TO no great surprise, Scotland looks set to celebrate the coronation of King Charles #NotMySpaniel with a resounding 'meh.'

The British media is very keen to tell us about the hoary traditions of the monarchy whenever we are subjected to some royalist British nationalist-fest, but one tradition that they never seem keen to highlight is the traditional mass royal apathy that overtakes Scotland on such occasions

Personally, I don't know anyone who is excited about the upcoming bejewelled royal hat plonking, and I suspect I am not alone.

The National:

The coronation event tracker website, which shows where local events are being planned to celebrate the coronation, currently shows that not a single event is planned in Scotland. 

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Outside a handful of Conservative or staunch flute band strongholds, precious few Scots care about royal jubilees, weddings, coronations, or any other excuse for Nicholas Witchell to nauseatingly brown nose over our TV screens. 

For all that the BBC and Sky gush about how big royal events 'unite the nation', the big set piece royal events which in recent years seem to have been happening more frequently as the fabric of the disunited kingdom continues to fray, merely highlight how Scotland is already culturally and politically a very different creature from the rest of this supposed union.

In more proof that Labour and the Conservatives have become interchangeable Brexit-supporting British nationalist parties, in East Renfrewshire, Paul Aitken, a former Conservative Party councillor and prospective candidate for the Brextremist right-wing Reform UK party is now campaigning for the Labour party locally. 

Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is now an organisation in which a former Conservative councillor and supporter of a party which promotes xenophobic anti-migrant fear-mongering can feel politically at home

The National:

Either Paul Aitken has undergone quite a remarkable political transformation, or the Labour Party has, this demonstrates that the Labour Party of Keir Starmer is determined to make itself electable in England by turning itself into an imitation of the Tories, and as such has little to offer the people of Scotland.

Boris Johnson, having gone full Trump over the preliminary findings of the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, which has reported that there is credible evidence that the former Prime Law Breaker misled Parliament on at least four different occasions, has demonstrated that he can indeed drag the tattered credibility of the standards of behaviour in public office to even lower depths. 

In his long-delayed resignation (dis)honours list Johnson is reportedly seeking a knighthood for his father Stanley Johnson, presumably for services to upper-class middle-class boorishness.

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Johnson Senior who has six children once took to the airwaves to pontificate about how the "black and brown and yellow races" have too many children.

Johnson giving his father, whom Boris Johnson's mother alleged was a violent and abusive husband who once broke her nose, is like a child giving its parent a grubby crayon scrawling which gets pinned to the fridge with a fridge magnet alongside the menu from the local Chinese takeaway. 

The National:

It might make Johnson Sr. very proud of his wee boy, but it is utterly meaningless trash to everyone else. All it achieves is the further debasement of an honours system which has already lost all credibility and completes its descent into rewards for cronyism. 

In the SNP leadership contest, the three candidates have been asked to answer ten "key" questions which the party's largest affiliate group, the SNP Trade Union Group (SNPTUG) has put to them ahead of a major SNP leadership hustings organised by the SNPTUG and The National which is due to be held on Saturday 11 March.

The event will be livestreamed across all The National's social media feeds and will be chaired by the STUC's general secretary Roz Foyer.

The National: Members from various trade unions gather for a pay protest rally at the Buchanan Street steps, Glasgow. Pictured is Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC...Photograph by Colin Mearns.26 August 2022.

SNPTUG convener Bill Ramsay said: "We realise that questions are coming at the candidates from all angles in a packed hustings and media interview process.

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"But because of the immense importance of these particular issues and their resonance with the whole trade union movement, we are pressing these issues in particular. We hope to have clear responses by the time the members’ vote opens." 

These are questions that the SNPTUG believes to be of particular relevance to the trade union movement, and they are framed accordingly. 

The questions as reported by The National are as follows, we can look forward to the candidates' responses in due course.

Question One: How will you develop an industrial and economic strategy to take Scotland towards self-determination, both politically and economically, given the current threats from the UK Government and the dangers of losing assets to overseas control?

Question Two: How will you go about addressing industrial disputes, increasing the income and standards of living of the majority of Scots, seeking to give Fair Work real teeth, and supporting trade union rights and participation in the face of relentless attacks from Westminster?

Question Three: How will you resist and refuse (including a potential legal challenge) the imposition of fabricated “minimum service levels” on striking workers in public services across Scotland, given the current intentions of the UK Government?

Question Four: Will you pause and reconsider the National Care Service Bill, in line with the open letter request submitted to the Scottish Government, as organised by the STUC and supported by a wide range of civic, charitable and expert organisations, including the SNP Trade Union Group?

Question Five: Will you ensure that ongoing ScotWind negotiations guarantee that offshore wind revenues are maximised for Scottish public good, and not extracted by foreign owners and private shareholders? Will you ensure that future offshore options auctions are not price-capped, so as to realise better value for Scotland's resources, such as was achieved in New York and elsewhere?

Question Six: Can you tell us your proposed timetable for the Citizens’ Assembly on local authority finances and Council Tax reform, and the implementation of those reforms? Will you commit now to implementing the recommendations of that Assembly to the greatest possible extent?

Question Seven: Will you conduct a review of port governance – including Freeports – as agreed overwhelmingly by SNP Conference in 2021?

Question Eight: Will you commit to a feasibility study on developing a levy to capture a proportion of the £34 billion annual production value of whisky, and other spirits produced in Scotland, only 8% of which is currently subject to any levy by the UK Treasury?

Question Nine: The UK Climate Change Committee has repeatedly stated that the Scottish Government is behind on meeting its climate targets, and that even if all of its stated climate policies are met, the targets themselves are too low to meet Paris Accord commitments. What will you do to close these gaps? Will you implement the Just Transition roadmap and jobs register supported overwhelmingly by SNP Conference in 2021?

Question Ten: Are you prepared to engage with the Scottish Trades Union Congress on concrete revenue-generating proposals for the short- and medium-term proposed in the January 2023 STUC report on land, tax and assets?