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Nimmo Smith For Dummies

Posted on February 28, 2013 by

Look, you knew we’d have to do this. Today’s ruling of the commission investigating SFA/SPL rule breaches by Rangers is almost the closing act in the farcical saga that’s enveloped Scottish football for just over a year since the club went into administration on Valentine’s Day 2012, so we’re nearly finished now.

walter

Nevertheless, Lord Nimmo-Smith’s judgement is so extraordinary and bizarre it simply can’t pass without comment. We gave a gut reaction to it this morning, but it’s in the detail that you really see the contortions into which the Commission was obliged to twist itself in order to let the club off scot-free.

(To keep the piece a manageable size we’ve cut out the legal boilerplate and background explanation to focus on the actual judgement, but none of the passages below have been edited in any way. The entire original document can be read here.)

“The Issues may be divided into four main chapters, the first three of which relate respectively to the periods:

23 November 2000 to 21 May 2002 (period 1)
22 May 2002 to 22 May 2005 (period 2)
23 May 2005 to 3 May 2011 (period 3)

The division into those three chapters within that period 2000-2011 reflects changes in the Rules of the SPL and the SFA in force from time to time, as set out below. Broadly speaking, the Issues in the first three chapters allege that Oldco and Rangers FC breached the relevant Rules of the SPL, and also those of the SFA (breach of which constitutes a breach of Rules of the SPL), by failing to record “EBT Payments and Arrangements”, as defined below, in the contracts of service of the Specified Players and/or other Players and by failing to notify them to the SPL and the SFA.

We also note one Issue in the third chapter (Issue 3(c) in the Notice of Commission, read together with the concluding words of Issue 3(b)), directed only against Rangers FC, alleging that the club was in breach of the Rules by playing ineligible players.

The fourth chapter alleges that during the period 15 March 2012 to 1 August 2012 (period 4) Oldco (then in administration) and Rangers FC, in breach of the relevant Rules of the SPL, failed to assist the SPL and to respond to requests for documents in relation to payments by Oldco to Rangers players.”

Clear enough. The first three “chapters” of the ruling relate to Rangers’ failure to declare EBT payments to the Scottish football authorities, and the fourth relates to the club’s lack of co-operation with the investigation into same.

“As we have already explained, in our view the purpose of the Rules applicable to Issues 1 to 3 is to promote the sporting integrity of the game. These rules are not designed as any form of financial regulation of football, analogous to the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations. Thus it is not the purpose of the Rules to regulate how one football club may seek to gain financial and sporting advantage over others.

Obviously, a successful club is able to generate more income from gate money, sponsorship, advertising, sale of branded goods and so on, and is consequently able to offer greater financial rewards to its manager and players, in the hope of even more success.

Nor is it a breach of SPL or SFA Rules for a club to arrange its affairs – within the law – so as to minimise its tax liabilities. The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme.

The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal and Mr McKenzie stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC. Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful.”

It was no part of the Commission’s job to consider the legality outside football of the EBT arrangements, so it’s slightly interesting that it feels the need to make this point.

“What we are concerned with is the fact that the side-letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by their respective Rules.

It seems appropriate in the first place to consider whether such breach by non-disclosure conferred any competitive advantage on Rangers FC. Given that we have held that Rangers FC did not breach Rule D1.11 by playing ineligible players, it did not secure any direct competitive advantage in that respect. If the breach of the rules by non-disclosure of the side-letters conferred any competitive advantage, that could only have been an indirect one”

We’ve cut out a huge section referring to the eligibility rules, because they can be summed up very briefly: the SFA’s understanding of the SPL’s rules was that a player registered incorrectly was automatically ineligible to play. The Commission found that even if a registration was improper, it nevertheless remained in force unless and until it was explicitly revoked.

This interpretation is the core of the Commission’s decision to, in effect, not punish Rangers at all. What it says is that although Rangers were registering players illegally, because they didn’t get caught at the time it didn’t count, and any game in which they played must be allowed to stand.

This appears to contradict every existing precedent under the auspices of the SFA, but there are no SPL-specific cases to compare.

“Although it is clear to us from Mr Odam’s evidence that Oldco’s failure to disclose the side-letters to the SPL and the SFA was at least partly motivated by a wish not to risk prejudicing the tax advantages of the EBT scheme, we are unable to reach the conclusion that this led to any competitive advantage.

There was no evidence before us as to whether any other members of the SPL used similar EBT schemes, or the effect of their doing so.”

This is a very strange section. It translates as “We can’t say that Rangers gained a competitive advantage by playing improperly-registered players, because for all we know every other club was doing it as well.” Or simplified further: they were cheating, but maybe everyone else was too, which would cancel it out.

“Moreover, we have received no evidence from which we could possibly say that Oldco could not or would not have entered into the EBT arrangements with players if it had been required to comply with the requirement to disclose the arrangements as part of the players’ full financial entitlement or as giving rise to payment to players.”

We’ll see later that this seems to conflict with some of the Commission’s other findings, where they say that players may NOT have signed without the EBTs.

“It is entirely possible that the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed to the SPL and SFA without prejudicing the argument – accepted by the majority of the Tax Tribunal at paragraph 232 of their decision – that such arrangements, resulting in loans made to the players, did not give rise to payments absolutely or unreservedly held for or to the order of the individual players. On that basis, the EBT arrangements could have been disclosed as contractual arrangements giving rise to a facility for the player to receive loans, and there would have been no breach of the disclosure rules.”

We’ve read this one a dozen times and we still have no idea what point it’s making. It SEEMS to simply say “If Rangers hadn’t broken the rules, there would have been no rule-breaking”.

“We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature.”

This appears to be an unwarranted conclusion. It asserts that there MIGHT not have been a sporting advantage, and therefore there definitely WASN’T one.

“We nevertheless take a serious view of a breach of rules intended to promote sporting integrity. Greater financial transparency serves to prevent financial irregularities. There is insufficient evidence before us to enable us to draw any conclusion as to exactly how the senior management of Oldco came to the conclusion that the EBT arrangements did not require to be disclosed to the SPL or the SFA. In our view, the apparent assumption both that the side-letter arrangements were entirely discretionary, and that they did not form part of any player’s contractual entitlement, was seriously misconceived.

