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Thursday, 18 December 2014



I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am glad to be able to do so after a year that has seen several developments which give some cause for optimism that events and the mood of the country are beginning to visibly move towards the need for a whole England/English National reform of our politics!

The General Election next year gives a focus to our efforts in the coming year but it will be after the election that the most interesting developments are likely to work themselves out, especially in the light of current opinion polls.

Before then we have the interesting prospect of much more England focussed debates following on from William Hague’s EVEL White Paper! All treats for us!

Wishing you and England too a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Political Correctness over Christmas cards on Russia Today

 Political Correctness over Christmas cards on Russia Today

On the 9th December I was telephoned mid-afternoon by someone saying she was ringing from Moscow asking if I was happy to be interviewed by Russia Today that night on questions of political correctness about the way in which Councils are treating Christmas.

Naturally I said I was happy to do so. Initially I was told that I would have to go up to London to be interviewed at Russia Today’s studio at Millbank Towers. They then said that they would pay for the taxi, but not long afterwards she rang back to say it was going to be too expensive, as that day there had been a major crash on the M25 which had blocked roads in all directions for most of the day. I was therefore asked if I could deal with the interview on Skype. I said I was happy to give it a try and the results of the interview you can watch on the link below.

One comment I have already had is my office is obviously rather messy! However some people think I at least got over a good point about the importance of tackling political correctness head on. 

What do you think?

Here is the link >>>

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Is the British Education Establishment conspiring to indoctrinate pro-immigration, multi-culturalist values into English children?

Is the British Education Establishment conspiring to indoctrinate pro-immigration, multi-culturalist values into English children?

I have posed the above title for this article as a question, but I think that once the question is asked the article answers the question affirmatively. As the English legal profession would have responded to such a question for centuries with the Latin phrase:- “res ipsa loquitur” – the thing speaks for itself!

What do you think?

Here is the article:-

Pupils to learn about immigration in new history GCSE

The OCR exam board unveils plans for a new history GCSE that will include a module on 2,000 years of immigration, from the Romans up to 21st century arrivals from Syria

Teenagers will be able to learn about the impact of immigration on Britain over the last 2,000 years under plans for a new history GCSE, it was announced today.

For the first time, a history module will be introduced covering new arrivals to the UK from the Romans up to modern day migrants such as those from Syria and eastern Europe.

The proposals – drawn up by one of the country’s leading exam boards – will assess the reasons for immigration, the experience of new entrants and the impact on the indigenous population.

The OCR board insisted pupils would find large numbers of parallels to the modern day, saying they would be “surprised to learn” that the black population of London may have numbered up to 15,000 in the 1750s and that at least 10 languages were used across medieval England.

Under plans, “Migration into Britain” will be included as part of an optional extended study theme, which will make up around 20 per cent of a new GCSE course being introduced in 2016.

OCR’s GCSE in history is currently the most popular version in the country, with more than 93,000 teenagers sitting it last year, the exam board said.

It is hoped the move will “reinvigorate interest in GCSE history” following claims from historical experts that rising numbers of schools were barring pupils from taking the subject beyond the age of 14.

The move is made as immigration continues to dominate the political agenda in the run up to the election. Last week, David Cameron promised the introduction of tough new rules on access to welfare benefits for migrants entering Britain from the EU.

But the government has insisted that the number of pupils sitting GCSEs in history had increased in recent years, with almost four-in-10 teenagers taking an exam in the subject in 2014.

Mike Goddard, the exam board’s head of history, said: “Migration is an ideal history topic for GCSE students to study, allowing them to consider fundamental historical concepts such as continuity, change and significance, rooted in the major events of England’s history.

“Doing this through the lens of the movement of diverse groups of people has the added benefit of contemporary relevance and will make for a rigorous, stimulating and enjoyable course.”

He said it would require pupils to explore and understand “the constant shifts in the British population”. This included the impact of invaders such as the Romans and the Vikings, the effect of the Empire on India and the West Indies and people coming to Britain to flee persecution including the Huguenots, Jews and, more recently, the Syrians.

The Government has already set out proposals to overhaul GCSEs will more rigorous subject content and a greater emphasis on exams as opposed to coursework.

