Westminister paedophile ring: Top Tory MP ‘murdered girl at vile orgy’ claims new witness

The new witness has told police a FOURTH youngster this time a girl of 15 – may have been murdered by a VIP abuse ring which included politicians and a TV comedy star

(Image: Sunday Mirror)

A victim of a VIP paedophile ring believes a girl of 15 was killed at a vile orgy.

The new witness has told police he watched the teenager being taken into a ­terrifying “medical room” by a senior Tory MP – and never saw her again.

The sickening events are said to have taken place at London’s notorious Dolphin Square flats in the 1990s, the Sunday People can reveal.

He fears the teenager may have been killed by a brutal sadist acting out his horrific fantasies.

It would make her the fourth reported murder victim of a Westminster-based pervert ring, some of them household names.

The witness told the investigative website Exaro that he was himself abused while in his teens by prominent politicians and a famous comedian at the now notorious Dolphin Square complex in central London.

We are calling the man Darren, ­although that is not his real name ­because he lives in hiding, fearing for his own life. He is the third alleged victim of the gang to come forward.

Darren told us: “I would never have gone to those parties willingly. It was fear that led me to Dolphin Square.”

Dolphin Square in South West London Horrors: Dolphin Square in London (Image: Sunday Mirror)

Recalling the night in 1993 he ­believes a girl died, he said: “I ­witnessed a senior Tory politician go into the medical room with a girl who I know was 15.

“This was a bedroom containing a hospital-type bed with shackles, gimp masks and a tiled, washable floor.

“She was 15 and in care. I didn’t know her name but had been bumping into her for years at paedophile parties. I had been trafficked for sex since I was a young boy, initially by my father.

“She had a smashing smile and wore braces on her teeth.

“I never saw her leave that room, in fact I never saw her again. I fear she may have been killed.”

Darren has identified the exact apartment in the luxury Dolphin Square complex where he claims abuse parties were held while he was a teenager.

He says he was taken to up to 20 orgies, which were ­attended by around 30 VIPs, and has described ordeals – ­including beatings with a cane – to Scotland Yard detectives investigating a string of historic sex abuse claims.

VICTIM: Darren was used by VIPs

A former Tory cabinet minister ­already named to police by another alleged abuse victim, a Labour minister, and the famous TV comedy actor are among well-known faces he says were at Dolphin Square in the 1990s.

Darren claims he was driven to sex parties by the notorious paedophile Peter Righton, a former government adviser who had been recently fined for having indecent images of boys.

Righton would collect Darren and other boys from children’s homes in Suffolk and drive them to London in a luxury car, complete with leather seats and electric windows.

At Dolphin Square they would go to a four-bedroom serviced flat that had been rented out.

He recalled: “Guests would be standing around, chatting and drinking. There would be women there but they would leave before any sex took place.

“The attitude seemed to be that they would leave early so the boys could have their fun.”

Darren said that there were “very powerful” people at the gatherings. He went on: “They stood out a mile. I saw a former Labour minister at one party.

“They were very protective of their jackets. I think they were worried the boys would steal their wallets.”

Leading the way: The Sunday People has broken the story of the police inquiry RAGOUT Sunday People 02 11 2014 PAGES 8 & 9

Darren claimed violation and ­humiliation inflicted on youngsters at Dolphin Square ­became a familiar routine to him.

He said: “This Tory ­cabinet minister always insisted I should be presented to him with ladies’ underwear on beneath my clothes.

“The game he liked to play was that he would pretend he had spotted that I was wearing the lingerie.

“He would tell me I was a naughty boy for turning him on and take me into a bedroom and punish me.

“I was spanked with a bamboo cane that he brought with him, which was painful. I was then sexually abused.

“He liked boys to dress up in lacy women’s underwear. He would make a game of it.

“The minister would be accompanied by a minder who stayed outside while I was abused.”

