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Wings Over Scotland

Double Standards

Posted on February 27, 2014 by

Credit ratings agencies are not, on the whole, noted for a reckless, devil-may-care approach to either personal or national finances. It’s not too often that you hear one say “Well, we don’t exactly know what’s coming in the future but what the heck, it’ll probably all work out fine in the end”.


So we were naturally more than a little curious to see the analysis released by Standard & Poor’s, one of the world’s key ratings agencies, of the likely state of an independent Scotland’s economy today.

Our interest was further piqued by the fact that the report was buried in the press – for example, the BBC hid it a long way down in its doom-laden coverage of Standard Life’s rather innocuous statement about its independence contingency plans.

We rather cynically assumed from this that the report must contain something positive about Scotland, and we weren’t wrong. (Our emphasis below.)

“Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment. Higher GDP per capita, in our view, gives a country a broader potential tax and funding base to draw from, which supports creditworthiness.

We view Scotland’s trend growth as closely matching that of the UK. While North Sea output (again on a geographical, rather than population-derived basis) accounts for 16% of Scottish GDP (calculated using data from the Scottish government’s experimental national accounts project), this does not, under our methodology, lead us to conclude that the economy is excessively concentrated. We typically only adjust for excess economic concentration should a single sector exceed one-fifth of a country’s GDP.”

This, of course, is a view somewhat at odds with “Better Together” chairman Alistair Darling, who constantly warns that an independent Scotland’s economy would be dangerously over-reliant on that pesky volatile oil revenue that causes such terrible problems for Norway, Saudi Arabia and all the other poverty-stricken petro-nations, and that as a result of that instability Scotland would pay more for its borrowing because it wouldn’t be considered creditworthy.

As the UK struggles to hang onto its own credit rating, which was downgraded by two agencies last year, the Standard & Poor’s report is a powerful endorsement of Scotland’s economic position, and even notes that it would be strong without any oil at all. (It does, in fairness, apply some caveats if Scotland and the rUK don’t agree a currency union, but notes that alternatives are viable.)

But there’s an intriguing twist at the end.

“The composition of Scotland’s external balance sheet is as yet hypothetical, but our initial observation is that the Scottish financial sector is unusually large, with total assets estimated at 12.5x GDP. We would therefore likely view the financial sector as a significant contingent risk to the state. At the same time, a large part of this activity could be re-domiciled to the UK.”

It’s not the oil industry S&P is worried about being over-large, but the financial services one. (It wasn’t, after all, oil that caused the global economic crisis.) Its proposed solution? Dump chunks of it back on the UK.

Or in other words, the very thing that the entire Scottish media is bellowing from the rooftops today as a potential disaster is the best thing that one of the world’s primary credit-rating agencies thinks an independent Scotland could do to protect the stability of its economy.

It’s quite the unfathomable mystery why the media has chosen to focus on Standard Life’s announcement today rather than Standard & Poor’s, eh readers?

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152 to “Double Standards”

  1. Les Wilson says:

    Stu says
    “it’s quite the unfathomable mystery why the media has chosen to focus on Standard Life’s announcement today rather than Standard & Poor’s, eh readers?”

    Er, not really!But I take your implication!

  2. Marcia says:

    A spoiling tactic by HMG. Sorry BBC that this will get out.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    Heard that announcement earlier today on BBC Radio News…

  4. west_lothian_questioner says:

    With S&P’s follow up to the recent, “revelations,” in the FT, I think we can now safely declare the economic argument well and truly won. The problem we’re left with is making sure that people who use the papers and TV for their information get to hear about that little fact.

  5. Chris says:

    So Scotland needs to rebalance its economy away from banking and financial services. Is that not what was being said about the UK about 4 years ago?

  6. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Don’t you just love it when the unionist media try and prove Scotland is a basket case in terms of the financial sector and because of this an independent Scotland would lose all its financial sector businesses.

    Yet when you listen to the people that really should know about all things financial you find out that they are actually promoting the idea of Scotland losing a significant chunk of its financial sector. Hmm… best we don’t tell the media, huh, we don’t want to upset the little darlings just in case they start pulling the few remaining tufts of hair out of their head.

    I wonder if dear, dear Johann Lamont has read this report yet or is aware that her claim that the T.S.B. will leave Scotland if we vote YES is, like her claim about Standard Life utter nonsense! 🙂

  7. NorthBrit says:

    This is despite the fact that both they and Fitch bizarrely include numbers based on a population share of oil, something for which there is no precedent and which is contrary to international law:

    Which suggests that someone has been misleading them about the possible post independence position.

  8. Croompenstein says:

    Press release from Flipper – blink blink look you know you know look blink blink you know look look you know blink splutter blink you know look…the price of oil can go down look you know blink blink you know look the oil is running out..blink blink splutter

  9. Gary says:

    I don’t quite understand the 2nd last paragraph. Maybe an edit required, or maybe you don’t know what I mean!

  10. chicmac says:


    I was waiting to use that double standards line.

  11. ronnie anderson says:

    As is the way of Westminster,distraction technique,push a negative bury a positive.

  12. Ian Brotherhood says:

    The missing caption for the image:

    ‘Stevenston, yesterday.’

  13. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Thought there was another interesting point that jumped out of Jon Snow’s interview with the boss of RBS tonight.

    He pointed out that with a YES vote according to RBS’s own accounts it threatens it’s Credit rating..and as it’s shareholders are UK taxpayers that means an increased risk for each and every rUK taxpayer

    And almost certainly delays the re privatisation Gideon so desires.

    So logic would dictate any Chancellor would seek to avoid such risk and delays in getting liability like RBS off the books….

    And the most obvious solution……well that would be some form of Currency & Banking Union.

    So in a way, the YES argument that business would demand a Currency Union post a YES vote, has been emphatically proven today as RBS in particular will demand it.

  14. heedtracker says:

    Aye the BBC propaganda machine fires away on all three online barrels

    Same BBC don’t say that Mr Nish, multi millionaire tory boy threatening Scotland with moving his Standard Life to the City of London, is also advisory council member of this who promote and watch out for the City of London, what a surprise.

  15. Tam Jardine says:

    Stu says
    “We typically only adjust for excess economic concentration should a single sector exceed one-fifth of a country’s GDP.” (S&P)

    Anyone know proportion of EWNI GDP is financial services? As mentioned on CiF thread, is a report on rUK in the pipeline complete with a few uncomfortable home truths? How deep they would try and bury that! I have no love of the power of ratings agencies but they seem to delight in telling it like it is.

  16. bunter says:

    There are game changers then there are game changers. S&P’s assessment could be the mutts nutts, if we can connect the voters to this info.

  17. HandandShrimp says:

    Saying something positive about independence would stick in the BBC thrapple like cold porridge with too much salt in it.

