Newsnet Main Articles

By G.A.Ponsonby
The most up to date figures on Scotland’s fiscal situation show that Scotland’s finances are in much better shape than the rest of the UK.
The publication of the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Report (GERS), shows that had Scotland been independent last year then every man, woman and child would have been over £500 better off.

The report, compiled by independent Government analysts and recognised by both Edinburgh and Westminster as the best indicator of Scotland’s financial situation, showed that Scotland contributed proportionally more to the UK Treasury than the rest of the UK.

According to figures in the report, Scotland generated 9.6 per cent of UK revenues with just 8.4 per cent of the population.  However, despite contributing 9.6 per cent to the UK Treasury, Scotland received only 9.3 per cent in return.

Including our geographical share of North Sea revenues, Scotland’s estimated current budget balance in 2010-11 was a deficit of £6.4 billion, or 4.4 per cent of GDP – stronger than the UK-wide deficit of £97.8 billion, or 6.6 per cent of GDP for the same year,

However the UK figure includes 100 per cent of North Sea revenues which would decrease with Scottish independence.

The overall net fiscal balance for Scotland – which includes long term infrastructure investment – showed Scotland was again in a stronger position than the UK: a deficit of 7.4 per cent of GDP, compared to 9.2 per cent for the UK as a whole.

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The report was warmly welcomed by Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney who said it blew apart the myth that Scotland needed subsidies from south of the border. 

The figures, said Mr Swinney, showed that Scotland had lost £8.6 billion since 2006/7 by being in the Union – which was over £1,600 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.

“This underlines the opportunities of independence and financial responsibility.” said the Finance Secretary, who added:

“Scotland’s oil and gas resources – a trillion pound asset base – are worth more than 10 times Scotland’s share of a UK debt built up by successive Westminster governments.

“And we know that North Sea revenues remain substantial, with more than half the value still to be extracted.

“…The independence referendum in Autumn 2014 will be an opportunity to ensure that the key economic decisions are taken in Scotland for Scotland, and that we can boost economic growth and invest the proceeds in protecting our public services.”

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson – Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee – insisted that the benefits of independence were now unanswerable.

Citing a poll in December showing that two thirds of people would support independence if it were shown they would be just £500 better of Mr Gibson said:
“The case that Scotland would be better off independent is unanswerable. Not only is more raised in Scotland than is spent, but Scotland’s budget has been in a stronger position than the UK as a whole in each of the last six years – all the way through the tough financial times that we were told an independent Scotland would not survive.
“Recent polls have suggested that two thirds of Scots would be in favour of independence if it made them £500 a year better off – today’s figures show that they would have been £510 a year better off in 2010/11.
“We are also told again and again that an independent Scotland would be over-reliant on a volatile North Sea Oil resource. Yet today’s figures show that oil revenues are only 15% of our total tax take – compared to 29% in Norway, which seems to manage just fine as an independent country.”
“Continued attempts from anti-independence parties to try and scare voters into staying the UK are having precisely the opposite effect.  As we move forward with the “Yes” campaign more and more people are realising that – despite consistent attempts from anti-independence parties to talk Scotland down – there is absolutely no doubt of Scotland’s sound financial footing.”

Opponents of independence responded to the report by claiming that volatility in the oil market made independence risky.  Lib Dem Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore claimed that Scotland was better off within the UK.

Mr Moore said: “Scotland is an integral part of the UK and also benefits from the UK-wide spending on the wider economy – including the essential stabilisation of the banking system, deficit reduction, quantitative easing and other projects led by the UK government,” he said.

“There is little point in the Scottish government saying Scotland’s finances are stronger than the UK’s – that relies on a number of omissions and fails to take account of the interwoven nature of the UK’s spending.”

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh said that Scotland was better staying with the rest of the UK ‘sharing the risks and rewards’

He added: “This shows the huge economic benefits of Scotland working in partnership with the rest of the UK and explodes the myth that somehow Scotland’s finances are being diddled by the club we are part of.

“The report shows that, if the SNP get their way, Scotland would have to raise taxes, cut public services or borrow more at a higher rate.”

Last weekend Mr Macintosh’s leader, Johann Lamont had claimed that Scotland should stay in the Union in order to benefit from the sharing of wealth from the south east of England that she claimed was the wealthiest part of the UK.

Ms Lamont claimed that an independent Scotland would be unable to tackle the blight of poverty as effectively as it can within the Union.


How BBC Scotland’s Douglas Fraser reported the GERS figures: Download Embed Embed this video on your site

The full report can be read here:


# tartanpigsy 2012-03-07 22:22
Of course this is not how it will be reported on the BBC, figures will be twisted and contorted to fit their plan of controlling Scotland and denying us our rightful place in the world. Please like/comment on “Demonstrate against anti independence bias on the BBC” on Facebook.
# K Mackay 2012-03-08 04:19
done 🙂
# Marian 2012-03-07 22:22
Such is their desperation to cover up the truth and despite the GERS facts staring them in the face, the unionist political parties and their pet poodle BBC and MSM newspapers are still trying to spin this somehow into a “bad news” story on Scotland’s financial position.

No wonder more and more Scots are disillusioned with Westminster governance.
# pmcrek 2012-03-08 03:53
Yeah you would think Scotland was the only country in the world to run a deficit.
# exel 2012-03-08 14:14
Marian 2012-03-07 21:22
“Such is their desperation to cover up the truth and despite the GERS facts staring them in the face, the unionist political parties and their pet poodle BBC and MSM newspapers are still trying to spin this somehow into a “bad news” story on Scotland’s financial position.”
“No wonder more and more Scots are disillusioned with Westminster governance.”

I would like to see that in writing Marion.

The difference between the “Truth” and “GERS” is as you say dependent on who is telling the story.

In fact the “Truth” will probably never be known.
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 14:28
No but being selective on which figures you use is not the truth though, is it exel ?

For instance, why did the BBC yesterday in their lunchtime news bulletin refuse to give some figures. They headlined the Scottish deficit of £10bn, but would not give the UK deficit figure.

Why is that ?

Also, they did not mention the percentage figure of the Scottish population, 8.4%. So when mentioning 9.6% of GDP and receiving 9.3% back from Westminster, to then have given that we have 8.4% of the population would have given a better understanding, but it also would have shown that overall Scotland is a creator of wealth, so the BBC decided to skip that figure.

Is this the kind of truth you are seeking exel ?
# exel 2012-03-08 15:15
tartanfever 2012-03-08 13:28
“Is this the kind of truth you are seeking exel ?”

I do not know what the “TRUTH” is TF.

The Treasury figure is an unaudited statement which can be spun by anybody to suite their argument, it is at best history. The excuse given by government on why we are in the position we are.

Because it can be argued that Scotland will (CAN) be better off takes us no nearer the “TRUTH”
# The_Duke 2012-03-07 22:24
Pfffft! You just got to hand it to the BBC….. even with a bit of good news, it’s like a dried cruoton in their throat, they have to somehow find the negative in every Scottish Govt performance.
# Macart 2012-03-07 22:34
Its a mark of how much this report shook the anti independence parties that their spokesmen fell over themselves to try and debunk their own treasury figures. So whits it tae be? Do ye trust the treasury figures or don’t ye? 🙂
# Ben Power 2012-03-07 22:35
The Garbage trolled out on Reporting Scotland early this evening aggressively tried to tell the exact opposite message to this more balanced article, complete with authoritarian analyst, stern faced MM doing his best to act like a school principal warning kiddies and of course the pert little announcer look and comment flicking to the next story.
This independence campaign is also a fight for their lives and careers of BBC Scotland people with their existing masters and then what happens to them when independence happens. Not shoes I would like to be in now or in the future.
# Angus 2012-03-07 22:35
The BBC presented this as Scotland being reliant on the volatile oil, which would deplete in 5 years time! So more lies and manipulation from them then, as Scotland has another at least 40 years of oil anyway.
Do these figures include the whisky exise going to a Scottish government?
# Robert Louis 2012-03-07 22:37
The problem with the BBC, is that they report the SNP view on the figures and the Labour view as merely two ‘opinions’, but they aren’t.

The actual FACTS of the figures clearly show Scotland to be in a stronger financial position than the UK. It is NOT an opinion. The FACTS clearly show Scotland pays in more to London than it gets back. These are not by any stretch of the imagination, what any right minded person would call, ‘opinions’, yet that is the lie being peddled by the BBC.

Why oh why do the likes of brian Taylor at the BBC report financial figures as ‘opinions’. It is frankly ludicrous.

Then there is the rank stupidity of the Labour party on this subject. They say, without apparently realising how dumb it is, that ‘Scotland will do fine right now with the oil, but what about when it runs out’. I have news for Labour, the oil when it does run out in forty odd years, will run out whether Scotland is independent or not. Personally speaking I’d prefer Scotland to have the next forty years of revenue instead of London.

Bit of a ‘no-brainer’, even for Labour.
# G. P. Walrus 2012-03-07 22:41
Mr Moore said: “Scotland is an integral part of the UK and also benefits from the UK-wide spending on the wider economy – including the essential stabilisation of the banking system, deficit reduction, quantitative easing and other projects led by the UK government.”

LOL! Hard to beat for bare-faced cheek.
# Exile 2012-03-08 13:22
Indeed. I almost read it as “…and other problems caused by the UK government.” But then, Michael Moore doesn’t do truth.
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-07 22:45
It is worth reminding ourselves that the GERS figures are not considered rigorous and have historically under-represented Scotland’s true economic position. See Niall Aslen’s work from 2008 with links to his other pieces in his paper, The Great Obfuscation.…/
I would lay good money on Scotland’s true position in 2012 being even more favourable than the GERS figures.
# EphemeralDeception 2012-03-07 23:05
Very true and it also only accurately covers ‘identifiable’ spending ie. identified as spent in one part of the UK versus another OR not a ‘shared’ public expense eg. Londons UK ‘National’ institutions.

However unidentified spending is around 20% of the identified amount. And it is a cast iron guarantee that almost all of this unidentified spending is not spent in Scotland. However Gers takes uses guesswork, usually based on population share, whether or not the services are actually delivered in Scotland. See Appendix A of Gers.

Gers is overstating Scottish spending and understating revenue (Eg does not take crown estate revenues as Scottish).
# EphemeralDeception 2012-03-07 22:59
Douglas Fraser has mislead the public knowingly or unknowingly by quoting a false figure for the share of UK REVENUE from Oil and Gas as quoted in the clip above.

He states about 81% revenue share.

However this is the total of the geographic share of oil and gas (97% share in oil and 58% of the gas).

However table 4.4 of the gers report shows that the revenue share is 90.5%. Far higher than Frasers false/misleading statement.

(Perhaps newsnet could make a complaint to the BBC?)

Note: for all those debating over the Border/ fisheries limit/ 6000 km zone.

The Scottish GERS share does NOT include this 6000 sqaure km area. They call it just an illustrative share and can be seen on page 32 (fig 4.1) of the report.

So the GERS figures allocates all revenue from this zone to the UK.
Very curious and cautious.

