though – the job you are describing is essentially one of an ‘agency super-liaison’ for a particular area/catchment – probably a civil servant on the council’s payroll. This is a serious, full-time role and will need to be budgeted for – it is not something a head teacher could or should be expected to do ‘on the side’. Just a thought – not a bad idea though.

            What is intended to take place is, in the event that the Named Person has identified a case where a number of agencies are involved and further integration between those agencies may be required, then a secondary position of “Lead Professional” will be selected from those professionals already involved in the case. This might be a social worker, childcare professional, third sector professional, police liaison officer etc. It would not necessarily have to be the Named Person themselves. The role of lead professional would carry out functions such co-ordinating meetings and assessing incident records and casenotes etc. Again, this would not require appointing any new individuals to any newly created roles. There would be no need to create the job of “agency super-liason” or anything similar at public expense.

            “The Named Person will be available to listen, advise and help a child or young person and their family, providing direct support or helping them to access other services. They can help families address their concerns early and prevent them becoming more serious.
            They can also help other services if they think a child, young person, or parent may need extra support.”

            Senior teachers in schools do this anyway, don’t they? If a child goes to a teacher with a problem, the teacher will try and help themselves, or they may decide to make a referral to a professional body with the appropriate skills, experience and resources. In terms of being “pro-active”, this might be as simple as a teacher quietly taking a child to one side and saying “You seem a bit down, is everything okay?”

            Would you object to teachers doing that?

          • Charlieboy

            In practical terms, I still think that what you are suggesting would create a considerable additional burden on such a teacher. It is one thing to have a general duty of care towards a child (or group of children), it is quite another to have a formal, legal responsibility to actively monitor their well-being. I think I’d need to know a bit more detail about the mechanics, such as: how many children each Named Person would have responsibility for? What about during holidays? What about children below school age? Is the Named Person legally liable? etc.. Overall, afraid I’m still not convinced of the fairness in loading someone who already has a full-time career with such additional responsibility, particularly if they aren’t being paid for it!

            Of course I wouldn’t object to a concerned teacher making discrete enquiries into a child’s well-being. However, in ethical/legal terms with GIRFEC I think my opinion would be based on what potentially intrusive new powers (if any) such a teacher (or other Named Person) would be granted in the role, and whether imo these could allow/result in violations of Art 8 ECHR. I will look into this and consider further.

            From what the SG write, one thing is pretty certain though – this is not something which only ‘kicks in’ when 2 other agencies are involved, as you claimed earlier, but an active (or at least semi-active) monitoring process which is ongoing from birth to legal maturity.

        • Helen Oyintando Ilitha

          I think you need to read the legislation. It most certainly does not only kick in if two agencies are involved. We are talking about the Named Person scheme to be introduced in 2016, which covers EVERY child and will see issues such as hospital appointment dates being conveyed to Named Persons in addition to the parent.

          • Jambo25

            In certain cases they already were before this scheme came in. The named person proposals make no difference to this.

          • Nine Ball

            I have read, and received training, in the legislation. It’s a requirement of my job.

      • How about you practice what you preach, Charlieboy?

        • Charlieboy

          Does asking for clarification on someone’s post in the hope of better understanding their views violate your sensibilities somehow Christian?

  • Philip Kaulfuss

    And here’s a comprehensive rebuttal by someone who actually checks facts: http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-professor-of-pish/

    • Charlieboy

      wingsoverscotland is a hate-site run by a hateful individual (see my post above). Give me a link to a site which doesn’t ooze bile from every pore and I’ll take you seriously.

      • Sunset66

        Trouble is Charlie boy if any unionist ventures on it you will find sources and quotes dismantling the article.
        I know that’s a shame when you want it to be otherwise
        Your real complaint should be that a Pofessor and Tory candidate is happy to misrepresent the facts

        • Charlieboy

          I’m actually not a ‘unionist’ – I have no ideological dog in this fight, but tend to take a more pragmatic approach. I realise this is difficult for many nationalists to grasp, but just because someone disagrees with you about something it doesn’t necessarily mean they believe the opposite! Like those who seem to love calling people ‘Britnats’ – ever occurred to you there’s actually a middle ground here and that those are the people you need to convince (rather than insult) to make iScotland a reality?

          The point is I will not countenance or give credibility to any individual who is so clearly intent on stirring up conflict and division with no regard to how offensive he is – have you ever seen this man’s twitter feed? If you post some of those ‘sources and quotes’ here I’ll give them due consideration, but will not ever contribute to that man’s hit counter again, sorry.

          • Philip Kaulfuss

            If you’re not a unionist, you certainly sound like one. I think I’d nearly have a full house if I was playing unionist bingo right now. Let’s see: “hate preacher”, check. Bath/Somerset, check. “Fake Reverend”, check. Faux outrage over some swearing on twitter, check.

            What’s that saying about walking like a duck and quacking like a duck?

            You are literally regurgitating the same stock responses that every unionist/tory/blairite gives when presented with some perfectly valid arguments in the form of a wings over scotland article. Stay blinkered, my friend.

          • Charlieboy

            As I said I’m a pragmatist – open to persuasion on most things, I thus far I have found the ‘unionist’ side of the argument on this issue to be infinitely more persuasive – as I have on many others (NOT all, I might add – there are a few elements of the ‘nationalist’ argument I agree, or at least have sympathy with).

            However, I object to personal abuse justified simply because someone might hold a different view – it is unnecessary, unpleasant and counter-productive. I have frequently received this both online and in person, simply for asking for clarification on a point/post, asking questions or raising concerns. And I’m sorry to say that more than 90% of it has come from the ‘nationalist’ side. Christian Wright has helpfully illustrated this immediately below: I politely ask for clarification on Nine Ball’s post, and get a snide remark in response. (Please also note that Nine Ball and I go on to have imo a pleasant & interesting exchange). This sort of thing does little to endear me to your views and re-enforces the very worst perceptions, forwarded by the unionist side, that you are a scary bunch of thugs with little to offer except chest-thumping patriotism.

            As for Campbell, I have no problem with bad language but sorry I really DO have a problem with someone who seems to glorify and revel in death, destruction and suffering and finds it ‘hilarious’. If that makes me ‘blinkered’ to you then so be it, but maybe you should ask why he’s been disavowed by the SNP themselves – are they ‘blinkered’ too?

          • Fulgentian

            Excellent post! I’m afraid it was ever thus my friend; people let their emotions get the better of them and that, coupled with a lack of ability to reason or understand another’s reasoning, leads in most cases to pure, unrefined hatred.

          • Philip Kaulfuss

            I see you’re another one who has been taken in by that Rev Stu 9/11 propaganda image. It’s a lame attempt at character assassination. The quote was taken out of context from a video games forum and circulated by a highly prejudiced individual whom has been stalking and harassing Stu for years, even before Wings Over Scotland.

          • Charlieboy

            Sorry but that quote, in any context whatsoever, is just creepy and offensive. The Hillsborough article on WoS I forced myself to read for myself (trying not to look at the photos) and found really cold, callous and unpleasant both in content and tone.

          • Philip Kaulfuss

            The Hillsborough article was published on his personal blog, not WoS. I’m not sure I agree with the conclusions he reached, but it certainly took a massive pair of balls to challenge the conventional wisdom on such a sensitive matter, and at least he seems to have put a lot of work in to research it. If you find that callous, so be it, I can’t tell you what you’re supposed to find offensive or not.

            So, I’m not really convinced of your pragmatism, because the Hillsborough piece and the 9/11 quote are not representative of the content on WoS, where usually he’s debunking media stories with proper research, and not personal opinions. Whenever Wings is being attacked, it’s always the same propaganda about irrelevant stuff from years ago getting re-posted. He says stuff on Twitter to deliberately shock and offend. I’ve never seen anyone on the receiving end who didn’t deserve it, and I’ve actually seen worse coming from supposedly respectable figures like Ian Smart and Euan McColm, but nobody bats an eyelid. Why is that?

          • Jambo25

            And I have frequently been called a racist, fascist, Nazi, anti-English, liar etc etc. One darling who posts frequently on here called me a “mental and physical cripple”. Sites like this, the Telegraph, Times and others were full of hopes that Scotland, if it had voted Yes last September, would be reduced to a state of 3rd World poverty.One poster, on here has developed the habit of suggesting that the sole motivating factor for the political beliefs of Salmond and Sturgeon is childlessness. So, please do not give me the claptrap that somehow nice Unionists and English people are being constantly abused by the horrid nats for no apparent reason.

          • Charlieboy

            I have seen plenty of such rhetoric, and you are right Jambo – it is distasteful and simplistic which is why I don’t indulge in it. I do think that the SNP’s plan for independence was incredibly weak and relied for too heavily on rUK and the EU’s total cooperation, and some of the rhetoric coming from the Yes camp was quite provocative to people in the south. However, you are correct that there is no excuse for such abuse which is why I rail against it whichever side it originates from.

            Again I stress: I have no ideological bent in this, but you clearly are of the opinion that anybody who isn’t with you is against you. I am simply someone with an interest in politics and a questioning mind – if something doesn’t make sense to me I don’t accept it. I notice this is the second time you have tried to put words in my mouth – I never said ‘nice Unionists and English people’ (are they all the same in your mind, just out of interest?) are being ‘abused’. Many unionists (as I acknowledge above) are definitely not nice, and I would want nothing to do with them (e.g. had a unionist posted a link on here to the Orange Order website I would not click that either).

            I have not thrown any personal abuse your way, and respectfully it is not my fault that there are nasty people out there who have been abusive towards you. I am not one of them – please don’t treat me as such.

          • Jambo25

            What rhetoric coming from the Yes camp was provocative to the English? My Yes voting English wife found nothing particularly provocative. In fact she found the rhetoric coming from down south rather distasteful to the point where she felt embarrassed to be English at times.

          • Charlieboy

            “What rhetoric coming from the Yes camp was provocative to the English?”

            Constantly insinuating that rUK is morally bankrupt and Scots live on a higher ethical plane is provocative – ‘the only way to build a fairer, more just society is by voting for independence’, etc.. When Alan Cumming publicly announced that ‘the only way to protect gay rights is to vote for independence’ (with Sturgeon’s arm draped around him) what exactly is an English person to make of that? Given that rUK has been ahead of the curve on gay rights all the way and Mr Cumming himself got hitched to his partner in London (I believe before it was even a legal option in Scotland), does this not reek of hypocrisy to you?

            How about the way it decreed how rUK would behave after a ‘yes’ vote? Demanding that rUK taxpayers underwrite iScotland’s banks (which is precisely what the currency union demand was) is simply not a reasonable thing to expect from any foreign neighbour, nor is demanding that they continue to cover your renewable energy subsidies – I even saw one article where Shona Robinson was stating that rUK should continue to fund iScotland’s elite athletes for crying out loud!

            I’m afraid the tone of the campaign (to many southern observers) suggested an ugly sense of moral superiority combined with self-entitlement and self-aggrandisement. You didn’t actually want to stand on your own two feet and be properly independent, but instead wanted all the benefits of being in the union with none of the responsibilities. You also got the type of people who like Brian Cox, or Suriani (below) who enjoy talking about ‘English oppression’ and how ‘long-suffering’ the Scots are, as though we are some hostile, militant occupying force. Most English people don’t have a problem with Scottish independence, but don’t take the piss out of us with unreasonable demands, don’t talk down to us as some sort of morally/intellectually inferior species and stop with the ‘English oppression’ nonsense. If you really can’t see how this is provocative and insulting, you have lost all perspective.