    There will be no balanced or fairness from that quarter. Even during the formal three months of campaigning they will seek to break and bend every rule. We have to keep on their case and drag them kicking and screaming to some semblance of journalistic integrity.

  18. Winging it says:

    S&P analysis – page 1 of The Wee Blue (Tartan?) Book

  19. chicmac says:

    “S&P analysis – page 1 of The Wee Blue (Tartan?) Book”

    S&P analysis – page 1 of The Wee/Big Blue (Tartan?) Book

    Do keep up 😉

  20. heedtracker says:

    I want credit agencies like Standard & Poor’s to tell Scotland what exactly will happen to England’s credit rating with their seemingly complete and utter no Scots currency union stance.

    Then I want the results to be given to Alistair Darling or Gideon. Then I want Gordon Brewer or that idiot Peston to interview Osborne or the Flipper about Standard & Poor’s forecast for England and what it will mean for post indy England’s borrowing costs and just how fast say English mortgages will jump up as England national debt goes up even faster with the rating drop and borrow rate rise.

    How much does it cost to crowd fund a Standard & Poor’s credit rate forecast for England anyway?

  21. Betty Boop says:

    That’s Peston on BBC News for the umpteenth time and going on about Standard and Poor’s this time. Funny, it’s only “the twist” they broadcast. Oh, dear it’s such a danger.

    Isn’t that 12.5 x GDP erroneous anyway?

  22. tartanarse says:

    This is precisely why the SNP are able to not cave in and issue a plan B.

    There is no need for one. They know CU is the option. Giddy, Ed and Dan know it too. And SNP know that they know and vice versa(confused). No one can say the actual words though. Yet.

    SNP have actually offered to give a better deal then a rejection of CU would allow but this has been rejected as it wouldn’t allow for the most important scare factor.

    This is all fairly obvious to anyone following the story but we simply have to get dk’s and undecided to see it.

    In a nutshell, Standard Life want to open an office in England within which it would like to place it’s English debt in case it all goes ti ts up.

    Great. Lets hope they all do the same.

  23. tartanarse says:

    Then after SL has shifted to England, it is going to worry about the same uncertainties until the referendum is held.

    Perhaps it would then like to shift it’s money back to somewhere safe, like er Scotland.

    Round and round the money goes….

  24. tartanfever says:

    The line about ratings agencies not being ‘reckless, devil-may-care’ simply isn’t true.

    It was the ratings agencies that were at the heart of the sub-prime mortgage disaster. They had bundled some very dodgy credit instruments ( high risk loans) and given them all the highest (safest) ratings to boost their own profits.

    They were all asked to appear in front of the Senate Governmental Affairs to answer these allegations.

    The agencies, of course, had armed themselves to the teeth with specialist ‘first amendment lawyers’ (the right to free speech) and claimed that the ratings they gave were ‘only opinion’ so they could get off the hook.

    This short clip from ‘Inside Job’ highlights this:

  25. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Sorry I’m O/T but there is a petition doing the rounds for Alex Salmond to debate with David Cameron.

    I wonder if this petition will make any difference, not sure I want to hold my breath but I signed it anyway. 🙂

  26. Murray McCallum says:

    Robert Peston on BBC 10 O’clock News.

    Big up on Standard Life. Robert Peston’s speaking emphasis works particularly well with perilous, doom-laden emphasis to words.

    S&P guy on short edited clip only gets to say “investment grade” Scottish sovereign debt rating. No mention of AAA, or highest economic assessment. S&P guy mentions size of financial sector as a risk.

    Peston finishes on risk of large parts of financial sector, not just Standard Life, moving south.

    So BBC position is that Scotland is screwed if the financial firms stay and screwed if they leave. What an unlucky position to be in!

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    “Oh, dear, it means all our jobs will go down south.”

    Old biddy in BBC’s endless, lazy, utterly useless vox pop add-ons to news items on Scotland’s self-determination.

  28. Thepnr says:

    heedtracker says:
    “I want credit agencies like Standard & Poor’s to tell Scotland what exactly will happen to England’s credit rating with their seemingly complete and utter no Scots currency union stance.”

    Yes, me also. Another downgrade no doubt, will we ever hear of that. Nah.

    Re RBS, the management aren’t daft (for them) I’d be dumping off all the losses on the UK government while it’s still 80% owned by the public. Yes, that’s right we are paying for all the toxic loans that they are writing off.

    Then when it’s privatised againn (cheaply), be sure of one thing. Profits and massive bonuses all the way until the next crash. Let them move to London, the branches and normal banking will still be here, we don’t need their casino banking.

  29. haud on the noo says:

    BBC….. utter disgrace. I do fear its working on a number of the don’t knows. Those who only get snippets of news from papers or the TV.

  30. roberto says:

    Just heard on the 10 o,clock news that the bbc have downgraded Standard Life’s threat to move lock stock and barrel out of Scotland .It now appears that maybe some some services MIGHT be moved.The truth will come out.PROJECT FEAR is alive and we’ll.

  31. Murray McCallum says:

    The detail of the S&P report also includes a nice little comment:

    “Nevertheless, with a GDP (including North Sea oil output) only slightly below that of New Zealand, a developed economy and developed financial system, there is no fundamental reason why Scotland could not successfully float a currency.”

    The report does read like a surveyor’s report on a property – lot of caveats. Overall sound house though.

  32. Lee Rogers says:

    I would love to see the banks dumped, or at least reduced to doing retail business only and split up.

  33. theycan'tbeserious says:

    You mean AS and NS have been telling the truth about Scotland’s economy and potential all along…say sorry Darling!

  34. Ross says:

    Just think of the money we will save to improve the rating further.

    1. Our share of the 50bn to knock off an hour on the train on HS2 to Leeds with no plans to reach us
    2. Do we have to still pay for those aircraft carriers that they bought but have no planes for until 2020?
    3. The nuclear power plants the Chinese and French are charging a fortune for as Westminster parties couldn’t get their act together on energy despite being warned by CEOs for iver 5 years of a coming shortage…… and we in Scotland are hardly short of energy. 5 academics now say following this we would be cheaper with our own grid- they changed their view given Westminster incompetence and the costs.
    4. We won’t have to pay for yet another inquiry into whether these muppets in westminster want a third runway at heathrow.( has that been 20 years and still running?)…..or Boris island in the Thames estuary to keep the south east happy
    5. How many huge failed IT projects in their NHS?
    6. PFI waste??????
    I can’t even imagine how much we will save by not going into another Iraq!!!
    And we were called subsidy junkies????

  35. HandandShrimp says:

    If I may make so bold

    Fuck the BBC

    That’s better 🙂

  36. NorthBrit says:


    The rating agencies don’t bundle up loans (banks and building societies do that). They provide credit ratings on issuers of debt.

    Their corporate and sovereign ratings track record is pretty good.

    The problems were principally in structured finance and this was largely down to poor underwriting of the underlying mortgage loans.

