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Wings Over Scotland


Labour devolution plans explained

Posted on May 14, 2013 by

It’s come to our attention that despite all of our hard work transcribing interviews with Unionist politicians, some of our stupider readers still – incredibly – aren’t 100% clear on certain aspects of the policy alternatives the UK parties will be offering the Scottish electorate in hope of persuading them to vote No in 2014.

gordonbrownst5

One such issue is Labour’s preliminary proposal to devolve income tax entirely to the Scottish Parliament, which is backed by Johann Lamont but strongly opposed by many of the party’s Westminster MPs.

Fortunately, an interview on last night’s Scotland Tonight with former Labour leader Gordon Brown eliminated any possible remaining doubts, with the sort of direct, straight-speaking approach for which the ex-Prime Minister was justly renowned.

The show’s interviewer Bernard Ponsonby had just asked whether Scots would be absolutely clear, before the referendum, on what extra devolution powers Labour would be offering in the event of a No vote, particularly in respect of the income-tax policy.

After a bit of introductory waffle, just after the four-minute mark Brown got right to the meat of the matter.

———————————————————————————————

GORDON BROWN: The consistency of our position is this – that we believe in the maximum devolution possible while pooling and sharing resources across the United Kingdom.

We’re not going to go for Tory policies or SNP policies of fiscal autonomy. What we’re going to go for is how we can pool and share resources across the United Kingdom in a way that at the same time allows us to have the maximum devolution, so that Scottish parliamentarians can make decisions about Scottish social policy and Scottish economic policy as well.

BERNARD PONSONBY: Is [Johann Lamont’s plan to devolve income tax completely] something, as it’s crystallised, in its draft form, something that you would back?

BROWN: Well, it makes a distinction between fiscal autonomy and fiscal equalisation. I mean, if it were to lead to Scotland having to raise all its revenues without any equalisation of resources across the United Kingdom, then I for one would not like that.

But if it means that we are equalising at a fiscal level across the United Kingdom, while giving freedom to set income tax rates at a greater level in Scotland, then I have no problems with it. It depends –

PONSONBY: Do you support the proposal as it’s currently drafted?

BROWN: Well, the proposal is for debate, and I’m happy with the proposal, but I think the proposal is going to go out for consultation, and it’s going to be understood in the context of whether you support fiscal autonomy, which I oppose, and which would lead us effectively to breaking up the Union, or whether you support fiscal equalisation, which is that we pool and share our resources – all our resources, across the United Kingdom – for the benefit of everyone, and in particular for the benefit of the poorer regions and nations of the United Kingdom, who should get more help from right across the United Kingdom.

———————————————————————————————

Now for Heaven’s sake, readers – how much clearer do you want it than that?

gordonbrownst7

(If in fact you gave up weeping halfway through the awful, robotic, randomly-generated buzzword mashup, we think that the Rt. Hon. Member for Kirkcaldy’s view is that he’s in favour of devolving income tax, but ONLY if it’s done in order to increase taxes in Scotland and divert the money to poorer regions* in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thereby bringing about “fiscal equalisation”. Sounds like a vote-winner to us.)

.

*As Scotland is the wealthiest region in the UK except for South-East England, any “equalisation” would see money flow out of it and into the other three nations.

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132 to “Labour devolution plans explained”

  1. HighlandMartin says:

    I did hear it go past me Rev but my head was trying to work out where ‘equalisation’ had suddenly become a phenomenom.  I hope Johann takes it up on Thursday at FMQ.

  2. heraldnomore says:

    Guido’s always a big fan of the man who saved the world – I see he’s found the poll in the hootsmon – 71% say liability (to the no camp that is)

  3. MajorBloodnok says:

    “What we’re going to go for is how we can pool and share resources across the United Kingdom in a way that at the same time allows us to have the maximum devolution, so that Scottish parliamentarians can make decisions about Scottish social policy and Scottish economic policy as well.”
     
    He’s referring to MPs here – but this is what happens now via Westminster, but what will happen after a NO vote (should that occur)?  Seems like he’s just reassuring MPs that they’ll still have a reason to put in their Westminster expenses claims in future.

  4. macdoc says:

    I was shaking my head in disbelief at that interview. Equalisation completely negates any benefit that devolution may bring. The whole point of devolution is to employ different polices in different parts of the UK. Equalisation means an end to the purpose of devolution. How B Ponsonby didn’t pull him up on such an obvious point I will never know!!!
    Its well known there will be no further devolution because everyone knows that every step towards devolution means that the people will start to see the benefits of independence ever clearer and that another scare story will have to bite the dust. 

  5. Peter A Bell says:

    Gordon Brown has introduced this truly outlandish concept of “equalisation” without ever explaining what it actually means. The implication certainly appears to be that he proposes allowing the Scottish Parliament at least some powers over income tax, but only on condition that the UK government has the power to seize resources from the Scottish exchequer at will.

    Supposing, for example, the Scottish government, with the consent of the people, decided to increase income tax in order to maintain public services in Scotland. Brown’s deranged notion seems to be that London should have the power to take the extra resources generated so as to “equalise” public services elsewhere.

    How did this bean-brained clown ever get to be Chancellor of The Exchequer!?

  6. Jiggsbro says:

    Without Scotland sending subsidies south, the UK would be even deeper in the shit than it is at the moment.  And that’s Labour’s devolution plan: do as little as possible to keep Scotland in the UK, so the UK can keep spending the oil money.

  7. DougtheDug says:

    “…we think that the Rt. Hon. Member for Kirkcaldy’s view is that he’s in favour of devolving income tax, but ONLY if it’s done in order to increase taxes in Scotland and divert the money to poorer regions* in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thereby bringing about “fiscal equalisation”.”
     
    His position is consistent with all the devolution reports done so far whether by political party or by think tank.
     
    In all of them funding for Scotland’s public services will be linked directly to public service funding in England (and the rest of the UK) as it is now. There will be no opportunity for Scotland to raise additional revenue unless it is done via tax increases with personal income tax being the main target.
     