The Dolphin Square apartment had three rooms ­specially fitted out and decorated to cater for the tastes of party guests, Darren said.

He claimed the spanking ex-minister preferred a ­bedroom known as the “leopard room” because it had a leopard skin rug.

Another was known as the “gay room” because it was “flowery and ­effeminate”.

Darren claimed that in this room he was forced to give oral sex to the famous comedian. He said: “At first he was an interested spectator at the parties but then decided to take part.

“He was much kinder and more considerate than the others but it was still unpleasant.”

The worst of the three rooms was the so-called “medical room”.

Peter Right on trafficked Darren to abuse ‘parties’ (Image: PA)

Darren said: “This was the bedroom you did not want to be taken into. Fortunately, I was never taken in there but I remember one boy who did.

“He had been dressed up in tight leather shorts and went in with a senior Tory politician and some other men.

“I met him afterwards and he told me he had suffered humiliation too vile to describe and was then beaten up.”

Darren said the brutalised boy was under 16 at the time.

He recalled that traumatised children would gather in the kitchen at Dolphin Square to ­comfort each other after their ordeals. He admitted he was given £50 each time he attended a child abuse party.

But he insisted he only went because evil Righton forced him to. He said: “I would never have gone to those parties willingly – it was fear of Righton.

“One occasion when he attacked me stands out. It happened after I was taken into a bedroom with the famous TV personality and Peter was driving us back to Suffolk.

“I kept saying the name of the comic character played by the actor and saying that he was at the party. Peter kept saying, ‘No he wasn’t.’

“Then he suddenly swung a tremendous punch, while still keeping control of the car. It hit me flush on the chin and I may have passed out. It was a warning to keep my mouth shut.”

Darren was interviewed over three days by Met Police detectives and named his abusers.

Sunday People paedophile cover ring Exclusive: Another witness, Nick, described the Dolphin Square depravity

His account bears chilling similarities to allegations by a victim known as Nick, who claims three abused boys were killed in the 1980s.

His evidence is being investigated by Scotland Yard’s Operation Midland.

Officers have spoken to the families of two lads, Martin Allen and Vishal Mehrotra, who vanished in London.

Among those named by Darren is the recently convicted paedophile Charles Napier.

Darren says Napier abused him when he was 15 at Righton’s home. Righton ­ordered Darren to give Napier oral sex and when the horrified lad refused he was beaten until he complied.

He added: “I was kicked and punched in front of Napier, who stood there smirking. I had no choice and so I did as I was told. I was ordered to have sex with Napier on two other occasions.”

Napier, 67, is the half-brother of Conservative MP John Whittingdale.

The former treasurer of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Napier was jailed last month after pleading guilty to 31 counts of indecent assault against boys as young as eight at a school where he worked.

Trafficker: Establishment paedophile Charles Napier (Image: Rex)

Darren continued: “Peter abused me repeatedly when I was 15, as well as forcing me to have sex with other men.

“By the age of 16, I was no longer to his taste, he liked younger boys. But he still trafficked me around.

“I was 17 when Peter began taking me with other teenagers to Dolphin Square. I am sure he was making a mint organising paedophile sex parties.

“We were all aged ­between 14 and 17.”

Righton, who died in 2007, was one of Britain’s leading specialists in child care – but was also a founder of the Paedophile Information Exchange.

Darren’s testimony directly supports a claim made in Parliament by Labour MP Tom Watson, which linked Righton to a VIP paedophile ring.

And it adds to a picture of abuse at Dolphin Square first revealed by Exaro last July.

Scandal: Tom Watson (top left), Dolphin Square (bottom left) and whistleblower Nick (right)

People leads the way in the paedophile investigation
The Sunday People has led the way on smashing the high-powered network of VIP paedophiles since the story broke more than two years ago.

In October 2012, campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson stood up in the Commons and called on Prime Minister David Cameron to investigate a paedophile network with “links to the heart of the UK establishment – including 10 Downing Street”.