            Try playing nicer next time and you might find the rhetoric from the south is nicer too…

          • Jambo25

            So outlining what kind of society you want in an independent Scotland is seen as dissing the English. Aw diddums! Making proposals for a currency union was seen as demanding that English tax payers underwrite Scottish banks. It was perfectly possible for a response to be made to that which was negative or not couched in threats but it wasn’t. Instead we have ‘the Scots are scroungers trope’ which you, incidentally, seem to be slipping into yourself in several of your post.
            What I saw during the referendum was one MSM article after another from the English based MSM telling us how dependent we were on the goodness of the English. Telling us how incompetent we were and how Scotland would inevitably sink into chaos and decline if we even dreamt of cutting the English connection. I saw articles in the right wing English press expressing unalloyed hatred and disdain for Scots even from journos who were the wives of Scottish Tory ministers (See the fragrant Ms Sarah Vine’s views on Scots.). Yes supporters were routinely painted as authoritarian, fascist thugs. Scots as drunken , lazy, subsidy (and Heroin) junkies.
            Those were simply the ATL comments and views expressed on TV and radio. BTL comments reached a level of viciousness which surprised even me. The comments sections of the Telegraph, Express, Mail, Spectator, Standard (When it could be bothered noticing anything outside London) and even the Times occasionally started to look like the collective ravings of every chauvinist, English Scot hater in captivity. Do a little exercise. Go back and flick through the Scottish and English MSM in the 3 months prior to the referendum and see if you can pick up the volume and intensity of hatred for the English in the Scottish MSM equivalent to the level of hatred for the Scots expressed in the English MSM.
            It was so successful in whipping the more brain dead into line, down south, that Cameron’s pal, Crosby, reprised it in the GE campaign. The supposedly anti-SNP campaign to scare people off Labour simply came across to most people, up here, as anti-Scottish. I spoke to Tory activists in Dumfries, who were defending Mundell’s seat who were tearing their hair out over what that campaign was doing to their already slim chances of success. They held onto Mundell’s seat (just) but failed to take Michael Moore’s seat, next door, largely I suspect as a consequence of the perceived anti-Scottishness in that campaign.

          • Charlieboy

            Yes – nasty rhetoric coming from both sides (as previously acknowledged) – and sadly online you tend to see the most extreme examples. (I will repeat that I’m not one of those people, so ‘aw diddums’ really isn’t necessary now, is it – let’s keep this civil please.)

            But try for a moment to take a step back and see things from the other side.

            E.g. the currency thing – Salmond said “there will be a currency union”, Osborne says “no that doesn’t work for us” and Salmond’s response is to
            (1) tell them they’re bluffing/lying,
            (2) demand it as Scotland’s right (“it’s our pound too”) and that they are being mean in refusing,
            (3) state that it WILL happen (whether or not rUK like it) because “it’s the sovereign will of the people of Scotland”, suggesting that the ‘sovereign will’ of the English/Welsh was either irrelevant or simply overruled by that of the Scots (support for a CU in England & Wales was polled at 68% opposed 14% in favour – 82/18 when dks are removed).
            Is it any wonder the dialogue turned decidedly frosty?

            I don’t believe the Scots are scroungers, and I also truly believe you are fully capable of standing on your own feet and paying your own way as a country. What I am confused about is why the SNP seemingly didn’t have as much confidence in Scotland’s potential as me!

            E.g. why couldn’t Scotland have it’s own central bank and currency like every other wealthy, developed nation (which it certainly is)? Even in the eurozone they still have their own LOLRs. Then you’d be FULLY autonomous, have complete control over your own fiscal powers and be answerable to nobody. It would also mean that you would take full and sole responsibly for your own financial sector regulation. That is what every other independent, wealthy country does – and Scotland is quite capable of doing the same!

            Problem was the Yes campaign talked a good game about iScotland’s potential, but their timid (and at times frankly lazy) proposals suggested to me that they didn’t actually have much confidence in what they were saying. Scotland is NOT AT ALL a free-loader now, but sorry to say the proposed iScotland would’ve been – and afraid nobody likes one of those.

            Next time, put your money where your mouth is and be braver with your proposals – I’m confident you’ll garner a lot more respect (you may even get my vote!).

          • Jambo25

            Osborne came up with the currency wheeze on the promptings of Darling and his advisers. Darling rolled Nicholas MacPherson who behaved abysmally, given his supposedly politically neutral position as a senior civil servant, into it as well. The funny thing was that the argument probably benefitted the Yes side more than BT. The reality is that had there been a Yes vote it would have been the Treasury in London who’d have been on the blower to Edinburgh to fix up the terms of a currency union. Those terms would have been hard but they would have been offered.
            I note you have not made any comment on the torrent of hatred and abuse which flowed northwards, from England, during and after the referendum. Actually, do as I suggest and do a comparison of what people were actually saying and doing through the media. Then come back and tell me that the abuse was Scottish and aimed at the English with a sense of moral superiority. What we got up here were the crude anti-Scottish outpourings of nasty English chauvinists like David Starkey, Kelvin Mackenzie, the aforementioned Ms Sarah Vine, any number of rent a gob Tory and UKIP pols etc etc.

          • Tamerlane

            No Jambo, I have said their motivation for introducing controversial child ‘protection’ legislation is that they themselves are childless, their other motivations are the same as yours – they are mean spirited, resentful, lowland Scots with an inferiority complex. But it’s nice to know you’re taking in my posts. I’ll be sure to keep them up.

          • Tamerlane

            Not blinkered – frightened.

      • mitchyboy

        It is a brilliant site which scrutinizies the media and politicians. They hate it. previous ly they could spout anything without being contested.Probably only real unbiased journalism in the UK.

    • Aldo

      Please provide impartial evidence and not party political , as much as I dislike the Tory the Professor is correct in his assessment and the the IFS summary quoted is correct !

      I prefer my facts from the IFS, GERS < The Nuffield Institute etc not from a cult hate mob !

      • Jambo25

        I’ve read Tomkins’ article and I’ve written a reply to it above pointing out exactly where he has gotten it wrong. Numerous others on this site have as well. Incidentally, the very few figures that Tomkins provides are so misleading that one can only assume that Tomkins used them deliberately, in the way he did, to propagate falsehoods.

        • Tamerlane

          God, you lot really can’t cope with scrutiny can you, it’s pathetic Jambo. Pathetic.

        • Aldo

          Again you post no facts just conjecture ! Are you saying the IFS did not release the figures spoken about last September as I quite clearly remember reading them and other impartial criticism of nationalist policies from the respected Nuffield Institute and others.

          The facts are SNP cuts are all in devolved areas from NHS through to education along with widespread help for big business from Trump to T in The Park through to the lies from the local SNP on the incinerator in Lanarkshire , the SNP are simply failing Scotland and are more interested in indyref2, rather than even tell the poor the sick and disabled there plans on upcoming welfare powers , like on medicals for DLA etc.

          Lets be honest how much longer can we hear the SNP complain about Westminster centralisation whilst doing it themselves or suicides caused by poor medical practices and not tell the disabled there own plans or continually claim it is progressive to provide freebies for the rich , which only puts more money in there pockets and a new Jag in the driveway .

          • Jambo25

            I am writing about the material covered in Tomkins’ article. What are you commenting on? Read my initial answer to Tomkins.

          • Aldo

            I did and it’s nonsense

          • Jambo25

            Then you can prove that its nonsense by showing me where my errors are.

          • Jambo25

            Still waiting for you to show me the error of my ways.

      • Philip Kaulfuss

        There are plenty impartial links within the article. And Stu Campbell is not a member of the SNP.

  • Mary King

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    • David Illingworth

      You make more sense than the SNP’s drivel.

      • Kennybhoy

        🙂 lol

  • Valeman

    “That’s quite an impressive litany of misinformation from the good Professor. We count at least EIGHTEEN seriously misleading claims or outright lies in a 1500-word rant which still found room for acres of spittle-flecked, swivel-eyed ranting and repetition. We look forward to the corrections which we’re sure will follow.”

    For a resounding deconstruction of the absolute lies, sophistry, and innuendo, contained in the article above check out the link in Philip Kaulfuss’s post below.

    • Charlieboy

      Sorry, but wingsoverscotland is simply not a credible source to provide rebuttal on anything. It is run from Somerset by a man calling himself the ‘Rev’ Stuart Campbell (I gather he signed up to one of those American internet churches where you can get ordained in 10 min a la Joey from Friends) – clearly he loves Scotland so much he moved away (as so many prominent independence supporters seem to – Sean Connery, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, etc…).

      The SNP and ‘Yes’ campaign were forced to disassociate themselves from him after some of the incredibly offensive, bile-filled articles he produced last year – e.g. how the Hillsborough disaster was the fault of the fans (the article was also interspersed, without warning, with graphic and disturbing pictures of people actually dying in the crush – apparently he felt this was fine). His twitter account also features some of the most foul-mouthed and offensive posts I’ve ever seen on social media – “I thought 9/11 was hilarious and laughed as I watched it on TV” springs to mind. If you are really going to place the opinion of a man like that over one of a tenured Professor at a respectable Scottish university, you seriously need to gain some perspective.

      I can tell simply from the quote above that this will be the case with this link (I won’t click it because I no longer visit the site out of principle) – anyone who feels they need to resort to personal abuse such as “acres of spittle-flecked, swivel-eyed ranting” in a rebuttal has already lost the argument. Clearly the ‘Rev’ was particularly threatened by it…

      • Kennybhoy

        Amen.

      • Valeman

        Now you’ve got that drivel fueled rant of your chest Charlieboy how about you try and play the ball rather than the man?

        • Charlieboy

          Not exactly sure what you mean by ‘drivel-fueled rant’ – is there a fact I assert about Campbell and WoS which you’d like to dispute, or was it just the first personal insult you could think of? Like your compadre Jambo above, you claim to want to debate the facts of an article or post, but instead just go for personal abuse at the first opportunity.

          Want to ‘play the ball’? Don’t quote hate-preachers as a reliable source and see if you can actually resist taking personal swipes at people when trying to make a point – you’ll find you’re taken a lot more seriously.

          • Valeman

            What I mean by drivel fueled rant is you using a character assassination of the Rev Stu as a pathetic excuse to dismiss what is a resounding rebuttal by him of the blatant lies, sophistry, and spittle flecked unionist “pish” contained in the Profs article above.

            Your refusal to even click on the link to the article over on WoS is not what one would expect to be the kneejerk reaction of someone who claims to “enjoy the cut and thrust of debate”. It’s a particlarly despicable trait common only to unionists, as it’s an excuse I’ve seen them use regularly during the 4 years I’ve been engaged in debating the politics of Scotland and the cause of independence.

            Your opinion of WoS as a “hate preacher” is in the cut and thrust of debate irrelevant, what is relevant is the research he has done in order to comprehensively deconstruct the absolute tosh written by the good Prof.

            You’d know that immediately were you man enough to click on the link rather than childishly hide behind such a lame excuse with regards his “character”.

            Want to “play the ball”?

            Then grow a pair and do so instead of just “taking personal swipes at people”!

          • Charlieboy

            You missed out the second part of the quote. “I enjoy the cut and thrust of debate, but only with those who have the courtesy not to start throwing personal abuse around just because someone disagrees with them.” At this point, it stops being fun, engaging or informative and just gets nasty. “Rev Stu” is the very exemplar of heat over light in Scottish politics today – I’ve read enough of his material to know he is abusive, unpleasant and has imo some really disturbing views (describing 9/11 as ‘hilarious’ is just creepy and offensive, no matter the context). It’s the same reason I wouldn’t click on a link to a Katie Hopkins article – she could’ve researched it all year if she wanted, but I refuse to give the opinions of people like that weight.

            Sorry if that makes me ‘bigoted’/’cowardly’ etc. but I guess I’ll just have to accept that.

          • Valeman

            Have a look around this forum and you will quite clearly see that throwing personal abuse around is standard fare nowadays in what passes for debate.

            Using someones character as an excuse not to enter into discussion about their written material has to about as far removed from the cut and thrust of considered thinking, as it is possible to be.

            “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
            ― Noam Chomsky

            The Union and it’s supporters in business and media, along with people like yourself (whichever category you fit into?) have been attempting to apply that thought above to almost the entire Scottish politics/independence debate since 2007.

            It worked up until the 18th September last year.

            It doesn’t anymore, we’ve moved on from that stifled conversation, so should you.

          • Charlieboy

            “Have a look around this forum and you will quite clearly see that throwing personal abuse around is standard fare nowadays in what passes for debate.”