Under the changes, new history exams require pupils to study a wider range of historical periods, a greater emphasis on British history and at least one extended project.

OCR is currently developing two new GCSEs in response to the reforms. One will focus on the “modern world” and the second will put more emphasis on a range of historical periods. As part of the courses, pupils will have the option of taking a dissertation-style project in the monarch, war and society or immigration.

The proposed new GCSEs will be submitted to the government next year and will be taught from 2016, subject to approval from Ofqual, the exams regulator.

Mr Goddard said: “Migration has been a constant and, in many important ways, a defining feature of our history. Tracking it thematically over time makes for a complex and fascinating study, will build on recent academic research, and will reveal many new and enlightening aspects of our past.”

Here is the link to the original>>> Pupils to learn about immigration in new history GCSE - Telegraph

Friday, 12 December 2014

What is the British Government’s role in "Planning"?

Bicester Highh Street

What is the British Government’s role in "Planning"?

As a practicing solicitor I am sent various legal magazines and periodicals, one of the more interesting of which is the Solicitors Journal and in the most recent edition there is the article the introduction of which appears below.

I thought it worth reproducing it because it demonstrates vividly that it is only in England now that the British Government has unfettered rights to govern the English.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they have their own separate governments with an array of different powers. If we had our own government and parliament we wouldn’t have had to put up with the announcement made recently that the Government is now proposing to give "Planning" Permission to build a huge housing development under the spurious headlines of “Garden City” around the Oxfordshire market town of Bicester, concreting over and spoiling yet another part of England.

Our lack of self-governance has real consequences for real people and for the future of our country!

The sooner we get rid of that antiquated and wasteful monstrosity known as the British Government, the better!

Here is the header of the article. What do you think?

Planning in Wales

Julian Boswall and Stephen Humphreys discuss the EIA directive and green belt policy

The launch of the Planning (Wales) Bill puts Wales on an irrevocable course towards an entirely separate planning regime akin to the system in Scotland. As part of this process, some interesting ideas are being rediscovered, varied and newly minted. The community infrastructure levy (CIL) has made the first of what is likely to be many forays into court, and those old stalwarts, green belt policy and environmental impact assessment (EIA), have also been the subjects of important decisions.

Here is the original link>>>

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable George Osborne MP is anti-English – shock?

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable George Osborne MP is anti-English – shock?

The article from the Telegraph below is about the admiring reaction of one of Labour’s “thinkers”, Jon Cruddas MP, who is commenting on George Osborne’s adoption, as he sees it, of the latest version of the British Establishment’s efforts to try to break England up into “Regions”, viz “City Regions”.

For any English Nationalist, the fact that a leading “Conservative” politician would want to break England up into Regions, will cause no surprise whatsoever, after all it was the Conservatives who introduced the whole concept of regionalising England and implemented their original scheme under John Major under the EU Maastricht Treaty.

For the general public however the problem with the Conservatives is of course their “skill” in misleading the public and lying about what they are trying to achieve.

They are a party whose electoral appeal depends strongly on people’s patriotism but they are not actually a patriotic party. On the contrary, they are a party of globalisation and international capitalism and are generally the big business party.

Their vote also depends strongly on ordinary peoples’ Euro-scepticism, but in fact the Conservative leadership, whilst willing to make plenty of noises of a Euro-sceptic variety, are arguably the most Europhile of all the parties in what they actually do in office. They are a party that took us into the EU on a deliberately dishonest prospectus by Edward Heath, and thereafter cemented us into the EU both under Mrs Thatcher (one of the leaders of the pro-EU group in our 1976 referendum) and then John Major with the Maastricht Treaty.

All the noises that Cameron and Osborne make about Euro-scepticism now are for blatantly obvious reasons, a combination of increasing problems with their genuinely Euro-sceptic back-benchers and fear of the electorate now given a genuinely Euro-sceptic option, i.e. UKIP, which although seems unlikely to get many MPs, nevertheless seems very likely to cut short David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s time in office at the General Election next year.

So the problem with the Conservatives is the fact that they are much more likely to be successful in deceiving voters into thinking that they are patriotic Euro-sceptics and for those that don’t think very deeply at all they may even think that the Conservatives care something for England.

