“F_off Nicola” Labour councillor sneaks into Herald letters page with sack of garbage

North Ayrshire Labour councillor has sneaked into the Herald’s letter pages today with a claim that the SNP doesn’t have a case for independence.

Here’s the case:


Gallagher is infamous for tweeting in 2020 that BBC Scotland’s Sarah Smith should “Get a backbone. Tell her [Nicola Sturgeon] to f___ off.”

Also in 2020, he wrote:

I responded:

I’ll leave the exams ‘fiasco’ for another time but the rest of this paragraph is based on clear dishonesty in the light of well-published evidence contradicting and rejecting it utterly.

First, differentiating the death rates:


Despite the damage done by following the 4 Nations approach, favoured by Labour, the death rate in England is now 50% higher per head of population, per capita, pro-rata.

Second, the care home mortality:

Care homes in England experienced the highest increase in excess deaths at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those in the rest of the UK, according to new research. A study – co-ordinated from the University of Stirling’s Management School – found that care homes in England recorded a 79 percent increase in excess deaths, compared to 66 percent in Wales, 62 percent in Scotland and 46 percent in Northern Ireland.


So, care home deaths were 27% higher in England.

Third, the discharges myth:

Three large research studies make clear that the primary responsibility for the outbreaks in care homes lies in the reliance on agency staff:



There is no evidence that hospital discharges were responsible for any care home deaths.

And on 4 January 2023, Gallagher was up to his tricks again by regular Alasdair Galloway responded:

This letter is a response to one published by Labour in Scotland’s redoubtable (now ex?) Councillor Alex Gallagher (or Millport Eck as a friend calls him), taking issue with whether “the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) would deliver £212 million to projects north of the Border over the next three years compared to £549m that would be due from EU structural funds”. In the course of this he makes claim that I cite in the letter.


Alex Gallagher claims that had there been a Yes vote in September 2014, “Scotland would have ceased to be a member of the EU in March 2016, meaning we would have got nothing from either fund over the last six years.”, so accepting Alex Salmond’s, much derided at the time, estimate of 18 months to negotiate independence.

However, even if Scotland would have been out of the EU in March 2016, it is not obvious that it would have remained outside for the last six years.  We know for instance that there is no “queue” to join the EU. The notion that Scotland would have to wait in line for Turkey to secure membership is quite risible.

Instead, Scotland would have had to negotiate its own membership, but with the not inconsiderable advantage that immediately prior to March 2016 it was part of an EU member state, and thus already consistent with its acquis. Mr Gallagher’s estimate of an independent Scotland being out of the EU for six years really is not tenable.

But, let’s say Salmond was wrong, even if just a little. Perhaps, it took half as long again, so not eighteen months but twenty-seven, taking us rather neatly to the end of 2016. By this time not only has Scotland voted for its independence, but the remaining UK has voted to leave the EU (Brexit). While negotiation would remain necessary, is it not unimaginable that Brexit would not influence opinion within the European Commission? Michel Barnier’s “My Secret Brexit Diary” suggests this strongly. Would there not even be a shred of schadenfreude there that they could assist a part of the UK that wanted to remain in the EU? Even if Scotland hadn’t voted in the Brexit referendum, the application for membership would surely speak for itself. Might the Commission be less concerned about Scotland’s currency, for a time, being one shared with another member state? Between 1944 and 2002 Belgian Francs were legal tender in Luxembourg.

Lastly, had there been a Yes vote and a successful application to the EU, Scotland would be a member who could apply to EU schemes. Can’t say that as a continuing member of the UK!


Two reasons for drawing attention to this

  1. The continuing argument about whether Scotland could join the EU and for how long we would have to wait, is a continuing one. The answers are “yes” (partly down to schadenfreude on the part of the Europeans) and “not long” (though the longer it takes to get out of the UK may extend that).
  2. The Herald has a nice line in publishing a controversial letter (usually of the Unionist variety) but publishing no replies. This is an example. Usual reason given for this is that “the debate moved on”.  To be fair, this can happen. I sent off what I thought was a rather good letter to the Herald one morning about four years ago, but in the afternoon Alex Salmond was charged with what he was found Not Guilty/ Not proven of. Drew Allan was even moved to send me an email apologising for not using the letter which he felt was rather good, but “things clearly changed after lunch”.