            And I, in my small way, am attempting to raise the level of “what passes for debate” by not indulging in such personal abuse, and refusing to give the oxygen of publicity to those who I consider use such abuse to whip up thousands of people into doing the same thing! Sue me!

            At this point please take a look back at our exchange. I have attempted to be polite in the face of you calling me: a “drivel-fueled ranter”, “pathetic”, “despicable”, not “man enough” (cowardly) and “childish” – purely because I refuse to be drawn down to this level of rhetoric. This is what reading “Rev Stu’s” material everyday does to you!

            Also, you still haven’t grasped the concept that not everyone who disagrees with you is a hardcore ideologist for the other side. In all of your postings online, hand on heart do you every think you’ve persuaded anyone to change their mind? Because that is what you need to do if you want to affect this massive constitutional change that you want – and the onus is on you to make your case!

          • Valeman

            “And I, in my small way, am attempting to raise the level of “what passes for debate”

            Really? In what way is spending the entirety of your first post on a character assassination of Stuart Campbell raising the level of debate? Not content with using that as a pathetic excuse to discount the article he has written in which he comprehensively debunks the Profs article above, you also throw into that post for good measured debate a patronising comment about “prominent independence supporters”.

            How does describing the opinions of some nationalists as “incessant moaning” raise the level of debate? Are some of us undeserving for questioning the type of utter bare faced lies, sophistry and hyperbole which passes for considered opinion by those you deem worthy because they are “a tenured Professor at a respectable Scottish university? Given the content of the article you would have been closer to the truth in condemning his “opinion” as doing nothing other than bringing both his peers and learning establishment into disrepute for penning such utter unadulterated rubbish.

            As for your opinion that my debating style is influenced by reading “Rev Stu’s output, you don’t imagine such commentary is in itself patronising and insulting? Maybe it’s about time you had a good old look at your own style of debating rather than condescending to others about theirs as the moral high ground you think you’re occupying is standing on some real shaky foundations.

            There are some extremely distasteful people out there blogging in support of the Union and I have never once refused to click on links to their sites or to read the contents within because to do so is to limit the spectrum of debate, and that is what you are trying to do in using a personal opinion of Wings as a means to neuter his forensic examination of the rot which is printed about the SNP/Independence in the British media.

            You want polite intelligent conversation, then lose the patronising tone in which you set yourself above others just because they happen to support the output of people you disapprove of, as it has the exact opposite effect on them from that which you desire.

      • Andrew Morton

        The words, “it is run from Somerset” shows how far behind the curve you are. With about 800,000 regular readers, I think that pretty much everyone knows that Stu lives in Bath. So what?

        • Helen Oyintando Ilitha

          Bath and North East Somerset is a District of Somerset.

      • Jambo25

        “I can tell simply from the quote above that this will be the case with this link (I won’t click it because I no longer visit the site out of principle)” I can tell from that simple statement and from others in your above missive that you appear to be a closed minded bigot.
        It may be worth reminding you that you have to judge the above article on what Tomkins has written, not who he is or what job he holds and the fact is that the article is filled with misunderstandings of fact, half truths and a couple of what appear to be outright lies suggests to me that Tomkins is not a reliable reporter of fact. To see what I mean you can look at some of the properly considered reactions to Tomkins’ article in the BTL comments.

        • Tamerlane

          Come one Jambo, you have to do better than simply reaching for the ‘bigot’ label when you lose an argument. It’s a worthless currency these days anyhow thanks to our Muslim brothers who have over exploited its value. More’s the point when you’re losing an argument try a counter argument and if you haven’t got one then accept you’ve lost and move on. For someone who thinks he’s intelligent you show remarkable stupidity.

        • Charlieboy

          If finding hate-preachers totally objectionable is ‘bigotry’ in your mind then yes, I guess I am. I am happy to discuss the merits (or otherwise) of any issue – I enjoy the cut an thrust of good debate, but only with those who have the courtesy not to start throwing personal abuse around just because someone disagrees with them. If you’d care to highlight points which you dispute in the article above for discussion I’d be most interested, but I notice instead you just jump straight to calling me a ‘closed-minded bigot’ in your first sentence. Frankly, this does little for your credibility.

          • Jambo25

            You don’t like Campbell’s style so you refuse to read what his web site publishes. I think that makes you a closed minded bigot especially when you start to indulge in the character assassination of which you accuse Campbell. You also don’t help yourself by your self pitying rant against Scottish ingratitude 12 hours ago. Whether you like him or not his web site published a pretty damning rebuttal of the nonsense published above. So, to a certain extent did Andrew Tickell in his Lalland Peat Worrier’s blog. So, for that matter, did I and a number of others, such as Nine Ball, on the BTL I published an answer to Tomkins some 21 hours ago. You can find it on this site. Its also worth repeating that the Police Scotland was a measure supported and pushed by the Tories in their 2011 Holyrood manifesto so Tomkins is attacking the SNP for implementing Tory policy.

          • Fulgentian

            What’s wrong with being a bigot? So often that insult gets banded around as a way to brand the opponent to such an extent that they are silenced. But what exactly is a ‘bigot’ and why in modern times is ‘bigotry’ suddenly the worst of all sins?

          • Jambo25

            Because you are exhibiting a closed mind and a resistance to reasoned argument.

          • Fulgentian

            Why are those things wrong?

          • Charlieboy

            Hmmm…so interesting the way you translated word “victim-hood” in my post to “ingratitude” in yours. The English don’t demand or expect your ‘gratitude’ – the vast majority see you as equal, and valued, partners and are generally happy to accommodate you these additional perks. However, the incessant moaning by some on the nationalist side (NOT all I acknowledge) gets tiresome after a while!

          • Tamerlane

            There’s that ‘bigot’ word again. Do get a brain Jambo.

          • mitchyboy

            He does a brilliant job scrutinising the media and politicians to account. Thet hate him for him cos in the past they could get away with saying anything uncontested.

  • Robert Allan

    Certainly stirred up the trolls. Must have got something right.

    • Ian Blackhall

      The author is trolling.

  • Singularis

    I want independance from Scotland, if the Scots like the SNP so much, keep them to themselves, dont feel the need to share them, we will be fine in England without them, promise!

    • Tamerlane

      They haven’t got the balls, that’s the problem, all this here is talk, what they want is to have their cake and eat it and sadly Westminster gives it to them. They’ve been spoiled and pampered and they’ve come to expect that if they threaten independence they get their bottoms wiped.

      We need an independence referendum in England then we can run an exclusively English pound, close the border and move on.

      • Ian Blackhall

        So the author is a coward for being a Unionist, and the only upstanding Scots are the Nationalists – Got it.

  • JoeCro

    Tompkins calls his blog ‘notes from North Britain’, that says it all, he does not believe Scotland is a country and sees the SNP as a grave threat to his country of Great Britain/UK. He is a British Nationalist, I suspect he would rather see the end of troublesome Holyrood governance and return to direct rule from Westminster.

    • WFB56

      As a British nationalist I am wholly in favour of Scotland’s separation, sooner rather than later.

  • LG

    For anyone who’s interested, this article is complete tosh. Mostly lies with a tiny speck of truth to lend credence. And btw I’m not an SNP voter. Even for a Tory candidate this article stretches reality to breaking point and beyond. The fact is the SNP are better administrators than the previous Labour cadres. I very much doubt we’ll ever find out what the Tories would be like, as they’ll never be voted in.

    • Andrew McLean

      Nice try, but they won’t believe you, sadly, and they have the gaul to insult Scottish education, you couldn’t make it up! Well maybe the prof could, he is adept at fairytals

      • Dr. Heath

        “gaul” in place of gall. “fairytals”, not fairytales. Sentences run together. Where were you educated? Scotland, perhaps?

        • Jambo25

          Possibly. We clearly have a greater grasp of the concept of manners. Where were you educated? England perhaps? The country which mistakes common rudeness and ignorance for ‘banter’.

          • Tamerlane

            And so we see you for what you really are.

          • Dr. Heath

            Scots people have a greater concept of manners? Racist spew.

          • Jambo25

            It was a reply, in kind, to your insulting and racist trope, you ninny. If you don’t like it then refrain from indulging in it.

          • Dr. Heath

            We English ninnies love to provoke ill feeling in our northern neighbours. Worse, when prompted by the urge to use bad language, we generally, being ninnies, give in to that urge. Here, the frequent and bold assertions by nationalists in Scotland that Scots are intellectually and morally superior to English people are regarded as offensive and racist perversions of what is obviously true of the inhabitants of the UK, which is that they’re all of one race and have inherited identical intellectual and moral capabilities whether they’re from Aberdeen or Cornwall.

            The endless racist abuse of English people by SNP supporters, clearly, is the explanation of the great popularity of Mrs. Sturdjun and her movement down here where we dopey and morally perverse Sassenach ninnies live. Many of us hope she leads Scotland out of the union and closes and locks the door behind her.

          • Jambo25

            I’m not claiming moral or intellectual superiority to the English. My initial response was to your ill-judged racism. I only claim moral and intellectual superiority to you.

          • Dr. Heath

            People claim superiority ‘over’ others. I reject your preposterous claim.

          • Jambo25

            Produce the examples of claims of moral and intellectual superiority. It was you, remember, who kicked this off by writing “Where were you educated? Scotland perhaps?”

          • Dr. Heath

            How is a comment about spelling mistakes and joining two sentences together with a comma ‘racist’, you fucking asshole?

          • Jambo25

            “Where were you educated? Scotland perhaps/” You then fade into your normal mode of speech, no doubt “Fucking arsehole”. Where were you educated? England perhaps?

        • Domhnall MacCoinnich

          The reality behind the Scottish education system as researched by the ONS http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/scotland-the-best-educated-country-in-europe-claims-ons-report-9497645.html

          “In terms of the proportion of the population going into higher and
          tertiary education, Scotland actually has just about the highest in the
          world,” ONS chief economic adviser Joe Grice told ITV News.

          • Jambo25

            Please do not confuse him with facts.

        • Andrew McLean

          Yes, didn’t get my English o level! And have lost my specs! But spelling gramma excluded the fact remains, it’s a pile of pish, or is that a puddle of pish!

    • WFB56

      A simple fact, is there a program called Gifrec and does it insert itself between children and the state as a substitute for parents? Yes or no, if yes, its pretty clear who is offering complete tosh.

      • Jambo25

        Another ignoramus commenting on things they do not understand. The present named person proposals give no greater powers over children, to the authorities, than they have now.

        • WFB56

          Wonderfully circular ” …no greater powers over children…than they have now”. As it has already passed into law your ignorance is fully on display. Thank you for opening yourself up for well earned ridicule.

          • Jambo25

            The named person proposals (Not yet fully in effect) give no greater powers to the authorities than they held before them. If you disagree outline what greater powers they now do hold.

        • BigVern_Reloaded

          It drops the bar of intervention to the ill defined and very, very flexible definition of ‘wellbeing’.

          That has the effect of increasing their power as there are no properly defined checks and balances to intervention. Just the way the SNP likes it – tighter control, lapped up by fawning SNP-bots like yourself.

          It’s all good in yellow land, eh Jambo?

          • Jambo25

            It gives no more power of intervention than state and local authority agencies already hold. That is the reality rather than the hysteria.

          • BigVern_Reloaded

            As I noted, it’s not the power of intervention, it’s the poor and (deliberately) vague definition of ‘wellbeing’ that lowers the bar for state interference.

            This has the net effect of increasing the power to intervene.

          • Jambo25

            No it does not. There are no greater powers offered to state authorities. A complaint about the proposal to the Court of Session, in September,was dismissed , in fairly scathing terms

          • Jambo25

            No it doesn’t. Read Lord Carloway’s dismissal of the CARE action.

  • Juan Kerr

    I thought there were moderators to clear the far-Right sh1t from under the line? Time to get working …

    • Fulgentian

      What about far-left sh1t?

      • Juan Kerr

        Since the far-left supported the Paris attacks in January, I’ve failed to see the difference between them and the far-right. So yes, but comes to the same thing.

  • daivdhf

    Oh for God Sake Tomkins, get a bib and wipe the froth and spittle from your mouth.

