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Wings Over Scotland


Information retrieval

Posted on December 18, 2013 by

Someone asked us yesterday for some facts and figures to help them with a debate, and it got us remembering one that we never see being brought up, perhaps because it’s buried in the archives of the Herald under Sport > SPL > Aberdeen (no, really).

inforetrieve

It’s a piece that pre-dates the Scottish Parliament (and is written in a style that makes it seem older still), but it’s a complete mess of broken formatting, clearly the victim of numerous website redesigns, and painfully hard to read even when rescued from behind the paper’s paywall.

So we’re going to preserve it for posterity here in a cleaned-up, more user-friendly presentation, because it’s pretty much dynamite.

————————————————————————————————————-

Figures explode subsidy myth: Scotland gave £27bn more than was received (Robbie Dinwoodie, 27 March 1997)

Exclusive CLINCHING evidence that there has been a huge net flow of funds from Scotland to the Treasury since 1979, came in an answer from the Government in the final hours of the old Parliament last Friday, the SNP will reveal today.

Not only do the latest figures destroy the last main argument against the suggestion that Scotland paid £27bn more than was received in public spending, they suggest that the actual figure was nearer to £31bn.

Mr William Waldegrave, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has been forced to concede figures in Commons questioning in recent months, which show that if Scotland’s share of North Sea revenues had been allocated since 1979, then the net flow in favour of the Treasury from north of the Border ran to £27bn – a figure which the SNP used to refute previous claims that Scotland was subsidised.

As soon as Mr Waldegrave saw the implications of the figures he had released in January, he attempted to backtrack, and Tories in Scotland fell back on trying to question one key figure – Scotland’s share of the UK deficit.

This was 17.9% in 1994-95, almost double the per capita share, and disputed by the SNP. But Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth called the assumption that this figure of 17.9% was constant over the 18 years a ‘‘ludicrous assumption” which ”hugely distorts calculations”, and his objection was picked up by right-wing commentators, and even by Labour campaign co-ordinator Henry McLeish, who described it as a ”heroic assumption, a fundamental flaw”.

But last Friday, as MPs were leaving Westminster – some for the last time – a final written answer to a question from Mr Andrew Welsh, SNP MP for Angus East, emerged. Mr Waldegrave gave the figure for Scotland’s deficit share for every year since 1979, and the average turned out to be almost exactly the 17.9% first identified.

A jubilant Alex Salmond said last night: ”The Treasury answer – wrung out of it on the very last day of Parliament, and after a month’s delay – has blown the last shreds of the Tory subsidy myth out of the water.

For the second time, William Waldegrave has been caught out telling the truth. This new Waldegrave admission proves beyond doubt that it is Scotland which subsidised the rest of the UK – not the other way round.”

He claimed the Scottish subsidy to London now worked out at £6,200 for every man, woman, and child in Scotland. The same Treasury analysis, showing an upturn in oil and gas revenues, shows a projected surplus over the next five years of a further £12.5bn.

Now that that key figure disputed by the Conservatives has been shown to be accurate, the only other line of attack for critics of the SNP analysis will be to dispute Scotland’s share of oil and gas revenues, and only last week, the Government suggested that the North Sea belonged to a ”region” of its own, the Continental Shelf, rather than to Scotland or England.

However, Aberdeen University oil economist Professor Alex Kemp, a member of the Scottish Secretary’s panel of economic experts, said last night: ”This is clearly not very sensible or logical.”

————————————————————————————————————-

Right there, in a short few hundred words, is the hard evidence for an assertion routinely made by Yes supporters (and indeed by politicians on the wider left) – that the Tory governments of the 1980s and 1990s used North Sea oil revenues to prop up the UK economy, and all Scotland got in return was to be attributed a disproportionately big share of UK debt.

(Right-click to enlarge these images, or left-click to go to the Hansard page.)

waldegravescotland1997

As you can see, and as mentioned in the article, the chart lists Scotland’s allocated share of the UK deficit as 17.9% for every year. The chart below is the corrected set of figures released by Waldegrave in March 1997. They appear to average 21.7%, which would mean that the 17.9% attributed in the first table was an understatement, and that in fact Scotland’s net contribution to UK finances was therefore roughly 20% MORE than the £26.7m identified by Waldegrave that January.

(Scottish Labour had, of course, taken the side of the Tories.)

Because with 8.4% of the UK population, obviously Scotland shouldn’t have been being held responsible for almost 22% of the UK’s deficit – in the 1980s and 1990s that deficit certainly wasn’t being run up in Scotland. The fifth column in the above table, “implied estimates”, indicates that with a geographic share of North Sea oil revenues factored in, Scotland was actually running a very healthy surplus for most of the years in question, only going into the red when the price of oil hit record lows of around $20 a barrel in the years after the first Gulf War.

scotdeficit

That ties in with recent analysis undertaken by Professor Brian Ashcroft – no nationalist he – and examined in greater detail both by ourselves and, more expertly, by Business For Scotland, all concluding that had Scotland voted for independence in the referendum of 1979 (rather than the devolved “Scottish Assembly” that was subsequently denied anyway despite having won the vote) it would currently be free of debt and sitting on an oil fund of a minimum of £68 billion.

