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The five key facts about GERS

Posted on March 13, 2016 by

[EDIT 24 August 2016: This article has now been updated here.]

It’s Sunday, so there is of course one last convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles in all the papers, as every Unionist hack and pundit in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

Everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how Scottish revenue this year being 1% lower than it was last year has comprehensively demolished a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the last four years stridently insisting never existed in the first place.

angryyoon

So before everyone moves on to a new “SCOTLAND BAD” next week, we thought it was worth a short recap of what we’ve learned about a devolved Scotland’s financial books this week.

Because for all the complex arguments, mad comedy graphs ludicrously pretending that Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and bewildering arrays of incomprehensible stats, there are only five things you really need to know about GERS.

———————————————————————————————————

KEY FACT 1

GERS is a really, really terrible advertisement for the Union.

Scotland has been part of the UK for 308 years. It’s had its own parliament for just 5% of that time. Even now, almost all key economic levers – taxation, welfare, immigration and many more – are directly controlled by Westminster, as is a huge chunk of “Scottish” spending. If the economy is a mess, 95% of that mess happened on the UK Parliament’s watch.

img186

UK governments of all political shades have had 300 years to get Scotland into a healthy shape. They’re now telling us that they failed spectacularly in that responsibility, but that it’s somehow Scotland’s fault, so we have to leave them in charge to fix it. Maybe if we give them another 300 years they’ll get it right.

———————————————————————————————————

KEY FACT 2

GERS was deliberately designed from the outset by the UK government to make Scotland (and the non-Tory parties) look bad.

briantaylorgers

cuthbert0

This fact was revealed in a leaked memo from the Scottish Secretary to the Prime Minister. But when Labour came to power in 1999 they did nothing about it, because they thought they’d control the Scottish Parliament forever no matter what, and therefore it couldn’t really hurt them. It would, however, still help to make the SNP and independence look bad, which suited Labour fine.

When the SNP took over at Holyrood they managed to improve GERS a bit, but there are still major issues – partly because the UK government refuses to give the Scottish Government access to a lot of important data – and as a result much of it is total guesswork.

———————————————————————————————————

KEY FACT 3

The “£15bn black hole” in GERS screamed across every newspaper this week is a fallacy, because the target balance of a government is not zero.

Almost every country on Earth – except for a certain oil-rich nation of 5m people bordering the North Sea which isn’t Scotland – runs a deficit. Governments don’t operate like households, which at some point have to balance the books and pay off their debts. Under normal circumstances governments always run a deficit because that’s how you create growth.

So you never have to fill that “black hole”. The only issues are whether the deficit is too big to service the debt payments on, and whether it’s permanently big (a problem) or goes up and down (generally not a problem). Scotland’s is the latter.

ukdeficits

In 2010 the UK’s deficit was a bigger share of GDP (11%) than Scotland’s is in the latest GERS figures (10%), but nobody said it proved the UK wasn’t a viable independent country, because most people aren’t self-hating morons desperate to portray their own nation as a financial basket case. As long as the deficit isn’t ALWAYS that high you’re fine, and Scotland’s is usually much lower.

(And remember – the UK, which still controls around 40% of Scottish spending, doesn’t just generously gift Scotland the money to plug its deficit because it loves us so much. It takes out borrowing in Scotland’s name, whether it’s for stuff Scotland actually wants or not. Scotland gets no say in whether it wants or needs nuclear submarines or giant aircraft carriers or not. London makes the decision and puts it on Scotland’s tab.)

If a sustainable deficit is (say) £10bn and your actual deficit is (say) £12bn, then the size of the “black hole” you need to address in a bad year – by generating extra income, borrowing or reducing spending – is £2bn, not £12bn. But that makes for a much less dramatic newspaper headline.

———————————————————————————————————

KEY FACT 4

GERS – by the universal agreement of everyone except Unionist politicians and the Scottish media – has no bearing whatsoever on the finances of an independent Scotland.

That’s a fact which just can’t be repeated too often.

merrynsw3

To name but one extremely significant example, an independent Scotland’s balance sheet would be massively affected – to the tune of billions of pounds a year, a huge chunk of the deficit – by the details of the independence settlement and in particular how much UK debt Scotland agreed to inherit.

It’s highly unlikely, for all sorts of reasons that we’ve explored in detail on Wings previously, that this would be a straight per-capita share, and a more realistic figure – half that or less – would instantly reduce the deficit to a degree that would have, for example, more than balanced the drop in oil revenues this year.