    You really are the epitome of the angry Scottish Tory wannabee,

    I would imagine your chance of getting elected is about the same as wee Ruthie’s chance of becoming First Minister – absolutely nil.

    Your prose is now so utterly hyperbolic, as to qualify for Saturday Night Comedy Club.

    What a sad, bitter, wee Unionist you really are.

    • SG

      Maybe you should take issue with the argument rather than just post this ad hominem rubbish?

      Anyway, good luck with your spendthrift nanny state. Independence can’t come soon enough

      • Well, why don’t you unlike Tomkins, spell out the issues convincingly instead of peddling idiocies like “spendthrift nanny state”?

      • Well, why don’t you unlike Tomkins, spell out the issues convincingly instead of peddling idiocies like “spendthrift nanny state”?

      • daivdhf

        What “argument” – there isn’t one.

        The SNP are about to be voted back into power for a Third time, simply because more Scots think they are the best Party to run our country, than any other.
        Their record in Government is certainly better than anything the Tories have offered down south.

        The fool writing it is, at present, attempting to stand for a Scottish seat for ANOTHER Party,in this ONE PARTY STATE!

        He is probably THE most bumptious, nonsensical example of a frustrated, foot-stamping Scottish Tory, there is at present – and this cringeworthy “Article” will certainly not change that.

        • Fulgentian

          Hmmm. Let’s think of some other ONE PARTY STATES…
          Soviet Union
          North Korea
          Saddam’s Iraq
          Pol Pot’s Cambodia
          Great! They were great places to live and will go down in history as examples of how well autocratic nationalism really works.

          • daivdhf

            Oh, engage your wee brain instead of spouting such a load of childish, Unionist trash.

            On the other hand, you are probably a Tory…………..

          • Fulgentian

            ONCE AGAIN you have resorted to ad hominem attacks rather than actually engaging with my point.

            This could easily be my response:

            Oh, engage your little brain instead of spouting such a load of childish, Nationalist trash.

            On the other hand, you are probably SNP…………

          • ChuckieStane

            It is not an ad hominem attack to point out Prof Tomkins’ inconsistency in calling Scotland a one party state in the headline whilst declaring his candidature for an upcoming democratic election in the article.

          • james

            Nah, he’s probably one of those jocks that live in England ,but bore the pants off everyone telling them how good Jockstan is,without having to live in the dreadful place . Like a lot of them. Can’t wait for them to get independence ,might save us a few pounds.

          • Jambo25

            He has been far more polite than I would be. When you start comparing a small, democratic polity in North West Europe to the USSR, Baathist Iraq, North Korea or Pol Pot’s Cambodia you actually have taken leave of your senses. You are also devaluing some of the 20th century’s greatest human tragedies.

          • Jambo25

            Read the latest blog by Andrew Tickell on Lallands Peat Worrier to see just what a ninny you are making of yourself by writing this kind of tosh. Mr. Tickell is a lawyer specialising in constitutional law amongst other things. He skewers the kind of nonsense that Tomkins and yourself are coming out with.

          • Ian Blackhall

            “One party state”. He says in the article he will be standing as a conservative candidate in the next election.

    • Fulgentian

      What article did you just read? Which bits are angry and hyperbolic? Talk about tinted spectacles. And talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Tomkin’s article was calm, well-reasoned and well-written. Conversely, your post is the only one displaying mouth-frothing anger.

      • daivdhf

        Take you blue-tints off and read it again.

        Surprised his wee head didn’t explode.

        No wonder he has rapidly become one of the Right’s laughing stocks up here.

        I believe one Scottish comedian (no, not wee Ruthie) has based an entire show around him.

        Tory Buffoon.

        • Fulgentian

          You haven’t actually said what’s FACTUALLY wrong with his article…

          • daivdhf

            It’s hard to describe an eight-year period of power which has seen any government’s poll lead rise from 1% to 32% as “catastrophic”. A catastrophic government tends to see its poll ratings fall, not go through the ceiling.

            “For years, the Scottish government has used the independence argument to avoid proper scrutiny.”

            What? How exactly can the Scottish Government ever achieve such a thing in the face of an almost entirely hostile media? It has no power over newspapers (quite properly) and no power over broadcasting. Anyone who wants to scrutinise it is able to, and does so, endlessly. Such as, for example, on the front page of the Spectator.

            “Imagine that the ruling party controlled 95 per cent of MPs,”

            I presume that by “controlled” Prof. Tomkins means “got democratically elected”. The SNP firmly opposes the First Past The Post electoral system and has advocated proportional representation at Westminster for decades. It’s not its fault it got so many MPs, and presented with the opportunity to do so it would vote for a law that reduced their numbers substantially.

            “and policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent”

            From The Express – https://archive.is/vXoQ3
            In a worrying development for the Better Together campaign, 21 per cent of those planning to vote Yes have received abuse or threats compared to just eight per cent of those planning to vote No.

            “Welcome to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland in 2015. The First Minister is admired the world over. She has a few curious notions — chiefly, the idea that the political and cultural differences between Scots and the English are so great that the only solution is to sue for separation.”

            Well, no. The First Minister merely believes that Scotland is a Country (apparently unlike Tomkins, whose blog is called “Notes From North Britain”), and that Scotland should therefore get to elect its own governments, like normal countries do, rather than have them imposed on it by its southern neighbour.

            “I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.”

            The SNP are apparently a threat to “the basic notion of liberty” now. Yet it was UK Labour governments who enacted a bonfire of civil liberties between 1997 and 2010, creating thousands of new crimes, imprisoning people without trial and being complicit in torture. It’s a UK Conservative government that wants to repeal the Human Rights Act and were blocked by the SNP.

            As for the “Named Person” diatribe – A complaint about it to the Court Of Session was rejected last month in unusually strong language for the sober men and women of the judiciary:

            “The mere creation of a named person, available to assist a child or parent, no more confuses or diminishes the legal role, duties and responsibilities of parents in relation to their children than the provision of social services or education generally.

            It has no effect whatsoever on the legal, moral or social relationships within the family. The assertion to the contrary, without any supporting basis, has the appearance of hyperbole.”

            I could go on, but I get the feeling you would not pay the slightest attention.

          • Fulgentian

            “an almost entirely hostile media”
            Boo hoo. Conspiracy mongering doesn’t help anyone.

            “21 per cent of those planning to vote Yes have received abuse or threats compared to just eight per cent of those planning to vote No.”

            Just ‘cos other people are doing it doesn’t make it right.

            “Scotland should therefore get to elect its own governments, like normal countries do, rather than have them imposed on it by its southern neighbour.”

            You’re just confirming what Tomkins is asserting about Sturgeon – that the country is not the UK but Scotland and England; different enough to require complete separation.

            “creating thousands of new crimes, imprisoning people without trial and being complicit in torture.”
            Again you haven’t denied what the SNP are going, you’re just accusing London of doing the same thing.

            As for Named Persons – your example only goes to show how ‘Big Brother” this has all got – when a poor parent complained about it they were told by the powers that be to like it or lump it!

          • daivdhf

            That’s your response??????

            Really???????

            No wonder the SNP continues to get as many democratic votes as it does, in Scotland.

            No wonder there is a 30+ point gap between the SNP and its nearest rival Party, for next year’s Scottish Election.

            All you poor, wee, Tory Unionists appear able to do, is chatter among yourselves on small sites like this and agree with, yet another, Tory no-hoper in Scotland, like Tomkins.

            His, and similar, “arguments” are completely riddled with holes and hyperbole, are not being given credence by the vast majority of Scots and have resulted in the Tories achieving the milestone of their lowest ever GE vote-share since records began up here.

            To put it as kindly as I can – Tories no longer mater much in Scotland.

            They are, indeed, pretty much an endangered species who are the subject of as much humour, as derision.

            They are a complete and utter political non-event.

            Please, please, please keep agreeing with incompetent morons like Tomkins – it is EXACTLY what will keep you in your present situation as a tiny, minority non-entity.

            Thank you.

          • Nathan Gamble

            “It’s hard to describe an eight-year period of power which has seen any
            government’s poll lead rise from 1% to 32% as “catastrophic”. A
            catastrophic government tends to see its poll ratings fall, not go
            through the ceiling.”

            Propaganda. I’m not trying to say that the SNP is as bad as the Nazi party was, but they both skew facts and silence opposition with red herrings and personal attacks. In some ways they actually provided real benefits to Germany, but only in the short term, and only to some people, so even if the SNP is helping some people it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing a good job overall.

          • daivdhf

            Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

            “NAZIS” ALREADY??????

            You really, really do not have a clue, let alone an argument.

            But, please, keep it up, pal – the more Unionists like you keep spouting that inane drivel, the more votes swing to the SNP.

            You would think that you lot would have realised that by now, but there you go again…………….

            Great Stuff.

          • Jambo25

            You’re not saying that the SNP is as bad as the Nazis you are merely suggesting it. Get help soon.

          • Nathan Gamble

            No, I’m not suggesting it, I’m only saying they both use propaganda. Grow the fuck up.

          • Jambo25

            Yes you are suggesting it. You’d be better off trying to get treatment for your foul mouthed Tourette’s problem.

          • Nathan Gamble

            Don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t suggest it, and trying to tell me what I was suggesting is monumentally stupid. I KNOW WHAT I MEANT. I TOLD YOU WHAT I MEANT. Sorry, I usually don’t swear, but retards piss me off.

          • Jambo25

            Capitalisation and the use of the word “retards piss me off”. You really do have Tourette’s: don’t you?

      • BigVern_Reloaded

        The one in his head. The SNP-bots are told what to think. Like this moron.

      • Jambo25

        Paragraph 1-last sentence.
        Paragraph 2-2nd sentence.
        Paragraph 3-entire
        Paragraph 4-last sentence
        Paragraph 5-entire
        Paragraph 6-entire
        Paragraph 10-entire
        Paragraph 12-last sentence
        Paragraphs 14&15-entire
        Paragraph 18-entire.
        All of those passages contain examples of exaggeration, hyperbole, half truths and downright lies.

      • Tamerlane

        Jambo is the resident bore in the these parts, if you once saw Nelson Mandela Jambo entertained him at court and lectured Nelson on the virtues of the democratic cause. He is utterly sanctimonious and up his own backside, keen to preach to anyone he can about the virtues of being him and yet strangely just as quick to pointout an English error, mistake or failing (funny that). His rugby commentary lately is a fascinating journey through his psyche – lots on how dreadful England are, nothing on how well Scotland have done. You will learn as you read between the lines of his postings that basically, strip away the self-righteous guff and he is an atypical lowland Scot – mean-spirited, jealous, inadequate and furiously resentful of the English for his country’s dependence on them.

        At the very least enjoy him – he is an immensely easy wind up…as you can see.

      • Ian Blackhall

        Google “one party state”. then say sorry for being silly.

  • theparley

    Professor Tomkins has produced a well crafted and considered appraisal of the failings of the SNP administration. Despite what they will proclaim as a successful conference in Aberdeen the cracks in the SNP performance in government are beginning to become more than apparent.

    In the first instance, what the Conservative Party in Scotland, must do is to establish themselves as the principal opposition to the SNP, driving home their criticisms of the SNP and delivering their own message. On a daily and weekly basis, they need to be seen in television studios, heard on the radio, read about in newspapers and, most importantly active in social media.

    • “Professor Tomkins has produced a well crafted and considered appraisal of the failings of the SNP ”

      And what? The voters are just too dumb to notice?

      Beyond delusional. At the G.E. the Tories Scotland branch received it’s lowest share of the vote in its history.

      “… the cracks in the SNP performance in government are beginning to become more than apparent.”

      To whom? You? In a recent poll fully two thirds of voters thought the SNP had done a good job or not a bad job across a range of government departments and policy issues. That’s why the SNP commands the support of 60% and more of the electorate in some polls

      “… the Conservative Party in Scotland must … establish themselves as the principal opposition to the SNP

      And this might be Partick Thistle’s year.

