Irvine Welsh rubbishes ‘nonsense’ claim SNP did not win indyref mandate

TRAINSPOTTING author Irvine Welsh has said it is “nonsense” to suggest the SNP did not win a mandate for another referendum in this month’s Holyrood vote.

However, the novelist, who is a long-term supporter of independence, also argued indyref2 should have been held straight after the Brexit result.

Speaking on a weekly online show hosted by anti-capitalist platform Conter, Welsh said: “For the SNP I think they really do have to deliver a second referendum and they really did have the mandate after Brexit to do that.

“Now further down the line, patience will run out if they don’t deliver the second referendum.”

Welsh said it had been a major move to remove a country from a “whole set of European relationships”.

“People come up with and they use the numbers in the different voting systems … and a mandate for something down south isn’t a mandate in Scotland,” he added.

“It is nonsense, people have consistently voted SNP and they have voted for an independence referendum in this election.

“Really they should have gone straight to an independence referendum after the Brexit result.”

READ MORE: SNP would win 58 of 59 Scottish seats in a snap General Election, poll finds

Welsh argued that most people in England “don’t care” about Scottish independence.

He added the “best English nationalist card” the Conservatives could play would be to say to Scotland and Wales to “just get on with it”.

On the issue of when another referendum might happen, Welsh said there would have to be some kind of deal between Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson to break the impasse.

He added: “I think there is a big question mark over the political legitimacy of the British state now.

“When you look at what it has been for the last 40 years, it has been all about the distribution of resources of that state to a transnational elite and it seems to serve no other purpose.

“The way the SNP has managed to score is because it does have a defined project – it has a defined radical project which is independence.

“I think that decentralising project, that renewal project, is something in some ways going on right across these islands and I think it is to do with the secular decline of imperialism and deindustrialisation and the end of the UK as a state.”

Welsh was one of 1300 figures from the arts world in Scotland who signed an open letter supporting a Yes vote in 2014.

Writing about his reasons for backing independence in an article in the run-up to the vote, he argued getting rid of the “imperialist baggage” of the UK state will present new cultural and political opportunities.

He dismissed the notion it would lead to “conflict, hatred and distrust” between England and Scotland as the mindset of “opportunistic status-quo fearmongers” and “gloomy nationalist fantasists”.

“Swedes, Norwegians and Danes remain on amicable terms; they trade, co-operate and visit each other socially any time they like,” he wrote.

“They don’t need a pompous, blustering state called Scandinavia, informing them from Stockholm how wonderful they all are, but (kind of) only really meaning Sweden.”

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Christian Pulisic makes defiant statement on Chelsea future after “very frustrated” claim

Christian Pulisic has poured cold water on recent speculation suggesting he would like to leave Chelsea this summer.

The Blues winger insists he is happy at Stamford Bridge and resolved to fight for a place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI.

Pulisic, 22, openly admitted he was “very frustrated” after he was left on the bench for Chelsea’s second leg with Real Madrid despite scoring a vital goal in the first Champions League semi-final encounter.

But the United States international – who arrived from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £57.6million in 2019 – insists he sees his long-term future in west London.

Pulisic has often had to settle for a spot on the bench under Tuchel
Pulisic has often had to settle for a spot on the bench under Tuchel

“I’m obviously happy here. It has been an incredible two years,” Pulisic – who has scored six goals this season – told ESPN .

“People have always doubted and said: ‘Oh, he’s not playing, does he want to go here, does he want to go there?’

“I’m always up for a challenge, I love competing, I love the position I’m in and I’m enjoying my time here.”

The American says he is "enjoy his time" at Stamford Bridge
The American says he is “enjoy his time” at Stamford Bridge

Does Pulisic deserve more opportunities under Tuchel? Have your say in the comments.

Pulisic has started just 11 of 26 games since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge hot seat in January.

But he started the Blues’ most-recent game – the 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal on Wednesday – and declared his side must perform much better in Saturday’s FA Cup final with Leicester City.

Speaking on Friday, he added: “Maybe it is something that we need – we are that much hungrier, that much more looking forward to the game tomorrow.

“We know what Leicester is all about. They are going to battle, they are a tough team. They’ve done extremely well in the league this year. We know about their attacking ability and some of the players they have.

“So we expect them to come and battle. We are going to give it everything, and hopefully if we play the way we do and we match their intensity, I think we can beat them.”

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Log truck drivers claim lost income after Bob Brown Foundation protest blocks woodchip mill

Operations at a woodchip mill in northern Tasmania have been disrupted for about six hours after protesters blocked the entrance.

The forestry protesters from the Bob Brown Foundation stopped dozens of log trucks from entering the Artec mill at Bell Bay from 4:00am.

Some protesters attached themselves to barrels and blocked the entrance to the mill.