When Ireland gained independence from the UK, it negotiated an agreement which gave it none of the UK’s debt whatsoever. If Scotland – which has a very strong negotiating position – were to do the same its “true” deficit (see Fact 3), even in a very bad year like 2014-15, would be almost wiped out at a stroke.

———————————————————————————————————

KEY FACT 5

GERS is also totally irrelevant in the context of independence for a second crucial reason – the entire point of independence is to NOT keep doing everything in Scotland the same way it’s been done in the UK.

Scotland’s needs, strengths, weaknesses and priorities are different to those of the UK in all sorts of fields. Despite obvious similarities it’s a fundamentally different kind of country – much less densely-populated, with different industries and demographics and a different idea of its place in the world.

ukpopulationunion

So it would almost certainly want to significantly rearrange its spending in ways so numerous and far-reaching as to change GERS out of all recognition.

———————————————————————————————————

Unionists desperate to use GERS to rubbish an independent Scotland’s finances sometimes admit its flaws, but defend it by saying it’s the only data we’ve got to go on. That’s like saying you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow so for want of anything better you’ll base your plans around your horoscope in today’s Daily Star.

And, y’know, that’d make you a bit of an idiot.

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212 to “The five key facts about GERS”

  1. Joemcg says:

    Sorry Stu but that Andrew Neil has made me spit my bacon toastie out “First minister,would you like to thank the people of the U.K. for paying for your deficit!!” Arggghh!!!!!

  2. London is Britain’s Black Hole.

  3. Michael McCabe says:

    GERS great explanation Rev Stu

  4. Kenny says:

    There is also a giant asterix missing.

    The fact that without Scotland’s oil, the UK would not be able to borrow what it does. Given the dire UK current account, without Scotland’s oil, borrowing costs for the UKOK would rise — and there would eventually be a run on, and collapse in, the pound.

    Yet there is no compensation for this.

    Scotland’s oil is actually MORE important to the UK’s survival than any Trident nuclear weapons. What are the cost of these weapons again?

    But you would not hear Ruth Davidson say Scotland must be compensated for this amount…. because she does not understand economics at all, yet wants to the the FIRST MINISTER of Scotland?!?

    The first article in any discussion on UK finances must begin with the fundamental truth that Scotland’s oil reserves are the only glue preventing the UKOK economy from falling into a state worse than Greece. Because the UK economy is Greece without the sunshine — at least it will be without Scotland’s oil.

    When will “Proud Scots” see they are being used and laughed at by much cleverer people than them at the far other end of the island?

  5. Bob Mack says:

    Nicola was very good on Daily Politics today v Andrew Neil.
    He thinks we should be grateful to England for bailing us out of having a deficit of £15 billion.

    Yet, as a nation we already knew that we would have to take a share if the UK total debt,somewhere in the region of £100 billion. Nobody asks how we would service that debt.I wonder why not?

    Debt and deficits are part and parcel of any countries economy.Few are in surplus.

    We would face no more or no less problems than any other country in the world,but at least we could create something fairer than we currently endure.

  6. heedtracker says:

    Very predictable red and blue tory attack propaganda but raises huge issues

    Why is the English economy super heated in London and the south of east of England for decades now?

    If Scots oil and gas industry is so worthless, why cant our imperial masters give up control of it to Scotland?

  7. Ken500 says:

    The rest of the UK deficit HS2 – £70Billion – Hinkley Nuclear station – £25Billion (+ interest) £95Billion (the rest of the UK deficit) Plus Trident/illegal wars (£170Billion ++++++) Plus tax evasion. £27Billion. UK tax Laws not being enforced. HMRC not fit for purpose. = £300Billion++

    Scottish ‘Deficit’ Scottish Oil sector taxed at 60/80% by Westminster when prices have fallen 75%.
    Losing thousands of jobs in Scotland (deliberately) Importing more Oil & Gas putting up the debt = £4Billion a year. £1Billion on Trident illegal wars/redundant weaponry. £1Billion cost on ‘loss leading’ drink. £4Billion a year debt repayments on money Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend. £3Billion on tax tax evasion sanction by Westminster. = £13Billion a year. Since 2011 = £65Billion.

  8. Colin Rippey says:

    Flogging a dead horse…

    You missed out from Key Fact 4 that the SNP consider GERS:

    The starting point for this analysis is the National Statistics publication, Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS). GERS is the authoritative publication on Scotland’s public finances.