Since then, this newspaper has worked tirelessly to get to the truth.

Last year, we revealed the explosive testimony of the witness known as ‘Nick’. He went to police with claims about three possible murders linked to the VIP paedophile ring.

A survivor of abuse at the now notorious Dolphin Square apartments in central London, he alleges he saw three deaths between 1979 and 1982.

One of his accounts details a murder he claims to have witnessed at a London townhouse in 1980.

Two other men have since bravely told their tales, including Darren today.

There are many similarities between their memories and since we published our story, Scotland Yard has stepped up its investigation. It called a high-profile Press conference to encourage more witnesses to come forward.

Officers are re-examining 200 case files relating to children who went missing during the period.

With many thanks to the: DailyMirror for the original story

How a no-deal Brexit could affect benifits and Universal Credit claimants

If the cost of living rises under a no-deal Brexit, the real value of benefits falls

A no-deal Brexit could have wide-ranging consequences for Britain.

We already know it will have an effect on a number of aspects of life including travel, the price of goods and the availability of items – however it is worth noting that the true impact of leaving the EU without an agreement will not be known until after the departure date of 29 March 2019.

A no deal could also have an impact on the lives of people who claim benefits or Universal Credit but policy and economy think tanks have yet to analyse the link.

Here are some ways in which people on benefits could be affected:

Cost of living
If the cost of living rises as a result of a no-deal Brexit, everyone in Britain will be impacted. But those on benefits stand to feel the brunt of the increase.

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will rise significantly in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

More people might turn to food banks if they struggle to make ends meet under Universal Credit (Photo: Getty)

In November, the Bank’s governor Mark Carney said a no deal could lead Britain’s gross domestic product – the value of goods and services – to drop by eight per cent in 2019, which could mean unemployment rises to 7.5 per cent and inflation rises to 6.5 per cent.

However, Universal Credit and all equivalent benefits are set to remain frozen in cash terms throughout 2019, with Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd suggesting the freeze is unlikely to lift until 2020.

Read more:

Life on Universal Credit: I had to sell my jewellery as scrap to free up money for food

The combination of the benefits freeze and the inflation increase “could have a devastating impact on benefit recipients”, says Dr Craig Berry, a reader in political economy at Manchester Metropolitan University.

“As the cost of living rises rapidly… the real value of benefits falls – intensifying a problem recipients have been dealing with for several years already,” he explains.

Food bank usage could increase and more people could fall into rent arrears.

Universal Credit reform
Universal Credit has been widely criticised since implementation began in 2013. It has undergone a number of changes with new reforms recently announced by Ms Rudd.

However, Dr Berry suggests that future changes, especially those that are costly, might be reconsidered in the event of a no deal.

“The dire consequences of no-deal for the public finances mean that further concessions on the design of Universal Credit will become increasingly unlikely,” he tells i.

Life on Universal Credit: I was threatened with a sanction after missing a Jobcentre meeting when my girlfriend miscarried Life on Universal Credit: ‘I spent 10 weeks under threat of sanctions for being 12 minutes late to a Jobcentre appointment’

One potentially positive aspect of a no-deal Brexit for benefits claimants could be that there is an easing of sanctions.

“A no-deal Brexit will severely disrupt the normal operations of Government, one of the few upsides may be that the Department for Work and Pensions suspends or relaxes its benefit sanctions regime, as job centre staff managing claimants are moved elsewhere within the civil service,” says Dr Berry.

Money for benefits
It is not clear whether a no-deal Brexit will have any impact on the money available for Universal Credit and benefits claimants.

The decision on the amount of money put aside for benefits lies solely with the Government. And it is ministers who decide on cuts and freezes.

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are preparing for all eventualities to ensure claimants continue to get the right support.”