Full report can be seen here and Newsnet Scotland should be providing such a link!
More facts less politic please.…/…
# Hirta 2012-03-07 23:34
I am assuming, somehow, some way, Douglas Fraser and the BBC will be sent this gem of info?
# EphemeralDeception 2012-03-07 23:43
Note: I provided a link so that others can cross check my figures, just in case I have misinterpreted the report.
# govanite 2012-03-07 23:01
What we need is for a suitable production company to prepare an investigative documentary on BBC Scotland, even if it has to be broadcast on a foreign station and available on the web.
There are lots of recorded incidents that could be used as a basis. Word will get about. We can’t expect the BBC to be neutral but we can remind people not to trust them.
# Hirta 2012-03-07 23:40
Has to be a few You Tube uploads for a start, then better production can come along.

It’s a damn fine idea, especially for any journalistic uni-student(s) looking to get high marks! Or a small independent media company looking for a major breakthrough.

Spread this idea 🙂
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-03-07 23:37
Prof Kemp states that Scotland’s geographical share of oil is 95% whereas this BBC reporter states quote “Eighty odd percent”, i see precision statistics is not his strong point
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-03-07 23:43
Ah! he said 81%… cleaning ma ears noo…he’s still wrong
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-03-07 23:39
Maybe some one should ask Kenneth Roy if he would do it as he is getting increasingly cheesed off with the BBc Scotland reportage on Megrahi …
# Stevie Cosmic 2012-03-07 23:43
At the risk of sounding like a jumpy record, I’ll post this link here yet again, as I feel it’s perhaps a better indicator of where an independent Scotland’s finances might be with regard to that ‘volatile’ North Sea revenue. This is from a Commons ajournment secured by Nicholas Soames MP in November 2011:

The taxes forecast to be raised from the industry in 2011-12 include some £6 billion in income tax, national insurance contributions and corporation tax paid by the supply chain companies, with an additional £11 billion from taxes on production itself. That amounts to 25% of all the corporation tax received by the Exchequer. The production of indigenous oil and gas improved the balance of payments by £35 billion in 2011, thus halving the trade deficit, and the supply chain added another £5 billion to £6 billion with exports of oilfield goods and services. Incidentally, that is an aspect of the industry that is doing extremely well here and overseas, and it is flying the flag for Britain effectively.…/…

Total tax and levy take : Around 40 billions. Anyone still thinking in terms of ‘volatile’ revenue?
# EphemeralDeception 2012-03-08 00:14
The basic tax take is volatile. The myth is that it is a problem, just makes it difficult to forecast well. What is true that the revenue varies at worst from (hugely beneficial) to best (an unforecast/unexpected massive surplus).

However it is not so volatile in its massive job creation in the UK. As I have stated elsewhere.
440,000 UK jobs (340,000 UKCS)
~100,000 of which are in London/SE.

Scotland has only 55% of UKCS jobs, almost all of the other 45% are in England, and 21% is London and South east England alone.
These are high salary jobs not minimum wage either.

Scotlands Oil sector creates nearly half as many oil jobs in London/SE as it does in Scotland!

# Jiggsbro 2012-03-08 00:39
Quoting EphemeralDecept  ion:
The basic tax take is volatile.

The tax take from the “engine of the UK economy”, the financial services sector in London, it also volatile, depending on how many innovative tax avoidance schemes it can dream up. But it’s not as volatile as its losses, which we’re all lumbered with.
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-07 23:54
Once again the BBC is spreading doom and gloom. The GERS figures have been manipulated to make the undecided think they’re better off staying in the union. Thank God for the internet where the truth is getting out.

Once the Independence Campaign starts in May, many myths will be shattered and it will become obvious to everyone how Scotland has been misled by unionist lies.

I think the McCrone Report and the theft of 6,000 square miles of Scottish sea will come back to haunt the unionists in a big way.
# Legerwood 2012-03-08 00:11
I found the BBC report had an interesting nugget in it: revenue from stamp duty in Scotland is lower than in rest of the UK – no surprise there.

Which tax raising power is in the Scotland Bill – Stamp duty! They were hearty when they laughed were they not!
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-08 00:13
What this tells me is that we need a lot more private sector business activity to increase the tax take.
# D_A_N 2012-03-08 00:19
o/t Did I just hear the presenter of newsnight scotland (Gordon Brewer is it?) wave his arm and say ‘he’s talking rubbish’ towards the SNP MSP (missed the chaps name)?

I could have missheard it.. but if I heard it right that is a disgrace.

there’s more too. ‘You’re independent Scotland’ he says and ‘Our UK’.

Blood pressure rising
# creag an tuirc 2012-03-08 00:24
Mr Brewer was being a bit of a t*t. What really got me was Ken MacKintosh saying he “likes to share the risks and rewards of the UK” now 30 seconds proir to this he said “Scotland has been running up debt for 25 years and it’s not good” so what are the rewards you speak of Mr MacKintosh, what are the rewards?
# D_A_N 2012-03-08 00:31
very very true. Was what I was thinking too. Plus have we not run a surplus for 5 of the last 6 or 7 years?

and how often have the UK had a surplus? That’s what I’d like to know. As far as I’m aware most western countries are have a deficit the majority of the time.
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 00:38
I believe the last UK surplus happened in 2001/02, it may have been the year before but that was about the last time.
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-08 00:38
I too watched Newsnicht and was fuming. The BBC should hang their heads in shame but they won’t because they’re shameless.

As for Ken MacKintosh’s statement about “Scotland has been running up debt for 25 years and it’s not good”, doesn’t he realise that this was long before the SNP were in power? In reality he’s damning the performance of previous UK governments but he doesn’t seen to realise this.

The rewards of being in the union are nil.
# RTP 2012-03-08 00:34
“Scotland has been running up debt for 25 years and it’s not good”

I also heard MacKintosh say this so is that the blame of the SNP or as we all know who was in power then never mind that is our divi. from the unionist parties,he had to fall back on the Bank bale out again.
# daveniz 2012-03-08 00:46
the bbc today are not even trying to hide the fact that they are pro union! do they really think that the unionist manipulated spin of the gers report is going to kill independance and now they show there real colours and act so aroggantly thinking its in the bag for the union and seriously Gordon brewer saying “our united kingdom” shows that the bbc can not be trusted! theres an old saying and today I think the unionists and bbc have set themselves up for it! there having a “pride before a fall” moment!
# tartanpigsy 2012-03-08 01:00
Don’t know about ‘our UK’ but he definitely said ‘your Independence’ or words to that effect, acted like a teacher showing up a pupil in class, trouble is he’s forgotten to educate himself first, CPPR brought up again like they’re some unbiased above it all source of wisdom, nothing changed there then ‘Demonstrate against anti independence bias on the BBC’
# J Wil 2012-03-08 01:10
“Labour MSP Ken Macintosh said that Scotland was better staying with the rest of the UK ‘sharing the risks and rewards’”

Does this mean if the UK ship sinks we will all be better off sinking together?
# J Wil 2012-03-08 01:45
According to an article in the Scotsman, the MOD, in assessing its assests in Scotland to counter the ‘we don’t get our fair share from the MOD’.complaint, for the first time are now including gliders in the total number of military aircraft Scotland benefits from.

Their accounting could be even more productive if they included airfix kits.
# Louperdowg 2012-03-08 02:17
I’ve got a pair of army boots they have probably overlooked.
# macdoc 2012-03-08 02:56
Only someone anti-Scottish could spin this report as a negative for scottish independence. Yet again the figures show for at least the sixth succesive year that scotland is in a MUCH better fiscal position relative to the UK. The past two years because of the global recession and bad management of the UK economy, Scotland has been in deficit but prior to this Scotland was in relative surplus.

Not only that but we know that from previous sources that from 1979-1997 Scotland had been in surplus of 27 billion (At the 1997 equivalent rate).

Ken Mcintosh is an absolute idiot. Ive got news for you Ken if you think Scotlands not economically viable as a nation what on earth do you think of your beloved UK which is almost always in deficit year on year, and is outperformed by a financilly controlled and restraint Scotland. I’ve also got new for you Mr Mcintosh go on this link…/…. Now tell me which nation on earth is not in debt. Governments run up debt its a fact of life. Do you honestly expect any nation on earth to sit on its money like a nest egg account when there is money to be spent towards tackling poverty, housing, transport, education etc.

Every nation on earth runs a deficit you just try not to go too into debt or risk paying back huge amounts to tackle interest rates. Scotland is in one of the unique postions on earth where in prior years she has been in surplus but because we are governed by WESTMINSTER this money has been spent in England.

I really cannot abide the antiScottish beahviour of the three BRITNAT parties and there attitude towards the nation they have been elected to serve.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-08 08:03
Well said. Importantly, these Britnat, anti independence parties ARE Anti Scottish every time they talk Scotland down.

ALL politicians in Scotland should take pride in their country, and the fact it outperforms the UK, but instead, they wilfully lie on TV and radio, just to make out Scotland cannot possibly be independent. They are a disgrace.
# macdoc 2012-03-08 14:14
Yeh, well can you imagine the outcome of the debate when economics comes up. “Yes Scotland is richer than the Uk and financially we would be better off but these are selfsh reasons, we should stick with the union as we are British and proud to be”

I don’t know if people like KM are just thick and regurgitate what his intellectual superior masters down in westminster tell him to parrot or genuinely have disdain for the aspirations of the nation on which he abides, happily scaremongering and lieing to the public.
# macdoc 2012-03-08 03:10
Just as an aside Scotland GDP for 2010-2011 was £144,820 million. The Uk by comparison was £1,477,883 million.

GDP per capita.

Scotland £27,732.14
UK £23,736.52
rUK £23,370.71

From Scotland population of 5.2221 million and UK’s of 62.262 million.

These figures shouls be shouted from every newspaper and news outlet in the country so people can decide Scotland Economic merit as an independent nation.

We are £4361.63 better off per person in comparison to the rUK. And people worry about Scotland economic situation. Its shocking that we have this level of wealth advanatge yet in terms of health and poverty statistics we fall way below the UK and European average often being the lowest. It is shocking.
# Holebender 2012-03-08 07:08
Would you mind supplying a source for these figures?
# macdoc 2012-03-08 13:53…/…

Box 2.2 page 21/87 of the pdf file
for the Scottish GDP and just below this for the UK GDP.

My calulations are based on population estimates from Wikipedia.

If you want a percentage Scotland is 18.7% wealthier than the rUK on a GDP per capita basis.
# Holebender 2012-03-08 18:08
# Old Smokey 2012-03-08 03:58
Im not sure if anyone is aware but built in to the ‘debt’ is a share of the UK debt. In other words if Scotland were independent the, we would have less debt and possibly none
I picked that up on another blog
# iReferee 2012-03-08 06:07
Off topic but according to BBC report independent electoral commission says Scots to stupid for vote in 2014:…/…
# Robert Louis 2012-03-08 07:54
Did the Scottish Government ask for this response to the consultations? And WHY has it been released one day before the Westminster consultation ends, yet more than 2 months before the Scottish Government consultation ends???

Should it not be AFTER the consultation ends?

It is naive to think that ANY body that is part of the ‘British state’, will do anything but try to undermine the referendum and ensure London gets its way.

The electoral commission was set up by Westminster, and is answerable to Westminster.

The ‘british state’ works in many ,sleekit, devious ways, which explains why they were so keen to get the electoral commission involved in the process in the first place.