For those who are that confused the antidote is this clear statement from the then leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague (who David Cameron recently described as the greatest living Yorkshire man!). Here is what he said in 2003:- "English nationalism is the most dangerous of all forms of nationalism that can arise within the United Kingdom, because England is five-sixths of the population of the UK. Once a part of a united country or kingdom that is so predominant in size becomes nationalistic, then really the whole thing is under threat."

So far as Labour is concerned, I think increasingly few people believe that Labour is patriotic, let alone pro-English. Emily Thornberry and the overreaction to her demonstrated, for all those who needed such a demonstration, that Labour’s leadership is not only anti-English but very nervous about being found out as being anti-English and somewhat incompetent about it.

The article also shows another instance of where the “mainstream” parties in the traditional democratic model are supposed to be competing, are in fact not competing, but instead are somewhat conspiring against the interests of the public and, in particular, the English Nation.

Here is the article. What do you think?

Jon Cruddas praises Tory adoption of Labour’s cities agenda

Labour’s head of policy review says the chancellor has made successful land grab of Labour’s agenda on cities and English devolution

The chancellor, George Osborne, has made a significant and successful land grab for Labour’s agenda of re-empowering English cities as the new engine of economic growth, the head of Labour policy review, Jon Cruddas, has admitted.

He has also conceded that Labour had probably not been as agile as its Conservative opponents in projecting its English devolution policy, adding that the party still faced its biggest challenge to build a movement for national renewal and optimism in a cold economic climate.

His remarks to a meeting held by Progress, the New Labour pressure group, in Westminster may reflect a frustration that one of the central themes of his policy review has not been given the prominence he wanted, allowing Osborne to reach a devolution deal with Labour northern cities, notably Manchester.

At one point in the summer it appeared Labour might have monopoly ownership of the English devolution agenda, especially after similar plans put forward by the former Conservative cabinet member, Lord Heseltine, had apparently been spurned by Downing Street.

Cruddas said: “On this I have been very impressed with what Osborne has done. They parked the Heseltine project for a couple of years. Then they realised from late July what was happening and for the last few months they have tried to backfill around this policy agenda, and I think they have done that very effectively. Personally, I think it is good for the country that the Conservative government is going there just as Labour is going there.”

He explained that Labour had spent two years re-engineering a growth strategy and solving the English democracy question through devolution to cities. “Osborne has been agile enough to see that and has made a major land grab about a lot of our policy. The question of England has been central to a lot of our thinking in our policy review and maybe we have not been as agile as our some of our opponents in putting that up in lights in the way that we should.”

He said the model of devolution to Greater Manchester was very attractive. He added: “I congratulate the government on what they have done, and, most important, I congratulate them on learning about the innovations of great Labour leaders – we should be speaking very confidently to that agenda because it is our agenda. It resets what we are about.”

He said Labour-led English local government in the past four years had saved lots of money and yet innovated the delivery of public services, claiming this represents a new model for social democracy. “Labour nationally should be incubating the best practices in English local government and distilling it into a new story of where the future of the country lies.

“Osborne was very successful in the past three months in grabbing hold of this agenda and our response should be we welcome this change in direction and working alongside this Labour innovation across our cities.”

Cruddas has also become an enthusiast for the way in which technology can empower citizens and innovate public services. He also praised another Conservative figure, singling out cabinet office minister Francis Maude, saying: “I must admit Maude has done a great job for the first couple of years in his department re-engineering government digital services.” He said the issue was how to take Maude’s reforms to the next stage using open data to codify new forms of citizenship as “the foundation stone of a new wave of radical public service reform”.

Discussing the politics of despair represented by Ukip, Cruddas said: “You have to confront it by a totally different story about national renewal of a country, especially in England. That is the only option available to us. It has to be based around a story about what this country could be rather than what it was in danger of becoming if these forces are incentivised by people running from them.”

Cruddas also aligned himself with those who favoured a bold manifesto offering a big picture of a new country, rejecting those who say “keep our mouths shut, turn up the dial on immigration and welfare and then we are in”.

Any cursory reading of Labour history is that it wins when it is bold, he added, claiming “we are in an epic era of change”.