    Barnett gives something like 115% of English funding, a new needs based formula would be about 105% although some propose a straight 100% linkage with no extras to take into account extra social, economic or geographical needs but in all of them the idea of “fiscal equality” across the UK is paramount. Nobody gets anymore than anyone else unless central government makes it that way with a formula like Barnett.
     
    In other words it doesn’t matter what kind of contortions they go through with their devolution schemes with controlled taxes, assigned taxes and top up block grants, we’ll get just what we have now which is funding for public services linked directly to the English spend and the opportunity to increase personal taxes to increase revenue.
     
    Devo max is the maximum amount of power Westminster is willing to give Scotland so it is quite plain we are already at devo max.

  8. Training Day says:

    “If in fact you gave up weeping halfway through the awful, robotic, randomly-generated buzzword mashup..”

    I remember Brown informing us during the heady days of New Labour that an ‘investment-led training economy’ was tantalisingly – tantalisingly, mind – within our reach.  It may have been a ‘training-led investment economy’ though.  Either way, both remained tantalisingly out of reach.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How B Ponsonby didn’t pull him up on such an obvious point I will never know”

    Ponsonby was like a rabbit in headlights compared to his usual self. I don’t know what was going on there.

  10. Bobby Mckail says:

    “Equalization” sounds good pretty good to start off with, until you realise the equalization bit only includes Scotlands resources leaving to equalize rUK!?
    Bit like the 1st time i heard “Quantitative easing” thought that sounded good as well until i found out it reduced the pound in my pocket by about 30%!?

  11. Iain says:

    ‘Ponsonby was like a rabbit in headlights compared to his usual self. I don’t know what was going on there.’
     
    You didn’t see the kitten being dangled above a sizzling deep-fat frier off camera.

  12. “fiscal equalisation, which is that we pool and share our resources – all our resources, across the United Kingdom”

    Am I missing something, or isn’t that what is supposed to happen at the moment anyway?

    So Gordon’s only offer of change is that, if we fancy paying a bit more tax in Scotland, we’re free to do so, but don’t expect that extra money to actually spent on services in Scotland.

    Genius – where do I sign?

  13. heraldnomore says:

    was it not a squirrel?

  14. malcolm Laughton says:

    Well, anyway, didn’t Inequality between Rich and Poor increase under the Brown Government? Whatever he means.

  15. tartanfever says:

    Ponsonby’s been warned off most likely, there is no other way to explain that pathetic interview.
     
    So even Darling of BT is clearer than this. Last year he said in a ‘Holyrood Magazine’ interview that Scotland would get no further powers following a ‘No’ vote – a straight forward statement that any member of the public can understand.
    This waffle from Brown is just another way of explaining that the status quo will remain, for what he poorly describes is exactly what we have now. As Rev Stu points out, on a No vote we can expect even more of our taxes to stay south of the border.

  16. heraldnomore says:

    This is more like it from the Yes camp, follow up to that article in the Scotsman this morning.  More of the same please.
    http://www.yesscotland.net/350_business_figures_campaign_for_a_yes_vote

  17. Mosstrooper says:

    Ahhh! NOW I see it. If we pool and share our resources and equalise the resources in a manner where we can Pool and Share those resources where Scotland gets to help the poorer parts of the financial sectors which are all in deprived areas by INCREASING INCOME TAX then pooling those resources as well as sharing them in an equalising manner all will be well dontcher know. And you will all get a nice rosy huggy feeling when you realise we are better together oops! all in it.
    There how’s that, No sign of that dreadful Alex Salmond is there? 

  18. Mad Jock McMad says:

    I think Ponsonby had given up the will to live as he listened to the incomprehensible pap Brown uttered as a deeply thought out response to an easy question – Do you support Johann Lamont’s plan for income tax to be set and collected by Holyrood?

    Ponsonby’s look was one of someone realising a politician they had once thought ‘clever’ was in fact a complete moron and imbecile, incapable of stringing two coherent words together, let alone a single idea.
    It must have been shock that removed Ponsonby’s power of speech.

  19. Paul Martin says:

    Feck me. But as long as the street urchins, destitute and down-trodden of Cardiff, Belfast and Glasgow are all about to have their life chances magically transformed by this imminent and radical ‘One Nation’ Miliband revolution, maybe we should give Labour one more chance.

    Aye.

    Right.

  20. Geoff Hirst says:

    I know this guy is still an MP, but to be honest, this man propped up the European Ring Pull with British Gold. He was also partly responsible (with that other guy, the PM before him) for the banking state of affairs.
    Why the hell is anyone asking him questions about the economy in the first place? He’s already proven his track record.

  21. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    ‘Is [Johann Lamont’s plan to devolve income tax completely] something, as it’s crystallised, in its draft form, something that you would back?’
     
    Brown’s blether (sort of) makes sense if he doesn’t know what Lamont’s proposal is. It makes even more sense if he doesn’t know she is.
     
    He reminds me of John Martyn on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ – as soon as he’d finished a sublime lengthy piece on the guitar he started shouting ‘Where’s the money!?’

  22. Tattie-boggle says:

    I’m Depressed ….. “People still vote for these Clowns”. If they cant see this for what it is then God help us all.

  23. Dcanmore says:

    What Gordo is not saying is that Scotland is a cash cow that serves the rest of the UK and that is important because the rUk is fucked. 
     
    O/T there are now 400 food banks serving 34,000 people in London alone and that number is increasing fast every month. Scary.

  24. CameronB says:

    Peter A Bell says: 14 May, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    “Gordon Brown has introduced this truly outlandish concept of “equalisation” without ever explaining what it actually means”.

    Can I suggest “equalisation” is another thought terminating cliché.
    As I  said a few days ago, HS2 will further concentrate the population AND poverty in the south. As such, Brown is just confirming Scotland will be milked to support benefits in the south, if that is our choice.
     
    Vote Yes for a brighter future.

  25. Jiggsbro says:

    O/T there are now 400 food banks serving 34,000 people in London alone and that number is increasing fast every month.
     
    They’re expecting that number to stabilise quite soon, as the suicides kick in.

  26. Look, I know I’m not the sharpest button in the pencil case, but could somebody please explain to me what Mister Brown is saying?