More than 50 loaded logs trucks were parked outside waiting to get inside and unload.

Protesters were escorted from the mill by police hours later.


The protesters claim their tyres were slashed and the RACT had to help remove some of the vehicles.

Protester Gabby Knox said they wanted to stop the trucks from being able to unload.

“Obviously we have no hate for the truckies whatsoever ,we understand they are just doing a job,” she said.

“Unfortunately that job is in direct contradiction of what we believe in.

“We’ve tried writing to politicians, we’ve tried all of the other avenues and it’s juts not being heard so this was the next step, direct action.”

Organisers said they were protesting against the woodchipping of Tasmania’s old growth and native forests and about 20 protesters were involved.

Police said they made two arrests and that charges were expected later today.

“The majority of protesters complied with police directions to move on,” police said in a statement.

“Police remain on the scene and will investigate the incident, including the allegations of property damage.”

‘Sitting here for nothing’

Stuart Lindsay gets paid per load and was unable to work during the protest.(

ABC News: Manika Champ


Log truck driver Stuart Lindsay said he should have finished work hours earlier and that he had lost income.

“I get paid per load,” he said

“So all the hours I’ve been sitting here since probably 7 o’clock I don’t get paid, so I’m sitting here for nothing.”

The chief executive of the Tasmanian Forest Products Association Nick Steel called the protest “unfair”.

“As we have repeatedly stated, we support free speech but it is unfair and unjust to invade workplaces, causing loss of income and stress to your fellow Tasmanians trying to make a lawful living, simply in order to make your point.

“We urge the Government and Labor Party to sit down together and find a way to pass through the Parliament stronger protections for hardworking Tasmanians seeking to make a lawful living in our renewable forestry industry.”

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NT Parliament hears claim that Labor’s Member for Blain Mark Turner misled Legislative Assembly

The Northern Territory opposition has successfully moved a motion in Parliament to have the Member for Blain referred to the Privileges Committee, accusing Mark Turner of misleading the Legislative Assembly over a statement he made last week about his connection to a “private citizen”.

The former policeman revealed in Parliament last Wednesday that he had carried out a consensual friendship with a woman, which he acknowledged was “not appropriate” because some aspects were “too intimate”.

“During this friendship, we exchanged general conversation, banter, jokes and some intimate conversation,” Mr Turner told the Legislative Assembly.

The following day, Chief Minister Michael Gunner told parliament Mr Turner had lost the trust of his Labor colleagues and been expelled from caucus for failing to disclose the full extent of his relationship with the woman.

Today, the CLP Member for Brennan, Marie-Clare Boothby, moved a motion to refer Mr Turner to the Privileges Committee for contempt of the Legislative Assembly.

“In graphic text messages that were also published in the NT News on the 19th of February, it is clear that the relationship between the Member for Blain and the private citizen was sexual in nature and was not limited to conversations, banter and intimate conversation,” Ms Boothby told parliament.

During Mr Turner’s statement last week, he had told parliament: “I do not condone illegal activity and I do not participate in it.”

Ms Boothby today told the Legislative Assembly that the statement was “materially misleading” because text messages between Mr Turner and the woman — which were published in the NT News last Friday — suggested a different story.

“As the story stated … the woman told Mr Turner her mate [another person who was not Mr Turner] was in hospital after they both had some dodgy coke, to which Mr Turner replied, ‘That’s no fun’ and ‘Loving the dream, Lol’,” Ms Boothby told parliament.

“At the very least, this appears to support a conclusion that the Member for Blain condoned the use of illegal substances contrary to his very unambiguous statement on Wednesday [February 17].”

CLP Member for Brennan Marie-Clare Boothby said Mr Turner misled Parliament and should face the Privileges Committee.(

ABC News: Chris Fitzpatrick


Ms Boothby said her most serious concern was that the Member for Blain had told parliament last week that he had the support of the Chief Minister in making his statement.

She said Mr Gunner had since said in media interviews that Mr Turner had made “material changes” to his statement, after Mr Gunner had helped draft an earlier version of the statement with him.

Ms Boothby urged all MLAs to vote in favour of her motion to protect the integrity of the Legislative Assembly.

“Here we have an elected member who campaigned on a platform of family values and Christianity, and won the election by just 13 votes,” she said.

The Leader of Government Business, Natasha Fyles, later told Parliament the government would accept the motion.

The Privileges Committee has until May 6 to report back on the matter.

The ABC has sought comment from Mr Turner for several days, but he has not responded.

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South Sydney Rabbitohs claim seventh straight NRL win with 34-20 triumph over Canberra Raiders

South Sydney has maintained its winning streak and consolidated its position inside the NRL top four with a 34-20 triumph over the Raiders at Canberra Stadium.

