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Wings Over Scotland


Quoted for proof

Posted on September 26, 2013 by

Because we keep telling you what a No vote really means:

“That is why I am talking quite passionately about getting English Labour MPs back up the road and for me, sitting down with Neil [Findlay] and Richard [Simpson] and Rhoda [Grant] and others and saying, let’s get health policies that can be consistent across England, Scotland and Wales.

Wouldn’t that be a good thing, pulling in the same direction as opposed to pulling our separate ways?

Devolution, in its early days, was about doing something different and it needs to enter a different phase where we start talking again more about a UK-wide policy because in the end, that helps everybody.”

That’s Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham talking to Holyrood Magazine this week, in comments strangely unpublicised in the rest of the Scottish media.

So don’t get too attached to your free prescriptions (£8 in England), free eye tests (£25 in England), free dental checkups (£20 in England) and free personal care for the elderly (incalculable), folks. Because if you vote No, their days are numbered.

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  1. 17 03 14 12:54

    Independence-Max | Scotland Unhinged

153 to “Quoted for proof”

  1. Training Day says:

    Vote No, lose the Scottish Parliament.
     
    How clear does it need to be?

  2. redcliffe62 says:

    That needs to be in the indy material. we need to enter a phase about a uk wide policy because that helps everybody. how that helps scots when they pay for things they get now escapes me. I can see why Scotsman left this one. They just do not get it, but they do not get picked up on it.

  3. muttley79 says:

    Burnham saying it would help everybody.  As usual what he actually means is it would help the British Labour Party.  Party before everyone and everything else.  Once again the MSM in Scotland fail to report on the implications of what a unionist says for Scotland if we vote No.  Disgraceful.

  4. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    Vote NO and democracy will be crushed in Scotland. Remember, Lamont has already described at least one third of the Scottish electorate as a ‘virus’. There can be no dissent from those who don’t subscribe to unionism and they will do everything they can to retain and promote it, politically, economically and socially.

  5. david says:

    dont want to come across as a big sook but this is a cracking website. its good to hear the wee or big bits and pieces being denied us by media

  6. ayemachrihanish says:

    Vote Labour – Energy Prices Frozen for 20 months (after the energy companies in advance increase their charges)
     
    Vote Labour – Council Tax Increased Immediately (benefit of non-existent fuel saving lost – more tax transferred to local council)
     
    Vote Labour – lose of all those “something for nothing” benefits the Scottish region take advantage of
     
    Vote Labour – get Tory
     
    Vote Labour – get UKIP

  7. Doug Daniel says:

    The thing is, at least Burnham’s being consistent here. He thinks policies should be the same throughout the whole of the UK, regardless of national or regional variations. He’s talking about the devolved parliaments doing exactly what Westminster does, which basically means he doesn’t believe in devolution, because if the devolved parliaments aren’t there to make different decisions for the different nations, then why do they exist at all?
     
    I’m still waiting for just ONE unionist politician or campaigner to explain why its right for Scotland to have control over police, health and education, but not to have control over taxation, welfare and pensions. What are the limits of devolution, because if they don’t support the Scottish Parliament having full powers, then they need to explain which powers they ARE in favour of devolving. Those who claim to be “devolutionists” also need to explain how moaning about Scotland not doing certain things that they do in England is consistent with supposedly supporting an institution that is there precisely to make different decisions for Scotland.

  8. david says:

    vote labour and be the kind of person who would accept johann lamont as their leader

  9. Murray McCallum says:

    The British race to the bottom in health provision?
     
    A different phase of devolution? Un-devolution?

  10. Albamac says:

    @Doug Daniel
    Crystal clear, Doug.  Well said!

  11. Gallowglass says:

    Well said doug.   A wouldny hud yer breath mind. .

  12. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel
     
     
    Yes, if we are to have uniform health policies across the UK then that immediately effectively spells the end of the Scottish Parliament.  That is why the MSM in Scotland are not reporting Burnham’s comments.  Holyrood was specifically set up to allow us to have different policies for devolved policy areas.  However, since the SNP victory in 2007, SLAB in particular have been growing more and more opposed to even the existence of the Scottish Parliament.  Curran and Burnham’s comments signal that a No vote would lead to the eventual end of the Scottish Parliament, one that took us nearly 300 years to achieve.  This tells you everything you need to know about the democratic credentials of SLAB in particular.  If we cannot dominate and control it, then it is of no use to us.  I wonder what the majority of Labour MSPs are thinking about independence?  If we vote No then most will probably be out of a job.  The backlash against the end of the Scottish Parliament would be massive.
     
    Vote No to independence, and say goodbye to even a devolved Scottish Parliament.  

  13. Macart says:

    People who are in the undecided camp really need to see more of this. Devolution was a starting point, independence has to be the end result. If we back off, even by an inch, we lose everything that’s been gained.

  14. Morag says:

    I wonder what the majority of Labour MSPs are thinking about independence?  If we vote No then most will probably be out of a job.
     
    No.  They’ll turn Holyrood into a powerless talking-shop.  They’ll still turn up and collect their money but they won’t have any influence on how the country is run.  Money for old rope.  They’re probably looking forward to it.

  15. MochaChoca says:

    Very well put Doug.
    How can they, on one hand, scupper the idea of a second question on Devomax on the ballet and, on the other hand, promise (whilst trying to look sincere) more powers for Hollyrood and then, on the third (!) hand, come away with pish like this.
    And they say the YES side is confused.

  16. Another London Dividend says:

    Following the Francis Report I am surprised Andy Burnham still has anything to do with health.
    Let’s put Scottish NHS “scandals” into perspective.
    Under Labour’s watch in England there were 1197 deaths between 1996 and 2008 at Mid Staffordshire hospital, 492 between 2005 and 2008, due to  unusually high mortality rates amongst patients at the , in the late 2000s.sub standard levels of care.
     
    The Francis Report criticised Andy Burnham who was Labour’s Health Secretary and previously minister for delivery and reform (privatisation) at Depart of Health for being asleep at the wheel, In 2007 Andy Burnham backed Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust’s application for Foundation status citing its “high performing standards” but this was after the national UK press had reported 127 deaths at Mid Staffordshire one of the highest in the country yet Burnham claimed that he was unaware of this.

  17. James Morton says:

    Labour and Scottish labour in particular are hell bent on repeating all the mistakes that made the Tories the toxic brand they are today. 

  18. tartanfever says:

    Well said Doug. Another blatant example of what will happen if you vote No – London will take over and we will lose our voice.
     
    Going to go O/T for a sec, sorry Rev. This link I picked up on the Rev’s twitter feed (see Rev, some of us do look !). It’s a wee story about the shenanigans at Stirling Council and their attempts to hinder the Bannockburn 2014 memorial and gathering.
    health warning though – you will be raging after reading it !
    http://www.clans2014.com/2014-when-good-councils-go-bad/

  19. muttley79 says:

    @Macart
     
    Correct.  It could not be simpler.  The very institution of the devolved Scottish Parliament is at stake.  This is not scaremongering.  The message from Curran, and Burnham in particular, is clear: they want health policy to be uniform across the UK.  This is simply not compatible with having even a devolved Scottish Parliament.  A No vote would mean the end of Holyrood, and the privatisation of the NHS in Scotland.  Presumably it would mean the end of the Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly as well, as it would be very hard to justify having these institutions in the event of the dismantling of the Scottish Parliament.  I hope some people in Scotland are going to waken up and see the true consequences of a No vote.  The MSM are not going to give them the truth, they are going to have to figure it out for themselves. 