(Prof. Ashcroft, in keeping with his political allegiances, attempted to downplay that figure as representing only 5% of Scotland’s total revenues over the period, but £68bn is a non-trivial amount of money, especially when compared to the tens of billions in debt an independent Scotland is likely to inherit from the UK.)

But while it’s all very well having academics say this sort of thing, Waldegrave’s admission is just about the only known example of an actual serving government minister accepting that Scotland’s been subsidising the UK by tens of billions of pounds for decades. And, y’know, that seems worth keeping handy.

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  1. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Thanks for that. Convinces me totally what I had the feeling for all along. The Brits want to keep Scotland as a cash cow, oil or no oil, we pay more than our fair share into the UK

  2. john king says:

    OOH WHO KNEW?

  3. Ian Brotherhood says:

    So, where’s Willie?
     
    No doubt this will prompt a stampede of Scottish journalists to Eton, where Waldegrave is currently serving as Provost (see Wikipedia) – he’s only in his late sixties, so there’s a fair chance he might remember something.

  4. Doug Daniel says:

    Worth adding to the Reference section I reckon, Stu.

  5. Seasick Dave says:

    Robbie doesn’t mention this much anymore.

  6. themadmurph says:

    ach, that’s all very well, but it’s ancient history! You know we’re better together – aye right!

  7. Taranaich says:

    I KNEW I’d read this somewhere ages ago! Great to have it here: it’s as vital as the McCrone report.

  8. G H Graham says:

    It would also seem that the author, Mr. Dunwoody, has been wearing a different colour of coat since then.
     
    Still, it’s nice to have some evidence to back up what any reasonable person would conclude; that a country with a modern, developed economy that sits within the Top 20 oil producers 
     
    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=20&v=88&l=en
     
    aught to have at least a balanced annual budget & most likely a sovereign wealth fund to be used for developing an alternative economic model once the oil runs out.
     
    And it would seem reasonable to conclude that the reason used 17 years ago by London to deny Scotland’s destiny remains the same today; England needs the revenues from Scotland’s natural resources to prop up a broken London centric financial based economic system, fund the privatisation of industries & help maintain Britain’s seat on the security council by retaining a fleet of eye wateringly expensive nuclear armed submarines.

  9. gordoz says:

    Wish I’d had this yesterday over lunch with naesayer colleagues !
     
    I agree with Doug Daniel rev – must go in archive  – near top !

    GH Graham – I totally agree about Dinwoodie

    he made a cheeky comment at WP event that I think few picked up on

  10. Boorach says:

    @ J K
     
    just about everyone who saw a Tory’s lips move! 🙂

  11. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Dinwoodie must be perplexed to see this emerging on Wings – will he clarify/confirm/deny/be unable to remember?

  12. Dave says:

    JFYI, I had a hard time loading your site today and had the same thing about a week ago. It took about 30s to load fully. I am sure this is due to the increased traffic. Maybe we should ask the BBC to divert some of our TV taxes to help you out? One golden handshake should be plenty.

  13. gordoz says:

    Rev – Can you get this out to the YES camp politicians also ?

  14. Illy says:

    A short wiki-walk found me on the wikipedia page for “Scottish Politics” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Scotland)
     
    Some twat had put braveheart on the timeline!

  15. sionnach says:

    Imagine. With this in one hand, and Denis Healey’s admission in the other –
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/lies-then-and-lies-now/
     
    How much more convincing are people going to need?

  16. Morag says:

    There are figures going back even before oil that show Scotland getting back less than it contributed.
     
    Figures published up to the early 1950s showed a very poor percentage of Scotland’s tax take being returned – I think it was less than 70% though that’s just from memory.  This was brought up by the Church of Scotland Church and Nation committee around about 1967, when the question was asked, why were these figures no longer being published?
     
    This was reported in an article in the Telegraph, complete with the commissioners’ concerns that when money is continually siphoned out of a country year after year, the consequences are poverty, unemployment, deprivation, emigration and loss of population.  The implication was that they just stopped publishing the figures to prevent people noticing.
     
    John Jappy has published an article or two about his experiences in the Treasury in the 1960s, again before oil.  Before taking the job he had imagined Scotland was subsidised because that’s what everyone believed, but when he saw the figures he realised that Scotland was actually being bled dry by Westminster.
     
    It goes right back to the 1720s really.  Daniel Defoe wrote then that Scotland was suffering under the union because the Scottish nobles had decamped to London taking the tax revenues with them, and there was no local investmant.  “The people are poor, and they look poor.”  He was explicitly blaming the Scottish leaders for becoming anglicised, using Scotland’s money to advance their own interests in London, and draining Scotland of wealth.  Some things never change.

