Scottish independence referendum, plus jokes.

Wings Over Scotland


Bad-karma chameleon

Posted on May 12, 2013 by

The Scottish media is full today of Gordon Brown’s latest attempted intervention in the independence debate. Scotland on Sunday and the Sunday Herald both report that the former Prime Minister will urge Scots to “ditch the Tories, not the Union” (as the original SoS headline put it before being changed online to the rather more sober “Brown urges Scots not to give up on UK”, presumably out of respect for the gentle sensibilities of the paper’s Conservative-leaning readership).

brownimmigration

(We’d like to take a brief moment here to appreciate a couple of beautifully acidic, deadpan lines from the Herald’s piece, written by Paul Hutcheon. Our emphasis.)

“Brown, who led his party to defeat at the last General Election, will be the special guest at an event in Glasgow. Although Labour has a dominant role in the cross-party Better Together campaign, senior party sources last year pushed for a separation to convey Labour’s distinctive message.”

The substance of Brown’s argument, in so far as it can be said to have any, is founded on a lie that was comprehensively disproved on this very website well over a year ago – namely that “if Scottish Labour supporters vote to leave the UK it would mean abandoning colleagues in England to years of Tory rule”.

That proposition is demonstrably untrue (not to mention a remarkably defeatist assertion that Labour can’t now defeat the Tories in England, despite having done so in 1997, 2001 and 2005). But even if it wasn’t, what then?

Because we’re not sure we can identify any actual policy differences between the Conservatives and Labour. Of course that’s not exactly new, but we thought in the interests of fairness we should probably update our old feature and see where the two parties stood now on all the major issues. Here’s what we got.

The Tories want to be tougher on welfare
Labour want to be tougher on welfare.

The Tories want to be tougher on immigration.
Labour want to be tougher on immigration.

The Tories want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.
Labour want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.

The Tories want to end free tuition in Scotland.
Labour want to end free tuition in Scotland.

The Tories support workfare and want to extend it.
Labour support workfare and want to extend it.

The Tory plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.
The Labour plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.

The Tories want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.
Labour want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.

The Tories introduced the bedroom tax for social rented tenants.
Labour introduced the bedroom tax for private rented tenants.
(
And refuse to say they’ll abolish it.)

The Tories don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.
Labour don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.

The Tories have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.
Labour have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.

That Labour alternative in full, there. (Those, of course, are just the areas where Labour openly ADMIT to having the same policies as the Tories. In others – the privatisation of the NHS and Royal Mail, and the increasing of the pension age – Labour cynically pretends to oppose policies which they themselves set in motion.)

We hate to be a burden, but if any Scottish journalist is interviewing Gordon Brown in the next few days about his speech, could they possibly do us a favour and ask him exactly what would be different between a Labour and Conservative UK government in 2015 if Scotland votes No to independence? Thanks.

218 to “Bad-karma chameleon”

  1. scottish_skier says:

    could they possibly do us a favour and ask him exactly what would be different between a Labour and Conservative UK government in 2015? Thanks.

    Possibly tie colour, although even that's questionable these days.

  2. Tamson says:

    That list needs to be posted up everywhere a traditional Labour voter might see it.

  3. Bill C says:

    Policies and bus tickets I'm afraid.

  4. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    YES Scotland will be be competing for the headlines on Monday at a  event in Glasgow, headlined by Nicola Sturgeon: "Two Futures Facing Scotland".

    Expect the MSM to bury this under an avalanche of Labour/Brown set to save Scotland from itself.

    I'm pushing for the word smiths amongts us to find a more appropriate label for "United under Labour". I suggest "Labouring under Westminster" or "Labouring under the UK".

  5. Indion says:

    Labouring under delusions of their being different from Tories?

  6. HighlandMartin says:

    I chuckled eating my bacon toast when I read it…..'Brown, who led his party to defeat at the last General Election'

    So we have the two main banjo players on the UKTitanic on board. Fab :)

     

  7. John Hamill says:

    Gordon Brown. What a gift for the Yes campaign. This will be like hitting a coo on the arse with a banjo.

  8. Iain says:

    @HighlandMartin

    'So we have the two main banjo players on the UKTitanic on board. Fab '

    Perhaps 'Abide with Me' can be adopted as the theme tune of Bettertogether?

  9. Eva says:

    Great news for YES! to see the return of the big beast with the big clunking fist. No doubt our astute journalists will be queuing up tomorrow to ask him why he attends Westminster so rarely now if he still believes so strongly in its effectiveness in protecting Scottish interests.

  10. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Gordon Brown's desire to put himself and not Labour first after the 2010 election are fully exposed by former Labour minister Lord Adonis's book "5 Days in May". This Daily Mail article (7 May 2013) digs into this, revealing that:

    i) Danny Alexander called Brown ‘absolutely barmy.’

    ii) Brown's inablity to put Labour before his leadership torpedoed any chance of a Lab/Lib coalition.

    So, clearly, Gordon Brown's modus operandus is not to put Labour first, but rather himself;  "Better for Me" would seem to be an appropriate slogan.

     

     

  11. annie says:

    Someone asked on another thread how Labour would fund their seperate campaign – isn't JK Rowling Gordon's pal.

  12. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Another bad karma chameleon enters the scene! Forsyth writes in Telegraph today that it is time for the UK to leave the EU! As has been noted here, the BitterTogether cohorts incoherence has to be seen to be believed. But, as they say, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. So, let's get Forsyth's hypocrysy/doublespeak out there, and shout it from the rooftops.

  13. It'll be interesting to see how this actually plays out in the media. Will their visceral hatred of Gordon Brown outweigh their visceral hatred of independence?

     

    I'm guessing that the Sun will take the chance to give Gordon another kicking, but I'm not convinced about any of the other papers. And the BBC will definitely give Labour plenty of uncritical coverage, of course.

  14. Mosstrooper says:

    Please, please PLEASE will someone ask him if he agrees with Smart about rather having 100 years of the tories than Independence for  Scotland

  15. Damn! You beat me to it, Stuart.  It struck me this morning that Ruthie is a Tory for the same reason Blair was Labour, they both read the tea leaves and could see which party would be in the ascendent during their window of opportunity.

    Of course you really can't put a fag paper between Labour and Tory.  However, in examining "where to now for Better Together", the current crop of Tories are the least of our worries.

  16. James Kay says:

    In the period of GB's term as Prime Minister, we all know the hatred of him which was expressed by many papers and by some TV personalities. I did not feel that this was heard with appreciation within Scotland.

    I  found myself several times with friends, some of them Scottish, who thought that GB was the lowest of the low, and that everyone thought as they did. Although I have never voted Labour in my life, I did defend him on many such occasions with: "If he's a bastard, at least he's our bastard!"

    To those of you who think that Brown's intervention in the campaign is a gift to YES, then I suggest you wait before making a judgement. He was never as unpopular in Scotland as a whole as he was in the ROTUK.

     

  17. Blackford Wheeler says:

    "ditch the Tories, not the Union"

    Didn't he miss that trick when he refused to do a coalition deal with the Liberals after the general election?

  18. muttley79 says:

    If Brown is trotting out the demonstrably inaccurate and wrong line about England needing Scottish Labour MPs to prevent Tories governments this early in the referendum campaign then he and the No campaign are really in trouble. 

  19. scottish_skier says:

    Ditch the Tories, not the union.

    So Labour have finally worked out they're being shafted by Dave and co?

  20. cynicalHighlander says:

    annie says:
    12 May, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Someone asked on another thread how Labour would fund their seperate campaign – isn't JK Rowling Gordon's pal.

     

    One writes fiction the other utters fiction.

  21. Rod Mac says:

    The Scottish Media pack will treat him like some wise doyen and his words will be treated like pearls of wisdom from a  learned and beloved Prime Minister. In other words a whitewash propaganda piece.

  22. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    O/T

    National Collective have quantified the scale of the #donorgate Streisand Effect created by Taylor et al. What can one say, but thank you Mr Taylor! :)

  23. muttley79 says:

    Robbie Dinwoodie was just on Politics Scotland and said Lamont is "chipping away at Salmond," her popularity is increasing, and she is doing well.  Who Knew?   

  24. Tamson says:

    I see Labour is launching a separate campaign for the Union (so much for Better Together..).  Will this campaign be getting airtime alongside Better Together, and therefore doubling the No publicity?

  25. Jeannie says:

    Ditch the Tories and save the Union?  How can we ditch the Tories any more than we already have?  We've only got ONE Tory MP.  Even if we didn't have him, it wouldn't make any difference.  The Tories would still be in charge at Westminster.  I hope somebody points out to Brown that Scotland ditched the Tories a long time ago, but it's not done us any good.  The only way for us to get rid of their influence is to vote for independence.

  26. JLT says:

    James Kay

    To those of you who think that Brown's intervention in the campaign is a gift to YES, then I suggest you wait before making a judgement. He was never as unpopular in Scotland as a whole as he was in the ROTUK.

    —————–

    Sorry, James. He WAS detested in Scotland …maybe not as much as down in the South-East, but he was detested up here. This is a man who became not only a national embarrassment for the UK; he was an national embarrassment for Scotland also. When they spoke of Brown, all Scots got hit with it. As the media used to call the Labour Party …the Scottish Raj (Broon, Darling, Reid, Alexander). So naw…he and our Scottish Labour Pals who resided in the last UK Government were  …a national embarrassment to Scotland!!

    Let's look at his 'Grand Achievements' ….

    This Man royally f***ed up the economy. He sold off the Gold cheap. He RAIDED the Pension Pots which have screwed up millions of people. He fannied about whether to take on Blair for the Prime Ministers position, and he could not even admit that the Iraq War was the wrong decision. And don't even go there about the woman who challenged him on immigration, and was branded a 'bigot'.

