On Christmas Eve The National published an article by former SNP advisor Stephen Noon in which he argued that Yes supporters and pro-independence politicians ought to take up seats in the House of Lords. 

Noon has a history of coming up with controversial and unpopular ideas such as in October when he argued the age of the referendum is over and that the SNP ought to combine its core message of support for independence with a broader call for more powers for the Scottish Parliament. The argument did not go down well with many independence supporters who thought, perhaps unfairly, that it meant giving up on independence and turning the SNP into a party of devolution for Scotland within the UK. 

Since there is already considerable suspicion about the SNP's commitment to independence amongst certain factions of the independence movement and particularly amongst supporters of Alex Salmond's Alba party, Noon's comments proved incendiary on social media, where many of those indulging themselves in their favourite pastime of getting angry on the internet appeared to forget two key points.

The first point being that Noon is a former advisor to the SNP, not a current advisor, and the second, which follows on logically from the first, being that Noon's suggestions on how to attain independence are no more SNP policy than the plan put forward in the pages of The National by the Commonweal's Robin McAlpine or the proposals of Alba's Ash Regan. 

It's fair to say that Noon's suggestion that independence supporters take up seats in the House of Lords went down like the King's speech at the AGM of the anti-monarchy organisation Republic. Yet again those who love to work themselves up into a froth of indignation on social media - because that's what social media is for - were howling in outrage, yet again forgetting those two key points.

This time, they were accusing the SNP of seeking safe sinecures for careerists and accusing The National of being a Unionist Trojan horse, which only goes to show that there's no delusional paranoia like the delusional paranoia which is increasingly common on Twitter since Elon Musk took over. 

The idea of independence supporters taking up seats in the House of Lords is a non-starter. The House of Lords represents the epitome of the undemocratic lack of accountability in the British state which is the precise opposite of all that Scottish independence stands for.

Any minor political advantages which might be gained by having a small number of independence supporters in the palace of patronage, where in any case they'd be heavily outnumbered by the likes of George Foulkes and Michael Forsyth, would be wiped out by the complete loss of credibility which would be suffered by any independence supporter who was foolish, vain, or egotistical enough to accept a seat in the House of Lords. 

They might then be able to exert a minor influence in the Lords, but they'd be left with no influence at all in the independence movement. 

One of the main purposes of The National is to give a platform to pro-independence ideas and opinions. There are very few other outlets in the Scottish media doing so and The National is the only mainstream newspaper which platforms independence voices.

The Scottish independence movement is not a monolith and it contains diverse opinions and ideas. It scarcely makes The National a Trojan horse for Unionism when it gives a space to unpopular opinions within that wide movement. 

The real Trojan horses for Unionism are the angry and intolerant conspiracy theorists on social media who make the entire independence movement seem like a fringe political view which most people would run a mile from. 

The King’s Speech 

The award for the biggest hypocrite of 2023 goes to Charles Windsor, who gave the traditional talking down to the plebs on Christmas Day. As he did so he stood in front of a live Christmas tree in order to prove his green credentials.

This would be the same man who regularly takes private helicopter flights and private jets and has a private train for his large retinue of staff and lackeys because he is incapable and unwilling to do the everyday basic tasks of looking after himself that everyone else has to do. 

Charles pays no taxes on his vast wealth and then he stands in front of that carefully curated Christmas tree which others put up and decorated for him and lectures us on the need to protect the environment and to live simply.

Maybe he could start by paying his taxes like the rest of us and giving up one of his many palaces to house the homeless.

Embarrassing u-turns from Labour and Tories

Both the Tories and Labour have used the holiday season to slip in some embarrassing u-turns. The Conservatives have backtracked on their cruel plan to raise the minimum income threshold for a family visa to £38,700 annually. Now it will 'only' be raised to £29k.

That's like saying that you're going to dump a tonne of manure in someone's living room, but following the predictable outrage, announcing that you'll only be dumping a half-tonne of manure instead.

Meanwhile, Labour is signalling that it is considering scaling back its £28bn green investment fund amid fears Tories will weaponise the flagship pledge during the election campaign. All that this proves is that Keir Starmer is the only bigger melt than the Greenland ice cap.

We already knew that Labour wouldn't tackle Brexit, now we know it won't tackle climate change either. Still, at least as we all perish due to global warming, we can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that Keir Starmer didn't upset the Daily Mail.