With many thanks to: I News for the original story

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO FIND OUT MORE: https://inews.co.uk/news/no-deal-brexit-affect-benefits-universal-credit-consequences/

Theresa May invites David Cameron to backseat drive on Brexit

Mrs May’s predecessor David Cameron is advising her how to get some kind route out of the EU through Parliament. Credit: PA

If you want a symbol of the catastrophe Theresa May faces over Brexit here it is: her predecessor David Cameron is advising her how to get some kind route out of the EU – that isn’t the fast one over the cliff – through parliament.

This is like the pope asking the chief rabbi on the true meaning of the Eucharist: when Theresa May became prime minister she defined herself by defenestrating all things and people of a Cameroonish hue (including, most notoriously – and some would argue most self-destructively – packing Osborne off to the backbenches).

But now the former prime minister has become her personal Brexit-crisis adviser, as she desperately tries to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU with a chaotic no deal.

Mrs May’s predecessor David Cameron is advising her how to get some kind route out of the EU. Credit: PA

Second referendum would cause ‘irreparable damage’, PM to warn

Mr Cameron’s advice is conspicuously being taken, at this juncture by her ministers if not publicly by her.

Because what he told her – I understand – is that she should “get on with getting parliament to work through the options”.

You will have heard the Business Secretary Greg Clark just this morning become the latest member of the Cabinet to say on the Today Programme that the time is almost nigh to press MPs (possibly through an innovative process of holding advisory votes on different options) to express their collective views on what kind of Brexit (or potentially no Brexit, via a referendum) they would choose.

What lies ahead for the PM and Brexit this week?
When Theresa May became prime minister she defined herself by defenestrating all things and people of a Cameroonish hue.

When Theresa May became prime minister she defined herself by defenestrating all things and people of a Cameroonish hue. Credit: PA

Mr Cameron has made it clear – according to my source – that “she has to help parliament find an answer, recognising that she doesn’t have a majority”.

This of course is reinforcing the pressure on her from her senior backbenchers like Nicky Morgan to put party allegiances to one side in the search for a way through the impasse.

And what kind of Brexit would Mr Cameron himself favour?

Well she is listening to him partly because he has privately endorsed her “partnership” approach to the UK’s long-term relationship with the EU.

This would be either her Brexit plan, which a majority of MPs detest, or an amended version (which the EU comprehensively squished on Thursday) or some version of the arrangement Norway has with the EU.

So Mr Cameron is – as you would expect – a proponent of what Michael Gove would see as the best Brexit available and Jacob Rees-Mogg would view as BRINO (Brexit in name only) serfdom.

And if MPs won’t back any Brexit plan? Would Mr Cameron suggest she put the BIG question back to the people with a so-called People’s Vote?

My source conspicuously dodges when pressed.

That said, Mr Cameron probably knows better than to opine on plebiscitary matters, since if he hadn’t decided on the original poll, she wouldn’t be in her quandary today and he’d still be in a job.

With many thanks to: ITV News and Robert Preston/Preston Politics for the original story.

Varadkar recklessly disregards poll, claims McDonald

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition
Mary Lou McDonald said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition

Mary Lou McDonald has accused the taoiseach of being “reckless” and of failing to adequately prepare for a border poll.

Almost half of voters in Northern Ireland would support a united Ireland if Britain left the EU under the withdrawal agreement that has been reached, according to a poll commissioned by The Times this week.

The Sinn Féin leader said that a no-deal Brexit would necessitate an immediate referendum on partition and she said she had told Theresa May this.

“If there is a hard Brexit and no deal then the immediacy of a border poll is self-evident,” Ms McDonald said. “You couldn’t possibly have a no-deal Brexit, resulting in the hardening of the border and suggest people would simply have to live with that.

“I have made that clear to the British prime minister and said it would have to be done very quickly in those circumstances. Beyond that I want us to have one as soon as possible but I also want us to win and I want us to win it well.”

She criticised Leo Varadkar and said that the government should be planning for the economic and social implications of reunification. “The government should be leading from the front on this. All of the polling data on this tells us categorically that the conversation has started and the genie is out of the bottle,” Ms McDonald said.