    This guide explains what happened pretty well.

  37. bunter says:

    2 to 1 on Scotland Tonight!

  38. tartanarse says:

    Thats me and the wife on the petition now.

  39. Linda's back says:

    The BBC’s bias is getting more outrageous as the referendum gets by. Its what they omit to mention that is as bad as their highlighting bad news for Yes but barely mention good news.

    Not asking them to support independence but some semblance of balance would not go ammiss for example no mention that similar threats were made in 1979 and 1991 if we voted Yes

  40. AndyM says:

    What RBS really said today was that a yes vote would negatively impact on their credit rating because of the negative impact on the UK government’s rating. See page 202 of their annual report.

    This was briefly quoted on the BBC site but soon replaced with the more familiar type of quote.

    The real story is how any failure to agree a currency union would affect the UK’s credit rating.

  41. Tam Jardine says:

    O/T question time in Newport is lacking something… cue stairheid lumbering on stage Jeremy kyle stylee to ask someone, anyone, the questions she couldn’t get to on Tuesday. While she puts the food guy in a full nelson

  42. msean says:

    Another reason to get out,soon,the only uncertainty left will be the word ‘uncertainty’ itself. 🙂

  43. John Lyons says:

    Maybe we could swap some of these overly burdonsome financial sector companies in Scotland in exchange for some in England, specifically The bank of England and the pound. How about in return for a currency union we give them RBS and it’s 8.2 billion loss….

  44. kendomacaroonbar says:

    o/t Rona Dougal on Scotland tonight asking Winter Olympic medal winners in the event of independence who will they play for…Scotland or Team GB ? Unfuckingbeleivable.

  45. callum says:

    This is very frustrating because no one has asked SL which companies they are creating. My suspicion is that they are ensuring that financial products built under FCA/UK regulation won’t need to be expensively altered. Many products such as With Profits funds operate under a ltd company.

    If you check companies house, SL has 78 ltd companies of which only 8 are authorised by the FCA i.e. are real companues that do stuff and have authorised individuals.

    These product companies are all over the world, eg offshore funds based in Dublin are common with UK consumers Bonds products.

  46. muttley79 says:

    @Linda’s back

    Is there not a quote or statement from Orwell about omission being one of the worst forms of bias?

  47. cath says:

    The real story is how any failure to agree a currency union would affect the UK’s credit rating.

    The three stooges have really made a big error ruling it out in that case. It’s a huge gamble for them that it’ll lead to a no vote. If it doesn’t, but instead we end up with a yes vote and no chance of a CU because it’s politically unpopular and Westminster would lose face, the people of rUK have been screwed badly by their own leaders.

  48. FYZN13 says:

    North Brit, I’m actually not entirely sure if you are trolling earlier but international law saying that North Sea oil would be split by population?!
    Uhm, nope, wrong!

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    Thanks for that comment on RBS Annual Report 2013. Risks page 202:

    “The Group’s ability to meet its obligations including its funding commitments depends on the Group’s ability to access sources of liquidity and funding. The inability to access liquidity and funding due to market conditions or otherwise or to do so at a reasonable cost due to increased regulatory constraints, could adversely affect the Group’s financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the Group’s borrowing costs and its access to the debt capital markets and other sources of liquidity depend significantly on its and the UK Government’s credit ratings which would be likely to be negatively impacted by political events, such as an affirmative outcome of the referendum for the independence of Scotland.”

    My emphasis.

    This is the warning given by the Fiscal Commission Working Group. If there is no currency union, rUKs balance of payments will be harmed, its credit rating would be impacted and its cost of borrowing would rise.

  50. tartanfever says:

    North Brit –

    Apologies, I stand corrected. Absolutely right, the Ratings agencies only rate the financial instruments presented to them, they do not package them.

    However, as clearly demonstrated in the video – the ratings agencies were central to the sub-prime fiasco. They worked the system to create profits for themselves whilst giving out poor information.

    It’s undeniable that these agencies are just another part of the same financial network, they are not regulators, nor is their word to be relied upon. They offer opinion only, their forecasts should not be relied upon – the clearly say this themselves.

    I just don’t agree with the Rev’s take that they are not ‘reckless’. That is evidently not true.

    Personally i would be keeping fairly quiet about what a ratings agency says, even if it is positive to the argument.

  51. Alfresco Dent says:

    Another great article Studio, as always.

    I have one question though which has been bothering me for some years now…

    Why are all these “professional” journalists lying to us? And it is every single one of them. Is it a prerequisite in the job description? Are we to believe that pure chance has gathered all these liars to the same profession? Are the wages really that good?

    I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t.

  52. Alfresco Dent says:

    SwiftKey says you’re known as studio now, just so you know.

  53. handclapping says:

    What have you done with TinkyWinky, Dipsy, LaLa and Po? Or are you threatening us with what life will be like without the CBBC?

    It really is becoming an important question, what will become of the rUK. The FT noticably sheered off from addressing it in their recent special and now S+P are doing their evaluation of what Scotland contributes before looking at what a rUK might look like. Call me Dave cannot allow such a report before the referendum otherwise all our friends and relatives will be phoning to tell us not to leave as they will be destitute. Oh the irony!

  54. TJenny says:

    tartanfever – surely if the S&P report was bad for indy it would be splashed and re-hashed all over BBC as with SL, no?

  55. annie says:

    Iain McWhirter did us proud on Newsnight, went on so much about the S&P ratings they ran out of time and didn’t do the paper headlines, and he isn’t even Yes, obviously just wont allow Scotland to be talked down. Glad I bought his book now.

  56. HandandShrimp says:

    Personally i would be keeping fairly quiet about what a ratings agency says, even if it is positive to the argument.


    I know what you mean but of the sticks waved by Darling there are borrowing costs, interest rates and mortgage rates. If S&P think we are fundamentally sound and would get a good rating then these sticks are plucked from Darlings grasp and thrown to one side. The uncertainty is no longer there. Whether we rate the ratings agencies doesn’t matter because Better Together do and S&P just rained on their parade.

  57. Papadox says:

    Linda’s back says:
    Linda the EBC isn’t biased it is the propaganda mouthpiece of HMG and playing its part to the best of its ability, it’s doing exactly what it’s there for. The problem it has, it does not have a very good hand to play with, so it’s got to tell lies and bluff, just like HMG.

    We are a threat to the state and the States security services will do everything in its power to protect their STATE. This is not a game to these people the establishment and HMG are capable of anything to hold onto their kingdom, their glory. I do mean ANYTHING!

  58. tartanfever says:

    T Jenny and HandandShrimp.

    Totally get where you guys are coming from. Everyone uses the ratings agencies and listens to them, it’s like they are ‘a necessary evil’ or ‘better the devil you know’ – there’s no alternative to them and what they say does impact on financial matters.

    So we’ve got to live with them unfortunately.