Alex Johnston — who scored two tries — starred for the Rabbitohs alongside fullback Cody Walker, veteran playmaker Benji Marshall and captain Adam Reynolds, who crucially kicked five conversions and two penalty goals.

The Rabbitohs have won seven straight matches, with their only loss coming against the Melbourne Storm in round one.

The home side made a late surge but two tries by five-eighth Jack Wighton were denied by the bunker to the dismay of much of the 14,260 crowd.

The Raiders have now lost four matches in a row.

Despite the late withdrawal of halfback George Williams due to a hamstring injury the Raiders and stand-in halfback Hudson Young managed to take an early lead.

They opened the scoring when winger Jordan Rapana completed a strong sweeping move in the sixth minute. And although the Rabbitohs hit back through winger Alex Johnston in the 17th minute, after a fumble by rookie fullback Caleb Aekins, the opening 45 minutes belonged to the Raiders.

Stand-in Raiders number six and captain Elliott Whitehead crossed in the 21st minute and centre Sebastian Kris extended the lead four minutes later.

But a bursting run by Campbell Graham saw the visitors hit back late in the first half and the Reynolds conversion took the sides to the break with Canberra leading 16-14.

The second half though was all South Sydney.

Dane Gagai crossed in the corner early in the second half and in another major show of strength, Johnston scored his second try out wide off a Cody Walker pass.

Reynolds successfully converted to take the score to 26-16 and then the Rabbitohs hit full throttle, with versatile second rower Jaydn Su’A seemingly putting the contest to bed on 59 minutes.

The Raiders attemped to muster a late fightback when Rapana scored his second try  in the 65th minute to set up an exciting finish before Wighton crossed the line twice only to see the bunker rule out both efforts.

In further disappointing news for the hosts, winger Bailey Simonsson was placed on report for a dangerous lifting tackle.


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Ash Barty beats Aryna Sabalenka to claim Stuttgart title

Stuttgart: Top-ranked Ash Barty beat Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 on Sunday to win the Porsche Grand Prix, her first title on clay since the 2019 French Open.

After dropping the first set, the Australian clicked into gear in the second set, which she won in just 20 minutes, with Sabalenka taking a medical timeout ahead of the third.

Ashleigh Barty en route to victory over Aryna Sabalenka in the Porsche Grand Prix final in Stuttgart on Sunday.Credit:AP

Belarusian Sabalenka emerged with a bandage around her right thigh and couldn’t prevent Barty from going on to claim her 11th career title.

It was the third straight come-from-behind win for Barty, who celebrated her 25th birthday by playing three sets against Elina Svitolina in Saturday’s semi-finals. Barty also won in three sets against Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals.

Barty returned to the court afterwards to team up with Jennifer Brady to defeat Desirae Krawczyk and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 5-7, 10-5 in the doubles final.

She became the first player to win both the singles and doubles at Stuttgart since Lindsay Davenport 20 years ago.

Job done: Ashleigh Barty with the Porsche Grand Prix trophy.

Job done: Ashleigh Barty with the Porsche Grand Prix trophy. Credit:AP

Barty saved eight of the 10 break points she faced against Sabalenka, converting five of the 12 opportunities she created to win in 1 hour, 47 minutes.

The 22-year-old Sabalenka, who defeated Simona Halep to reach the final, had been going for her first career title.

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Gold Coast residents claim ‘blood red’ canal caused by dewatering at Palm Beach development

Palm Beach residents living along the Mallawa canal believe dewatering at a nearby development site has turned their canal ‘blood red’ after recent heavy rains.

Kim Parker said her husband was walking the family’s dogs on April 19 when he noticed a dewatering system had been set up on a development site at Seventh Avenue.

“It was shocking — never seen anything like it.

“There was a slime and stuff floating on it … we contacted council straightaway.”

Ms Parker, who has a science degree, said she noticed a sulphuric smell and council officers were already in the area testing the water after someone else had complained.

Palm Beach resident Kim Parker is worried marine life in Mallawa canal may be affected.(

Supplied: Kim Parker


“They didn’t really know anything about the dewatering and couldn’t really link that,” she said.

“All of the hallmarks of an acid sulphate soil problem were there — that sulphuric-smelling, terrible iron-staining, oily-looking water.”

Dewatering is the removal of groundwater or surface water from a construction site.

It is normally done by using a pump to reduce the water table before the excavation for footings.

Ms Parker said she was worried about the impact on marine life and children who often played in the park at the end of Seventh Avenue.

“I was concerned about kids playing in the park. I’ve got my grandchildren here often.

“The actual slimy red stuff … you can’t help but get it on yourself and it burns when it’s on you.”

Photo of water being pumped into storm water drain.
Removing water from development sites is common in Palm Beach.(

Supplied: Kim Parker


Mallawa canal is surrounded by residential homes and connects to Tallebudgera Creek.