Never, ever, ever trust any body or group which works for Westminster. The UK Government desperately NEEDS Scottish oil to keep the IMF out of Downing street, and they will do anything to keep it. Anything.
# Robabody 2012-03-08 18:11
# Fungus 2012-03-08 08:44
That is why we should not let the ‘independent’ electoral commission anywhere near our referendum. If you haven’t taken part in the Scottish Government consultation yet I urge you to consider making that a part of your submission.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-08 09:38
I see they are concerned about a Saturday vote:

on suggestions that voting on the referendum could be held on a Saturday, the commission said thought had to be given to people who could not go to the polling booth for religious reasons or those needing access to a carer, had childcare issues or lived rural areas where public transport was not so readily available at weekends.

Could someone let the commission know that thought has been given to those people and that two possible solutions have been put in place for them: proxy voting and postal voting. And if the commission are unaware of these two solutions, is there any reason we should pay any attention to their opinions?
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-08 10:29
Who exactly needs childcare provision to go into a polling booth and vote? Mine have come with me since they were babies, which may be why they always exercise their democratic right now they’re young adults.
# snowthistle 2012-03-08 11:00
That was exactly my thought when I read it.
If we are going to increase turnout and get people to engage in politics at all levels, get them involved in the decisions that effect their lives, then we should start young. Taking kids along to the polling stations can only be a good thing in my opinion.
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 11:40
Please notice their lack of comment on Saturday not being part of the 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, standard “working” week.

Not a pip about how that is going to help.
# km 2012-03-08 08:01
Sorry, got to disagree on the wording of this article.

It states, “Had Scotland been independent last year then every man, woman and child would have been over £500 better off”.

This clearly does not apply to unionist politicians, who would have been out of a job in an independent Scotland.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-08 08:11
Exactly. All the MP’s in the anti independence parties from Scotland will lose their cushy London jobs, with expenses, free flights, free second homes in central London, a salary of more than 60K per year and a gold plated pension, should Scotland become independent.

It is SELF INTEREST which motivates the anti independence parties MP’s in Scotland, and not much else.
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 11:42
They should be automatically disqualified as “witnesses” in the Public Court of Opinion.
# Legerwood 2012-03-08 12:52
It is SELF INTEREST which motivates the anti independence parties MP’s in Scotland, and not much else.

Which is why Westminster cannot be in charge of the referendum.
# ahumscottish2 2012-03-08 09:16
Hi all

I have said this before it doesn’t matter if a barrel of oil is £1 or £101 it goes a lot further divide by Scotland’s population rather than UK so the quicker we get control the better the figures for our country.
Lab, Lib and Tories corporal fraser’s terminology ” we are all doomed”
# Harry.Shanks 2012-03-08 10:01
KEEP saying it!

If picked up and used, it would make the best soundbite I’ve heard for YEARS!
# UpSpake 2012-03-08 09:19
Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll pocket the 500 and then add to it the 145 by not paying the license fee for the BBC, then I’ll stick in another grand by getting the hell out of the corrupt and undemocratic EU. Then and only then might I be able to afford a holiday using my new Scots passport to replave the Great British one which I have allowed to expire. Next trip abraod will be with a Scots document in my pocket.
# proudscot 2012-03-08 14:01
Quoting UpSpake:
Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll pocket the 500 and then add to it the 145 by not paying the license fee for the BBC, then I’ll stick in another grand by getting the hell out of the corrupt and undemocratic EU. Then and only then might I be able to afford a holiday using my new Scots passport to replave the Great British one which I have allowed to expire. Next trip abraod will be with a Scots document in my pocket.

After the way Aamer Anwar has been treated by the UK Foreign Office staff in Islamabad, over his attempts to enlist their support in the tragic death of (UK citizen) Paul McBride, it appears that your Great British passport isn’t worth the expensive paper on which it’s printed!

Despite the fact that foreign affairs are reserved to Westminster, Mr.Anwar got more support, albeit mostly by the First Minsiter’s fruitless efforts to enlist Foreign Minister William Hague’s assistance, than he got from the UK’s highly paid consular staff in Pakistan. So much for “stronger together”, eh?
# Keep UTG 2012-03-08 09:25
The Financial debate, for a lot of people, is the game changer.The Unionists will put the most spin and negativity on proving Scotland is to poor without the UK,for me though it`s the difference in ideology that is the crux of the matter.

Elsewhere on this site is a report that the UK Government tried to bury the Remploy redundancies amongst all the rest of the bad news yesterday.on a day when 6 Soldiers lost their lives they took a knife to an “organisation that was wholly owned by the UK government, was set up during WW2 to provide employment opportunities for people who had suffered wartime injuries which had left them disabled”.

I am sickened by this,for a fraction of the cost of Trident we could be doing decent acts for the most unfortunate in our society,i despair at the callousness and hypocrisy of the Unionists,i despair at our media not bringing them to book.

Let`s get out of this Union asap,and let`s start treating people right,it`s gone on to long.
# Macart 2012-03-08 09:48
Wow they really were all over this like a rash yesterday. Press, radio, news and newsnicht. They really didn’t like it at all and jumped all over it. Proof if any were needed that they are afraid of a simple truth.

Scotland can and will look after itself.

They really do need us a lot more than we need them. My favourite, Mr MacKintosh’s 25 years of Scotland running up debt. Some folks may have smashed the telly, I just laughed ma wossiname off. So at long last Labour publicly admits culpability in the dismantling of Scottish industry and business whilst of course creating the welfare society we all know and love. Also ably aided and abetted by the Conservatives and Liberals. Nobody else had been in charge Mr Mac. Its taken the SNP government five years to slow down far less reverse the damage of consecutive Conservative and Labour govts.

But we now have it on VT. Bless. 🙂

(VT? showin’ ma age)
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-08 10:03
I wonder to what extent corporation and other taxes paid by companies headquartered outside Scotland are taken into account? For example – BAe systems.
# Boydy 2012-03-08 11:42
I do some work for whisky companies and have wondered how the tax is taken into account with the likes of Diageo and John Dewars owned by Bacardi headquartered in England?
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-08 10:47
The Behaviour of Gordon Brewer on Newsnicht last night was appalling. Referring to the SNP spokesman as talking “rubbish.” The BBC has given up all pretence at impartiality now, they are beyond a joke.

Even at the very end he said, after constantly interrupting the SNP man, “last word Ken, 10 seconds.” It was dry boak stuff.

Jim Murphy appears to be getting groomed as the “big beast” to take on the SNP. He was on Brillos Politics now in the afternoon, and Newsnight London at night. On Brillos programme he was allowed to interrupt and shout over the top of Stewart Maxwell who as usual was on a link from Holyrood with a dodgy sound feed, or at least with the sound out of balance with the studio.

It is quite clear that the case for the union is going to be based on lies, propaganda and all assisted by the BBC and the compliant MSM. As we know that is all they have in any case.

The YES vote when it comes in 2014 will be so sweet.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-08 11:19
Quoting DonaldMhor:
The Behaviour of Gordon Brewer on Newsnicht last night was appalling. Referring to the SNP spokesman as talking “rubbish.”

I have finally watched this. He suggested to Murphy that “You might argue that he’s talking rubbish”, which is not quite how you represent it. He did, however, interrupt the SNP spokesman more than the Labour spokesman and he failed to challenge any of Murphy’s lies or hostages to fortune. That doesn’t necessarily suggest bias; he may simply be incompetent and woefully ill-informed. Either way, he’s clearly not fit for purpose.
# johnp 2012-03-08 10:47
One thing I did note as odd in the BBC Reporting Scotland piece was the reporter saying the spending was estimates, not actual figures. Maybe when it comes onto the iplayer someone can confirm this. What sort of accounting uses estimates for spending?
# SEUMAS31 2012-03-08 11:02
I have asked this simple question many times of unionistsin the past and still awaiting an answer.
If,as we are reminded, Scotland is a drain on the westminster economy, why all this panic to retain a loss making region of the u.k. Mayb they just love us even if we are too poor and stupid.
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-08 11:38
Quoting SEUMAS31:
I have asked this simple question many times of unionistsin the past and still awaiting an answer.
If,as we are reminded, Scotland is a drain on the westminster economy, why all this panic to retain a loss making region of the u.k. Mayb they just love us even if we are too poor and stupid.

I’ve been in favour of Scottish independence since my teens (and that wasn’t yesterday) and that was one of the questions I used to ask unionists as well. The other question was: “Would you hand over your money to your next-door neighbour and be happy to be given pocket money in return”?

I didn’t get any answers to both questions from them either – just blank looks.
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 11:29
Don’t miss this:…/…, nor this:…/…

They are the “best” support we ever are going to get.

“And recording Scottish data is complicated: not least because of the effects of devolution. Some data is recorded at a UK level, some at a Scotland level. Some of it is referred to as ‘non-identifiable’ – which means that the UK Treasury can’t work out how much is spent specifically in Scotland.”
# heraldnomore 2012-03-08 11:31
O/T Green Bank HQ in Edinburgh
# Old Smokey 2012-03-08 11:49
Good news – perhaps
telling is this
‘The organisation will be split, with the main transaction team being based in London’
So what excatly will be in Edinburgh? – Stationery cupboard?
# Angus 2012-03-08 11:43
Wonder where the BBC get their info.
Scotlands geogographical share of oil is approx 97% (not 81%) and gas is 78%. They also state that the oil will be depeleting in 5 years time! Not the 45 years recognised by the industry, not taking into account the west coast.
No mention of the whisky revenues, which, I have heard make the UK chancellor £100 per second in excise duties.
# Old Smokey 2012-03-08 11:59
Spot on with what youve said,except on the Excise.
To clarify Whisky exports represent a very large chunk of the total of the UK as a wholes total food and drink exports (I think its about 75%). Whisky exports accuont for £ 21 Billion (which compared with car exports, that the MSM have been crowing about recently at £ 25 billion, is no small beer)
So coming back to excise. Excise is payable on any spirits sold in the UK. Yes, the amount of excise thats paid on Whisky sold in the UK is huge. But when and if Scotland becomes indpendent and ends the union with England, Scottish excise will only be paid to the Scottish treasury and any whisky sold in England will be subject to English excise and that will be paid to the English treasury.
An interestin excercise for you or anyone, would be to obtain the figures of the amount of Whisky consumed in Scotland only as well as the UK as a whole, work out the percentage, then you will know how much of the £ 100 per second excise is actually Scottish
# proudscot 2012-03-08 14:08
Yes Angus, and next they’ll be telling us that whisky is also a “finite resource”, because people drink it, so it won’t last …
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-08 11:51
I see it’s been announced that the Green Investment Bank is coming to Edinburgh although it will also have offices in London.

However – I would urge fellow posters not to get overly excited about this. It’s main aim is to support “projects” such as the building of a wind farm and not the development of new technologies. It’s a means of supporting policy ambitions not economic or industrial ones.

So I wouldn’t build up your hopes for the establishment of – for example – a Scottish large wind turbine company or similar.
# Legerwood 2012-03-08 12:48
There was an article in the business section of one of the Sunday papers just before Christmas which said that there would be less money made available for the Green Bank than first suggested and the emphasis of the GIB would be on things like promoting more insulation etc. rather than big projects.

From what you say the report seems to have been fairly accurate. It also sounds as if the HQ in Edinburgh is a bit of a sop to Scotland while the main powerhouse will be in London.
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 12:01

Terrific news!!…/…

The headquarters of the GIB (Green Investments Bank ) will be located in Edinburgh, with the GIB’s main transaction team based in London.