      • BigVern_Reloaded

        ‘In a recent poll fully two thirds of voters thought the SNP had done a
        good job or not a bad job across a range of government departments and
        policy issues. That’s why the SNP commands the support of 60% and more
        of the electorate in some polls’

        Because people don’t see past the referendum din AND are completely sick of the ‘traditional’ politics. Every dog has it’s day and the SNP will be the same, because fundamentally, they are no different and no better.

        • Shiprex

          Don’t think so. Perhaps once Independence comes along the party will split into the normal socially just political arrangement of a modern democracy instead of the neoconservative corporate sponsored one of Middle class privately educated born to lead inspired headbangers that are bringing the country to its knees while pretending to still be an Imperial power.
          THAT’S the dog that will have had it’s day

    • Ian Blackhall

      “One party state”.

  • Daniel Maris

    Come on. The Spectator ban people from commenting purely on the basis of the midlest of comments about Cabinet Minister’s belief systems. No need to get on your high horse.

  • magi83

    The Spectator sure knows how to reel in the cybernats.

  • WFB56

    “The First Minister is admired the world over.” Only by the chattering classes and those who know nothing of her policies and administration.

    • Ian Blackhall

      Lies, when you can only bring lies to an argument, you do not have an argument.

      • WFB56

        Outside of the UK she remains an unknown and as Scotland is irrelevant in the world, she, like you, will remain so.

        • Ian Blackhall

          I pity you.

        • Ian Blackhall

          Don’t cry, wipe the tears away.

  • Aldo

    Ms Sturgeon screams about a proposed Bill of rights and defends the EU human rights , all the while the named person bill seems to remove article 8 of the very same EU Human Rights.

    We live in a country that benefits the rich with policy that put’s more money in the pockets of the wealthy , policies like the council tax freeze , free prescription and education etc only serve to help the wealthy and put an extra few quid in there pocket, along with an extra jag in the driveway, the simple fact is :

    SNP Rhetoric = Left wing yet SNP Actual Policies = Right wing

    • BigVern_Reloaded

      The much SNP loved ‘Human Rights’ legislation has just seen the convicted murderer of a 15 year old boy in Glasgow (racially motivated) win his case against being in solitary confinement *FOR HIS OWN SAFETY* at the cost to the tax payer of about £400K.

      That’s what the SNP are defending.

      • Aldo

        Or hiring paedophiles as one of the first named persons .

        You could not make it up

        • Jambo25

          The SNP have never had a PPS to the PM who was a paedophile and child rapist. That was Thatcher and Peter Morrison.

          • Tamerlane

            Given the top echelon of the SNP is barren of child and asexual I think it’s fair to say you’ll never be in danger of that – that’s for sure. You got something right Jambo.

          • Aldo

            Great everyone is forced a named person no matter what and in disregard to article 8 of the Human rights act so forced upon everyone and they can’t even properly check the people they want to appoint.

            Rather than some bring up others faults and flaws and using it as an excuse for a flawed SNP law and process , they should admit the act is wrong and it’s appointment processes disgraceful , nearly as disgraceful as excusing it by citing other historic failures !

            http://forargyll.com/?p=102003

          • Tamerlane

            Neither Salmond nor Sturgeon have children…so they’re taking over everyone else’s!

          • thepelican

            So far as we know.

          • Jambo25

            Well, if you know better publish your information.

      • Valeman

        Your arguments are getting shallower by the day.

        So the latest guilt by association to be levelled at the SNP is that they are protecting murderers now is it?

        Stop the press, I can feel another SNP bad article being formulated at this very moment.

        Have you alerted Cochers and the Torygraph?

        • BigVern_Reloaded

          “So the latest guilt by association to be levelled at the SNP is that they are protecting murderers now is it?”

          As you’re quite dense, I’ll take the time to explain.

          I’m making the point that the Human Rights Act, SO beloved by the SNP, is the reason for this decision.

          In refusing to consider a repeal and replacement with the much talked of ‘Bill of Rights’, the SNP are supporting these judicial nonsenses – purely to use it against the ‘nasty Tories’ (yawn).

      • ChuckieStane

        Vern, you missed out the fact that the UK Supreme Court made the ruling – overturning the Scottish Courts’ judgement.

        • Jambo25

          Don’t give him facts. That’s bad.

          • Aldo

            Like the fact the UK supreme court ruled in his favour based on the EU Human rights act ! It stated the following :

            ” It ruled that this had violated the European Convention on Human Rights.”

            The court could have ruled it legal just for Brussels to overrule UK / Scot’s law
            again !

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-34527215

          • Jambo25

            How does that invalidate ChuckieStane’s point?

          • Jambo25

            Any answer yet Aldo?

          • Aldo

            Judgement was base on EU human rights act that’s why , so simple even the cult followers of the SNP who feel they do no wrong regardless will surely understand !

          • Jambo25

            Still wanting to know how that invalidates ChuckieStane’s point.

          • Aldo

            Are you that much of a gomerel ? I mean read the words

            Judgement was based on EU human rights act ! FACT

            Now if we had our own Bill of Rights he would not have a leg to stand on ? FACT

            Appeal can be made in EU : FACT , Unlikely to succeed as supreme court based judgement on EU law.

            Read from what Big Vern commented on through the replies as stains accuses the UK supreme court of a heinous act , when in fact the judgement made was because of EU law not British law

          • Jambo25

            How do you know he would not have leg to stand on if we (I presume you mean the UK, not specifically Scotland.) had its own charter of human rights? What rights, exactly would you give to people? Do you have the power of prophesy, O Mighty One. Incidentally, the ECHR and what flows from it is not “EU law”. It predates the EU by a number of years. Get your facts right before simply dealing in crude personal abuse.

          • Aldo

            It would be up to the prison service as you should know who can appeal to EU Human Rights court !

            Do you think they would win ?

            EU human rights act is incorporated into law and applies to all member states , again you should know this , so get your facts rights .

            I would be happy if devolved Scotland to introduce it’s own Bill Of Rights , based on the Magna Carta , as Scottish Laws like the named person bill will eventually get challenged and most likely ruled illegal in Europe, or the part were you get a named person whether needed or not will !

        • BigVern_Reloaded

          Doesn’t matter, it’s based on a judicial interpretation of the Law the SNP so loves…

    • Valeman

      ” the named person bill seems to remove article 8 of the very same EU Human Rights.”

      Does it?

      ” There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right….

      …except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”

      No it doesn’t!.

      • Aldo

        It gives you a named person whether you want one or not or even need one or not :

        Article 8 of EU human rights is as follows ;

        1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

        2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

        If I am appointed a state guardian before guilt or even potential guilt is proven then that is a clear breech of article 8 1 and 2 ! If you get one regardless then we are a cult driven single party state and looking back in history they all lasted really well !

        • Aldo

          Funnily enough Ms Sturgeons defends the EU Human rights act whilst defying it with the named person and yet the very article 8 has allowed this evil man his victory !

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-34527215

          • Jambo25

            If that’s the case then the proposals will ne struck down by the Strasbourg Court but of course they won’t be since they do not break any of the strictures of the ECHR. I know as I taught the bloody thing for years. Valeman has directed you to one of the appropriate passages explaining why.

          • Aldo

            How long does it take to get to the EU court and the how long the process beforehand .

            Instead of trying to defend Ms Sturgeon and her loony policies and rubbish record people should fact check.

            Until UK courts are exhausted the EU will be the next port of call and it is already happening just now, plus further cases will happen when the first named persons is forced on families and multiple claimants will pursue the loony law through the EU

          • Jambo25

            Attempts to strike the Named Person proposals down have already been tried by petitioners to the Court of Session. Lord Carloway flung the attempt out in an extremely strong worded judgement in which he called the petitioners claims as hyperbolic.

        • Valeman

          No it doesn’t, and further down this thread a poster called Nine Ball who clearly has a professional interest gives a comprehensive explanation as to why.

          • Aldo

            Wrong again Valeman as the actual law states:

            The Children and Young People
            (Scotland) Act was passed by Holyrood
            in early 2014. Part 4 of the Act allocates
            each child in Scotland a Named Person
            – a state official tasked with looking after
            their ‘wellbeing’.
            The legislation, due to come into effect
            in August 2016, covers every child
            from 0 to 18. Guidance even suggests
            that the Named Person would become
            involved before the child’s birth.

            1 / It will
            be implemented regardless of whether
            or not there is any need for state
            intervention, showing it is not aimed at
            protecting vulnerable children.

  • 2fishypoliticians

    Dear Adam, I wish you the very best of luck. I sincerely hope that you will not be subject to the underhanded bullying of academia from the snp cohorts that happened during the referendum…Alex Salmond’s pressure on the principal of St Andrew’s uni was despicable. I am sadly not too hopeful in this regard.

    • Ian Blackhall

      He doesn’t sound like he would be good at his job.

      • 2fishypoliticians

        I hope he is, but I expect the nats to up their implicit propaganda campaign permeating all walks of life, making life he’ll for any of their potential opponents.

        • Ian Blackhall

          He’s a professor of constitutional law who thinks that Scotland is a one party state.
          He is either incompetent, or is trying to trick stupid people (like you).

          • Jim Swift

            Ian, you are of course entitled to your views and to air them publicly, but they just make you look really narrow and typically nationalistic in the way that you brook no dissent.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Look up “one party state” I’m afraid Tomkins has tricked you.
            Now have a look at the comments on this and other sites and see the contempt they have for No voters like you, or you might be happier spreading lies?

          • Jambo25

            Why? Mr Blackhall has merely pointed out the truth. Scotland is not a one party state. In fact, Scotland with a partial PR system at Holyrood level, is rather less of a one party state than the UK as a whole.
            Tomkins’ claim that there is a one party state or an emerging one party state in Scotland is simply nonsense. Andrew Tickell is a rather clever constitutional lawyer as well and has, in his Lalland Peat Worrier blog, shown how silly Tomkins’ claim.is.
            Pointing out how silly or actively dishonest Tomkins’ article is isn’t narrow or brooking no dissent. Its simply pointing out the reality.

          • PaD

            So where is there real and necessary political opposition coming from, Ive watched Scottish parliamentry questions and the overtly aggressive fingerpointing Sturgeon at every criticism large and small from Labour and Conservative representative…let me repeat that word REPRESENTATIVE of other Scottish constituents other than SNP..not to mention the intimidating seal-like applause from her cronies ranged around her. Not nice

          • Jambo25

            Well, the Tory leader is Ruthie Davidson. The Labour one is Kezia Dugdale. The Lib Dem one id Willie Rennie. The there is Paddy Harvie of the Greens. Add in their various MSPs and there’s 60 odd of them; not far short of the number of SNP MSPs.
            I think you don’t really understand what representative democracy is all about. You see we have these things called elections and the party that wins them is allowed to form the government even if you don’t like that party.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Dry your eyes mate.

          • PaD

            You telling most commentors to stop crying..dry your eyes..and referring them as children..mmm bit suspicious

          • 2fishypoliticians

            Your insulting disposition shows: 1. You have no coherent point to make. 2 You are a nat troll. Ugh!

          • Ian Blackhall

            I made a coherent point. Scotland is not a one party state. There I said it again for the hard of thinking.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Don’t cry.

        • Jambo25

          “Implicit propaganda campaign permeating all walks of life”. Could you possibly explain what, exactly, you mean by this?

          • Jambo25

            Well, could you explain please?

  • Bodkinn

    The SNP is a socialist party so why are people surprised at
    their centralisation. Socialists are not
    by nature democrats and if able quickly turn any country they control into an
    oligarchy. There may still be a parliament
    but they have in reality little power; they are just a talking shop and woe
    betide any rep who is too critical of the ruling elite. Does this not ring a bell when we think of
    the SNP? See the expression of
    effrontery on the face of Stuart Hosie when he is taken to task by Andrew Neil
    for the SNP’s failings; he is entirely unaccustomed to be so questioned and
    plainly feels it is out of order and should not be happening. The next referendum could be the last time
    the Scottish electorate have a say with any real meaning if they choose to go.

