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Wings Over Scotland


How soon is now?

Posted on October 05, 2012 by

The Scottish media is enthusiastically continuing to follow Labour’s agenda with regard to slashing universal services. Both of last night’s current-affairs shows led with the topic again, and it’s all over the press once more today, in particular the Scotsman and the Daily Record. The former runs one story that carries a telling quote from Scottish Labour seat-filler Richard Baker MSP:

“We can’t wait to have these difficult decisions in a couple of years. The choices need to be debated now.”

While it’s been referenced in passing, the SNP oddly hasn’t really made much of the extraordinary hollowness of this demand, given than Scottish Labour have said their commission “investigating” the matter won’t produce a report for over two years.

We don’t know about you, readers, but our understanding of a debate is that two opposing sides both present their arguments and then there’s some sort of vote which determines who best convinced the audience that their view was the right one.

The SNP’s position is clear – universal benefits can be afforded, something that the Scottish Government has already demonstrated by balancing its budget since 2007, and it will prove its point by continuing to do so in coming years. Labour, however, want to somehow have a debate without having a position. It’s rather like demanding someone plays you at football and then not turning up for the match.

This feebly cynical ruse is all the more transparent for the fact that by delaying their report until after the independence referendum, Labour are refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the room – the possibility of a Scottish Government with far greater control over its finances. An independent Holyrood would be able, if it so chose, to make vast savings in certain areas – most obviously defence – which would by themselves fund the entirety of universal service provision for decades to come.

Labour is attempting to hold a “debate” to which it’s not entitled in the first place – the Scottish people overwhelmingly rejected the party at the last election, entrusting government to the SNP alone until at least 2016 – and to dictate both the timing and the terms. The only thing possibly greater than the cynicism and the hypocrisy is the sheer arrogance. As far as Labour is concerned, the last two elections simply didn’t happen, it’s still in power and people still give a damn what it thinks about anything.

(Because even if they were right and universal services did become unsustainable at some point in the future, it would be the Scottish Government of the day which would have to solve the problem. The voters are currently showing no sign of bestowing that heavy responsibility onto Labour’s inept C-listers even at the next election.)

To nobody’s great surprise, the Scottish press is assisting for all it’s worth in this gross and anti-democratic delusion. But all Labour is likely to achieve is to illuminate in stark detail the only policy it currently has to offer the people of Scotland – fear.

We’re going to go out on a limb and make an early prediction here, readers. Scottish Labour’s “commission” will in fact never produce its report, much like the party never did manage to come up with an alternative to the Council Tax. It’ll sit around making occasional leaks to sympathetic journalists until the referendum, and then Scottish Labour will quietly produce a manifesto for the 2015 Westminster election obediently taking whatever line the UK leadership is pushing by then.

Whichever way the referendum goes, there’ll be no need for a distinctive Scottish Labour position on anything, because as we’ve already seen this week, the true purpose of Johann Lamont’s speech was to align the Scottish party completely and indistinguishably with its London parent. If Scots vote No in 2014, by definition they’ll be signing up to Ed Miliband’s “One Nation” state and will have tacitly accepted the same conditions as everyone else in the UK – tuition fees, soaring Council Tax and means-testing. And if on the other hand the Yes campaign has emerged triumphant, all Labour’s calculations will be instantly obsolete.

So the only conceivable point of Lamont’s empty call for “debate” was to sow fear and doubt in the minds of Scottish voters. It was, in effect, just a very slightly subtler respray of the tried-and-trusted “too wee, too poor, too stupid” line. There’s no other way to explain the enormous amount of time the supposed “commission” is going to take, given that – as Lamont herself tirelessly reminds us – the Christie and Beveridge reports have already done all the heavy lifting, and hapless amateurs like Ken Macintosh and former Labour councillor Arthur Midwinter are unlikely to add any great intellectual weight or insight to their learned and impartial findings.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt from a collection of self-proclaimed Federalists, Unionists and Devolutionists. Either way, readers, it’s a load of FUD.

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52 to “How soon is now?”

  1. Alex Grant says:

    Absolutely correct Stu. Unfortunately this scare stuff works with a lot of people and the only way to refute it is by
    1 producing a strong detailed well authored report on independence economics and
    2 dear God will they start to work on the cost of Trident and the uk being the fourth largest per capita defence spend on the planet. The majority of the population north and south of the border seem to be impervious to to this fact and the Unionists will never raise it! 