  27. pmcrek says:

    “equalisation” would see money flow out of it and into the other three nations”
     
    The shameful reality is under every Labour/Tory Government the poorest areas, namely the NE and NW of England, dont ever see a penny.

  28. pa_broon74 says:

    He’s basically saying of Westminster, whats mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too.
     
    Presumably, this interview was conducted to let everyone know what a dullard Gordon Brown is. I mean, they didn’t think anyone would actually be interested in his opinion did they?
     
    What actually goes through a politician’s mind at times like this exactly?

  29. Robert louis says:

    Fiscal equalisationalism (WTF?).  Another exciting piece of economic nonsense from the person who very nearly bankrupted the entire UK, Gordon Brown.
     
     
     
     

  30. Jiggsbro says:

    Look, I know I’m not the sharpest button in the pencil case, but could somebody please explain to me what Mister Brown is saying
     
    Horace had it right: “if we fancy paying a bit more tax in Scotland, we’re free to do so, but don’t expect that extra money to be actually spent on services in Scotland”. Or “Scotland is free to subsidise the rest of the UK even more”.

  31. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Brown needs to start with the  democratic inequality whereby mostly Scotland does not get the government it votes for.Of course,Labour get around this problem by claiming that Scotland as a country does not exist,only North Britain exists in Labourland.

  32. Tattie-boggle says:

    O/T anyone seen any of the Better/No crowd on Twitter “gone”

  33. seoc says:

    He certainly didn’t get so confused when applying equalisation to the costs of Trident, leaving their full cost burden on the Scottish taxpayer.

  34. David Cunningham says:

    I watched this interview last night. My first thought at the end was that Mr Brown had just blown out J Lamont’s / Labour’s devolution commission at a stroke. In summary his view was you can devolve all you like, but when it comes to money, Westminster take it all in and decide how much will be dished out including how and where to. Given he was making a “rare public appearance” (I think this phrase must have been in the press release as it featured in all the radio and TV news I heard about it, and read it again in some papers…. perhaps last used when Nessie was last spotted?) to launch this Labour United thing, I am in no doubt that he took the opportunity to nail a few others’ feet to the floor when it comes to thinking up ideas for improving devolution. He is a clever politician.
     
    This was confirmed in my mind when he was asked by Bernard P if he would debate directly with Alex Salmond, and he made it clear that he would leave that to Ms Lamont as  that was her role.

  35. Max says:

    Gordon Brown’s Fiscal Equalisation Bollox
     
    In essence, Scotland’s revenue (fiscal capacity) will end up in the Treasury to be doled out by Westminster (fiscal need). 
     
    So no change there. 

  36. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I fully understand why Ponsonby was rendered speechless. He was probably trying to work out if there was any meaning whatsover in what Brown was uttering. In that circumstance it is hard to formulate a question.

  37. Les Wilson says:

    Brown  may be a hapless politician but he is a sneak, so everything he says need close looking at for his “angle”.
    When he was in charge, my nickname for him was the “Pickpocket”, I still stand by that !

  38. Sapheneia says:

    There are remarkable similarities between the Judean People’s Front (not to be confused with the People’s Front of Judea – splitters) and what has become of “The patriotic all-party and non-party campaign for Scotland in the UK”.
    Mr.Brown’s gobbledygook is quite normal for him and therefore predictable. We are basically witnessing the actions of a bunch of people more concerned about their own careers than the future prosperity of our country.

  39. Jamie Arriere says:

    So is he saying that if we pay 9.9% of the tax revenue, we’ll finally get to spend 9.9% of the expenditure?
    No? Well what the fuck…..
    Plus when he witters on about pooling resources I get a vision of a crowd of people gathered around a big vat and pissing into it……maybe the Harris tweed industry is going to get a massive expansion programme (hey wait a minute, Ian Taylor’s donation…..am I on to something?)

  40. Albert Herring says:

    Don’t worry, folks, we’re not likely to see Broon again for at least another six months.

  41. Vronsky says:

    Did anyone see the TV interview with Brown a few years ago when he was PM, when his answer to every question was a robotic-

    ‘We are doing this because it is the right thing to do.’
    ‘We are doing this because it is the right thing to do.’
    ‘We are doing this because it is the right thing to do.’ 

    This went on for an unconscionable amount of time.  Up until then I’d had him down as a just another Labour chancer, but at that point I became alarmed and began to feel sorry for him. There’s something very far wrong there – a malfunctioning Stepford Wife.  I was unpleasantly reminded of the lines from Browning:  he must be wicked to deserve such pain

    Gordon’s being worked from behind again (stop giggling, you there) and I know he gets loadsamoney for it, but he’s still a walking tragedy. Wondering what he thinks about himself is like wondering what your dog thinks about itself.  Something, one presumes, but something alien.
     
     

  42. EdinScot says:

    After reading the above transcript of the Brown interview, it reminded me of that infamous waffle spouted recently by Lamont on her now abandoned and discredited income taxation proposals.  If there was an Olympic gold in evasion i think her and him would be joint first.  They are both talking of debate and looking into things, its just another way of trying to con the Scottish electorate.  Trouble is, the walls are closing in on them as these are the same old tricks they have used umpteen times and far less people are being fooled.  In saying that, Les Wilson is right I wont take my eyes off Brown or any of the Unionists  for one mili second as they are fighting to save their own gravy train and they’ll shamelessly do whatever it takes aided by their vile Unionist msm. 
     
    Why on earth would we want to subject ourselves to a failed former chancellor and PM who got us in this mess in the first place.  Brown has had his day and he was a disaster.  Now its time to confine him and his party of charlatans to history and have our day in the sun. 

  43. DougtheDug says:

    Albert Herring:
     
    Brown’s nickname on the right wing blogs at the end of the Blair years was “MacAvity”.
     
    I never really got it until I looked up the reference to the poem by T.S Eliot, Macavity – the Mystery Cat.
     
    He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
    For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity’s not there!
     
    Anytime there was trouble Brown disappeared. Once you looked for it then it was apparent that he did it every time. The classic case was after the Scottish elections in 2007 when the SNP became the majority party and he went to ground for an entire week before showing up in Westminster. We’re still waiting for his thoughts on that election.
     
