The less-deserving pro-independence website

Wings Over Scotland


A new society

Posted on April 11, 2014 by

The last batch of data from our Panelbase poll concerns social attitudes, away from directly party-political issues. We did a whole bunch of these last time, with a mixture of predictable and unexpected results, and Scots had a surprise or two for us again.

thechanges

We put seven propositions to respondents, with the options Agree, Disagree or Don’t Know. For the breakdowns by group, we’ll express opinions as a single plus or minus figure, so if for example 67% of Labour voters agreed with a proposition and 22% disagreed, that’d be a score of +45.

———————————————————————————————————

Anyone who works full-time should be paid enough to be able to afford their rent and bills without needing benefits.

Agree: 93%
Disagree: 3%
Don’t Know: 5%

Seems a no-brainer, right?

Lib Dems: +94
Conservative: +93
SNP: +92
Labour: +87

It’s hard to imagine any question you could ask which would be more universally agreed than that. The LOWEST margin of approval we got for it was +85, from young women, the highest being +96 among women over 55.

(Though it was perhaps odd to see that the lowest party support was Labour, despite a lot of recent anti-“scrounger” rhetoric about how Labour was the party for working people, not poor and vulnerable people.)

So why isn’t it any party’s policy?

None of the four main parties propose significant nationwide increases in the minimum wage. Nor do any of them back measures like rent controls or nationalisation of utilities. In short, absolutely none of them are prepared to do anything to make a proposition almost unanimously backed by the entire British population happen.

Vast numbers of full-time working people rely on state benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit, just to keep their heads barely above water and the bailiffs from the door. Even two full-time working parents on minimum wage have no chance of being able to support a household in many parts of the country without state top-ups.

That’s the economic situation that generation after generation of UK politicians have allowed to develop. That’s simply how we do things in Great Britain now – employers pay unsurvivable wages, greedy landlords charge unpayable rents, and the state subsidises them both with taxpayers’ money to cover it up, which it then claws back from the poorest and weakest because they have nobody fighting for them.

Readers can make their own decisions as to whether that system is fit for purpose.

———————————————————————————————————

Scotland should invest heavily in renewable energy for the future, even if the short-term cost is more expensive than other forms of energy.

Agree: 64%
Disagree: 17%
Don’t Know: 18%

Weird that you only hear negative stories about renewables in the press, eh?

SNP: +65
Lib Dem: +47
Labour: +38
Conservative: +7

Ah, that explains it.

Yes voters: +68
No voters: +28

Women, poor people and the young were also noticeably more in favour of renewable energy than men, the well-off and the old, which is a little harder to fathom than the heavy right-wing bias in the UK media.

———————————————————————————————————

If the rest of the UK refuses to enter a currency union with an independent Scotland, Scotland should refuse to take on any share of the UK’s debts.

Agree: 54%
Disagree: 26%
Don’t Know: 19%

A lot of support for Plan B, then.

SNP: +57
Labour: +29
Lib Dem: +3
Conservative: -57

We’re calling that an old-school class divide. But a whopping majority of Scottish Labour voters (well over 2:1 among those who expressed a preference) just sent Ed Balls a pretty clear message about his threat to refuse Scotland a currency union in the event of a Yes vote, and it wasn’t a very friendly one.

Younger voters: +32
Middle age-group: +39
Older voters: +14

And unsurprisingly:

Yes voters: +70
No voters: -22

It’s curious how the advocates of the Union want to have it both ways – rUK keeps everything but Scotland still has to share the debts – with the exception of Labour voters, who even though they oppose independence still share some faint tribal memory of the concept of social justice.

———————————————————————————————————

Private schools should continue to be regarded as charities for tax purposes, as they are now.

Agree: 20%
Disagree: 57%
Don’t Know: 23%

Another policy on which, as far as we know, all the major parties are in agreement with each other and in disagreement with the clear majority of the public.

Conservatives: +4
Labour: -29
Lib Dem: -24
SNP: -59

Some pretty clear red water between SNP and Labour voters.

ABC1: -36
C2DE: -38

You were expecting a much bigger difference there, right?

Yes voters: -49
No voters: -29

Left-wing No voters, this is what happens when you team up with the Tories.

———————————————————————————————————

There are enough jobs for everyone if people really look for them.

Agree: 33%
Disagree: 53%
Don’t Know: 14%

A third of Scots can’t do basic arithmetic, then.

It ought to be impossible for anyone with an IQ higher than their shoe size to agree to this proposition – the UK government’s own statistics suggest that there are 5-10 people unemployed for every available vacancy at any given moment, and that’s not counting all the people working part-time who really want full-time jobs.

It just goes to show that if all three main UK parties and almost the entire media go on and on about “scroungers” for long enough, they can get a very significant proportion of the public to believe something that the most elementary, simple scrutiny would tell them can’t possibly be true. The power of the press might be waning in many respects, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with in shaping long-term opinion.

Conservative: +20
Lib Dem: -5
Labour: -29
SNP: -34

Yet again, Labour benefits policy is betraying the views of the party’s own supporters.

Men: -13
Women: -27

The three age groups were all -20 give or take a single point. ABC1 voters were 10 points more likely to agree with the proposition than C2DE groups (-15 to -25), but both still opposed it.

Yes voters: -34
No voters: -9

Another Tory dividend for the No camp.

———————————————————————————————————

The top rate of income tax should be higher than 45%.

Agree: 41%
Disagree: 35%
Don’t Know: 24%

We must admit, we expected a much bigger gap here. But either the British public simply won’t entertain the idea of taxes going up once they’ve come down, or the rapidly-dropping threshold for the higher rates has got everyone with career ambitions feeling pretty nervous.

SNP: +20
Labour: +12
Lib Dem: +5
Conservative: -38

A particularly interesting result in the Labour column, with the party now very firmly committed to restoring the 50p rate on both sides of the border, but with rather less than overwhelming support from its own voters.

Younger voters: -5
Middle age-group: +16
Older voters: +4

And that’s just plain weird. The people most likely to be on lower wages are the ones who DON’T want the well-paid taxed more, while the group with broadly the highest incomes are the ones most in favour of paying more tax.

Yes voters: +24
No voters: -5

Social issues are perhaps the area of Scottish politics where the ideological divide between the Tories and Lib Dems on one side, and Labour and the SNP on the other, is the most clear. And as that position is clearly at odds with the prevailing political agenda in the UK, Labour really does look like the one party that’s somehow found itself on the wrong side of the independence debate.

———————————————————————————————————

The top rate of income tax should be higher than 50%.

Agree: 25%
Disagree: 51%
Don’t Know: 24%

Bad news for the radical left.

Conservative: -61
Lib Dem: -31
Labour: -20
SNP: -20

It’s always worth pointing out again at times like this that within the lifetimes of most people reading this site, the UK top rate of tax was over 80%. But even as inequality rockets and the top 1% become almost satirically rich, beyond the wildest dreams of the tycoons of the 1970s or 1980s, there’s simply no public appetite to squeeze the rich until the pips squeak any more.