    • Aldo

      Yet the main policies of the SNP have put more money into the wealthiest pockets and allowing them an extra jag in the driveway , you see with so many freebies and the council tax freeze which are all right wing policies and makes the rich richer at the poorest expense ! True socialism takes from the rich and gives to the poor, so the SNP have it backwards.

      Notwithstanding the changing of laws and overruling councils for the likes of Trump and the incinerator company in Lanark along with privatising GP records and private companies like weightwatchers etc getting used and lets not forget the Water company fiasco , plus they put up MPs on a progressive agenda and yet one of them flips a cancer patients home making a profit of £30,000 in a day !

      The sad fact is the SNP are more Tory than the Tories !

  • Richard Eldritch

    I don’t think anyone gives a stuff about the scots anymore beyond wishing they’d bog off so we can get on with life. Sniveling bunch of sissys, living in an Australians Braveheart fantasy, It’s pathetic.

    • Ian Blackhall

      I feel sad for you being stupid.

      • Richard Eldritch

        Don’t you have some heroin to deep fry Ian?

        • Ian Blackhall

          You have my pity.

          • Richard Eldritch

            Nope, still don’t care.

        • Sunset66

          Such charm .
          If you don’t care why are you posting
          Our Scottish unionists must be delighted by your kind words

          • Richard Eldritch

            Meh.

          • Ian Blackhall

            You’re thick.

        • Fulgentian

          It’s pronounced hee-ro-un

  • Ian Blackhall

    A one party state is a political system where only one party is allowed, and it is illegal to form or join an alternative party.
    Not -” boo hoo hoo I didn’t get what I wanted “.
    Anything else I can explain to you thickos?

    • Caractacus

      The effects are exactly the same however.

      But could you explain the boo hoo bit to English Labour voters?

      • Ian Blackhall

        “The effects are exactly the same however”.
        Grow up.

        • Magic Lemur

          Ian, reading some of your comments, it’s you who needs to grow up by not using perjorative insults.

          There is nothing healthy about the dominance of any one political party, and the SNP does control nearly 95% of the Westminster seats in Scotland with 50% of the vote.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Don’t be pathetic, any adult can see a vast difference between a one party state and a resounding victory in an election.

          • Magic Lemur

            Whatever happened to the Scottish Enlightenment idea of debating an idea, rather than insulting your opponent and bullying them into agreement?

            One party controlling 95% of the seats with 50% of the votes is indicative of a one party state, seen objectively. Methinks you doth protest too much on this point.

          • Ian Blackhall

            I know you think you’re being smart, but you’re not. I’ve already explained this.
            https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-party_state

          • PaD

            There are apparently ‘resounding victories’ in North Korea too

          • Ian Blackhall

            Le epic troll Lolololo

          • Jambo25

            Then change the FPTP system if you don’t like it. Oh! you had the chance but failed to do so. Incidentally, which major Scottish party wishes to go to a PR system? Well! blow me down. Its the SNP.

          • Magic Lemur

            And the Lib Dems, who proposed the AV referendum in 2011. Only a small part of Glasgow voted for AV, with the rest of Scotland voting against.

            As for the SNP and PR / electoral reform: what exactly have the SNP done for electoral reform? Nothing! Labour set up the MMP and STV election systems in Scotland, and the SNP have not proposed anything (even with AV the party sat on the fence).

            Oh, and do you really think the SNP will now continue saying that we should abandon FPTP for Westminster elections? I think they’ll quickly change their tune on that one!

          • Jambo25

            Labour set up the present Holyrood system in order to prevent the SNP ever getting an absolute majority. They failed. The SNP pushed for and got a measure of PR in local government. They are solidly in favour of STV for Westminster. Labour isn’t.

          • PaD

            Like all power freaks he just likes to swear

          • Ian Blackhall

            Sorry I made you sad:(

    • DNY

      Actually some “one-party states” allow other parties for show, but only one actually controls things (cf. the PRC).

      • Ian Blackhall

        And you know damn well that this is not the case in Scotland, as does the author of the article.

        • DNY

          The behaviour in governance and policy proposals coming from the SNP make clear that Scotland as a one-party SNP state is very much a desideratum for their leadership. The ‘named person’ proposal is one of the most appallingly totalitarian policy proposals I have ever heard from any political party outside of actual full-on one-party states: the omnicompetent state is to displace parents as the effective guardian of children. Do not think for a moment that any party that wants to expand the state in that manner would ever want another party to hold the levers of power.

          • Ian Blackhall

            You’re a stupid cont.

          • PaD

            Why because he has an opinion about the interfering SNP politburo?

          • Ian Blackhall

            No, because he is acting like a child. as are you, pretending that Scotland is a one party state. Be an adult, stop embarrassing yourself by pretending to believe this nonsense.

  • John Strachan

    “But what is far less known south of the border is that” Prof Tomkins has been the go to rent-a-mouth for the last couple of years. He has carved himself a niche as the Tory Rotweiler, they unleash him whenever they are afraid that the SNP will eviscerate the fluffy Ruth Davidson.

    He is standing as a candidate for Holyrood, not in a constituency, but parachuted in as first Tory choice in the despised list system, so this self appointed champion of democracy could become a legislator with 5% of the Glasgow vote (I think)

    • PaD

      But he is not wrong about the sinister Named Person..or is he?

      • Jambo25

        Totally wrong. The reality behind the named person proposals has already been laid out by various people, including myself, who have some knowledge of what is really being proposed. Read through the BTL comments and find out.

        • PaD

          Having gone to Scottish govts website ..read for two minutes on this subject..cleared up any doubts I had that it was sinister..now Im totally convinced it is.
          They declare NP is an ‘entitlement’..then go on to state that it is NOT meant to replace the role of parents..oh how very reassuring…they had to STATE THAT?

          • Jambo25

            Does it grant any more powers to state authorities than they already have? No.

      • John Strachan

        TBH I don’t really know, I have no children and haven’t been following the argument.
        When there are 2 sides to an argument, sometimes you just have to look along the battlelines and see which side you trust. I doubt I will ever be standing shoulder to shoulder with Tomkins about anything

  • The_Aged_P

    No great fan of the SNP or the Scots but this SNP bashing from the DT and Speccie is getting tiresome. Both organs are full of ersatz Scots who mostly appear to live in London. Until the months before the referendum you hardly had any article about Scottish politics even from the DT/Speccie “Scots”. Then suddenly it was all about the “Union” etc and there was a frenzy of anti SNP hate and it is still bubbling away.
    I file these “Scotland” posts with Damian’s papal rantings……minority musings on niche topics that are of little interest to the general public

    • flippit

      That’s because you don’t really care about it and you don’t think it makes any difference to you.

    • flippit

      That’s because you don’t really care about it and you don’t think it makes any difference to you.

    • Nine Ball

      “No great fan of [the SNP or] the Scots”

      May I, as a Welshman living in Scotland, with many Scots friends, family members and colleagues; take this opportunity to wish you well on your merry way as you find alternative locations for your fornication habits? Thank you.

      • Jack Crutcher

        Get over it. The English deal with the Scots and Welsh reminding us how much they dislike us all the time. but you really really cant take it back when you realise we dont generally like you either can you?

        • Nine Ball

          You’re a delusional idiot if you believe you’ve been given the right to speak for your entire nation, particularly with such bigoted foolish drivel.

  • John P Hughes

    The mistaken merger of the Scottish police forces was backed by politicians of other parties than the SNP at various stages, but that appears to be a result of polittical maneouvering and not responding to public opinion. What is more important is that the merger and (as important) bringing the police under the Scottish Government was opposed by the non-political respondents when the plans were consulted on, by all the police forces other than Strathclyde, and by the local authorities who made up the police authorities. Of the Chief Constables, only Stephen House of Strathclyde supported merger; and who got the job of Chief Constable of Police Scotland?
    By taking the police out of the remit of local government, the control by elected representatives on joint committees (Police Authorities) was lost. In addition the police became liable for VAT in all purchasing because they were no longer part of local government, which is VAT-immune. That led to the trouble over pensions and call for more Treasury money.
    The decline of the police has been as the article described. The deaths of two people in a car which ran off the M9 in Stirlingshire in July and was not attended by the police for 3 days brought the crisis to a head; but much else was going wrong by then. The resignations of the Chief Constable and the Convener of the Police Authority (a Ministerial appointment) since the M9 tragedy underline how badly the change has gone and how unwise it was .

  • thomasaikenhead

    Successful, effective and incredibly popular (at least with voters) are the real labels to apply to the SNP.

    The London-centric, metropolitan chattering classes are TERRIFIED of the SNP because they offer a political model not based on insiders and self-selected elites but rather a popular political process that is democratic and inclusive.

    The absolute failure of pundits like Adam Tompkins to be aware of the SNP let alone comprehend the reasons for their comprehensive success at the last general election exposes their inability to provide insightful analysis and commentary.

    For far too long members of the ‘Fourth Estate’ have relied on spin and soundbites from vested interests and passed it off as original comment, now they have been caught out and are having to confront the harsh reality of working for a living!

  • mitchyboy

    Man seems unhinged. “one party state”? Last time I voted there was not only one party on the ballot paper.,plus his favoured party has had it lowest vote share in a hundred years!

  • mitchyboy

    I suppose hatred does make you unhinged and unable to think clearly and truthfully. God! His poor students at Glasgow Uni. Should such an establishment be employing someone like this?

    • James Lawrence

      If someone disagrees with you then they must be ‘unhinged’ and unable to think?!? Unwittingly you re reinforce his claim that the SNP shut down rather than engage in debate.
      Next time try to counter his arguments rather than insulting his mental faculties.

  • mitchyboy

    You see I am perfectly okay with any party in power in an independent Scotland, so long as it is the will of the people. Yes even if it was a Scottish Tory Government however unlikely that would be.

  • mitchyboy

    It’s official Scotland does not exist. Labour and their Scottish Branch Office have advised members not to mention the word “Scotland” as it only encourages nationalism.

    Of course many of us have already realized this. It is hard to find Scotland mentioned on a map and those of us who have downloaded software or bought something online know that Scotland as a nation does not exist on the drop down boxes.

    We suffer the BBC referring to the UK as a country. We are not allowed to have our own” national news , but are tagged on at the end as a region with “now for the news where you are” This is all so the establishment can control and fllter what we see and hear. Has anyone ever heard BBC Scotland report anything positive about our government in Edinburgh?

    The list goes on: we were never “allowed” to learn the history of our country in primary and secondary school. This is all part of brainwahing to foster Britishness and eradicate Scottish culture.

    What is sad is that so many of our fellow countrymen and especially Scottish Labour are in agreement with this.

    Here’s hoping that one day we can get Scotland back on the map and on those drop down boxes.

    • Isabella vd Westhuizen

      The Scots are trying hard to claim victim status so dissociating themselves from their own major contribution to the British Empire
      The Scots were not the first colony
      Oh no they were the most enthusiastic of all colonizers and lead the charge
      Now when empire is no longer fashionable they claim to have been oppressed for all these years

    • Jack Crutcher

      Everything you mentioned also applies to Wales, NI and England. In fact England suffers way more then Scotland when it comes to papering over its national identity and history. To Unionists England is the elephant in the room, not Scotland. Stop being so utterly full of yourselves. Its embarrassing.

  • Bob Siren

    II thought I was reading ‘The Onion”.

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  • Tim Morrison

    Aww. Bless.

    Westminster spies on MPs, has a state broadcaster, is decreasing civil liberties and attacking migrants. Has appointed members of its legislature including religious figures.

    The SNP cheats by having popular policies that real people care about.

  • evad666
    • Jambo25

      This has got what to do with Sturgeon or the Scottish Government?

  • Ian Blackhall

    The idiot who wrote this nonsense is on the Smith Commission!

    • jonkle

      So I believe is John Swinney, what is your point exactly ?

      • Ian Blackhall

        He pretends to believe that Scotland is a one party state.

        • jonkle

          In the strict definition of the term, the headline (if Tomkins wrote the headline) is wrong.
          But in terms of his comments on centralised state control, he may have a point.