    If the campaign starts to go against him then he’s the best leader the Yes campaign could hope for.

  44. muttley79 says:

    I wonder who thinks Brown is still an asset?  This is the man who presided over the largest economic crash since the 1930s, both as Chancellor in the run up, and as PM when it actually occurred.  We know that he was a bully, who used to through things at colleagues and civil servants.  He was a fan of PFI, of Foundation Hospitals in England, and he supported the Iraq war.

  45. scottish_skier says:

    Muttley79
    Labour can’t get over that 42% from Scotland in 2010. They seem to see it as support for Labour. Much of it is not; 10-15% in fact. It is simply a ‘OMG, anyone but the Tories please’. You want real support for Labour? Look at Holyrood.

  46. Liz Quinn says:

    DMH
    Totally agree! But he was clearly losing the will to live listening to that garbage.

  47. fittie says:

    Broon and Darling in different pro union organisations ,perhaps this is why —a split
     
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/alistair-darling-backs-income-tax-devolution-1-2928131
     
     

  48. Indion says:

    Rev Stu / Anyone
    Kinda O/T
    I’m tracking forward from roughly when I made a comment suggesting that the aim of Fraser Nelson’s panic post in  Spectator online – on the nite of Sunday 20 Oct after the SNP Conference had ended – was to distract attention from the sotto-voiced poll result released about that w/e.
    This contextual poll indicated 52%/44% would vote YES if expecting Con/Lab to win the next UK general election.
    I think the poll first appeared in the Herald (no joy their either.
    Fair scunnered, I’ve still to find Rev Stu’s blogpost pointing out that these figures represented the then current baseline in favour of YES, ‘cos there could be no other outcome unless an unimaginable Con/Lab coalition.
    Hence, I’d be grateful if anyone could identify Rev Stu’s blogpost (he said with frustration after fruitless searches through his Explorer no longer ‘favourites’) and point me at it pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.

  49. Dorothy Devine says:

    Anyone seen the poll in the Scotsman – is Gordon Brown an asset or a liability?
    It appears he is a LIABILITY – at least according to 70% of the respondents!

  50. Indion says:

     
    Re my foregoing, clearly I’m space out of paras too 🙁

  51. HighlandMartin says:

    So Darling is saying devolved income tax is a gimme.  Gordon Brown says income tax is a gimme so long as Scotland can only put it up and the extra goes back to westminster.  Any further devolution will have to be voted by the UK.
     

  52. Jiggsbro says:

    Anyone seen the poll in the Scotsman – is Gordon Brown an asset or a liability?
     
    Can’t find it. We should vote en masse for him being an asset: last thing we need is for them to ditch him and bring in someone competent.
     
    On competence: I’ve just realised that the reason I couldn’t find it was that I was looking on the Guardian. 🙂

  53. Peter A Bell says:

    Given that it is a Scotsman poll we can expect the figures to reverse overnight.

  54. Jock McDonnell says:

    I’m glad Brown is involved, he talks the same old rubbish he always did, except now people know that the Emperor has no clothes, no substance to his contributions.

  55. Allan28 says:

    Indion
    Can’t find the blogpost but it was a Panelbase poll in October 2012 which found the percentage likely to vote Yes increasing to 52% against 40% No if the next Westminster Government was likely to be Tory.
    If you Google ‘Panelbase October 2012’ you will find a number of articles.
    As an aside I see that about that time Fraser Nelson (in a Spectator blogpost on the Referendum) referred to Gordon Brown as ‘pure electoral antimatter’.

  56. Indion says:

     
    TVM scottish-skier,that’s just what I need right now, cheers 🙂
     
    But I’d still like to bunnet-bump Rev Stu’s blogpost – see my 7:23pm – at a later stage, so I shall still be grateful if pointed at it, Rev Stu / Anyone?
     
    ( Having been sytem messaged ‘your are going too fast, slow down’ – when anyone can see I’m trying to get back up to speeding along with your fast food pause for thought fills me full of indygnation. So here goes, to find out if I’ve got the para spacing sorted – without fingers crossed interruption – before I end up on the naughty step in quarantine.)    

  57. Indion says:

     
    Many thanks too Allan28🙂

  58. Brian Ritchie says:

    Indion – here it is. 🙂
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-devil-you-know/

  59. I can hardly believe the gall of the man, share our resources where Scot is always short changed but putting more into the pot. No hi speed trains for Scotland. No reduction on airline taxes to encourage tourism or business.No mention we pay more in taxes per capita. No mention of poverty in Scot.No mention of Trident & waste of money. No mention our NHS is under threat if we remain in the Union. The list goes on……
     
     

  60. Clarinda says:

    Is this not “wealth redistribution” all gussied up in fisco-speak so as not to give the impression that Scotland is any way responsible for the generation of wealth – heaven forfend?  Pooling all the reserves of my ‘O’ Level arithmetic I find there is “Horizontal” and “Vertical” Fiscal Equalisation http://www.oecd.org/eco/42506135.pdf – does Mr G Brown know which way is up despite his best efforts to convey Scotland’s wealth down – south that is.
     

  61. Indion says:

     
    Et tu Brian Ritchie!
     
    That’s game set and match, thank you kindly 🙂
     
    The devils I know ain’t the Angels on Wings you best together all are. 

  62. Linda's Back says:

    Scotsman reports
    The outgoing head of energy regulator Ofgem recently warned that spare capacity margin in electricity supply in the UK was going to fall to about 4 per cent.
    Mr (Fergus) Ewing said this was “next to nothing”
    He added: “The product of energy policy in the UK over decades of lack of investment in the grid and a lack of consideration to ensuring a diverse and sufficient range of capacity is that now there’s a real risk that the lights go out south of the border.
    “North of the border we haver a margin of 25 per cent which is much more as it should be.”
    “From time to time some people in the SNP have felt that the Government of England was in the dark, but we don’t actually want the people of England to spent time in the dark. To avoid that they will need the increasing electricity supply which will be transmitted south of the border.”
    He added that £7 billion of upgrades are now being undertaken to the national grid which will allow energy exports from Scotland to England to be quadrupled.