Over the years, the EBT payments disclosed in Oldco’s accounts were very substantial; at their height, during the year to 30 June 2006, they amounted to more than £9 million, against £16.7 million being that year’s figure for wages and salaries. There is no evidence that the Board of Directors of Oldco took any steps to obtain proper external legal or accountancy advice to the Board as to the risks inherent in agreeing to pay players through the EBT arrangements without disclosure to the football authorities. The directors of Oldco must bear a heavy responsibility for this.”

What’s clear here is that whether EBTs as used by Rangers were dodgy or not, Rangers’ directors certainly THOUGHT they were. Otherwise they’d have disclosed them, because it’s absolutely clear in SFA/SPL rules that you have to disclose all payments to players, and if they’re above board there can be no reason to hide them.

“While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the non-disclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the side-letters need not be or should not be disclosed. No steps were taken to check, even on a hypothetical basis, the validity of that assumption with the SPL or the SFA.”

The conclusion that “there is no question of dishonesty” is a baffling one, given that the Commission concludes there was a breach of rules and it was deliberate. In normal law ignorance is not a defence, so the fact that Rangers didn’t try to find out if their actions might be against the rules is not – or shouldn’t be – mitigation for unlawful acts.

“The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

Given the seriousness, extent and duration of the non-disclosure, we have concluded that nothing less than a substantial financial penalty on Oldco will suffice. Although we are well aware that, as Oldco is in liquidation with an apparently massive deficiency for creditors (even leaving aside a possible reversal of the Tax Tribunal decision on appeal), in practice any fine is likely to be substantially irrecoverable and to the extent that it is recovered the cost will be borne by the creditors of Oldco, we nevertheless think it essential to mark the seriousness of the contraventions with a large financial penalty.”

This is the most astonishing passage of the document. It notes explicitly that imposing a financial penalty is completely pointless and will hurt only innocent parties, but then imposes one anyway. The unfortunate face-painters, taxi companies and newsagents owed money in the liquidation of Rangers, already looking at a return of perhaps 1p or 2p in the pound on their debts, will be made to suffer even more for the club’s misdeeds.

Rangers’ actions are so serious, says the Commission, that a completely different group of people who’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and have already been severely damaged by the club’s actions will have to be punished for them. The parallels with the banking crash are striking.

“Since Issues 1 to 3 relate to a single course of conduct, a single overall fine is appropriate. Taking into account these considerations, we have decided to impose a fine of £250,000 on Oldco.”

Or put another way, £0.00.

“It is the board of directors of Oldco as a company, as distinct from the football management or players of Rangers FC as a club, which appears to us to bear the responsibility for the breaches of the relevant rules. All the breaches which we have found were therefore clearly committed by Oldco.

We see no room or need for separate findings of breaches by Rangers FC, which was not a separate legal entity and was then part (although clearly in football and financial terms the key part) of the undertaking of Oldco. Rangers FC is of course now owned and operated by Newco, which bears no responsibility for the matters with which we are concerned.

For the reasons already given, we have decided against the imposition of a sporting sanction. In these circumstances the financial penalty lies only upon Oldco and does not affect Rangers FC as a football club under its new ownership.”

Hang on. What about “Rangers Then, Rangers Now, Rangers Forever”? It’s extremely difficult to see how the club can simultaneously be the same club (laying claim to the titles won under Oldco, using the same name) and a completely different club (not responsible for anything that happened during that period). But that appears to be what we’re asked to accept.

“Issue 4

Failure to respond timeously to legitimate requests for the provision of information is a serious breach of the rules. If the football authorities are to perform their functions effectively, such requests by them must be met. In the present case, at the time that the initial request was made, and throughout the subsequent period, Oldco was in administration and the administrators were acting as its agents.

The administrators had the responsibility of discharging Oldco’s obligations, including those to the football authorities. They did not do so, and thus caused Oldco to be in breach of the Rules. We have decided, however, without wishing to detract from the gravity of the breach, that no separate financial penalty should be imposed on Oldco in this regard. Instead, we shall impose an admonition.”

“There has been a second ‘serious breach of the rules’, this time in the obstruction of inquiries into the other ones. Therefore we’re going to do absolutely nothing about it, other than stand over a dead body currently awaiting burial and tell it that it’s been a very naughty corpse.”

—————————————————————————————————–

And that’s the end of that. The Commission has found Rangers guilty on all charges – that it deliberately failed to disclose things it was obliged to disclose, that it did so to seek financial advantage, and (crucially) that the players it lured by breaching the rules would not have agreed to play for the club otherwise:

“It is clear to us that the reason why side-letters were issued to players, in addition to their contracts of employment, was that they were employed by Oldco to play football… It is also clear to us that the undertaking contained in a side-letter was regarded as a very significant part of the player’s total remuneration package… If it had not been intended that the player would directly benefit from the EBT arrangements then there is no reason to believe that the player would have agreed to accept the overall financial package offered by Oldco.” (paragraphs 50, 51 and 75)

The Commission has also found that Rangers broke the rules again by obstructing its investigation into these breaches. And yet it has declined to issue any sporting penalty, on the grounds that it can’t be certain the rule breaches gave the club a sporting advantage.

We must admit that we’re unable to explain why luring players to play for you, via a scheme expressly prohibited under the rules of the sport in order “to promote sporting integrity, by mitigating the risk of irregular payments to players” (paragraph 4), doesn’t constitute a sporting advantage. After all, if you’re not hiring these players to give you an on-field advantage, what the heck are you paying them for?

The actions of Rangers Football Club for almost the entire 21st century to date represent the most sustained campaign of deliberate, systematic cheating in the history of Scottish football. Rangers improperly registered dozens of players, wholly on purpose, with the goal of avoiding tax and thereby fielding a team comprising footballers of a quality it could otherwise not have afforded to sign.

Other clubs who improperly registered a single player entirely by accident and in the most trivial of ways – appending only one copy of someone’s signature to a document instead of two – forfeited the game that player played in. But somehow a situation has been contrived such that when Rangers did the same thing knowingly and on a vastly greater scale it brought it no advantage, and that the current club (which both is and isn’t the same one, in a sort of Schrodinger’s Football Club scenario) should be allowed to keep all the gains which resulted.

It’s the greatest legal escape since that of Ernest Saunders, the only man on the face of the planet to ever recover from Alzheimer’s Disease. Everyone who ever paid for entry to a Scottish football match in the last decade has just been made a mug of.