———————————————————————————————————

After decades under a right-wing media, and Tory and Labour flavours of Thatcherism, the fact is that Britain has simply become – for better or worse – a different country, and Scotland (which of course is subject to the same UK media and governments) is slowly, reluctantly being dragged along with it.

We’ve said several times that this site being edited from Bath in some ways locates it five years into Scotland’s future, and that phenomenon is rarely more apparent than in the field of social attitudes. What you see around here in 2014 is what you’ll see in Edinburgh and Glasgow and Aberdeen in 2019.

In almost every area, and despite what commentators will try to tell you, Scotland is still noticeably and measurably more left-wing, more social-democratic and more green than the rest of the UK, and especially England.

But the core fact of the matter remains inescapable: even if you put your dog on a really long lead, and even if from time to time you make it a bit longer than it used to be, sooner or later he’s going to have to go where you go.

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86 to “A new society”

  1. Susan says:

    Your 3rd last paragraph scares me! 🙁

  2. waxapple says:

    Some pretty clear red water between SNP and Labour voters.

    ABC1: -36
    C2DE: -38

    I don’t get it

  3. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Interesting & provacative data. It seems to me renewables might be a way in to Scottish womens hearts (along witht he general left of centre feel to the YES campaign).

    I cannot understand why atatcks in renweables is going to allow the No camp gain any votes. Maybe its about shoaring up the vote.

    By the way on that issue you indicate YES and No voter breakdown. How do the crucial Don’t knows think about it? Is it omitted for some reason (technical or otherwise- e.g. low numbers?)

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Some pretty clear red water between SNP and Labour voters.
    ABC1: -36
    C2DE: -38
    I don’t get it”

    The comments all refer to the figures ABOVE them, not below.

  5. Vronsky says:

    There’s a tendency in some quarters to assume that Labour are supported by an unthinking mass that stiil thinks they are a leftist party. But some of your figures suggest that at least a section of their supporters are right wing and fully realise they are supporting a right wing party.

    I understand why the analysis is by Lab/Con/SNP/Lib Dem, but the step change in public involvement in Scottish politics has greatly raised the profile of the Greens and the Socialists, and quite positively so, imo. Maybe add these to your analysis? You could drop the LibDems – increasingly irrelevant.

  6. Tartan Tory says:

    “Vast numbers of full-time working people rely on state benefits, including Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit, just to keep their heads barely above water and the bailiffs from the door.”

    Perhaps this will just be my right-wing leanings, but I still believe there has to be SOME measure of personal responsibility here. I have no issue with the state helping people who clearly need assistance, but where SOME of the people described have a household paying for Sky TV, several mobile phones, cigarette habits, alcohol habits and an annual foreign holiday, it should not be down to the rest of the tax-payers (who may not afford to have these things) to subsidise the arithmetically challenged.

    I’d much prefer to see a state which handed-out a fishing-rod and bait, than a state which just keeps handing out fish.

  7. Cath says:

    Woah. What’s particularly noticeable – and cheering – in those figures is how out of step the no voters are with the majority on most of those issues.

  8. Desimond says:

    Apologies if Im missing an obvious, but are these questions after a YES vote or regardless of a YES\NO outcome?

    For example, the questions on taxation could throw up different outcomes depending on the referendum. I believe a lot of people could be more open to higher taxes but only for improving Scotland rather than subsidizing more Westminster folly etc

  9. gordoz says:

    Really insightful piece and striking findings, I really wish undecided (Labour) could get better access to this.

    Chances of Scotsman analyzing without screaming that Panelbase are ‘numpties’ and data is flawed since it was scrutinised by a CyberNazi Clergyman ?

    Then this will be picked up by Rhona & John MacKay for STV and translated into ‘Flawed YesSNP campaign data’ appears on Cabernet blog site – which will then appear on Call Kaye as ‘Salmond’s a wee fat lying sereratist Bastard .. just coz he is’ ?

  10. Scotswoman says:

    Love that last sentence – time to slip the collar and make a run for it!

  11. Cath says:

    “I have no issue with the state helping people who clearly need assistance, but where SOME of the people described have a household paying for Sky TV, several mobile phones, cigarette habits, alcohol habits and an annual foreign holiday,”

    Benefits in this case are topping people up to a minimum basic level they can live on. They’re not just given out to working people who’re earning a decent wage because they want to buy more cigarettes or get Sky!

    It’s very often people who’ve been forced into things like zero hour contracts, or very low paid part time work. Working at the CAB really makes you realise the whole thing about flat screen TVs and mobile phones is nonsense as well. Many people are living with no electricity or gas (and metres which run up a daily standing charge whether connected or not, so when they do have the odd couple of quid to chuck in, it’s eaten by debt). And have to come to the CAB to make phone calls to the benefits office or job centre because they’re not connected and don’t have mobile phones.

    The increasing “personal responsibility” and expectation that everyone will have internet and mobile phones is literally killing people who are unable to get out or access services any other way.

  12. Andrew Morton says:

    But the core fact of the matter remains inescapable: even if you put your dog on a really long lead, and even if from time to time you make it a bit longer than it used to be, sooner or later he’s going to have to go where you go.

    This is the message we need to get across to the Undecideds.

  13. Tartan Tory says:

    @ Cath

    I do understand what you are talking about and think the CAB does an excellent job. I used to employ a number of people at the time the minimum wage came into effect. At that time, I was paying more than the prescribed minimum and I had one employee who was managing a household with a non-working spouse and two kids. Unfortunately, the non-working spouse simply didn’t want to work. Both smoked, they ran a car, had weekly nights out at a casino and went abroad every year. Meantime, I struggled to keep a business afloat, I often made less than I paid my staff, worked far longer hours and was lucky to have one weekend away in a year. I’m NOT suggesting that everyone on low wages is in the position that my staff member was, but there has to come a point where people realise that their own actions and choices affect their pocket. If someone genuinely can’t keep their head above water then the state has a moral responsibility to intervene. However, if the ‘drowning’ is due to personal financial choices, carelessly made on the understanding that the state will always bail them out, then we have an inescapable problem on our hands.

  14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I understand why the analysis is by Lab/Con/SNP/Lib Dem, but the step change in public involvement in Scottish politics has greatly raised the profile of the Greens and the Socialists, and quite positively so, imo. Maybe add these to your analysis? You could drop the LibDems – increasingly irrelevant.”

    The reason none of our poll analysis mentioned them is that we had a total of FOUR Green voters out of 1025, and therefore any figures derived from them would be totally meaningless.

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    It was pretty obvious, generally acknowledged, a lot of people normally Tory or Labour, or Lib-Dem voters voted for the SNP, and they did so knowing the core policy of the SNP is securing as much self-governance as possible for Scotland protected by sovereignty regained.

    This was depicted by the shocked and stunned opposition as a “negative” vote – the electorate were rebelling against the sleaze and lies of Westmister, and the Labour party’s witrhdrawal from its union roots. They were not voting for an eccentric bunch of kilt and plaid wearers.

    Put another way, the electorate were so dumb they did not realise the SNP stood for autonomy.

    On such blind arrogance battles are lost.