He added: “My view is that you cannot waste opposition. It’s disrespectful to the electorate.”

Here is the link to the original Guardian article>>> Jon Cruddas praises Tory adoption of Labour’s cities agenda | Politics | The Guardian

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Cabinet Office – A paradigm of the current British Government?

Cabinet Office – A paradigm of the current British Government

I recently went to an election planning meeting at the Cabinet Office, No. 70 Whitehall, which, as you see from the picture, has a grand classical frontage onto what is after all one of the grandest streets anywhere in the world. Once you get to the doorway you are quickly struck by what a sham the façade is. You are greeted by security people who, with their high vis jackets and scruffy dark uniforms, look no smarter than municipal car park attendants.

Once into the building you discover that the original interior has been largely gutted and replaced, clearly at vast expense, with modern office accommodation, but laid out like a maze with even bridges going over the roof of old buildings, with courtyards enclosed and roofed over with bomb proof glass. So just like our whole government system we have a glorious façade and inside we have a highly expensive muddle of meeting rooms, committees, offices, corridor and lifts, none of which are coherently planned or even efficient. Both with the Cabinet Office building and with Government generally we have neither the grandeur of the original interior of the building, nor the efficiency of a wholly new structure.

During the course of our meeting to discuss election planning for the coming General Election, one party’s delegate pointed out that many returning officers were breaking the law in the way they compile the electoral roll. which is part of the muddle of an electoral system that we have got, where there is no-one overall in charge and the returning officers are often able to get away with their own illegal practices, which particularly matters when the returning officers are partisan like in many of the Labour one party state areas of the country.

In response to this I suggested that the Cabinet Office might wish to “fire a shot across their bows”. The remark was met with hushed shock that government would show any such firmness of action. The senior civil servant present said “No they would only be politely reminded of their legal duty”!

The façade of the building which is a remnant of the days of Empire is wholly at variance with the thinking of those that work in the building!

The senior civil servant concerned also certainly did not match the public’s outdated view of what a senior civil servant looks like. Not at all Sir Humphrey, but indeed a somewhat unkempt beard and hair, scruffy un-ironed shirt with shirt neck button undone, sleeves casually half rolled up and tie askew. But there we all were in a room overlooking our greatest imperial era parade ground at Horse Guards!

What do you think?

Friday, 5 December 2014

Proof of media collusion at the heart of the British political Establishment

Proof of media collusion at the heart of the British political Establishment

When Peter Oborne came up with the concept of Britain not so much having a competitive political and media Establishment but rather a collusive political and media Class, who work together, have similar interests, go to the same schools or universities, marry each other’s relatives, and generally represent a group whose interests are often starkly against the interests of the majority of people in the country, he could hardly have expected a clearer proof than the gloating article written by the Telegraph’s, Alan Cochrane, which I reproduce below.

If only Alan Cochrane and the British Political and Media Establishment could be charged in a criminal court with conspiracy against the People, then it is no exaggeration to say that Alan Cochrane’s article (if it came with the required 'Statement of Truth' and his signature) would amount to confession evidence!

What it shows, all too clearly, is that far from having an independent media with genuine professional standards of reporting the facts without fear or favour, instead what we have is a media that actively seeks to be propagandist for the British Establishment. Looked at this way, Alan Cochrane’s article is a searing indictment of the gross lack of professionalism at the heart of the British media, whose principal interest is in manipulating the electorate into voting for whatever the Establishment wants, rather than what is good for the People.

For all those of us that read newspapers or look any other mass media productions, whether it be radio or television, from the established media, it is a salutary lesson that we are probably giving undeserved attention to people whose object is too often to manipulate and deceive us into voting for whatever their agenda is, rather than making any serious attempt to tell the unvarnished truth so that we can make up our own minds!

There can be no clearer evidence of the corruption at the heart of the British Establishment except that is a contemplation of the evidence which was given in the Leveson enquiry. The most important aspect of which was many further examples of just how incestuous the relationship is between senior British politicians and the British media.