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78 to “Nimmo Smith For Dummies”

  1. murren59 says:

    In another ruling, the tribunal stated that Rangers U17 team did not gain any advantage by playing a team of veteran internationalist first team players in the 2008 U-17 Youth Cup Final, defeating Possilpark YMCA 1-0 with a hotly disputed PK in extra-extra time. The tribunal also dismissed protests that the rotund referee bore an uncanny resemblance to Ally McCoist.
    “What possible advantage”, wheezed Nimbo-Smith, “is there in playing older chaps against fit, eager, young lads”?
    to be contd.

  2. Alan MacD says:

    Watching Gazza play through balls to Laudrup was worth it.

  3. Vronsky says:

    “Everyone who ever paid for entry to a Scottish football match has just been made a mug of”
     
    So the overwhelming majority who can’t be arsed with footie are OK? Fine. I move next business.

  4. megabreath says:

    while there are many who have tired of this story,and to a certain extent I have been one of them,todays verdict has put an end to that.So,Rangers are guilty of failure to disclose contractual details expressly required by the rules but,because they gained no competitive advantage,a fine will do except this will never be paid and its only effect will be to diminish the,already feeble,return to creditors.Excuse me?Would you like to run that past me again?Quite incredible.Firstly,if it gained them no advantage then why were they doing it?What is the purpose of a football club if not to seek advantage over its competitors?Again-what was it all for?A laugh?Well,as you say Rev,the laugh is on every football fan who thought a clear breach of the rules results in sanction.Not so.Not if you happen to be one of the big shots(Celtic of course are the other).The rubric of “Too Big To Fail” wins again.

  5. Albamac says:

    Herald View, opening sentence:
    “Anti-sectarian bigotry is a malign force that must be curbed.”
    These halfwits call themselves ‘journalists’!

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So the overwhelming majority who can’t be arsed with footie are OK?”

    Sure, though it’s a mystery what they’re doing reading a post that’s so plainly about football it’s got a PICTURE OF WALTER SMITH AT THE TOP OF IT.

  7. tartanfever says:

    Every single reaction I have heard today on tv or radio has been one of complete incredulity -from experienced football pundits, through players and managers, journalists and fans.
    If you thought our game was a laughing stock, it’s even more so now. 

  8. Marcia says:

    very O/T
     
    LD candidate in Eastleigh not getting his vote:
     
    http://t.co/Rh42rYz3Di

  9. Roboscot says:

    Too British to fail.

  10. Restlessnative says:

    A sham of a charade of a fiascotic debacle.
    Move along, nothing to see.

  11. Doug Daniel says:

    To be fair, you can’t remove titles from a football club that has only existed for 8 months and has yet to win anything.

  12. orkers says:

    Really Stu you have a serious problem with this hatred of Rangers Football Club.
    These legal beagles just keep throwing out the charges you want to stick.
    Give it up and get on with the business of helping Scotland gain it’s Independence.
    You are good at this, but you seem to have a bit of an achilles heel regarding Rangers.
    I didn’t read your article for the above reasons.

  13. velofello says:

    Do you mind if I go off topic a bit and refer to an article in the sports section of the i paper today by former England rugby player Lewis Moody as he selects his proposed Lions team.
    At outside centre (13) he proposes Manu Tuilagi of England.  
    At  wing forward (7) he proposes justin Tipuric of Wales.
    And on the wing (11) he he proposes – his words, The Dutchman Tim Visser  a great find for Scotland he opines.
    Tim Visser played representative rugby at junior level for England before moving to Scotland and qualifies to play for Scotland on the international Rugby residency rules. Manu Tuilagi also quaiifies on residency rules to now play for England but no mention of his country of birth by Mr Moody. Funny that. Justin Tipuric I cannot enlarge upon but he sure doesn’t have red hair.  
    Now please do not read this as some kind of racist observation. It absolutely is not. Multinational immigration into Scotland will enhance Scotland is my view and I welcome it.I’m simply highlighting again the English characteristic of assimilation  whereby Tuilagi is English by omision of comment whereas Tim Visser is termed Dutch.                                               

  14. orkers says:

    Doug Daniel ……………..even for you that’s pretty desperate stuff.
    Even the SFA have said that Rangers are not a new Club.
    You exhibit all the spite and blindness of a ‘Better Together’ supporter opining that black is indeed white, or whatever.

  15. Braco says:

     
    Much the same article as last time so much the same post as last time.

    Nothing will change for the better in the Scottish establishment until independence.
     
    Structural corruption in just about every established Scots (and British for that matter) authority has been proven to exist, with the possible (only possible mind) exception of Holyrood (and for the simple reason that it is not old enough yet!)
    The Law, The Papers, The Broadcasters, The Church(s), Universities, Political Parties, The ‘Honours ‘ system, Councils, Big Business, Small Business, The arts, Football…….. etc etc etc.
     
    The only focus now should be on harnessing a YES vote in 2014!  If Rev Stu feels that this kind of article draws an audience to hear the truth of our ‘modern’ Scotland, then I go with his judgment (for now).
     
    Rangers (and Celtic) are box office at the moment and exemplify all that should be great, but that has been allowed to rot and canker in Scottish society, through a simple lack of normal and continual social oversight.
     
    We are living in a ‘modern’ country run through ancient institutions that have no tradition or understanding of the concept of democratic oversight, other than to pay lipservice to the idea. They have enjoyed their protection from evolution so long now, that they forgot they were being protected.
     
    Well the Gibbons have landed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGfJYDJBJZk  and the Tree Kangeroos  are fucked!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RiQEyOnlzA    Sorry Niko.

  16. Dee says:

    Looking for people of similar opinion to myself.  I have supported rangers all my life but since I got involved with snp and yes campaign, I am increasingly going off rangers. I am not a Union Jack lover or a singer of old ulster songs. Rangers are scottish not Irish or British,  and when I see all these union jacks everywhere Iam becoming more disalusioned by the whole Ibrox set up.  The orange order push these pro British views onto ordinary punters, which is something they won’t do to me. VOTE YES.