You can find more about the GIB here:…/gib
# Wee-Scamp 2012-03-08 12:26
You really need to read my post above.

It will also only employ about 70 people across the two sites in London & Edinburgh.
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 12:35
That’s what happens when you type before refreshing. Your post wasn’t there yet when I wrote. I better make amends.
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 12:58
‘Main transaction team in London’ – is that so when it goes tits up Scotland can be blamed and handed the debt because the headquarters are here ?
# the wallace 2012-03-08 12:02
Does any oil expert out there, have any info about the possible amount of oil and gas reserves off our west coast,and west of shetland??.
# clootie 2012-03-08 13:02
the wallace

I won’t claim to be an oil expert but I have 33 years offshore and you question is complex.

Field location
type of oil
surrounding infrastructure (pipelines etc)
Depth of water (more complex and difficult the deeper the water)
quantatity of recoverable oil
It would be more attractive under a scottish government who would put a tax regime in place to encourage exploration and long term partnership.

Plenty of reserves if managed right.
# the wallace 2012-03-08 22:27
Cheers clootie,i was just wondering if we had any possible decent oil and gas reserves in these new areas, for future use when our existing ones in the north sea finaly end production.
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-08 12:06
More BBC Scotland loaded language on the website and on GMS this morning.
1. Electoral Commission concern
2. The elections watchdog has warned the Scottish government must clarify….
3.The body also warned there was a risk over the SNP government’s wish to…
4. But it warned: “Under existing UK legislation, however, the majority of 16-year-olds are not entitled to apply….
5. It also warned that changes in the way people need to register to vote, coming into force in July 2014,…..
There are no warnings mentioned by John McCormick, electoral commissioner for Scotland. He does mention ‘advice’ and ‘scrutiny’.
This loaded reporting was in evidence in GMS where G Robertson twice tried to bounce John McCormick into confirming that the referendum could be conducted within a year or very shortly after that, as favoured by Moore. Mr McCormick explicitly rejected G Robertson’s assertion.
Dreadful reporting.
# MajorBloodnok 2012-03-08 16:11
Yes, Mr McCormick handled it very well and wouldn’t be bounced, as you say. He played it very objectively I thought, which is kind of what you need from the Electoral Commission….
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 12:15
Amazing article by Iain MacWirther:…/…

“No – the problem with the 50p tax isn’t inefficiency but fiscal defeatism –an unwillingness to combat tax avoidance. It is an insult to millions of responsible taxpayers who don’t have the option of outsourcing themselves to a tax haven, or registering themselves as non-domiciled, or setting up front companies to buy their houses for them in order to avoid paying stamp duty. Leona Helmsley, the property speculator, famously said that “only little people pay tax”. Well, it’s time for the little people to bite back.
# Galen10 2012-03-08 12:57
Agreed.. an excellent piece. I’d like to see it tattooed in reverse on to the foreheads of all the “gilded people” complaining about the 50p tax rate and mansion tax.

The battle for a more equal society begins with ensuring that the rich pay their fare share, which is patently not the case.

We shouldn’t fall for the old lies that “oh, if you tax us much, we’ll all move abroad”…. or “the 50p rate loses us more than it brings in”….yeah, right!

As MacWhirter mentions, the German economy seems to function pretty well with much higher tax rates, as do those in Scandinavia. If we want a Scotland that is more like the Nordic countries, and less like our current system or (God forbid) the USA, it isn’t going to happen with the current bunch of losers in power, or the hapless Labour party!
# Tommy Kelly 2012-03-08 12:44
Can anyone be surprised that Scotland is under resourced by Westminster politicians. It is a well known economic and political reality that the allocation of resources is inversely proportional to the distance from the seat of government.
This may explain why, after 300 years 0f Unionist government, Scotland has the LOWEST LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH in Western Europe. Is there any connection or is it just that the Scottish people are the most indolent and feckless race in Western Europe?
The health and well-being of its citizens is the primary responsibility any government. Is it time to bring government closer to the people?
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 13:22
BBC Scotland TV/radio..We get smiley,chatty,’nice to know you’presentation.For intelligence,I look elsewhere.

Any good statistics/news in Scotland are either ignored–that’s the usual tack—or presented as ‘this cannae be right’ lets bring in our special commentator to give it balance!

BBC News from London at 6pm and 10pm is on the whole, a highly professional bunch presented by people of high calibre,able to articulate and present the news as it is.If clarification is required,they are supreme in presenting it,in few words.
BBC Scotland News– I’m afraid we’re dealing with the Second Division,posing unsuccesfully as ‘National Broadcasters’.
# Training Day 2012-03-08 13:44
The BBC in Scotland has now become completely unaccountable, gone rogue if you will. Following hard on the heels of last night’s Newsnight when Brewer turned to Ken McIntosh to say that he (McIntosh) would say the SNP representative was ‘talking nonsense’, this morning’s GMS was an unleavened barrage of anti-SNP, anti-independence propaganda, from the Electoral Commission ‘warnings’, to Gary Robertson’s attempts to bully John McCormick into agreeing a referendum could be held before 2014, to defence ‘implications’ of independence, to delayed implementation of Cfe..

Let us be clear. Chris Patten is not going to address this situation. BBC Scotland are not going to change. The BBC in Scotland think they can win the No vote for the Union. People like us have to stop them. A demo outside Pacific Quay was mentioned above.. is this happening?
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 13:59
Quoting Training Day:
The BBC in Scotland has now become completely unaccountable, gone rogue if you will. Following hard on the heels of last night’s Newsnight when Brewer turned to Ken McIntosh to say that he (McIntosh) would say the SNP representative was ‘talking nonsense’, this morning’s GMS was an unleavened barrage of anti-SNP, anti-independence propaganda, from the Electoral Commission ‘warnings’, to Gary Robertson’s attempts to bully John McCormick into agreeing a referendum could be held before 2014, to defence ‘implications’ of independence, to delayed implementation of Cfe..

Let us be clear. Chris Patten is not going to address this situation. BBC Scotland are not going to change. The BBC in Scotland think they can win the No vote for the Union. People like us have to stop them. A demo outside Pacific Quay was mentioned above.. is this happening?

My last hope was indeed Lord Patten,but alas he has,I understand,’Passed it on to the usual complaints procedure for such matters”,following his meeting with the First Minister some weeks ago.
He doesn’t ‘get it’,and has,I fear,no intention of doing so.
# G. Campbell 2012-03-08 13:36…/

“I’ve written many pieces for SR attacking both cybernat activity and the SNP leadership for its apparent inability, or unwillingness, to condemn their evil works. I’ve now come to the conclusion that the vile comments and insults directed at anyone who opposes the SNP line are not only condoned but encouraged by the leadership.”

“Far from being a fringe element within the SNP this bunch are the leadership-backed shock troops of the party in the battle for the blogosphere.”

In next week’s Scottish Review, Dick Mungin discovers that his house has been bugged by cybernat operatives. Going on a frantic search for the listening device, he tears up the walls and floorboards, ultimately destroying his home to no avail. By the articles end, he is left sitting amidst the wreckage, playing an instrumental version of Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’ on the only thing in his home left intact: his elasticated underpants.
# GrassyKnollington 2012-03-08 14:13
lol and thanks for the link.

Dick’s insight into the Cybernats, (which actually sounds like a reasonable working title) is the standard one.

Maddog’s find me a glazier period seems relatively tame now looking back.

Seriously though will no-one deliver the poor British nationalists from people who disagree with them?
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 14:20
Hilarious article in the Scottish Review. It doesn’t do that publication any good whatsoever to have such unqualified drivel as a lead article.

Thanks for adding to the debate in such a positive manner Mr Mungin. You’ve obviously got nothing positive too say regarding a case for staying in the union, so why bother ?
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-08 14:33
Thank goodness there are no unionists throwing insults on the internet. The temerity of suggesting that ‘Scotland is too poor, too wee and too stupid to survive without the guiding hand of Mother England’ is somehow ‘anti-Scottish’! It’s pro-Scottish, because it wants to make sure Scotland is never exposed to the risk of going it alone. She should only ever be exposed to the risks of being joined to England’s reckless spending and illegal wars, because that’s safer.

Fortunately, Mr Mungin has traced the ip addresses of every supporter of independence who has ever posted an insult on the web, obtained a list of corresponding names from ISPs, cross-checked it against the SNP membership list and discovered a 100% match. Either that or he’s committing the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent: assuming that, if every SNP supported opposes the Union, then any opponent of the Union is necessarily a supporter of the SNP. But I can’t believe he’d be that daft. So, breach of the DPA it is.
# J Wil 2012-03-08 15:08
Why have I never heard of this Mr Muggins before?
# Legerwood 2012-03-08 15:49
Re article in Scottish Review:
This is not the first time the author of the article has had a piece in the Scottish Review nor is it the first time that the Scottish Review has leapt to the defence of Lord Robinson. It was hardly a balanced piece since it omitted all mention of the names hurlked at Mr Salmond or all the pro-Union ranters on various sites.

However, the Scottish Review is not the only publication today having a go at cybernats.

The Daily Telegraph’s Scottish edition has a front page story about someone who has tweeted on the deaths of the 6 soldiers in Afghanistan yesterday. Alan Cochrane follows that line to in his column today.

Seems a bit of a concerted effort.

However, I have to say that I found the tweets to be particularly offensive. With friends like that the Independence movement does not need enemies.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-08 15:53
Thanks for the link. The articles is childish rubbish.

When, oh when will the BritNAts realise that people posting in support of independence are not necessarily in the SNP. Many, many people who have nothing to do with the SNP post online.

Here’s a few pointers for Mr Mungin, to help him get to grips with the internet and comment forums;

1. I do not know a single person who posts on this site, in any way.

2. Although I am in the SNP, many (most) are not.

3. I post what I believe in regarding independence, I do NOT get instructions from some bizarre SNP blogging HQ

The abuse the First Minister has received at the hands of the media and elected opposition anti independence politicians is truly awful.

Perhaps Mr Mungin, in his trawl of the web, needs to take a wee look here;…/

The abuse that has been levelled at Alex Salmond takes some beating, and is leaps and bounds ahead in degrees of depravity compared to what so-called ‘cybernats’ write.

Mr. Mungin needs to get out more.
# Marga B 2012-03-08 13:39
O/T, but have you seen that “Edinburgh has got the Green Bank” – or rather the “HQ”. What are charmingly called the “transaction officers” (I think) are to be in London.

Not so much a patronising dig at Edinburgh, more an insult to the many UK cities who desperately need this kind of development. This is London and the London set hanging onto the “fashion” bits of the country’s infrastructures  . Pretty despicable.