  16. Macsenex says:

    Prof. Curtice admitted yesterday at the Law Society Conference that the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey did not inlcude people not registered on the voters roll. Since this is a large minority cohort it may change the conclusions of such subjects significantly if they could be included·

  17. heedtracker says:

    So in summary, Scotland is certainly NOT the country and society we want to live in. But, via the BBC etc and day in day out, the very rich tell us we’re all wrong so vote NO. Funny that.

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    if you put your dog on a really long lead, and even if from time to time you make it a bit longer than it used to be, sooner or later he’s going to have to go where you go.

    And if you keep swatting it hard on the nose with a rolled up British newspaper, sooner or later the dog will cower before your authority and, anticipating more pain, loyalty evaporated, pull away from you. Or it will attack you in defence.

  19. Jimbo says:

    What those responses tell us is that independence minded YES voters are more inclined towards socialist ideals than Labour Party NO voters.

  20. Taranaich says:

    @Tartan Tory: Perhaps this will just be my right-wing leanings, but I still believe there has to be SOME measure of personal responsibility here. I have no issue with the state helping people who clearly need assistance, but where SOME of the people described have a household paying for Sky TV, several mobile phones, cigarette habits, alcohol habits and an annual foreign holiday, it should not be down to the rest of the tax-payers (who may not afford to have these things) to subsidise the arithmetically challenged.

    As opposed to the people having households with heated stables, moats, DUCK ISLANDS, several secretaries, and personal train carriers? I would HAPPILY pay for all the alcohol, cigarettes, mobiles and annual foreign holidays a hundred times over before I’d give a penny to the millionaires who decide I should contribute to their mansions.

    I’d much prefer to see a state which handed-out a fishing-rod and bait, than a state which just keeps handing out fish.

    Jings, I know you’re a Tartan Tory, but that analogy gets my goat: have you ever *been* fishing? In Scotland? With a fishing-rod and bait? Very pleasant if that’s all your doing, but if you’re starving, then you might not actually get a bite, and trying to land a fish when you’ve come from a house with no heating and lighting, you’re frozen, you’re starving, you’re only thinking about today.

    And that’s not even considering I don’t know anywhere you can fish in Scotland without a permit – you can’t even catch a rabbit or pigeon in Scotland without somebody wanting to know what you’re up to. And that’s not considering the fact that we’re going through a fish supply crisis due to massive over-fishing. What use is a rod and bait going to do if there’s no fish?

    (This metaphor may have run away from me like a fish on a bicycle)

  21. tartanfever says:

    Great article Rev.

    Food for thought regardless of your political persuasion.

    The first set of figures showing the overwhelming desire from the electorate that people should have a proper living wage that requires no state benefits countered with the fact that no mainstream party supports fully such a pledge just shows how completely out of touch politicians are with voters.

    This fact, in itself, is all that is required to place an ‘X’ next to Yes on your ballot paper.

  22. sneddon says:

    Tartan Tory- There may have been good reasons why a person chooses not to work or notbn. But the govt and media assume that everyone not working is a scrounger and to be honest that’s coming across in the tone of your post. I’ve been employed, I’ve been an employer but its a mistake to assume folk didn’t have the SKY, mortgage,mobile, car etc before they were made unemployed. In addition the DWP practically forces you to be contactable at all times so a mobile and e-mail account are compulsary as is an internet connection as DWP Jobsmatch is only available online. The vast majority of out of work folk want to get a job and get on. There are wasters in all walks of life. Maria Miller for example 🙂 The disgrace is that big businesses are evading tax , which is a legal form of scrounging off all of us and the sums involved are nothing compared to the social security bill. When companies are using unpaid staff from the ranks of the unemployed to boost profits as well as the wage subsidies from the taxpayer things are coming to a head. This is not sustainable.

  23. Davie J says:

    Susan says:
    11 April, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    Your 3rd last paragraph scares me! 🙁

    Not half as much as the last one.

    We need to slip that lead.

  24. Desimond says:

    Perhaps in the next Poll we can see how people react to the unionist style policy ideas, ie

    The unemployed should be forced to work in healthcare and paid to look after the elderly by transfer of the elderlys houses to Treasury

    Privatising an amalgamated Health Service is worth it for faster London trains.

    Scottish Water should be sold off as competition is good, right?

  25. Fairliered says:

    Apart from the yes/no to Independence question, I find these the most interesting questions (and answers).
    It seems to me that the picture is:
    Left……….SNP…..Labour……………Lib Dem……………………………Tory……Right
    It would be interesting to see the variance between Labour Yes and Labour No voters, and also any variations across Scotland, e.g. are SNP voters in the Central Belt more or less social democratic than those in the Highlands or the Borders.
    Maybe not enough respondents for accurate figures though (looks as Scottish Skier)?

  26. Capella says:

    @ Tartan Tory 12.39
    Perhaps you missed the article on Co-ops on 1st April
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/when-co-operation-becomes-captivity/#comments
    Geoff Huijer posts a breakdown of his benefit income and what he spends it on at 10:21 pm. I’ve copied it below for your info. I hope Geoff doesn’t mind, but you are clearly in need of the facts.

    I got my dole yesterday (just after midnight Sunday to be precise).

    £142 for two weeks.

    Now spent thus:

    Gas: £50
    Electricity: £30
    2 x Friends: £20 (borrowed for gas & electric previous week when both ran out).
    Shopping at Tesco: 12 tins dog food, packet dog biscuits, 2 x penne pasta (29p each), 8 tins tuna (on offer £6), chicken stock cubes (20p?) – circa £12.50
    Council Tax: £11
    Mobile phone: £15
    CO-OP: Toilet Roll (on offer £3)

    Spent: £141.50

    Note: No phone bill paid, I have no insurance (Pet, house or otherwise), no TV licence, need £3.70 for bus to sign on (not included: I walk the 10 mile return journey unless horrific weather), no milk (coffee without nowadays).

    I am sometimes given food by friends, otherwise the above lasts me two weeks. No sob story; facts.

    And MPs get how much grocery shopping allowance and meal allowance?

  27. JCB1972 says:

    An interesting read. I’m pretty new to wings but it seems like the missing link in the whole debate about Scottish politics, not just the referendum so well done.

    On the youth vote being in less favour of higher taxes, I think that this reflects your point in the 3rd last paragraph in that eventually Scotland will follow England in its social attitudes, in that after 30y if Thatcherism our future is one where individuals look at maximising their own interests rather than maximising the general society’s well-being. So the referendum is perhaps the last and only chance for Scotland to create a more equal society, something the Labour Party voters should take into account when casting their vote.

  28. Desimond says:

    @JCB1972

    Your comments reminded me of a Norwegian friend explaining their social attitude “In Norway, I know that if I fall, my brother will be there to catch me. We all try to help each other be the best we can be”.

    Sounds like a decent social model to me rather than “It’s them to blame, Save yourself” being touted from London.

  29. Craig P says:

    Some Labour voters are Tories in disguise. I know at least one personally. She would rather vote Tory, but tactically votes Labour, in an attempt to keep the SNP out.