  20. Dcanmore says:

    It’s quite clear now that the Labour Party and Conservatives are now styling themselves after the Republicans and Democrats in the States. Very little difference between the two, vote for one, get the same policies. They might like to tell us they are two parties traveling down different roads to give the illusion of democracy, but the reality is they are two parties on two parallel roads heading in the same direction. Vote Tory and get a privatised health service upfront, vote Labour and get a privatised health service through lies and deceit.

  21. HandandShrimp says:

    Burnham doesn’t seem to get what Devolution actually means does he?
     
    However, if anything set out clearly where Labour are going on this then this is it.

  22. John grant says:

    They can’t and never will win holyrood so what do you do , you bypass it , that’s their Devi max destroy holyrood 

  23. muttley79 says:

    @Morag
     
     
    If they strip Holyrood of Health and return it to Westminster, what is the point of a Scottish Parliament even existing?  If they want to return Health to Westminster then they will return other powers as well. 
     
    @James Morton
     
    Labour and Scottish labour in particular are hell bent on repeating all the mistakes that made the Tories the toxic brand they are today.
     
    Yes, but they are going even further than the Tories did.  It looks like more of a repeat of 1707 than 1979.  Given that the Tories were always against devolution and campaigned against it, then the actions of Labour and SLAB are a repeat of the betrayal of Scottish sovereignty of 1707.  I know if is only a devolved Scottish Parliament at present, but it would still be a massive betrayal.   

  24. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    The Labour party is wearing thin
    It’s not the colour you might think
    When city workers stand and cheer
    “The Labour government is here”
    They’ll change the system not one bit
    (and hope that people won’t notice it)
    Cause the party has to keep its thin veneer
    And sing the Red Flag once a year.
     
    “Free” education and welfare are images outdated
    For we, the politicians have to keep our living
    So sod you if you can’t pay-Don’t expect us to
    Our policies has turned from red to blue
    but just to show we have a thin veneer
    We’ll sing the red flag once a year
     
    Somebody has come and stole our clothes and caused us to sweat
    Those nasty Nats, they represent the threat!
    To our party and our living
    To sponge of the union and unions
    But we have a cunning plan
    We’ll steal their policies and send them to Damn
    And just to show we have a thin veneer
    We’ll sing the red flag once a year
     
    So we wrap up in the flag-but not the one you think
    Cause were all experts at double-think
    Stick our heads in the sand
    saying market-tested things that are bland
    We’ll promise the earth and the stars
    Just that Lord Foulkes can stay in the westminster bars
    And just to show we have a thin veneer
    We’ll karaoke the red flag once a year

  25. Macart says:

    One nation kind of says it all Muttley.

  26. Ray says:

    This is the same interview where Burnham listed his reasons for being against a Yes vote:
     
    “I would feel really genuinely sad if Scotland votes for independence, not just for our own self-interest and in the extra difficulty we would face getting a Labour government in England but I also don’t want to drive up the M6 and get my passport out or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left.”
     
    http://www.holyrood.com/2013/09/northern-soul/

  27. Murray McCallum says:

    I think Burnham’s centralisation policy is yet another reflection of the planned extension of the austerity program regardless of who is in power in Westminster. Devolved governments get in the way of this. The Westminster government appears to wish to remove itself from direct health provision or targeted intervention.
     
    With George Osborne frantically trying to sell what little remains in state control you have to wonder about the true path of the UK’s seemingly out of control national debt. No wonder the UKOKers have no vision – it’s a self-defense mechanism to cut out a bleak future.

  28. Morag says:

    If they strip Holyrood of Health and return it to Westminster, what is the point of a Scottish Parliament even existing?  If they want to return Health to Westminster then they will return other powers as well. 
     
    And Labour would have a problem funding a powerless talking-shop to dispense gravy to their North Britain loyalsts how?  I know they’re not bright, but crippling Holyrood so that it can’t actually do anything while simultaneously bleating about how they have ensured a “strong Scottish parliament within the union” is exactly their style. 

  29. muttley79 says:

    They would not have a problem with that.  But what would be the point in a Scottish Parliament stripped of its powers?

  30. Morag says:

    You have to ask?  Labour face-saving and snout-dipping of course.

  31. Iain says:

    @Ray
    ‘or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left’
     
    Either Burnham is an ignorant, wee numpty, or his subconscious is gagging to speak out.
    Or both.

  32. G H Graham says:

    Candidate for First Minister of Scotland, Stairheid says “Aye, it’s a politburo fur Wee Eck so wull chib him & molicate the place when weez urr winnin oor debate an’ ‘at. It wiz wit Ed Molybdenum wuz sayin, ye see. Wurr a wan nayshun so there’s nae use in girnin’ aboot diffrent stuff cos wull a’ be daein the same stuff an’ ‘at wance in 2014 wurr awe back under Westminster, right?
    Wull keep the buildin’ cos it cost a mint but wull be askin to gie the cooncils mare control o’er mare stuff that Ed’s no really interested in. And yoos auld yins wull need tae pony up mare munny fur free bus trips tae Knightswood. And yer no gettin any mare freebies like Gregory Pecks & stuff fur yer bowels cos wull need the money fur fixing hingmyjigs like Trident which as we all know is worn oot. Michael Gove said as much when he wuz addressin some 8 year auld wanes at a school in Dorset.”

  33. Gillie says:

     
    Labour never understood devolution, they saw it only as a means of stopping the SNP.  
     
    It is interesting that some Labour politicians are championing a new mantra, namely, “Devolution isn’t working”.  That can only be because they have recognised too late that devolution is ultimately an organic process that leads naturally to independence, which heralds the end of the British Labour party
     
    So instead of openly accepting the inevitable Labour now believes the only way in halting that natural progression, and in doing so saving the British Labour party, is by simply neutering the Scottish parliament by stripping away powers and loading it down with bureaucracy.  
     
    Labour prefer to save their own party skins by agreeing that hated Tory governance from Westminster and corrupt Strathclyde Regional Council style politicking from the 70s and 80s is the only way forward for Scotland. 
     
    I doubt that Scots will be in anyway be convinced by that prospect. 
     
     

  34. muttley79 says:

    @Morag
     
    I know that.  But for the rest of us it would be next to useless.  With the withholding of the devolution papers it is clear beyond any doubt that SLAB never really wanted devolution.  Some of their supporters and voters did and do, but their core elected representatives did not.  Everything is coming into the open and fitting into place.  This is why they were so determined to avoid a referendum on independence.  If only someone would leak the devolution papers…       

  35. Shinty says:

    ‘or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left’
     
    Cannot believe he actually said that, what a fool of a man.

  36. Jiggsbro says:

    That can only be because they have recognised too late that devolution is ultimately an organic process that leads naturally to independence, which heralds the end of the British Labour party
     
    I’m not sure. It could be simply that it hasn’t worked, at least not in the way they expected. It was supposed to allow Labour to govern Scotland even when there was a Tory government in Westminster. In those terms, it’s clearly failed.