  17. gordoz says:

    O/T
     
    Over the quieter Xmas period coming is it worth a piece on revisiting the ‘complete lack of the NO sides positive case (?)  for the ‘Union with Britain’ and why they are not being ‘challenged over this’ by press and TV / radio media who don’t seem to be doing thier job ? 

    After all they appear to be checking WoS over now regularly – so perhaps a dig at their lack of professionalism on this ? Just a thought as it never really comes up on TV or in the press and Better with Britain are getting off very lightly on this subject.

    Where are their details ??

  18. cath says:

    “How much more convincing are people going to need?”
     
    The problem is getting people to read this stuff in the first place, rather than just belived what the UK establishment, via their compliant media, is telling them.

  19. desimond says:

    Anyone see the coverage of Alex Salmond helping out at a Edinburgh Food bank on news only for his argument of “this is people falling through the cracks due to severe Westminster cuts”  being followed by a faceless statement of denial “Our figures dont suggest a link between benefit change and rise of food banks” from DWP.

    There was also a piece on Standards ( or lack of ) in Lanarkshire Hospitals…with a  comment from a woman standing outside Westminster, it said it was Pamela Nash MP but surely it couldn’t have been..the MP for Airdrie was surely away at another vital “Jobs in Outer Space Industry” convention in a location conveniently handy for attending some picturesque Christmas Markets

  20. Xaracen says:

    “John Jappy has published an article or two about his experiences in the Treasury in the 1960s, again before oil.  Before taking the job he had imagined Scotland was subsidised because that’s what everyone believed, but when he saw the figures he realised that Scotland was actually being bled dry by Westminster.”
     
    More detail about this from John Jappy himself, below. NewsnetScotland also had an article based on this.
    http://inchbrakie.tripod.com/snpdingwall/id24.html

  21. msean says:

    I think i read some of that Defoe book,might still have it on my kindle,also brought to mind a programme i saw a few months ago.It involved a visit to  a highland chief,big castle,kilt and all that stuff,including plummy accent lol.Some Scots did very well out of the union.Was interested in opinion at the time of union,and what Scotland was like then.I found quite a few free old texts on the Internet Archive website,most so far have been quite informative.

  22. Les Wilson says:

    This is a very good discovery, and one that ALL Independence orientated should be pushing as with the McCrone report. We cannot get enough of this stuff between now and Sept 14. I would also point out that “Business for Scotland ” has a first class representation of the financial aspects of Independence with the breakdown and explanation of just why Scotland cannot AFFORD to stay in the Union, for we will be far worse of than with Independence. There is a youtube link to this, it is strong and convincing stuff for the fearties to take strength from.

    Aside, just passing the paper stand in the Supermarket, the MSM are awash with all different negatives mostly against Alex Salmond,  much of it on their front pages. It is truly shameful, and of course, utterly desperate stuff.

    It will get even worse if Westminster feel we are falling from it’s slippery grip. We need to keep strong and we can do so by KNOWING we have the BEST case, there is nothing the Union can come out with that we cannot win the argument over.

    We just need to challenge them at every turn, keep spreading the truth and knowing well, that we are in the right. Even more feet on the ground will be a big boost also.

  23. Bertie K says:

    Anyone looking to research this topic can find some good information here 
     
    http://www.abdn.ac.uk/modern/sites/default/files/NS02Brotherstone.pdf
     
    or google Lives in the Oil Industry [LOI] oral history project.

  24. Macart says:

    Oh, that’s a beezer.
     
    Off to post link elsewhere. 🙂

  25. Bertie K says:

    Sorry, bandwidth is crawling along today, sorry for the multi posts 🙁

  26. yerkitbreeks says:

    @desimond  Coming to today, did you see Linda Yueh’s piece in the BBC that ” The manufacture of alcoholic beverages is above 2008 levels. There are reports that Scottish Whisky distillers, who account for a quarter of the UK’s food and beverage exports, are even struggling to keep up with strong worldwide demand.”
    Bear in mind that 80% of the cost of a bottle goes to the Westminster Treasury

  27. Bill Tohill says:

    Bill Tohill says:
    18 December, 2013 at 5:13 am

    My apologies & completely O/T but I have been troubled lately about the incident some years ago with regard to the theft by Westminster claiming approx 3000 square miles of mineral rich Scottish waters while our backs were turned. I have a two fold question, on the 19/09/2014 once independence has been confirmed, will the Scottish government be making provision through the European courts (or by whatever medium) to have these waters reclaimed ??

    2.  If they (Westminster) managed to achieve this, then what else could they be doing at this very moment to further hurt the Scottish nation while we are concentrating on winning our independence. I really do have a deep anxiety about what is being put in place now by a totally corrupt London government.

    Again, apologies for being completely way off topic 

  28. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The Herald, in those days was owned by Scottish Television.

    Today the Herald is owned by Newsquest which in turn is owned by Gannet Publishing, which a US corporation. The group publishes, amongst others, USA Today and owns a number of television franchises.Gannet Publishing is headquartered in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia and their neighbour is the CIA.