  2. FUDMONGER
    Useful hashtag “#fudmonger” can be attached to a retweet of any Unionist scare propoganda. viz. Output from @BrigadoonGent
    The supply of scare stories against independence is endless and its pointless to debate endlessly. The crucial point is that a democratic referendum is a YES or NO answer to a constitutional question and not a vote for a manifesto of policies which is what a general election is for (see 2016).
    As long as the unionists insist on avoiding democracy by pretending policies matter in a referendum their FUD should not be answered.
    It is NOT certain an SNP government will win power after independence and therefore a draft constitution agreeable to at least all civic Scotland should be attempted NOW.
     
     

  3. Neil Jn says:

    Spot on with all this. My real fear is that most sensible debate is having to take place in alternative places.
    The horrible propaganda machine that is the Daily Record and it’s sizeable following appear to be happy to be blindly led.
    It could be that we are not too poor and not too wee but we might just be too stupid. 

  4. NorthBrit says:

    If you look at the Telegraph you will see Ian Martin indulging in the self defeating tactic of asserting that universal services lead to Scotland being subsidised by England.  The problem with this line of argument is it provokes anti Scottish sentiment in England and also a belief that England would be better off without Scotland.  Which ultimately will lead to more support in both countries for a split.

  5. Morag says:

    They’ve looked round for something to attack the SNP with, and all they can come up with is, “you’re having it too good!”  It would be pathetic if it wasn’t being milked for all it’s worth by the unionist media.

    It’s safe enough for them to stir up anti-Scotland hatred in England, because the English aren’t getting a vote.  All they have to do is imprint “too poor” on the Scottish psyche, and at the moment they’re succeeding.

  6. FUDMONGER P2
    Unionists should be challenged to debate a draft constitution for a devolved OR independent Scotland.That is the way to democratically identify the difference and to supply an informed reason to vote YES or NO.
    Stuff your policies now any democratic unionists.Have them challenged in 2016.

  7. Westie7 says:

    Regardless of Labours lack of mandate to “Hold” this debate, I have seen the damage being done already this week. Whilst auditing a factory and sitting in the canteen at lunch the talk is all about ” All these free services are not available any more, these are going to be cut!” .. Brainwashing continues! Scary

  8. Alex Grant says:

    Re Fudmonger comment. Whether you like it or not the referendum WILL have to be about policies. The Unionists will first support the stories that we can’t afford what the SG is doing now and let the MSM keep selling the subsidy story. If this is not countered in order to convince the undecided not only will we lose the vote Westminster will reduce the block grant and take powers back. And rest assured if the SNP lost its majority albeit in the short term the D’Hondt PR voting system will be changed to avoid the SNP ever winning again! 
    I am dismayed that some independence supporters think the detail can be left til the election in 2016. Of course the point has to be made that the Scots can then choose from a range of policies from a variety of totally Scottish parties not just the SNP and ‘Eck Mugabe’ but to get there we have have to convince people who have been told it is not credible for the whole of their lives!

  9. Jeannie says:

    Spot on, Stu. Succint, astute, to the point and completely right.

  10. Barontorc says:

    The orchestra plays on and we’re supposed to dance to a tune we don’t like because the orchestra doesn’t know how to play tunes we do like and isn’t even interested in learning them.

    There isn’t a hope in hell of Labour producing a manifesto for a Scotland outwith the UK and that’s crass stupidity given the flow of genuine opinion. 

    Their subliminal purpose is to keep devaluing the potential for Scotland to do better than the rest of the UK will ever be able to do. They gamble that this will be enough to  keep their personal noses well stuck into the Westminster trough.

    They don’t see that Scotland “on its own can” will never again be a drain on UK resources, which they pretend is the case and demonstrably is not.

    And that’s damn all good to anybody other than these silly-bugger  orchestra players, clinging grimly to the old songsheets.

    Coming shortly – there’s a fat lady who’ll be singing anytime soon and then it’s curtain down for many of these chancers! 

  11. scottish_skier says:

    Morag.

    “All they have to do is imprint “too poor” on the Scottish psyche, and at the moment they’re succeeding.”