Why does the rest of the UK never seem to complain?
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 14:20
Marga B.It’s called “Divide and Rule”,a cornerstone tactic of the British Empire,working particularly well in the Raj—Hindu/Muslim.
Milk the divisions,or indeed CREATE them, for all it’s worth,thereby maintaining the status quo.
London/Westminster/Establishment.An unspoken,but instinctive response to loss of Empire and ‘influence’ in the world.
This pathological fear/fact of loss,is basic psychology,henc  e the pretence continues—Trident,House of Lords,Top Table, etc.
The loss of Scotland reinforces this sense of ‘loss’.
Some of it is basic defensive transference,fr  om fact to fiction.
Thank goodness for newsnetscotland  .
That’s my opinion Marga.
# J Wil 2012-03-08 15:12
They (I mean them) couldn’t refrain from retaining part of the action for London. No doubt that will be the strings attached to the Edinburgh HQ.
# macdoc 2012-03-08 14:06
Did you hear Salmond at the end of FMQ answering K Gibsons question on Gers. Stating to the bellowing BritNAts that they better get used to theeconomics because theres going to be plenty more of it during the campaign.

I imagione the SNp have a huge compedndium on Scotlands finances and will release information after information on the lies that the people mof Scotland have been told over the decades on her wealth. BRING IT ON.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 14:26
Quoting macdoc:
Did you hear Salmond at the end of FMQ answering K Gibsons question on Gers. Stating to the bellowing BritNAts that they better get used to theeconomics because theres going to be plenty more of it during the campaign.

I imagione the SNp have a huge compedndium on Scotlands finances and will release information after information on the lies that the people mof Scotland have been told over the decades on her wealth. BRING IT ON.

Perhaps part of the reason why Scotland’s top civil servant is now ‘persona non grata’ at the weekly top division civil service meetings in London,when Scottish matters are being discussed.
Just a thought!
# J Wil 2012-03-08 14:51
Also, a neat riposte to Lamont’s moan about the supermarket tax, that the increase in VAT by 2.5% by Labour was worth many times more to the Treasury than the value of the supermarket tax is to the SG.

Labour are so infantile, leaving themselves open to obvious attacks from their questions to the First Minister.

Lamont was using the scattergun approach to her questions today, giving plenty of scope for ricochets.
# Legerwood 2012-03-08 15:53
Perhaps Mr Salmond should also have pointed out to Ms Lamont that, had Labour supported the SNP’s original plans for a supermarket levy proposed in the last budget before the election, the cost to the supermarkets would have been LESS than it will be now.

So blind party politicking by Labour has actually cost their supermarket chums more in the long run.
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-08 14:39
Old fashioned newspaper Brit-bashing from Robert McNeill in the Belfast Telegraph.…/…
Will Foulkes, Robertson, Rennie et al now start moaning about journalist-nats in addition to the cyber variety? If they don’t like message, they simply denigrate the messenger.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 14:52
Quoting bigbuachaille:
Old fashioned newspaper Brit-bashing from Robert McNeill in the Belfast Telegraph.…/…
Will Foulkes, Robertson, Rennie et al now start moaning about journalist-nats in addition to the cyber variety? If they don’t like message, they simply denigrate the messenger.

Thanks for the link. A bit of fresh air.
# cokynutjoe 2012-03-08 15:20
Excellent BB.
# Hing em high 2012-03-08 16:05
I guess we wont be reading that in any so called Scottis rag any time soon? Great rant! Loved it!
# jurist 2012-03-08 15:00
This Mungin character is amazing. He berates the ‘cybernats’ for being facists in insulting unionists and he does this by repeatedly comparing the SNP, Alex Salmand and SNP supporters as nazis. Talk about pots, kettles and the colour black.
He then comes to the aid of George Robertson (cringly referring to him as ‘the noble lord’); Robertson, he of the scaremongering insult and also a maker of comparisons between the SNP and the nazis.
As to the anti-Scottish point; being anti-Scottish is not just about what someone says but how they say it. Too many unionists make their point wrapped up in an insult, an insult that denigrates the Scots generally. Many of these people are caught up in self-loathing – Forysth is the obvious example. Nothing would please him more than all mention of Scots and Scotland to be banned and him declared to be English.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 15:21 CRASHED? Overload?
2 minutes later—back on line!
# Old Smokey 2012-03-08 15:23
working fine
# exel 2012-03-08 15:29
From the article: “The publication of the annual Government Expenditure and Revenue Report (GERS), shows that had Scotland been independent last year then every man, woman and child would have been over £500 better off.”

What arrant nonsense this statement is. Scotland was not Independent last year and is unlikely to be Independent for at least three years.

That is with a fair wind and the conversion of a large proportion of the Scottish electorate to the view that “how much is in it for me politics”
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 15:39
Oh dear exel, you still bashing on about GERS being ‘an estimate’ that has no relevance.

Funny, on the other article you were saying that anyone could use the figures and spin them any which way, and according to you thats what political parties do.

So here you have a go at an SNP claim, but I don’t hear you cry wolf about the unionist claims that they have made with these figures ?

So as usual from you it’s bash the SNP but any other party of any other colour can make their claim, thats ok.
# exel 2012-03-08 16:00
tartanfever 2012-03-08 14:39
“So as usual from you it’s bash the SNP but any other party of any other colour can make their claim, thats ok.”

Your response could not be further from the truth. From day one my posts have been anti political parties. (ALL OF THEM).

I refer you to my first post in May 2010:
The UK unwritten constitution has been high jacked by the UK political parties and parliament cannot be held to account by the people other than at the time of a general election. In parliament, the party leader with the most seats is appointed by convention, not elected by Parliament or the electorate, and as Prime Minister, controls and appoints the executive, and thus essentially a party controls parliament. The situation is further exacerbated and democracy diminished, by the “Whip system” on party MPs to ensure the outcome of a vote suits the party line. The fusion of powers currently controlled by the party leader in effect results in an elective dictatorship. The democratic accountability and citizen involvement with the present system is minimal at best, resulting in apathy and indifference and a justifiable lack of trust in government by the voters.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 16:10
“The UK unwritten constitution.” Isn’t worth the paper its written on.
# exel 2012-03-08 16:25
Islegard 2012-03-08 15:10
“The UK unwritten constitution.” Isn’t worth the paper its written on.

Very droll!! But makes no worthwhile point, unless of course you wish to be “court jester”?
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 15:39
O/T.FM.Aberdeen.North Sea.Apologies if old news but here it is:-…/…
# alicmurray 2012-03-08 16:06
Link from Guardian saying Edinburgh getting Green Investment Bank.…/…
# Islegard 2012-03-08 16:08
“stronger than the UK-wide deficit of £97.8 billion”.

I’m not sure where you are getting your UK deficit gigures from every source I check shows the UK source as far higher.
For instance this recent report had the 2010-2011 deficit at £141 billion.…/…

I’ll check further but your UK deficit figures appear extremely low.
# Triangular Ears 2012-03-08 16:30
In 1997, the UK national debt was some £350bn and had taken 300 years to accumulate, financing many wars, including the two costliest conflicts of all time. Under Labour, this then doubled in a few years, the increase accelerating until we have the present day increases of some £150bn PER YEAR.

The figures are so mind-blowing that you still sometimes get newsreaders and reporters (who should know better) talking about “paying off the deficit”.

The deficit is the INCREASE in national debt over a year. Paying it off is meaningless. You pay off the total debt, but eliminate a deficit such that you don’t add to the debt total.

The figure for the national debt is so high now that there isn’t even a consensus on how high it is.

But think about that figure again. The current ADDITIONAL debt each year is the equivalent of HALF the TOTAL national debt before 1997. 150 years’ worth of historic national debt is being added every single year at the moment.

At the same time, Labour managed to make sure that corporate debt and personal debt also ballooned to stupendous proportions.

This is why I argue that ALL growth since 1997 is illusory. Had it not been for a debt orgy there would have been no growth, in my opinion. Enough of my opinions though.

The unionists’ opinions are that Scotland is better off being part of a state that managed to literally explode its national, corporate and personal debts to be one of the largest on the planet by some measures, even in absolute terms (see external debt), never mind per capita terms.

Meanwhile our leaders lecture the Greeks…
# Islegard 2012-03-08 18:28
UK debt now exceeds £5 trillion.…/…

I’m still looking up deficit figures the last estimate was £163 billion for 2011-2012 based on figures in the middle of 2011. What is clear and understandable at the moment is the UK is quite secretive about finances and providing financial data.
# highlander 2012-03-08 16:13
Can some of you clever people on here blow my weak logic up in flames please, as I’m thinking I’m missing something quite major here.

1) The GERS report says (in Fig. A1), for 10/11, we spent 61.6 billions. Of that, 25.7 billions (42%) was retained by Westminster. The remaining 58% we received back in the block grant for Scottish and Local Govt expenditure.

Now, this 25.7 billions is absolutely dead money to us as we receive nothing back in our accounts for this London/South funding. Unless civil servants, clerks, ministers, soldiers, pilots, support staff, contractors who work for them etc., don’t pay tax, the entire tax take from this investment is added to the South’s total revenues and not ours. With my little experience I’d say at least a third would be returned through income tax, national insurance, corporation tax, VAT, Road tax, etc that these people generate with our money.

If this money remained in Scotland instead ( I’m pretty sure 25.7 billion would generate alot of civil jobs in Edinburgh, Inverness or wherever!), the taxes alone paid by these people would amount to a huge jump in revenue for which we currently get diddley squat. Even with my conservative estimate, a third back from this 25 billion amounts to 8 billion, wiping out our current deficit of 6.3 billions somewhat easily.

You still with me? 🙂

2) In general terms, if what amounts to nearly a fifth of our entire GDP was not sent to London to literally disappear, what effect would this huge sum of money have if instead it was directed at our own economic centres? This assumes of course we still needed to spend that much in the first place for running the govt (a cost we currently spend on top now within the block grant)? Just think of the jobs and associated support work a fund like that could generate if we spent it in our own country?

I appreciate we get a wee bit back in the “Non-Identifiables” like Defence and Trident but it amounts to a tiny proportion of 25.7 billion pounds!

Never mind the other “elephants in the room” like the large companies paying all their corporation tax through London etc, this GERS report screams at me that independence is a no-brainer. Literally.

Why on earth are we subsidising London by this collosal amount every year when it could be spent on Scottish jobs and services doing exactly the same thing up here?

I’m looking forward to being ridiculed for missing something but I’ve been through the report with a fine-toothed comb and can’t find any material evidence that this 25.7 billion ever gets back to us in a meaningful way. Is it literally a “Thankyou chaps” for looking after us?

I think I’d rather pay my own folk this money as I’m reasonably sure they’d do a better job and if I did, it’s nice to know we’d get some of it back in taxes etc rather than increasing the London figures, figures repeatedly used against us by the likes of the Daily Mail!

Ho hum.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 16:29
You must also remember there are military costs yet to be added to the UK deficit/debt that Scotland shouldn’t be accountable for:-

£25 billion.

Aircraft Carriers
£7 billion.…/….…/….

Fighter Aircraft
£23 billion.…/….

Continuing costs in Afghanistan.

Over £60 billion in contracts most of it being paid for in oil.
# D_A_N 2012-03-08 16:31
Not to mention the future wars with Iran and possibly Syria to name but two.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-08 16:31
Quoting highlander:
I’ve been through the report with a fine tooth-comb and can’t find any material evidence that this 25.7 billion ever gets back to us in a meaningful way.