    I wonder if that could help to explain Robin Dinwoodie’s change of mantle.

  29. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    yerkitbreeks
     
    That is only applicable on UK sales.

  30. Xander says:

    Rev, I know you like links to sources (as we do). So here it is straight from Hansard:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199697/cmhansrd/vo970113/text/70113w07.htm#70113w07.html_sbhd0
     
    http://archive.is/FFV7U

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Rev, I know you like links to sources (as we do). So here it is straight from Hansard:”

    Had already edited that in, but cheers 🙂

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “More detail about this from John Jappy himself”

    We’ve got some John Jappy stuff coming up soon.

  33. Bertie K says:

    @bill tohill
    I’m not sure and I may well be wong in this but as far as I’m aware the 3000 miles given to westminster may have been a part of the Devolution Settlement.

    Perhaps some of the other posters can confirm?

  34. Illy says:

    @bill tohill:
    I remember it being part of the Edinburgh Agreement.
     
    But surely all that comes up for renegotiation with independance?

  35. Xander says:

    Apologies Rev, I couldn’t see a source for Dinwoodie’s £27bn figure. I must learn to refresh page before posting (having been afk to make a cuppa) 🙂

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I couldn’t see a source for Dinwoodie’s £27bn figure”

    “Mr William Waldegrave, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has been forced to concede figures in Commons questioning in recent months, which show that if Scotland’s share of North Sea revenues had been allocated since 1979, then the net flow in favour of the Treasury from north of the Border ran to £27bn”

    There’s a mention of January, going to have a dig around. At the moment I’m assuming that Mr Dinwoodie didn’t simply make that up.

    EDIT: Well, that was easy:
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199697/cmhansrd/vo970113/text/70113w07.htm#70113w07.html_spnew0

    Edited in.

  37. ronnie anderson says:

    A blast from the past REV, W Waldegrave, were you a mole in a previous life, if thats the reading material at the start of the day, what have you up your sleive, to give us sweet dreams, Ive said it before, dont take Tea n Bisquits from Strangers. We have to get this out to the wider public, I ll keep saying it we need to challenge the MSM on their own turf, Flash mobbing / rallies , no use having foot soldiers & confineing them to barracks, many of use have noticed the disjointed efforts of the YES campain, YOU have show the power of W O S re crowdfunding, Im a old prop airyplane ( a metaphor on age ) but we have many different models young & old, unleash the W O S squadron, BOMB THE SHITE OOTA THEM , gchq i ll be knockin at ma door fur the wording

  38. Bertie K says:

    @yerkitbreeks
    UK Treasury reverting to type with it’s age-old tactic of hugging the victim whilst lifting their wallet.
    Get them pissed, keep them quiet, nick their stuff AND grab tax grab,
    All too familiar. 
    Watch out for excess volumes of cheap booze headed to a store near you!

  39. Les Wilson says:

    Ref the 3000sq miles of Scottish seas, it was in fact 6,000 sq miles.

    This was a decision taken behind closed doors very near to the time of the opening of the Scottish Parliament. This was already in course so I cannot see why this theft was a part of the deal at that late stage. However this was decided byt T. Blair and certain Scottish MP’s eg Henry McLeish, I think Jack O’connell and others.

    This was never made public but came to light much later. There was no public consultation and was a secretive affair. The sea taken goes from Berwick on Tweed to as far as Carnoustie. 

    If it had been know at the time there would have been fury over it, that is why it was deliberately hidden. Once known Labour tried to cover it by saying, it was a price paid for achieving the Scottish Parliament. If that were indeed the case, then why would have not been out in the open? SLAB just trying to make it look slightly better than it actually was, which was a sneaky, shady deal, by Blair and friends.
    It was in no way democratic , but hey, we get that day in and day out! That’s Labour for you!

    What I would like to know, what happened to Scotland’s rights to Antarctica? I cannot find what happened with that anywhere? anyone know?
    Oh, don’t forget, apparently we still own “Doncaster !”

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Apologies Rev, I couldn’t see a source for Dinwoodie’s £27bn figure.”

    Actually, my apologies – I got my wires crossed there. I assumed you’d posted the link to the deficit-percentage table that I edited in first, but actually you’d helpfully linked to the GGBR figures that I just went and found needlessly for myself when you’d already done it. I blame those horrible long Hansard links, they all look the flipping same.

    😀

  41. Bertie K says:

    @Les Wilson
     
    Much appreciated 🙂

  42. Xander says:

    Lol, great article btw 🙂
    PS I am looking forward to your John Jappy coverage too.

  43. Chic McGregor says:

    Yes I remember that well.  
     
    We proto-cybernats spread it on the internet, such as it was at the time and also on fairly regular intervals for a few years thereafter.

    We had also spread the earlier, relatively unsolicited, statements which were even higher estimates, as much as 80 billion IIRCC.
     