    Believe me, 'Oor Gordo' is couldn't make a correct decision, even if his life depended on it. Broon would still f*** up royally if he was to bet on a one horse race where there was only 'one' horse in the entire race. Guaranteed… he would still mess it up by betting on a photo finish, lose the betting slip, or somehow, bet too late after the race started.

    And so, in his usual inept decision making …he has decided to help the 'No' campaign …and in doing so …royally screws it up for them! A million Unionist Scots groan in despair as Gordon Brown takes to the field again, while a million Nationalists cheer in delight!!

    So, is this a gift to the 'Yes' campaign …bloody right it is.

  27. Gizzit says:

    Not just two campaigns @Tamson – but three. Johann Lamont’s, Alistair Darling’s, and a shiny new one from Mr Farage – all “Better Together” seperately.

    I wonder which campaign will inherit the Vitol dosh?

    It’s turning into a circus and no mistake.

  28. pmcrek says:

    Even if it was the case that Scotland had any effect on Westminster elections, the very notion that its good for England to get the Government we pick and not the one they vote for democratically, is the beyond ridiculious. If you add in the fact that that Government should always be Labour then its the height of arrogance.

  29. Gizzit says:

    …and will Alistair Darling be able to head up the official BT campaign?

  30. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, Labour are now aware that there's little chance of them winning the next election. They also know that's there's not a snowball's chance in hell of Scotland staying in the union if the Tories or a Tory-UKIP combo is leading the next UK government.

    Hence the change in plan. Desperately tell Scots 'please stay and vote Labour so we can try to stop the English getting the government they voted for again and keep them in the EU against their will. There's little chance we'll win, but at least you could help us not lose as badly.'

    Anyhoo, UKIP effect kicking in nicely; already split the pro-union campaign.

  31. Yesitis says:

    After watching the Sunday Politics Show, if I didn`t know better, I would definitely come to the conclusion that the good (completely impartial and definitely not Labour) people at Pacific Quay would like nothing better than to see Labour win the Aberdeen Donside by-election.

  32. JLT says:

    If fact, I hear the start of that Eminem song….'Without Me'

    'Guess who's back? ….Shady's back …guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back….'

  33. An Duine Gruamach says:

    Ditch the Tories?  Ah, yes.  If only the Scots had the gumption to stop voting Tory all the time.

  34. cynicalHighlander says:

    Will he be taking his secret weapons?

     

    http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2008/09/mobile-phones_cmyk.jpg

  35. HandandShrimp says:

    I had thought Brown had all but retired from politics. He isn't exactly a regular feature of Westminster any more.

     

    What gives with the new Labour No Scotland campaign? Blair McDougall and Alastair not cutting the mustard? They are both Labour's place men for this. Or is this about Labour in England falling back? 29% against such an unpopular Government is a rotten show and Labour supporters in the English press are worried.

     

    With Lawson and now Gove doing the anti-EU populist thing the "we are alk UKIP now" jive seems to be gaining ground. Better Together? Haven't a fecking clue where we will be together more like. 

  36. mato21 says:

    So no will noo be no,no and Broon will show his face
    Tae share wi us his wisdom, tae put us in oor place
    The bunker will be opened up, Yoohan will be set free
    Wi Anus taking up the rear we'll hae the dreary three
     

    You''ll pay much more in taxes, they'll cut what you can get
    This man fae up North Britain way   who thinks that we forget 
    How no more boom or bust, were words from out his mouth
    While all the time we're watching our resourses flowing south

    This man fae up North Britain way,  embraced PFI like a lover
    To clear up the mess he left behind we'll be paying like forever
    His expenses claims with the errors in ,we never should forget

    He lost his moral  compass when he saddled us with debt

     

    He's still at it you know, this man knows no shame
    As he trails round the world he still able to claim
    He's an MP for Fife, so he takes what he's due
    In pay and expenses, from me and from you

    Then Yoohan, wi mare curl in her lip than her hair
    Will drone on an on till yer head is richt sare
    Making jokes she thinks funny but hasn't the sense
    To see  how a plank is looked on as dense

    Up will step Anus  what is there to say
    A blank page has more on it and as night turns to day
    He'll gabble at speed he's a nonentity of note
    He'd be better together tied up with the goat

    We'll listen real hard, we'll hear what they say
    But the gravy boat's sinking it's well on its way
    Better together has at least been good for a laugh
    Now on a platter comes no no like oor ane fatted calf

     

     

     

  37. pmcrek says:

    Sorry quick OT, my partner had a good suggestion after discussing a recent newsnet article entitled "our friends the good English.", the suggestion is to start a #500EnglishIcons hashtag with #YesScotland in the same vein as the #500Questions hashtag?

     

    I'm wondering if someone, or a group of folks, with more twitter followers than me may be willing to start it if it seems a good idea?

  38. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @HandandShrimp
    12 May, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    What gives with the new Labour No Scotland campaign? Haven't a fecking clue where we will be together more like. 

    Answer: "Sinking Together"

  39. Geoff Huijer says:

    So…..the best reason for voting No in the referendum is to help the

    English from getting Tory Governments because they can't vote

    somebody else in themselves? Oh dear.

    Duncan Hamilton has already laughed that suggestion off…

  40. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @pmcrek

    I would suggest #500WestminsterCons. Scottish independence is about freedom of to choose the democratic government that reflects the will and aspirations of the people living in Scotland; Westminster rule, both its mismanagement and deception of Scotland, is what we are opposed to.

    Otherwise, brilliant idea!

  41. Hetty says:

    The fact that the economy was 'F**ed up ' was not the work of one guy ie G Brown. At the very least give him credit for lowering VAT on household fuel ( not a luxury item) bills to 5%, and not the top wack (then 17.5%) that thatcher had introduced. He did much dmage that's clear, and I think he has though lost his marbles to be telling Scotland to ditch the tories, as Jeannie points out, we ditched them along time ago!!  These politicians who don't speak up for Scotland's best interests, ie, Independence, are selfish, backward looking, and immoral. They are quite happy to condemn us to being shafted by the rich boys and girls down in Westminster as well as spending billions on Trident, when people are struggling to pay bills, stay in their homes, and to afford the basics in this, a RICH country. It's a disgrace and they are a disgrace, in what is meant to be a democracy, time for people to speak up for and look after each other cos this lot aren't interested in doing that.

  42. muttley79 says:

    @pmcrek

     

    Sorry quick OT, my partner had a good suggestion after discussing a recent newsnet article entitled "our friends the good English.", the suggestion is to start a #500EnglishIcons hashtag with #YesScotland in the same vein as the #500Questions hashtag?

     

    I'm wondering if someone, or a group of folks, with more twitter followers than me may be willing to start it if it seems a good idea?

     

    No offense but I think it would be a bad idea.  Anything that mentions English or England by independence supporters in Scotland will be used against us by the No campaign and the MSM.  Avoid at all costs…

  43. JLT says:

    Hetty,

    The fact that the economy was 'F**ed up ' was not the work of one guy ie G Brown.

    ——————-

    Maybe not, but Brown certainly carries a huge chunk of it, and it lies squarely on his shoulders. HE was the Chancellor. HE made the final decisions when it came to Economics. Blair dealt with everything else.

    Thatcher might have begun the de-regulation of the Banking system, but Brown carried it on. He also presided over the rise in House Prices. Instead of telling the Banks and Lenders, that lending should be capped at 3 times your salary, this clown allowed people to take mortgages up to 10x their salary. That is why Interest Rates cannot be put up, because it would lead to a housing crash. 1% would kill those who took mortgages at 10x their salary. This WAS on Brown's watch. Brown screwed up the Mortgage market, and in doing so, f***ed up Interest Rates and Savers. and why …so he could rake in a lot of tax for the treasury; tax money which has now been spent, and left us with a mountain of debt.

    Personally …I do blame Brown for the state of the Economy. I blame Blair for two wars. He got us into an illegal war, while fighting another war at the same time (Afghanistan), and Afghanistan was never, ever going to be won. I would love to know how much money has been spent on those two wars alone!! Those two clowns have financially ruined the UK.

  44. Bill C says:

    @mutley79 – I'm with you on this one. My instinct says do not get involved in anything which might allow our enemies to play the racist card.

  45. Tris says:

    "if Scottish Labour supporters vote to leave the UK it would mean abandoning colleagues in England to years of Tory rule".

    So, their argument against Scottish independence is that it wouldn't be fair to condemn England to years of Tory rule (notwithstanding Iain Smart not mind it that much). They seem to be relatively comfortable with condemning Scotland to (on historical figures) more than half of its future with Tory rule.

    Maybe they should remember that England the reason that England gets Tory governments is that, unlike Scotland, England votes for the Tories. Simples.

  46. Bill C says:

    @JLT – Well said. They both have a lot to answer for, not least young lives still being lost in Afghanistan, they should hang their heads in shame.

  47. pmcrek says:

    muttley79

    No offence taken, I can certainly see your point, mght not be a good idea after all :(

  48. Albalha says:

    So who is Gordon really addressing?

    Is it aimed at Labour party members/supporters in Scotland who're swithering about jumping in with Labour for Independence?

    Surely, if they're even vaguely interested in politics, they're not so dim as to buy the 'save your brothers and sisters in England from the horrid Tories', line.

    It's a barefaced lie both on a policy and  an electoral level. Transparent, no?