  17. Edulis says:

    I am convinced there is a straight line relationship between senior judges and bankers. Both regard themselves as occupying such elevated and priveleged positions that in a sense they are beyond reproach. I have recently been involved in a Court of Session case where the judge’s findings were simply irrational and had all the hallmarks of the establishment closing ranks so as not to create difficulty. Thank goodness we can in the final analysis appeal to Europe. Maybe that recourse to appeal gives the judge the luxury of passing the buck, but you would think that professional pride in getting it right would trump this. Anyway I hope somebody with deep pockets can take this further to restore justice to the creditors.

  18. Danny Cowan says:

    Excellent piece which sums the whole sorry mess up nicely.

  19. Braco says:

    Orkers,
    How did you feel when Airdrieonians went bust (encouraged along the path of insolvency by RFC among others, as business is of course business), bought and smothered Clydebank and transformed the whole mess back into the Diamondsish Airdre (United).
     
    Very convoluted and certainly the same team, if your an Airdrionian fan willing to suspend disbelief long enough for the roots to grow and take hold, but honestly, what did you think of those shenanigans at the time? The SFA and our noble authorities were happy I know, although I never read that report either. What did you really think though Orkers?

    You don’t have to answer, as I am not trying to rub salt, just trying to remind you that until the roots take, you can’t reasonably expect anyone other than ‘The Rangers’ fans to be suspending their disbelief. Did you with The Clydiamonds?

  20. Morag says:

    RevStu, I feel your pain.  I recognise the symptoms.  Intimately.

    Now if you want a full-on case of cognitive dissonance that makes that lot look like the very epitome of sweet reason, go read the Judgement of the Court at Camp van Zeist.

  21. Mosstrooper says:

    Please stop with this Rangers obsession. please , please, please stop. get over it or get some help.

  22. southernscot says:

    Rev I imagine you’ve had a bad experience at the hands of Rangers Fans.
    My experiences growing up under bigotry and violence are probably common.
    As a young boy I absolutely loved playing football would play at every opportunity usually with a lot older boys. The housing scheme Drumchapel of the 1970’s was my home, 2:1 mix protestants to catholics. A small boy for my age I played football with anyone who would let me play in they’re team i got the nickname ‘Rody the prody’ never really understanding the signficance or indeed cared as long as I got to play football.
    A big rumpus outside in the street one night downstairs to find my dad lecturing my big brothers for taking part in a street battle with catholics my brother’s head all cut. I’ve never seen my father so angry not really understanding due to my tender age of 8. Several street battles always late night affairs raged over several nights and shocked me but hidden from my eyes but could hear the police sirens on those nights.That was my introduction into sectarian violence still not really sure what it was all about.
    The day that changed it for me was my first year at secondary school, been there for few months (as your probably aware there is segregated schools in glasgow) a new boy started at school and confided in someone he was a celtic supporter it got around fast at lunchtime and a baying mob chased him down and gave him a sickening beating. he left school never attended again.
    My next bad experience occurred several months later being in the school football team won several matches had to play a catholic team in glasgow east end, big mistake kicked up and down the park, chased from the ground by a hate mob and pelted by stones in the mini-bus. Needless to say never played in organised football match again for 8 years such was my disgust.
    Why am I telling you this?, is I sense hope, a Yes vote we can help eradicate this hatred. We can pull Scotland together remove this ‘indentity crisis’ of the opposite tribes and get back to what football is a sport. I am a Rangers fan my best friend is Catholic Celtic supporter we have been friends for thirty years there is hope.

  23. CameronB says:

    Football certainly turns a lot of people cold, but I think there is relevance to the independence issue. The particular case highlights the apparent corruption at the heart of the system.
     
    The case highlighted by Morag is also an excellent example of this. Another might be that HSBC are still trading on our high streets, after admitting to laundering over $90bn in drugs money over a 15 year period. This was not just an oversight, as it required the systematic cooperation between HSBC officials and the most senior members of the drugs cartels. I suppose certain traditions must be kept up. After all, HSBC was founded by Scotsmen and largely funded through the profits made from opium smuggling and the First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–42), known popularly as the First Opium War.
     
    Vote Yes for change.

  24. Tearlach says:

    Its just the Rev feeling the pain of his Don’s loosing to Ross County – at home – a couple of days ago. Who – in their wildest dreams – would have predicted that a consequence of the demise of Rangers would be the two Highland clubs (one in their first year in the SPL) second and third in the league as we move into the last few months of the season.
    And for those of us also looking at the polls, it just goes to show that a year is a very very long time in football and politics, and miracles can – and do – happen………………

  25. Chic McGregor says:

    Never mind that, what about Saints losing a point to Donedee?

  26. FreddieThreepwood says:

    @ most of you
    For the love of God, would everybody who has a problem with the Rev posting about football – and, in particular, Rangers – go and do the dishes, put the cat out or just … I don’t know, get on with your fucking lives! He’s allowed to write about this. Apart from anything else, it’s the lead item in Scottish news today – whether you like it or not. 
    You’re not interested in football? Fine. Fuck off! (For a while). Personally, I get bored shitless with all the personality-led bitchiness about this Labour cooncillor or that Lib Dem activitist, I’m not on Facebook or Twitter so I don’t obsessively have my face glued to my iPhone and therefore can’t contribute to the deep philosophy of the one-line raconteurs with their LOLs and their IMO’s (what the fuck does that mean by the way?). 
    Do I moan? Do I complain? No, I take this as my cue to do something else – talk to the wife, watch the telly, read a book. 
    This is not YOUR website. It’s the Rev’s – and it’s everyone’s.
    Right. That’s that off my chest. Excellent analysis Rev. I have sent it verbatim to all my token Hun friends.
    (Cue outrage ….)

  27. Braco says:

    Southernscot,
    thanks for taking the time to make that post. I have a similar background to what you describe and agree whole heartedly with your last Para. Can I ask a serious question though? What is it that Rangers Football Club has that can keep you so loyal to a club that has such an obvious and sectarian history (and present).
     
    My father is a historic ‘bluenose’ and has the most liberal outlook on religion, race, politics etc. etc. you could ever wish for. His second team Motherwell, has slowly over the years migrated to the front as an intelectual escape from the embaressing bigoted UnionJackery.
     
    But no matter how he tries to deny it, I know ‘The Rangers’ still hold some form of his loyalty. Is this some sort of cousin to the strange remainder of Labour loyalty still surfacing across West Central Scotland? Something he threw off many, many years ago, but given the right NewCo  post independence I can’t help but suspect that those embers of loyalty could easily relight.
     