  63. Macart says:

    Nice one Rev. Pasta all over the table tonight and belly laughs all round.
     
    Frightfully charitable of the fella, committing Scotland to bailing out other regions of the UK. Can’t fault his dedication to the cause. 😀
     
    Anyhoo one thing I don’t understand. Just who on earth thought it would be a good idea to have Broonie front Better Together Apart? The man is still poison, persona non grata politically and was openly despised even when in power.
     
    Ah’m jist no gettin’ that wan.

  64. Nkosi says:

    It is quite simple, typical labour doublespeak

  65. Albert Herring says:

    @Macart
    I would imagine he came on Cameron’s recommendation. Dave always likes to lend a helping hand.

  66. john king says:

    vronsky says
    ” (stop giggling, you there) ”
    how in hells name did you know? 

  67. kininvie says:

    @ Vronsky 5.52
    Wondering what he thinks about himself is like wondering what your dog thinks about itself.  Something, one presumes, but something alien.
     
    Love it!
     
     
     

  68. Indion says:

     
    Way to get to Brian. Dammed if that’s not the other fella!
    Now Rev Stu / Anyone, since the WW Part2 coaltion went there separate ways, when did any incumbent UK gov having lost a General Election win the next one, and if so which party and when?

  69. HandandShrimp says:

    A simple translation of that is
     
    “Do you like Johann’s devolved taxation plans”?
     
    “Are you taking the piss? Where’s my phone”
     
     

  70. Macart says:

    @Albert Herring
     
    Aye, it does smell of someone’s intervention. I can just see the meeting now …… wavy lines on screen.
     
    (Mr Ed) Look chaps Darling’s a disaster and McDougall’s strategy is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. We need to get some distance from this carnage and somehow blame it all on the Conlibs. GE coming up dontchaknow. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll launch a no campaign of our own. (chorus) Oh brilliant idea chief. Anas your thoughts? Man I look pretty good in this suit tonight. (Mr Ed) Yeeeeaaaassss, well Johann any thoughts? Ah’m fur uh fush supper oan the wey hame, but uhm open fur debate at sum future point oan wan fush ur two, ur mibbie it’ll be a pot noodle. 
     
    Ed stares at the gun in his hand and considers his options, chambers a round and……. Feck! The yell cuts the air of gloom in Labour hoose like a knife. He carefully applies the safety and pockets the weapon for future use in chambers! He crosses the room and opens a cunningly concealed safe under an old rubber plant, retrieves  a stiff red Manilla envelope and breaks the seal. He takes a moment to peruse the number scrawled on a scrap of old HC notepaper and staggers fitfully over to his desk. Hesitant, sweat drenched fingers reach for his phone and punch in the fateful numbers…………………..
     
    Haylooooo Brownie! Free for lunch anytime soon? 🙂

  71. scottish_skier says:

    @macart

    🙂

  72. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Macart
    Pure dead brilliant!

  73. James Westland says:

    @Macart
     
    Fantastic. Nearly pished masel…..

  74. muttley79 says:

    @Cathy mcRorie
     
    No hi speed trains for Scotland. No reduction on airline taxes to encourage tourism or business.No mention we pay more in taxes per capita. No mention of poverty in Scot.No mention of Trident & waste of money. No mention our NHS is under threat if we remain in the Union. The list goes on……
     
    No vision, no ambition.
     
     

  75. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    O/T Tony Banks, who heads up the independence supporting Buisness For Scotland,
    will be appearing on “Scotland Tonight” at 10.30pm (14/05/2013).

  76. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Just got back from a public ‘consultation’ on a proposed ‘superschool’ which will affect my local community. A local councillor who shall remain nameless acted as chair, and selected high-heid yins from the Council were present in all their designer finery to face The Great Unwashed. 
     
    It was illuminating, in the same way that lifting a decaying log away from moist soil is also educational – right there, for all to see, the ‘trickle-down’ of arrogance from the Blairs, Browns, Davidsons and Darlings who spawned this generation of scallywags. 
     
    No question was too serious to avoid the combination of piety and condescension which only the truly ambitious politician dares demonstrate.
     
    No sincerely expressed concern or simply stated fact was immune to the ‘confidence’ of those who manage to assure transparency and heartfelt solidarity whilst body-language and dead-eyes make it plain that nothing being said will make the slightest bit of difference to the fait accompli.
     
    No imminent and potentially fatal danger to our children was more than ‘a challenge we can and must all face together’.
     
    No relevant documentation giving the lie to their claims could readily be verified, even when waved in front of their faces.
     
    ‘No objection will be ignored, no protest will be diminished, no legitimate observation will go unrecorded…so we want to hear from you…please, please let us know what you feel and think and fear and hope…by e-mail, by phone, by letter, by fax or any other means. Let us know. We want and need to know. But, no, I’m sorry, I really am sorry, please, you have to understand – there’s not enough time to do it right now.’ 
     
    No blush rises on the cheek of those who see such confrontations as a bagatelle – a little useful practise. They speak, as Brown does above, and may make sense to the dog Vronsky mentioned, but only because the hound cannot discriminate one word from another, merely registers the rhythm of sound being made.
     
    So long as they make the sound at the right time, and stop others from doing so as and when required? The job is done.
     
    They don’t speak to people. They don’t see people. They speak to an encrusted, dried cavity which once held their common decency.
     
    The man seated next to me, an ex-police officer, said, as the meeting dissolved in bitter grumbling: ‘If that **** came into my local and spoke to anyone the way he spoke to us tonight? He wouldn’t reach the end of a pint before having to pick some of his teeth up off the floor.’
     
    They are utterly, irretrievably lost as human beings.
     
    And they’re in charge of the rest of us.
     
    Go fucking figure.

  77. sneddon says:

    @macart
    Its like you were in the room  Uncanny 🙂

  78. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    O/T Salmond has put together an excellent rebuttal of BitterTogether’s EU scaremongering:
    Scare stories have gone the way of the Triple A
    Salmond savages Cameron’s absurd EU posturing with the truly memorable line:
    “The Prime Minister should reflect that those whom the gods seek to destroy, they first render ridiculous”
    Classic Salmond!
     