     

     

     

  49. muttley79 says:

    @pmcrek

     

    As someone else said if you said Westminster it would be fine (after all that is where the transfer of powers would occur in the event of a Yes vote).  However, you are leaving yourself open to misrepresentation by the No side if you say English or England (and they would do so given a chance).  It was just that part of your idea, rather than the idea itself.

  50. Jim Mitchell says:

    I believe that the setting up of Labours own 'NO' campaign will be rife with opportunities for we of the YES campaign. We should start with the fact that Better Together have always been loath to even mention the coalition parties, this is a split in that campaign and we should call it such, we should also ask if the Lib-Dems and the Tories will be setting up their own individual campaigns as well.

     

    As for Gordon Brown's reappearance, I wonder if he will have the gall to mention pensions?  

  51. Yesitis says:

    I think some of us are too shy when it comes to talking up the Scots. Personally, I`d rather we looked at ourselves and the Scots before us who made all human life on this planet a little bit easier, than to continually patronise the English by telling them just how brilliant they are/could be.

    For what it`s worth, I love the Dutch :)

  52. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    BitterTogether Director of Communications, Rob Shorthouse @Bobbybungalow, has just started tweeting an attempt to spin Nicola Sturgeon's talk on Monday as a relaunch. Seems that Labour's actual  relaunch on Monday has spooked BT headquarters. Anyroads, I thought the following places such efforts in context.

    @Bobbybungalow Shorthouse's paymaster is BitterTogether. The current cost of "30 pieces of silver" appears to be £100, 000. #indyref

  53. Albalha says:

    And as for one of the other architects of New Labour, Mandelson not happy with Ed's 'One Nation' idea, it simply won't appeal to Tory voters …….. the depths to which they will sink to have power still never fails to amaze me.

    Lord Mandelson, one of the architects of Labour's last major rebranding, said: "You have to be more than a slogan and more than a label to get people to vote for you. So much is obvious."

    He said Labour had to show it was willing to make "tough" spending decisions, otherwise ex-Tory voters "will find it very difficult to vote Labour".

    Lord Mandelson also attacked Mr Miliband's claim that Labour had made it easier for people from working class backgrounds to be selected as candidates, saying it was wrong to conflate working class candidates with trade union officials.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22497299

  54. pmcrek says:

    muttley79

    Ahh wait, I think I didnt explain the idea correctly, the #500EnglishIcons is not meant to be sarcastic in the way #500Questions is, it is supposed to be a genuine list of people like Darwin, Betrand Russell etc… that we admire like the newsnet article.

  55. Jeannie says:

    I just think it's just the Labour Party kicking off their One Nation campaign for Westminster and trying to combine it with the  No campaign – two birds with one stone, so to speak.  Interesting timing – just before the Aberdeen by-election. It also gives them a chance to separate themselves from the Tories and the dodgy funding issues.

     

    Personally, I was glad to see the back of both Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling and  it's just a shame we don't seem to be able to get rid of their influence up here.  For the life of me I can't understand why anybody would think, after all this time, after all the chances they've had, after all the years they've been in power, after all the oil, gas and tax revenue they've had access to over the years, that they give a damn about the electorate.  What they care about is the Labour Party, first, second and last.  It's like a strange kind of God for them.

  56. Jim Mitchell says:

    If anyone doubts that the labour party, Brown included, have lurched to the right, they need only look at the terminology used in the front of the podium that Gordon Brown is on, whether you agree with the sentiment or not, there is no way that Labour of by-gone years would have adopted such a slogan

  57. HandandShrimp says:

    I would echo what others have said. Our fight is with Westminster including Scottish peers like Foulkes not the English.

     

    I actually think it is quite insulting to say that we the Scots have to save the English from themselves because they are genetically incapable of seeing the Tories as a bad choice. The Tories/UKIP/Liberals are currently their choice and we are not our brother's self appointed keeper. We have our favoured political priorities and the people in England theirs.

     

    If we vote No and somehow the votes in Scotland in 2015 prevent a EU referendum we will not viewed as better together. The leader columns of the Mail and the Sun will be less than complementary towards the Scots..hostile even and one might argue they would have a point.

  58. Bill C says:

    @HandandShrimp -"I actually think it is quite insulting to say that we the Scots have to save the English from themselves because they are genetically incapable of seeing the Tories as a bad choice. The Tories/UKIP/Liberals are currently their choice and we are not our brother's self appointed keeper. We have our favoured political priorities and the people in England theirs."

    Totally agree and it certainly looks as if we are drifting further and further apart by the day, which surely must result an increase in the YES vote.

  59. Albalha says:

     

    Just had a look at Rob Shorthouse's Twittering …… who really buys into this grandstanding? Apart from the bulk of the MSM of course.

    Latest Sturgeon relaunch (how many has that been?!) totally overshadowed by brown intervention. Only one side has momentum now. #indyref

  60. Hetty says:

    Very good speech by Duncan Hamilton, whoever he is, sorry if that means I am ignorant regards who's who.

    JLT,

    I won't argue with you on that, as my knowledge of such intricate political detail is I'm afraid a bit thin on the ground, but I don't doubt for a moment that the Tories would have done exactly the same regards the illegal war in Iraq and the banking shennanigans etc. Osbourne is now digging an even deeper hole, to the utter detriment of the poor and disadvantaged, and this will cause havoc with communities. The tories are in love with divide and rule and have always attacked the people at the bottom of the pile, and now Labour have jumped on that bandwagon, as I say, they are all a disgrace.

  61. Weedeochandorris says:

    @ AmadeusMinkowski 

    " I would suggest #500WestminsterCons. Scottish independence is about freedom of to choose the democratic government that reflects the will and aspirations of the people living in Scotland; Westminster rule, both its mismanagement and deception of Scotland, is what we are opposed to."

    What a stoatin idea!  Would you like to kick it off?

  62. HandandShrimp says:

    Alhalba

     

    Is Shorthouse someone I should have heard of? Why would I care what he thinks of an inveterate mobile phone hurling bully?

  63. Albalha says:

    @hands

    He's the Communications Director for BT. So, personally, I find their crowing about their manipulation interesting, you maybe don't, fair enough.

  64. annie says:

    Noticed SoS has a poll on whether Gordon Brown is an asset or liability to the No campaign was tempted to vote when I remembered their shenanigans with the Johann for First Minister a couple of weeks back.

  65. HandandShrimp says:

    I genuinely have never heard of him. I don't pay that much attention to the No camp.

     

    No Scotland have the BBC and Scotsman working directly to their press releases so it is hardly a surprise that they covered the story. It will be interesting to see if they cover the German angle on the EU or Qvortrup's view on debt. Foulkes has probably already had three fits and a kitten that either have made it onto any paper and that the evil Derek Bateman had the nerve to mention they existed.

  66. the rough bounds says:

    Gordon Brown? As John Bunyan reminds us in 'The Pilgrims Progress':

    ''I had hopes of that man, but now I fear he will perish in the overthrow of the City; for it is happened to him according to the true Proverb: The dog returns to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed, to wallowing in the mire''.

  67. Turnip_ghost says:

    Well, if they're going to have their OWN campaign we can start asking what THEY would do in an Indy Scotland? Or in a Scotland in the Union. Either one. Since they are speaking for just themselves now and not all three (or, including BNP etc …6? 7) Union Parties..?

    mi think this will be excellent for us. One of the phrases I've heard a fair few times is "United we stand, divided we fall." I hope they fall hard.

  68. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Albalha

    In response to Shorthouse's absurdity on momentum, I tweeted earlier

    @Bobbybungalow Shorthouse's paymaster is BitterTogether. The current cost of "30 pieces of silver" appears to be £100, 000. #indyref

    Feel free to retweet, or contribute your own.

     

  69. Albalha says:

    @AM

    I'm not a twitterer, I have the occasional recce but that's it.

  70. HandandShrimp says:

    I sullied my eyes and had a quick look on SoS and I see that on the comments section Brown's entrance to the debate isn't that popular…..from the rabid anti-independence trolls that inhabit that board. It seems they hate Brown most of all.

  71. Albalha says:

    @handandshrimp

    What interests me more is their strategy, clearly they know they can play the media so trot out the Brown story to knock Sturgeon off, possible, higher billing, it's all so very New Labour.

    That's why I was asking who is it really aimed at on their own side, as it were. As far as I can see this is a cyncial spoiling tactic, nothing more. Their cycnism knows no bounds.

  72. Jiggsbro says:

    #500EnglishIcons is not meant to be sarcastic in the way #500Questions is, it is supposed to be a genuine list of people like Darwin, Betrand Russell etc… that we admire like the newsnet article.

     

    If you start a list of 500 (or however many) English people that you actually like, it begins to sound a little like 'but some of my best friends are English'. It also leaves open the question 'what about the other 53 million?' It just panders to the BT claim that independence is fuelled by anti-English sentiment. Better to ignore that claim and establish the lack of anti-English racism by the absence of anti-English racism.

  73. JLT says:

    Hetty,

    I understand completely. Believe me, stay with this site. Seriously, your eyes will be opened. I thought I knew quite a bit, until Rev and a few others dropped a few gems before my eyes! These days, I come straight here for all my info on politics.

    My view of Brown is, that I don't have any time for the Man (and Blair even less!!). Those two men must have cost the UK at least a couple of trillion pounds. One bathed in his own glorification whenever a camera was on him, while the other was a complete control freak who got every decision wrong.

    What makes me growl, is that these 2 clowns are Scottish …and because of these 2 idiots …we, the Scottish people,  were at one point, we were all being tarred with the same brush by the British media. It got to the point, that it was just down and out racism from certain papers. 'The Scottish Raj' they used to quip. As my father said, if you were to replace the 'Scottish' with 'Black', 'Asian' or any named race, there would have been shouts of racism, but because it was us …then it was a case of 'who cares'.