    My worry was with the Rev describing them as not being ‘reckless’ which I think is being way to kind.

    They are essentially as bad as most of the bent bankers we have all lambasted in the last few years.

    Put it this way, if Fred Goodwin came out now and said ‘an independent Scotland would be one of the wealthiest countries in the world’ – would you stand behind that story and defend him from the countless attacks on his economic credibility that would undoubtedly arise, or would you think to yourself ‘ heck, i think I’m just going to steer clear of that one’

    That’s just how I feel about the ratings agencies.

  59. Stevie says:


    “””Dear D——–,

    Today two of Scotland’s biggest employers raised concerns about the impact of leaving the UK. Standard Life and RBS employ thousands of Scots. We cannot afford to lose good jobs like these.

    We know that the UK means losing the pound and the security of the UK. We still don’t know what money we would use.

    What we do know is that leaving the UK and losing the pound means losing thousands of jobs.

    We saw the importance of the strength, security and stability of the United Kingdom when taxpayers from across the UK stepped in to bail-out the Royal Bank of Scotland. That bailout was the equivalent of double what the whole of Scotland earns in a year.

    Workers across Scotland are worried about job security and what separation would mean for their families. Clyde and Forth shipyard workers have told Alex Salmond that leaving the UK means losing their jobs. Now one of our biggest employers is making plans to relocate over the border because they can’t be in a foreign country to the vast majority of their customers.

    Alex Salmond’s response to Scotland’s 200,000 finance workers is the same as when concerns were raised by BP, Scotland’s accountants, Scotland’s trade unions, the President of the EU, and so many other experts and organisations: I’m right and you’re wrong.

    It is increasingly feeling like Alex Salmond wants independence at any price. We think there is a better way. Help us keep the UK together.

    Best wishes,

    Blair McDougall
    Campaign Director
    Better Together

    P.S. if you can spare a few pounds to help the campaign and ensure that Scotland keeps the pound, please donate here.”””

  60. X_Sticks says:

    O/T I know you’re probably all fundraised out, but the Yes Independence Debate – The Case for Glasgow only has 32hrs left to raise about £1200 – I’m on the overdraft now, but WTF!

  61. X_Sticks says:

    Pat Kane on Brillo’s egofest shortly

  62. Tam Jardine says:

    Alfresco Dent says:
    “Why are all these “professional” journalists lying to us? And it is every single one of them”

    My ill-informed conjecture would be that it is written policy at the very top which has filtered down verbally towards the bottom constantly- its an endemic culture there now. No dissent, fear of prospects being screwed… probably some of them are beyond recognising the bias. I am trying to explain the inexplicable.

    If you can’t approach your job with honesty and integrity, what have you got? Truly risible

  63. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Who rates the ‘Ratings Agencies’?

    Just asking.

  64. James123 says:

    ‘Double Standards’, I just got that, takes me a while but I get there.

  65. heedtracker says:

    Pat Kane fantastic on tv the now. Three BBC/Westminster liggers lying thru their teeth as per. Even the golden retriever’s going to vote YES!

  66. twenty14 says:

    Ian McWhirter – no matter your thoughts on him, is always up for a fight. Noticed how Brewer seemed to be a bit more tempered in his discussion – think he knows he’d match him anyday

  67. Grouse Beater says:

    @ Annie & Stuart

    I’d like to see a recording of Macwhirter’s argument on Newsnight. Any chance of getting hold of the interview?

  68. Clootie says:

    An amazing coincidence that Standard Life hype hits the news as rating agency story breaks.

    Fear,Fear and more Fear is all that’s on offer.

  69. X_Sticks says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:

    “Who rates the ‘Ratings Agencies’?”

    The Ratings Ratings Agencies, obviously ;D

  70. msean says:

    Well done Pat ,that was 3 on 1 there on telly,came over very well.

  71. HandandShrimp says:

    Blair McDougall’s piece fundamentally ignores (deliberately or accidentally)what RBS said today. They are going slash jobs whether we vote for independence or not. It is he that is lying and pretending a No vote will save jobs. I wonder what he has to say to the thousands that are going to lose their jobs?

  72. kininvie says:

    Sorry about that last one – just that about three of my comments failed to appear after pressing submit. Anyone else had this problem?

  73. heedtracker says:

    Its a shame Pat Kane didn’t read WoS because oor Andrew Neil was able to plonk Standard & Poor in his list of vote NOers from Osborne to Barosso thru Standard Life and Milliband. And he did it as easy as any BBC in Scotland bullshitter does everyday.

  74. Capella says:

    The Scottish financial sector is the second largest in Europe – after London. Should oil and gas revenues transfer from London to Edinburgh it might well become the biggest financial sector in Europe. That is something the Westminster elite don’t want to happen.

  75. caz-m says:

    @ Alfresco Dent (Like the name)

    I think a journalist helpline should be set up. Maybe Esther Rantzen could set up “Liar Line”.

    For journalists who have become suicidal and just can’t write anymore lies.

    Glen Campbell our fav BBC Scotland thingy, must be nearing his human lying limit, closely followed by Doug Frazer.

  76. Ian Brotherhood says:

    One of Better Together’s more unfortunate campaigns (closely documented on this site) was a nationwide leaflet distribution proclaiming the UK’s AAA rating as the best reason to stay in the Union. On Saturday, they promised, the whole of Scotland would be enlightened.

    Ah, michty-me, what a terrible shame it was – on the Friday evening (would ye credit it?) Moody’s downgraded the UK’s rating (to AA-plus) – the following morning, the good people of Irvine were treated to the sight of a soaked Brian Donohoe handing out the doomed leaflets under the wet balls of a pawnbroker’s shop, whilst being jeered by all and sundry as his fringe slunk lowermost across his weary coupon.

    But he’s back in Irvine tomorrow! Volunteer Rooms. 7.30. The SSP will be there to give him a richt hearty welcome. Please join us outside, at approx 6.30. (Oh aye, and someone called Tommy Sheridan’s due to speak as well…)

  77. Grouse Beater says:

    Brillo asks Kane, “How come all those companies and politicians are batted off as scaremongering and bullying?”

    Well, Brillo, it has escaped your attention that they’re all saying the same thing because they are prejudging the outcome of the Referendum as a sure fire victory for Yes, a stance that places them at complete loggerheads with a democratic Referendum they appear unwilling to respect.

  78. Alfresco Dent says:

    @ Clootie

    There’s absolutely nothing coincidental about it at all . It’s the Fat Controller. The BBC make the news!

  79. chicmac says:

    Please, please, please, Pat. Stand for a seat in the SP. I don’t care which party, SNP, Greens, SSP, LFI? whatever?

  80. X_Sticks says:


    I’d second that. I think he’d work really well with Patrick Harvie – they both talk good sense.