          “To observe Scotland’s public sector is to witness the SNP’s control-freakery. Where councils once held sway, SNP ministers oversee hospitals, police departments, regional development agencies, fire services and even local tax levels. COSLA, the local authorities’ representative body, calls Scotland “the most centralised country in Europe”.
          http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2015/10/rudderless-hegemony

    • ThePretender

      Your prose is cluttered with coarse terminology ”idiot… hard of thinking among you’ – what qualifies you to cast such assertions? What are your credentials Ian?

      • Ian Blackhall

        I was able to read and understand the article. One up on you.

        • ThePretender

          It appears, from you remarks, you comprehend rather little. So, forgive me, I’ll be unable to accept your noted inference.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Google one party state, it might hurt your feelings.

          • ThePretender

            You are ignorant to the presence of tangible information – one analogy may be drawn with the enlightenment of a child’s mind.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Go onto Facebook and ask a man to google one party state for you.

          • ThePretender

            A literal interpretation of the idiom ‘one party state’ may support your line of argument. As humans, however, we are capable, perhaps with exception of you, of construing information. In this instance, parallels can be drawn with the dominance of the SNP administration and a ‘one party state’ with particular reference to the introduction of the ‘named person’.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Not a very gracious way to admit that you were wrong. Now dry your little eyes.

          • ThePretender

            Please, reference the particular segment in which I concede?

            To paraphrase my above noted remark – construing is a subjective process, your interpretation of ‘one party state’ is not unanimous and but one delineation. Indeed, there is a consensus among a number of contributors present here that ‘you were wrong’.

          • Ian Blackhall

            “A literal interpretation of the idiom ‘one party state’ may support your line of argument.” I can understand your pompous style even if you can’t.
            You can have all the thick people in the world tell me that 2+2=5, you’ll still be wrong.

          • ThePretender

            The clue is in the word ‘may’ as in ‘may support your line of argument’ – there is no concede present. Perhaps google the definition of ‘may’, it seems you are unaware of its meaning, back to school for you Ian.

          • Ian Blackhall

            OMG you’re so fackingn thick!

          • ThePretender

            There is a reoccurring theme – you revert to insults in the absence of a constructive retort. No substance to your lines of inquiry and dismissive of differing stances.

          • Ian Blackhall

            You admitted you were wrong, and now you’re crying about it.

          • ThePretender

            This ‘may’ be a foreign concept for you to comprehend – there is no emotion present in my remarks. The views stated are objective in nature and founded upon tangible information.

            Again, to reiterate, I have not conceded.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Yes you did , be an adult, not a pompous child.

          • ThePretender

            Farcical – though compelling amusement nonetheless.

          • Ian Blackhall

            BTFO
            T
            F
            O

          • ThePretender

            Impulsive and more salient, not applicable to the article.

  • James Lawrence

    The decline and fall of the SNP will be slow but steady. Westminster has given the SNP just enough rope to hang themselves. Incapable of good government we are all going to witness, and for the Scots themselves suffer, their lack of substance. It will of course come with increasing rhetoric laying all the blame at the feet of the English. I guess in some ways it will be a bit like watching the nonsense that came out of Zimbabwe a few years ago.
    Pity really as it has the potential to be a great country

    • Abie Vee

      Patronising tw@. Here’s another scenario: England votes to leave the EU; Scotland votes to stay. England threatens to drag Scotland with them, against their wishes, and Scotland leaves the UK.

      There’s only one loser in this scenario: England.

      • jonkle

        It’s a UK referendum, Scotland is part of the UK so will have to abide with the result as it applies to the UK. If Scotland want to have an independence referendum at some later date, that’s up to them.

        • Abie Vee

          Scotland will have to abide by the result for only as long as they remain apart of the UK. And that looks increasingly unlikely, no?

          However, if Cameron wise a wise man (which he isn’t) he’d grab at Sturgeon’s demand for the result for an out to have a majority in each of the UK’s countries: Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. It’s a”get out of jail free” card for Cameron. He just don’t get it.

          • jonkle

            “Scotland will have to abide by the result for only as long as they remain apart of the UK. And that looks increasingly unlikely, no?”
            Whether it is or not, most in the rest of the UK no longer consider it of any relevance to them.
            The UK will carry on with or without them.
            It’s up to the Scots what they want to do.

          • Abie Vee

            What, ALL of them!? Her Maj too? Hmm… I don’t know by what authority you ventriloquise the opinions of “the rest of the UK”, but I’d be glad to see your sources for your bold assertion.

            O, and thank you for that advice. Indeed… it is up to us.

          • jonkle

            Did I say “All” ?
            Oh, and I should also have said, most of them also don’t want to share the £.

          • Abie Vee

            You did not say “most”. Thus we assume you speak for all. Backtracking into the safety of semantic wriggling eh? Par for the course with you people.

            Share the £? Ludicrous. “Most of them” will have no say on the matter at all. The actual terms of separation will be negotiated between the two Parliaments (very likely under the Chairmanship of The EU).

          • jonkle

            I wrote “most” not “All”, please read my post again.

          • Abie Vee

            Did you, or did you edit it in? Be that as it may.

          • jonkle

            No I did not edit it.
            It’s advisable to read posts before you reply to them.

          • Abie Vee

            I doubt that it’s ever “advisable” to spend too much time ingesting your waffle. I give it the scant and fleeting attention it deserves.

          • jonkle

            Best not reply then.

          • vieuxceps2

            Alas Jonkle, Abie–girl always ends up by flouncing off.

          • jonkle

            Her prose reads like a Coronation Street script.
            Pity the poor Scots.

          • vieuxceps2

            Omigod here’s silly girl ABV again “You did not say “most”. Thus we assume you speak for all” Why do you assume that? Why not assume he speaks for a seventh or a fifth ? Your chop-logic amazes us all- or do I mean some …..a quarter say…

          • Abie Vee

            Hello chap. She who must be obeyed has let you out has she?

          • vieuxceps2

            Yes, he has.

          • Abie Vee

            Hello chap. She who must be obeyed has let you out has she?

        • Abie Vee

          Hmm. And why would they need another referendum? We may as well call them neverendums, eh? The solve very little. The losers walk away, regroup, and start again.

          The Scottish Parliament entered into The Act of Union without a referendum. In fact the Scottish public were so outraged by the sleazy back-room deal that, after days of rioting, troops had to be deployed in Edinburgh and elsewhere to restore order!

          My suggestion is, if suitably outraged (Cameron does his best, god bless him) they could as easily leave in the same manner.

  • Ian Blackhall

    Just to clear things up for the hard of thinking among you. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-party_state

  • Abie Vee

    It isn’t a one-party state. It is a five or six party state. And one party has an overall majority. Do correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s democracy is it not? Or is it only democracy when you approve of the outcome?

    Indeed the SNP’s electoral mandate has more credibility than Cameron’s, which ever way you look at it. Election to the Edinburgh Parliament is via a form of proportional representation, unlike our largely discredited first past the post system.

    • ThePretender

      While they’re valid points Abie, the crux of the discussion relates to the encroachment of state upon the civil liberties of its citizens. The SNP administration both proposed and sanctioned the introduction of the named person through ‘an overall majority’. Notwithstanding concerns across the political and professional spectrum in terms of the implications of the act for families and the concept of parenting.

      • Abie Vee

        Where to start? Given that most child abuse comes from within the immediate circle of family and close friends, what do you suggest?

        In the UK there was a centralised database for all children, ContactPoint (which instead of strengthening, Osborne shut it down and replaced it with, er nothing as far as I can tell!). ContactPoint was in place to monitor the well-being of every child up to the age of 18… many of whom were consistently failed by the various agencies specifically tasked with their protection; schools, the NHS, social services , magistrates and the Police.

        As I say, what do you suggest? “Trust the people” warbles the learned Tory. Yeah right Prof… worked so well in Rotherham didn’t it.

        • ThePretender

          Social services Abie – increasing the number of agencies and professionals involved will make monitoring and promoting the well-being of child and young people both challenging and laborious. The former has been substantiated in the context of multi-agency arrangements for children and families within research and literature.

          To borrow an idiom – the named person is ‘forcing a door that is already open’. What is necessary is greater coordination as opposed to fashioning legalisation. I’m not a partisan of the Tory persuasion.

          • Abie Vee

            Expand a failure? Hmm… still, there’s no evidence of that ever happening with George and the Tories is there: they HATE the public sector.

          • ThePretender

            The discussion pertains to Scotland and the named person agenda Abie, not the Tories and any associated ideology.

  • Landphil

    Well done Australia!

    • Hades2

      Actually, they LOST
      But they got through illegitimately with terrible refereeing but yes well done!
      Loved it when they knocked England out too
      SO EMBARRASSING
      HAHAHAHAHA ….

  • policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent.

    Eh? I’d be so lucky to be “shouted down”.

    My Scottish politics was policed by the professional army of Police Scotland who sought me out for my dissenting political tweets, smashed my house door down, arrested me, seized my computer equipment and irreplaceable science data to boot, charged me, twice, and I’m soon to appear for trial with up to one year imprisonment!

    And that’s honestly not satire as per Monty Python’s “4 Yorkshire men” sketch, though I wish it were.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAdlkunflRs

    • Andrew McLean

      You must be a very naughty boy! 🙂

    • Ian Blackhall

      Tell the truth, what really happened.

      • I had tweeted a republican rant or two and over-hyped my rhetoric somewhat – though the tweets were clearly hyperbole and in no way could the police reasonably interpret such tweets as “threatening communication” but that’s the idiotic charge I face.

        In total there have been 3 charges made, each new charge replacing the previous charge which was dropped.

        First there was the holding charge by the arresting police officers, for an alleged offence under the Communications Act 2003.

        This was quickly replaced the next day while I was still in custody by the prosecutor’s charge by petition of an alleged offence under the Scottish Parliament’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, which was intended to be a trial by jury with up to 5 years imprisonment possible.

        Then some months later the prosecutors dropped that charge and replaced it with a charge of an alleged offence under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, by way of summary complaint with up to 1 year in prison.

        These idiotic charges followed a surprise police raid on my flat, which the police claim to have got a warrant for, where the police seized my computer and back-up hard discs and memory sticks which contained all my irreplaceable science data, the results of my science research over a number of years.

        The police seized my irreplaceable data and have kept it for more than a year, despite me telling the police, after I had been released on bail, and despite my solicitor telling the prosecutors, that I was admitting to posting the tweets so there could be no need for the prosecutors to require the police to hold on to my computer and hard discs etc as “evidence” so as to prove something which I had already admitted to.

        I was targeted on the same basis as any citizen whose civil liberties and legal human rights to freedom of expression are being trampled over by the UK police state.

        We citizens are not committing “crimes” when we state our political views but rather the UK police choose to single some of us out for persecution.

        Like with TV broadcasts, some films contain strong language, so viewer discretion is advised. Sensitive people shouldn’t watch such films if they find strong language offensive – likewise they shouldn’t read Twitter.

        It is not the case however that “the might of the police state is right”.

        The UK police are stupid, heavy-handed and unaware of the full damaging consequences of their poorly thought-out actions.

        It’s not the obligation of citizens in a robust democracy to be compelled to tone down our comments so that, for example, republicans are no longer allowed to make clear our strong opposition to monarchy.

        The police state in repressive regimes, such as China, North Korea, Cuba etc is characteristically intolerant of political dissenters and crushes the freedom of expression of citizens.

        It should be disturbing for newspaper and magazine readers to read here about an instance of a police state crack down on freedom of expression here in the UK. This is supposed to be a free country, but it won’t be for long if readers simply accept such police repression of freedom of expression.

        It is always an outrageous act of a dictatorial police state to arrest citizens for their political tweets or other political comments online or indeed published elsewhere.

        In this case there was an additional catastrophe for humanity that I happen to be a scientist and the police seized irreplaceable science data that they had and have no need of.

        • John P Hughes

          Thank you for this description of how Police Scotland behave. It is difficult to believe that one of the former regional constabularies would have done anything of the kind. At most, ‘Would you call at the station, sir, nothing serious but Inspector…. would like a short word with you about …..’.
          Instead the creation of Police Scotland and the passing of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 have together created something of a police state. Had it not been for the series of recent scandals, notably the deaths of two people in the tragic accident on the M9 in Stirlingshire, there would not be the scrutiny that is now being applied and there would not have been the recent resignations.