“The taoiseach needs to catch up. As head of government he needs to tell us how the conversation on unity will be structured. It is reckless for him to sit back and wish this away or pretend it is not happening.”

She said the main task for politicians was to maximise consensus but that the needs of those who were against leaving the United Kingdom would also have to be considered. “We understand we need an all-of-society conversation on what would be fundamental change. We are very conscious of the fact that people who do not support a united Ireland would have to be part of the conversation too. We would have to discover their red lines. There is a lot of work to be done,” Ms McDonald said.

Another part of the poll suggested that one in four unionists think the DUP would be wrong to reject Mrs May’s withdrawal deal. Almost four in ten unionists also disagreed or strongly disagreed that the DUP’s tactics in refusing to back it were correct.

Ms McDonald said she was not surprised Ms Foster’s party appeared to be out of step with some of its own voters. “I believe the DUP adopted a position on the Brexit referendum, never dreaming that Brexit would actually happen, and I don’t think they have had the political pragmatism or the political sense of responsibility to step back from that,” she said.

“Brexit is bad for Ireland and it’s particularly bad for the North and I think people are onto that. I’m not one bit surprised that people across the community, including those who would always vote for the union, look at Brexit and see nothing, only danger and jeopardy and they are wondering what Arlene Foster and the DUP are up to.”

Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, will urge both communities today to rally support for the deal in an open letter to voters. “It protects all the things we value,” Ms Bradley will say.

The so-called meaningful vote in the British parliament is scheduled for Tuesday, when MPs will have their say on the withdrawal deal. Mrs May’s deal is expected to be rejected.

With many thanks to the: Times Sunday Times for the original story.

October 1968 – Brink of Chaos (Part 1)

New series. Denis Tuohy narrates this series marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement in North of Ireland and hears from the people who witnessed this pivotal moment in time, including Ivan Cooper, Austin Currie, John Taylor and Bernadette McAliskey.

In the first episode, the issues of inequality in North of Ireland and the beginnings of the Civil Rights protests, including Caledon, are covered.

Brexit: Chequers plan not dead, insists Liam Fox

Theresa May’s Brexit plan is “not dead”, a senior minister has insisted despite concessions made to Tory MPs to avoid a Commons defeat on trade.

The government scraped home by three votes on two occasions after agreeing to Brexiteers’ demands to change the wording of the Customs Bill.

Liam Fox said it did not change policy as the amendments had been “cut and pasted” from the PM’s Chequers plan.

He also warned pro-European Tories against “refighting the referendum”.

The international trade secretary told the BBC that feelings were running high but calls from some Tories to stay in a customs union, which will be voted on later, would send completely the wrong message to the EU.

MP Guto Bebb quits as minister after Brexit vote
MPs to vote on early summer recess
Brexit: All you need to know
The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 but has yet to agree how its final relationship with the bloc will work.

The government, which does not have a Commons majority, has been under pressure from MPs on both sides of the Brexit debate.

The government twice survived by just three votes on Monday after a backlash from pro-EU Tories who accused the prime minister of “caving in” to the party’s Eurosceptic MPs.

Fresh test ahead in Commons
Ministers accepted a series of demands from Brexiteers who are unhappy at the PM’s Chequers blueprint for future relations with the EU, believing it keeps the UK too closely tied to the bloc.

But this angered MPs from the party’s pro-EU wing who refused to back the new amendments, saying they would undermine the UK’s recently-announced negotiating position.

By 305 votes to 302 – with 14 Tories rebelling – MPs backed an amendment that prevents the UK from collecting taxes on behalf of the EU, unless the rest of the EU does the same for the UK.

Applying EU tariffs to products destined for the EU is part of Mrs May’s plan to avoid friction at UK borders after Brexit.