It comes back to us in the form of the services it pays for, but as you suggest, we could probably provide those services more cheaply (we lose on the swings of economies of scale but gain on the roundabouts of lower wages and reduced bureaucracy) while regaining some of the money in terms of tax take and input into the local economy.
# Caadfael 2012-03-08 16:44
The pedant in me has been awakened .. “fine tooth-comb”!
When did anyone ever comb their teeth? This is sloppy essex-speak, following the bad yank speech pattern of running words together, sometimes in an almost moronic fashion, as in one DJ talking about “goldie looking-chain” who ever used a chain to look?
It’s a fine-toothed comb, used to be for the combing out of nits and other beasties!
# cynicalHighlander 2012-03-08 17:41
# ianbeag 2012-03-08 17:54
Lots of good thinking here highlander. Add to this the vast amount that is lost to Scotland when subsidiary companies are not allowed to order their stock, vehicles, services etc in Scotland and these orders ordered centrally via their offices in England and sent north when much of that could be done in Scotland. I’m sure incentives could be organised by a smart Scottish Treasury to reverse this trend. There’s much more to come out.
# BeltaneFire 2012-03-08 16:21
That is a good point Highlander; one that I hadn’t thought of.

I think that if we were being subsidised, The Treasury would have come up with a detailed report long ago, which would have been published, ad nauseum, for everyone in the Solar System to read, to prove what a shower of pathetic low-lives we are, just to put the nasty Nats back in their box.

The fact that they haven’t done so speaks volumes in itself!
# creag an tuirc 2012-03-08 16:41
And remember the McCrone report, when we were told that the oil was only worth £100 million a year when it was really £3000 million. So how much are they hiding from us today?
# highlander 2012-03-08 16:56

I hear you.

I think basically it means that if we spent this money instead in Scotland, the returns in terms of taxes, jobs, etc would effectively cut a huge chunk out of the net cost of govt.

A chunk that would probably see us balancing our books practically every year and certainly profiting in some based on the last 7 or so years of GERS reports (previous reports were a propoganda exercise).

Indeed, with statistics being far better these days, why is there not a net cost of these govt expenditures? Does Westminster really think we believe that their civil servants etc don’t pay taxes, or buy goods, generally contribute through the multitude of tax traps we all endure?

Even if we just got a third back from our 25.7 billion annual spend on running govt, rather than the same revenues being lost to London and the South, any worries of deficits are blown out of the water frankly.

It would be interesting to find if such figures are available. Wages tend to be the biggest costs in white collar organisations like the bastions of govt so I doubt very much if it’d be lower than a third recouped when you take into account all the taxes these people pay during their lives.
# Roll_On_2011 2012-03-08 17:03

Vince Cable has just announced the ‘Green Bank’ is to be located in Edinburgh…. but…/…
# MajorBloodnok 2012-03-08 17:35
Another O/T:

STUC backs SNP Referendum Terms (from the BBC of all places):…/…
# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 17:55
Quoting MajorBloodnok:
Another O/T:

STUC backs SNP Referendum Terms (from the BBC of all places):…/…

Oh!This is one for Brian Taylor to ‘clarify’,perhaps on Reporting Scotland?
# highlander 2012-03-08 17:51
Hmmm, I’m just wondering if another pillar of Unionism is about to be shaken: the belief that the UK spends more on us per person?

The latest GERS figures state on Table 5.6, that each Scot receives £1122 more than the UK average. No doubt it’ll be all over the papers.

However, as there is no allowance for tax and other revenues generated by our 25.7 billion annual investment in the South each year, we cannot possibly tell if this is actually the truth.

What we can do is calculate what minimum revenue our 25.7 billions needs to generate before we are actually receiving LESS per person than the rest of the UK.

Currently, by accident or design, we are credited with nothing. No civil servant, MP, politician, soldier etc pays Income Tax, NI, Capital Gains, VAT, etc according to Westminster when it comes to our accounts!

Simple calculation therefore:

£25.7 billion (10/11 figure) divided by a population of 5,222,100 (2010 est.) means each Scot paid £4921 to the UK (London)last year.

Apparently, according to GERS 10/11, we were overpaid relative to the UK £1122. This represents just 22% of what we actually paid ($4921) or, in other words:


I doubt even the most die-hard Unionist could try to convince us an investment of that magnitude would not generate a fiscal return of such a modest amount.
# gus1940 2012-03-08 18:08

The Scotsman has today really beaten all previous records for the number of anti-independence articles in a single issue.

It’s becoming laughable to even consider thinking of it as being a newspaper.

# Dundonian West 2012-03-08 18:44
Quoting gus1940:

The Scotsman has today really beaten all previous records for the number of anti-independence articles in a single issue.

It’s becoming laughable to even consider thinking of it as being a newspaper.


Hatches, Matches and Dispatches.
A tragedy.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 18:15
O/T Edinburgh chosen as the HQ for The Green Investment Bank. Not sure about this a major new UK Government institution setting up in our capital as we are about to go independent. Another massive union flag for to fly over Edinburgh. Will it create Scottish jobs or will it bring London jobs to Edinburgh?

No doubt it will be useful propaganda. They’ll spout rubbish like we wouldn’t have got it if we weren’t in the union. Or the other great favourite. When we become independent they’ll pack up and move south.
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-08 18:27
THE SOUTH FEAST.Our collective pensions pay a lot of bonuses in the city of London. Scottish money is spent on educating a lot of people who go and live and pay tax in London.

Bureacrats who administer Scotland work and play in London.

Our soldiers go off and fight in Iraq and pay their taxes centrally.

We shop in shops who report profits centrally. We buy things made by companies who report profits centrally. We pay for media based in London….. When you dig down and add on the cash that is not included in the per capita amounts, you find that the SOUTH EAST U.K. is cushioned by billions of taxpayers money which pours into London from Scotland and the rest of the U.K.Scotland’s budget administers a geographic area covering one third of the UK landmass.

The present figures per head are. N.I. £9385. Scotland. £8623. Wales. £8139. England. £7121.These figures only take account of identifiable spending. ie. Money collated to the London account is monies that are spent specifically for the benefit of London.

The figures do not account for, thousands of Civil service jobs stuffed into London because it is “The Capital,”

The Foreign Office-

The MOD-

Dept.of Health-Culture and Sport-

The Treasury-

The Home Office-



Westminster including The Lords, do not count towards the London per capita account as they are regarded as for the common good of the U.K. as a whole.

A massive public subsidy pouring into London that does not show up on the books. These agencies by their very existence create in their wake thousands of spin of industries businesses and job’s to service them. As Scotland is finding out.

Professor James Mitchell of Strathclyde University say’s , there are billions spent on London that are never added to the account’s thousands and thousands of jobs centred in London simply because it is the capital of the U.K.

These jobs are counted as part of the shared U.K. total, never added to the London spend. It doesn’t matter if it part of the common U.K. effort, you can’t pretend that all the investment in London is doing any good in Aberdeen or Devon.

The Millennium Dome, cost £789 million, almost twice as much as Holyrood, for what a white tent?

Money plundered from the Lottery at the expense of the U.K..The Olympics are already at £5bn. And will plunder the Lottery again, starving Scottish athletes of funds for development, and with Scotland forced into a U.K. team many Scottish athletes will never see Olympic fame as they would otherwise in a Scottish team.

The Jubilee rail link at £3.5bn. 3.5 times the estimate for a Forth crossing.Scotland’s entire transport “allowance,” is £2.3bn. The new Euro Star London to Paris line has just cost us the thick end of £6bn. Great benefit to us here in Scotland.

The BBCs budget is £4bn. Half of the Scottish “allowance,” for health.

According to the BBCs annual report, 44,234 hours of TV were produced in London, compared to 2,495 in Scotland. They spent a tiny £106 million in Scotland out of a £505 million outside London. Leaving £3.5 billion INSIDE London, no wonder BBC Scotland is so utterly dire and pathetic.

Institutions classed as “National Resources,” do not count towards London Government spending.

The National Gallery gets £26 million.

National History Museum gets £45 million.

The British Museum gets £45 million.

The National Museum of Scotland is classed as “just for Scotland,” and gets £15 million per annum.

Most of the UKs citizens will never visit these “national assets,” in London, as it is to expensive to travel and stay there.The London Centric Scotlandphobic Union is a giant con and propaganda machine.

And then there is GERS which was compiled by Dr. Goudie was ordered by the Tory’s primarily to undermine the truth put forward by the SNP and many financial experts that Scotland was economically viable as an independent country.

Dr. Goudie has urged politicians to treat GERS with caution as the figures used are pure mythology and propaganda, and have easily been discredited by many experts and the SNP.
# J Wil 2012-03-08 18:38
I would like to know what Portcullis House cost us. Five star comfort for MP’s.
# Marga B 2012-03-08 18:56
Another redundant cost – the Scotland Office.
# Edna Caine 2012-03-08 21:48

“When commissioned in 1992 the cost of Portcullis House was to be £165m. After building cost inflation and delays, the price increased to £235m. Costs included £150,000 for decorative fig trees, £2m for electric blinds and, for each MP, a reclining chair at £440. A parliamentary inquiry into the over-spend was carried by Sir Thomas Legg. Although completed in 2000, the report was never published.”…/…
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-08 18:28
Does anyone know where to find online a copy of Joan McAlpine DR column which has so much incensed the usual suspects, please?

It doesn’t show in the DR website nor via google.
# balbeggie 2012-03-08 18:31
# steveb 2012-03-08 18:32
# steveb 2012-03-08 18:31
A bit OT but good news indeed.…/…

Ah the pressure keeps building, yesterday was the GERS figures and now this.
# Hirta 2012-03-08 20:24
Good news, yes. But why is the English flag flying? I see no reference to England in this piece, only UK and Scotland.

Ahh, England is the UK – d’oh !
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-08 18:36
Recommended reading:…/

In the past thirty or so years there has been a distinct tendency for the ownership – and therefore the management – of Scottish companies to slip into English and/or foreign hands. Anderson Strathclyde, DCL and Gleneagles Hotels, are just a few recent examples of Scottish sell-outs. Now not only does that mean that the top jobs in those companies slip across the border – where they are eventually filled by English people – it usually (although not always) means that the company’s legal business, accounting business, advertising business, public relations business, graphic design business, printing business etc., goes south too.

Which, in turn, weakens the Scottish-based professions and makes them – and especially the advertising agencies and the public relations firms – a prey to takeover themselves. It also reduces the amount of high value commercial business washing around Scotland. So that any young lawyer who wants some valuable commercial experience would be well advised to head south. In Edinburgh or Glasgow he or she is likely to be paid ten thousand a year, whereas in the City of London the big firms are offering over twenty thousand for starters. And having gone south, will he/she ever come back? Some do, certainly. But many don’t. So we tend to lose our best and brightest people.

There is a price to be paid for everything. The very success of the Scottish Development Agency’s drive for ‘inward investment’ over the past 15 or so years has also helped reduce a large slice of the Scottish economy to branch factory status. The management of the ‘Sunrise industries’ of electronics remains firmly in the hands of the Americans, Japanese or English.

The pattern is for the foreign executives to move in, set up the operation with the help of Government money, hand it over to locals to run. Which is fine, and, God knows the jobs are welcome (although the quality of most of these jobs is sometimes very poor).

But if the market goes sour, these self-same American, Japanese, and English companies have a way of pulling the plug on their branch factories north of the Border, leaving the Scottish workforce high and dry. We saw this done by Wang at Stirling only a few weeks ago.