Here is the article:-

Alan Cochrane: my part in Alex Salmond's downfall

The two-year battle to prevent the United Kingdom’s break-up was at times bitterly fought, and – as these extracts from his candid Scottish referendum campaign diary reveal – The Telegraph’s Alan Cochrane was right in the thick of it  

February 4 2012: The search for a leader of the ‘No’ campaign begins

I eventually got through to John Reid, the former Labour home secretary. It took umpteen phone conversations with his secretary and with the noble lord himself before he agreed to meet me. JR – they really are appropriate initials for the great man – took me to the Pugin Room in the Lords, where we had tea. He doesn’t drink now. He’s very funny about his drinking days.

When asked whether he had a drink problem, he always says: “Aye, my problem was I couldn’t get enough of the f------ stuff!”

I tried to interest him in taking over the anti-Nationalist campaign, but right from the start he said he wasn’t interested, wasn’t the right man and wouldn’t do it, no matter who asked him. He suggested all sorts of people who would be better than him, former chancellor Alistair Darling and Jim Murphy, Labour MP for East Renfrewshire, being the two most often mentioned.

His initial reluctance, he says, is because he’s still chairman of Celtic, which he’s due to be for another six months or so. And he doesn’t have to explain why that would stop him being a unifying figure in a campaign to save Britain.

Half of West Central Scotland, the Rangers half, would say: “We’re no’ listening to a bloody Tim like John Reid.”

David Cameron knows he has to keep Ed Miliband on side in the fight for the Union because it will be Scottish Labour’s foot soldiers who will have to do most of the work.

So if Cameron recruits Reid, he risks losing – or at least annoying – Miliband. Jesus, talk about wheels within wheels. I think it’s worth the risk as Reid would be great at tackling Eck’s bombast Alex Salmond’s nickname is “Wee Eck”]. But I think I’m going to lose this one.

February 14 2012

After months of b-----ing about over whether I should be working for DC as a special adviser and then nothing happening, I told them at Christmas that I’d rather forget it, if they don’t mind, as I want to get on with the rest of my life.

I don’t like people describing me as a Tory, as I’ve hardly ever voted for them, but I like Cameron, and I’d have worked for him on fighting independence. Still, I’m probably better where I am.

So it was a bit of a surprise when, out of the blue, I got an email from Julian Glover, the new speechwriter at No 10, telling me that the PM had said I should be shown a copy of his speech due to be delivered in Edinburgh on Wednesday. I made a couple of minor suggestions: one was not to compare Scotland to Latvia, as this would annoy the natives; and that his offer to think about more powers if the Scots voted against independence would be the story. And so it proved.

Bigger surprise later, when I was asked whether I could have dinner with the PM at the Peat Inn in Fife. Oh, very well, I said. As if!

DC came in an open-necked shirt, with a sweater around his shoulders. The rest of us were in suits. Very relaxed. Moderately priced burgundy. “We can’t spend too much taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Kept asking things like: “If I say X, what will Salmond say to that?” And made clear that while he might be able to do a deal on timing or on teenagers voting, there was no way – absolutely no way – that he would agree to a second question.

If it came to it, DC said he had his final option of Westminster holding the referendum. “Let him boycott it,” he said.

He also asked what Salmond’s final position would be, and was told by Andrew Dunlop [Cameron’s special adviser] that it would be to hold an illegal referendum and tell the PM: “I’ll see you in court.”

DC loved my line about my son and daughters, and how I don’t want them to be foreigners to each other just because some live in Scotland and some in England. Everyone likes it – German newspapers, French TV. The Nats hate it, so it must be good.

When we meet at breakfast the next morning, DC says he might use it in his speech. He had been for a run with the cops. Looks fit, not tired at all. I gave him a spare Caledonian Club tie, which looks very like the SNP one, and he says he’ll wear it next time he’s up.

The night before, as we ate venison, DC moaned about the fact that he couldn’t go deer stalking any more. I suppose he doesn’t want to hark back to the grouse-moor-image days of Harold Macmillan, or to be seen out with a rifle. But apparently he’s a very good shot: the journalist Bruce Anderson was with him once when he got a left and a right.