  37. HandandShrimp says:

    “I would feel really genuinely sad if Scotland votes for independence, not just for our own self-interest and in the extra difficulty we would face getting a Labour government in England but I also don’t want to drive up the M6 and get my passport out or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left.”
     
    Superb, we are going to change the side we drive on now? You couldn’t make this stuff up but still they do.
     
    I wonder how often Mr Burnham drives up the M6 to Scotland? Self interest pure and simple. These people could not give a stuff about us.

  38. simian hoofer of the daily mail says:

    The cards are now on the table and we only have one choice if not its goodnight Scotland for good.
    This is there ploy trying to roll back devolution, to me that is an affront to democracy. Though  the north brit unionists are probably over the moon with delight at the prospect….hell mend em all.

  39. HandandShrimp says:

    It will be encumbant upon the Yes campaign to gather all these intimations from Labour (mainly it has to be said) to effectively neuter Devolution and roll the process back. Clearly plotting is going on behind the scenes and they have revealed enough to demonstrate that there is a coherence to their thinking.
     
    No will not equal Devo Max it will equal Devo Less.
     
    These are not people we can trust.

  40. gerry parker says:

    The Rally feellin’ is still with me.
    What can we do next to get up their noses?

  41. Papadocx says:

    if we vote no then we deserve all we get (or don’t get) from the ukok establishment! The scottish parliament will be emasculated and humiliated and more power will be repatriated to the scottish ukok administrator (and glesga council) .and believe me steps will be taken to ensure that the natives are better controlled in future and any future referendum will be evaded until all the wealth of scotland has been plundered to the max benefit of the ukok establishment. I wonder how much oil lies in Scotland’s atlantic margins and coastal waters. Shoo, that’s a secret. 
     

  42. Macart says:

    @muttley79
     
    On that figuring it out point, especially for undecideds, I had a bit of a conflab with a friend recently along those lines. His main worry was that not being an expert on economy or law or history etc he found it hard to sort through all the stuff being thrown about in the debate from the great and the good. You can see why good old FUD finds fertile ground in that arena. Anyroads I’d started to write him back and wound up writing, what was for me, war and peace on why you don’t need to be an expert in anything to make a fairly informed decision. Just apply your own experiences and some logic. LOL, by the time I’d finished the thing, I finally just phoned him up and talked it through. I’d even considered sending it to the Rev if he ever needed a puff piece filler to get a five minute lie down. 😀
     
    Yes vote now by the by.

  43. simian hoofer of the daily mail says:

    Burnham = snake oil salesman! and the Millipedes liebour party is awash with them. I mean just look at the British labour partys Scottish regional branch, mostly all utterly contemptible cretins and gravy train jumpers. 

  44. muttley79 says:

    @Jiggsbro
     
     
    In their arrogance they probably thought they would never be out of power in the Scottish Parliament.  When that happened in 2007 it was a shock to their system.  However, they did not heed the warning, and their message for 2011 was essentially we are on our way back to power, aided and abetted by their MSM buddies.  Remember all the fuss over opinion polls, and Salmond’s reign being over?  I read Torrance’s book on Salmond, and the first edition ends just before the 2011 election.  He effectively sounds the end of Salmond’s time as FM.  However, SLAB took an absolute hammering.  Lamont said that the people of Scotland had stopped listening to SLAB, not the other way around.  Her principal identity is that of Labour not Scottish.  Party comes way before Scotland.

  45. Stuart Black says:

    Superb, we are going to change the side we drive on now? You couldn’t make this stuff up but still they do.
     
    Utterly bonkers, isn’t it. You have to laugh… 😉

  46. les wilson says:

    Morag
    There is ever more visibility in SLAB under Westminster Labour AND the other mob, that a no vote will become the death nell for the Scottish parliament.  
    However, it would be no sudden event, it would be the death of a thousand cuts, after it ends up as a puppet show, then it would be closed.

  47. les wilson says:

    Morag
    Sorry, just to add, you are right,the devolution papers would be a read we would all like to see, along with the minutes of the meeting with Blair, Dewar, McLeish and others, who ceded the 6,000sq miles of Scottish seas to the English account.

  48. simian hoofer of the daily mail says:

    Somebody should tell Burnham there won’t be any cars or roads if we vote for an independent Scotland so he doesn’t need to worry!!!. After all isnt that the kind of lunatic thinking and fear mongering that the likes of Bitter Together and UKOK followers come up with………..were doomed i tell yah.

  49. muttley79 says:

    @les wilson
     
    Yep, looks that way.  They simply do not have the bottle to be honest with voters here, hence the “more powers” schtick.  There will be no dismantling of the Scottish Parliament in one go.  As you say death by a thousand cuts… 
     
     

  50. Jamie Arriere says:

    If he wants to drive on the right, I think he should feel free to – just watch out for the lorries Andy!

  51. wullie says:

    Burnham might be a bit more concerned about the number of people who died in the English NHS when he was the minister for health in England, is that what he wants in Scotland.

  52. Marcia says:

    Saw this mentioned on NNS.  The Fear Factor:
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmys6YjYipw&feature=youtu.be
    (screams)

  53. Morag says:

    There is ever more visibility in SLAB under Westminster Labour AND the other mob, that a no vote will become the death nell for the Scottish parliament.  
    However, it would be no sudden event, it would be the death of a thousand cuts, after it ends up as a puppet show, then it would be closed.
     
    I think that would be a very long time, though.  As someone pointed up above, they’ve got this very very expensive building which is probably useless for anything else.  And actually closing it is a huge, huge step.  My view is that the “cuts and puppet show” would remain, and Labour would talk up how great is was and how well it was working and all their MSM friends would hold that line.  And their troughers would still have their nice wee sinecure gravy train.

  54. Lianachan says:

    “I would feel really genuinely sad if Scotland votes for independence, not just for our own self-interest and in the extra difficulty we would face getting a Labour government in England but I also don’t want to drive up the M6 and get my passport out or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left.”
     
    Surely he must know that the plan to deal with that problem is to fit these on all roads at the border?

    http://www.jadlamracingmodels.co.uk/images/Scalextric/PT82-kita.jpg

  55. Morag says:

    Sorry, just to add, you are right, the devolution papers would be a read we would all like to see, along with the minutes of the meeting with Blair, Dewar, McLeish and others, who ceded the 6,000sq miles of Scottish seas to the English account.
     
    The sea boundary is a bit of a side-show, because the current boundary is a lot nearer what an internationally-agreed line between the countries would be, and there’s not a lot that’s terribly useful in that 6,000 square miles.  It was the sleekit, underhand way it was done that was the concern.  At the time I thought it suggested they realised devolution could well or would lead to independence, and were getting in ahead of the negotiations.  However, their current behaviour suggests they didn’t realise that at all.
     
    The devolution papers – there’s a thing.  I’m convinced there’s a great deal in there which demonstrates that devolution wasn’t embarked on for the good of the Scottish people, but for the good of the Labour party.  Various parties are probably libelled – maybe that’s the big reason for not letting them loose, as it isn’t a libel until it’s made public.  (Caveat – IANAL.)  I think if we could get that lot released some time in the next ten months or so (fat chance!), we’d win at a canter.