    Perhaps this effect accounts for part of the Labour non-socialist effect?

  30. handclapping says:

    More should be made of the consequence of a Yes vote that is we would become subject to Scottish constitutional theory. In particular not only Donald Dewar’s much trumpeted “settled will” of the Scottish people which is forcing Alex Salmond to have a referendum whether he will or no, ( Probably no as it is too early to be sure of getting a favourable answer. But then he is gambling man.) but also the right of recall for non performance viz Declaration of Arbroath turning out the Crown if he should err on independence.

    If our Unionist MSPs have realised this it is no wonder that they are so implacibly opposed to Yes, fancy having to listen to one’s electors not just at elections but all the time!

    Yes means, instead of “they tell us”, we tell them. That alone is enough to make me a Yesser.

  31. Desimond says:

    @Craig P

    It would be interesting to see stats on the thoughts of the former staunch Labour come Council house purchasers who bought into the Thatcher housing model and subsequent social changes.

    Many of them now see themselves with a Labour party willing to target those very same “well off” people for additional burdens tax-wise and will not be happy.

    I reckon plenty of those folk would now be looking at the Tories and thinking “Now I think about it….” even if not admitting to it in public.

  32. chalks says:

    O/T

    Just read bella’s latest:

    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/04/11/dont-take-your-foot-off-the-gas/

    Never even knew about this Remembrancer….googled it and came up with this, well worth a read:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/02/london-corporation-city

  33. Craig P says:

    Young people oppose high tax because they hope to be rich when older. Older people already know it’s not happened, so taxing the rich doesn’t have the same personal effect. That’s my interpretation.

  34. Morag says:

    fancy having to listen to one’s electors not just at elections but all the time!

    That’s already an advantage of the d’Hondt system, with list and constituency MSPs in effect competing for the favour of the voters.

    I realised this when I read something written by a constituency Labour MSP some time ago, complaining about the existence of (SNP) list MSPs, that they were constantly trying to curry favour with the constituents. By doing things to help them and make their lives better, and what’s worse they were doing it deliberately. He was raging against this because he thought it wasn’t fair and they were undermining his position and trying to steal his voters.

    I realised he’d noticed a huge advantage to the system. Having these competing MSPs within the constituency, all having to work their socks off if they want to secure the constituency vote next time, leads to substantially improved voter accountability all round.

  35. Thepnr says:

    Anyone know of a live stream of the SNP conference can be found?

    Was supposed to be on here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26974810 but not working.

  36. Thepnr says:

    OK found it. The BBC had changed the address but forgot to tell us. Available here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26974813

  37. Desimond says:

    (adopts Columbo stance)
    Just one more question Rev..

    “Exactly how BIG is this New Society?”

  38. call me dave says:

    Live stream here since 14:15hrs

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26974813

  39. hetty says:

    We are on dangerous territory here with some comments about people on benefits living the life of riley! The figures for benefit fraud show it is minute in comparison to tax evasion and fraud by the rich. People living on benefits and/or on very low wages are suffering enormously at the hands of the millionaire cabinet in westminster and it is a disgrace.

    It the greed and selfishness of those at the top that is crippling for a lot of people.
    It always amazes me when people say that poor people should not have tv, internet a car or a holiday. Quality of life is at the bare minimum for many many underpaid, low paid and no paid people in the uk and as Rev Stu pointed out, there is no one to stand up for them, especially not in England and if the lib-lab-tories have anything to do with it, that will most certainly be the case here in the foreseeable future.

    On the subject of taxes, younger people, if they have decent well paid jobs (there are some) and I mean enough to qualify for a 50% tax rate, hate paying for the poor, sick and disabled in their taxes so not surprising to see they are not keen on paying more tax. I know I have had the misfortune to come across such selfish, dare I say it, yuppies.

  40. Morag says:

    And the constant whine, “a flat-screen TV!”

    Is there any other sort, these days? If someone’s old CRT set dies on them, are they not allowed to have a new set because a flat-screen one (which is all that is available) is a luxury they should not aspire to?

  41. Andy-B says:

    Good to see that people are still strongly in favour of renewable energy, regardless, of the false media reports. Also I’m pretty surprised to see almost a third of Labour supporters would advocate, not contributing to the UK’s debt, if a currency union wasn’t forth coming.

    O/T Rev, I do apologise.

    I see the die-hard unionist and London owned Daily Record,are up to their old and rather pathetic tricks again, in their Record View, they ponderously harp back to 1979, and blame the SNP for the usual guff, no mention of the illegal wars of their beloved Labour party.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/record-view-daily-record-readers-3399751

    The Trinity Mirror Group owned Daily Record also claim that , even if Scots become independent, that only 36% of them, want WMD’s removed from Scotland.

    Also in the Canary Wharf owned Daily Record,Simon Cowell admits that David Walliams doesn’t like Scottish people, and that’s why they didn’t come to Scotland last year, with their X Factor show, if you like that kind of brain melting rubbish, that passes for entertainment,these days, you’ll no doubt be upset.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity/britains-talent-missed-out-auditions-3398881

  42. Capella says:

    @Hetty 2:45
    I agree. Many young people have been brainwashed with the greedy Thatcherite philosophy “It’s MY money” – “Taxes are BAD”. How do they think the schools, hospitals,roads etc get built I wonder. Perhaps they should be sent on holidays abroad to Scandinavia, Switzerland, Netherlands etc and see what a decent, small country with social democracy looks like!

  43. Capella says:

    Business for Scotland has a good analysis of Scotland’s Social Security spending today.
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/explaining-scotlands-social-security-spending/

  44. The Man in the Jar says:

    All these business types voting and advocating a No vote. Do they never consider that if the majority of their customers had a bit more disposable income in their pockets. Then they might just buy some more of their product thereby boosting profits?

  45. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Speed reading is not my forte. Doh!

  46. Megsmaw says:

    Aye Morag, at lot of folk who are uninformed seem to think these ‘flat screen tvs’ are also paid for with a cash lump sum.

    Unfortunately most of the time these big tvs are hooked up to a wee box that takes £ coins and from places like ‘View to buy’ and ‘Brighthouse’ (parasitic leeches in my book).

    Usually it’s 4 hours of tv per £ coin, and if you haven’t put enough coins in to cover your monthly installment amount you need to top it up.

    These companies charge ridiculous amounts for the items you gradually ‘buy’ off them, way more than the price would be if you saved up and bought it outright.

    The “I’m alright Jacks” think as long as you’re poor you’re not allowed any quality of life, you’re expected to sit on the floor and let depression hook it’s claws in while you wait for employers to get back to you.

  47. JGedd says:

    Some of those results are both worrying and disappointing. Young women seem to have picked up the uncaring attitudes promulgated by the media and I think you are right, this trend can only get worse.

    ( I discovered recently that there is a programme called “Saints and Scroungers ” on BBC. Sorry if I’m behind the times in finding this but I was horrified. I confess I haven’t watched it but I can guess at the content? I am aware that there are other programmes of this type which help to demonize the poor.)