  81. chicmac says:

    Ditto Alan Bisset

  82. Wingman2020 says:

    Portillio said Scotland was a welfare basket case and mostly social housing. No longer able to be independent. Should have done it years ago when there was great thinkers. Scotland now just a welfare dependent country.


    Someone needs to make the point that we got like this through an unequal union. And we need to get away from these pompous assholes.

    Scotland’s greatest shame if we are too stupid to see through these guys and vote YES

    And yes, I AM fuming.

  83. Eric says:

    Standard and Poor’s: challenges facing iScotland’s economy are significant but not unsurpassable

    Herald Headlines

  84. StevieMcb says:

    Mr Mc Whirter really nice wee fib AAA rating, but they buggers have told mucho bigger whoppers.3Bs will be fine to start with,,still laughin

  85. Purr says:

    The State Broadcaster in Scotland: Doom and Gloom,A Murder, A kick at the SNP, and Fitba, they sometimes change the order but the message is the same on a daily basis. Be sure to tell all your friends what to look out for, their influence is diminishing daily.

  86. Bill Walters says:

    “Or in other words, the very thing that the entire Scottish media is bellowing from the rooftops today as a potential disaster is the best thing that one of the world’s primary credit-rating agencies thinks an independent Scotland could do to protect the stability of its economy.”

    I’ll be honest, this is a pretty odd conclusion to reach given the aim is ultimately to present an argument in favour of independence. These banks are located here now – providing jobs for Scottish workers – while if they relocated we’d lose these jobs. Banks relocating to England is a painful solution to a problem that we don’t have to deal with if we stay part of the UK (given the risk of a large financial sector is spread throughout the larger economy on which we base our lending practices).

    What we’re basically saying here is that we’d either have to deal with the risk of having a massive financial sector with few reserves to guarantee it, or risk losing one of our key employers and drivers of growth to try and minimise the risk we’d present to lenders. Neither situation is positive in comparison to the status quo.

    Let’s also be clear that what Standard & Poor’s do is measure our potential risk to lenders. They don’t care about employment in Scotland or any of the other issues that actually matter to the people living here, all they measure is how attractive a proposition we are to those who would lend us money. So while reducing the size of the financial sector makes us less of a risk, it doesn’t mean it’s an actively positive thing for those of us who actually live in Scotland (far less work in a bank).

  87. TheGreatBaldo says:

    According to todays Herald we are currently subject to ‘The Dambusters strategy’….

    I suspect this will come back to bite them on the arse like Project Fear

  88. velofello says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood – “who rates the rating agencies?”

    You stupid boy, take your jotters and go up to the back of the classroom.

    Now class, as I was saying, Standard Life is a successful company operating in Scotland and its customers throughout the world over many years have had confidence in the company and so place their savings for Standard Life to manage. Now Standard Life do not actually make anything what happens is that the people in the Edinburgh, Scotland office invest their clients money astutely and successfully and have over many many years.

    Please Sir! What is it Brotherhood?

    Well if Standard Life move out of Scotland will all the experienced and talented people employed in Edinburgh, who have successfully managed funds, move away too? And will Standard Life then need to pay much higher London salaries and will Standard Life need to pay higher office costs in London? And what if these employees decide not to move and find jobs with other Scottish based companies, doesn’t that mean that Standard Life will, ye know, lose their skills?

    Brotherhood, you just do not understand, just leave it to…ah the bell, class dismissed.

  89. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “These banks are located here now – providing jobs for Scottish workers – while if they relocated we’d lose these jobs.”

    Why would they move the jobs? They’d just move the nameplates. S&P said “re-domiciled”, not “moved”.

  90. Angus McLellan says:

    Article [accurately] quotes S&P as saying : “[T]he Scottish financial sector is unusually large, with total assets estimated at 12.5x GDP”.

    Umm. Actually, Westminster have claimed that just the banking sector is that big, a claim recycled many times, including here by Faisal Islam of C4.

    I’m not Fox Mulder and t he truth probably isn’t out there. But we can always take a guess. HMRC, when calculating the “regional” breakdown of taxes, reckoned that Scotland’s share of the Bank Levy would be just 7.3%. The Bank Levy is fairly complicated, and is not easy to relate to the overall size of the banking sector, but it seems very, very unlikely that well over a fifth of the UK banking sector could produce less than a twelfth of the Bank Levy. Who could have guessed that?

    Confusing banking and the broader finance services industry? Naughty British press. Naughty Westminster.

  91. Les Wilson says:

    Truth is though, banks do have a problem, they are addicted to taking risks with somebody else’s money. RBS for example continues to take risks and would remain a threat to Scotland as well as elsewhere. Yet the bonuses keep being made, we need to do something different, break some up into smaller units that can be better controlled and monitored.

    We must really do things that are different to the London roulette wheel. Something that supports our values and builds confidence with the International community. But done in a sound way, without taking risks which would leave us open to speculators, and there are very many of them based in London. Enough said!

  92. kininvie says:

    Who is going to invest our oil fund for us safely and wisely if all the financial sector has buggered off, turning its back on that nice 1% commission?

  93. Colin says:

    I don’t want to sound negative about all the good news from today but unless we can get it in front of the people who will vote no and believe all of the negative stuff written about the Yes campaign, or those who are still undecided it will be fish and chip wrappers before Saturday.

    This site is great, and reaches a lot of people, but it’s not enough, how can we get the news out to those who we need to read it?

  94. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Think you have just said the magic words there kininvie,1% commission, don’t think any financial institution will be leaving an independent Scotland now. 🙂

  95. MajorBloodnok says:

    “Bill Walters” said: What we’re basically saying here is that we’d either have to deal with the risk of having a massive financial sector with few reserves to guarantee it (1), or risk losing one of our key employers and drivers of growth (2) to try and minimise the risk we’d present to lenders (3). Neither situation is positive in comparison to the status quo (4).

    (1) This is what annoys me – why in sods name should we have to guarantee the financial sector? They are big boys surely and should take the consequence of their risk taking – or is it the case, as someone said, that it’s austerity for the workers and socialism for the bankers;

    (2) I don’t see the banking sector as a driver for growth – for their own salaries and bonus perhaps, but otherwise I call bullshit. Far more successful economies than ours see manufacturing and SMEs as the drivers for growth, the UK ‘model’ is a sick one and only benefits the bankers themselves;

    (3) Lenders want something stable to lend to – I’d say 50 years of oil reserves (minimum) versus short-term bubble-oriented and self-serving casino banking is a no-brainer;

    (4) £1.5trillion in debt. Yay, go the exceptional economic model of the status quo. It might have worked when the UK had an empire and cheap labour but it doesn’t work so well now. After the IMF did its worst in the early 1970s it has only been the oil revenue that has masked the UK’s economic decline and deluded BritNats into thinking that the UK would be great again and there was no need to change anything, steady as she goes. The more fool them, when we’re off.