DC says that recently he fancied a bit of shooting, so took his 12-bore out into a wood near his home and bagged a couple of pigeons. It must have been quite a sight – the wood had to be surrounded by coppers with guns. Whether that was to protect the ramblers from the PM or the PM from the ramblers wasn’t clear. Anyway, he misses shooting/killing things. It’s changed days if a council hoose lad like me can go deer-stalking but the Old Etonian PM can’t!

May 25 2012: The ‘Yes’ launch

What a load of tartan cobblers that Yes launch was – 500 people talking and singing to themselves. Nothing coherent, just this nonsense about freedom! And, Jesus, Brian Cox [the Scottish actor] ain’t going to convert anyone. He was positively scary. Hannibal Lecter has nothing on him.

June 6 2012

Had lunch with Alistair Darling in Centotre [an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh]. First class, but very fiery spicy sausages. Now confirmed as the Better Together leader, he is in good heart and confident of seeing off Eck.

Got the impression that the Union launch won’t now be until the end of June. But he agrees that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has done us a whole lot of good. He cannot see much light ahead and bad economic news must mean – surely – that voters will stick with the UK.

June 25 2012

The Save the Union campaign – “Better Together” – launched at Edinburgh Napier University, where Eck used to stage his spectaculars. But this time there were no free bacon rolls.

It was quite a good launch; they had ordinary people instead of phoney celebs. But Charlie Kennedy, the former Liberal Democrat leader, didn’t show – said his parents are ill. Charlie is a brilliant performer and campaigner but he is totally unreliable. They’ll have to ditch him.

January 17 2013

Astonishing lunch invitation from Rory Bremner, the impressionist/comedian. He’s planning a show about Scottish politics. Boy, that is going to be difficult. Tapas lunch to talk Scottish politics.

The problem Rory has is that there’s only one personality: Eck. He didn’t appear to “have” him yet, as he didn’t “do” him during lunch, although he kept doing Blair, which is really brilliant. He said that before he’d done Blair for the first time, Blair had joked that he could have a knighthood if he didn’t do him, and then after he did do him for the first time, he was offered an OBE, which he turned down.

March 14 2013

Did another session with Rory Bremner, who’s still having a go at Scottish politics. He talked in a funny voice for several minutes and I hadn’t a clue who it was. Apparently, it was Alex Salmond; I’d never have guessed.

October 21 2013

Had a long chat with Darling, who is a bit less than confident. “I’ve always thought it would be a close result,” he says. “Maybe 60/40.” How do we galvanise our bloody support? I’m sure people would visibly support the cause if we gave them the opportunity. What about car and window stickers?

March 24 2014

Polls all over the place. ICM says Nats catching up, TNS says “no, they’re not”, and then YouGov says “well, yes, they might be”. However, the latter is still suggesting it’s 60/40 against independence. Big “Don’t knows”, but I think I can guess what’s happening. People don’t want to appear to be anti-Scottish, so may be saying either they’re voting Yes or that they don’t know. I reckon they’ll mostly vote No in big numbers. Christ, I hope I’m right!

April 15 2014

Incredible day. That complete idiot Philip Hammond gave an interview in which he said that everything was negotiable after independence, which means – as the Nats seized on – that sterling and Trident could be on the table. Stupid, stupid man.

Darling manages to have a laugh and says if the Tories behave like this during next year’s election, Labour will walk it. I think he’s right and I also think he may well fancy his chances a bit more of a new career with Labour.

May 5 2014

Amazing email from some young lad who says he works for Gordon Brown, who, apparently, has read Yes or No? [Cochrane and George Kerevan’s book on Scottish independence], likes it and wants to meet. Of course, I say I will, but then I wake up in the middle of the night thinking that maybe this is a hoax.

May 13 2014

Got another email from the Great Broon’s laddie, and I’m meeting Broon at the Sheraton. What’s this all about? He must want something.

May 14 2014

Astonishing meeting with Gordon Brown. He was sitting alone, except for his two protection officers, in that vast Sheraton lounge. They moved to the next table when I turned up, leaving Gordon to talk to me alone. He’s actually read my bit of the book and cross-questioned me carefully about my background, slagged off poor old Kerevan for being a Trot, and interrogated me about my family, especially the girls.

He said he’d been offered a place at Oxford but chose to go to Edinburgh. “I wish now that I had gone. I think I missed something by not going.” I said he hadn’t done badly, PM and all.