    Succeeding? I’d hesitate to say that. What is coming across is more that we can’t have these services if Scotland remains in the union as much as or even more than the idea that we can’t have them if independent. That in effect means that being independent is no worse than the union. In that sense, better to vote yes as at least we can give it our best shot. If you want to defeat independence, you must clearly portray how much better it is for Scotland economically to remain in the union, not shout about how miserable its all going to be.

    Similar tactics to these have been used in the case of just about every country seeking independence from Westminster in the past. They obviously don’t have a high success rate. I wonder if they told Bangladesh it would look like Bangladesh if it went independent….   

  12. Jeannie says:

    Well, if they can erode the value of what devolution has given us, by implying it won’t be there in the future or it’s a bad thing, and, at the same time, increase the scare stories, telling us what we’ve got to lose by voting for independence, then the independence option will start to look like pain with no gain, and therefore we’ll vote their way.

  13. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    How can they have an honest debate if they won’t consider Indpendence?

    If we spent the same as Norway on defence we would save £1.6bn a year.

    If we restricted tax relief on pension contributions to basic rate tax we would save £500m a year. (source HMRC 2011).

    That’s just two examples of being able to save £2.1bn a year, with control of our own finances, via Independence.  Obviously the truth is that Universal benefits will go if we remain in the union.               

  14. steven luby says:

    I have a feeling that the Scots Gov are simply allowing all opposition to flap around on the sand having taken the bait.They have introduced policies and tweeked here and there and it’s working,all opposition just hate that they are doing a good job and ”deliberately”!
    Scots Gov are standing back i’m sure in quiet amazement at the rubbish that is being thrown to the winds and watching it fly straight back into the oppositions faces.Lib-Dems and Tories we know about,now Labour have come onto the beach for a fight but they have no back up.Their policies of up until the local elections are being questioned as London HQ wants ‘universality’ across the range of policies from England to be applied everywhere else.
    But when Scots Gov White Paper comes out next year,not only will they have a proven track record for some years but they will be in a position to lay out a viable and costed view of the years to come showing all a direction that Scotland can either grasp and run with as a beginning or sit back for the rest of their lives and generations to come.This is something that no country within the UK has ever managed to produce.By this time Labour will still be left years behind as they have no policies now,nor will they have by the time of the referendum other than the policies of London HQ. 
    As for worrying about the reports in papers etc this is a real problem but when they decide to question this White Paper they themselves will still be singing from the same song sheet with no alternatives.So what we have is the opposition party’s and MSM having nothing good to say,productive,constructive,idealistic or progressive in any fashion as austerity will be hitting even deeper! I dont think even Labour MP’s and MSP’s themselves could stomach that as they have to sit and lie time after time ! I’m waiting for someone to cross the floor from Labour MSP’S and take a place with the SNP,simply throwing in the towel(and we should all know where our towel should be)and standing in open support of the only way ahead for Scotland in gaining independence……….then the fun begins for the 2016 general election:-) 

  15. scottish_skier says:

    @Jeannie

    The game’s up. That’s why it’s getting very dirty from the Labour camp. You are not watching a successful campaign to save the union, you are watching utter desperation; they are not confident at all; they are terrified. Death throes is the best description.

    Meanwhile, the calm and confident Scottish government carry on doing a good job in difficult times.   

    The mistake Labour are making is looking like they don’t want universal benefits. That’s very different from doing everything you possibly can to retain them.    

  16. Doug Daniel says:

    It’s really getting annoying how the Labour party spout off about something, and the media obediently searches for stories to back them up. Tuition fees is the perfect example, where a set of rankings have been promoted as proving that the lack of tuition fees in Scotland is directly responsible for us slumping in the table, without even mentioning that it’s EXACTLY THE SAME in England, where they DO charge fees. Never mind the fact that the figures actually show there is absolutely NO correlation between fees and a country’s position in the table: 

    http://albamatters.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/medias-universally-rank-analysis-of.html

    How do we stop this? It’s getting beyond a joke. The BBC especially needs to find its own stories, not just wait for Labour to tell them the story and then go out and find facts that back it up, and distort facts if that proves fruitless.