  96. Seasick Dave says:


    This site is great, and reaches a lot of people, but it’s not enough, how can we get the news out to those who we need to read it?

    You have not been paying attention, young man.

    You speak to friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbours and you fill them in with the information that you glean from on here.

    Print out leaflets and leave them laying around.

    Wear a Yes badge, sticker, bracelet.

    We are not far from the tipping point and, once that happens, people want to be on the wining side.

  97. dadsarmy says:

    @Bill Walters
    What the Rev said. First they move the nameplates effectively, set up the companies, register them eith the regulators all that stuff. A small non-financial could do it quite quickly and at low cost, I daresay there’s a painful process for a huge financial hence why Standard Life is starting now.

    SL Pratts Bottom plc can happily “subcontract” out the whole of its operation to SL Edinburgh, but just route the money through SL Pratts Bottom. A half dozen job moves, an extra half dozen staff in SL PB, job done. Then, if required SL can take as long as it likes to transfer staff or whatever it wants. Years. At the moment, nobody knows how long even if it does move at all.

    Nobody is going to laugh their heads off at job losses in the financial industry. But don’t forget, if SL has to move most of its operations south because of regulation, other financial companies will have to move part of their operations north. This is a point the BBC and that guy Pishedon failed to make for some extraordinary reason.

  98. dadsarmy says:

    I say keep the jobs, stuff the risky portfolios. A factor in that could be tax rationalisation, not corporation tax, but NI and income tax. Employer NI is a disincentive to employers, who can say what might happen?

    Oh, that 12.5 x GDP, I’d have to re-read the S&P report, but I think it was in the bit where it was using figures with oil on a per capita not geographical. That would make it about 10.5 x GDP.

    There’s still a lot of rubbish coming out, the great thing is it’s getting exposed faster and faster, often within hours, as people use our time to frantically search around to find the source and quickly suss it out. What would help if people can post the link if it’s allowed, so others can quote on forums the good bit, and put a link to shut up the Unionists “it’s a FACT that …”. No it isn’t, go read the link I gave you, and then own up or shut up.

    Which reminds me, please let’s all be polite and not name-call. There’s now a lot of undecided and soft no’s around, and some of them post on forums with the misinformation they got off good old lying through the teeth auntie. But it’s not their fault, genuinely it’s not.

  99. dadsarmy says:

    I forgot to say. You know you’ve won the battle when the “enemy” want to join your side. An increasing amount of Independence supporting articles, sometimes wrapped around with an anti-SNP or anti-indy headline or end paragraph are appearing in Unionist media.

    “SALMOND he’s a stark raving nutcase”.

    A report out today shows that Scotland will be 528% better off with Independence, homes will be freely heated with the excess heat off windfarm hydrogen cell projects, every community will have its own turbine and free electricity, and the oil fund will reach £3 trillion in two years so everyone can retire at age 30, filthy rich.

    This is what the mad dreams of the dirty Nationalists with their shrieking cybernats and anti-Martian progaganda are leading a small minority of the poor misled and lied-to Scots to. Fishy Salmon Sturgeon Swine and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all must retire immediately to their loony bin to save Scotland from its junk status disaster.

  100. dadsarmy says:

    That should be “you’re winning”, not “you’ve won”!

  101. Alba4Eva says:

    OT. Wings has made the front page of

  102. Roll_On_2014 says:

    FWIW my opinion is that the rating agencies did not have the ability to analyse and rate the toxic packages that brought about the global crash.

    The following is a documentary from the BBC:

    RBS – Inside The Bank That Ran Out Of Money.

    When RBS bought out NatWest they inherited an American Company called Greenwich Capital a Company that made money through mortgages, not as a lender but as a trader, slicing dicing and selling on mortgage packages, including prime and sub-prime, with ever increasing complexity.

    They in fact employed Top Mathematicians and Top Physicists to design ever more increasingly exotic and complex mixed prime and sub-prime packages.

    The above section starts 22.00 minutes in.

  103. Croompenstein says:

    O/T – Disreporting Scotland – apparently Danny ‘the fanny’ Alexander is giving a speech tonight in Glasgow about ‘enhanced’ devo…Yaaaaawwwwwwwnnnnnnn!!

  104. Albalha says:


    Here’s the Newsnight Scotland from last night, Iain MacWhirter discussion on around 10.55.

  105. Roll_On_2014 says:

    OT – Picked this one up from The Daily Retard:

    Celebrity hairstylist Nicky Clarke says Scots are not educated enough to make political decisions on their own.

    Celebrity hairstylist Nicky Clarke is the latest English media personality to tell the Scots they are not educated enough to make political decisions on their own.

    Speaking on the BBC, Clarke claimed Scots do not understand economics and need to wise up before voting in the independence referendum in September.

    Nicky Clarke gives his Expert (sic) view on Scottish independence

    He must have picked up his quote from JoLa from a few days ago.

    This is the best that the BBC and BT can do, a celeb that nobody outwith London has bloody well heard of.

  106. Albalha says:

    Brian Buchan of Scottish Engineering just on the GMS business slot saying all this uncertainty means there won’t be investment in Scotland when it comes to capital projects, maybe we can draw up a list of companies that are currently investing in Scotland.

    Standard Life for one are investing £75 million to renovate a building in Edinbugh’s St Andrews Square, completion 2016.

  107. caz-m says:


    It’s Douglas Alexander who is giving a lecture in Glasgow tonight.

    Have a read at the mince he has in mind for a future Scotland.

    BBC Scotland just LUV wee Dougie.

    Would BBC Scotland plug a lecture from someone for the YES campaign so hard.

    No chance.

  108. Brotyboy says:

    Billy Walsh just said it; iScotland would likely get rid of APT and that would be a positive for us.

  109. gordoz says:

    ‘Wee Insignificant me’ – Speech (Come on there is a resemblence)

    Douglas Alexander giving a lecture to the Scots in Glasgow tonight ?

    Must be at that bastion of all things North British –
    Glasgow Caledonian University, surely.

    Another yesterdays ‘proudscot’ thatcherite minimee – boooorringgg ! NEXT!

  110. G H Graham says:

    About 10% of UK GDP comes from financial services according to this link …

  111. NorthBrit says:


    Sorry I wasn’t clear earlier.

    You are right.

    But both Fitch and S&P include numbers based on population share (see table in report) as well as the numbers based on territory.

    Which implies that someone has been telling them that is a possibility. I suspect the Treasury.

  112. G H Graham says:

    As of last year there were about 2,058,500 employees in the financial & professional services sector across the UK.

    London employs 663,600 people, 15 per cent of the workforce.
    Manchester employs 50,200
    Edinburgh has 49,200
    Birmingham employs 49,200

    Odd isn’t it that Unionists never seem to worry about the fact that 3/4 million people in England work in this sector but the 49,200 in Edinburgh are a risk to Scotland.