His main theme was essentially that the Better Together team, and especially the Tories, were pitching the campaign as Scotland versus Britain, which he, rightly, says is wrong. It should be that Scotland will be better if it remains within the UK. Osborne and Cameron etc were wrong – totally wrong – in their approach. Basically, he thinks everyone is wrong except him.

May 15 2014

Through to Glasgow for drinks with DC. He was in sparkling form, although he looked a bit knackered. He came into the room and immediately took off his tie. He looked slim and fit and held court with the Scottish editors brilliantly. Lots of jokes about the Cup Final, which somebody had told him was between Dundee United and St Johnstone.

He thinks the referendum campaign is going OK, but that Eck is more interested in process than in debating the issues. He said he wanted the debate only because it would be against an English Tory; I said he could forget about the Tory bit, as it was only the English bit that Alex wanted to highlight.

He was very preoccupied with giving Holyrood more powers. I said he was pre-empting Tom Strathclyde’s commission, which he denied, and went on to say – incredibly, to my mind – that there was nothing wrong with different tax rates in the different parts of the UK.

Eh? Did I hear right?

He made a very good joke about Salmond and Nigel Farage. Someone asked him whom he disliked most – Salmond or Farage. And he got on to thinking about both of them standing on the cliff edge at Beachy Head. Who would he push off first?

“Oh, Salmond,” he said with a grin. “Business before pleasure.”

May 21 2014

Dinner with the Darlings, and what a feast. Maggie is a great cook – fish lasagne preceded by the kind of duck/pancake dish that you normally only get in Chinese restaurants. Great craic, too.

I told Alistair all about the Brown encounter. His most prominent reaction was to shake his head in bemusement and wonder at the rubbish Brown talked.

He was also very funny about his conversations with Gordon. Broon would castigate him about something that had been said in his book, to which Alistair would say: “But Gordon, you always say you haven’t read my book!”

And Gordon always says he never reads the newspapers and yet he can quote whole pages back to you.

Both were very sad about Gordon. Not just the Darlings, but many of Brown’s friends and former friends are worried about him, stuck in that house in North Queensferry all week with the boys, while his wife is in London.

June 6 2014

Lunch with John Reid in Glasgow. He insisted on curry at the Koh-i-Noor. Delicious, but I can’t eat curry at this time of day. Great craic, much of it slagging off Broon.

John Reid told me that he once pushed Brown up against the wall in the Members’ Lobby, when they were both in the Cabinet, and threatened to punch him unless he stopped seeing conspiracies everywhere. Wish I’d been there to see it.

What I didn’t know is that, according to John, Brown begged him to stay in his Cabinet when he took over from Blair. No way, said Reid. But he does admit that Brown can be a brilliantly successful player in this campaign.

August 6 2014

the first television debate

Who would really have thought it? Darling smashed Eck in the first debate last night.

Everyone on the Nats’ side, including that eejit Blair Jenkins, supposed boss of the Yes campaign, had been crowing about how much of a hammering Darling was going to get. I wasn’t especially worried as these debates never add much to the sum of human knowledge or affect the result much. But I texted a “break a leg” message to Alistair all the same.

However, it wasn’t needed. Salmond was hopeless. It looked like he hadn’t done any preparation at all and got absolutely skewered on the pound, which Darling returned to again and again.

Darling’s best moment – and the one that had the overconfident Salmond stuck for an answer – came when he asked his opponent to “contemplate for one moment that you might be wrong”. Of course, Alex Salmond never believes he’s wrong – so he was stumped.

The Nats are shell-shocked this morning. Their hero has been hammered. Is this their worst moment? I bloody well hope so. BT have got to get cracking now and keep up the pressure.

August 25 2014: the second television debate

Disaster! Darling hammered. The whole thing was terrible. It was pretty clear that the Better Together side were playing for a draw and, as Alex Ferguson would have told them, if you play for a draw, you get a hiding.

I texted Darling beforehand but my “break a leg” message didn’t seem to encourage him. The BBC b-----ed up the thing in spades.

