An Alternative Universe

In the twilight zone inhabited by much of the media in Scotland, a universe where they would have preferred that the two years leading up to September 2014, and the two years since, never happened, the choice of Ruth Davidson as Politician of the Year, as sponsored by The Herald, fits in nicely with the natural order of things. After all they can’t keep giving it to pro-independence types, and it was never going to be ‘Kez’ this year now, was it?

The fawning write up on the political awards night in The Herald would have you believe that the aforementioned Ruth has made some sort of heroic stand against the horde of xenophobic, brave new order, righter-than right-wing Brexiteerian potential Mosleyites currently inhabiting the benches marked ‘The government’ at Westminster, her party.

You’d think she’d swooped in on the back of her winged coo with horns, or smashed her Challenger Tank through the gates at Downing Street to put them to the sword on such issues as the ‘Is it safe policy’, the one where large border guards from Britain First hold down refugee youths in a chair whilst Laurence Olivier’s ghost takes a set of dental forceps tae their gubs to check if they are under 18,

Or perhaps she deserves plaudits for the outstandingly fair, selfless and magnanimous effort she put in, following the people of the country where she ultimately wants to serve in politics voting to take the people of the country she comes from out of a union they don’t want to leave, when she joined with the rest of us to let Westminster know that the people of Scotland have a democratic right to call a second referendum in these circumstances.

Aye right! Ten minutes after the night of the long knives, when the Tories had a post Brexit vote ‘reshuffle’ (the one with the least knives in their back at the end is the winner) she was soundly behind the No referendum for Scotland, get on with the day job Nicola, Brexit means Brexit gang, and has been ever since, having established herself as a darling of the right, cringing her way through the Tory Conference, or rally,as they may soon be calling it. Ruth has got mair faces than the toon clock.

Probably more of an affront to reality, and the people of Scotland, is the choice of David Mundell as ‘Best Scot at Westminster’ for ‘steering the Scotland Bill through the Commons and helping to put together the fiscal framework that accompanies it.’ It might have been appropriate to have that award sponsored by The Trussell Trust.

This guy is only in the job of Secretary of State for Scotland because he is the only Tory, singular, that the people of Scotland elected to represent them at Westminster. That success was only achieved because the Tories flung a queens ransom at his election campaign, spending three times more than his opponents put together.

David Mundell is it. He is their only choice. If there were more of them, God forbid, he wouldnae be trusted with putting the kettle on, never mind being the mouthpiece for his party’s cruel and heartless policies in a country that doesn’t vote for them. Scarily David Mundell is Scotland’s highest ranking politician, and can’t be trusted to do anything, anything at all in Scotland’s interests.

An award for steering the Scotland Bill through the Commons? If John Swinney and his team hadn’t played hardball during the settlement negotiations Mr Mundell and his party would have robbed the country he purports to represent of 7.5 Billion pounds worth of future public service funding.

An alternative universe indeed.

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Special Arrangements

Moves are to be made to protect the City of London from strife by getting it a special Brexit deal. No stone is to be left unturned in the quest to ensure the city continues to have favourable access to EU markets. Boris Johnson might even comb his hair. After all it is London, innit.

In order to negate the possibility that Brexit messes up the peace process ,or invalidates the “Good Friday Agreement”, ways are to be found to ensure that the island of Ireland doesn’t require a hard border between the north and south once the UK leaves the European Union. Yet the mere mention of self-government for Scotland invokes Project Fear images of searchlights, barbed wire fences, watchtowers and crabbit German Shepherds.

Japanese car manufacturers with plants in northern England, have had nods, winks, and noses tapped in their direction to assure them that once Brexit is implemented Westminster will do their utmost to ensure that their ability to manufacture and trade in the single market without additional tariffs, as they currently do, will not be impacted. Meanwhile projections suggest that initially 80,000 jobs are in danger in Scotland as a direct consequence of Brexit.