    It crystallizes a feeling I have had for some time about independence – that it is necessary not just for the financial benefit of this society but also to make it a better society which doesn’t cater to the worst instincts of human beings. It is a primitive part of human nature to target and vilify the weak but altruism is also part of human nature. A society which encourages the former is an unhappy and dangerous one.

    We have to become independent and forge a society which is more humane and at ease with itself. Time is against us if we don’t do it in September.

  48. Tartan Tory says:

    @ Taranaich – Yes, I think you overplayed my metaphor! I hope you are not assuming that I have a heated stable into the bargain? I get the stable-boys to jump up and down for five minutes if they are cold! 😉

    @ sneddon – The tone of my post should be obvious when I use the word SOME (in capitals) to illustrate that I don’t believe that ALL are the same. As ever with the media etc, it’s the bad apples that spoil it for the bunch.

    @ Capella – Yes I did see the bit about the Co-op and it wasn’t news to me as an ex-retailer.

    My point remains that there is little good to be done in simply handing people money every week ad-infinitum. An independent Scotland simply cannot be an overnight utopia for people who claim to be poor. If it tries this, we will end-up with dwindling numbers of tax-payers to supplement an ever growing need. There has to be a more fundamental approach to the problem. I’ve seen first hand the amount that some people in receipt of benefits will pay-out on frivolous stuff. I’m NOT suggesting that they are ALL in this camp. What I am suggesting is that we should be helping the likes of Geoff MORE than we help some whose poverty is only relative to their own personal choices. I’ve witnessed a family on benefits phoning a taxi to collect a dvd from the rental shop! I’ve listened to a full-time working person in receipt of benefits talk about blowing over £100 at a casino. Neither of these actions would be taken by me because, in my own mind, I can’t afford it. The lines need to be re-drawn somewhere and some people need to waken-up to the realities of life. I have no issues paying my share of tax and trying to create a more just society – that is my responsibility. At the same time, those in receipt of my hard-earned via benefit need to take some measure of responsibility too. You can call me whatever you want to, but until people realise that it’s only the ‘relatively’ well-off who are paying the bulk of the taxes (not the millionaires), and that these people are typically (incorrectly) lumped-in with the tax dodgers, it’s no wonder that resentment begins to brew.

    I want to contribute to a society where someone less fortunate than myself sees me driving down the road in a nice car and acknowledges that I’m helping them with my taxes – not one where people just say “it’s all right for him”, as if my hard work and sacrifice over many years is a reason for resentment.

  49. Barney Thomson says:

    I see some readers have been frightened by –

    We’ve said several times that this site being edited from Bath in some ways locates it five years into Scotland’s future, and that phenomenon is rarely more apparent than in the field of social attitudes. What you see around here in 2014 is what you’ll see in Edinburgh and Glasgow and Aberdeen in 2019.

    I reckon Bath attitudes are still a few years behind what I see here in Berks/Bucks/Oxon.

    I have heard creatures seriously advocate that the long-term unemployed (I expect especially if they smoke, drink, watch telly or send e-mails) should be sent to government work camps for re-education. As there are no jobs for them anyway, I presume they’d stay there forever.

    Be very afraid of remaining part of the same country as these people.

  50. Croompenstein says:

    I know people who have kids but don’t claim that their partner lives with them so as they get higher benefits as a single parent, this is and should be treated as morally wrong but on the other side of the coin if the partner gets a job and they go legit then it’s probably a zero hour or min wage job so if they declare this then the amount of benefit is slashed and so the amount of money going in to the house is greatly decreased.

    I’m not arguing that this is acceptable just pointing out that it goes on but I am not a snitch so would not report anyone but they can live with their decisions and the risks they take.

    And there are people who just can’t be arsed working but again the reason is probably that they are financially ‘better off’ not working so who can really blame them.

    I have worked all my adult life but am still probably a P45 from disaster if that happened would I then become a scrounger?

  51. Caroline Corfield says:

    Nobody has any argument with refusing to help folk who after earning a decent living wage choose to live in a financially inappropriately way, although most people would bristle at the idea someone was to tell them how to spend their hard earned cash. So best of luck with any scheme where you try and re-educate smokers, gamblers and alcoholics that they’d be better off putting their money into stocks and shares (oops that’s like gambling) or spending it on consumer goods ( not terribly different from tobacco and alcohol, both of which support jobs in this country ) or even better still put it in one of they banks (the ones who then gamble with the money and nearly go bust).

    However, the point that was made was that folk are working their little socks off and not earning a living wage in the first place, they are then needing a top up from folk like yourself Tartan Tory, who are earning enough to be paying taxes, all those middle income, squeezed middle, middle class Middle, they are supporting the pay instead of the employers who as companies are avoiding their taxes and whose CEOs and upper management are avoiding their personal taxes and living in ridiculous comfort as a result. Same situation for the landlords. ( I speak here with my landlord hat on too)

    Switzerland has decided to give everyone irrespective of their income a stipend which enables them to live in a sustainable fashion. It has no intention of bolstering that stipend if folk choose to gamble it, nor invest it in shares which crash, or a bank which fails. But it has ensured as a government that it’s people have the means to survive. Westminster see us as a commercial resource, to be farmed for maximum profit.

  52. sneddon says:

    Tartan Tory- What you can’t legislate for in social security is deciding who is the ‘right type’ of person who gets it. People contribute via taxation and it is right they get help when they need it. The demonisation of a whole class of folk , (me included as I’m on benefits at the moment.) Who because I’ve got broadband, TV, flat, computer, is according to you living the life of luxury. Am I supposed to give them up when I had my stroke to conform to the tabloid view of how folk should live whilst on benefits. The problem is clear from your post with your use of ‘qualifiers’ such as ‘some’ Who decides who is deserving? I’m entitled to my benefits, I’ve paid for them and you nor anyone else is going to get away spouting your tabloid inspired nonsense while I can still type a reply or talk. To use anecdotal evidence as a basis for any sort of statement is just plain wrong. The issues around long term unemployment and its effect on people are complex and nuanced and deserving of more than a ‘scrongers’ headline. Anyway businesses to grow and give folk oppotunites to escape the low pay trap. I hope you can appreciate why folk get wound up about posts like yours. Being on benefits is a very personal thing and not a choice and any suggestion it might be is like a red flag to a bull.

  53. Capella says:

    @ Tartan Tory 4.34
    I agree we can’t be a utopia. But we needn’t aim for that. A decent society is good enough. And let’s not go down the road of the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. We had all that before, it was called Dickensian England. The resulting misery and disease was well documented by Dickens as was the indifference of the comfortably off, oblivious to the early death all around them:
    “Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, right reverends and wrong reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.”
    (Bleak House)

  54. Vestas says:

    All I can say is Bath must be a very genteel place if its only 5 years “ahead” of Scots social views.

    I can assure you that the East Mids is much further down the road than that – immigration is pretty much the #1 subject with the hindu/sikh “community leaders” saying much the same as the (minority) white christian community.

    There’s a reasonably good chance that the East Mids will return 5 UKIP MEPs this May. The only exception may be the egregious Glenis Wilmott (her husband is a NuLab councillor & they’re both professional troughers).