Another amendment, to ensure the UK is out of the EU’s VAT regime, was backed by 303 to 300, with a Tory rebellion of 11. Three Labour MPs voted with the government. Current and past Lib Dem leaders Sir Vince Cable and Tim Farron – who want to stop Brexit – did not vote.

MPs will carry on debating Brexit on Tuesday when the Trade Bill comes to the Commons.

It gives the government the power to build new trade relationships around the world after the UK leaves the EU, and MPs who support staying in the EU’s customs union are seeking to change its wording.

‘Strong feelings’ on both sides

Media captionAnna Soubry criticised colleagues who have a “gold-plated pension” and support Brexit
Tory MP and Remainer Heidi Allen said she wished the prime minister had “faced down the amendments.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What was agreed at Chequers wasn’t perfect to us, wasn’t perfect to Leavers either, but I think the prime minister had worked exceptionally hard to find a decent first pitch to put to the EU and move forward from that.

“We were all set [on the Remain side] to drop all our amendments and back it, then suddenly we had these rather extreme last minute manoeuvres, which seem to us to deviate the prime minister from her plan and we weren’t prepared to do that.”

But Mr Fox said the amendments “did not differ very much” from the government’s agreed position. Asked if the Chequers plan was dead, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today “I don’t think so”.

“The wording in the white paper was that the UK and the EU should together agree a mechanism for the remittance of relevant tariff revenue,” he said.

“As far as I could see the amendment looked like a bit of a cut and paste from the white paper.”

He said the government could “not please everybody” and there had to be compromises but Brexit had been backed by 17.4 million people in a referendum and legislation implementing that decision approved by MPs.

“I do not understand why people thinks this lacks democratic legitimacy. It is very clear where it comes from.”

Little room for manoeuvre
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

It looks a mess because it is a mess. It’s getting harder and harder for the prime minister to get things through Parliament – and while calls for a second referendum are widely rejected, that sentiment could change if this kind of gridlock continues.

The PM has spent the last two years trying to compromise. She has a divided party and no majority. There are no easy choices.

But the divisions in the Tory party are daily reducing her room for manoeuvre. In a debate about principle, the problem for some is that compromise is a dirty word.

Read Laura’s blog

Who rebelled?
The Conservative rebels on Monday were the long-time pro-EU MP Ken Clarke, Heidi Allen, Guto Bebb, Richard Benyon, Jonathan Djanogly, Dominic Grieve, Stephen Hammond, Philip Lee, Nicky Morgan, Robert Neill, Mark Pawsey, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.

The three Labour MPs who rebelled against their party whip by voting with the government were Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer – all of whom are pro-Brexit.

Former Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins who now sits as an independent also supported the government on one of the amendments.

How has the EU reacted?
BBC Europe editor, Katya Adler said the one priority the EU has is making sure it gets a deal, rather than a “cliff edge” Brexit.

She told Today: “They are following all the ins and outs, and all the turbulence, in UK politics extremely carefully.

“[But] they are wondering if the prime minister – or anyone who could or might take over from her – would even have the political strength to get a deal agreed here in Brussels, then passed by parliament back home.

“All my EU sources say they want to engage constructively with the whitepaper and avoid giving the impression that it is dead on arrival. But importantly, as everyone knows, time for negotiation is running short. They want to complete the withdrawal agreement.”

With many thanks to: BBC England for the original story.

 

 

 

Independence is the means to a greater end

In the face of Brexit we must trust ourselves to meet success and failure on our own merit.

murray foote

Three days after the death of Donald Dewar in October 2000 I was cutting through Glasgow’s George Square among the dozen statues of famous names immortalised in bronze. The most recently deceased and the only female — mounted on a horse and inexplicably wearing a crown rather than the traditional traffic cone — was Queen Victoria. Since she shuffled off in 1901 not a single notable has had the honour bestowed in their memory of induction into the hall of famous George Square stiffs.