    Still, given the right NewCo, a change of management and playing style, so might mine. (Weesmiley)

  28. Hetty says:

    do we  really need to talk about  Rangers? or indeed any kind of football ? Crikey, it’s got very little to do with the debate and the real discussion on Independence, I hope! Culture? Sport? Art? Politics? Religion? Much to discuss, lets not ruin it now.

  29. Jimbo says:

    Dry your eyes rev and move on with your sad obession with all things Rangers, bottom lines here.

    1) Rangers won the tax case and 99% of the Ebt’s were legal under tax law.

    2) LNS ruled that the club did not gain any sporting advantge and wont be stipped of titles, deal with it. All the club have been found guitly of is what Livingston fc were fined 15k for when they played in the spl, but you no doubt did not start foaming at the mouth about them.

    It’s clear you have a pathological hatred of all things Rangers mostly brought on by jealousy and being a fan of a micky mouse spl club who get about 10% of the support that Rangers are getting in the 3rd div right now.

    You look at 48,000 people showing up every week while Aberdeen are talking about shutting a stand due to lack of fans at games.

    How about your club pays it’s massive debt of £12,000,000 first then feel fee to lecture people.

    Tell me something why have you not written a word about Hearts and the 6 winding up orders for non payment of tax or the big tax case they faced over not paying PAYE/NI for players thay had on loan, never heard a word from people like you when HMRC wrote off £250,000 of public money that Hearts owed why?
     
     
     

  30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Tell me something why have you not written a word about Hearts”

    Because Hearts aren’t the flag-waving stormtroopers of Unionism. Try to keep up, there’s a good lad.

  31. FreddieThreepwood says:

    … and (apologies for my outrage earlier getting in the way of this) –
    @ Dee
    @ Southernscot
    God love youse! Well said both of you and may The Force be with you in shining a light in your corners of the Scottish body politic. An independent Scotland will be for everyone living in it. Do not allow any of the (mostly) good natured badinage on these pages dissuade you from thinking anyone who has ever stood at Ibrox and cheered the Gers would be somehow excluded from ‘Jerusalem’.
    I say that as a Tim. Welcome aboard.
     
     

  32. Jimbo says:

    @REV
    Hearts not a unionist club???? ever been to Tyniecastle in your life. I’m guessing not, next time they play Celtic try counting the union jacks.

    Anyway back to the topic at hand here, the only thing Rangers were found guilty of today is admin mistakes in 5 yes that’s FIVE players contracts over 11 years, not 500 or 5000 but 5.

    Rangers are not the only Scottish club to use an ebt and not decalre it something that you seem to not bring up much either.
     

  33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “the only thing Rangers were found guilty of today is admin mistakes”

    It’s not a “mistake” if you do it deliberately, dozens of times, for a decade, as the report is absolutely and unequivocally clear is the case. By all means keep deluding yourself, but have the courtesy not to waste MY time, mmkay? Lord Nimmo Smith found Rangers guilty on all the charges he was asked to investigate, but then chose not to punish them. That’s the whole story.

  34. Doug Daniel says:

    Orkers – mate, if a wee bit of football banter is enough to make you start flinging about personal insults, then I’m afraid it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that “the truth hurts”…
     
    Freddie – well said. There are some very puzzling overreactions in this thread. 

  35. Jimbo says:

    Yeah i really should not waste your time as you’ve already said you don’t like Rangers because they are unionist, what a wonderfully tolerant person you are disliking people based on polictal views, a guy in German in the 1930s had that same idea’s as you as well.

    Remind everyone again Mr independence what part of Scotland do you actully live in? England?????

    You like Scotlad but not enough to live here, what a complete and utter hypocrite you are Sir.

  36. Doug Daniel says:

    Fuck’s sake Jimbo, must you Godwin this thread so soon?

  37. Jimbo says:

    @Doug
    Well when i see a load of utter tosh and facts being twisted sorry but can’t just sit back and say nothing.

    Rangers were found guilty today of only 5 players have mistakes in their contracts the above rant makes it look like 5 million players.

    Any other non declarations were for tax reasons nothing to do with football,The reason LNS could not fine Rangers is that they don’t play in the spl anymore so the only sanction he could really use was title stripping, LNS a Judge has said Rangers did not cheat end of story.

    This blog has made a number of disgusting anti Rangers reamarks fulled by the pure and utter hatred of the Rev, including a captions calling a child at a Rangers game sub-human.

    As for the Rev’s moralizing over 2014 when he wont even be allowed to vote due to not living in Scotland i find it amazing.

  38. murren59 says:

    The ‘British establishment’ (aka Masonic Lodge) have spoken: Rangers get to keep their tainted SPL titles! Hip-hip-hooray for Club, Queen, Country (GB) and (Sir Walter) Nimbo-Smith!
     
    So all the Glory Hunter / Bigots can still boast that they are the most successful club in the world of football. A boast that fans in the 207 FIFA countries will find amusing in a trick-pub-quiz-question kind of way.  The reality is, that the ONLY meaningful measurement of success is winning European & World competitions. There, Glasgow Cheaters F.C., are found badly wanting, rating only 3rd best in Scotland, maybe 11th. best in Britain, not in the top 25 in Europe, and not in top 50 in world. We’arra’peepil! Indeed.

  39. duggie73 says:

    (105) is the key logic fail imo.
    Nimmo Smith does not consider that if disclosure of the side letters had taken place, the SFA would have received clear and uncontrovertible evidence of 3rd party payments and so been forced to refuse registration in the period following 22 May 02.
    Unless Nimmo Smith believed that Bryson would have nodded the registration through no matter the evidence in front of him, or that allowing Capucho on the park when he shouldn’t have been cannot be taken as evidence of a clear sporting advantage for the team fielding him…

  40. Restlessnative says:

    Jimbo,do us all a favour and fuck off back to “follow follow”,not the first time you’ve been on here,are you obsessed?