     

  79. molly says:

    Do you think the UK should remain part of the European Union ? The question to be asked according to the Tory Draft Bill.
    Cue a flurry of ‘thats a leading question’ oh sorry I forgot,its only a leading question if its proposed in Scotland 

  80. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Macart
     
    I laughed. Particularly at Anas’ sartorial obsession.  Sums him up nicely.

  81. Bill C says:

    @ianbrotherhood – Experienced something very similar in Glasgow (in 1990) when GCC tried to close the school I taught in. I was told by a Council official that I was an “employee” of the Council and that if I didn’t “shut up” (I was obviously arguing for my school to stay open) I would be “on the dole”. I should add my school was a school for youngsters with additional support needs and the Council was in the vice grip of the Labour Party.  Absolute scoundrels!
     

  82. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Stumbled across this – not sure who the dude is. The piece seems truncated, can’t find a longer version. Anyone know who he is?
     
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/14/303519/british-leadership-rapped-as-frivolous/

  83. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Bill C-
     
    A lot of ‘staff’ were at the meeting tonight, despite being told (more or less starkly) that their presence would be ‘noted’.
     
    And these are the same paragons who make such a show of launching anti-bullying programmes…
     
    Despicable.

  84. Bill C says:

    Just listened to Tony Banks (Business for Scotland) on Scotland Tonight destroy the NO Scotland representative’s case for the union. We will hear more of Mr. Banks, he talks sense from a business point of view, very impressive contributor to our cause.

  85. Baheid says:

    @Bill C
     
    Agree with you there.
    Couldn’t keep my coffee in my mouth when the No guy used Dragons Den and Lord Sugar in his argument, desperate stuff.
     
     

  86. Dcanmore says:

    @Ianbrotherhood 11.00pm … 
    James Anderson, Trust Manager, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. Scottish Mortgage celebrated its centenary year in 2009. As at 31 March 2013 the Trust had total net assets of approximately £2.1 billion. Investments continue to reflect the global-nature of the Trust with holdings in fast-growing economies such as China and Brazil.” from Wiki.
     

  87. Bill C says:

    @ianbrotherhood – Yeah, sounds very familiar, they do not represent their communities they dictate to their communities.  Matheson and his dictatorial attitude to the refurbishment of George Square sums them up perfectly.

  88. CameronB says:

    Now that UnLabour are fighting for a socially just Scotland, can we call them national socialists?

  89. Bill C says:

    @Baheid – Yes (if you’ll excuse the pun) Tony Banks made a big contribution tonight. Also very pleased to see  Big Eck expose  Cameron’s referendum on Europe and blow a huge hole in the NO Scotland’s crap on Europe and the whole debate on ‘uncertainty’.   I’m feeling quite positive as I head off to bed. 
     Seems to me that we are starting the first offensive of a very long war.

  90. Doug Daniel says:

    To be fair, it’s not very difficult to destroy Iain McGill on TV. You just let him speak and he does it himself.

  91. Doug Daniel says:

    Had some interesting responses on my first ever canvassing for Yes Aberdeen tonight. One definite No voter was desperate to tell us her reason was because she didn’t want to help Alex Salmond become King of Scotland (should have told her it’ll be King of SCOTS…); one Yes voter said there was more sense in Culter than in Westminster (the numbers we got suggest he’s right…); and one undecided woman from South Africa was leaning towards Yes because of the EU.
     
    Most folk were undecided, with more being a 6 or 7 rather than a 4 when asked “on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is No and 10 is Yes, where are you just now?” Next most were Yes (we converted one guy right there and then!) Not sure where these 2/3rds who are against indy are, but we couldn’t find them!
     
    Feeling very upbeat about independence at the moment! Hence all the exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Bill C-
     
    Just re-read your post at 10.59.
     
    Is that the actual language you were subjected to?
     
    (Hope I’m not being cheeky here, just genuinely curious, and wondering who – in the Glasgow ‘Year of Culture’ etc – thought it okay to speak to anyone like that…)

  93. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Brilliant cartoon titled
    Better
    not to be seen
    Together
     

  94. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Doug-
     
    Gaun yersel man!
     
    Aye, it’s a buzz, eh?

  95. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Doug Daniel
    @Bill C
    @ianbrotherhood
    Aye! We’ll pay for it but!  😉

  96. AmadeusMinkowski says:

     @Bill C @Doug Daniel
    Tony Banks wiped the floor with Ian Mcgill.
    The poverty of McGill’s intellect is a stunning indictment of BitterTogether, reflecting in particular the bleak future ahead if Scotland is fooled into NO. We can’t let this happen. Everyone who can, hit the streets, go door-to-door, and start sharing our passion for an Independent Scotland, and inform and convince those poor souls who have innocently entrusted the BBC/MSM to inform them.

  97. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Bill C @Doug Daniel
    A propos your earlier points on neanderthal run councils, I just came across an article “Tales From Glasgow’s Quality Council” that neatly sums up the nature of this Labour beast. 

  98. Macart says:

    Mr Bell’s contribution from the Herald this morning.
     
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/brown-shows-how-to-make-enemies-of-so-called-friends.21083062
     
    First I’ve seen in MSM of any note in two days. Still absolutely ridiculous its taken that long for a daily title to point out the bleedin’ obvious. 

  99. Patrick Roden says:

    Sorta O/T

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324112/Lord-Mandelson-Immigrants-We-sent-search-parties-hard-Britons-work.html

    Have a look at the comments on this article, Yes it’s the Daily Mail and we can expect ‘rabid mouth foamers’ to have a good rant,  but notice the level of anger expressed against all the main parties and how many are now looking to Ukip to save ‘England’
     
    As Ive said (a few times lol) when it comes to the reported support for Ukip in England ‘You aint seen nothing yet’
     
    If a majority of Scots would vote Yes if a Tory government looked likely in the next general election, what would the majority be if it looked like a Tory/Ukip Coalition !