    I can’t vote in the referendum but I’ll be doing my bit by holding my nose & voting UKIP here in the Euro elections. I hope that UKIP do really well in England as more people will vote for independence rather than share the stupidity.

    It will in a perverse way be good for England as they’ll have to face up to the fact that they’re (politically) a defacto US state (protectorate would be more accurate) if they leave the EU.

  55. CameronB says:

    More evidence to suggest a third of Scots Labour voters want to be in Labour for Independence. I wonder if this is why LfI have been sidelined by the BBC and other MSM?

    Come on traditional Labour, release the beast. 🙂

    IMO, the way to sell renewable energy, particularly to women, is to point to the alternative strategy being followed in England – nuclear power.

    I’ve posted a bit of info regarding the economics of nuclear energy, waste disposal, etc., in Off-topic.

    Not only is nuclear energy wholly unsustainable, where are England’s uranium mines? Does the nuclear approach really provide energy security, when the basic ingredient is only found in foreign lands?

  56. Soda says:

    I’m of the opinion the minimum wage should be doubled to at least £12-£14. It would boost tax take, negate the need for tax payer funded benefits, boost the economy and encourage the tiny minority who choose not to work to get out there and contribute to society. Anyone agree or disagree?

  57. CameronB says:

    Taranaich
    Sorry mate, but I think you are entirely wrong there. In fact, I think you are displaying the myopic, inverted snobbery that has helped to provide a smoke screen for the establishment, the imperialists, the oligarchical collectivists, the British Westminster Party.

    The current welfare state is the product of self-professed FABIAN socialists, who created a social management system with the primary aim of keeping the British empire together. IMO, the welfare state has very little to offer towards the cause of social justice as it is an imperialist construct.

    Like Tart Tory, I was an employer who chose to look out for my employees (double maternity leave, etc.). However, like many young small business, fluctuations in cash flow and such, meant I would sometimes go hungry whilst still paying through the nose to support a corrupt tax system.

    I am also someone who has fallen through the social safety-net the welfare state was ‘intended’ to provide. Having struggled to drag my way back up, I can assure you that I have met plenty who’s attitude and approach to life helps neither themselves, nor society. I do not blame such folk entirely, as they are caught in a poverty trap called the British State, which is designed to extract maximum wealth to the Treasury, whilst providing minimum political influence to the poor.

    Britain outwith the HS2 footprint will inevitably become the last colony of the British empire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Milner,_1st_Viscount_Milner

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milner%27s_kindergarten
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Curtis

    Did I take that too far? 🙂

  58. Justin Kenrick says:

    I’d echo Vronsky’s points above about the need to include in the Greens. If there were only 4 Green respondents out of this sample of 1025, does that suggest the Greens are about to be wiped from the map, or that the sampling methodology needs to be rethought (question also to scottish-skier)?

    But more crucially, saying “with the exception of Labour voters, who even though they oppose independence still share some faint tribal memory of the concept of social justice” is going to put off Labour voters who have a strong sense of social justice, who are looking to see whether to vote Yes, and who are coming to this site and hoping to be welcomed.

  59. Paula Rose says:

    The minimum wage should be linked to the employers ability to pay – ie if a large company makes zillions in profits, they should have to pay a higher minimum wage.

  60. Soda says:

    I can’t disagree with you there Paula Rose however didn’t you just evade the question I asked lol
    What is your view on the doubling of the minimum wage? I understand the prevailing arguement about small business in regards to the minimum wage. Does anyone know the ratio between workers who work for small employers versus the numbers who work in large companies?
    Anyway, is it possible or practical to have different levels of minimum wage? Isn’t that contrary to the point somehow?

  61. Jim T says:

    @CameronB

    as you mentioned, uranium is becoming a scarce commodity and the Chinese have pretty much cornered the market in terms of mining the stuff.

    The only future option that is creeping towards being achievable is fusion. The ITER project in the S of France is intended to be the step between research and commercialisation. The waste material from fusion is nearly benign but, there are still issues with radiation from the process contaminating the containment vessel. The bulk of the waste is a material dubbed “helium ash” but, I have no idea if it sinks or floats 😛

    I suppose there will be disposal issues with that in any event.

    Currently, I reckon that is still the only way forward but it’s probably at least 50 years away from being a viable option.

  62. scottish_skier says:

    Tartan Tory: I want to contribute to a society where someone less fortunate than myself sees me driving down the road in a nice car and acknowledges that I’m helping them with my taxes

    May I ask why? Do you need to feel better about yourself or something?

    Genuine question.

  63. Paula Rose says:

    @ soda – understand, yes the minimum should be higher but we need control over all the fiscal levers (not least a proper tax regime) to even begin to sort things out – but there is no point in decreeing a doubling of the minimum wage if many small businesses can’t pay it. I’m sure that in many parts of the country such an imposition would be of no help.

    I could be wrong.

  64. Paula Rose says:

    Sorry Soda – the understand is me understanding you not me telling you xx

  65. Ann says:

    Tartan Tory.

    You should go and see how my unemployed brother lives.

    I’ve posted on this previously due to some of the misconceptions of the unemployed.

    Just recently I have gone through a torrid time with my brother. It is only thanks to me that he didn’t starve when his benefits got cut, stopped and almost sanctioned.

    It left him with no money to pay bills or even feed himself.

    He doesn’t have a TV, a car or any other non-essentials, but does have a mobile phone, house phone and computer simply because these ARE essentials.

    Now the crux with him is that he doesn’t have a visible disability. he is virtually illiterate and when needing help, none was there.

    We eventually had to go to the CAB and it was only through them then we found out what help and assistance should have been there for him.

    How many more are like him?

    What kind of society are we living in when the weakest, those that need the greatest help are those that are getting trampled on by millionaire MP’s who don’t have a clue as to how these people and their families are suffering.

  66. Soda says:

    @ Paula Rose

    Understood! 😉 lol

    I guess it’s one of those things that is self perpetuating, once the economy is boosted – everyone is better off – including small business – who can then pay a better minimum wage – which boosts the economy etc etc..

    Maybe i’m just a little naive about these things, what do you think Tartan Tory?

    Its the kind of leap of faith that i feel could be possible in a iScotland. Roll on the day i say.

  67. HorseBoy says:

    Wings Aberdeen South correspondent reporting on todays BBC Brian Taylor Big Debate Aberdeen for the first ever time, but now have time to dedicate all my time till September to scrutinize our Lords, Masters and Controllers. SNP Kevin Stewart Aberdeen Central MSP knows his brief, didn’t give an inch to Labour’s Chaotic Communist Council Leader Barney Crocket who happened to be in the audience! 10/10. I was the “YES” flashmob of 1. The BBC show was amateurish, the speaker platform wasn’t, its on the floor. I counted 6 BBC personnel, Brian Taylor, 2 sound engineers inside and BBC Engineer, Producer and her Runner in the Broadcast Transit van outside. Brian Taylor got a taxi, sound enginners got a taxi, the £2billion BBC licence tax annually would be hard to spend every year every year, its madness! No security in the Queen’s Cross church hall. Say 100 seated in the hall, no BBC banners outside. Lots of people passing in a sunny day would not know of the event. BBC seems not a democratic organisation, as though they dont want to involve the public. Church hall was only 1/4 full. If it was me I’d have BBC banners outside churchhall and BBC sandwich boards on the pavement. What are they up to, what have they been up to! Also went on to SNP conference, will report after refreshments.