  56. muttley79 says:

    @Morag
     
    YAS!  That is why I was hoping the devolution papers would be leaked, particularly at an inopportune moment for the SLAB Unionists.  Possibly by someone who is looking and concentrating fully on the looming general election, rather than the referendum.  It is very unlikely, and yet we were convinced that nobody would emerge from BBC Scotland with a pro independence voice…

  57. scottish_skier says:

    https://twitter.com/bbcjamescook/status/383150068507086848
     
    In 2011, 62% of population felt Scottish only, 18% felt both Scottish and British, 8% British only, 2% English only.
     
    Now If I was a pollster, I’d weight to that bit of rock solid census data. Shows you why MORI are so far off.
     
    62%…
     
    Which, while a simplification, is in line with my predictions.

  58. cath says:

    “I’m convinced there’s a great deal in there which demonstrates that devolution wasn’t embarked on for the good of the Scottish people, but for the good of the Labour party. ”
     
    I think the reason they won’t release them is they’ll show no Westminster party or government wanted devolution. Various sources say they were pushed to it by rulings within the UN and EU on self-determination. The UK was heavily criticised and I’ve even heard rumour of threatened sanctions. The UK government were pushed into it against their will. Add removing powers to growing calls to come out of the EU or “re-negotiate” membership and you see not only an emasculated Scottish parliament but a pulling away from those voices who did eventually push on our behalf.
     
    I have no idea the truth of these claims and would love to see some real proof. All that exists at the moment are websites, claims and rumours. However the fact the UK government is so hell-bent on burying the papers from that time make it seem a lot more likely that I might otherwise believe. 

  59. Morag says:

    I want someone to hit one of these jokers with the question, “and how does that policy square with the “more powers” that are constantly being promised for the Scottish parliament?”

  60. cath says:

    In 2011, 62% of population felt Scottish only, 18% felt both Scottish and British, 8% British only, 2% English only.”
     
    Those figures tie up fairly neatly with the numbers who basically want everything devolved to the Scottish parliament including welfare, income taxes etc. The 8% British only ties up quite neatly with those who’d rather go back to when the Scottish parliament didn’t exist.

  61. Jeannie says:

    @les wilson
    @morag
     
    The Labour Party is giving out a clear intention that it is planning to over-ride the democratic will of the people of Scotland by emasculating its Parliament: they are sending out a message that Holyrood isn’t working and is failing the poor;  they are suggesting welfare powers should flow from Westminster directly to local councils in Scotland, by-passing the Scottish Government at Holyrood; and now London Labour’s Andy Burnham is saying that Holyrood should no longer have the power to decide on health priorities within the Scottish NHS and that there should be one set of health policies for the whole UK.  And let’s not forget Labour’s weekly pantomime performances at FMQs, which bring our Parliament into disrepute in front of a potentially world-wide audience.
     
    Surely in view of this threat to our democratic rights and the existence of our Parliament, by one of our main political parties, it is more urgent than ever and very much in the public interest, that we are now given access to the Devolution Papers that Michael Moore, David Mundell and Margaret Curran at the Scotland office have placed under embargo.  I would go so far as to say it is in our national interest that we see what was said and done during the negotiations leading to the establishment of devolution in Scotland.  It’s not being covered up for no reason at all.
     
     
     

  62. scottish_skier says:

    @cath
     
    Yep. As noted, a simplification to a small extent, but one which generally balances out.
     
    Rev, in further polls, I’d ask this one ahead of any political / indy questions, e.g. when the pollster checks are you M/F, age etc. Would allow very accurate weighting on this crucial factor.

  63. Training Day says:

    Let’s not forget that post a No vote, the SNP will still be in power.  An emboldened Brit establishment and their lackeys in the MSM would launch barrage after barrage on what they will characterise as a lame duck Holyrood administration, hamstrung by its rejection by the Scottish people.  It will only be a short step from there to questioning the existence of Holyrood itself, while glorifying Labour’s one nation municipalism. 
     
    As said above, the stakes could not be higher.

  64. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I did follow up The Times by apologising for my error, Phillips vrs Reid, and asked that Melanie Reid should do the same for her error.

  65. desimond says:

    In that Poll..9% of Population in Scotland were English ..BUT..only 2% felt English.
    Shame on you Scotland, what you like making all your people feel so very much at home!

  66. cath says:

    “I would go so far as to say it is in our national interest that we see what was said and done during the negotiations leading to the establishment of devolution in Scotland.  It’s not being covered up for no reason at all.”
     
    The desperation for a no vote, and the sudden desperation to roll back the powers of Holyrood really do suggest there are things which are being hidden and which they are so keen to keep hidden that steamrollering any pretence of democracy or the wishes of the Scottish people becomes the only way.

  67. Chic McGregor says:

    Nothing new in the census figures, the Moreno question has established that much for a couple of decades.   More telling that most folk are still unaware of the fact.
     
     

  68. Gordon Hay says:

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  69. Morag says:

    Various sources say they were pushed to it by rulings within the UN and EU on self-determination. The UK was heavily criticised and I’ve even heard rumour of threatened sanctions. The UK government were pushed into it against their will.
     
    Actually, these “various sources” all seem to trace back to James Wilkie and his wee club of friends that called themselves something official-sounding and wrote a lot of letters that never seem to have been answered.  I’ve never seen any evidence that any of this exists outside James Wilkie’s fantasies.

  70. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day
     
     

    Let’s not forget that post a No vote, the SNP will still be in power.  An emboldened Brit establishment and their lackeys in the MSM would launch barrage after barrage on what they will characterise as a lame duck Holyrood administration, hamstrung by its rejection by the Scottish people.  It will only be a short step from there to questioning the existence of Holyrood itself, while glorifying Labour’s one nation municipalism. 
     
    As said above, the stakes could not be higher.
     
    Agreed.  If there is a No vote the first thing the Unionists/MSM (because they are the same entity) will do is demand Salmond resign as FM.  There will be massive coverage in the media saying that the game is up for him and the SNP.  Of that I think is transparent.  They will not be happy just to get a No vote.  They will want to hurt the Scottish Parliament as much as possible.  When a Yes supporter or politician asks about the ‘more powers’ the Unionists have been promising they will laugh in our faces, and the MSM will protect them to the hilt.  There is no way we are going to get fuck all from them.  They are going to neuter our parliament if they get their chance.     

     

  71. Chic McGregor says:

    In one rare, unguarded, TV moment a pre-FM Jack McConnell admitted that they had chosen the d’Hondt – List system specifically to ensure the SNP never got a majority.
     
    Oops!

  72. Morag says:

    You know, these papers are likely to be so important that if it were possible, I would cheerfully burgle their bloody offices and swipe them, or hack their computer system and copy the documents.  I’d go to jail happily for that.
     
    Sadly, this is a pipe dream as I have no experience in cat-burglary or computer hacking, and wouldn’t even know where to look.  However, if there were any latter-day counterparts to Ian Hamilton, Kay Mathieson et al., I’d certainly let them hide in my attic.