  41. G H Graham says:

    There may be politics at play but if this sight is primarily about Scottish politics and the primary narrative of arguing for Scotland’s return to independence, why the hell do you insist in posting irrelevent rubbish about a stupid football team that the vast majoirty of people couldn’t care less about.
    Your insistance in posting these football stories is an incongruous pet project that aught to be posted on another page.
    Afterall, you appealed for money on the basis of providing better & more frequent content, primarily one assumes about making sound arguments for independence.
    You can’t continue though to water down the narrative with these sorts of posts otherwise, my donation last and perhaps some others may be the last one.
    I urge you to consider the detrimental impact of posting these irrelevant stories about a football club that appears to appeal largely to a small but violent, bigoted audience of die hard Orange Order supporters.
     

  42. Craig P says:

    Much as Scottish football bores me titless, one of the main problems in the West of Scotland is sectarianism (though it is not nearly as bad as it was even 30 years ago), and the main fuel for this comes not from the churches, or the schools, or even NI politics these days, but Rangers and Celtic. If these two clubs ceased to exist and everyone, I don’t know, went fishing or visited their families at weekends instead, sectarianism would die out in about five years. 

  43. Albamac says:

    Re my previous post, has anyone else figured out what an ‘anti-sectarian’ bigot is?
    How many of us are part of that ‘malign force’?

  44. Erchie says:

    Rangers are indeed, a stupid football team, but one which has a significant amount of its followers enmeshed in the political debate in the hate-filled end of sectarianism (the other side can be just as bad but also seem to support Irish Independence but Scotland in the Union, bizarre, but they don’t parade about it)
    I can remember when to “cross the walk” was to invite a beating that the cops would decide was self-inflicted. And the Labour Party curry favour with this tendency.
    It is a HUGE news story, the establishment, the sense of entitlement, the proclaiming of victimhood as they get off pretty damn much Scot free, while taking players off clubs that Oldco owed money to because those clubs can’t afford to keep them
    It’s a pretty damning indictment of British Society actually, and the Scottish Establishment, that these cheats can get away with undeclared side-payments, the excuse being “they didn’t mean to fool the SFA as the taxman) and that case isn’t over yet BTW
    But the kicker is, if you don’t want to read these stories, don’t. Skip over them. Not every story is thrilling to me, but I chipped in my cash to the fun, and enjoy the majority that are
    As to Rev Stu living in England, too many Scots have had to leave to go where the work is, it’ll be good when we get the confidence to create the Scotland than can entice them home

  45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    What Erchie (and Freddie) said.

  46. Albamac says:

    Erchie,
    too many Scots have had to leave to go where the work is
    I’d guess that many of them left to escape what you’ve described in your second paragraph.  I’v thought about it, often.

  47. Erchie says:

    I am aware that I picked on only the bad side of the Old Firm in my post, welcome in Rangers FC and Celtic FC for independence.
     
    Good to have you on the side of the angels
     
    For once 😉

  48. mogabee says:

     
     I am absolutely convinced that many do not read all the comments.
     As a non-footie person, I see quite clearly the correlation between bankers cheating and football clubs cheating. They both cock a snook at us “ordinary” punters and carry on as before with no punishment.
    Now the banks are soon to be re-privatised, who benefits? It’s not the “ordinary” punter, financially struggling to make ends meet while watching bankers receive a nice little bonus.
    Who benefits from rangers getting off scot-free? Not those pesky “ordinary” punters is it? Always the same!

  49. ianbrotherhood says:

    I’m always amazed that people get so het-up on this topic, as if it’s somehow ‘ruining’ their enjoyment of WoS. Football doesn’t exist in a vacuum, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that it does – what about folk like Cowan & Cosgrove? Anyone know what they think about the referendum etc? They never ever mention stuff like that, eh? Can’t imagine that they don’t have opinions on it – they manage to sound-off on pretty much every other subject on the planet, contrive to make Off The Ball entertaining, edgy and relevant, but manage to avoid ‘politics’ altogether. No mean feat.
    If the Rangers ‘story’ has done nothing else, it’s forced football pundits and presenters to dip their toes in political matters, and eventually they’ll have to acknowledge what’s happening, whether or not it makes their bosses unhappy – anyone really think that the prospect of Independence doesn’t have serious implications for the whole game?

  50. J Benedict says:

    My family and I have supported SNP for over 20 years.
    After this verdict we now withdraw our support. Why?
    It’s become clear that Scotland is ruled by a corrupt Establishment that will ride roughshod over anything that upsets that Establishment.
    My parents were right – there is greater safety for those of Irish descent in the Union than in a nationalist Scotland.

  51. Erchie says:

    Well James Traynor, the fair and impartial Airdrie supporter, always took time out to have a go at Alex Salmond and the SNP on “Your Call”
     
    Cowan and Cosgrove, quite rightly, don’t mention either side on “Off the Ball”, though they have had Rosie Kane on recently

  52. southernscot says:

    Braco,
    I honestly dont know what keeps me being a Rangers fan, maybe its like your first love, a girl thats always on your mind.I come from a huge family of 12 and my father like yours was an incredible tolerant man, and many in my family (4) married catholics. I have seen that destroy and shunned by some famillies on both sides but my father was always very welcoming to anybody who joined our family. He was a unionist but hated the OO with a passion not allowing any of my brothers to get involved.I’m comitted to independence since the late seventies.I just couldn’t get my head around why you would want your country ruled from outwith it. If i take anything from my father I would want it to be his tolerance.

  53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Well when i see a load of utter tosh and facts being twisted sorry but can’t just sit back and say nothing.
    Rangers were found guilty today of only 5 players have mistakes in their contracts the above rant makes it look like 5 million players.”

    Jimbo, if I could summon up any anger I’d ban you for posting brain-dead pish like this, but I can only find pity in my heart for someone so irredeemably stupid. Yesterday’s findings – as you’d know if you’d read them – did not concern “five” players but around FIFTY, ie a large proportion of the Rangers squad over the period in question. They’re listed in the “Annex” of Lord Nimmo Smith’s report on pages 35-37. It lists NINETY-ONE separate instances of offences, some of which involve the same player on multiple occasions. Rangers were found guilty of non-disclosure in EVERY ONE of those cases.

    There are NO “mistakes in their contracts”. Their contracts say exactly what they were intended by Rangers and the players’ agents to say – namely that Rangers would pay the players extra money secretly without telling the SFA/SPL, contrary to the rules. The panel found that the failure to comply with those rules was NOT a mistake, but entirely deliberate, aimed at securing advantage for Rangers by hiding the arrangements from the taxman.