  17. Cath says:

     
    I don’t know about a Labour MSP crossing the floor to the SNP, but I seriously hope some of them start distancing themselves from the anti-Scottish, anti-Labour vitriol now coming from their leaders. Lamont is a disgrace who does little but hurl personal abuse across the chamber and oppose anything the Scottish government does for the sake of it. The party has lost all direction, all vision and all ideas.
    Hopefully some Labour MSPs might openly defect and join Labour for Indy, or the Greens, or become independent if that’s possible within the system. I don’t know though. I fear those left may be all as bad as each other and the unionist media.

  18. MajorBloodnok says:

    Seems to be quite a concerted press effort this week – going on longer than the usual 3 or 4 day efforts to try to pin something on the SNP.  Labour knows what policies makes the SNP popular and instead of saying look, here are some better ones, they are trying their hardest to devalue those policies by saying they are unaffordable/ targeted at the rich/ impoverishing the poor/ being incompetently administered anyway.

    They seem to want a miserable uni-nation where we should get used to austerity and the stick and like it, rather than saying hey this is all wrong perhaps the country needs to change its priorities away from WMD and the banks and towards the people and social justice.

    That just about sums up the difference between Holyrood and Westminster.

  19. Kenny Campbell says:

    Certainly Foulkes and the usual rentamob Labour tweeters are out in force with the something for nothing affordability line. One tweet I saw demolished the whole thing saying total cost for the items on the table only add up to 3.5% of total Scottish government total budget.

  20. scottish_skier says:

    Well, what are you going to do? Vote SNP and hope they managed to keep doing what they are doing or vote One Nation Tory Labour who seem to think it’s all ‘something for nothing’ and should be scrapped?

    To defeat the SNP you’d need to offer something better, not worse.

    Labour probably think they’re doing well in UK polls because they’re excellent opposition to the Tories. Nope, it’s simply because the Tories are being crap in government. If they do a couple of good things and the economy picks up, Labour will be soon be behind again.

  21. MajorBloodnok says:

    All the Tories need to do is come up with a tax cut just before the UKGE and Labour is toast.

  22. YesYesYes says:

    @Doug Daniel,
     
    “How do we stop this?”. There probably isn’t a lot we can do about the BBC that would be effective. But with the Scottish newspapers we can continue to do what we’ve been doing, stop buying them and watch their circulation figures plummet.
     
    It’s at times like this that you wish that there was one, just one, national daily Scottish newspaper that was actively campaigning for independence. I don’t mean the opportunistic positioning of some Scottish newspapers (or ‘Scottish’ editions) whereby, a few weeks before an election, when they realise the game is up for Scottish Labour, they discover that the SNP isn’t so bad after all, but a serious daily paper that consistently supported independence. It remains one of the enduring anomalies of Scottish politics and culture that there has never been one national daily Scottish newspaper that has consistently supported and campaigned for independence. We must be the only independence movement in post-war history of whom this can be said.
     
    If such a paper existed I’d be pretty confident that it would buck the trend in the decline in readership that all the unionist-supporting papers are experiencing. I, for one, would not only buy such a paper I’d take out an annual subscription for it to help boost its finances, and I suspect many others would too! There is a real appetite for this in Scotland and the evidence for that is not only the plummeting readership of the mind-numbing rubbish served up by the unionist press, but the fact that so many independence supporters have turned to the internet for alternative sources of news.     

  23. Dcanmore says:

    What Scottish Labour are forgetting, is that they are representing the Union in the eyes of the public, not an alternative Scotland which devolution originally was. So when SLAB and Lamont press the ‘attack’ button their bitterness, desperation and vile attitude is done on behalf of a distant Westminster and their current view of Scotland. So when their *ahem ‘arguments’ are spat out it is not providing any alternative to the SNP and their policies. I believe the people of Scotland can see this SLAB position very clearly even if it’s not intended by Lamont.
     
    It’s obvious that SLAB can only win over the Scottish electorate by being a true alternative to the SNP with a more enlightened positive position (just like the SNP campaigned from in 2007 and 20011). I feel that Scots will not vote for a retrograde step in how Scotland is run and will shun the ugly side of Unionism which SLAB have become under Lamont. Someone once said that Scots will always vote for the strongest political leader, and the SNP a miles ahead on that one, with policies to boot.
     