    No matter how hard you try, no matter how many articles you write trying to claim otherwise, GERS are figures that politicians CANNOT ignore for the simple reason “there’s nothing else to use”.

    Still, with the shiny new Fiscal Commission (you, the one John Swinney was totally against) that has been agreed as part of Smith, maybe we’ll have something else we can chuck around in our bouts of “whatabouterry”.

    In other news of note the publication of a yougov poll which has shown support for independence DROPPED down to 40% but also support for the union down to 47% – big increase in undecideds.

  9. Col says:

    One of the most shameful weeks in our history surely. Let’s show the unionist parties what true pride in ourselves really is by voting them out of existence in may.

  10. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    13 March, 2016 at 11:46 am
    Flogging a dead horse…

    Kevin come on be at least at tad impartial dude.

    England controls the Scottish economy and has done for the last 300 hundred years! Scotland deficit no matter how large is entirely down to Westminster’s economic strategy, from Brown’s borrow and spend insanity to Osborne’s borrow and spend insanity.

    Sure the UKOK SNPbad battle cry from now on is, “Scotland cant run its own economy, vote red and blue tory” but why cant Scotland run its own economy Kevrage?

  11. Ian says:

    Its pathetic that the only argument for staying in the Uk is basically ‘We’re crap but you you’d be even worse off without us’. I hope the next indyref exposes the track record for both the UK & Scotland. The UK economic & social record has been abysmal for decades. One long story of relentless decline hidden behind brass neck bs. Even when the UK got a huge one-off lottery win (oil) they wasted that too. Evolution has a way of dealing with dinosaurs. Hopefully sooner than later.

  12. Mark Russell says:

    If Scotland is such a financial liability, as Andrew Neill et al. always portray, why would they go to such extraordinary lengths to keep us in the Union? Love?

  13. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    13 March, 2016 at 11:46 am
    Flogging a dead horse…

    Asked a few simple questions, make a yoon disappear, shock:D

    Come on Kevin, this is a nice opportunity for a hard core unionist economic spiv/genius like your good self to go “too small, poor, stupid” UKOK apeshit, or is just another drive-by Kev?

  14. Macart says:

    The last paragraph?

    Nail on head.

  15. msean says:

    Why do the UK government not give the data out? Strange that UK citizens can’t get data from their imperial overlords. 🙂

  16. Joemcg says:

    That’s the second senior SNP politician grilled about how shite Scotland is this morning. Why do UK ministers never get asked about how crap the UK is opposed to an independent Scotland?? Boils my piss.

  17. galamcennalath says:

    Andrew Neil telling NS to thank the people of England for their generosity!

    Aye right, and where is Scotland’s Oil Fund? Where can we find it?

    Well, some of it was used to construct the M25 and the Channel Tunnel for starters!

    Do we get thanks for that?

  18. msean says:

    Also wondering why Westminster is so worried about Scotlands’ finances after independence,surely that would not then be any of Westminsters concern?

  19. Effijy says:

    Well done yet again Rev.

    How I wish everyone in the UK would read this to supplement the
    diet of Sh** the UK Media spew out on a daily basis.

    O/T Just watched Gideon on the EBC.
    He now needs to make further austerity cuts on top of those he imposed in the last Tory parliament, on top of the ones already imposed in this parliament, and those already pending!

    We have all had to listen to the Westminster parties Scottish
    Council representatives bleating at how the SNP government has passed on the Westminster imposed cuts to our budget.
    There is no alternative other than to do this and we must protect the NHS first.

    Recognise that the Tories brokered the cuts with the aid of their
    Liberal allies, and with Labour abstaining, as they obviously don’t have any issue with the cuts.

    So please brace yourselves for the next round of SNP Bad sound bites when the Westminster government yet again cuts the Scottish
    budget and the Councils must shoulder their share of the burden.

    If any Labour, Tory, or Liberal Councilor in Scotland had any genuine concern about this procession of cuts, that ultimately impacts on the ordinary Scottish citizen, they should be threatening to resign their post and their membership, unless
    their London based masters stop the cuts leaving Westminster.

  20. DerekM says:

    aye msean and think of all that money they will save if they dont have to look after poor wee stupid Scotland,they should just chuck us out we are hopeless,you would be better off without us England,its worth a try they believe any old shit.

  21. Proud Cybernat says:

    “GERS are figures that politicians CANNOT ignore for the simple reason “there’s nothing else to use”.