    It confirmed that in the last months of the Tory government, they privately knew they were going to lose so they were either covering their arse for the record or creating trouble for Labour.
     
    It was also the first time that a suspicion that the Tories, or some of them, might be harbouring the notion that it would be a good idea to jettison Scotland (a la SS) came to mind, at least for me.
     
    However, my favourite conspiracy theory of the time (still is) was the “I’m Tory Plan B” *one.  That a new Tory government in the guise of Labour, could get measures through which the Tories Propa couldn’t.
     
    *”I’m Tory Plan B” is an anagram of “Tony Blair PM”.

  44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Worth adding to the Reference section I reckon, Stu.”

    It was already in the Reference category, but I’ll put it in the separate page too.

  45. Dal Riata says:

    Thanks for putting in the work for this, Stu. A terrific addition to ‘Reasons to Vote Yes’ argument. And agree with the others, place it in the Reference section, definitely!

  46. Stu – I have blatantly lifted the Robbie Dinwoodie piece and posted it on my own blog managing to shift out some more of the old coding break ups. Wings, though, has full credit for uncovering this stick of dynamite.

    I am merely hitting the plunger and trying to spread it around a bit more.

  47. Muscleguy says:

    @BillTohill
    I expect that first the Scottish negotiation team will put to their RUK/EWNI/South Britain opposites the opportunity to return the maritime border to where it should be with the stick of the embarrassment of being taken to the International court of the Law of the Sea where RUK/EWNI/South Britain will certainly lose. I expect fairly soon after the negotiations start we may well learn the outcome of that one. I would expect it to be high up the list of things to discuss, behind Trident and the Currency Union but only just.

  48. MochaChoca says:

    Excellent article from Oil & Gas industry insider over on Biz for Scotland this morning too.

  49. MochaChoca says:

    The maritime border was changed from an arbitrary west/east line to an equidistance line.
     
    The equidistance line is commonly regarded as the lawful method of apportioning maritime area so there’s probably not much mileage in pursuing a reversal back to the previous line.
     
    It’s the secretive and underhand way in which the change took place that highlights the contempt Westminster holds for us. On the plus side though, it clearly indicates that they were gearing up for Scotland becoming independent at some point down the line.

  50. beachthistle says:

    @MochaChoca
    “The maritime border was changed from an arbitrary west/east line to an equidistance line.
      The equidistance line is commonly regarded as the lawful method of apportioning maritime area so there’s probably not much milage in pursuing a reversal back to the previous line.”
     
    Are you sure about that? Source(s)/link(s) please. Because from what I’ve read (e.g
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/01/scotlandengland-maritime-boundaries/ )
    and seen around the world, I think Scotland has a rock-solid case.

  51. Richard says:

    O/T am I alone in feeling boosted by the past few days? Has the YES campaign just woken up or is it just me? 

  52. End of daze says:

    It is time we started to pull together the economic case for independence in a simply argued format. I have been gathering various articles / posts to include on a Facebook group page called “Independence Facts”. 

    One of the best pieces was your article Ghosts in the machine 

    Posted on November 10, 2013 that included, amongst others, two comments from “Monty Carlow”, outlining the economic case very simply and succinctly. I have used this several times to clarify the facts on discussion pages and would very much like you to revisit the subject in more depth as there is no doubt in my mind that converting the 60% who think we are subsidised by England is the key to this debate.

  53. gavin lessells says:

    The Dinwoodie 1997 piece should be spread widely. The song is the same but he has changed his tune.
    Also helps to remind present day editor of the rag by e mailing letters [at] theherald [dot] co [dot] uk and remind him that little escapes us!

  54. Andrew Morton says:

    I’m going to try sneaking some stuff from the Dinwoodie article onto the Herald comments page. As I’m in permanent moderation (I quoted from Terry Kelly’s blog and suggested that the article in question was inaccurate) it’ll be interesting to see if it makes it through the moderation process!

  55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “O/T am I alone in feeling boosted by the past few days?”

    I dunno, but I hope all the folk who were shouting “Don’t criticise the fundraising campaigns, you fool, it’s so negative and damaging!” are having a good hard think.

  56. Andrew Morton says:

    I’ve now posted it on a story by Robbie Dinwoodie!
    The headline is,
    ‘Nicola Sturgeon: ‘As things stand right now, it is the only plan for the future of Scotland”
     
    Now we wait and see if Calum deletes a quote from his own newspaper!

  57. DRD Woodward says:

    Might I make a suggestion.

    Just now and again, because we can become desensitised to the scale of things if they are always described in abbreviation, just occasionally, for the benefit of the common man, like me …. express the numeric value in the whole. ie:

    “Not only do the latest figures destroy the last main argument against the suggestion that Scotland paid £27,000,000,000 (twenty seven thousand million)  more than was received in public spending, they suggest that the actual figure was nearer to £31,000,000,000 (thirty-one thousand million )..

    Somehow it makes the scale of the fraud so much greater and yet still totally  truthful?