Due to an ageing population Scotland requires at least 25,000 immigrants per year to settle, contribute and pay taxes, just to remain economically stable, not to grow, just to stand still. 62% of Scottish voters voted to remain in the European Union which allows freedom of movement for European citizens to do just that. Hard Brexit, imposed undemocratically by Westminster, will drastically impact this, and is not at all in Scotland’s interests. No deal, no special arrangement.

The proportion of over 75’s in Scotland is expected to rise by 80% in the next 20 years, The less people paying taxes, the less money there is for public services, and to pay for the increased level of aged care services which will be required.

A clear example of how much Westminster and the British establishment really value their ‘partner’. Better Together?

The Brexit Plan

The Cabinet Room, 10 Downing Street, yesterday, early afternoon. The First Ministers of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland having left the building.

Theresa May : (Slightly whispering) “Has she definitely gone?”

David Mundell: (Furtively peeping through the curtains)” No Ma’am. She’s still out there talking to the press!’

Theresa May: “Open the window a bit Denis. You are Scotch, aren’t you? See if you can understand what she’s saying to them.”

David Mundell: (Bowing) “Yes Prime Minister” (Gently, and quietly, lifting the window, trying not to draw the attention of the media pack outside, so that the window is slightly ajar).

Theresa May: “So what’s going on Denis, can you hear her?”

David Mundell: “Sorry Ma’am, I’m still called David. (Lifting lughole from window ledge) The press hack from the Sun has just asked her where she gets her shoes.”

Theresa May; “Never mind all of that. What is she saying?’

David Mundell: “ She’s telling them that our meeting has left her feeling frustrated. She says she hasn’t learnt anything new today. She’s saying that the meeting involved robust discussion. Oh well done Prime Minister (gushing) you were so firm with her.”

Theresa May : “ What else is she saying Denis, what else?”

David Mundell; (Voice turning panicky) “She’s on to us! She’s telling them we don’t have a plan for Brexit! Someone just asked her if she felt as if she was undermining our Brexit negotiations, and she answered by saying ‘that you can’t undermine something that doesn’t exist!’ She says that you promised her months ago that we would only invoke Article 50 once an accommodation had been reached between all UK partners on a common approach. Oh my goodness, what are we going to do?…. She’s got friends in Europe, and she’s consulting the masses on plans for a referendum on independence again….We’re doooooomed……”

Theresa May: ‘Calm down Denis. David, you are the Minister for Brexit. How is the Brexit plan coming along? Are we using our tried and tested techniques?”

David Davis: “ Of course Prime Minister. We’re following our usual plan as always. However things are not going too well. We’ve been trying to find something we can threaten the other EU members with for months, with no success. We then tried to determine who we can buy orf, and that doesn’t seem to be working either. Those blooming Johnny Foreigners seem to be sticking together on this one.”

Theresa May: “Keep trying. Meanwhile we stick firmly to the line that Brexit means Brexit for the UK as a whole. Hard, soft, squidgy or crunchy. We all leave together to begin our glorious renaissance. Rule Britannia ……until we can figure out what we are going to do next.

The public is going to cotton on shortly too that we’re clueless, so we’d better organise another pageant of some sort to divert their attention. Ring Buck House and ask if there’s another baby in the offing. No, better still. Has the younger one got a girlfriend? No? Get him one, and get a wedding organised. That’ll fill the papers for a while. Someone get me Nicholas Witchell. Also, get on the phone to China, and firm up that provisional order for the new Royal Yacht. We are going to need that soon. Yes, take the money from the NHS budget. They won’t notice, and we can run a competition in the Express to name it.

Is she still there Denis? “

David Mundell: “Oh Yes Prime Minister. She has the press pack’s full attention now. She’s still talking, and has just said something about fully protecting Scotland’s interests and addressing the ‘democratic deficit’. What’s a democratic deficit?”

No Mandate

Shut up Scotland. Shut up. Be quiet. You are babbling amongst yourselves again in that nonsensical guttural slang that you grunt at each other in. You are a loathsome minority. It’s oh so tiresome. Your parochialism is dull and boring.