Nor is the creation of a branch factory economy in Scotland exclusive to capitalism. When the British Government nationalised the coalmines, the railways, the steel works and the shipyards, the cream of the jobs were whisked out of Scotland. Most of them – surprise, surprise – went to London, although Newcastle did get to run British Shipbuilders. In fact nationalisation  , that great panacea of the British left, probably did more to strip Scotland of industrial and commercial power than anything else.

The point is – talent tends to follow power. So that when ownership and management leaves Scotland, the best people tend to follow. And the middle-ranking jobs that are left behind tend to be filled by head office in England by people from head office in England. And so the prowess of Anglicisation deepens, and reaches into the vitals of Scotland’s commerce and industry.
# Marga B 2012-03-08 19:50
See the Green Bank – it seems the operational part is being retained in London. Kind of proves your point.
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-08 18:46…/

When switching on the television and listening to a debate concerning Scotland’s right to independence or at least self-government in some form, from Question Time to the punter on the street, it is only a matter of time before the same old record is played on the English turntable – the Scots are oversubsidised and receive more money than they are entitled to. “We English, who are a marvellous people, are really very generous to Scotland” opined Margaret Thatcher, the then “British” Prime Minister in February 1990. London’s Evening Standard labelled the Scots “subsidy junkies” and English Tory MPs have continually attacked Scotland’s apparent high level of public funding. Now with the upcoming elections to London Mayor, these absurd falsehoods have once again been resurrected, with one candidate, Trevor Phillips, even suggesting that Scotland should repay between £1 and £2 billion per year to the coffers of the city of London.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 19:26
Sorry, I’m not sure if this is the best place to post my musings but…

FMQs. The opposition parties, especially Labour, discharge a shotgun. Don’t they realise that it’s then easy for FM to pick the easy questions to answer and ignore the more difficult/uncomforteble questions? They’re politically very incompetent.

Anyway, after FMQs was the debate on tourism. I watched it, and it was very consensual, with every MSP promoting Scottish tourism, especially that of their own area. 😉

In the past few days I’ve casually been asking my friends and acquantaces, fellow Finns, if I say Scotland, what springs to mind?

Unsuprisingly whisky and bagpipes were mentioned by just about everybody, closely followed by Braveheart (groaaan. Mel Gibson has a lot to answer for) and ‘men’s skirts’/kilts and tartan (The Finnish word for tartan is ‘skottiruutu’, ‘Scottish plaid/squares’).

Many mentioned natural beauty, the mountains and fjords (lochs), and some the Nordic-type access for hillwalkers and wild campers, as opposed to the English prohibitive attitude (those were my hillwalking/trekking buddies). Oil got mentioned quite a lot, as did the ‘weird’ national dish of haggis, and castles and interesting (if bloody) history, also the Norse connection, as did ‘tight with money’ and (sports/football) rivarly with England, and golf.

Thankfully a few were more up-to-date. A couple of people said, ‘world leader in renewable energy?’ or ‘ambitious carbon targets?’ (Those were my ‘green’ friends). And a couple of people said, ‘They want to become independent, and England doesn’t like it [offensive word self-cencored] one bit’ or ‘Scotland wants independence, and that’ll wreck the UK economy’ (My more politico/economy clued-up friends.)

As to Scottish tourism, there already is a very strong country brand (whisky, bagpipes, kilts, castles and other ‘heritage’ attractions, golf, outdoor/adventure activities), and being a ‘renewables pioneer’ will hopefully create even more goodwill among the world’s rich eco-conscious tourists (who aren’t necessarily very ecological themselves, travelling thousands of kilometres to visit ‘eco’ places…)

Scotland has a very strong, globally recognised identity, a brand, compared to my unassuming independent country. Nobody really knows anything about Finland or us Finns. We’ve got a beautiful but understated country. Never really gets dark in the summer (white nights) but its dark most of the time in the winter – a good time for burning candles and quiet reflection. No lofty mountains or tropical beaches here, just thousands of islands (in the southwestern achipelago in the Baltic) and thousands of lakes with thousands of islands inland. And lots of trees all over the place. Some arctic fells up north in Lapland. By European standards vast tracts of wilderness. But the slogan ‘Come to the middle of nowhere where there’s nothing’ is not likely to attract mass tourism. There are Brits (including Posh and Becks) who fly to Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle to visit Father Christmas/Santa Claus at his branch office (he actually lives in eastern Lapland further north) and have a winter fun day with reindeer or husky sledges, snow, maybe auroras at night. (We had spectacular auroras last night, with more expected tonight!)

There’s two feet of snow outside my home in southern Finland right now but I don’t consider living in the ‘Arctic’ (My car has studded winter tyres, so no transport problems). In fact, our summers are sunnier and warmer than Scottish (or English) summers. But nobody really knows about us or our beautiful country.

Scottish tourism promotion might want to get away from the old-fashoined ‘braveheart’ thing and into more modern attractions, but at least they’re selling a well-recognised brand world-wide. William Wallace is a hell of a lot better known than Lalli or Jaakko Ilkka. Or indeed Marshal Mannerheim, our best loved national hero. We share our national tipple (vodka) with out neighbours in Sweden, the Baltics, Poland and Russia. We’re nothing special. Except, we’re independent.

Sorry, long post, once again.
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 19:43
Thanks lumi, it’s always good to hear what other nations think of when they think of Scotland, and it’s not all bad. If it encourages people to come and visit then thats the main thing.

Most of the replies from your friends would be much better when it comes to my knowledge of Finland. Never been but know of the geography, the thousands of islands, forests and so on – but when i think of Finland I think of vodka, saunas, nokia and the best drivers in the world.

I’ll apologise now for my ignorance.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 20:14
Don’t apologise, I think you got most of it. 😀 Lakes, trees, vodka, sauna, Nokia, rally (even F1) drivers… I’m a pretty good driver, well capable of handling the winter skid, as are most drivers up here. Incidentally, F1 driver Mika Häkkinen was an old schoolmate of mine, and Colin McRae’s tragic death made national news in Finland, he was well-liked here, and known as a Scot.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-09 10:27
Finland to me means wonderful music! Sibelius – one of the very greatest, but many others too –…/… . How do you do it?
# creag an tuirc 2012-03-08 20:08
OT: Oh dear, here’s a link to Labour’s consultaion form. Don’t worry you don’t need to fill in the message part as they have saved anyones time by filling in your opinion for you. This is a disgrace and it’s legallity should be called into question. How condescending is this to Labour supporters?…/
# Hing em high 2012-03-08 20:18
They cant even get the colour of the Saltire right!
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 20:18
Sorry if this has already been highlighted.


Surely there are legal issues in place here!

Is this really the best that Labour can do?

What on earth are Labour thinking?

Is this Labour’s attempt to corrupt the SNP’s referendum consultation?

How untrustworthy does this make Labour appear?

Is this Labour showing their true colours at last?

Is this how Labour teats the voting electorate, like complete idiots?

What part of “you have no control in Scotland” don’t Labour understand?

The people of Scotland are free thinkers! We do not need Labour telling us what to say in a referendum consultation.
# call me dave 2012-03-08 20:31
Aye! The dependency brigade are very helpful, just sign here son! OR
I’ll help you with your postal vote hen!

I wonder if the government will notice if the replies are all the same and raise an eyebrow. Or will they smile and say “Yes the Labour vote is coming in now minister”. “That chat that you had with Ms Lamont did the trick”

Last week I heard that the UK consultation was disappointing had not had to many replies. So something had to be done.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 20:36
How can we be sure that Labour wont use the postal vote/dead person scam again at the council elections?
# creag an tuirc 2012-03-08 20:32
Yes Arby, I was looking for the keys for the darken room. Last night on Newsnicht and now this “you are stupid” consultation form. What are Labour saying to their supporters here? It seems the London Labour advisors really think the Scottish people are idiots and these so called Scottish MPs are obeying these orders. oh well, Labour will lose members throught this or will they? Tut tut.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 20:51
I’ve just e-mailed the SNP to complain that Labour are doing this and asking if there is anything that the Scottish government can do to bring this underhand attempt to usurp the consultations. Time will tell if anything can be done creag.
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 21:01
While you were emailing the SNP Arb, I was filling in the response to the labour preset e-mail reply.

Regarding the referendum I told them that i voted SNP because they were the only party to offer a referendum on independence, therefore i expect them as the democratically elected government of Scotland (by some margin) to;

be able to set the date

be able to set the question.

I also added that while I was on there I wondered if they wouldn’t mind telling me what they were going to do about:

Tuition fees
Council Tax freeze
Prescription charges
Elderly Care

as since coming to power, all that I had heard from Johann Lamont was a lot of anti independence rhetoric. The biggest and arguably, the most dramatic announcement being that she and the family were having mince for dinner as reported in the special feature ‘Life with the Lamont’s ‘ in the Daily Record last week.

I wonder if they will take me seriously ?
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:07
Don’t worry Tartan, you’ll never know.

Labour don’t do democracy.
Labour don’t do questions to Labour.
Labour don’t do people’s views.
Labour don’t do free thinking.
Labour don’t do e-mail responses.
# bill2706 2012-03-08 20:50
Is this Labour’s attempt to corrupt the SNP’s referendum consultation?

Is this Labour showing their true colours at last?

The people of Scotland are free thinkers! We do not need Labour telling us what to say in a referendum consultation.

Yes, its completely cynical…perhaps someone shoud devise an alternative response and we could substitute a a more appropriate message for labour’s script.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 22:12
So you’re saying the Scots are free thinkers.

The Labour party, and the Tories and LibDems want to tell, top down, how to wote. Hopefully enough Scots think for themselves.

Excuse me, but any alternative to self-determination is empty.

OK, then you’d really have to do policies, and the SNP might not win a parliamentary majority in an independent Scotland. So it’s no all milk and honey. But at least Scotland would be safe from the ConDem cuts and policies.

I mean, do the Tories ever pause to think about why they have only one MP in that country?
# gfaetheblock 2012-03-08 20:50
[quote name=”Arbroath1320″]

Is this Labour’s attempt to corrupt the SNP’s referendum consultation?

Is it not the Scottish Government’s consultation?

Surely it is good that people of all view points are engaged in this process?
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:01
Yes your right gdfae, it is the Scottish government’s consultation. However, in my view, the SNP are the Scottish government.

With regards to your other point yes you are completely right about all view points being engaged in the referendum process. However, in my view, Labour are running a deliberate attempt to usurp this democratic process. I guess democracy is not something Labour does well.
# Massacre1965 2012-03-08 20:58
Well its up to us to fill in their form and write words supporting the Scottish Governments point of view – in other words hijack their hijacking attempt
# gfaetheblock 2012-03-08 21:32
which is fair enough shout, getting folk involved is the key thing here.
# Edna Caine 2012-03-08 22:44
Where do these Labour people think they live? North Korea? Or Oceania?

I have tried to overwrite the prescribed comments from the Ministry of Truth but it is not possible.

It therefore appears that the Labour Party has outdone even Big Brother by taking over our last refuge –

“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”
George Orwell : 1984
# gfaetheblock 2012-03-09 19:57
It is absolutely possible. If you can’t you need to update you browser and/or update it’s settings.

It is completely incorrect to claim that you cannot change the text in the labour website.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 20:22
To return to the mater at hand, GERS and UK Treasury figures…

I find it simply amazing and appalling that a supposedly advanced western democracy, such as the UK, cannot give government figures.