     

  58. Chic McGregor says:

    Xaracen
     
    Thank you for the link to Mr Jappy.  He is stating facts and drawing logically cohesive inferences from them with which I wholly concur.  In particular I would draw your attention to the article in which the UK’s Total External Debt (TED) is highlighted.  TED is a figure which the Troika pay a great deal of attention to.  Reported National debt is open to individual government interpretation e.g. may or may not include pensions provision for instance (guess which the UK do) and so is less reliable as a measure of the capacity of a nation to absorb further debt.
     
    If I may reproduce yet again the key graphic from the Morgan Stanley analysis (which Mr Jappy cites but does not reproduce) below.  Note that it is a couple of years old now and does not reflect most of the current austerity measures in the UK.
     
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97149913/Total_Debt_to_GDP.jpg
     
    In particular I would like people to note that it is the financial sector in the UK which is the most anomalous and which accounts for nearly all of the UK’s frightening tally.  Also, people should note that government debt was less than the EU average, even then, before the austerity cuts kicked in.
     
    There is missing, as far as I can see, but probably for understandable reasons, the effect of allowing the BRIC countries to join the WTO in the insane way it happened.  But hey ho, few are willing to tackle that one since it can so easily be painted as xenophobia, when, in actuality a high tariff approach, where the levels were driven by targets (i.e increasing) on government expenditure for social development would have developed those countries in a controlled way and to the greater benefit of their citizens while at the same time allowing the social advances gained in the last 200 years in Western style democracies to be maintained.
     
    As it is, the slave/prison/low pay labour of those countries and their government’s hoarding of the gains by denying basic human rights (like collective bargaining, right to strike), is, intentionally or otherwise, acting as a large reset button on 200 years of hard won social development.  A race to the bottom rather than the lifting to the top which could have been the case and which would benefit everyone.

  59. Chic McGregor says:

    “I dunno, but I hope all the folk who were shouting “Don’t criticise the fundraising campaigns, you fool, it’s so negative and damaging!” are having a good hard think.”
     
    No you were right on the money.  I did donate as I didn’t want to go to bed feeling guilty , but elsewhere. instead.  
    On reflection, I think most of the issues probably came from the ‘pledge’ nature of it.  I mean, how do you pledge a payment on paypal?  Must involve some complex arrangement between them and the agent.  Hence the future payment authorisation. But why 2 payments?  Someone suggested one was a n agent fee, so does that mean you have the pledged amount taken off and then a fee?  or does it mean the pledged amount – fee then the fee?  No explanation.
     
    I’m guessing as well, the paypal user’s email ID was also required to invoke this future payment but not the password?  Not that anyone would give out both anyway, but if they don’t need the password, why do they need the paypal email?
     
    Oh wait, maybe they could pay in to your paypal using it if the campaign failed and you needed a refund,  But all so confusing and unexplained.
     
    It would be far simpler if you just donated right there and then into an agent’s account and forgot about all this pledge business.

  60. JLT says:

    Copied and pasted into my own documentation!
     
    So far the now, I’m collating key points and articles from the key indy-sites as well as newspapers (…that is when they can be bothered to tell the truth. However anything from the excellent Ian Bell and Iain MacWhirter are always being added to my growing library). All of this will be getting passed onto family and friends next year.
     
    Cheers Rev. 

  61. beachthistle says:

    @JLT
    Be careful of making too much of a noise about/sharing Iain MacWhirter’s stuff. I’m fairly sure he is at heart a unionist and while it is currently prudent/’politic’ for him to be more neutral/less anti-Yes than most of his peers, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if he ‘comes out’ for ‘No’ at the worst possible time for Yes – i.e. a week or so before the referendum.

  62. JLT says:

    Beachthistle,
    Don’t worry. I know that MacWhirter kind of bends towards the Union. I know some Nationalists hum and haw at the man, but I find at times, that at least, you get a decent point of view from him …even if it is from a slight a unionist slant.

    I know he wishes for Devo-Max, instead of Independence, but at least the man tells us that Scotland does deserve better, but in his frustrations with the ‘No’ camp, he knows that Scotland is unlikely to get anything if it is a ‘No’ vote. That is an admission by a Unionist in my book, and if so …good on him. At least he is warning us.
     
    What I will say is that, if MacWhirter is arguing a case for the union, at least he does a …far, far better job at it than Carmichael, Darling, McDougall or Moore.

  63. Andrew Morton says:

    I think that McWhirter is a Devo Max supporter but he probably falls just on the independence side of the argument rather than the throwing the hands up and accepting what Westminster throws at us side.
     
    Incidentally, it’s now three hours since I posted the Robbie Dinwoodie story on the Herald and it still hasn’t got through moderation. I often suspect that Calum holds back certain of the posts of known ‘troublemakers’ (although he has denied it to me in an email) until people have stopped reading the story.

  64. Andrew Morton says:

    Well, fair’s fair, Calum has just allowed my comment out of moderation and it’s there for all to see. Interested to see what reactions it gets.