11 thoughts on ““F_off Nicola” Labour councillor sneaks into Herald letters page with sack of garbage

  1. Morning John, ironically your mail came in just as I was sending this to the Herald (Millport Eck is like a moth to a flame where I’m concerned).
    Alex Gallagher points out this morning that Great Britain is “65 million people crammed on to a small island”. However, that ignores the variable population density between say London and the south east, and the Highlands, an aspect sadly paralleled by regional distribution of income.
    He points, as he so often does, to the claimed £15 billion of subsidy from Westminster which would be lost after independence. But this ignores that the source of the figure, GERS, itself makes clear this is Scotland’s estimated financial situation under current constitutional arrangements not independence which is not part of its remit.
    There is, he claims, “no historic case” for independence since “Scotland is not a colony”. However, as one of the oldest European countries there most certainly is a case that is historic. Historically Scotland is a country, which for the last 316 years has been part of the union that is the United Kingdom. What the United Kingdom has not been historically is a ‘unitary state’ as Alister Jack referred to it in the last few days. There is no historic case for this.
    There is no democratic case, Mr Gallagher tells us, since we had our referendum in 2014 and lost. But is democracy only a series of events? Or is it a process, a procedure, that determines how these questions should be answered, with the possibility that the electorate could change their minds in the future?
    Cognate to his claim of no democratic case, is that there is “no legal case”. However, this is only because the Supreme Court determined that the Scotland Act never delegated the powers necessary for Scotland’s electorate to determine its own future without the OK from Westminster.
    Lastly, the whole tenor of Mr Gallagher’s letter is that there is no case for independence. Perhaps we should consider too what the case is for remaining part of the UK. Mark Blyth pointed out in August last year that “Scotland suffers from being attached to a broken debt and consumption-driven national growth model called the UK that teeters on the brink of collapse …. If you think the UK has inflation now, just wait.”
    That Blyth quote – from about 18 months ago – has proved particularly prescient, dont you think?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. His letter did not ‘sneak into’ the Herald’s letters page. He knew when he submitted it that it would be published because he is a well-known unionist.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Scotland loses £Billions to Brexit. Gets £177Million from some supposed replacement fund.

    Scotland lose £4Billion in tax evasion. UK tax laws not inforced. Scotland pays £1Billion too much for the military and Trident. Hardly gets anything back. Scotland cannot borrow £6Billion to invest in the economy. It would pay back in growth. Scotland surplus in fuel and energy nearer the source pays more. Westminster policy. Loses £Billions in fuel and energy revenues.

    Westmibster spent £270Billion on Covid funding. £370 over a lifetime. Scotland did not get £27Billion (pro rata). UK Gov Accounts 2019/20.

    Westminster spends £13Billion a year for ten years on nuclear decommissing but plans to build more. UK Gov Accounts 2019/20. £240Billion on pensions/benefit. Nearly as much is spent on administration. Instead of increasing Gov pensions with less need for administration and benefits. Westminster spent £918Billion but claims to not have enough to pay essential workers. UK revenues and taxes raised £815Billion. (Including Covid borrowing?). Poor planning and administration of Covid pandemic.

    Any deficit in Scotland is caused by Westminster mismanagement and poor, bad decisions. Scotland would be better of Independent. More prosoerous, equal and happy. More cohesive running its own affairs. Raising more revenue and resources being put to better use.


  4. Scotland 5million + London 9million. Totally congested. Scotland Oil revenues used to fund Canary Wharf bankers. Bankers fund the Tory Party. Tilbury docks .26 miles. Ports around Britain lost out. Thatcher took all the revenues. Lied and kept it secret. Cut Scotland’s block grant. Used the Barnett Formula to take the equivalent of £Billions of funds generated. Left Scotland in poverty and ruined the economy. 15% unemployment in Scotland. 20% unemployment in NI (troubles). The only place unemployment was below 10% was London S/E. Interest rates at 15%. Inflation at 17%. Cut world banking leverage/collateral from 25% to 13%. Causing the banking crisis, Building inflation London S/E. Deregulating banking. Demutualising the Building Societies owned by the members, The banks took over the mortgage books and gambled the monies on the stock exchange. Passing bad debts around until the markets collapsed. Along with the banks over lendng. Over 3millions unemployed in a smaller population. Civil war with the miners. Violent Poll tax protests and major strikes,

    Labour winter of discontent. The dead could not be buries. Major strikes. Similar outlook. brought down the UK Gov.


  5. Now the HERALD has clearly shown they are best place to post Dodgy Letters




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