    You’re welcome to post sensible comments. Any more idiotic lies based on complete ignorance of the facts will be dumped in Quarantine.

  54. Bill McLean says:

    While I can understand some people’s anger at the decision re Rangers and can understand committed Rangers fans defending their team. it does none of us any favours in this already fraught battle for our right to rule ourselves, slinging insults at each other. In fact we will play into the hands of the rapacious, anti-democratic, divide and rule system that the British have used all over the world. Please don’t do it. Look to Scotland’s future as an independent nation with respect for all within and outwith our borders. Let the foul stay where they belong – in the gutter with Labour!

  55. squarego says:

    What an utter waste of time and space. Most of us are uninterested in the fuck-ups of some Scottish company which no longer exists, and the unhealthy obsession about it just elevates it. Where’s the debate about Scotland’s future?

  56. G H Graham says:

    Every time an undecided/fact free/impressionable visitor descends upin these pages, there is a slim but real chance that they may be so inclined to come back and even make a reasoned conclusion that Independence is the correct, logical & natural path to follow.
    But you risk diluting & confusing the narrative with footballl analysis. Yes, it may be interesting to footballer types and the Rangers saga may also have accidentally created a corollary of self serving, corrupt, British politics but it is such a narrow scope & of such limited appeal that it risks diverting the discussion from the more mainstream topics that must be addressed.
    Furthermore, I’m not seeking that all of Scotland’s social problems be dissected, understood & problem solved before independence because some things will just have to wait.
    The thuggery & racism that has wrapped football in Glasgow with IRA banners & butchers aprons, while improtant to some desperate to reconstruct our society, is a national disgrace but not nearly as disgraceful as Britain financing a multi billion pound nuclear weapons program while at the same time, booting midgets, spina bifeda out patients & blind people out of a council house because their older abled sister or brother moved out of their own bedroom & rented a flat.
    If only that story was awarded half the copy space in the newspapers that those Rangers & Celtic thugs get, we might have a chance of shifting government policy in the right direction.
     

  57. muttley79 says:

    @ianbrotherhood
     
    I’m always amazed that people get so het-up on this topic, as if it’s somehow ‘ruining’ their enjoyment of WoS. Football doesn’t exist in a vacuum, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that it does – what about folk like Cowan & Cosgrove? Anyone know what they think about the referendum etc?
     
    I think Stuart Cosgrove supports independence.  No idea about Tam Cowan.

  58. Barontorc says:

    squarego – it seems to me, if we can’t get something like this done properly – given all the evidence and history of it – yet still manage to produce a contrived judgement/opinion that let’s Rangers (in this instance) off the hook, then Rev Stu’s absolutely right to flag it up and loathsome as the whole bigotry and partiality issue is in Scotland – it has to be said and said very clearly, as he has ably done.
    So thanks are due to Rev Stu for bringing this ludicrous situation to the fore. He certainly does not need the oh, so predictable, criticisms for doing so.
     
    Some on here should take a long hard look at what has happened through this  inexplicable finding by Nimmo-Smith and decide if this is how they want to see things going on in an independent Scotland – I certainly don’t.

  59. pa_broon74 says:

    I see above the first person has hinted, since they donated  to the crowd funding appeal for Wings, they now feel they dictate what appears here.
     
    Mmm, how to explain. Being able to dictate editorial policy by means of finance (or withdrawal there-of) is exactly what is wrong with the main stream press in Scotland at the moment, why would you then suggest it for this site?
     
    At the risk of being controversial; it’s a bit egocentric.
     
    I don’t give a toss about rangers (‘the’ or otherwise) but it bothers me that there are some who would attempt to tar all of Scotland with the same sectarian brush. It just isn’t the case. Someone else above said 48,000 supporters attend matches, great, how many of those are bigots? not many I’ll bet, maybe a hard core of 200 or 300 people? In any case, as a percentage of Scotland’s population, the full rangers support represents less than 1% of the Scottish people, those fans causing the problems is an even smaller percentage.
     
    On the other hand, it does bring the internet frothers out which is entertaining, it is also a welcome reminder about how not to comport one’s self during online commentary.
     
    😉

  60. Albamac says:

    R Benedict,
    What caused your family to leave Ireland and why did they choose to settle in Scotland?
    Why not Belfast, London or Rome, where they’d have lived secure and peaceful lives free from the tyranny of “a corrupt Establishment that will ride roughshod over anything that upsets that Establishment
    Looks like transparent plastic from where I’m standing.

  61. squarego says:

    barontorc – i dont dispute that there have been underhand dealings in some shit ex-companyor that that’s abad thing. I just dont think this is a relevant or helpful use of this great site, anymore than discussing our favourite sausage casserole recipes or the merits of One Direction. We all have our hobbies, but we dont need to bring them here.and yes, the legal ruling might be difficult to comprehend – so what’s your point? That Scotland is shit? or too stupid?
    Alongside many others I fail to see how this makes any positive contribution to the independence cause.

  62. Bill McLean says:

    Albmac – let’s drop this topic with a final comment. People who came from Ireland to Scotland and the rest of the UK did so because at the time most of them came over Ireland was part of the UK. Most didn’t want to or couldn’t afford the America trip. Can we now drop this juvenile point scoring and get on with discussing what is important for the vast majority on here – Scotlands future!

  63. pa_broon74 says:

    The line should’ve been drawn just before squarego mentioned sausage casserole and One Direction in the same sentence…
     
    Hobbies? 
     
    The mental imagery…
     
    😉
     

  64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Someone else above said 48,000 supporters attend matches, great, how many of those are bigots? not many I’ll bet, maybe a hard core of 200 or 300 people?”

    I’d say far more than that, but still a minority, and as you note still a tiny percentage of the Scottish population.