  65. BillyBigbaws says:

    Don’t forget this one guys and gals.  It’s from the Telegraph, that bastion of Tory Unionism, and is a report of a meeting that took place between top UK civil servants a year after they’d read the McCrone Report.  Neither source can be accused of pro-SNP or pro-independence bias.  The article doesn’t mince it’s words either:

    “Records from 1975, just released, show Government officials admitted that the discovery of oil had transformed the economic case for separation.

    They calculated that Scots’ average income would increase by up to 30 per cent per head and it could be “credibly argued” that repealing the Act of Union was to Scotland’s advantage.

    England would have faced “difficult years” of adjustment following the break-up, complete with higher taxes and unemployment, but would have bounced back relatively quickly.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/6240671/North-Sea-oil-gave-Scotland-massive-budget-surplus-say-Government-records.html

    Quite funny to see Simon Johnston, who wrote that article as recently as 2009, telling us weekly to this day that Scotland is too poor, etc. to be a self-governing state.

    For a good source on Defoe and the passage of the Acts of the Union, with links to original historical documents, go here:

    http://rueclementmarot.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-scotland-was-catcht.html

  66. Derrick says:

    Bravo, Stu.

    I well remember William Waldegrave delivering these answers at the fag end of the Major administration. I had been a Scotsman reader for years but, after the Barclay brothers acquisition and subsequent appointment of Andrew Neil as Editor, I`d only just binned it and started reading the Herald when I read the article in question.

    I didn`t have a computer then, but, some years later when I did finally learn to use one, Mr. Dinwoodie`s report was one of the first things I looked for and have kept ever since.

    It draws quite a reaction from folk with little or no interest in politics so here`s the link if anyone wants to email any of the “Whaurs the money gaunae cum fae?” doubters in their midst.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/figures-explode-subsidy-myth-scotland-gave-27bn-more-than-was-received-1.406190

  67. BillyBigbaws says:

    Morag said: “There are figures going back even before oil that show Scotland getting back less than it contributed.
     
    Figures published up to the early 1950s showed a very poor percentage of Scotland’s tax take being returned – I think it was less than 70% though that’s just from memory.  This was brought up by the Church of Scotland Church and Nation committee around about 1967, when the question was asked, why were these figures no longer being published?”
    —-
    Here’s a link to a scan of that article, I find it comes in quite handy.
    http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/914/scottishtaxdailytelegra.jpg

  68. Clydebuilt says:

    Beachthistle   
    Re Ian Macwhirter, yup agree with that.

    He’s got form on this. Just after the SNP’s win in 2007 he penned a piece ” Oil An Argument Whose Time Has Come” then just before the next election he was telling Labour what they had to do to WIN.

    Even in his current articles which seem pro Indy he points to why we can’t win. Hacks like Macwhirter have to keep an audience hanging on till just before election time when they tell you how to think!

  69. Kipper says:

    This kind of thing would be a great part of a “cheat sheet” or quick newbie guide to the issues surrounding the indie vote or even as part of leafleting.

  70. cjmasta says:

    The UK`s fraudulent behavior when dealing with Scotland is a scandal of huge proportions. It shows that there has always been plenty of Scot`s on the make more than willing to stab Scotland in the back for personal gain. When the people have this information and if they have any self respect they will vote YES. We`ve been played for a bunch of fools. I remember when I first discovered the big lie, i`ve never looked back. I blame the media, it`s gonna be a hard fight but one which is winnable.

  71. Victor Young says:

    I am afraid that if you are going to speak about contributions to the UK, then England outstrips the other three countries. Moreover, just the defence budget alone costs the UK 37 Billion Pounds. The Scottish contribution towards that is a mere 2.5 billion Pounds. RBS is a Scottish bank, yet it is rUK that will pay the lion’s share of bailing them out. In effect, Scottish independence is all about an asset grab at the oil in Shetland’s waters. Fortunately, already, the Shetland Islanders have become wise that the whole objective of independence is their oil and there are rumblings about a referendum in the Shetlands calling for independence from Scotland. According to information now emerging. The shale oil and shale gas fields in England and Wales are some of the largest in the world. So rUK have a bonanza of not having to share that with Scotland. The defence industries will come South as will shipbuilding, so rUK stand to gain thousands of jobs at the expense of Scotland. The Scottish CBI have already given pretty clear warning that they do not support independence… They are in the world to make money, not sing ballads about Brave Heart , they have obviously assessed that independence will not make them money . Many of them would, therefore, relocate . The final nail in the coffin for independence is that if Scotland is out of the EU and rUK is in. Then under the Treaty of Rome, Scottish nationals will no longer have the automatic right to enter rUK to find employment (there are 450,000 of them down here at the present – I wonder if that was included in the simplistic mathematics which claimed rUK was in debt to Scotland ?). Moreover, again under the same Treaty, there would have to be border and customs controls between Scotland and rUK. Its good bye Scotland rUK does not need you and , indeed, is going to be better off without you

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I am afraid that if you are going to speak about contributions to the UK, then England outstrips the other three countries.”