    What will be interesting over the next few weeks, is what Gordon is going to do or say. The man is a walking calamity, and at somepoint, he will almost surely, will put his foot in it …it's just a case of when, where and how…

  74. Jiggsbro says:

    Well, if they're going to have their OWN campaign we can start asking what THEY would do in an Indy Scotland?

     

    Clearly, they don't think that Labour and the Tories would be better together in one campaign. They want their own, independent campaign against independence in order to give us a separate view on why separation is wrong.

  75. Weedeochandorris says:

    Very good article explaining how it all fits together for people like me who struggle to grasp the big picture -  "how scotland's economy went south"
    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/how-scotlands-economy-went-south/

    "The politicians who worshiped the neo-classical economic model kept on winning elections and why wouldn’t they, they had delivered an end to boom and bust!  Things were so good for Brown and Darling that they didn’t even get suspicious when the banks started offering million pound bonuses to fairly unskilled traders and started calling themselves “The Masters of the Universe” and drinking £1,000 bottles of champagne at Davos like it was going out of fashion.  Of course the banks were profitable, who couldn’t make money if the Government was giving them the right to make money out of thin air?

    Quote: Australian Professor Steve Keen, the Revere Prize winning economist said “the ‘UK economy is a ponzi scheme that is about to go bust – Scotland should get out while it still can’.

     

  76. Tattie-boggle says:

    Could this be Westminster troughers aligning themselves for a quick switcheroonie near the time of the referendum (with polls looking like yes landslide) in an attempt to get into the trough in an Independent Scotland stepping all over current Labour MSP's ?

  77. pmcrek says:

    Jiggsbro

    Certainly take the point, I dont think its a good idea anymore.

  78. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Twitter call for contributions to #500WestminsterCons

    Call for twitter contributions to the theme of Westminster Cons, perpetrated against Scotland and the World. By going beyond deceptions developed against Scotland's interests, we will be able to reveal the nature of the beast. The question really is, would the  women and men of Scotland trust Westminster's "promises" about their and their children's future after a NO vote?

    I'll try start the ball rolling with this first tweet:

    ***********************

    Westminster's Top Secret: An independent Scotland would be as prosperous as Switzerland.  #500WestminsterCons #indyref

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Please, do pile on to twitter and let's see wether we can create a perfect twitter storm as a fitting preamble for United-under-Labour's re-branding exercise tomorrow.

  79. Jason says:

    Not forgetting that Labour needing its MPs in Scotland to form a majority government at Westminster would lead to a very difficult situation. Just as the chances of an MP from Scotland ever again being home secretary, health secretary, justice secretary or even prime minister are very unlikely, regardless of how the numbers stack up.

  80. macdoc says:

    Both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair were born in Scotland but both considered themselves British. Scotland was merely the region of Britian of which they were born and neither had any affinity for Scotland particularly Blair. 

    Tony Blair had an english accent and this made him much more palatble for the English media, Gordon Brown fitted there stereotype of grumpy jock despite trying his hardest to distance himself in any way to Scotland. 

     

  81. Doug says:

    As I thought when I read this story last night (brain addled by nightshift) – so much ammunition for Yes in United for Labour.

    Aside from the “we’re better apart from bettertogether” irony, there is so much potential to highlight why Labour will change nothing substantial (and the option of making them squirm by asking them what would be done differently)

    Of course, I fear it will be spun as diversity of opinion in No (rather than ‘split’ as per the brouhaha re: Canavan/Harvie not being part of a mythical hive mind)

  82. K Mackay says:

    nice wee poem Mato21 :) is it to the tune of 'sae will we yet'?

  83. HandandShrimp says:

    I see the Beeb are leading with Nicola as the top political story. What with the Herald, Sun and the Beeb – a better day.

     

    Piece on Nicola doesn't even have the usual No Scotland quote at the end to sour it.

     

    It can't last :)

  84. Holebender says:

    @Hetty, the rate of VAT on fuel was 8% before it was reduced to 5%. True enough, the intention was to increase it to 17.5%, but it was introduced at 8%.

  85. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Jason

     

    As the Rev reminds us in his article – whenever Labour has ever won the UK general election, the number of Scottish Labour MPs has rarely made any difference to the outcome.  Labour has to win in England to secure Westminster; any Scots Labour MPs returned are just a bonus.

     

    But yes, should such a thing happen that Scottish MPs were the reason for a Labour win in Westminster, it could prove very awkward with the English electorate, to say the least.

  86. Weedeochandorris says:

    Ach, sorry Amadeus, dont have a twitter a/c.  Anyway, my contribution to #500 WESTMINSTER CONS

    Westminster says Scotland's TOO POOR TO BE INDEPENDENT (and the oil's running oot!). Oh yeah?  http://caledonianmercury.com/2013/03/28/major-investment-in-oil-west-of-shetland/0038431
    And http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/7246-new-oil-discovery-in-scottish-north-sea-sector

  87. Laura says:

    Gordon Brown – ask the good folk of Dalgetty Bay!

    Amadeus

    #Westminstercons – let's start with the Treaty of Union, should be able to rack up a few there alone.

    Sorry don't tweet.

  88. Doug Daniel says:

    There's one very big difference between a Laboour UK government in 2015 and a Tory UK government in 2015. The Tories will stab you from the front, whereas Labour will stab you in the back.

  89. muttley79 says:

    @Major

     

    How long has your face been half Blue?

  90. pmcrek says:

    Amadeus,

    I posted a #500WestminsterCons with a bella link, but unfortunately its not showing up in the hashtag search, guess I havent been on twitter long enough. :(

  91. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Doug Daniel says:

    12 May, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Brilliant! What about a more universal version? For example,

    Question: For Scotland, what's the difference between a Laboour and a Tory UK government?

    Answer: The Tories will stab Scotland from the front, whereas Labour will stab them in the back.

      

  92. Robert Bryce says:

    scottish_skier says:

    12 May, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Ditch the Tories, not the union.

    So Labour have finally worked out they're being shafted by Dave and co?

    Let me get this right. Labour in Scotland are asking us to back the union because they now realise that the tories & UKIP are going to form the next government in 2015?

    So it was fine to get into bed with the tories in the Better Together campaign because they thought they had a shout of winning the general election in 2015 thus ensuring they keep their noses in the trough.
    Now that's just a pipe dream Better Together is now not good enough for them because they will have their noses removed from the trough?

     

    For those on the fence it MUST be clear now.

    New Labour in Scotland have one objective and it doesn't involve safeguarding the wellbeing of the people. It involves the continued money grabbing of those members who have been sly enough to have weasled into a seat in Westminster or the House Of Lords.

     

    They don't care about us, they care about themselves and their £68,000 a year + expenses.

     

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!

     

    When are you going to realise that we can't stop Westminster? If we choose independence we can ditch selfish governments at every election.

    They'd soon get the message :)

     

  93. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @pmcrek

    If you send me your twitter handle, I'll check your post to see where you might have went wrong.

  94. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Laura

    #500WestminsterCons

    If you draft up a 140 character "tweet" on the union, I'll put it up on twitter for you. Also, if you have any queries about setting up your own twitter acount, I'm happy to help.

  95. Alex Grant says:

    Personally I think Labour separating ( did I say that?) themselves from BT is a good strategy for them. The question is can they make it work? I noticed the FM asked two of his opponents to come forward with policy proposals at last weeks FMQ's and as others have said above that is how the Yes campaign SNP should respond to this initiative. As Stu pointed out Labour's policies are designed for London and the SE so SLAB will be in the doo doo? Also Oor Gordon who isn't SLAB will have his own problems?

    if we had more ' interrogators' of the quality of STV's Mr Ponsonby we'd stand a better chance!

     

  96. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Kevin McKenna of the Guardian/Observer posted an interesting article today (12/05/2013): "Union with Ukip's England? Spare us".

  97. Boorach says:

    @ HandandShrimp

     

    Don't forget that the beeb have been told their output is being monitored by a Holyrood committee. Will perhaps be slightly more balanced till their predjudices overcome them!

  98. pmcrek says:

    AmadeusMinkowski

    Its pmcrek @PiratesForIndy

    Stu, sorry for all the offtopics on this.

  99. DougtheDug says:

    This is getting interesting. Labour are now distancing themselves from Better Together and starting up their own campaign which I assume will be self financing and not funded from Better Together. 
     

    So where's the money coming from? From their last published accounts for 2011 Labour in Scotland had a fund of £410,185 to hand but the Labour party as a whole is in debt to tune of nearly £6 Million when comparing assets and liabilities. 

     

    Are Labour in Scotland going to blow all their money on saving the British Establishment or are they going to look for funding from outside Scotland?

     

    It's actually a very bad move from Labour. They've just acknowledged publically that Better Together is a Tory front.

  100. Robert Bryce says:

    What must the private No Scotland  polls be showing for New Labour in Scotland to look at divorcing them?

    Something's going wrong in the No camp.

  101. muttley79 says:

    I can't see it making much of a difference either way.  Everyone knows that SLAB's core remains wedded to Westminster.  In addition, the utter fiasco of the income tax proposals means that they are highly unlikely to give any more ground on more powers for Scotland.  Consequently, their message will be as dreary and uninspiring as it has been for the last decade (at least).

  102. Doug Daniel says:

    AmadeusMinkowski – might be an idea if we don't include my typing error in a universal version :P

  103. Jim Mitchell says:

    Westminster cons for Twitter,

    How about, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    North Sea Oil will all be used up before the turn of the 20 century

    Scotland is a subsidised nation.