Ms Parker said she was surrounded by homes that had been stained before.

“We’ve had it happen before, we’ve had a similar impact before on the canal, but never this bad,” she said.

“I should imagine that because we’ve had quite a bit of rain there’s more water in the bores perhaps.”

A Gold Coast City Council spokesperson said they were aware of the matter, with early testing indicating the presence of iron in the waterway.

“Development compliance officers will investigate developments within the vicinity and conduct further water sampling of dewatering sites,” they said.

Rocks stained red at Burleigh Beach.
Rocks at Burleigh Beach were stained red after recent heavy rains.(

ABC Gold Coast: Bern Young


Burleigh Beach

Last week, Burleigh Heads residents raised concerns when they identified a strange smell and stained rocks at the outlet of a drain on the popular beach.

The City of Gold Coast released a statement that said they had received a small number of complaints and was investigating the matter.

“There is no discharge currently present and environmental health officers are monitoring the situation,” the council spokesperson said.

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Queensland annihilate New South Wales to claim the Sheffield Shield title

Queensland have claimed the Sheffield Shield title, thrashing NSW by an innings and 33 runs in the final in Brisbane.

The Bulls secured the resounding victory after leg spinner Mitch Swepson (3-68) helped bowl the Blues out for 213 in their second dig before lunch on day four at Allan Border Field.

It marked Queensland’s ninth shield title and their first since the 2017-18 season.

The Bulls went into celebration mode after quick Brendan Doggett (3-37) claimed the final wicket to fall, snaring Josh Hazlewood caught behind for three.

Fellow speedster Xavier Bartlett also impressed for Queensland with 3-42. But Swepson did most of the damage on Sunday.

He ended the stubborn resistance of Baxter Holt, trapping the wicketkeeper in front for 29 off 91 balls.

Swepson also had Trent Copeland caught behind for nine and nabbed Nathan Lyon for 10 when ex-Test batsman Usman Khawaja took a smart slips catch.

Cricket player raises his fist in the air after taking a wicket
Xavier Bartlett claimed three wickets for Queensland.(

AAP: Jason Obrien


Lyon could not capitalise after being given a life on seven when he was dropped at gully by Bryce Street off Michael Neser (1-41).

Defending champions NSW resumed on Sunday at 5-140 still trailing by 106 runs.

The visitors were under enormous pressure after Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne struck a sublime 192 on Saturday to lift Queensland to a first-innings total of 389 and a 246-run overall lead.

He struck 21 boundaries in his nine-and-a-half-hour, 353-ball knock to register the fourth highest score in a shield final.

NSW were on the back foot since winning the toss and being routed for 143 in their first dig on Thursday after Neser (5-27) and Jack Wildermuth (4-21) ripped through the visitors.

The Blues suffered just their second loss in 14 games against Queensland despite boasting a world-class attack of Starc, Hazlewood and off-spinner Lyon.

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Chris Wallace grills Buttigieg on false jobs claim: ‘Why mislead people?’

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday grilled Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for exaggerating the number of jobs that would be created by President Biden’s $2 trillion-plus spending proposal.

Wallace noted that Buttigieg and other Biden administration officials overstated the number of jobs that would be created by Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” last Sunday and then asked, “Why mislead people?”

“You’re right. I should have been more precise,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg then attempted to spin the projected number of jobs created by saying that there would be over 2 million more jobs created with the “infrastructure” plan than if there wasn’t a plan.


Wallace said there was a huge different between 2 million jobs created and 19 million jobs, prompting Buttigieg to say it’s “very important” for Americans to know 2.7 million jobs will be created. He then asked Buttigieg whether he agrees that he and other Biden admistration officials exaggerated the “jobs impact.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg takes a question from a reporter at a press briefing at the White House, Friday, April 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik))

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” last Sunday, Buttigieg claimed that Moody’s estimated the Biden plan would create 19 million jobs. National Economic Council Director Brian Deese also pushed the talking point last week on “Fox News Sunday.”

On Sunday, Buttigieg claimed there were several analyses on the spending plan estimating millions of jobs created, but Wallace pointed out that he was the one who cited an analysis from Moody’s.


“Secretary, you’re the one who cited Moody’s Analytics as 19 million, and it’s actually 2.7 million, which is a bunch, but it’s not what you said,” Wallace said.

“It’s part of a scenario that Moody says will create 19 million jobs, but the bottom line is it’s going to add jobs and this is a direct refutation of people who are saying otherwise,” Buttigieg said. “So yeah, you’re right, I should be very precise. The difference in jobs that that particular analysis suggests is 2.7 million more. That is a great place to be.”

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Councillors face conflict claim on campaign trail

ELECTED members running for state or federal parliament should be required to take a leave of absence from their council role while campaigning, says the head of the state’s local government association.

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