    Of course it does, it’s five times the size of all three of them put together.

    “Moreover, just the defence budget alone costs the UK 37 Billion Pounds. The Scottish contribution towards that is a mere 2.5 billion Pounds.”

    Wrong, it’s £3.3bn.

    “RBS is a Scottish bank, yet it is rUK that will pay the lion’s share of bailing them out.”

    Wrong. The US paid the biggest share.

    “In effect, Scottish independence is all about an asset grab at the oil in Shetland’s waters.”

    Wrong. In terms of international law, there is no such thing as “Shetland’s waters”, and even if there was the vast majority of the oil wouldn’t be in it. Shetland is part of the UK, and if Scotland voted for independence it would be part of Scotland.

    “Fortunately, already, the Shetland Islanders have become wise that the whole objective of independence is their oil and there are rumblings about a referendum in the Shetlands calling for independence from Scotland.”

    Wrong. No there aren’t. There is no Shetland independence movement outside of Tavish Scott’s vivid imagination.

    “According to information now emerging. The shale oil and shale gas fields in England and Wales are some of the largest in the world. So rUK have a bonanza of not having to share that with Scotland.”

    Good for them.

    “The defence industries will come South as will shipbuilding, so rUK stand to gain thousands of jobs at the expense of Scotland.”

    Wrong. They won’t. BAE simply doesn’t have the facilities or the expertise to build warships in England. Who says so? BAE do. They would require vast government subsidy, and the UK government can’t afford it. It’s already cutting the armed forces massively.

    The Scottish CBI have already given pretty clear warning that they do not support independence”

    Who gives a shit? The “Scottish CBI” counts for about 70 votes out of 4 million.

    “They are in the world to make money, not sing ballads about Brave Heart”

    Y’know, as it’s your first post I’d even let you get away with one Braveheart reference, if you could at least write it properly. Goodbye.

  73. David says:

    So, Victor Young of “down here”, which one of the Shadow Cabinet big-hitters are you? Thanks for your flying visit, don’t be a stranger!

    A decent try by VicYo, he mentions a lot of the topics that BT think are scary, and is almost up to date in referring to the CBI. Sadly for him, however, all these scares have been soundly rebuffed in the past, and the CBI is in meltdown mode, right before our eyes.

    His monstering is emblematic of the whole BT campaign – too little, too late, not based in fact (and thus easily disproved), and failing to understand Scotland and the people in Scotland.

    I bet there are over a hundred regular Wings posters who could have easily dealt with his threats, and this is because the truth has been spread on this and other sites, and people are actively looking for information, and questioning, and pushing for answers, and effectively crowdsourcing the truth. This will be the real legacy of the Referendum, the growth of participation in the political process.

    Seriously, where do Vic and the rest of the naysayers get their info from? Do they not realise that the MainStream Media is very outdated, and is not giving them the truth?
    I suppose not, the propaganda has been seeping in for so long. After a Yes vote in September, there are going to be a lot of people in EW&NI asking their newspapers and politicians why the totally unexpected happened.

  74. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @David –

    Aye, it was strange to see such a long comment cropping up in an old thread, and reassuring that Rev dealt with it so swiftly.

    I don’t understand why the man didn’t raise his head in an ongoing thread – if you’re a troll, why not do it properly, and elicit the maximum response?

    Anyway, he’s history, like the UK and its ever-dwindling rump.

  75. Paula Rose says:

    How sweet that he tries out his water wings before playing with the grown-ups, give the boy credit, now come along young Victor and engage with the debate.

  76. Retro_Rabbit says:

    Of course… leaving oil aside for a moment… VAT (on everything sold in Scotland that attracts VAT… oh… that includes petrol and oil… still kinda on topic!), has never been attributed to Scotland as the UK treasury claims not to regionalise VAT reciepts…
    I often wonder what that adds up to, more than pocket change anyway you cut it, I reckon.

  77. Retro_Rabbit says:

    Who was that muppet anyhoo?
    He Played every one of the tired old lies in a single hand… very strange…did we ever find out?

  78. Morag says:

    Don’t think so. At least he wasn’t abusive. Just very very wrong.

  79. Bill Jackson says:

    I voted Yes thank goodness before I went to this wesite to discover I made the right choice we have been duped for centuries by the Westminster team God Help Us and Alex Salmond tried his very best to get the Scottish publice head out of the sand.

  80. Glamaig says:

    This is a fantastic post. Lack of this information, caused by the UK Establishment and media lying to Scotland, is the number one reason we lost the referendum.

    Its the most important post ever. Basically if everybody in Scotland reads it, we’ll win next time. It’s as simple as that.

  81. We are the only part of the UK that is a NET exporter of food,now that makes us a very desirable “partner” or subjugated colony they don’t care which as long as we pay our way and a lot of their way.



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