  68. Alex says:

    Interesting about the jobs availability. Here in Spain the locals are doing the fruitpicking nowadays and many other jobs whiche before was considered only work for foreigners. High unemployment and the crisis has forced people into jobs they thought they’d never do. The high youth unemployment is more to do with middle class university students who refuse to do the menial work. Be intersting to know what other non-Spanish people think who live in Spain.

  69. Tartan Tory says:

    scottish_skier says:
    May I ask why? Do you need to feel better about yourself or something? Genuine question.

    I appreaciate the genuine question and I can tell you that it’s got nothing to do with feeling better about myself.

    I was brought up in a council house in the central belt eating spam fritters as a treat. I am no different to anyone else. I’ve worked damn hard (too hard) to get to where I am and I’ve sacrificed much that many take for granted. That has been my mistake. My wife and I took our FIRST fortnights holiday (in twenty-six years) in 2013.

    Yes, I’m ‘relatively’ well off and I pay a lot of tax these days. But that doesn’t make me a Bullingdon Boy, nor does it suggest my business is Amazon or Starbucks. I’ve never received a penny from the state for anything, even when I was earning less than minimum wage. Being self-employed is a hard game to start with and there are no benefits to be had – even when you are earning next-to-nothing and your wife is in hospital with a long-term illness. (She still had to pay for her prescriptions even though we were below the breadline).

    So, when I drive down the road in a nice car, I’d much rather see a (mutual) hat-tip, than the sort of resentment typified by the other side of the tabloid coin – the one that suggests all Tories are tax avoiding, un-caring, greedy bad employers.

    And Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder – it works both ways!

  70. Tartan Tory says:

    @ Soda

    80% of ‘business’ is ‘small business’. As a small employer in the 90’s, my staff got paid when I didn’t. If the minimum wage was doubled, I would have gone bust – Simples!

    A bust business contributes nothing and simply increases unemployment.

  71. Col says:

    It would be interesting to see how the BBC covers the SNP conference compared to how they covered the other parties. I caught a bit of Labour`s and the Tories and there was no SNP there to pour scorn on their message but i`m sure a previous SNP conference had some unionists on the BBC`s program there to do just that.

  72. Alex says:

    @Tartan Tory

    I’ve met a loads of council scheme tories who worked their way up. One thing though, Any business that can’t pay a decent wage shouldn’t be in business in the first place. A decent wage is what separates us from the slave labour economies, although the back-to-work scemes might be considered that in some quarters.

  73. Tartan Tory says:

    @ Alex – You’ve obviously never started a business from scratch. New businesses struggle. The only person being paid is the employee, not the employer. The only person with any employment legislation behind them is the employee, not the employer.

    By your definition, there would be no business start-ups.

  74. Morag says:

    When I drive down the road in my nice car, what I want to know is that nobody is starving and nobody is homeless and nobody who is ill wants for necessary treatment, because I ad other people like me have paid enough tax to ensure that.

    I want to be able to enjoy my nice car and my nice house without being racked by guilt that other people in my country are in desperate need. It is actually possible to achieve this, quite a few countries manage it.

  75. Endofdaze says:

    Many young and poor people don’t realise that it’s only a small proportion of the income of the rich (and in their dreams their potential future income)that is taxed at the higher rates. They think that all the income or the better off will be taxed at the higher rate and that that may not be fair.

  76. Derick Tulloch says:

    Aka Derick fae Yell, Van Machelsing, Scotraj1707 etc.

    I have been skimming the debate on here between ‘tartan tory’ and, well, everybody else. The two ‘sides’ seem to be missing each others point a bit. These are a few random thoughts.

    The current UK planning, tax and welfare system makes it impossible for anyone on less than average salary to live, legally, with dignity and choice.

    Want to build a house? First buy land that is overpriced by hundreds of times due to Planning (laughs!) restrictions. Obtain Planning Permission and Building Warrant at vast expense because, know what, you’re too wee, too puir and too stupid to figure out how to build a house that won’t fall down or burn down. You can build a low impact dwelling for a few hundred pounds. But not in the UK, and not in Scotland.

    That forest of regulations is one reason why a substantial proportion of citizens have simply given up, and have retreated to their big TV etc. It’s not natural. It can be changed.

    Having a background in small business I can very much empathize with TT. Being of the ‘left’ I understand where you all are coming from also.

    Small business owners pay themselves peanuts. I was a company director for six years. For which I got £1.00 one pound a month. People start businesses in some cases to make money. Mainly people start businesses to be independent, to be their own master, however constrained. Independence, ken. Self-determination. Joe Bloggs the plumber is not Rio Tinto Zinc. Dammit.

    Here we all are on a site that has a unique business model. Direct, personal payment, for services rendered. The Reverend Campbell knows why he started this site. I suspect it was not just to make a living. The same applies to small business people. Independence. Self determination. Autonomy. Self respect. The counselors call it the ‘Actualizing Tendency’.

    I have seen letters from social tenants bitterly regretting that they tried to work, got a short term job and then ended up in rent arrears because the bureaucracy fecked their benefit up.

    Far better that people are not on ‘benefit’ at all.

    We have so many options, so many ways to change this. I don’t think ‘tartan tory’ and others are on a different page. We are all Scottish. Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations. He also wrote ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’.

    We can do this. After a Yes vote it’ll take a hundred years. But we can and will do it.

  77. Oneironaut says:

    “Anyone who works full-time should be paid enough to be able to afford their rent and bills without needing benefits.

    Agree: 93%
    Disagree: 3%
    Don’t Know: 5%”

    So 5% of the population are completely clueless about whether they like being able to afford the little luxuries in life (such as food and electricity, for example).

    And 3% are apparently masochists who enjoy financial stress and think everyone else should share in their fun!

    Sometimes I really worry about the sanity of my fellow Scots…

  78. Kenny says:

    @Cath –
    Thank you! First of all, who says they TV wasn’t there before the person lost their job? Sky installation is free and the cheapest package is only £20 per month. That’s not unreasonable if you have no other means of entertainment or communication. How else are you meant to stay connected to the world? Should poor people not see the news in case they get ideas above their station? Mobile phones are cheap too, and often will be gifts or hand-me-downs or second-hand anyway. Fags? Well yeah, people shouldn’t smoke. But people need a release from the grind sometimes and often that’s a fag.

    We do ourselves and people living in poverty no favours by buying into the Tory-Labour line that “scroungers” are ripping us all off. There are no doubt a handful who are, but when you’ve met people who have to tell their teenage kids not to take a shower because they can’t afford the hot water, or people who barely eat for days because they want to make sure their kids get a decent meal, you should realise that the “scroungers” with their big-screen TVs and Sky and 40-a-day habits are from the same school of myth-making as every argument that comes out of BT. DON’T BUY INTO IT. If we’re going to create a socially just Scotland, we need to start from the assumption that 99% of people are just trying to get by. We need to give them a leg up, not a foot on their throat.