    Gordon Brown, the 'Iron Chancellor'

    'The pound in your pocket is worth the same today

     as it always was' Harold Wilson following Devaluation.

    The McCrone report.

    The London Olympics bounce which would be good for Scotland's tourism industry!

    ' England has been rather good to the Scottish people', Margaret Thatcher.

     North sea oil was keeping the entire British economy afloat, from the Autobiography of Jim Callaghan.

    Labour's old signature tune, 'Things can only get better'

    The 40% rule in the first Referendum

    The unionist parties own McCalman report, which made over 80 proposals, of which only about half were even considered by the unionist parties at Westminster.

     

    Will these do to be going on with, not on Twitter  myself?

  104. MajorBloodnok says:

    Muttley said: @Major – How long has your face been half Blue?

     

    You think that’s bad, you should see my arse…

  105. Seanair says:

    BBC News.    Just heard Sally McNair say that In Nicola's speech she will propose a SEPARATE Scotland! I don't think so…….

    BBC now putting words in SNP mouths.

  106. Doug Daniel says:

    To be fair, I can understand why BetterTogether aren't "Labour" enough for Labour. After all, look at some of the main people & directors of the campaign:

    Chairman: Alistair Darling (Labour MP)
    Campaign Director: Blair McDougall (former SpAd to James Purnell and campaign organisor for David Miliband – http://order-order.com/2012/05/09/exclusive-blair-mcdougall-tapped-for-pro-union-no-role/)
    Director of Research: Gordon Aikman (various policy wonk roles within Scottish Labour since 2008 - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/gordonaikman)
    Director of Communications: Rob Shorthouse (senior communications officer to First Minister Jack McConnell between 2001 and 2006 - http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/rob-shorthouse/8/aa2/67a)
    Other directors: Jackie Baillie (Labour MSP), Richard Baker (Labour MSP)

    So yeah, I can see why they need a specific United With Labour campaign group to get the Labour voice heard…

  107. muttley79 says:

    @Major

     

    You think that’s bad, you should see my arse…

     

    Eh?

  108. scottish_skier says:

    Just been flicking through 2009 polls.

    Erm, Gordon might have been slightly less unpopular in Scotland than in the Home Counties, but big majorities in Scotland thought he was crap.

  109. Robert louis says:

     

     

    We know that almost no UK general elections have ever been decided by Scottish votes, and that it is a lie peddled by Labour in Scotland, to scare Scottish voters.  Gordon Brown as a former Prime Minister will know this too.  If he gives speeches suggesting that Scottish independence will subject England to perpetual Tory rule, he is merely a bare faced liar, and deserves ridicule. 

  110. DougtheDug says:

    Doug Daniel:

    I think Labour are distancing themselves from Better Together because it's hard to pretend you're not fighting to keep David Cameron as the Tory Prime Minister of Scotland from September 2014 to May 2015 and possibly thereafter when you're part of a Tory funded campaign organisation.

    If Labour run their own organisation then it's easier for their campaigners to keep up the pretence that they're not the Tories little helpers in Scotland.

  111. Jim Mitchell says:

    the very first question to him should be, should Better Together hand back that dodgy donation?

  112. Laura says:

    AmadeusMinkowski says:

    12 May, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    @Laura

    #500WestminsterCons

    Thanks for the offer but not interest in twitter but my first suggestion would be

    Equal Union my arse!

  113. annie says:

    Jim – do you seriously think that he will answer questions, he will say his piece and make his escape probably to a more lucrative appointment.

  114. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    The answer is clear: both a left cheek and a right cheek are needed for a complete ass.

  115. Luigi says:

    The reasons for Labour's sudden panic to separate from Tory-funded BT can be explained by four letters: UKIP.

  116. Luigi says:

    Why are Labour panicking? Are UKIP are about to travel north and make another, very public request to join BT?

  117. Jeannie says:

    I'm just wondering where all this leaves the Lib Dems.  They're part of Better Together which is funded by the Tories and run by Labour.  Now Labour are going to run their own anti-independence campaign to run alongside the Better Together one.  Will the Lib Dems now need to do the same?  And if they all start running their own campaigns, what happens to Better Together?

  118. the rough bounds says:

    Ho hum! I do wish Scots wouldn't use that Americanism 'Ass'. The correct word is Arse. An Ass is a quadruped of the horse family.

  119. Stakhanovite says:

    The rough bounds-

    quite, it's the same as "shit" and "shite"

     

  120. Luigi says:

    Nice soundbite, Mr Brown. How about an alternative:

    DITCH THE UNION, SAVE US FROM UKIP

     

  121. the rough bounds says:

    This thing about Labour splitting off from the 'Better Together' campaign; this will come under the title 'Irony' will it not?

  122. Barontorc says:

    I come from a Scottish Labour supporting background and indeed voted that way up until Blair's New Labour appeared and at once I saw the writing was on the wall for what I stood for. Watching now from outside the tent I see a shadow of the political dignity that any successful party must carry and what has come to pass with bells on is simply an utter disgrace.

     

    I would have real trouble voting for any of the Labour MSPs and I truly feel disgust for those who trundle off to Westminster without a scrape of democratic intent for the Scottish people as they blindly support motion after motion that strikes at the very living existence of many of their electorate.

     

    I therefore have a political choice vacuum for when voting is a fact in an independent country. That says a great deal to me. That day cannot come soon enough.

  123. the rough bounds says:

    @stakhanovite.

    Um! Chaneil mi a chreidsinn gu bheil sin ceart.

  124. scottish_skier says:

    Luigi says:
    The reasons for Labour's sudden panic to separate from Tory-funded BT can be explained by four letters: UKIP.

    Oh yes, the two are not entirely coincidental.

    Before we just had a Tory party in a bit of trouble in the papers. Now we've ultra tories riding high and common or garden Tories running after them shouting 'wait for us'.

  125. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

    @Jeannie

     

    Were does it leave the LibDems?  Well, if Labour and the Tories are the left cheek and the right cheek of the arse, I guess it doesn't leave much else?

  126. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @ Doug Daniel

    Dreaded copy and paster error! Got it.

  127. kininvie says:

    These multi-better campaigns are spawning faster than bacteria. Presumably UKIP will be running one, since no one else will let it play? What is going to be our affectionate collective address for them all?

  128. Jim Mitchell says:

    @kininvie , we all will have plenty names for all of them but i don’t think the REV will allow that kind of language on this web-site!

  129. Jim Mitchell says:

    The Labour campaign will also seek to address concerns of senior party figures who have already expressed unease over its decision to line up alongside the Tories. Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy is among those who have said they would not want to share a platform with Conservative leader David Cameron. Dave Watson, of Unison,said: “While I appreciate the referendum campaign has to have a formal Yes and No campaign, most of us in the Labour movement have a huge difficulty with any campaign that includes the Tories.”
    Above from Scotland on Sunday, so much for togetherness!

  130. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, how long before Labour back an in/out EU referendum?

    Must be decent odds right now for Ed to say at some point he’d vote for ‘out’ if the ‘in’ terms could not be suitably re-negotiated as per Dave’s idea. Best get in quick.

    If they don’t back it, they’ll lose by an even larger margin in 2015.

  131. Jeannie says:

    @Jim Mitchell
    Dave Watson, of Unison,said: “While I appreciate the referendum campaign has to have a formal Yes and No campaign, most of us in the Labour movement have a huge difficulty with any campaign that includes the Tories.”
     
    Does this move make it easier for the unions to fund an anti-independence campaign on the grounds it’s simply funding a Labour political campaign?  If I were still a union member, I would be asking my union outright whether it is providing the Labour Party with funding for this campaign.  If the answer yes, I would be resigning my membership immediately on the grounds that my union was working against my interests as a member.  You can, of course, not agree to the political levy part of your union dues, but withdrawing your membership will give a clearer message.

  132. AnneDon says:

    Gordon Brown was never viewed in Scotland the way he is in England, Rev, in fact, Scots tend to feel quite defensive of him. 
    I wouldn’t be so sure Labour is onto a loser here, especially since the media will probably help by treating him like a statesman. 
     

  133. cynicalHighlander says:

    kininvie
    What is going to be our affectionate collective address for them all?
     
    Boorach.

  134. Jeannie says:

    I had a look on youtube earlier for a song Mitch Benn sang about Gordon Brown on The Now Show but I couldn’t find the particular one I was looking for.  However, I was astonished at the sheer amount of vitriolic songs I did find.  So, I would agree that he wasn’t hated in Scotland to the same extent he was hated in England – ironic, really, that he’s so in favour of staying together when they can’t stand him.  However, to say that we weren’t so vitriolic about him, doesn’t mean we actually liked him either.  We may just express things differently up here. 
     
    What seems odd to me is that Brown is re-appearing in Scotland at the same time as Blair seems to be re-appearing in England.  And Darling is leading the No Campaign. It’s almost as though the Labour old guard is attempting a come-back.  Should Milliband be worried?
     

  135. The Man in the Jar says:

    @kininvie
    David Hume (1711-1786) had an excellent name for them although it is a bit of a mouthful!
    “The Barbarians that inhabit the banks of the Thames”

  136. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Calmanballs
     
    Elaine C Smith has her say…

     
    http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2013/05/09/stooshie-alert/

  137. Dcanmore says:

    What United Labour will be is a series of speeches by Gordo and a few others to try and be compassionate about the Union without connections to the Tories/UKIP or dodgy donations that have upset Labour voters under BT. They obviously don’t believe the polls calling out 59% pro-union themselves because, no doubt, their own private polling has Labour panicked. They will target those Labour voters that deserted them in droves at the last Scottish election, also the growing Labour for Independence movement and trade unionists. What has been Better Together’s response to this new set up? I think this is a fracture, a panic move, but bringing Gordo out of semi-retirement slumber to talk about anything and nothing will fall on deaf ears. The game has moved on, the landscape has changed and both Broon and Flipper are yesterday’s men, its just that their egos tell them otherwise.