  73. edulis says:

    This is Labour’s newly minted policy of ‘One Nation’ writ large. It is the central policy and driving force of their 2015 manifesto. As has been said, they haven’t understood their own devolution prospectus. It was only ever meant to placate those who felt Scotland was badly served by Thatcher and in a way an admission that they screwed up the 1979 Referendum – hence the counter factual argument that Thatcher was all the SNP’s fault.
    It is also why Lamont and Curran are so subservient to the slogans of ‘foreigners’ and ‘something for nothing’ Of course it only works for Labour because of the low standard of politician at their disposal in Scotland and the side benefit, already realised by Curran, that they can join the gravy train and get the life benefits of the Palace of Westminster, including ermine.

  74. Chic McGregor says:

    @Morag
    “I’ve never seen any evidence that any of this exists outside James Wilkie’s fantasies.”
     
    I have and the documents and press coverage such as it was are lodged in the National Library of Scotland.
     
     
     
     

  75. muttley79 says:

    @Morag
     
     
    It would take probably just one person (maybe a few) in Whitehall to know what they were doing…I can’t see it but who knows.  Stranger things have happened.

  76. creag an tuirc says:

    Has anyone FOI the maritme border change? Does this fall under the devolution exemption?

  77. Benjamin says:

    That’s the least of the consequences. The NHS is being dismantled in England and it’s only in it’s early days. If the UK government stops paying for an English NHS then how long do you think they’ll allow one in Scotland? Devolution or not.

  78. Chic McGregor says:

    It is not a case of independence v devo max, it is a case of independence v devo minus – at best.
     
    If you go by the ‘legal’ advice published the UK Government it is a straight choice between Scottish or English.
     
     

  79. cath says:

    “I’ve never seen any evidence that any of this exists outside James Wilkie’s fantasies.”
     
    I haven’t seen anything beyond websites I wouldn’t be happy to believe at all, far less share as evidence. Possibly they’re ones run by that guy you mention. I’ve always cheerfully dismissed them as probably conspiracy theories or if they’re not, something we’ll never know so not worth bothering with.
     
    It’s the lengths the UK establishment is going to to bury the devolution papers that’s making me think there might be something in it. In fact, that it might be entirely the case. It makes a certain sense.

  80. Training Day says:

    @Chic McGregor
     
    Indeed so Chic – the Westminster civil service gave us their opinion that Scotland was extinguished in 1707.  Now Labour are clearly signalling their intent to make sure that becomes a reality post 2014.
     
    And still our disgraceful media allow other charlatans to prattle on about more powers and jam tomorrow..
     
     

  81. Helpmaboab says:

    edulis,
    ” join the gravy train and get the life benefits of the Palace of Westminster, including ermine.”
    This is a personal nightmare of mine if a “No” vote occurs: London’s little helpers would rewarded with peerages.
    Imagine a red bench, circa 2020, occupied by Lord Darling, Lord Brown, Lady Lamont, Lord Sarwar, Lady Curran, Lord Gray, Lord McDougall, Lord Matheson and Lord Alexander….
     
     

  82. Randomscot says:

    @Chic McGregor
     
    You can lodge anything you want with the National Library, you can lodge your shopping list if you want. It proves nothing

  83. creag an tuirc says:

    Could some Devolution data (if it exists) not be had via here? http://www.access-info.org/en/european-union

  84. Morag says:

    I have and the documents and press coverage such as it was are lodged in the National Library of Scotland.
     
    The documents lodged in the library are nothing but the letters these guys wrote, the background material they submitted with them, and some acknowledgements.  There is literally nothing to show that anyone did any more with the correspondence than thank the senders politely and file it away.

  85. Arbroath 1320 says:

     
    tartanfever says:

    Well said Doug. Another blatant example of what will happen if you vote No – London will take over and we will lose our voice. Going to go O/T for a sec, sorry Rev. This link I picked up on the Rev’s twitter feed (see Rev, some of us do look !). It’s a wee story about the shenanigans at Stirling Council and their attempts to hinder the Bannockburn 2014 memorial and gathering.health warning though – you will be raging after reading it !http://www.clans2014.com/2014-when-good-councils-go-bad/
     
    Sorry Stu I’m going O/T but I think tartanfever has drawn up a valid point about the disgusting behaviour of Stirling council. I think there is one thing we all can, maybe even should, do and that is spread the word as far and wide as possible about the gathering of the clans in Bannockburn in 2014. Let’s turn the gathering in 2014 into another Calton Hill moment. If we can mobilise 20,000 or so folks to be at Bannockburn then we will, in my view, shoved two fingers well and truly up the noses of the Tory/Lab council in Stirling. 
     
    gerry parker says:
     
    The Rally feellin’ is still with me.What can we do next to get up their noses?
     
    gerry, I think a mass rally in support of the gathering of the clans in Bannockburn would be a good start. Let’s show the cowards of the Lab/Tory Stirling WE are a people NOT to be messed with!

  86. Jeannie says:

    I first saw reports that the devolution papers were being blocked in an article in the Scottish Herald by Paul Hutcheon –
     
    “Westminster blocks moves to release secret devolution files” Sunday 6th January 2013.
     
    I wonder if he ever followed up on it to find out why.  Should we ask him?

  87. Chic McGregor says:

    Training Days
    “And still our disgraceful media allow other charlatans to prattle on about more powers and jam tomorrow..”
     
    Worked well for George Robertson’s recent debate at Abertay.  You’d have thought that the ‘more jam’ argument would have held some sway in Dundee.  Mind, you his surname, may have reminded them of a historic Paisley rival.   🙂 

  88. David Smith says:

    If the story about the OSCE is indeed true, it would be reasonable to consider that any sanctions against the British that may have been threatened then could again be considered were they to undermine and subvert our Parliament.
     
     
     

  89. Chic McGregor says:

    Randomscot
    “You can lodge anything you want with the National Library, you can lodge your shopping list if you want. It proves nothing”
     
    Not even that your shopping list exists  and wasn’t a fantasy?

  90. Morag says:

    I haven’t seen anything beyond websites I wouldn’t be happy to believe at all, far less share as evidence. Possibly they’re ones run by that guy you mention. I’ve always cheerfully dismissed them as probably conspiracy theories or if they’re not, something we’ll never know so not worth bothering with.
     
    James Wilkie gets very aggressive online if he’s challenged about this.  He has managed to persuade a few people to promote his little story for him though.  However, the documents he lodged in the library (which takes anything at all without asking any questions) are only his letters, the supporting documents sent with them (testimonials and things like a copy of the Treaty of Union), a couple of bald acknowledgement replies, and some holiday snaps.
     
    It’s the lengths the UK establishment is going to to bury the devolution papers that’s making me think there might be something in it. In fact, that it might be entirely the case. It makes a certain sense.
     
    I think the burying of the devolution papers is entirely more sinister than that.  I think these papers are likely to show a self-serving administration that was acting purely in its own self-interest with the explicit aim of preventing any future moves to independence.  It’s likely the language is “robust”.

  91. Chic McGregor says:

    @Morag
    “The documents lodged in the library are nothing but the letters these guys wrote, the background material they submitted with them, and some acknowledgements.  There is literally nothing to show that anyone did any more with the correspondence than thank the senders politely and file it away.”
     
    So, not a fantasy then.
     
     

  92. Morag says:

    Not even that your shopping list exists  and wasn’t a fantasy?
     