  100. scottish_skier says:

    As Ive said (a few times lol) when it comes to the reported support for Ukip in England ‘You aint seen nothing yet’

    From various discussions with voters from south of the border, I’d concur. The level of unhappiness with the big parties down there is huge. It’s just a pity they only have UKIP to grab on to. I have little doubt it’s onwards and upwards for Farage though, at least in England. In Scotland, he’s little chance other than to maybe shave a % or two off the Tories/Labour and kill what minuscule support there is for the BNP.

    UKIP are now England’s third party, polling comfortably higher than the Lib Dems. Scary.

  101. Desimond says:

    Keep thinking Gordon saying what rUK would like to hear “Those greedy Scots can get their devolved tax powers…sure…but we will reduce their black grant and its up to them to make it up mind!” Win win for New labour…lose lose for poor Old Scotland.
    Anyhow…not as is Labour are gonna get in anywhere, their as dead as the Lib Dems, just in a lot more denial!

  102. southernscot says:

    Tell you what Gordon lets pool your salary and expenses and speaking earnings with the poor and share out equally. What’s that Gordon, ..your leaving, …where you going. Gordon… Gordon.
    Thought not.

  103. Luigi says:

    S_S,
    Yep, whilst not able to harm the SNP in any way, I do think that UKIP does have the potential to eat into the three unionist parties’ vote in Scotland. The LibDems would be most immune (but they have already been trashed in any case), but the tories, and indeed SLAB, do have large, diehard unionist contingents that may be attracted to UKIP.

  104. Dee says:

    I don’t listen to te radio much, but I thought I would turn on BBC  radio and this ultra unionist ,anti European lady with a scottish accent was on, and she had people phoning in to her show who were also anti European . All the people phoning seemed to be SNP but were wanting another referendum on Europe .  It was very strange that no one from Labour phoned in, yet she kept re assuring me that she was just reading the texts out as they came and that no labour supporters seem to be phoning or texting. It is a very strange show indeed, in fact I would say that it was just a bit bias.  Some one suggested that she might be trying to make up for the kicking she got on yesterday show, but what do I know, I’m just a simple nationalist.. Oh, I think she was called Kay with an E.

  105. HighlandMartin says:

    Dee.
     
    Pretty much the line the EBBC Scotland news at 7 this morning was taking with Stewart Hosie.  Must be today’s line. 

  106. scottish_skier says:

    I see unemployment has fallen again. A bit of good news.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-22538055
    Moore claiming UK government credit, which is a little odd as it begs the question as to why UK unemployment is rising.

  107. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Tell you what Gordon lets pool your salary and expenses and speaking earnings with the poor and share out equally. What’s that Gordon, ..your leaving, …where you going. Gordon… Gordon.”

    *steals*

    😀

  108. Dee says:

    Will also need to listen to Brewer on Newsnight Scotland tonight so I know what shit Lamont will be talking about at FMQ tomorrow.  Not that I am saying BBC Scotland set the agenda but the two of them seem to be reading the same script.  Or is that just insecure nationalist ,paranoia coming out.  I mean if the bbc tell us something then it must be true..

  109. Linda's Back says:

    This week’s Private Eye reports on Gordon Brown’s expenses as follows
    A RARE sighting of former prime minister  Gordon Brown – not in Westminster but Dubai.
    In the latest register of MPs’ interests, Brown revealed that earlier this year he attended the United Arab Emirates “government summit”, a shindig put on by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to give his authoritarian and undemocratic kingdom a gloss of statesmanship.
     
    Brown was persuaded to speak for three hours by the payment of £62,000, along with £29,000 for “flights, transport and accommodation” for himself and his staff, Other speakers included two major-generals in the Dubai police force.
     
    He opined on the need for investment in education but it’s a shame he wasn’t invited to talk about human rights. The update to his entry m the MPs register was published in April-just as the current prime minister was raising concerns with the Dubai regime about its treatment  of  three Londoners who,  jailed in Dubai for possessing synthetic cannabis. said  they were tortured into confession by the local police.
     On a prudent note, Brown’s entries in the register allpoint out that: “I am  not receiving any money from thisengagement personally, It is being held by the Office  of  Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing  involvement in public life.”  So that’s all right then,
     

  110. Iain says:

    @Linda’s Back
     “I am not receiving any money from this engagement personally, It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing  involvement in public life.”
     
    Yeah, that seems to be the not very big fig leaf that justifies it all. He receives nothing, except all expenses paid, all the costs for an office & staff dedicated to the aggrandisement of G.Brown esq and a sinecure of a Westminster job that allows him to jetset his ego into believing he’s a world figure.

  111. Stuart Black says:

    I could maybe take this ‘equalisation’ a bit more seriously if the money was seen to flow out of London rather than into it.
     
    A9 = M25? Don’t think so…

  112. Dee says:

    Latest from Boris Johnston is that he wants London to have all fiscal powers separate from the UK. Amazing stuff, needs to be followed up. It’s just out so will see what info I can get on it.

  113. AmadeusMinkowski says:

     
    #BrownNosing
    @Linda’s Back
    Well spotted example of Brown Nosing by Mr Brown. Could you post a link to the article.

    I propose a new twitter hash-tag exposing “Brown plc”; #BrownNosing
    Any other suggestions or ideas welcome.
     
     
     

  114. Linda's Back says:

    Amadeus  12.17
    No online link to Private Eye stories on page 10 of current issue.
    With regard to Brown’s expenses disclaimer….. 
    ‘I am not receiving any money from this engagement personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing involvement in public life’

    So the money goes to a company called
    The Office Of Gordon And Sarah Brown Limited (Company number: 07362179)

    When I check an online source for company information
    The Office Of Gordon And Sarah Brown Limited shows that the company had a net worth of £ 72,834 to August 2011
    Go to bizzy.co.uk/…/… or other company search organisations and key in Reg no. 07362179

    The only director shown is Sarah Brown, who also a Director of Harrods (I didn’t know they had a branch in Cowdenbeath). 
     