  138. a supporter says:

    pmcrek says:12 May, 2013 at 1:35 pm
     
    If we have a 500 list it should be 500 Scotsmen who have done great things. The English don’t need any help from us to bullshit their achievements.

  139. Xander says:

    Vote Labourative! Vote Conservabour! (Makes no difference – you’re screwed either way.)

  140. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Could someone ask him how much he’ll have to drop his ‘speaking’ fees if appearing as ex-PM of the ex-UK?

  141. Boorach says:

    Where does Brown’s intervention leave Darling, McDougal, Lamont, Sarwar, Bailey et al….. The pubic face of bitter thegither?
     
    is the washing dry yet? :-)

  142. The Man in the Jar says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    At 9;28pm.
    I thought that reply from Elane C Smith on Bella was very poor. Poor wee Susan.

  143. Xander says:

    @kininvie
    A Morass of unionist campaigns?

  144. sneddon says:

    AnnDon
    I have never felt ‘defensive’ about brown.  I may have once considered pissing on him if he was on fire but now I’d just let him burn.  Maybe there are one or two folk in the new labour village  think he’s the dugs baws.  Most people I fancy,  know his role in the present mess we’re in and consider him with the suitable amount of respect.(excluding voters who voted in him of course).  He would be best going off and becoming the academic he so obvioulsy wants to be but I don’t think he’s prepared to take the wage cut.  Money obssesed grubbber much  like his buddy tony.

  145. pmcrek says:

    a supporter
    Spare me the bile please.

  146. The Man in the Jar says:

    @kininvie
    How about “Grand Union Cabal”?

  147. ianbrotherhood says:

    @TMITJ-
     
    re Elaine C Smith/Calmanballs.
     
    Aye, it’s a strange one. Did you see the comments after the piece? 
     
    Have to wonder why she felt she had to support Calman. I’ve seen Smith doing stand-up, and she’s brilliant, but she must know herself that Calman is second-rate. She must also have known that she was sticking her neck out by avoiding the very obvious core issue re the ‘death-threats’ and how they were manipulated, esp by the BBC.
     
    Smith’s certainly gone down in my estimation – if the comments after the BellaC essay are anything to go by, a lot of folk feel the same.

  148. john king says:

    “Is Shorthouse someone I should have heard of? Why would I care what he thinks of an inveterate mobile phone hurling bully?”
     
    who is this shithouse? and why are BT  employing an invertebrate? I thought BT  had enough slime with Ian Smart?
      

  149. CameronB says:

    I think those who have suggest SLabour are now trying to distance themselves from dodgy Tory money, Dave, etc., are absolutely correct. Of course this may make it easier to secure union funding against Yes, but this is still a split, If this was a battle, half the forces opposing Yes have now just left the field of conflict. Whether they will return in any effective form is debatable.

    Re. Gordon Brown. The man is a seriously flawed character. His role in destroying the UK economy was enormous. Gordon Brown is not Labour, he is New Labour. Can anyone remind me of his position re. Iraq and Afghanistan? Might I also suggest Gordon is the Popular Front of Judea (the loan guy at the end of the clip).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE
    (second time round today but still makes me laugh)

  150. The Man in the Jar says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    Yes I noticed the comments. E.C. Smith`s article was very “Wet Nat”!
    I think Rab would have been a Yes but Jamsey a No. :-)
    I would like to hear Frankie Boyle`s take on the Calman thing.

  151. The Man in the Jar says:

    @CameronB
    A couple of acquaintances with union backgrounds mentioned that the Taylor dirty money had caused mutterings in the ranks. (Not claiming any credit but I did “explain” it to these gentlemen at the time) I think one of several reasons could be Labour running away from Taylor’s money.

  152. Chic McGregor says:

    AmadeusMinkowski says:
    12 May, 2013 at 10:30 am

    “YES Scotland will be be competing for the headlines on Monday at a  event in Glasgow, headlined by Nicola Sturgeon: “Two Futures Facing Scotland“.
    Expect the MSM to bury this under an avalanche of Labour/Brown set to save Scotland from itself.
    I’m pushing for the word smiths amongts us to find a more appropriate label for “United under Labour”. I suggest “Labouring under Westminster” or “Labouring under the UK”.”
     
    “U nit Ed under Labour”  ?

  153. CameronB says:

    @ Man in the Jar
    SLabour can run all they want from Taylor’s money. The fact is, No Scotland have it and will use it to pervert Scotland’s democratic choice. If SLabour have ANY principles, they should not only distance themselves from the funding, they should call it for what it is and demand its immediate return. As a very mild starter, might I suggest they at least admit that it is highly DODGY!
     
    Thank goodness spell chucker is back. :)

  154. Doug Daniel says:

    In regards to Elaine C Smith’s article, there’s a high likelihood that they are friends, or at least acquaintances, so that was never going to be an article critical of Calman.
     
    Anyway, back on topic – I was just thinking that if Labour are going to be putting their weight behind this new group, where does that leave BetterTogether? It’s been known all along that for BT to work, it would have to be Labour doing the legwork, as a Tory-fronted campaign would be rejected. With Anas being one of the folk fronting United With Labour, that presumably means his future TV appearances will be under the new banner. Same will go for the likes of Jim Murphy and maybe even Bammy Lammy herself.
     
    How long until BetterTogether folds? Can United With Labour survive without Tory fundraisers like Ian Taylor? This is going to be very interesting…

  155. john king says:

    “We know that almost no UK general elections have ever been decided by Scottish votes, and that it is a lie peddled by Labour in Scotland, to scare Scottish voters.  Gordon Brown as a former Prime Minister will know this too.  If he gives speeches suggesting that Scottish independence will subject England to perpetual Tory rule, he is merely a bare faced liar, and deserves ridicule. ”
    Really finding it difficult to give a monkeys
    why the hell should I care what mess the English get themselves into its their problem not mine, if you look at the average English poster on the Telegraph for instance you would find the tone is very disparaging towards Scotland so why I should be asked to give  sh*t what will become of poor old England fills me with face bovvered 
      

  156. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    ‘United under/with Labour’ = ‘High Noon for Last Gaspers’
     
    FTWFLOT…and their horses.

  157. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Chick McGregor
    I read Nicola Sturgeons speech. I like the line.
    “A No vote is the real gamble with Scotland’s future.”
    You can say that again.

  158. Bill C says:

    Chic – How about “Lied to by Labour”, or “Labour lying to you”, or “Labour liars for u”. Or should I just stick to the day job?

  159. The Man in the Jar says:

    @CameronB
    Agree. But isn’t it good to watch them squirm especially when there isn’t a rock big enough for them to hide under.
    I don’t think that they will hand it back in a month of Sundays they have held onto it for to long now.

  160. Geoff Huijer says:

    Someone asked what Frankie Boyle thought…
     
    Max Keiser discusses Osbourne’s ‘fear mongering’ amongst
    other things like Scotland using BitCoin for currency…
     

  161. Jiggsbro says:

    Really finding it difficult to give a monkeys
    why the hell should I care what mess the English get themselves into its their problem not mine,
     
    Exactly. If, after independence, Scotland gets the government it votes for and so does England, where’s the problem? Even if that means England gets perpetual Tory rule, that’s democracy in action. Labour’s pitch appears to be that it’s up to Scotland to ensure that democracy doesn’t work properly in either England or Scotland, so that they can get a shot of being in government.

  162. Chic McGregor says:

    The Man in the Jar says:
    12 May, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    “@Chick McGregor
    I read Nicola Sturgeons speech. I like the line.
    “A No vote is the real gamble with Scotland’s future.”
    You can say that again.”
     
    That is THE message to get out there.
     
    Bill C says:
    12 May, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    “Chic – How about “Lied to by Labour”, or “Labour lying to you”, or ”Labour liars for u”. Or should I just stick to the day job?”
     
    ‘Lies ‘R Us’?

  163. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Chic McGregor
    U nit Ed, Under Labour.
    That’s clever*, and got me thinking.
    Milliband is considered a highly manufactured politician; part of the factory line of career politicians. As such, he is like a unit of any product of a manufacturing line. Now each individual unit may be labelled with a number, say unit 54. I propose we label such manufactured politicians with their name.

    So the completely manufactured Westminster politician Ed Milliband, might best be described as Unit Ed.
    Now when thinking of the engine of a car, one naturally speaks of what is under the hood/bonnet. Well under the hood of Labour is Unit Ed.
    Unit Ed Under Labour
    Now the phrase “Unit(ed) Under Labour” is both uninspiring and highly informative concerning what is on offer under Labour! Love it!
    *Sometimes things are just hidden in plain site.

  164. CameronB says:

    @ The Man in the Jar
    It will be fascinating to watch how SLabour try to turn this pig’s ear in to a any kind of purse. Even if they manage to do this, will they have anything to put in their purse? Without Taylor’s DODGY cash, SLabour will be reliant on union support, which I think is far from guaranteed. Unless, of course, they have their own private sources of funds.
     
    Perhaps Gordon can donate some of his speaking fees?

  165. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Brown had many opportunities to distance himself from Blair, especially as the Iraq venture loomed. He chose not to. 
     
    Here’s a reminder of what he did, and why he doesn’t deserve to be trusted, on ‘Scottish independence’ or anything else:
     
    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Apr05/Rai0429.htm

  166. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Boris Johnson says in the Telegraph that the trouble with the UK is

    chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and underinvestment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure,”

    Is that why Scotland should feel secure in staying within the UK!?
    Better Together? You must be kidding.