  113. G H Graham says:

    I should have said just under 2 million. I goofed.

  114. inDEEpendant says:

    Sorry O/T but just watching Business interview on BBC Breakfast time with Willie Walsh CEO of IAG ( B.A / Iberia )
    BBC lackie finishes with gleefull prompt about Standard Life and asks Willie what his take is?

    Willie says they will still fly to Scotland and that it would be a boost for his airlines if Scotland were to be Independant as the SG would bring down the crazy landing / fuel duty tax.
    Cue STUNNED SILENCE!!!!!, paper shuffling by interviewer as he realises what an own goal he has just scored.

    The two on the sofa are equally stunned and look at the interviewer as if he is a condemned man for going off the company line.

    Ya DANCER!!!!!

    p.s. I bet it gets pulled.

  115. Albalha says:

    Proclaimers nae happy with Ms Lamont

  116. caz-m says:

    Douglas Alexander on GMS answering questions from a patsy presenter. He was meant to be telling us what Labour would offer Scotland after a NO vote.

    As usual with any Labour MP/MSP the answer turns into an anti SNP/Alex Salmond rant. He had to be reminded that he still hadn’t actually answered the question.

    Scotland, we must vote YES to rid ourselves of these self serving morons.

  117. Macart says:

    The media.


    Were it not for these duplicitous, mendacious pricks, BT and Westminster would be a long forgotten bad memory.

    Two days of superhero spinning on what SL may or may not do and barely a mention of S&Ps report. Had a good mooch around this morning and nary a mention. 🙁

  118. Jean says:

    How many jobs are likely to be created in Scotland post independence? While we will not be replicating the cumbersome uk departments we will need some…an expanded tax centre, passport and vehicle licensing offices, pensions and many other public services, either to be created or expanded.
    How many jobs will be created as Scotland expands its construction industries, manufacturing, engineering etc.

  119. caz-m says:

    That Gordon Matheson geezer who is Leader of Glasgow City Council sounds as if he talks with balls in his mouth.

    Just sayin.

  120. Fergus Green says:

    Courier reporting at last on Murphy’s verbal assault on Wishart:

    Open for comments if anyone has the motivation.

  121. Macart says:


    Well this depends on the re-prioritisation of the spend and timescales of course, but from first year of independence through to year five. I’d say double figures in the thousands, which would include the setting up of the SDF, recruitment drives for same, orders for spends in public sector, services, infrastructure and so on. It would hit the Scottish economy like a shot of adrenalin. That’s just off the top, God knows what the knock on to secondary employment would be. Fairly substantial I’d imagine.

  122. Vincent McDee says:

    At least, there’s someone in the Torygraph with a sense of Humour:

  123. westie7 says:

    Following on from Willie Walsh’s cracker thus morning, got this thru FB via Yes Aberdeenshire
    Oil company boss lays into Osbourne. I haven’t read the print ed as I refuse to buy Dick Bakers newsletter! But if you join Yes Aberdeenshire’s FB page you’ll get the jist

  124. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Who is Nicky Clark FFS?

    Is he an economist, by any chance?

    Oh, he is a barber.

  125. Edward says:

    Just read the article on Douglas Alexander’s speech which was much trailed on GMS
    this morning.
    First thing that leapt out was the fact that Labour still font get it that it’s not about the SNP, but about Scotland. Quote “Alexander will suggest Labour needs to reclaim the mantle of home rule and offer an alternative vision of devolution to defeat the SNP in the referendum on 18 September” So Labour see it like an election in which a political party will win or lose! In effect they ignore the Scottish people making a choice for their future.
    But there was nothing new in what he is going to say. He will advocate increased tax raising powers, but at the same time ‘the pooling and sharing of resources’ in other words Scotland revenues still flow south to prop up Westminster and to keep Labour MP’s in a job!
    Alexander ignores the fact that it’s a ‘quid pro quo’, where Scotland’s additional tax raising powers is just an additional layer on top of existing taxation, but the money raised will equal the money reduced from the block grant. So in effect Scots will be contributing even more into Westminster’s coffers.
    Even if tax such as PAYE is adjusted, it still means that Scots are not getting much back as the Block Grant will still be reduced

  126. Conan_the_Librarian says:

    @ caz-m

    Wasn’t that Purcell?

  127. Will Podmore says:

    S&P concluded that a breakaway Scotland “would begin life with comparatively high levels of public debt, sensitivity to oil prices, and, depending on the nature of arrangements with the EU or UK, potentially limited monetary flexibility.”

  128. Brotyboy says:

    @Fergus Green

    I’ve noticed your comments on the Courier online articles. Between you and Prag Matist you’re doing a great job.

    It’s interesting to see how the balance of pro- and anti-independence comments has shifted over time. Last year there were far more anti- comments than pro-, but now it seems that Derek Farmer and Big Mac are ploughing a fairly lonely furrow.

  129. john king says:

    “What we’re basically saying here is that we’d either have to deal with the risk of having a massive financial sector with few reserves to guarantee it, or risk losing one of our key employers and drivers of growth to try and minimise the risk we’d present to lenders. Neither situation is positive in comparison to the status quo.”

    The status quo as you so reasonably call it Bill is the reason the UK is going to hell in a handbasket and the tories have learned precisely nothing from Brown and Darlings stupidity, the financial markets are a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode and the next time there will be nothing the UK will be able to do about it other than watch the country disintegrate in front of their eyes.

    Scotland has at least tried to defuse the financial bomb by attracting inward investment in production which will be the right thing for us, casino banking is not stable and never will lead to long term stability,
    as far as key employers is concerned, well for every job lost because of people like Nash there will be 3 jobs created by relocating civil service jobs from London to Edinburgh defence, home office, agriculture, environment, road tax,

    In short our country will be administered by people who live in this country and who care about the outcomes of their actions, can that consideration really be said of civil servants in london who may never have set foot in Scotland?

  130. Brian Powell says:

    This should be on all Yes Scotland and SNP leaflets:

    In an Independent Scotland, “Scottish wealth levels are comparable to that of the U.K. (‘AAA’), Germany (‘AAA’), Ireland (‘BBB+’), and New Zealand (‘AA-‘)”.

  131. G H Graham says:

    To Will Podmore

    Are you suggesting Scotland will have as much debt relative to the rUK then?

    You know, the £1.6 Trillion Britain is forecast to have by 2016/2017 which will be over 90% of GDP. And rUK will still have an annual budget deficit by the way.

    Or will it be comparatively less?

  132. caz-m says:


    Scottish Labour can’t even agree amongst themselves, major in-fighting going on. There is no unity in policy. It is all over the place. That is why this statement from Johann Lamont in a couple of weeks will be very interesting.

    Link to how dysfunctional they have become.

  133. Brian Powell says:

    From the Daily Record:

    “Infuential MP Douglas Alexander has called on Labour to deliver Devo Max for the Scottish Parliament”.