  79. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Derick Tulloch –

    Aye, and again, aye.

    This is the stuff that makes me think, even when I’m pished. More power to ye mister.

  80. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Well if you gave me control of schools and the media i could have everybody in Scotland speaking gaelic in 20 years, now imagine how easy it is to use that principal on anything else.

  81. Alex says:

    Interesting that you mention languages as being English speakers gives us a grat advantage. Expect international exchanges from students in Spain and elsewhere who want to come and learn English.

    Tartan Tory – I understand what you’re saying, as I know people in the same boat as you. But if we didn’t have legislation, then we’d go back to the days of Dickens. One thing I hope will happen is that small businesses are seen as the lifeblood of the conomy and not the tax-avoiding conglomerates.

  82. Martin says:

    Pleaase don’t forget, Tartan Tory, that benefit abuse accounts for less than 1% of all “lost” revenue. If businesses (apple,starbucks,amazon etc) and all of the tories’ welathy pals paid thier tax we would be able to clear the “deficit” fairly promptly.

    What I think the disgrace is (O/T I know) and something an independent Scotland must address is the tax band threshold. I can’t believe after 32k the next threshold is 150k before tax band jumps. There is, let me tell you, a HELL of a difference between living on 30-40k and living on 90k. Personally I’d drop 32k band to 30%, then have 40% at say….55k, 45% at 80k, 50% at 120k and 90% at 1 million (because let’s be honest, if you’re already making 1m a year…that extra pound is irrelevant)

  83. scottish_skier says:

    So, when I drive down the road in a nice car, I’d much rather see a (mutual) hat-tip, than the sort of resentment typified by the other side of the tabloid coin

    So you mean mutual respect rather? That’s better if so. I might ask though – is the nice car for you to enjoy personally (speed, functionality, reliability) or do you gain pleasure from the fact that you imagine people are looking at it and are impressed by it/you?

    Note the poor are not jealous of the wealthy and ‘want their wealth’. Or at least there are as many poor who feel jealous of the wealthy as their are wealthy people who are jealous of other more wealthy people. Greed and jealousy are emotions felt by groups of people across the socio-economic spectrum.

    People who cheat the benefits system are right-wing capitalists. This act, like fraud, tax evasion etc are those carried out by those on the economic right of the spectrum. They may not vote that way, but any person who seeks to gain financially in what is an illegal or immoral way to the detriment of others in society, be they rich or poor themselves, is a ‘rightie’. Murder and rape are also classic ‘extreme’ capitalist behaviour.

    In terms of the ‘right-left’ fight, what I find odd is capitalists tend to focus their anger on socialists, yet the worst enemy of a capitalist is another capitalist. It is a capitalist who wants another capitalist’s money for themselves, not a socialist. Socialists just want a more equitable distribution of wealth, not for their own personal gain, but for the benefit of society as a whole. A true socialist would never cheat the benefits system; only a capitalist does that. I guess that’s why those on the right hate benefits cheats the most; they see themselves in them…

    Note I started a business too with colleagues. Yes, it isn’t easy and yes if you are owners then sometimes you need to pay yourself less than you might deserve to ensure you can pay employees and invest/grow. It’s called long-term thinking. If you are really in a position where you can’t afford to pay yourself as the owner at all, invest and at the same time pay your employees a decent wage, it suggests you don’t have a good business model or acumen.

    The best thing you can do with a new start-up is make sure the employees know the situation. If you can’t meet goes rates for wages in the beginning, then make sure the staff know you are not paying yourself that much either and at the same time try to offer other incentives for them such as flexible working hours or shares in the company. Make them feel the business is theirs too. Of course try to pick more socialist staff; capitalist staff will just look to compete with other team members, harming the business, and get as much cash out of you as possible for minimum effort.

    In terms of the business I started with colleagues, it has been right-wing Tory policy which has caused us the most problems / cost us the most money. We are small but operate globally (oil and gas consultancy). As a result, we must recruit globally. The Tories have introduced huge amounts of bureaucracy here and embarrassed us in terms of our staff and clients. We have even had a visit from the ‘Anti-Foreigner’ force not too long ago. We have two employees from the middle east; both PhD and on exceptional talent visas who are experts in a specific area of oil and gas. Located in a uni research park and 1/4 owned by that uni we’re hardly a dodgy take away or something, yet the ‘Anti-foreigner’ force turns up to inspect taking a lot of our time and costing us money never mind giving a terrible impression of the UK to our staff. Tories = the anti-business party in my eyes.

    In contrast, organisations run by the more moderate centrist to slightly left leaning Scottish Government such as Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise have been excellent in helping us develop and market overseas.

  84. Tartan Tory says:

    @ Alex – Thank-you for understanding! 😉 Small businesses ARE the lifeblood because they take independent mined people out of the system altogether. They can be worse-off than the unemployed but they receive nothing. The only benefit to self-employment is the retention of dignity!

    Martin says: There is, let me tell you, a HELL of a difference between living on 30-40k and living on 90k.

    Wow! For you to tell us this in such a forceful way implies you have been, or still are ‘there’. Despite being on the right of the spectrum, I’ve only once in my life paid higher rate (40%) tax – I’ve still got the pay-slip from 1995 to prove it. Then I got laid-off, then I went self-employed. Of course, I could have just signed-on, got my mortgage paid by the insurance etc. and I’d have been financially better off. I think my earnings in the first year of self-employment were about £2500. There was ZERO help from the state.

    Anyway, from what I’ve heard, there is little difference from being on £40k to being on £90k – reason being that the more you have, the more you spend. The Mondeo gets replaced by a BMW or a Merc etc. and the resulting cost differences mean you have the same disposable income as before.

  85. scottish_skier says:

    I found this confirmed my belief in terms of employee-employer relationships and success.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26560702

    Worker-owned firms in Scotland ‘more successful’

    The study marks the first time Scotland’s employee-owned firms have been examined in a detailed way by academic researchers

    Businesses owned by their employees outperform their competitors on employment, sales and productivity, new research has found.

    And Tartan Tory, note working hard to earn your keep is not something confined to the right. In fact far right-wing economics is based on max profit for min outlay, i.e. the least work for most personal benefit. Just like a ‘benefits cheat’ rightie is doing.

  86. scottish_skier says:

    The Mondeo gets replaced by a BMW or a Merc etc.

    I’ve never understood this. For the price of a Mondeo (or even less) you can get a car that will leave a merc or BMW for dust and even be more fuel efficient. Or, you can get a car which is e.g. equally practical or more so in terms of space if that’s what you want it for.

    Comes back to what I was saying about capitalists; the BMW or Merc is for show. It is an attempt to impress others. The only people impressed though are others trying (rather pathetically) to impress too. Most people couldn’t give a crap or even think ‘what an ass – they’re just trying to show off’.

    People don’t respect a person because they are wealthy. They respect a person for their behaviour/actions and attitudes, irrespective of wealth.



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