Listen to your countrymen and women. They’re alright Jack. Strong Proud Scots. They’ve got it right. They admire our long held common history. Strength and security. Oh look, how cute! Pippa Middleton’s poodle in a kilt!

How could you possibly survive? The clearances were inevitable. Shipbuilding got to be cheaper elsewhere. Here, have a contract for navy frigates………only joking!

Ravenscraig needed to be demolished. You always wanted to work as a casual shelf-stacker in a supermarket, didn’t you?

Did we tell you that our oil, which you store for us, is running out tomorrow, and then again the next day, or is it the day after that?…… Mug punters.

You have no mandate because we tell you you have no mandate. It’s as simple as that. We decide, you don’t. It’s our type of democracy, not yours.

56 out of 59 MPs at Westminster? So what. They are powerless. Can’t you count? Oh, and did we mention we were reducing the number of constituencies soon? That will hurt you more than it will hurt us.

You live in a region of us, a region we have exploited for centuries, and to an extreme for the last 50 years. But you are too collectively weak and divided to recognise that.

Such a strong devolved government we allowed you, control of almost 15% of your own destiny, and the powers only to tie yourselves in knots, and make yourselves unpopular.

Our beneficence knows no bounds. You saw that we gave in when you spotted that we were trying to relieve you of 7 billion pounds as part of the settlement. How nice of us.

We tell you we love you, and you believe it. We tell you we would be heartbroken if you decided to leave our patronising embrace. In truth we would be nothing without you, and the gifts we unburden you of.

We’ll just keep laughing at you, marginalising you. To mock you we’ll keep printing pictures of your ridiculously atavistic blue-painted faces. Coochycoo Bravehearties. A pathetic lot.

Your own perspective on news and current affairs? Why would you need that? Does Cheshire get to have a perspective on world events? No. Then why should you? London knows best… shhhhh.

A mandate to have another squabble amongst yourselves about leaving us, where we’d only end up again having to frighten those who might initially lose a quid? You are having a laugh. Shut up Jock. Our patience with your insolence is wearing thin.

Instead, come with us to experience an exciting renaissance, the return of our empire. This Sceptred Isle can be great once more, in pounds and ounces. Come with us to Brexitopia.

Clueless

There will be others who will do a better, more erudite and forensic analysis of Nick Cohen’s bizarre blog for The Spectator yesterday suggesting that the SNP are censoring the Scottish media, but his views certainly require comment.

Does this bloke know that in Scotland only one newspaper provides balanced reporting which takes account of the political views of about half of the population? Does he seriously contend that whichever of the unionist journos who hides behind the pseudonym of ‘Spanner’ to produce the vile hatred that comes out of his social media posts is a good guy because logically he must be, otherwise J K Rowling wouldn’t like him. Really?

Is he aware that the broadcasting media in Scotland is that joined at the hip to big brother and fecked up that it can’t even ring fence contracts for the national team’s vital football matches to terrestrial TV (shite as they may be) so that Scots can actually watch their own country playing sport other than the England matches that are on their TV’s at the same time?

Does he realise how completely mental his assertions that the SNP somehow control STV, frighten the National Union of Journalists, and bully the BBC, sound to people who actually experience the printed and broadcasting media in Scotland? People who have spent years being patronised and having their views ignored, unless those views comply with unionism.

All we want is balance. Even last night we saw the latest example of any possibility of Scotland achieving a modicum of control over its own BBC content being laughed out of Westminster, where it was made clear, during a debate on the subject, that the BBC represents the views “of the nation” full stop. Their nation. Shut up Scotland. Eat your cereal.

I suggest Nick Cohen is talking through a hole in his posterior, and perhaps should stick to commenting on subjects where he isn’t clearly clueless.

Yes Please

What a difference two years makes. The massive traffic jam heading at a snail’s pace down the A74 (M) led at the front by Nick Robinson, the journalist prone to not being able to hear comprehensive answers to questions he asks of Scottish senior politicians, sitting atop a removal van full of the RBS’s safe deposit boxes waving a union flag, and the Loch Ness Monster at the back, has come to a loud screeching halt somewhere around Ecclefechan, and turned around. The jam has now increased ten-fold heading the other way as financial institutions, international businesses, EU citizens with their valuable skills and professions, and Remain voters, prepare to seek refuge from Brexitastrophe Britain.