    Well, if that’s all you want to prove, sure.  It would prove you wrote a shopping list.  It wouldn’t prove you actually went shopping, let alone bought any of the items on the list though.
     
    I don’t have any particular doubt that James and his little self-appointed group did exactly what they say they did.  What is entirely lacking is evidence that anyone who was lobbied by them did anything as a result of that lobbying. 

  93. cath says:

    “it would be reasonable to consider that any sanctions against the British that may have been threatened then could again be considered were they to undermine and subvert our Parliament.”
     
    Except that by that time – especially if they do it gradually – we’ll be well on the way to the UK pulling out of the EU, or re-negotiating new terms that might keep us in. If keeping Scotland is really *that* important to Westminster, the EU won’t have much leverage at that point. 

  94. cath says:

    I dunno though. I’m still nowhere near convinced it isn’t just a conspiracy theory. I’m not convinced either the EU or UN would intervene on behalf of a small country in any such situation. But OTOH, the British establishment are certainly very keen to hide something.

  95. Morag says:

    So, not a fantasy then.
     
    Chic, I would have thought it was obvious.  The fantasy part is where this group claims that EU officials actually did anything as a result of the representations they were making.  It’s like a love-lorn swain writing letters to a famous film star.  The letters are real, the fantasy is in his head when he believes the star’s smile is directed personally at him.

  96. Morag says:

    I’m still nowhere near convinced it isn’t just a conspiracy theory. I’m not convinced either the EU or UN would intervene on behalf of a small country in any such situation. But OTOH, the British establishment are certainly very keen to hide something.
     
    It’s not so much a conspiracy theory, as the imaginative ramblings of an elderly schoolteacher who convinced himself that he and a few self-important friends could influence international bodies like the UN and the EU.  Look up his profile on Electric Scotland (writen by him as far as I know).  It’s all a bit sad.
     
    I’m damn sure the establishment are hiding something.  Just not that.

  97. kininvie says:

    Point is, the attorney general rules that the release of something ‘is not in the public interest’ – who is to question what the public interest is? It is not as if this is a court case over stuff already leaked where a public interest defence can be brought forward.
     
    No, this is a catch-all. It is obviously not in the public interest to release papers showing our politicians behaving like cats on a bad night out, or stitching up deals to ensure that devolution kills nationalism stone dead. I mean, who would ever vote for them again?
     
    Bottom line is that it is not in the public interest for Scotland to vote Yes…so anything that might encourage that will be locked away, especially after the error of releasing the McRone report…

  98. Jeannie says:

    @albalha
     
    Done

  99. Vambomarbeleye says:

    I am sure that the peole of England would love for their NHS to come up to the standard of the Scottish NHS but it won’t because westminster don’t give a f**k about joe bloggs.

  100. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Gaavster says:

    Arbroath!  http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2013/09/26/indy-rally/
     
    WOHOO! :P:
    I’m famous!!! :D:
     
    Picture six and I’m famous as well as my partner/carer and her daughter. (just behind looking at her phone. :D:)

      

  101. Chic McGregor says:

    Morag
    I’m glad you clarified things re the existence of the group and their activities.
     
    I will make no assertions re the efficacy of their efforts, great or small, the truth of that is unlikely ever to see the light of day.  I will say however, that in the course of an activity by a completely different group some years ago, in addition to consultation exercises with other experts in the field concerned we did have private conversations with Dr Wilkie and other members of Scotland-UN.  

  102. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Two men came onto my Rig today. One Lithuanian living in Aberdeen and the other Aberdonian boy and man. The lad fron Lithuania was a YES voter the other undesided. So gave number two my usual about how many countrys had gained independence from the UK and how many had asked to come back. You could see the cogs going round.
    The third man was Italian living in Argentnia. I didn’t bring up the Falklands.

  103. Andrew Morton says:

    Check this out:
    http://labourpress.tumblr.com/post/62236275016/andy-burnham-mps-speech-to-labour-party-annual
    It’s the text of his speech to conference. I also spoke to a Labour insider who suggested that Burnham is actually trying to hang on to his brief and is sucking up to the NHS staff and unions. Remarkably, he may actually be signalling that England  SHOULD copy Scotland.

  104. Morag says:

    I’m glad you clarified things re the existence of the group and their activities.
     
    I don’t think anyone was suggesting that they didn’t exist.  They certainly wrote the letters, and at least some of them appear to have been acknowledged.  I’m not asserting that the acknowledgements are fabricated.
     
    I will make no assertions re the efficacy of their efforts, great or small, the truth of that is unlikely ever to see the light of day.
     
    Well then, we’re in agreement.  However, the issue under discussion isn’t whether or not these letters were sent, it is whether or not they resulted in the EU bringing pressure to bear on the UK government to grant the devolution referendum, in some versions even to the point of threatening sanctions.  That is the part there is no evidence for.

    While it is always possible some evidence may emerge, I have been looking for it on and off for about six years and drawn a complete blank.  I have also challenged James Wilkie to produce some evidence, however slight.  His response was to become extremely abusive.  So forgive me if I assume at least for the moment that we’ve seen all the truth there is – that is, nothing.
     
    I will say however, that in the course of an activity by a completely different group some years ago, in addition to consultation exercises with other experts in the field concerned we did have private conversations with Dr Wilkie and other members of Scotland-UN.
     
    It’s common knowledge that they claim to have influenced the EU.  James Wilkie can be extremely plausible until asked to back up his assertions with actual evidence.  As I said, it’s all a bit sad really.  Just like the fan who has written many letters to the film star and genuinely believes that the public smile is for him alone.

  105. Hetty says:

    This is the same interview where Burnham listed his reasons for being against a Yes vote:
     
    “ but I also don’t want to drive up the M6 and get my passport out or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left.”
    Sounds like he’s used to taking a ‘right’ stance so what’s his problem? 
     

  106. Albalha says:

    Of course many are saying Andy Burnham is positioning himself as the next Labour leader, 2010 deemed too early for him, now who knows.
    @jeannie
    Let us know if you hear anything back from Mr P Hutcheon.

  107. Patrick Roden says:

    Better Together?
    If your partner tells you what you are only allowed to see what he/she has been up to if they want to tell you, and then says that there’s something that they did that would upset you if you found out, so they’re not letting you know what it is, would you feel your relationship was working and would it feel equal?
    it would feel like I was being taken the piss out off and I was a bit of a door mat, so I’d think id rather end it and walk away with my dignity intact.
    Lets start a campaign called ‘there’s no secrets in a good partnership’ and ask Ed if his one nation vision is genuine why won’t he release these papers so we can see just what his party was saying about Scotland back then.

  108. Rikki says:

    We have had the BT tsunami of fear the scare blitzkrieg and the blatant lies, maybe it’s time we adopted of tactic, as we present a positive view point, on all things good for Scotland and it’s population, As well as giving positives, we need to emphasis the negative, then give the people the clear choice, of what is and isn’t on the table, after the ballot papers get counted late on Sept 18th 2014.

  109. Ian Mor says:

    O/T  But I’d like to know if anyone has seen or heard of a YES news sheet/ free sheet?