          • Excellent comment John. Thank you.

            I would sooner have have followed police advice to delete any complained-about tweet than suffer any further police action.

            That police advice could have been offered by email or by a telephone to myself and, so long as I was convinced it was genuinely from the police and not from some prankster, I believe I would have complied with the police advice / order.

            No tweet is worth the loss of property and liberty I have suffered.

            “there would not have been the recent resignations.”

            ___
            Presumably, you mean the resignation of Chair of the Police Authority Vic Emery (who has gone and been replaced by Andrew Flanagan) and the announced departure of Chief Constable Sir Stephen House?

            My concerns are two fold –

            1) Andrew Flanagan seems to be being led by the nose by the UK civil service (and presumably, because being a UK-stooge / compliant man is the sole reason he made the civil servant’s short list for SPA chair?) and therefore he is accepting that the new Chief Constable must be appointed from within the plodding ranks of time-served UK police officers.

            My alternative approach as SPA Chair would be to recommend to the First Minister that there was a need to recruit from a wider talent pool.

            Nicola Sturgeon is going to need a Scottish patriot as Chief Constable who will stand with the Scottish people, parliament and government in any confrontations with Westminster over what powers are devolved and what not.

            2) The Stasi police state which Chief Constable House has enforced has been at the incitement of Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, the more senior of the Scottish government’s law officers, the less senior being Solicitor General Lesley Thomson.

            Those 2 Scottish government law officers serve, as do other cabinet secretaries and ministers, only at the pleasure of the First Minister, and can, and I recommend, should also be dismissed from their offices.

            FM Sturgeon needs law officers who provide better leadership to prosecutors and police to value and defend civil liberties and human rights, and don’t violate their duties and the human rights and criminal law with violent police and court over-reactions to suppress free speech.

  • mitchyboy

    Anyhow, what a storm Many Scots want their independence (1000 years old and Europe’s oldest nation , flag and crown jewels)back, but England will not let go. Wonder why? In 1707 London politician said, “we have catched Scotland and will never let her go”.

    • Border Guy Scot

      You are right – hstory tells us about the corruption and double dealing at the time of the Union of Parliaments, who benefitted- well – thats a matter of perspective. I`m sorry to say untill the Scottish Conservatives start to get their message over that they are looking and want to support Scotland`s interests at Holyrood, the will remain unliked and untrusted – the SNP will make sure of that.
      ,
      I don`t see the Scottish Consevatives putting up rousing manifesto that dosen`t look dare I say it ” too Englsh” – that will be spotted miles away and rejected. Tourble is the SC&UP Managment don`t see or want to see that.

    • makeweight

      Did I imagine that referendum thing, then? Held in Scotland only, which decided democtraically by a large majority that Scotland should stay part of the UK? Oh I’m wrong, obviously, it was BadEngland calling the shots all along. Awa, ye stupid wee victim.

  • Fairly Educated Scot

    Is this the same Adam Tompkins who attended and spoke at the signing of the Declaration of Carlton Hill, a petition to the Westminister government which begins, “We the undersigned call for an independent Scottish republic”?

    With regard to the merging of police forces, he might want to ask those Scottish Tories that were around at the time what they meant in their 2011 manifesto where they said, “we are committed to maintaining Police numbers over the next Parliament. In order to ensure we can achieve this at a time when the public sector has to make savings, we will merge Scotland’s eight police forces into one.” Seems the Scottish Tories current position on police forces is motivated by that long-standing Unionist tradition of, “SNP BAD”.

    From “All they want is Independence”, the use of the word “separation”, a selective use of statistics, no citations for statements (like “richer children are getting worse even faster”), a paragraph consisting of nonsensically manipulated statistics [about crimes and the results of a survey (which had far better results than the English equivalent)], through to the use of the phrase “lost the referendum”, this really does check all the boxes as an “SNP BAD” article in the right-wing press.
    Assuming Tomkins is planning to run as a list MP, he’ll be joining a tightly packed field of Tory (and unionist in general) MSPs scrambling to make their party’s top list places in the 8 Scottish regions, in the knowledge that they are unlikely to win many constituency seats next year.

    • Border Guy Scot

      Trying where I can to leave personalities apart, Tomkins is from a Scottish Conservative Perspective one of those, what could you say, academic caroetbaggers who have more faces than the ” Toon Hall Clock” – he should do well in politics. The Scottish Conservaties of which I am one are in desperate circumstances. The May 2016 elections are approaching, Tax Credit, changes start in April 2016, the proposals for Evel, are criticised again, and the Deamon Nicola, felt strong enough to descibe DC as “pig headed” . Mmmm wonder what that was aluding to.
      .
      The party isn`t going to have an easy run into elections and Ruth`s jump to the east for a seat just might not work. The fact that the Scottish organisation according to You Gov, in the detail published by John Lamont MSP ( Scottish Conservative), maybe said we all don`t wont more taxes ( eh hello thats stating the obvious) but failed to point out 71% don`t trust the Tories very much. He didn`t mention that did he.
      .
      To make themselves a functioning and dynamic opposition to the SNP, will only come from a a position of trust and honesty and ditching the herlading of false dawns at elections.

      • Rob Troup

        Ruths jump to the East will work because she won’t actually be standing for election. The Tories can only get in on the list vote and that is where she will be.. Her present position is an unelected one at Holyrood .. and it looks like the Tories may well get wiped out of Glasgow even on the list… Hence the move to Edinburgh ..

  • SocratesWept

    You voted National Socialist, you’re getting National Socialism.

    • Ian Blackhall

      Could an adult believe this? No.

      • ThePretender

        Why not?Your premise dictates a line of reasoning to support it.

        • Ian Blackhall

          An epic troll could pretend to believe it . LOL etc..

          • ThePretender

            Redundant retort Ian – are you anxious to expose your rationale to wider scrutiny?

          • Ian Blackhall

            Grow up.

          • ThePretender

            ‘Grow up’ you proclaim – somewhat hypocritical Ian given your child-like contempt for differing sentiments.

          • Ian Blackhall

            Fack off you child.

          • ThePretender

            Q.E.D.

  • Alex Di-Folco

    Okay so I’m neither a conservative nor a SNP (Nor lib dem, nor Labour, nor Green) supporter full disclosure.

    Right so I do believe in liberty and this national person seems a bad idea. At first the person monitoring the child seems a good idea for abuse and at risk children the only danger is who sets the precedent if its a group of citizens then its not so bad however a government with no accountability for at least 4/5 years that is very scary indeed, no matter your political affiliation.

    Second point is Private finance initiative horrible idea we all agree, my high school was a PFI contract, one of the first, as soon as it was built subsidence was discovered. now the SNP have publicly said they’re horrible however their actions are very different as they’ve set up the Scottish Futures Trust which is widely considered PFI 2.0 it takes some tax payer money and a lot of private finance to build buildings, this isn’t inherently a bad idea same with PFI however questions about the standards and repaying of these private loans as they will obviously cost more and cause much more debt.

    My third point relates to the NHS and prisons as a lot of them are either partially run by companies like Serco, (who have a bad track record) being awarded contracts to run many departments in hospitals and prisons. This is worrying as you only need to see the horrible disaster that is the USA’s prison economy to see this idea does not work at all.

    Now that said everyone is entitled to their own political opinions and such. Just I would ask you indulge in an exercise if you support something try to argue and go against it to see if you truly support it.

  • Rob Troup

    If a child is at risk then there will be different departments holding different information on that child that is nor disseminated across all departments.. one department not knowing what another department is doing has been the cause of many incidents… Makes perfect sense to have a named child as the Focus point with different departments contributing at the same point for all to see, rather than having the named childs information across multiple agencies where that information is lost ..

    • ThePretender

      While your logic seems sound, it is an unfounded assumption nonetheless. In Scotland, the risk of harm pertaining to a child is disseminated throughout the relevant departments in the instance of its conception. In particular, Police, Health and Education report concerns to Social Services to investigate further. Resources should, therefore, focus on manners to foster closer agency cooperation to identify early indicators of risk as opposed to fashioning legislation to remedy a situation already being addressed. The named person only serves to encroach on the civil liberties of citizens.

      • Rob Troup

        and yet agencies do not co-operate sufficiently ? One point of contact for all agencies is both logical and negates the need for bureaucracy when dealing with outside agencies… a cause of many downfalls…. I think your presumption is one of catching children as they fall through the holes, whereas the policy involves allowing children to reach their potential..

        • ThePretender

          In the main, yes, agencies do cooperate sufficiently. There is scope, however, for improvement – thus your point isn’t without merit. The fundamental aspect of multi-agency working which brings it into disrepute – information sharing. Agencies in their professional silos, specific reference to Health, are reluctant to communicate tentative material unless the matter is escalated to child protection status.

          A named person will not find the issue amenable to change. Given the introduction of legislation will not encourage novel sentiments with regards to information sharing and recognising that it reaffirms work presently being undertaken – what purpose does it serve? It further expands the grasp of the State, unnecessarily, into the intimate domain of its citizens.

          ‘I think your presumption is one of catching children as they fall through the holes’ – quite a presumptuous inference Rob in lieu of my differing opinion. Most authorities have early intervention meetings for those children and young people experiencing difficulty in terms of education, who are susceptible to the influence of socioeconomic disadvantage and whom’s conduct is engendering concern. While the success of said early interventions are a moot point, the processes that the named person outline are currently being undertaken.

          • John P Hughes

            “Almost authorities have early intervention meetings for those children and young people experiencing difficulty in terms of education, who are susceptible to the influence of socioeconomic disadvantage and whose conduct is engendering concern.” Yes. Any well-run school and the local social services should identify the children who have problems and focus on them. This is well-established – the problems arise when it doesn’t happen, which was exposed in the recent grooming scandals in some English cities.
            Named Person by contrast applies to every child which is interference with the rights of parents and arguably with civil liberties. If the majority of parents and schoolteachers declined to cooperate with it, it might be abandoned in favour of something more specific to families at risk.
            It will be interesting to see the arguments in the 2016 Election as the Conservatives and LibDems will presumably propose abolition or scaling back on the lines just suggested.

  • Whitegold

    Every media outlet screamed ‘No’
    We were told we could vote any way we wanted as long as it was ‘No’
    BBC leaned heavily (100% to be exact) behind the ‘No’ campaign.
    As did ITV
    As did SKY
    Along with 37/37 daily newspapers and other publications.
    Public denunciation allowed.
    As was the burning of effigies.
    Hate was encouraged, and opponents hounded.
    Where and who is the one party state again?

  • Phil Collie

    If Scotland were a one-party state it’s because the electorate chose that to be the case; it happened democratically – no-one was forced into a polling booth at gunpoint to vote SNP. Clearly, the SNP is very popular though – I suspect that the main reason for this is that the attacks from the opposition, party political and otherwise, just appears to be hysterical and slightly deranged (evidence: this article).

  • ryongsong

    ‘Increasingly, the strongest voice of opposition is that of Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, whom I hope to serve in the next parliament.’

    Honest, at least. No intention to serve the people, though, so no change there from the Tories.

    I’d agree with the criticisms of the SNP on education policy. Although there’s been long-overdue investment in school buildings, there’s been little progress on achievement in the schools. On other matters there’s plenty of room for improvement, and some daft policies, but like many others, I’ll still support the SNP because they offer something Labour and the Tories quite obviously don’t: a passion for making Scotland a better country to live in.

  • AntiquityNow

    So, Scotland is becoming a fascist state.

  • Robbie finlay

    calling it aone party state is a little a little misleading bordering on a lie it implies they just forced there way in threw everyone else out and took over. a better title would be the snp are winning all the seatsand i dont like it. well thats democracy for you if you dont like it thats just tough. people are waking upand getting smarter thats why they vote snp you dontwant them to hence why you vote tory or maybe its beacause your upper middle class and reasonably wealthy and would prefer to stay that way regardless its selfish

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