  167. Chic McGregor says:

    Regarding ‘Dump the Tories’, a wee reminder:
     
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02532/brown-thatcher_2532387b.jpg

  168. Craig P says:

    I’m no Brown apologist but he kept us out the Euro, credit where it is due. Don’t ask me for any other long term achievements. 
     
    Anyway, re Shorthouse, ‘brown intervention’ sounds like a euphemism for something unpleasant, like ‘dirty protest’. 

  169. fittie says:

    The real audience labour`s new campaign for the union is aimed at is labour activists and supporters .
    “labour  for independence” must be making meaningful gains in membership if a new “united with  labour ” group has to be brought into being .
    There are now two labour parties in Scotland

  170. sneddon says:

    Brown had to keep UK out the Euro for the reason it would not meet the criteria for joining it .  Something to do with debt as a % of GDP.  I could be wrong but there was difficulty meeting it as well as political considerations and the interests of the City for him to consider.

  171. Chic McGregor says:

    Better Apart?
     
    Better United Apart?
     
    How are they going to share the funds?
     
    Or will they using this to cheat the funding limit?
     
    Better Untied
     
    Yes in 2014
     

  172. theycan'tbeserious says:

    “BITTER TOGETHER SO BETTER SEPERATE”!….seems logical?

  173. ukip free zone says:

    Yes Scotland comprises several diverse political parties and groups (including Labour and Lib Dems for independence) that are getting along well and getting on with the campaign for the common good. That’s real better togetherness. If Unionist Labour can’t share campaign platforms with the Tories then why is that campaign called Better Together?

  174. Jiggsbro says:

    Or will they using this to cheat the funding limit?
     
    Each party has its own limit, separate to the two main campaigns. 

  175. Norsewarrior says:

    “Really finding it difficult to give a monkeys. why the hell should I care what mess the English get themselves into its their problem not mine”

    Well unfortunately it will be Scotland’s problem, thanks to the SNP’s plan to force us to remain economically shackled to rUK without giving the people of Scotland a choice. 

    If rUK continues voting Tory then Scotland’s economy will continue to be subject to the devastation of the Tory’s austerity measures for as long as we keep using the pound.

  176. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “the SNP’s plan to force us”

    Interesting use of the word “force”. I must have missed when they proposed the abolition of democracy after independence.

  177. sneddon says:

    NW- Of course there is a choice don’t vote for parties that wish to use the Sterling zone.  In the long term realign our economy to increase trade with non rUK.  Simples :)  And remember the rUK won’t always be economically ruined.  Your are being simplistic in your approach and full of ‘whataboutry’.

  178. scottish_skier says:

    Yougov showing Labour’s UK lead now dropped below the 40% mark consistently. The decline continues. With only a 29% share for 2015 projected from the recent local elections (which are much more reliable than polls) it looks like they’ve no chance.

    This and the UKIP rise obviously has them very worried.
    Re the new ‘Vote Labour to stop the Tories’ strategy to combat the SNP/independence…

    Has this not been tried before? Like since the 1970′s? Is that not flogging a dead horse?

  179. scottish_skier says:

    Given that a recent poll shows 66% of Scots favour keeping the pound after independence, with only 19% against, I guess it’s up to the 19% to persuade the 66% to go immediately for another currency.

    I can understand the SNP adopting what the electorate wants (£) as their proposed plan initially. That’s what governments are supposed to do; represent the electorate’s views. Breath of fresh air compared to UK parties.

  180. Braco says:

    Scottish Skier,
    surely it’s so obvious. We only have ONE Tory MP at the moment but we are still living under a Tory led Coalition Govt.

    If Mundell were for any reason to resign and the Tory’s lost even that seat, it would have zero effect on the continuation of the Tory led UK Government at Westminster.

    As in 97, that would be Zero Tories returned from Scotland, yet a Tory led Government still ruling over Scotland at Westminster.

    I really believe that the SLAB think the electorate are absolute simpletons. This does seem to explain the special contempt that they seem to show for their own Country and constituencies.

  181. Bunter says:

    Just watched an article on daily politics and was interested to see that specsavers is now carrying out hearing tests for the NHS down south. And so it begins……..

  182. Albert Herring says:

    If every single Scottish voter at the last General Election voted to “ditch the Tories”, what government would we have now?
     
    Perhaps Gordon Brown would like to tell us.

  183. Braco says:

    Albert,
    Exactly! (and made my post look rambling and incoherent into the bargain).
    Thanks for that. (smily)

  184. Braco says:

     
    Albert Herring says:
     
    13 May, 2013 at 12:35 pm
     

    If every single Scottish [Tory] voter at the last General Election voted to “ditch the Tories”, what government would we have now?
     
    Perhaps Gordon Brown would like to tell us.

     
    Makes it even clearer Albert !  

  185. Doug Daniel says:

    NorseWarrior – “If rUK continues voting Tory then Scotland’s economy will continue to be subject to the devastation of the Tory’s austerity measures for as long as we keep using the pound.”
     
    Just as well independence will give us the power to choose our currency, then!

  186. Jiggsbro says:

    This does seem to explain the special contempt that they seem to show for their own Country and constituencies.
     
    If you think of yourself as British, rather than Scottish, then you don’t show  contempt for your country simply because parts of it did not vote for the party currently in government. You don’t show any contempt for your constituencies simply because they are outnumbered by Tory constituencies in your country. You just have a different view of what your country is. You see ‘Scotland’ as just a region of your country. Other regions of your country also didn’t vote for the current government, just as other regions didn’t vote for the previous government, so the Scottish region of your country is nothing special in that regard. If your country is the United Kingdom, then you’re not showing contempt for any part of it by allowing democracy to take effect in that part. In fact, if your country is the UK then you’d be showing contempt for other parts of it by giving special consideration to one part. If your country is the UK, it simply isn’t relevant that one region of it has only one Tory MP. It isn’t relevant that one region didn’t vote for the current government, because several other regions didn’t vote for it either. An argument that  ‘You are treating your country with contempt’ can be dismissed with “But my country is not your country”.
     
    There are people – Unionists – who consider the UK to be a country of which Scotland is simply a part. Criticising their actions on the basis that Scotland is a country fails, because they reject the central plank of your criticism. Judging their actions on that basis fails, because their understanding is not your understanding and so their motivations are not your motivations. You are reduced, therefore, to attacking them simply for having a different point of view, without attacking that point of view.
     
    Personally, I regard anyone who thinks Scotland is simply a region of the UK as a lost cause when it comes to the referendum. They’re Unionists and they’re unlikely to change their mind, particularly when the arguments put to them assume a point of view which they do not share. If they are to be swayed, it will be by first changing their view on whether Scotland is a country, not by attacking them for not sharing your view on the matter.

  187. Desimond says:

    Better Together, United with Labour….says it all when being championed by yesterdays men in Brown and Darling. Those Campaigns dont understand, worlds moved on. This all about looking towards Tomorrow, not clinging on to yesterday,

  188. Brian Ritchie says:

    @ Jiggsbro
    Absolutely correct! If I meet a NO voter I try to establish what they feel to be their country at the outset.  If their answer is the UK they are indeed very probably a lost cause.

  189. Norsewarrior says:

    “Interesting use of the word “force”. I must have missed when they proposed the abolition of democracy after independence.”

    I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that the SNP plan to form a legally binding currency union with rUK before the first independent Scottish election, without giving the people of Scotland a choice.

  190. Norsewarrior says:

    “I can understand the SNP adopting what the electorate wants (£) as their proposed plan initially. That’s what governments are supposed to do; represent the electorate’s views”

    I’m sure you’ll agree that what the electorate want is democratically expressed in elections, not in opinion polls. The electorate will not have any democratic say on the currency they want an independent Scotland to have before the SNP form a legally binding currency union with rUK before the next election.

  191. Norsewarrior says:

    “Just as well independence will give us the power to choose our currency, then!”

    But it won’t, that’s the point, at least not in the short term anyway. 

    We won’t get a chance to choose what currency we want to use in the first independent Scottish election because the SNP will have already formed a legally binding currency union with rUK before then, without giving us any say whatsoever. 

    The currency union will, of course, have a binding minimum timescale (clearly neither party want to subject themselves to the economic turmoil that would occur were one of them to leave the currency union whenever it wanted), meaning that it will likely be at least a decade before the people of Scotland actually get any say on what currency we want to use. 

  192. HandandShrimp says:

    Noresewarrior
     
    I don’t think binding minimum periods are a rule. We would not be renting it.
    Such a currency union would have a limited life as the needs of our economies diverged. Should rUK come out of recession it woulkd undoubtedly face upward pressure on house prices and interest rates whereas Scotland would almost certainly be looking to maintain lower rates. In many ways, were it not in turmoil, the Euro would be a more sensible medium term option. My leaning would be to keep a Scottish pound and peg it rather than commit to a currency union but I am open to persuasion.

  193. Braco says:

    Jiggsboro,
    I was talking about Scottish Labour politicians. They, I am sure, do feel as you describe but they certainly would rarely advertise those views to their constituents. As politicians they understand the reality of the Scots electorate’s national self perception.
     
    Why else would they (and all the other Unionist parties for that matter) participate in the make believe (fraud) that they are members of a Scottish Party with a Scottish leadership that somehow represents Scotland as opposed to just standing as a member of the British Labour Party with it’s British leadership etc.. (as I believe they used to do)?
     
    My point is that such politicians look upon their own supporters with contempt because they have for years knowingly been able to play this cynical game with them and yet still have enormous majorities offered up to them.
     