     

  115. Linda's Back says:

    The Office Of Gordon And Sarah Brown Limited is an Active business incorporated in England & Wales on 1st September 2010. Their business activity is recorded as Other Business Support Service Activities N.e.c.. The Office Of Gordon And Sarah Brown Limited is run by 1 current members. and 1 company secretary. 2 shareholders own the total shares within the company. It is not part of a group. The latest Annual Accounts submitted to Companies House for the year up to 31/08/2012 reported ‘cash at bank’ of £160,978, ‘liabilities’ worth £62,511, ‘net worth’ of £142,344 and ‘assets’ worth £196,756. The Office Of Gordon And Sarah Brown Limited’s risk score was amended on 18/04/2013.

  116. G H Graham says:

    Brown, like all other season ticket holders for the Gravy Train are dependent on The Union for their livelihoods.
    Never, ever forget, that preserving the status quo, despite widening inequality, deepening poverty & a looming bankruptcy is the primary goal of politicians who are part of the British establishment.
    This is their very personal ambition because Scotland’s decision to return to full sovereign independence will jeopardise their financial security.
    Only threatening someone with the loss of their life will cause them to fight harder to preserve what they consider rightfully theirs, even though we all now that it is we, the taxpayer who are funding the lifestyles of these expense cheats.
    Brown is just but one more member of that greedy, self centred club of people who think they are of a different class, to be protected & preserved for the greater public good while privately hoping for a continuance of their own economic prosperity.
    This partly explains the incoherent, rambling, illogical rubbish that comes from Brown, flipper Darling & the rest of the Westminster gang. They are only months away from exhausting all their puerile, infantile, nonsensical arguments.
    Let’s keep the pressure up & make these treacherous, treasonous bastards squirm all the way to independence.
     .

  117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    G H Graham
    Enid Blyton couldn’t have put it better!

  118. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Scottish Skier,
    The strange thing about Ukip down here is the fawning love fest from the BBC!
    I was listening to a radio phone in about Europe, hosted by Nicky Campbel the other day and a caller from Liverpool made a comment linking farage with Hitler, Campbel Imediately countered that it was ‘unfair to make that link’
     
    They also had all the main Parties represented, but with a special panel guest from Ukip!
     
    Ukip don’t have any MP’s so they had invited a MEP on instead.
     
    Most of my friends who now say they will vote Ukip are former Labour voters.
    Their is a scewered idea being reported in the media that most of Ukips votes are from disgruntled Tories who don’t like European involvement in British Politics and who are worried about Immigration.
     
    This isn’t the case.
    The last vote was held mostly in the English Shires but there was not a vote in the Metropolitian areas.
    Most of the ‘Shires’ tend to have a good core Tory vote, so it is obvious that the majority of Ukip voters from these areas would have formaly been Conservative voters.
     
    However most Labour people down here are also angry about Europe and immigration and when the big cities start voting with a traditionaly high Labour core vote, you will see that it will be the Labour Party who is losing votes to Ukip.
     
    So a poll that asked scots how they would vote in the referendum ,if it looked likely that the next Government in Westminster would be a Tory/Ukip coalition, would be a useful addition to the debate.
     
    Might be worth the SNP or Yes, Commisioning this Poll.

  119. Morag says:

    The thing that worries me about that analysis is that the Tories +/- UKIP could be a racing certainty, and recognised as such everywhere south of Cornhill, but the Scottish media would still peddle the line that Labour was making a strong showing and just needed the Scottish voters to hold the line to win it.

  120. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Morag
    Good point. The sparcity of MSM/BBC’s coverage of both UKIP and current Euro Referendum debate in their Scottish output is surely not a accident. However, the internet and word of mouth will save us, if we all put in the necessary legwork. The Truth will Out, and the Light will overcome the Darkness.

  121. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    What concerns me about the false legend that Scottish independence will result in England being denied Labour governement is the undemocratic assumption implicit in it that Scotland has some right to interfere with England’s democratic choice.
    This comes often from the same people who complain about English votes determining what government Scotland gets.

  122. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @G H Graham
    Excellent analysis of the motivations of those Imperialistic Establishment Dependents (IED*); a sort of  high-end welfare recipient, so to speak.
    To preserve their positions, IEDs will fight tooth and nail, nay even explode upon those who cross their money trail, respecting neither reason nor truth as they do so.

    It might be well worth developing your idea further by contrasting the two futures of regular Scottish citizens and IEDs. For the former, clearly independence offers the opportunity to develop a prosperous, ever fairer and more harmonious society (Utopia!).
    Whereas, for the IEDs, the coming of Scottish Independence will “steal” the treasure trove of Westminster goodies they had lined up and been counting on.

    * I intentionally created the acronym IED to create an explosive metaphor associated with Improvised Explosive Device

  123. Albert Herring says:

    @AM
    Aye, got it. Maybe have a think before publishing your clever acronyms.

  124. deewal says:

    Converted the guy from the Hydro who came to put in a new Meter today. He was a dont know but once  i got talking to him i realised he wanted someone to convince him because in his words “something’s very wrong with things in this country now ”
    I talked to him for about ten minutes telling him some facts, just keeping it simple bút positive and telling him Facts which we on here take for granted but of which he had no knowledge at all. Barnett, McCrone , GERS, he’d never heard of.
    He was a defininite YES by the time he left. We’ll be keeping in touch and i’m going to supply him with pdf’s and he even asked me if i would talk to some of his friends as well.
    So there are a thousands of people who just needing a few Truths told to them.
    Go get ’em.
    I don’t want Scotland to become Tory/UKIP’s Lebensraum.
     
     

  125. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Deewal,
    Brilliant post mate.

  126. Graham Ennis says:

    So they are going to continue stealing all the oil money and not spending a penny of it in Scotland. This man is a ("Tractor" - Ed) to the Scottish people, and everyone should say so
     

  127. Graham Ennis says:

    You couldn’t make any of this up, could you?……..McBunny Boiler at his best. 
    So it seems that what he really wants, via Equalization, is more theft of Scottish resources, so that any improvements to Scottish budgets are clawed back, and wasted on places notorious for various unsolvable problems, such as Liverpool…..but above all, to make sure the Jocks don’t get on their feet…what a ("Tractor" - Ed) to Scotland. I boil when I hear this man. I see that him and his like are part and parcel of the Colonial system that keeps Scotland in Thrall. 
     



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