    Labour are tasked to saving the Union and I think under current ‘talent’ they have bitten off more than they can handle. You can see this by the desperate measures of bringing out ‘beasts’ from the woodwork, such as Brian Wilson… next it will be John Reid, but they won’t have anything more to say than Lamont and her script. The more pressure SLAB will come under the more likely they will implode. Their relentless negativity will see them scoring another spectacular own goal as Scots will head off in another direction as they have done already in the two previous Scottish elections. The SNP are quite correct in standing by and not lowering themselves to gutter tribalism as SLAB run around like headless chickens spouting vitriol, and it won’t be long before Labour will be running on empty with the full force of the SNP/Independence movement’s arguments still to come.

  24. Tris says:

    Alex Grant: “The majority of the population north and south of the border seem to be impervious to to this fact and the Unionists will never raise it! “

     In fact Cameron did raise it in one of his speeches about Scotland…along with our so-called influence in the EU, UN and NATO, he actually bragged about that very statistic.

    I thought that it seemed like a very good reason for leaving this warmongering union. 

  25. Juteman says:

    When i look at this article scooped by Peter, i wonder if the ‘narrative’ is being set down south? Good riddance to them?
    They need to project to their voters that it is actually a good thing if they get rid of those sponging Jocks, and not a case of ‘us’ deciding to leave of our own accord. After all, the Empire is powerful, and we could only ‘leave’ if Westminster wanted it to happen
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8998742/Council-taxpayers-in-England-losing-out-on-2.6billion-in-services-because-of-Scottish-funding-formula.html

  26. Juteman says:

    I believe the Nationalist movement in NI refuse en masse to pay the BBC tax. Someone on another site said that a ‘D notice’ was applied to stop this being reported over here.
    Is this true? I’ve looked for evidence online, but can’t find anything reliable.
    BTW, i stopped paying mine a while ago, and told them the reason why. The threatening letters have stopped. 🙂

  27. Juteman says:

    Third post in a row.
    I thought i would share this scoop here first, before it breaks in The Herald, Daily Record or Scotsman.
    Alex Salmond is deliberately trying to spread plague to England.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-19846300

  28. Richie says:

    @Juteman

    Interesting article about the BBC here

    http://www.centreforcitizenship.org/tv.html
     
    it says;
    “Many citizens in Northern Ireland have refused to pay in protest against British rule. The level of resistance there, at 9.8%, is higher than anywhere else in the UK.” 

    It’s quite a long article but worth reading if you have the time.
    A good bit at the end says;

    “If you think opposition to the TV licence is overheated, try imagining this. The government comes to the conclusion, very reasonably, that the British press does not do a good job. It sensationalises, it exaggerates, it trivialises etc. They hit on the idea of public service print media. A daily newspaper. Serious. Responsible. Comprehensive. An independent commission will have oversight. Impartiality will be its watchword.
    But how to finance this paragon? Easy. A tax on newspaper readers. Just require that anybody who wants to buy a newspaper have an official licence to read. It would cost just a few pounds a year. Credit card size to flash at the checkout.
    What’s the objection? Its done already for TV and everybody admires BBC News.” 

  29. Hen Broon says:

    I got moderated of Newsnetscotland for urging people to engage in civil disobedience and stop paying the BBC licence fee as I am.
     
    It is the one significant thing we can and should do in Scotland to show them how we feel. I will go to jail before I pay there damned extortion money for their state propaganda. Their censoring of comments on the blogs is a disgrace in a modern democracy. Even when they were open they were heavily politically moderated. Pravda could teach them nothing.

  30. scottish_skier says:

    Alex Salmond is deliberately trying to spread plague to England.

    Ha ha. Funny that, when I arrive at Heathrow from Lagos (early 80’s as a boy) with suspected Dengue fever, they put me on a chopper to Raigmore. Isolation until they worked out it was just Bilharzia.

  31. Holebender says:

    Dengue is spread by mosquitoes, so why isolate you?

  32. scottish_skier says:

    Sorry, they had no idea what it was at first. Guy comes off a plane, started his journey  in Kano. Has major fever….

    I recall my folks telling me at first the Docs thought it was Dengue before they worked out what it really was. Maybe they were worried about midges…. 😉

    I was in isolation. As a wee boy it was crap. You feel ill as hell, , your mum’s not allowed in the room without face masks and stuff etc. But to top it all off, groups of students come to peer in at you through the glass while their teacher talks enthusiastically about how fascinating a subject you are.