The pound, or as it’s currently known 68p, is plummeting faster than David Mundell’s credibility, we’re four months further along the line with not much more known about “hard Brexit’ other than it might involve a lot of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ last night of the proms type flag waving, there’s a possibility that the Tories are building a big shiny expensive boat for a tiny percentage of the super-rich to play in, and foreigners aren’t welcome, unless they are coming to sign big trading contracts, because they will you know, Boris says so! He might want to have a word with Donald Tusk to get the real picture.

Meanwhile be prepared for Project Fear to move to Defcon 1 over the next couple of weeks. It’s never really went away since well before September 2014, but it’s about to wind itself up into a furious frenzy now that the Scottish Government have announced the publication of a draft bill for a second independence referendum for consultation. Remember too that last time the British establishment were entirely sure that they were going to win the referendum right up until the last few days when they had to pull all sorts of rabbits out of the false promises hat to save their necks. This time the pressure will be on them. Their backs are against the wall, and they are capable of, and will do, anything to protect their power. They will be far more formidable then they were in 2014.

There is no official No Campaign as yet, although campaign funding is well underway. As Robin McAlpine said “ you don’t need a No Campaign to have a Yes Campaign.” I think it’s time for us to get moving.

Bring on the Twitterbots

The Cabinet Room, 10 Downing Street. A thin pale woman, with the look of an undertaker, sits hunched over some paperwork at a long polished oak table, underneath a portrait of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

A frocked coated underling appears, interrupting the silence.

“I’m sorry to disturb you Prime Minister, but I have the Secretary of State for Scotland outside asking to see you, and frankly he seems agitated.”

Theresa May: “Show him in…”

David Mundell: (Bowing at the waist) ” Prime Minister, it’s so good of you to see me at short notice. I’m so worried……No, No, No……” (Shaking his head from side to side and sweating profusely).

Theresa May: “Stop rambling Denis, and get to the point. I’m a busy woman. Out with it!”

David Mundell: “Apologies Ma’am (bowing again) but it’s actually still David. The thing is…. well…. They are on to us…. The game is up.”

Theresa May: “How can they possibly be on to us Denis? We’ve taken the greatest of care, both sides of the House,with no expense (of Scotland’s) spared to keep them like mushrooms for generations. Are you telling me that has changed?”

David Mundell: “Those Nats have had a conference, They’ve decided they are going to draft up a new divorce proposal if we don’t let them stay in Europe. After all we’ve done for them, evil swines. But they are a garrulous bunch, and somehow,….somehow the word has gotten out.”

Theresa May: “Don’t worry, our methods are tried and tested Denis. We’ve had spin doctors for years hitting home the message to them that they have a huge deficit, even during the times they didn’t, that our oil, that they store around their shores for us, is a curse, and running out next year, every year, that their puny little province is a financial basket case, that they can’t have the pound, and, as they are so teensy weensy, they need our benevolence to survive, and be cosy and safe.

Their poverty rates are appalling. It’s been easy to convince them that they are somewhat insignificant. It always works….Are you really telling me we have a problem?”

David Mundell ” Yes Ma’am, (genuflecting) some of them have worked out that all of these problems that we tell them that they have have one common denominator., and I’m sure they’ll tell the others. It’s going to spread quicker than a backstabbing at a cabinet meeting,”

Theresa May “And what is that my dear chap?”

David Mundell: “All of them have happened whilst under the control of Westminster.”

Theresa May (Lifting phone and speaking into it with urgency) “Get me Amber Rudd, Karen Bradley, the Secretary of Kultcha, the editors of the Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph, The Scotsman, the Herald, The Sun, and that one with the Vow, I can’t remember what it’s called.