Excuse me for stupid, in my small independent country all public accounts are just that: public.

Westmister/Whitehall are hiding a multitude of things, they’re allowed to get away with it because they claim some quaint ‘birthplace of democracy’, ‘mother of all parliaments’ status. Totally disregarding the fact that democracy and good governance in other countries has surpassed them centuries and decades ago.

Must do better, Britain.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 20:40
It’s clearly deliberate. It particular Scotland’s figures are especially vague. GERS is a rough guestimate a conservative one. You can be sure Scotland’s finances are a lot better than GERS guesstimates.

I’m curious how Scotland has gone from a surplus to deficit.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 20:54
Is it really a case of the U.K. government can’t give government figures or is it, as I suspect, a case of they do not want to give the figures?
# Islegard 2012-03-08 20:58
Here’s an example of UK debt by a leading economist. He acknowledges the UK government has been less than forthcoming in providing data and tend to omit large amounts of data.…/…
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 21:23
This is just the thing I’m talking about, Islegard and Arby.

I mean, how can you purport to run a national economy without giving any figures??? The UK system is rotten to the core. Many supposedly ‘third world, developing countries’ have better national accounting, watchdogs for corruption. The Westmisterians are just so used to burying everything in their Westministerian miasma in the hope that it’ll go away, and grandstanding about democracy – not realizing that the UK is one of the least democratic Western/European countries.

I say, Scotland, get OUT, and make a good country of yourselves.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 21:28
lumi they can run the country because they have the figures and are heavily centralised. I believe the secrecy effects not only Scotland but Wales and the regions of England. The south east and the City of London are protected to the detriment of everyone else.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 21:34
Yes, London and the SE are sucking the rest of the country dry, and being abominably self-righteous and haughty about it.

Scotland, at least, has a fairly realistic chance to escape.

Wales, Northern England, less so.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:49
If there was ever one example that best exemplifies the “SECRECY” of Westminster then you need look no further than their, Wastemonster’s, approach to the McCrone report of 1975.…/……/…/…
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-09 12:51
It would be very interesting to find out the true figures. You can alter statistics by adding one figure to one column or deducting another figure from another column or even lumping two sets of figures together instead of separating them.

Scotland’s true figures will have been ‘manipulated’ – a case of ‘creative accountancy’ by the unionists, no doubt.
# highlander 2012-03-08 20:54
Ha ha, you can edit the message on their “consultation” but if you do it doesn’t send.

That is seriously xxxxxxx up.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:02
Methinks this is a case of please send in your response to the referendum consultation but be aware you can only send in “our” views!
# bill2706 2012-03-08 21:21
It worked for me – I left in their first sentence -“hugely important” – and left in the last sentence about taking my views into account, Everything else was my own view.
# snowthistle 2012-03-08 21:57
I left the first paragraph and the last line and it worked for me.
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-09 11:01
I changed the whole thing and it sent. I also added ‘I resent the Labour party’s attempt to hijack this consultation by encouraging a pre-written response on their website’ just for good measure.
Try again Highlander!
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-08 21:18
In the light of the GERS report, time to remind everyone of the scandal of the Scottish/English Maritime Border, perpetrated by Blair, Dewar, McLeish and others in 1999. John Reid was asked to look into the matter. Reid, of course refused, as Reid supports self-determination only for Ireland his other homeland, and denies it to his first homeland. Read about the scandal of how Labour secretly plotted and removed the Scottish border from Berwick on Tweed.…/…
If they fiddled that, where would they stop?
# Islegard 2012-03-08 21:22
Surely regardless of Labour selling us out yet again. When we get independence international law will apply? They can’t keep borders that contravene international law.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:30
Isle, my understanding from previous postings, is that you are correct. Post Independence the Scottish/English Maritime Border will indeed revert to the way it was before Blair made his illegal “border” grab.
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-08 21:42
Agree about the international legal view, but Westminster is not to be trusted. This 1999 caper looks like a marker for future oil and gas fields. The failure to debate the matter in Westminster and the refusal to release the details under a FOI request further serve to support scepticism. It fits very well with the secrecy which surrounded the McCrone Report.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:55
The thing is though bigbuach, after we become Independent in 2014 Wastemonster will not have any choice but to revert the borders to their original position. Remember we are talking about INTERNATIONAL LAW and Wastemonster can not ignore this. If they do so, they do so at their peril.
# Edna Caine 2012-03-08 23:51
Of course, if Berwick-on-Tweed decides to join the nation of Scotland again then the extension of the land border from the mouth of the Tweed means that a small part of Norfolk will find it has all the benefits of our independent nation.

# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:26
They are currently trying to push another fiddle through as we blog bigbuach.

At the moment Scotland has control of 660,000 square miles of Antarctica, mainly thanks to Tony Blair. Certain individuals, who shall remain nameless for my sanity, are trying to get an amendment to the Scotland Bill accepted so that control of this area reverts to Wastemonster control.

Yet another example of “better together” policy of unionism.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 21:44
Sorry, Arby, but Scotland is actually on pretty thin ice here. I remember watching the Scotland Bill Committee meetings in 2010-2011 and the SNP members weren’t too bothered about the penguins. They knew that Antarctica was devolved but were quite conciliatory of amending that oversight.

Not so now. The SNP have realised that there are vast natural resources in the Antarctica, and an independent Scotland wants a slice. But sorry, Antarctica has already sort of been given back to Westmister.

FWIW, I don’t think ANY country should have any claims on Antarctica.
# Islegard 2012-03-08 21:47
lumi you say it has been given back. Can you provide a link or reference to this? Actually if the Scotland Bill is trying to legislate on this matter this would indicate it hasn’t been given back. Getting it back depends on the Scotland Bill being forced on Scotland.

When you say the SNP was willing to give it up I imagine if the Scotland Bill had actually been about giving more powers for Scotland they would have used it to negotiaite more powers. As it turns out Westminster was never interested in returning powers.
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 23:49
Sorry, Isle, it’ll be difficult to direct you to factual evidence.

I watched a Scotland Bill Committee meeting in late 2010 where even the SNP members seemed pretty relaxed about the penguins (=Antarctica). Maybe nothing was conceded and put on record, certainly not the UK or the Scottish Government stance.

Penguins are a bit special in Scotland. I went to ‘see penguins fly’ at Edinburgh Zoo in the early 1990s. They’ve got the pandas now, [The use of asterisks, numbers etc to pretend that “abusive or offensive language” is not being used will no longer be accepted on this site – NNS Mod Team]
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 21:55
However, I think Scotland should celebrate its Arctic/Antarctic explorers. Aren’t most of the ‘British’ explorers actually Scottish?
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 22:05
lumi, if I can put the “rights or wrongs” of the “ownership” of Antarctica to one side for a minute, wouldn’t it just be a wee bit of tremendous fun to hold onto Antarctica, if for no other reason than to see it stick in the craw of Wastemonster!
# snowthistle 2012-03-08 22:21
If we vote for independence we will have to negotiate a settlement. After that England would still be our nearest neighbour and largest trading partner. If we hold onto things it will have to be for a much better reason than that or we will be cutting our nose off to spite our face
# Islegard 2012-03-08 23:53
Oh I wouldn’t worry. You are going to see role reversal. Who is going to be doing very well financially. With massive resources. Who is going to be the poor man with no resources and crippling debts and no longer even capable of pretending to be a world power. Who is going to be hoping to win contracts from a rich neighbour.
# Macart 2012-03-08 22:36
Freedom for penguins! Its cruel how tight them wrappers are. 🙂
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 22:40
Especially for the big yins!

I always wonder how the Emperor penguins get themselves into these tight wee wrappers! 😀
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 23:45
Of course. Just to get up their nose. (And it was their mistake).

I’ve seen a nice photo manipulations where all the Emperot penguins are holding Saltires – sorry, can’t find the link just now. But I’m sure penguins would be far happier under Scottish rule than English/rUK rule. 🙂
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-09 00:29
I know they are probably is not the photos you are looking for but how about these lumi?…/…/

Who said animals are dumb?
# tartanfever 2012-03-08 21:28
Talking of Reid, i see he’s being called up in front of the Leveson enquiry as it has become clear that whilst he was Home Secretary the then labour government knew of the extent of phone hacking but did nothing about it.

Furthermore, Reid is a ‘consultant’ to G4S, the security company now taking over some of the running of some police force tasks in England under this controversial privatisation move.
# Arbroath1320 2012-03-08 21:57
Furthermore, Reid is a ‘consultant’ to G4S, the security company now taking over some of the running of some police force tasks in England under this controversial privatisation move.

This certainly gives you a lot of hope doesn’t it Tartan…….not!
# Macart 2012-03-08 22:38
You too could introduce organised crime to running your local police force. Open policing up to privatisation and carnage will result.
# lumilumi 2012-03-09 00:04
This is what I’ve been saying all along. The police outsource, companies get contracts… It won’t be too long until the ‘privatised police’ is controlled by local crime lords. In England. Scotland, get OUT while you can!
# lumilumi 2012-03-08 22:23
Democracy in action, aye? [heavy irony marks here.]
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-09 13:03
If I remember correctly, this now puts 15% of the oil and gas revenue from the stolen sea under English jurisdiction so that’s another item to be included in the ‘fiddled’ figures.

How many more examples of Scottish contributions are hidden in this GERS report?
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-09 13:13
Quoting Caledonian Lass:
If I remember correctly, this now puts 15% of the oil and gas revenue from the stolen sea under English jurisdiction so that’s another item to be included in the ‘fiddled’ figures.

How many more examples of Scottish contributions are hidden in this GERS report?

This posting was in reply to an earlier one above regarding the theft of 6,000 square miles of Scottish sea.
# ammacj 2012-03-08 22:24

BBC’s Seonag McKinnon spinning negative EIS survey stats on CfE, survey results on EIS website, much more +ve than she says, also doubts about inherent respondent bias, methinks worth an article by you good folks.
# cjmasta 2012-03-09 12:13
I have to say I was disgusted at the way an article was presented in the Metro yesterday regarding these figures. Apologies if anyone`s commented on it already as I don`t have time to go through the hundreds of comments already posted. The headline read ” WARNING AFTER FIGURES PUT SCOTLAND £10 BILLION IN THE RED” The only reason for such a negative headline is obviously politically motivated and designed to install fear. Even though the article has two short comments from John Swinney it is extremely negative. The same story in the sun was at least presented in a neutral way. The Metro is a free paper printed by ? The sun is apparently on side.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-09 13:17
Quoting cjmasta:
I have to say I was disgusted at the way an article was presented in the Metro yesterday regarding these figures. Apologies if anyone`s commented on it already as I don`t have time to go through the hundreds of comments already posted. The headline read ” WARNING AFTER FIGURES PUT SCOTLAND £10 BILLION IN THE RED” The only reason for such a negative headline is obviously politically motivated and designed to install fear. Even though the article has two short comments from John Swinney it is extremely negative. The same story in the sun was at least presented in a neutral way. The Metro is a free paper printed by ? The sun is apparently on side.

Metro free.Source?Wiser heads than mine will quickly comment if I have this wrong.

“A&N; Media unites Associated Newspapers, Northcliffe Media and A&N; International Media under one banner to create consumer media brands that people love.”

Any connection to national TV or newspapers?

Apologies if I’ve erred!

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