It struck me that Dewar, a son of Glasgow and Scotland’s inaugural first minister, merited a place among the revered deceased. At that point I was deputy editor of the Daily Record so I made the suggestion to my editor, who agreed it was a worthy campaign. Two years later Tony Blair unveiled a bronze Father of the Nation — slightly dishevelled, appropriately — on Buchanan Street.

I recount the details by way of demonstrating my admiration for Dewar and his greatest political achievement in reconvening the Scottish parliament after a recess lasting three centuries. His speech at the parliament’s opening a year before his death was emotional: “There shall be a Scottish parliament. Through long years, those words were first a hope, then a belief, then a promise. Now they are a reality. This is a moment anchored in our history.”

Devolution brought the biggest political change of my lifetime. Sure, establishing the apparatus of devolved government was not without its difficulties and, in the early days, critics. But the philosophy that Holyrood exists merely to mitigate the excesses of Westminster is not a belief system to which I subscribe. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to be far more progressive, dynamic, ambitious.

It is largely why in 2014, by then editor, I commissioned The Vow, the promise made on the front page of the Record by the UK’s main party leaders two days before the independence referendum of extensive new powers to Scotland. I believed a more powerful Scottish parliament was what the majority of readers wanted. And now we learn it sent Ruth Davidson apoplectic. LOL.

As we continue to labour under a vindictive Westminster administration, the nascent Scottish benefits agency will be another waypoint on the journey to more compassionate devolved government. Now we are on the brink of Brexit. But where devolution arrived bearing promise and hope, Brexit is draped in a shroud of despair. We have not yet completed our shameful retreat from the EU and I cling to the diminishing hope we never do.

I cannot tolerate a Tory government prepared to treat devolution with the blatant contempt displayed in Tuesday’s cynical one-man debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill. It was a democratic abomination. I can no longer stand by while a cabal of the privileged deprive our children the right to live in 27 European countries because they don’t like Johnnie Foreigner encroaching their elite club.

I can’t remain silent as May, Davis, Rees-Mogg, Johnson and Gove undermine the stability of a continent that has largely been at peace for 70 years. For them this is a game of ambition, for the majority of us it is unconscionable folly. I can’t wait for enough of England to wean itself off voting for the party of privilege that will never govern for anyone other than their own class.

I can’t watch a Labour Party pursue its own destructive Brexit agenda full in the knowledge that the people it professes to represent will shoulder the greatest burden. I can’t wait for that same party to recognise that Jeremy Corbyn seemed like a good idea at the time but now they must find a leader who can reunite a splintered movement capable of deposing the Tories. Nor can I await the arrival of a unicorn, that mythical federal Britain.

So independence it must be.

As Dewar said in his speech: “A Scottish parliament. Not an end, a means to greater end.” Independence is now the only option that provides any prospect of that greater end. What matters is timing and circumstance. Over the past few years heavy negative forces — like Brexit, that parade of Tory chancers and a dysfunctional opposition at Westminster — have tugged the independence stars ever nearer alignment. Last month’s growth commission report gave them another nudge.

I fully recognise an independent Scotland would face financial challenges and Andrew Wilson’s report is an attempt to address many of these realities with intrinsic honesty. I’ve considered the constitutional arguments against and, yes, the difficult decisions our independent nation would face and the sacrifices we may need to make do trouble me. But what troubles me more is the prospect of bequeathing to my daughters an isolated Britain governed indefinitely by the progeny of Rees-Mogg and their ilk.

For me, independence is about autonomy, allowing Scotland to meet success and failure on its own merit and not point an embittered finger of blame at anyone else. I have reconciled that independence would herald good and bad. I trust in us to solve the problems that will come our way. If so many other countries can, it is inconceivable that Scotland can’t. The Yes-Yes campaign which brought our parliament back from the dead 20 years ago asked Scotland to take a leap of faith and to trust in ourselves. When we are next asked the independence question, I’ll strap on my work boots and take that leap.

With many thanks to: The Times and The Sunday Times for the origional story.

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