    Visiting my folks in East Ayrshire and found my mother reading an 8 page ‘free paper’ which had been posted through the letterbox.Complete with YES! logo and “Historical First Edition Autumn 2013”

     I only noticed because I was suddenly being regaled with independence info by my mother, who has been skeptical if not opposed and uninterested in the debate.

    I thought WTF?  Then noticed she was reading from what I had assumed to be a local free paper, or ‘Metro’ – Closer inspection astonished me. However, I can find no publisher info, addresses, phone numbers weblinks or any info of any description within the paper to identify it’s origin.

    I have to say, it’s impressive. colour print, professionally produced, includes eg: Part 1 top 20 questions pullout guide etc, and a wealth of info. I know my mother will avidly scour any local newspaper and freesheet and didn’t think twice about reading this from cover to cover.

    I am aware there has been talk of producing such a thing over on Newsnet but I don’t see any mention on the YES website and can’t find a reference anywhere else. Did I miss something everyone knows about?

    Here’s a link to a photo of the front cover
    http://tinyurl.com/llzmu8w

  110. Jeannie says:

    @Ian Mor
     
    Yup – got one too.  It’s the official one we’ve to start delivering round the doors.

  111. Delia says:

    @Ian Mor
    That’s the one we were handing out in Edinburgh two weeks ago, and I made sure all my neighbours got a copy. It seems to have gone down well.

  112. Ian Mor says:

    Seriously well done there! 
    Indeed it did go down well. Certainly read cover to cover. My Dad thought he was missing something and demanded the paper… to be regaled by a line I’ll never forget. “What do you want it for? I’ve read it for you!” 
    Don’t know how I missed the news of that. Is there an online version?

  113. Macart says:

    Big smiley Arb. 🙂
     
    You’ve always been famous.

  114. castle hills chavie says:

    Arbroath 1320
    here here about Bannockburn.
    Was going to go to both as I come from a large forces family, but Bannockburn will be the one I and my family will be attending
     

  115. call me dave says:

    Something for the ladies.
    Says Mr Bateman.
    http://derekbatemandotnet1.wordpress.com/

  116. fairliered says:

    Better together

    Lamont and Thatcher

  117. tartanfever says:

    Great photo of Arb. there over on Bella Caledonia.
    Your becoming something of a indy celeb these days Arb ! 🙂

  118. liz says:

    Mathieson is over in the Herald with a very similar piece about transferring powers from the SG to the councils.
     
    So they are now all singing from the same song sheet.

  119. handclapping says:

    @fairliered
    But Thatcher’s dead, crisped and buried … Oh I see what you mean 🙂
     
    Darling and the Tories?
    Willie Rennie and a dog bark training collar?
    JaBa and 5:2?

  120. Shinty says:

    Jeannie
    Yup – got one too.  It’s the official one we’ve to start delivering round the doors.
     
    I get regular updates from YES SCOTLAND, but don’t know anything about these news sheets – do we need to collect them? or will they send them out.

  121. Morag says:

    I saw a pile in the back of our branch organiser’s car on Monday.  He’s arranging for them to go out in other wards, but holding them back in ours because we have a by-election on.  They were all bound up into bales though, and I didn’t even get to steal one.

  122. Morag says:

    I’m sitting here updating address labels to get election leaflets out to the outlying hamlets and farm cottages by post.  Then I remember someone promised that every house in Scotland would receive an actual visit from an actual Yes Scotland ambassador.  I wonder who is going to be hiking up to the back of beyond otherwise known as Tweedsmuir, and then I think I know.

  123. Simon says:

    I have been saying for a long time that the current settlement for the past 300 years or so is not sensible. If we want Scotland to be an independent country, vote YES. If we want a unitary British state, vote NO.

    Margaret Curren apparently saying the Barnett Formula should be scrapped, money should not go in a block grant to Holyrood but should be allocated by Westminster regionally throughout the UK to councils. And then the NHS…

    Roll on the Unitary British State!

  124. Jeannie says:

    @Shinty
     
    I think they’re from the SNP rather than the Yes Campaign.

  125. ScotFree1320 says:

    Chic McGregor says:
     
    26 September, 2013 at 3:51 pm
    In one rare, unguarded, TV moment a pre-FM Jack McConnell admitted that they had chosen the d’Hondt – List system specifically to ensure the SNP never got a majority.

    Chic, do you have a link to that, maybe a YouTube clip or something?  That would be an invaluable resource.

  126. ScotFree1320 says:

    The ruling in the MacCormick v Lord Advocate’ of 1953 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacCormick_v_Lord_Advocate) has a bearing here too, specifically this:
    ——
    The Lord President gave his opinion that “the principle of unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law”.
    ——
    Because the Scottish Parliament was established as a result of ‘the settled will of the Scottish People’, if it is withdrawn by London it would almost certainly cause a constitutional crisis.

    More likely then, that it’s stripped of its powers until it’s nothing more than a pale shadow of its former self.

  127. Chic McGregor says:

    OK Morag, I don’t know about your history with James Wilkie and I certainly am not trying to defend him.  
     
    However, are you not confusing a claim to have influenced the EU with a claim to have influenced the Council of Europe.  The two are not the same.  
     
    Also, we are talking about 20 years ago when Dr Wilkie was still quite young and worked in diplomatic circles in Austria I believe.  (Not that I subtend to the idea that being either elderly or a teacher is a disqualification any way.)

  128. November13 says:

    Devolution was a great idea as long as London was running the show.Now that there is a Scottish party in power it’s a disaster.So in other words if you are losing the game cancel the competition.

  129. Chic McGregor says:

    ScotFree1320
    Nope, sorry, don’t have a clip.  I’m sure many will still remember it, if for no other reason than that it was accompanied by no small display of hubris on Union Jack the Lad’s part.
     
    I would be surprised if there is any trace of it on line either.

  130. ScotFree1320 says:

    Chic McGregor
    That’s a real shame.  It would be absolute dynamite if that could be found!  If only I had a time machine…  🙂

  131. Morag says:

    Chic – Sometimes it’s the UN, sometimes it’s the Council of Europe.  Now you mention it, I’m not sure he brought the EU itself into it, it’s a wee while since I trawled through that material (again) still trying and failing to find something of relevance in it.  I don’t know what age he is, but he has been retired for some time by the look of it.  I better not say what I think about the way he puffs up his CV.

    He’s very plausible, so long as you don’t look for evidence of what he’s claiming – or, indeed, enquire about where he derives the authority from, to lobby foreign officials on behalf of Scotland.  The tale about the evidence being lodged with the National Library sounds good if you don’t know that they’ll archive absolutely anything anyone gives them.  However, the list of documents gives the game away.  It’s entirely correspondence from him and his friends to the officials, and supporting documentation (they have persuaded several celebrity-type people to write letters of endorsement), and a couple of bare acknowledgement letters.  Plus some holiday snaps documenting a journey to Europe to lobby someone.

    There is nothing, not a shred of a sentence, to suggest that anyone even read the material, let alone acted on it.  No meetings being arranged, no requests for further information, no progress reports, nada.

    A few years ago, when I first encountered this tale, I was asking online if someone had any links to any evidence that these representations had had any effect at all.  James Wilkie appeared in the conversation and rather than point to the evidence, or even explain why this wasn’t available, he became quite abusive to me and started trying to discover my identity.  Threats of legal action were included – all this merely in response to my asking for some evidence.

