The peculiarity of Scottish nationalism – Effie Deans

‘Worrying’ to have civil servants working on break-up of UK, says mandarin – Evening Standard

Deluded, Divisive and Morally Bankrupt, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon uses HGV Driver and Fuel shortages to attack UK Government -The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow Uni

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I suppose it was only a matter of time before Nicola Sturgeon jumped on the grievance wagon again, and unsurprisingly, her ‘any issue to complain’ is about the HGV driver and fuel shortage. There are two things which should be established about both issues which the ‘pro Brexit’ camp has skated over which are very important.

1/ The HGV driver shortage was caused by poor pay and conditions.

2/ The mainstream media created the fuel panic buying.

Driving for a living is highly different than driving to work or indeed driving for pleasure, for one thing, most people get to go home at night to their own bed. HGV driving because of its nature sees some drivers having to sleep in their cabs, and not have proper access to shower or toilet facilities. So, when you hear stories of drivers sleeping in lay-bys and pissing into milk bottles, you get to see a snippet of the real life of a trucker. Another which is important to everyone regardless of what job they do is pay. You will hear tales of magical amounts of money being paid to drivers such as fuel drivers, but the reality is far from the truth of most drivers. The average hourly pay for a Fuel Tanker Driver in United Kingdom is £12.66. When you consider the the average salary for a CSCS Labourer is £11.13 per hour in Scotland, you can see how this highly skilled HGV job is underpaid massively. My brother is a joiner, if he does a date time shift in an agency, he can make between £20 and £22 an hour, and if he does a ‘shop fitting’ job, he can pull in a 70 hr week. So, his top line before tax and deductions is £1540. An HGV driver gets hit with not just with low pay, but also with strict legal laws regarding the amount of time they can work. A HGV driver must not exceed 60 hours working time, which includes driving and other work, in any single week. In addition they must not exceed an average of 48 hours working time over a specific reference period. It is important to stress the reason for the restricted working is health and safety.

Given there are many lesser skilled jobs which pay higher hourly rates, allow you to do a 9 to 5 job, instead of shifts, why would you sign up? The main reason for such low pay was EU membership, specifically ‘freedom of movement’. Freedom of movement only benefits a few people in real terms, but what it does do, is suppress wages by flooding a country with cheap labour. The people like Nicola Sturgeon aren’t affected by freedom of movement in her job, nor does it affect the rate of her £157,861 a year plus expenses salary. When Nicola Sturgeon travels abroad she doesn’t sleep in a drivers cab, she doesn’t wash with baby wipes, and she doesn’t piss in a bottle, her experience is 5 star hotel, luxury shower and toilet. Of course I have written before how Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t care about working class people many times, she would rather sacrifice them, so that she can move on from First Minister and join the EU elite. In every stunt she has been involved in, to save Scottish jobs via the taskforce farce, she has never saved one! She uses working class people with the sole intention of pushing her independence agenda forward and shining a spotlight on herself as some kind of saviour.

Nicola Sturgeon is quite the despicable human being.

If we come back to the fuel shortage, this has been entirely whipped up by the mainstream media, they have used the lack of fuel drivers affecting a few garages to create a nationwide demand, that has resulted in panic buying. This isn’t the first time that this tactic has been used, it was done during Covid, people flocked to supermarkets to panic buying of food and household essentials. Who would have thought at the supposed end of the world, the British people would be so concerned about access to bog roll. In this current manufactured crisis by the mainstream media, their efforts have caused emergency planning to be brought forward so that if needed, the British Army could ensure fuel supplies got through. Driving a fuel tanker isn’t just a matter of having an HGV licence, there are other qualifications required, and it is also an anti social job with some fuel deliveries done at night. The average pay for a tanker driver using “indeed” as a source, puts their rate of pay at £14.50 an hour. Recently at the Labour Party Conference, activists called for a McDonald’s worker to get £15 hr. If they believe that is fair, what price do they or should they put on the men and women who supply everything they use to live? Driving an HGV isn’t the same as driving a car, and driving an articulated lorry isn’t the same driving a lorry dubbed a ‘rigid vehicle’. I know this from experience because I have passed my car licence, my rigid vehicle licence, my bus licence and also my articulated lorry licence. However, I would need a refresher course to feel comfortable with the bigger vehicles.