  65. John Lyons says:

    At the risk of being told off for repeating myself,
    If you’re not interested in Football don’t click on the articles that are clearly about football
    “it takes seconds to find “Rangers Against Independence” and “Rangers Against Alex Salmond” pages on facebook. I’m not saying every Rangers fan wants to preserve the union, I believe Rangers fans are a bit like Labour the vast majority want to continue the Status quo whilst some want to make thier lives better. Given promises made to the orange order by Labour before the local elections and NI Orangemen demanding a vote in the referendum for Ulster Scots, and close association between the order and the club, I think that makes it acceptable to report Rangers stories in a political blog.”
    Now, as for the decision that Rangers cheated badly (i.e. weren’t very good at it) and gained no advantage therefore shouldn’t be punished, I think this is based on the fact they only won the league 5 times during the period in question. Celtic at the time were good enough to beat them to the title 50% of the time therefore Rangers had no sporting advantage. And that’s why there is no title stripping.This seems fair until you think, actually, had Rangers not cheated maybe they would have finished third….
    Or maybe they wouldn’t have won so many cups….
    They have been punished for thier dishonesty by the fine. I guess they’re being punished for not being able to press home thier advantage by the five titles Celtic hold…

  66. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Bill McLean-
    While I share your sentiment, let me play devil’s advocate for a moment: 
    Scotland’s future involves the Old Firm. There’s no escaping the fact that many fans on both sides thrive on their hatred of each other. If they knew for sure that independence would guarantee a return to the status quo ante, with their monopoly on the top spots decade after decade, and the ‘biggest clash of all time’ at least five, six times a year? They’d be as committed ‘Yes’ voters as you’d find anywhere.
    Tricky one, I know, but – is garnering the support of these fanatics worth indulging their ‘hobby’?

  67. Barontorc says:

    Squarego – on the contrary. You write…. so what’s your point? That Scotland is shit? or too stupid?….’

    My point is, Scotland will deserve much better than this cobbled together judgement and it’s no matter, who ‘wins’ – no good comes from underhand dealings.
    Now, when the evidence of it is provided by Rev Stu, he’s rounded on for bringing it up. I don’t think you should ignore problems, they have to be sorted?
    There’s just a tad too much salt in Nimmo-Smith’s opinion and its rubbing me up.

  68. squarego says:

    Scotland’s legal system incapable of controlling a rogue former sports club. Sounds like an ad for Bitter Together. 
    Everyday i look on this site for info on extinct sports teams, and people keep bringing up the bloody independence debate!

  69. Barontorc says:

    Ok squarego – irony noted – finished with engines!

  70. Patrick says:

    At least we avoided the social unrest the knuckledraggers promised!

  71. Albamac says:

    Bill McLean,
     
    I’m sorry that you misinterpreted my comment and chose to dismiss it as “juvenile point scoring”.
     
    I’m not interested in football.  I have no religion.  I’m not Irish.
     
    I am, however, constantly perplexed by the pervasive and disproportionate influence of Irish voices in Scotland, most notably through the Orange Order and the Catholic Church.
     
    I was raised Catholic.  I never met a priest who wasn’t Irish until I was twelve years old.  Hardly surprising, really, since most of them were part of the Irish Mission to Scotland.  Native Scots were, in their eyes, a godless people.  We needed Irish missionaries to save us.
     
    Earlier in this discussion, Erchie said, “I can remember when to “cross the walk” was to invite a beating that the cops would decide was self-inflicted.”
     
    I don’t have to go very far back to understand what he was talking about.
     
    Our daughter died of leukaemia.  When she was close to death, my wife was rushing to visit her but, when she reached the High Street, her path to the hospital was blocked by an Orange March.  She ran across, anyway.
     
    She didn’t make it to the other side. One of the Orange goons grabbed her by the throat, dragged her backwards across the street and dumped her on her backside on the pavement that she’d just left.
     
    Some passers-by offered comfort but none of the police officers in attendance thought that the barbarity of a bigoted baboon was worthy of their attention.
     
    From my point of view, the problem is both personal and political.  These warring factions have been a blight on all our lives since long before I was born.  As far as I’m concerned, their ancient hatred of each other has no place in the life and times of a modern and progressive Scotland.  We are not prisoners of their past.
     
    To my mind, Bill, that has a lot to do with “Scotland’s future” and very little to do with “point scoring”.

  72. Braco says:

    Southernscot,
    Thanks. It’s a real mystery isn’t it. We humans are so strange. (unsuresmiley)
    Vote YES in 2014!

  73. J Benedict says:

    Albamac says:
    R Benedict,
    What caused your family to leave Ireland and why did they choose to settle in Scotland?
    Why not Belfast, London or Rome, where they’d have lived secure and peaceful lives free from the tyranny of “a corrupt Establishment that will ride roughshod over anything that upsets that Establishment”
    Looks like transparent plastic from where I’m standing.
     
    Hunger, famine, oppression by British State. Also proximity.
     
    Belfast!!?? Those with Nationalist tendencies there have suffered through similar contorted legal decisions when trying to assert their basic human rights.
     
    Until the 60s those with Irish names had little chance of progression within Scottish Companies. When head offices moved south managers many coma pies were replaced by English managers and the old ‘what school did you go to’ eased somewhat enabling those of Irish descent to enter the middle classes. 
     
    When A Salmond insist that Rangers must survive as they are the very fabric of Scottish Society and Macaskill, after one third of The Govan Club’s support sang banned songs along with sectarian chanting:
     
    “This was the showpiece final everyone wanted to see, and it was a great advert for Scottish football.
    “Both teams were passionate, committed and it was end to end stuff from kick off to the final whistle.
    “The players, management and fans contributed to a memorable occasion, and I urge that their positive example inside the ground is replicated outside it over the course of the evening and beyond”
    then one begins to wonder if a Nationalist government is the way forward.
     
    In truth whoever is First Minister in Scotland, whether independent or devolved, they are essentially ‘gofers’ for a corrupt legal/financial cabal that rests at the heart of the Scottish Establishment.
     
     

  74. Albamac says:

    J Benedict,
    So, you almost got my point?  All that suffering under the Union and you’ve decided to nestle under its wing.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.

  75. J Benedict says:

    Albamac 
    Are you thick? or what.
    Someone answered your question above. 
    Proximity, work ergo food.
    You’ve obviously never been hungry.

  76. Albamac says:

    J Benedict writes:
    Are you thick? … You’ve obviously never been hungry.”
    Wrong, on both counts, and nasty with it!
    Cheerio!

  77. Braco says:

    J Benedict,
    and you really expect us to believe that you have supported the SNP and an Independent Scotland for the past 20 years? Only now, when it’s a real possibility surprise, surprise the unfairness’s of the current Scottish establishment (under the Union, that is) has driven you from your previously strongly held beliefs in self determination!
    To use your own charming phrase
    Are you thick? or what. (more likely you think we are)
    Please try harder. D-



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