Deploy the Twitterbots that we bought from that nice chapTrump. Then get me the Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the chap from Sky who works for Uncle Rupert, and Andrew……. What? …….either one will do, Marr or Neil… Oh and contact Lord Darling, yes the one with the eyebrows. We’re going to need him as a consultant.

I want them all here right now…… We’re launching Operation Snake-oil 2….”

Cornered

It feels appropriate, as the itisintruthnotforglory blog reaches a milestone, it’s 101st post, that we are at a moment on Scotland’s timeline when today’s ramble can begin with the following quotation.

” I am determined that Scotland will have the ability to reconsider the question of independence – and to do so before the UK leaves the EU – if that is necessary to protect our country’s interests. So I can confirm today that the Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation next week. “…. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon 13 October 2016.

Those words, and others, during her opening address to the SNP Conference, apart from generating a warm fuzzy feeling for the many who are determined to see Scotland as a self-governing country, demonstrate that she means business with regards to protecting Scotland’s place in the EU single market, and its democratic right to ‘chart its own course’.

Nicola Sturgeon is currently involved in a game of cat and mouse with her London counterpart. I’m not quite sure which is which but my money is on the leader of Scotland’s government to come out on top in the end.

She is effectively offering Theresa May the choice of two envelopes. In the first is the option to give Scotland a free hand to negotiate its own way in to remain in the EU. In the second envelope is Indy2. Both will result in the same outcome.

The Tories and their compadres can rattle on as much as they like, with their rhetoric about there being no exceptions, the UK as a whole leaving the EU, looking at what’s best for ‘their’ UK only, and how they are going to gain all of the advantages of trading deals with their former EU colleagues without the ‘disadvantages’ of free movement but life just isnae like that in the real world.

There are no hard and fast rules on this one. There has never been a situation before like the Brexitastrophe that these wallies have gotten themselves into. For once, refreshingly, it’s a bureaucratic blank canvas.

Europe would certainly welcome Scotland, with its resources and wealth, retaining it’s place, with open arms. We had alliances with France before we got anywhere near getting involved with that mob from London. It wouldn’t even need to be a case of rejoining. I’m sure that EU experts in International law would find it a pleasure to rewrite legislation and policy to allow Scotland to almost seamlessly adopt the vacancy left by Big Sister. Even Spain wouldn’t put up too much of a fight, as they’d see Scotland remaining in the EU as a clear indicator that independence from London is inevitable, and not comparable to their various constitutional issues.

Don’t let them use the ‘you’d have to join the euro’ red herring either. I see our old friend, former republican socialist, Lord Darling of Roulanish, trying that one in an interview with Andrew Marr the other day. Nonsense. If they want you, you are in. Although the way the pound, or as it’s currently known, 68 pence, is going due to the actions of a bunch of xenophobic dunderheids, it might not be that bad an idea to join.

The arrogance of these so-called Brexiteers is incredible. They have one policy when it comes to dealing with any negotiations with their soon to be former colleagues in Europe, one policy only, it’s called Rule Britannia, or rebuild the Royal Yacht Britannia if you want to put another way.

Even this morning Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has sent them a clear message that when they leave they’d better watch and no’ trip on the front step. In his words ” It is either hard Brexit or no Brexit.”Tusk went on to suggest, in reference to Theresa May’s government reckoning that they could have their cake and eat it with regards to preferential treatment, that “They should try buying a cake, eating it, and then seeing whether it is still on the plate.” In their arrogance they are simply not listening, and that will be their downfall.

As time moves on, and the impact of the Brexit decision start to bite deeper, job losses, dropping incomes, dire economic consequences, the contents of Nicola Sturgeon’s second envelope will become more relevant, clearer to some who previously voted No,and ultimately crucial. It’s all going to be about getting the timing right.

As she mentioned yesterday, we are now in a new discussion, making a case for independence for Scotland is a different argument from 2014. The UK is a different country from what it was then and is widening that difference by the hour.

Cynics may say that the Scottish Government are talking big to pick up some scraps of devolved power that Westminster might deem to throw their way once it’s all over bar the shouting. The tabloids will be on to that shortly no doubt.