    🙂 

  33. Barontorc says:

    How the others see us! (Thanks for the link, Juteman)
     
    From : The Telegraph dated 5 October 2012
     
    By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent
    10:00PM GMT 06 Jan 2012 (check this date! Is this a re-post to stoke the home fires a tad more?)
     
     
    “Treasury figures last year showed that gap in annual government spending between Scotland and England has risen to a record £1,600 per person In Scotland, the Government spent £10,212 per person on average last year – £1,624 more than in England.”
     
    I think I have seen many blogs from us  too silly, too stupid, too wee Scots, that somehow would not be in agreement with this chaps claim. How can you dismiss the fact that all taxes paid through London HQ’s for Scottish companies are not computed, nor are North Sea oil revenues which head straight down to London’s coffers.
     
    We are really privileged to be so cared for by the English, clearly we take so much more than they get from the big pot. By their way of thinking of us sponging Jocks and their rights to the common weal – it must be quite irritating.
     
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they told us to pack up our tents and move on – don’t you think so?
     
    Strange isn’t it?

  34. Silverytay says:

    Juteman     
    The antics of the empire are away to come back and bite britain big time .
    3 Kenyen,s have just been given permission to sue the british government for torture they endured during the mau mau uprising . 
    Unlike other countries of the empire , the atrocity,s we committed in Kenya are well documented . I wont list any of them here just in case I put people off their tea .
    Just google british atrocity,s in kenya and what you will find is frightening .
    This will knock a hole in S.S scenario, as the union will have to hold onto Scotland a bit longer just to pay off all the claims that could come flooding in from Kenya alone .

  35. seven says:

    Re BBC
    I got rid of meh TV when the last one spluttered it’s last.
    Best thing E’ve ever done. Any letters from them just go in the bin ( they went in the bin when I had one too).Em certainly no paiyin for brit propaganda. If they do come to the door they will get more than a moothful .
     

  36. seven says:

    just been on the ‘scottish labour site’ none of the contact links work!
    nothing lol
     http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/

    Jeez

  37. Adrian B says:

    “just been on the ‘scottish labour site’ none of the contact links work!nothing lol”

    Sounds remarkably like Scottish Labour politicians.

  38. seven says:

    Rote em a bit letter too

  39. seven says:

    Rev Stu if you want it Email me
     

  40. cynicalHighlander says:

    The link works now anyone with some spare red paintshop paint.
     
    http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/uploads/thumbs/L_a55f5d25-d021-0f54-7dfc-7f77424e8ba7.jpg

  41. Dal Riata says:

    Anyone see the the the Scottish ‘news’ on BBC tonight? Most of it was taken up by its attempts to force through Lamont’s and Labour’s FUD message. Their none-too-subtle subliminal scaremongering attempt was to show that with an ageing population the Scottish government would be facing a massive rise in financial output if free bus passes were to be maintained, with a few interviewees agreeing (obviously!) to this ‘assertion’. And, surprise, surprise, we got Lamont on screen to make sure ‘the message was put across’. After more verbal scaremongering, John Swinney was given barely ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ time to put across his repudiation of the Labour FUD…..

    This is just a ‘visual’ version by the unfit-for-purpose BBC Scotland of the FUD stories printed in the unionist press on a daily basis. Re …

    Start with an ‘accused’ or ‘shock horror’ headline, fill nine-tenths of the article/report with the scaremongering/lies/mis- and disinformation and at, or near, the end allow a quote from the SNP, or whoever, repudiating the scare story to give the falsehood of ‘balance’. 

    Sorry, to swear, but it’s just fucking despicable behaviour that gives a lie to a so-called fair and balanced press (MSM). Scotland deserves better. I can only presume that nothing will change – for that to happen, a majority Yes vote in the 2014 referendum is essential. 

     

  42. silver19 says:

     
    Dal Riata I fear that the MSM (TV,Papers) and the BBC will get worse and worse with their Lab-Con-Lib unionist fed scaremongering as 2014 approaches.
     

  43. Davy says:

    The way to combat the negitive scare storys on universal benefits, is to come out with a more positive story.

    So “Rev” how about a wish list of universal benefits, on how to improve and increase them, lets show those negative wasters how to run a forward looking country.

    mine is : reduce dental fees.
               : remove TV licence fee for pensioners. 