    I won’t go into the rest of the details, because I don’t know if he made it all up or if he assumed I was someone else, but it wasn’t pretty.  This is not the behaviour of someone who has really achieved what he claims to have achieved.

    I remember now he was making some extravagant claims about “revelations” that were about to come out that would be absolute dynamite and be all over the papers.  That was about six years ago, I think.  No revelations.

    Now, I just get irritated when I see other posters repeating this “the EU (or whoever) forced Tony Blair to grant the devolution referendum, under threat of sanctions” stuff.  I’ll happily change my mind if some evidence emerges, but after all this time I’m not really expecting it.

    And don’t get me started on the few folk who post gushing that Wilkie should be “granted Scotland’s highest honours” for what he has done for the country. A bit credulous, some people.

  132. November13 says:

    Yes we are facing a dangerous future after a no vote.If there is a no vote the spiteful London government will not offer more powers to the government they fought against.Instead they will heap more misery on the rebellious nation they defeated and which will be in mourning after a no vote.The excitement and attention Scotland has at the moment is all down to the possibility of it becoming a full independent nation.A no vote will lead to a depressed and lost nation.The no team will be delighted as they want Scotland as North Britain again.They are the sycophantic Scots who only gain pleasure showing loyalty to their slave masters.

  133. Morag says:

    Nope, sorry, don’t have a clip.  I’m sure many will still remember it, if for no other reason than that it was accompanied by no small display of hubris on Union Jack the Lad’s part.
     
    Oh, what a shame that’s not available.  I’d pay money to see that.  I had always heard that it had been admitted the system was devised for that purpose, but I thought it was written somewhere.

  134. Brian says:

    Labour party policy will be carried out, regardless of SLAB.
     

  135. call me dave says:

     
    Sorry it’s Wiki: I’ll keep looking.
     
    The election delivered the first majority government since the opening of Holyrood, a remarkable feat as the mixed member proportional representation system used to electMSPs was, according to Jack McConnell, originally implemented to prevent an SNP government achieving a parliamentary majority. 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_general_election,_2011

  136. Chic McGregor says:

    Morag- Our only interest was in gaining information of a technical nature pertaining to the procedures, protocols and other requirements relevant to the action we hoped to take. In this regard, as corroborated by other sources, Scotland-UN’s inputs proved to be both accurate and knowledgeable.  
     
    I was privvy to some other information regarding claimed achievement, of the kind you indicate you have looked for, but ‘privvy’ means ‘privvy’ I’m afraid.  And of course, that was by nature, information which was entirely of a hearsay nature and not easy to verify.  Nor did we have any pressing need to try to get such verfication.
     
    We verified what we needed to.
     
     

  137. Morag says:

    Call-me-Dave – That statement isn’t referenced – I’m tempted to add a [citation required] to it!  I’m not actually sure where he’s supposed to have said it.  I totally believe it though!  😀

  138. Morag says:

    Well, Chic, as I said, I would certainly change my mind if evidence were ever to materialise.  I don’t expect it now, but you never know.
     
    You may have information of course.  However, when someone is making grandiose claims he can’t support, and instead of explaining why he is unable to support his claims he becomes abusive and threatens to sue people simply for questioning what he says, I’m not impressed.

  139. BobW says:

    Another benefit to be extended to Scotland, by Westminster, after a No?
     
    http://archive.is/rHaBS

  140. Morag says:

    Oh my God that is terrible.  England will be America the way this is going.

  141. BobW says:

    Morag
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/politics97/devolution/scotbrief.shtml#Parliament
     
     
    There may be other motivations, however. During the election, Labour’s Scottish General Secretary Jack McConnell was challenged to confirm that the intention of the reformed voting system was to prevent the SNP from gaining power in the devolved Parliament with a minority of the popular vote. Mr McConnell replied: “Correct.”‘

  142. Morag says:

    Oh, NICE FIND!

    I’ve been challenged on that statement before, and I didn’t know where to find the confirmation. (Then of course you have to explain to people how the system favours Labour rather than the SNP which isn’t so easy but can be done.)

  143. For die says:

    Shall we all then email Burnham and ask him why he considers it in any way appropriate that he has any opinion on the future direction of the Scottish NHS when neither him nor Westminster have any role in it. Does he personally seek to undermine the Scots Parliament now Orr in the future or does his Party plan to attempt to do so  – with regards to  NHSS or any other devolved matter.  And cc Milliband and, strictly for fun, JoNo.  With a PS. What additional powers for our Scots Parliament will the Labour Party bring forward pre-referendum.

  144. Morag says:

    I don’t want to email him.  I want someone like Gordon Brewer except competent at the job to nail him to the wall on it on live TV.

  145. BobW says:

    Another quote from that bbc article. Attributed by them to the then Labour Government. It seems to be a treasure trove!
     
    ‘It’s also claimed that such a popular mandate would provide entrenchmentmoral if not constitutionalagainst those who might in future seek to reverse the devolutionary process.
     
    Any attempt they may make to reduce rather than enhance the devolution settlement, if deity forbid, there was a no vote, would show them up for the dissembling shysters they are.

  146. Chic McGregor says:

    @BobW
    There may be other motivations, however. During the election, Labour’s Scottish General Secretary Jack McConnell was challenged to confirm that the intention of the reformed voting system was to prevent the SNP from gaining power in the devolved Parliament with a minority of the popular vote. Mr McConnell replied: “Correct.”‘
     
    That must be referencing the TV interview I think.  I distinctly remember him answering “correct” , after a brief hesitation where he obviously had a momentary doubt, but then hubris won out and he did so with a sly schoolboy style grin.

    It was an outdoors interview and I doubt if it had been in the studio he would have said it.

  147. Morag says:

    I think this is a mild taste of the sort of discussion that would be revealed in these devolution papers.  Discussion about how to diss the SNP, discussion about how to devolve certain things to make the Scots feel in charge, but to reserve anything (like broadcasting) that might make them better informed about Scotland’s place in the world.
     
    I think what’s there is such a parade of naked self-interest and utter contempt for the actual wishes or bet interested of the Scottish population, that it would shock even the most hardened Labour voter.

  148. Andrew Morton says:

    Re the McConnell thing, I think that it is so generally accepted in public circles that the system WAS designed to keep out the SNP that there isn’t any traction in further exposure. Re James Wilkie, as a long time follower of the whole independence saga, I recall that he was a regular letter writer to the Scotsman on the subject from the 1970s onwards. His address at the time was a university in Austria (Vienna I think) where he was a professor (he’s not a medical doctor).

  149. Morag says:

    No, he’s not a medic; he has a PhD from a German university.  The title “Professor” covers a pretty wide range of positions depending on the country you’re in (in the USA even a junior lecturer is a “professor”), but I never heard he had an actual chair anywhere.  He certainly doesn’t use the title Professor, and I think he would, if he was in any way entitled to it.
     
    He’s certaily written a lot of letters, one way and another.

  150. Shinty says:

    Jeannie
    I think they’re from the SNP rather than the Yes Campaign.
     
    Many thanks Jeannie, sorry for the delay, but things move so fast on here I lost the thread!



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