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Covid, ambulance waiting times, energy bills and empty supermarket shelves have created a perfect storm that reveals how badly Scotland is governed – The Scotsman

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It is difficult at the moment not to feel that we are in the very eye of a momentous political and economic version of exactly that.

For 18 months, we had endured the seemingly unending and life-threatening waves of the pandemic, to the point where we seemed almost to have become inured to it.

We are braced – but not prepared – for the national and personal economic impact of the end of furlough, the Universal Credit uplift and business support.

And now we find that our energy bills could rocket, inflation is rising, the impact of Brexit is contributing to empty supermarket shelves, and the Scottish government is putting our travel and hospitality industries at a disadvantage to the rest of the UK.

That list was already challenging enough without the stark realisation over the past few weeks that our NHS, which has got us through this crisis, is now at breaking point.

I know that is a claim which politicians are often accused of making simply to weaponise a public service which is held in such specific and special regard by so many of us.

But sadly, all the evidence tells us that the claim is true. Both for the institution itself and the many courageous and tireless staff at its heart.

It must be tempting for those responsible for the well-being of the NHS to blame its current predicament on all the other elements of the storm. That somehow the crisis which has necessitated calling in the Armed Forces to support our ambulance service is purely the result of the circumstances we find ourselves in. That they can look to the example of our energy industry which is defending itself with evidence of an unusual lack of wind and solar resources and a fire on an interconnector.

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Leaked internal report reveals SNP ‘overwhelmed’ by member complaints – GuidoFox

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A bombshell internal report written by SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown has revealed the dire state of the party’s internal affairs: not only does the report suggest creating a new financial scrutiny committee to “restore confidence” in the SNP’s financial governance, it also shows that party has been “overwhelmed” by the volume of member complaints over harassment and impropriety since 2014. Presumably keeping their new ‘complaints adviser’ busy, then…

The report goes into great detail to explain how “recent controversies concerning the party’s finances” (in other words, how a £600,000 referendum war chest seemingly vanished into thin air) have “inevitably raise[d] questions about the SNP’s financial governance”, and recommends creating a more formal financial governance structure that “encourages good financial practices, [and] has the potential to pick up any irregularities”. Which is useful, because the party’s auditors have already washed their hands of that responsibility.

It also says that the party’s “current complaints-handling procedures have themselves resulted in a real dissatisfaction [and] lack of trust” amongst the membership, and that the Governance Review Group often failed to act on incidences of abuse despite repeated warnings from within the party. Considering 1 in 5 SNP MPs has either recently quit, or been sacked, investigated or suspended, perhaps the Governance Review Group has just had its hands full…

Scotnitive dissonance: Scotland’s other pandemic – Think Scotland

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IN To A Louse, Robert Burns laments “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!”, which, roughly translated, means that it is a shame that we can’t see ourselves as other people do, faults and all.

Given that, thankfully, in the last 334 years both farming technology and poetry have come a long way, this presents the opportunity for Scotland to update this charming little maxim because it’s needed now more than ever before.

In fact, rather than seeing ourselves as other people do, we should settle for the slightly less lofty goal of seeing ourselves as we actually are because there is a huge gap in our arrogant perception of ourselves versus the uncomfortable, destructive, and harmful reality of modern Scotland.

Scotland is in the grip of a condition I’ve come to call, Scotnitive Dissonance… and it’s hurting us.

You will have heard the claim before, surely? It first came to my attention during the debates, speaking engagements, and other such events I took part in during the 2014 independence referendum. Representing, it will come as no surprise, the NO side, I often heard about how much more “progressive” Scotland is compared with the rest of the United Kingdom and that, my interlocutors would insist, was grounds for Scotland to go it alone.

Those claims have, from what I can tell, gotten louder since 2014. Their 2021 updated versions usually comes accompanied by pointing to the electoral success of the SNP, an essay on whose ‘talk’ versus ‘act’ difference could also be another 1000 words or so, and their new ‘not a coalition’ partners in the Scottish Greens. Proponents of the ‘Scotland’s just more progressive’ line also regularly point out that Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union which, I hasten to point out, is a crass over-simplification given the strength of the left-wing, Tony Benn school, of Euroscepticism. It’s a simple failure of reasoning that takes no notice of things in practice.

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Independent Scotland ‘would need great wall of Gretna’ – STV News

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