I don’t agree with that view at all. The aftermath of September 2014 clearly demonstrated that this is a non starter. Snake oil salesmen have used up their credibility. A Scotland within an isolationist, increasingly militaristic, xenophobic, UK, which still thinks it’s a big shot is unpalatable to the Scottish public. We’ve heard the St Francis of Assisi quotes, we’ve seen distant egocentric leaders with policies designed solely to encourage greed and selfishness describe our country as ” We, in Scotland…”before. No thanks.

I think Nicola Sturgeon is holding all the right cards. She just has to make sure she plays them well. I think she will.

Credibility

The sound of a pair of brown brogues on a heavily polished floor. A knock on an expensive solid oak door………..

Theresa May: “ Ah, come in Denis. Glad you could make it. I’ve got a little job for you.”

David Mundell: “Good afternoon Prime Minister. I’m so sorry but it’s David actually. What can I do for you ma’am (bowing) anything at all.”

Theresa May: “ Oh thank you so much Denis. That’s comforting to hear. I like loyalty. I’m not usually fond of men with beards, but I do so enjoy a groveler.”

David Mundell: ‘I’m your man for that ma’am (bowing again) unctuous to a fault.”

Theresa May: ‘Splendid Denis, and I’m led to believe that you are Scotch, is that correct?’

David Mundell: “Oh yes Prime Minister. I even speak the language, ‘Ock aye you ken’. In fact I’m the Secretary of State for Scotland.”

Theresa May: “ Oh, do we still have one of those? I didn’t realise. Anyway , you are perfect for what we have in mind.”

David Mundell: “ I’ll do anything to make you love me Prime Minister. May I also say that’s a beautiful set of pearls you are wearing. They go with your complexion.”

Theresa May: (Chilling smile)” Now, down to business. You’ll have heard, now that we are back as a WORLD LEADER, that we intend to build a new Royal yacht, quite good value really, a trifling sum of(cough) one hundred million pounds of taxpayers money or so?”

David Mundell: “Oh yes (clapping fins like a seal) a marvellous idea. Those foreign leaders will just fall over themselves to sign huge trading agreements with us once they’ve experienced the touch of a royal glove upon their sweaty little mitts.”

Theresa May: “Quite. However that’s not all we intend to do. You are familiar with the East India Company?”

David Mundell: “Oh yes Prime Minister. I’ve eaten there many times. They do a splendid tandoori lamb poori cutlet, very creative with the invoices for expenses too. A marvellous restaurant.”

Theresa May: ”Not the eatery Ginge, the trading company we used to use as a front to fleece half the planet the last time we were a WORLD LEADER.”

David Mundell: “Oh yes, I see. I think I’ve heard of them.”

Theresa May: “Well anyway, once Brexit is jolly well launched we’re setting up the company again. We’re going to need it. There’s only one problem though.”

David Mundell: “And what’s that Prime Minister?”

Theresa May: “ We don’t have any troops to push Johnny Foreigner around anymore when we go back for the rest of the booty, and I can’t see the locals chipping in with regiments to help this time, even if we make some of them Maharajas again. They’ve got nuclear weapons now you know.”

David Mundell: “We’ve got some of them I think. I can’t remember where we put them though (scratching napper) I’m sure it’ll come to me. Where do you see me fitting in?”

Theresa May: “Well, remember you informed Parliament the other day, very eloquently I thought, that Scotland may benefit as a result of Brexit?”

David Mundell: (Hesitantly) “Yes….”

Theresa May: “ I’m introducing national service, in Scotland only, three year tours of service, What age is Mhairi Black? Everybody between 18 and 40, no exceptions, and you are selling it to them……..”

David Mundell: ‘ But, But……..But I’ll be unpopular, I’ll have to leave the openings of new foodbanks via the emergency door to avoid angry crowds,……..I’ll have absolutely no credibility.”

Theresa May: “Never stopped you before. Bye now Denis. Perhaps if you wear a kilt when you announce the plan?………Maybe not.”