For starters, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove gallery was much too grand a venue, and instead of having Glenn Campbell, the moderator, between the two contestants, they made him stand to one side. Stupid. The upshot was that he couldn’t hear – or at least didn’t seem to be able to hear – what Salmond and Darling were shouting at each other. Worst of all, it will put new heart into the Nats.

Afterwards, I tried to gee him up, but Alistair simply replied to my text with the understatement: “Audience two-thirds Nat.”

September 8 2014: 10 days before the vote

I got a call from Bruce Waddell, a former editor who now appears to be Broon’s apostle on Earth. (Who’s paying him, I wonder?) He says that the great man wants to talk to me and that I could expect a phone call within 10 minutes.

Sure enough, almost on the dot of 10 minutes later, Gordon comes on the line, in fairly friendly tones, to give me a précis of the speech he’s due to make. However, that’s not before he gives me a b------ing.

“The last time we talked, you didn’t seem to accept what I said. I hope you will this time, because your views carry a lot of weight with the other political journalists in Scotland.”

Gosh, why is Gordon being so nice? He proceeded to tell me – or, rather, repeat – his view that Cameron and Osborne had been presenting the campaign as something akin to Scotland versus Britain, instead of the two visions of Scotland. “It has been absolutely central to what’s been going on here that we [Labour] have got to have a vision of Scotland’s future,” he said.

“Although the campaign on the pound has worked over the summer, we don’t want to always be relying on the negative. We have to make our country feel proud.”

Brown then told me about the blueprint he was to announce later – a firm timetable for the new powers for Holyrood, with work beginning immediately after the vote, on September 19, then preliminary agreement by St Andrew’s Day on November 30, and draft legislation ready by January 25 2015.

These dates will p--- off Eck mightily but are a great gimmick by GB; only he could have thought of them. But more importantly, only he could have delivered this promise and got people to believe that something was in the offing.

September 14 2014: 4 days before the vote

Brilliant, brilliant story. The Queen, after the weekly service at Crathie Kirk, walked over to some well-wishers and told them that she hoped everyone “would think very carefully about the referendum”.

But that was only half the story. This was a completely deliberate and put-up job by the Palace.

My old pal Jim Lawson was the only reporter outside Crathie Kirk when the royal party came out, and, as usual, he and the photographers were corralled some way away from Her Majesty and the usual crowd of royalists who gather there every Sunday. But on this occasion, the police were told that the press – Jim and the snappers – could go over to where they could hear what was going on, and that’s how the story about the Queen’s remarks got out.

It was a bit of a coup for the Palace and the Queen herself. There is absolutely no doubt that she did it deliberately; and knew exactly what the effect would be – it was the splash everywhere. Fantastic.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was provoked into it by Salmond saying last week, when there was a bit of a stooshie about whether she should speak her mind on the issue or not, that he thought she would be “proud to be Queen of Scots”. That implied some sort of support for independence.

A very bad move by Our Great Leader, and one that must have convinced Her Majesty to speak out.

After the referendum

By any standards, it was a pretty conclusive result. Astonishingly, however, the weeks following the referendum have been dominated not so much by a “we wuz robbed” feeling among Nationalists – that was always likely – but by a sense almost of guilt among the Unionist community that they’d won.

At the root of this strange phenomenon was the Vow: a piece of brilliant tabloid journalism in which the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties promised “extensive” extra powers for the Holyrood Parliament.

It has since been transformed in the public mind into something resembling Magna Carta. Talked of in hushed tones, it is normally now referred to as “the solemn Vow” which must be honoured, and which Nationalists insist pledges so much devolution as to make it indistinguishable from “pure” independence.

If Alistair Darling was the overall star of the marathon campaign, the man who won most of the plaudits for the sprint in the final weeks was undoubtedly Gordon Brown. No team player he, the Great Clunking Fist showed, with remarkable displays of passion and emotion, that he can remain a tremendously influential figure on the British political scene.

I’m delighted that separation was comprehensively defeated and that my family and I are to be allowed to remain British. That, for me, was what this battle has been all about. It wasn’t about politics, it wasn’t about journalism. It was about who I am.

Here is the original article >>> Alan Cochrane: my part in Alex Salmond's downfall - Telegraph