  44. McHaggis says:

    The Herald today has a couple of main features and it looks like the unionists have settled on the position that this issue requires a “mature debate”.

    they cant defend Lamont and they cant attack the SNP position so after 10 days of teeth gnashing, all they can come up with is this ridiculously ‘neutral’ position.

    As far as I am concerned the debate took place in the run up to 2011 elections and the electorate decided what they preferred.

  45. pa_broon says:

    I sometimes wonder how the press in other countries would report what’s going on here in the UK. The BBC comes out with all sorts iof stuff about the US elections, Obama ‘losing’ the first TV debate etc.

    If the republican party (say) imploded in the way Labour have, how would the BBC and wider press report it.

    I know Scotland is a tiny wee place in comparison, but I don’t think people appreciate how far down the road our political situation has gone, despite what the press here would have people believe (about how important the UK really is on the world stage, which to say, not very) the UK press are doing a fine job with the polyfilla.

  46. Andrew says:

    @Davy
    Mine would be to introduce European levels of benefits and pensions. i.e. at least double the UK levels.

  47. Barontorc says:

    @Davy 

    Don’t worry Davy there will be a veritable  Aladdin’s cave of goodies promised by the despicalado when the voting time get’s nearer; “Anything free on the top shelf – just sign this wee postal ballot – that’s right just below where we’ve put the tick. Don’t worry about your pal Bella – may she rest in peace – she’ll be happy to know that she’s getting her postal vote in on time. What about old Willie – is this how you spell his name?”

  48. Andrew Sinclair says:

    hi, slightly off topic – but surely worthy of investigation. 
    Lets assume Scotland gains independence.  What then happens to the political parties  (and by association the politicians who are members of them)?  Where would the parties get their funding from?  Surely, in a newly independent country all party funding would have to be raised within that country.  Otherwise the situation would seem to me to be that “foreign” countries would be financing political parties outside their own country.  Would we let a political party from France or Germany provide the finance, back office functions, etc to any party in the UK?  Would that even be legal?   
    So if you’re a member of the currrent Lib/Lab/Tory party – exactly what party will you be a member of post-independence?  Can the Scottish branches of these parties actually finance themselves fully? If not – isn’t this yet another reason – maybe THE gold plated reason – why the Lib/Lab/Tory MPs and MSPs are spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt?  If they’ve already worked out that the parties to which they belong automatically become outside the law (illegal was too strong a word) in an independent country, then they are almost certainly all leaving their gravy train.
    Can we fight Fear with Fear? Ask the Lib/Lab/Tory polticians to give details on the finances and arrangements their parties will have for continuing to operate in an independent Scotland.  This is more basic than whatever policies they might have. can the organisations to which they belong continue to legally exist?
    I may have missed something, and will be quite happy to be corrected if I’ve got it fundamentally wrong. 
     

  49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So if you’re a member of the currrent Lib/Lab/Tory party – exactly what party will you be a member of post-independence? Can the Scottish branches of these parties actually finance themselves fully?”

    In short, no. The SNP (obviously) raises most of its money in Scotland already, so it’d be fine, but the other three would be in deep financial doo-doo. It’s just one of the many reasons they’re desperate to keep Scotland in the Union that have nothing to do with the wellbeing of the Scottish people.

  50. douglas clark says:

    Andew,
     
    Of course we won’t, We’ll just let Unionists shrivel up and die!
     
    Which would be a nice conclusion.

    You worried or summat?

  51. Morag says:

    It’s all going to be a bit of a melting-pot.  The SNP itself will lose members, as many people think, job done.  New parties will form, and there will be a scramble to see which few come out as credible opposition in the 2016 parliament.  No doubt the present Scottish branches of the Labour and Conservative parties imagine it’ll be them, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

  52. Andrew Sinclair says:

    Rev Stu, Douglas, Morag,  – Thanks.  You’ve confirmed what I expected to be the case.  This is almost as good a reason as any other to vote “Yes”.   A completely fresh start, with the possible exception of the party which has retained the brightest and best in Scotland i.e. the people who believe we can be better.  This seems to me to be an important message to get out.  Tell all those who’re being swayed by the FUD campaign that after they’ve voted “Yes” they can go back to voting for whichever party they want. 
     
    Sorry for taking this discussion off on a tangent, but thanks again for the clarification.  
     
     



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