Mince

She’s a right bad yin that Nickla Sturgeon. She must be, because almost all of the papers say so, almost all of the time.

The latest misanthropic haverings of the unionist journo that was recently called out for writing nonsense by Wings Over Scotland about invented violence during the 2014 referendum are surely approaching the bottom of a very deep well of complete falsehood and invention. Bear in mind too, that incredibly these people actually get paid to write the stuff they produce.

The First Minister of Scotland allegedly is making a list (of foreign nationals in Scotland) and checking it twice, for some deeply sinister non-specific separatist plottish reason no doubt, the fiendish she-devil that she is.

Apparently the Scottish Government did a very bad thing in writing to EU residents in Scotland in the immediate aftermath of the Brexitastrophe in June to try and reassure them that they are entirely welcome in Scotland, and always will be, informing them that Scotland will do its utmost to protect them from the clowns making the decisions at Westminster.

However, according to unionist propaganda, this nasty-nat move was in fact a subtle form of intimidation (SNP very BAD), unlike the hurled brick through the livingroom windae, or petrol through the letterbox, variety of intimidation of various speeches at the Tory Party conference last week. Can any article ever be so far from the truth?

This in a week too when, according to the same clutch of unionist rags, the First Minister is personally responsible for all crime and social deprivation in her Constituency, in a city which has been in the control of Labour since God was a boy, a city which has seven of the ten poorest areas of Scotland within its boundaries. That accusation is pretty despicable.

Almost as bad as the campaign they ran for a while suggesting that she shouldn’t comment about families as she has no experience because she doesn’t have children, a campaign which, in the end, resulted in her having to disclose details of her private personal life, which are not relevant to her capabilities to carry out her role, and frankly none of their business.

We were only just recovering too from the paroxysms of Muttley-like wheezy sniggering at the faux media outrage and ‘fury’ (there’s almost always fury in the headline) following Nickla’s meeting with the German Ambassador at Bute Hoose when “ The Scottish first minister shocked onlookers when she posed in front of the tricolour German flag during a meeting with that nation’s ambassador.” Wow, who were these shocked onlookers? Why were they shocked? And us only 71 years after a conflict with a country which is now one of our current trading partners too…. Has she no shame? Although I suspect that story was more about two saltires and no union flag on a day when yet another British Prime Minister made yet more promises on yet another occasion that were not kept to the people of Scotland. That’s an awful habit those people have.

Then there was the wee gem a while back when some poor underling was set the task by one of these chip wrapper unionist fanzines to sit and go through Nikla’s then 229,000 Twitter followers , and the 3,500 accounts she was following, to try and find a connection to a screaming cybernat, any screaming cybernat, any at all. The paper then linked her to some guy who subsequently was found to use social media to swear at unionist politicians , who at a function full of people introduced himself and his son to her, then apologised to her on Twitter writing “ Sorry for springing ourselves on you’ to which the First Minister replied “ lovely talking to you both.” Their only ever contact. What a journalistic scoop!! Right up there wae Watergate. Is that barrel scraping or what?

Or the Robert Mugabe quip. Remember that one? When David Cameron’s billionaire step faither-in-law, one of the 432 privileged bunch who own 50% of Scotland’s private land, publicly compared the First Minister to the despot for daring to suggest that Scotland’s land should be “an asset that benefits the many, not the few”. The Fail, The Depress and others had some fun with that one.

My own personal favourite though was when they decided to have a wee go at her for wearing a posh Barbour Jacket, a hundred and seventy-nine squids worth, and some expensive wellies, when she visited flood victims in Aberdeenshire. This , when David Cameron, on a similar visit in England, had sent an assistant footman out to buy him a twenty pound jacket to blend in with the peasants for his visit. This jibe was handled very well by the First Minister’s husband Peter, who admitted on social media that he had bought her the jacket for her Christmas, but he was calling for a stewards inquiry as to where she got the wellies!

Anyone would think there was an SNP Conference coming up….. Oh, wait……..