    They think their constituents are stupid and it’s hard to respect someone you feel to be stupid. Scotland as a Country, decade after decade returned vast majorities of Labour MP’s no matter how badly they represented our interests and so also has, in their minds, fallen into the same category of a generally stupid wee place full of easily gulled and politically ‘handled’ fools that cannot and should not be respected.
     
    How else can you explain the inanity of the campaigning, the stupidity of the lies that they offer and the quality of the representation that they raise to leadership levels to ‘serve’ us. The Labour Party in Scotland actually believe the too wee, too poor and too stupid doctrine. It’s just that they feel too savvy to come out and say it, but they reveal their views in all those other ways. They truly believe we will swallow whatever they dish up. After all, have we not always?
     
    This is another reason that the Westminster MP’s have taken control of the party in  Scotland post 2011. They think the failure of their MSP colleagues to sell the usual crap at  Holyrood is down to lack of talent, as they themselves were able to successfully sell the very same crap just the year before to the Scots Westminster electorate. They feel sure their ‘talent’ will once again solve the tricky Scottish problem. 
     
    This is the reason that I am always so against any attitude toward or concept of the electorate that implies they can some how be thought of as ‘low information voters’ to be handled and led. To me it’s the start of the very slippery and nasty road that ends in the condescending anti democratic morass that is the current Labour Party machine in Scotland.  
     
     

  194. Braco says:

    Norse warrior,
    What currency are we in?

    What is your supposed mechanism to change currency before elections our first Independent elections in 2016?

    What currency would we be in the day before our Independent election 2016?

    What currency would we be in the day after our Independent election 2016?

    What are talking about then?

    We will be able to assess and democratically choose which currency position is best for Scotland thereafter. Only you seem to have access to the future terms and agreements that our current Scottish Government will come to with our current Westminster Government post 2014 YES and pre Independence in 2016.

    I don’t think you do, but I do think you are just looking for another angle for your multi angled anti SNP hobby horse and it’s getting really boring.

  195. Indion says:

     
    Albert Herring @ 12:35pm

    If every single Scottish voter at the last General Election voted to “ditch the Tories”, what government would we have now?

    Perhaps Gordon Brown would like to tell us.

    Albert, your insight is so spot on, its right on!

  196. Les Wilson says:

    O/T
    I just watched the Max Keiser/Frankie Boyle interview on youtube , there are two segments on this, the first with Max supporting Scottish Independence in his usual manner. He then went on to propose BITCOIN as a Scottish currency, he explained a bit about the uses of BITCOIN. 
    I have to say that while I ( and I am sure the wider population ) knew little about it, however it appears it has very many advantages over our fiat currency system. Could this really be Scotland’s chance to break the mold? It seems many across the world including big business are becoming more and more interested in using Bitcoin.
    So while we,might know little and understand even less, should we be looking into that system as one to be used as the Scottish currency, which would sidestep the currency manipulation across the globe and make Scotland and other countries free of all the manipulation of fiat governments across the world, where currently bankers, big corporations, and governments rule over the dynamics of the lives of almost all the worlds population, for their  own purposes s.
    In the know people, are aware of the values and pure purpose of Bitcoin, personally I think there really is something in this, perhaps something of much benefit to Scotland and the others using it. 
    It is on the rise being fed on people’s disappointments with manipulated currencies, people are fed up being under the cloud of corrupt governments and the whole of the current banking system. There is no doubt a need for change, and fast, before the current system falls into a global abyss.
    Maybe BITCOIN could be the thing to change everything, and make the world both a better place by making the fiat money system a thing of  the past.
    Bitcoin is rising in status, perhaps Scotland should really think of this, and be innovative in our thinking.It does seem that Bitcoin is becoming a force for good that is only going to get bigger and better.

  197. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I have to say that while I ( and I am sure the wider population ) knew little about it, however it appears it has very many advantages over our fiat currency system. Could this really be Scotland’s chance to break the mold?”

    No. Really, really not. I’m not sure if he was joking or is mad, but trust me, Bitcoin is NOT the solution to the Scottish currency question.

  198. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    If it is 

  199. Norsewarrior says:

    “What currency are we in?”

    Sterling obviously, why? What does that have to do with the fact that we’d become an independent nation in 2016 but the SNP won’t allow the people of Scotland our sovereign right to decide which currency we want to use as an independent nation?! 

  200. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “our sovereign right to decide which currency we want to use as an independent nation”

    There is no such “sovereign right”. There is democracy.

  201. Norsewarrior says:

    In Scotland the people are sovereign. 

    It is not ‘democracy’ in any shape or form for the SNP to force Scotland into a currency union with rUK despite having no mandate to make such a decision and without giving the people of Scotland any say whatsoever.

  202. Morag says:

    [Morag reaches for the popcorn]

  203. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Scotland is in a currency union with the rest of the UK now. If we vote for independence, that will represent no change whatsoever, and therefore is clearly not a matter of anyone being “forced into” anything. If the people of Scotland don’t like the SNP’s manifesto, they are at liberty to reject it at the ballot box in 2016.

  204. Norsewarrior says:

    “Scotland is in a currency union with the rest of the UK now”

    No, its part of the UK. There is clearly a significant difference between Scotland’s current currency situation and the situation of it being a separate country in a currency union with another separate country. 

    “If we vote for independence, that will represent no change whatsoever”

    Apart from the obvious change detailed above. 

    “If the people of Scotland don’t like the SNP’s manifesto, they are at liberty to reject it at the ballot box in 2016″

    By which point it will be far too late to do anything about our currency – the SNP will have already forced us into a legally binding currency union without giving us a choice.

  205. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “By which point it will be far too late to do anything about our currency – the SNP will have already forced us into a legally binding currency union without giving us a choice.”

    Don’t be stupid. No government can EVER bind the hands of its successor.

    You’re using the word “separate” a lot, I notice.

  206. Norsewarrior says:

    “Don’t be stupid. No government can EVER bind the hands of its successor.”

    Yes, I’m sure rUK will agree to a currency union with us with the possibility that we’ll leave it if we vote the SNP out in 2016. I’m sure rUK will be quite happy to form such a currency union that we’ll be able to leave whenever we feel like, in the process causing rUK (and ourselves) considerable economic damage. Why wouldn’t rUK be happy to form such a currency union with it having a legally binding minimum timescale?!

  207. Macart says:

    @Morag
     
    Caramel or butter? :)

  208. Norsewarrior says:

    “Don’t be stupid. No government can EVER bind the hands of its successor.”

    Yes, I’m sure rUK will agree to a currency union with us with the possibility that we’ll leave it if we vote the SNP out in 2016. I’m sure rUK will be quite happy to form such a currency union that we’ll be able to leave whenever we feel like, in the process causing rUK (and ourselves) considerable economic damage. Why wouldn’t rUK be happy to form such a currency union without it having a legally binding minimum timescale?!

  209. Norsewarrior says:

    Scotland: Hi rUK, we’d like to form a currency union with you, but if you don’t mind we don’t want it to be legally binding like most international treaties because we want to be able to leave it whenever we feel like, such as if we vote for a different party in 2016, I hope you’ll agree to that and don’t mind the economic damage it would cause you?

    rUK: No not at all, we’re your neighbours so we’re quite happy to join it without any guarantee that you’ll remain in it after 2016, despite the economic damage that would cause us……..

  210. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Yes, I’m sure rUK will agree to a currency union with us with the possibility that we’ll leave it if we vote the SNP out in 2016.”

    Which part of “no government can ever bind the hands of its successors” didn’t you pick up?

    That includes foreign governments.

  211. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Norsey – don’t you have any other records you could put on?

  212. Norsewarrior says:

    “Which part of “no government can ever bind the hands of its successors” didn’t you pick up?”

    The currency union would be legally binding under international law.

    Obviously neither rUK nor Scotland would agree to such a union if it weren’t legally binding and if there was a possibility that either one of them could leave it whenever they wanted. 

    That means any government elected in 2016 will be unable to withdraw from the union. 

  213. Adrian B says:

    @ Norsewarrior.
     
    Were you even aware that we are in a currency union at the moment?
     
    What difficulties lie ahead for a Norsewarrior in an Independent Scotland?

  214. Doug says:

    Norsewarrior
     
    Your argument does not stack up.  Currency unions can be formal or informal, with or without agreements. 
     
    Informal: Any country can use any other country’s currency unilaterally (e.g. US/Aus/NZ Dollars, Swiss Franc etc) – often the arrangement between a small stste and a larger neighbour.  No policy constraints applied. Unilateral arrangement.
    Formal – e.g. Sterling,CFA Franc (used in West Africa, guaranteed by France), SA Rand.
     
    Formal with common policy:  East Carribean Dollar, Euro.
     
    The sterling zone itself has had an interesting (imperial and modern) history.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_area  – a combination of formal/informal, expanded with the Empire, shrunk in increments ans individual nations needs changed.
     
    The point is, with independence, that the world would be our oyster.  We could ultimately have a Scottish Pound, Sterling, the Euro, the US Dollar, the Swiss Franc or WHATEVER THE HELL WE WANTED.

  215. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The currency union would be legally binding under international law.

    Obviously neither rUK nor Scotland would agree to such a union if it weren’t legally binding and if there was a possibility that either one of them could leave it whenever they wanted.

    That means any government elected in 2016 will be unable to withdraw from the union. “

    Any signatory to any contract or treaty can – of course – withdraw from it at any time. There may be consequences, but it can still be done – what would the rUK do, send tanks up to MAKE us keep using the pound? Since you can’t possibly not understand that, you’re beginning to look like the troll everyone called you out as, and my patience is near its end.



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