    That will go down really well with the target voters in the rest of the UK.

    Unfortunately for Alexander there is a Question Time recording from the time of the SNP getting a majority in Holyrood where he is attacking Nicola Sturgeon, saying there would/should only be two questions on Referendum ballot paper, Devo Max not being one of them.

  134. cearc says:

    The passing of a ‘Glass-Steagall’ act and sensible regulation in Scotland will ensure that all the dodgy bits of banking stay in London and are completely seperate from banking in Scotland.

    So we get stable banks, no toxic debt to bail out etc.

    What’s not to like?

  135. Vincent McDee says:

    What London barber thinks of us:

    “CELEBRITY hairstylist Nicky Clarke is the latest English media personality to tell the Scots they are not educated enough to make political decisions on their own.

    Speaking on the BBC, Clarke claimed Scots do not understand economics and need to wise up before voting in the independence referendum in September.

    Have a look at the video and decide what you think.

  136. Al Dee says:

    Was interesting to listen to Willie Walsh of IAG (B Airways) being interviewed on the BBC this morning about the groups results and out of the blue the interviewer brought up Standard Life moving out of Scotland and what contingencies IAG had in place, much to the interviewers disappointment Willie Walsh said that IAG would continue to operate routes to Scotland and if independence happened, he could see that as a positive move, as the Scottish Government understands the economic impact that APD has, unlike the current UK one.

  137. HandandShrimp says:


    Scotland doesn’t have a specific share of the debt. All of the debt belongs to the Treasury but if we take assets with us from military equipment to a share of the reserves then it is right that we agree to service a share of the debt that was used to generate these assets.

    Of course if the Treasury won’t hand over any of the reserves or if Hammond is true to his word and we are not getting any of the UK military assets then it stands to reason that the amount of the debt we would be prepared to service would decline. So as a bench mark our debt would be around the £125b mark but depending on what we secure in negotiations it could be less than this. I think it unlikely that the rUK would be so generous that we would looking to pay much more than this but you never know 🙂

  138. HandandShrimp says:


    I think Nicky has been sniffing the perming fluid.

  139. James123 says:

    BBC Better Together poster

  140. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I think Nicky should stick to embalming fluid.

    He seems dead from the neck up.

  141. heedtracker says:

    £76k! Reverend, Arianna Huffington’s Post got going 2005 by basically republishing online news from other agencies. She then sold Huffington Post for $315 million and she’s now on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

    There’s clearly a big demand out here for a decent newspaper online so…

    By the way recently captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is also in Forbes Magazine’s 100 most influential and he’s two places ahead of far right U.S House Speaker John Boehner too.

    El Chapo’s between Boehner and a very nice lady from the NY Times call Jill Abramson. I only know this because the Daily Show from NY NY did a great gag about the Forbes award ceremony dinner seating arrangements.

    Come on I have to get my satire from somewhere! TeamGB BetterTogether satire is long dead and gone as England rapidly turns itself into a parochial, insular, royals grovelling, out of the EU, rule Britannia, neocon toilet/paradise.

    Scottish media is hideous. Think big Reverend.

  142. Edward says:

    Nicky Clarke and Lamont in same room………
    I wonder if Clarke has been attending to Lamont’s hair as he seems to be echoing what Lamont stated that were not genetically programmed for political decisions

    Cant figure if Clarke is doing Cameron’s ‘love bombing’ or is part of ‘project completely being a ignorant arse hole’

  143. Desimond says:

    Douglas Alexendar is still trying to pimp this idea of “lets discuss” ..its just another Lamont “Lets have a debate” long grass tactic. Ultimately it means hee-haw and another round of jam tomorrow blah blah blah.

    Will his Sister be in attendance?

    Im sure BBC Scotlands Douglas Fraser will be there, him and those 3 “random members of the Public” who gnashed and wailed at the misrepresentation of the news from Standard Life yesterday. The one who stated “This is a right blow for the YES folk” said it all. He should be the first to go, shameful stuff. At least ITV News had folk saying “Lets see shall we” even if it wasnt what Marin Guessler wanted to hear.

  144. Fiona says:


    In the absence of a currency union we must not take any of the debt, and if that means no assets that is a price we must pay. Foreign denominated debt is not an acceptable option. Not in any circumstances. It is particularly dangerous if you tie to a currency which is not sound, and the rUK economy is not sound at all.

  145. Edward says:

    Listening to Douglas Alexander prattle on and actually say hee haw, was interesting, in that he is apparently trying look as if he is contributing, but in fact was just serving to try and keep Labour’s profile up in Scotland with a little help from the BBC.
    Did we learn anything? No
    Were we meant to learn anything ? No
    Does Labour actually have a plan or idea regarding devolution? No
    Consider this, Lamont’s ‘commission’ (Labour just love commissions) is supposed to present Labour’s big ideas for devolution at the party conference in March, that’s March as in the start of March tomorrow!
    so the conference is on March 21st in Perth Concert Hall
    to quote “Bringing together over a thousand delegates, politicians, trade unionists, socialist societies, businesses and visitors from across Scotland. Scottish Conference is one of the most important events in the political year”
    So they have exactly 3 weeks to complete their proposals, which I would have thought they would be trailing already as it should be complete.
    I also think they are being a tad optimistic in filling the concert hall with ‘over a thousand delegates, politicians, trade unionists, socialist societies, businesses and visitors from across Scotland’! Look out for quite a lot of people being bussed in from south of the border.
    Needless to say the BBC will give it wall to wall coverage, with low camera angles to cover any blank spaces in the audience

  146. Desimond says:


    You have me wondering…if only we had planned to stage a Wings Conference at the same time..pretty sure it would dwarf anything on offer by SLAB

  147. theycan'tbeserious says:

    Nicky Clarke said “there will be no hair in an independent Scotland as the Scot’s are too thick to manage their hair by themselves”. However, “See you jimmy hat’s” salesman Ali Darling see’s this as an opportunity for a thriving “bunnet” industry in Scotland”…saying “if you want to get ahead in Scotland…get a hat…it’s cheaper than Nicky Clarke’s shampoos and conditioners”. So there we have it Scotland, as one man’s business prospect in an independent Scotland die, another rises to take it’s place. Every cloud has a silver darling…sorry should read lining!

  148. Lochside says:

    Alexander is a nematode. This would explain his memory loss over his previous anti-devo plus stance. Parasites like this have no memory, no backbone, and no scruples, just the ability to suck lifeblood from its host.

  149. Bodincus says:

    Re Job losses and companies moving south: if you stop looking at the job market from the wrong side, and start to understand that jobs are created by demand of the services they provide, you’ll see that if a company moves south of the border it’s always a win.
    If there is demand for the services, another Scottish company will expand or a new one will start; if there is no need for the company, we got rid of a basket case.
    That’s the economy, stupid.

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