    Whit? Have you never heard of the Pink Book? Why won’t the UK Govt show it to the Scottish Govt.? Because the UK Govt. don’t want us in Scotland to see the real figures, THAT’S WHY. But you’re not interested in that, are you? You are just happy that successive UKOK Govts have messed up the Scottish economy. Why? Why are you happy with that? Are you just so self-loathing?

    Away and pester a hedge and syop wasting our time, laddie.

  22. Colin Rippey says:

    @heedtracker

    Of course Scotland could run its own economy, it has a sizeable GDP and tax revenue. But the only picture we have right now tells us that the SPENDING has to come down.

    GERS apportions sizeable costs to an iScotland that just wouldn’t be there (the defence spending being one that could easily drop by as much as £2B). But even once the GERS spending monies were reduced down there would *still* be £Billions more needed to be found to get to a “deficit that is manageable”, and the only realistic way for these additional reductions to be found would be cuts (there’s no chance tax increases are going to fly).

    An iScotland would need to get a deficit down to something like the overall UK deficit of 4.5% GDP, but even that figure might just be too big for an economy the size of Scotland so even more cuts might be needed.

    This site has been in desperate damage limitation mode for days now, unsurprising I guess in that the coverage of GERS “has not been very favourable” for the SNP. But lest we forget that one of the central tenets of the SNP White Paper and subsequent independence campaign was one where “the people of Scotland will be £500 per person better off if independent” – any future independence campaign is going to have to “drop” any notion of economic case because there’s no credible data to support it.

    But…it won’t have to, as Brexit is going to happen and it’s Brexit that will give the SNP the focus of any independence campaign.

    To me last week’s BBCQT was the classic example of the parochial nature of Scottish politics, the biggest question facing us all right now is the EU Referendum but up here we’re only interested in re-running 2014.

    The nutters down south are winning the Leave vote because they’re spewing out the same rhetoric of “surely we’re not too wee to govern ourselves” and “we want our sovereignty returned” – it’s the same nutcase rhetoric we see up here – at least up here there’s no xenophobic rubbish (aside from who should be allowed to vote).

    Come end of June when Brexit is a reality the GERS numbers will cease to matter, the picture will be “how much it’ll cost Scotland to leave the EU”.

  23. Jamie says:

    Just to correct some points made in comments the UK DEBT is 1.5 trillion. The DEFICIT of each year is approximately 100 Billion.

    Andrew Neil saying Scotland should be thankful to RUK for bailing Scotland out made me sick. He is a disgusting troll. If it were not for RUK trident, foreign wars and infrastructure projects of England, Scotland would be in surplus, as wings has pointed out. Andrew Neil is like one of those historic Scottish people paid by England to fight against their own country. An outside observer would struggle to recognise he is Scottish. A perfect example of the Scottish cringe if ever you needed one. Any self respecting Scot would never have made half the comments he made just utter lies and unionist propaganda.

  24. Ruby says:

    It’s definitely ‘Indy Ref Groundhog Day in Yoonsville’

    Seriously do these Yoonsters not know that the Indy Ref is over that they won?

    I’ll just keeping asking my simple question and perhaps I’ll get an answer. Any chance Colin Ripley?

    Why if Scotland is such an economic basket case are voters/politicians in the RUK begging us to stay?

    Why is Scotland not able to be an Independent country like any other country? Is it because we have been part of the Union or is it because there is something wrong with people in Scotland?

    Why would you argue that a country that has ended up as an economic basket case should continue doing what it has been doing for the part 300 years which caused it to be in such a dire state?

  25. george says:

    on key fact five: growing the tax base is one of the easier ways to grow the economy. scotland is – arguably – carrying half the population it could be.

  26. Colin Rippey says:

    @Proud Cybernat

    If you have some insight into “other numbers” then perhaps you could share them? Or are you the typical WoS commenter who “just knows” we’re all being kept in the dark, that there’s £Billions flowing into The Treasury from Scotland. There’s McCrone report after McCrone report that hides Scotland’s true wealth.

    I doubt you have anything to say or share.

  27. Ruby says:

    OK I’ll do as Andrew Neil suggests and thank England for bailing out Scotland.

    It’s great that you have bailed us out and we can have free univesity tuition, free prescriptions, free bus passes, free personal care for the elderly and you have to pay for all these things!

    Still I suppose you guys get the government you want and you don’t have Trident parked on your doorstep.

    It could well be that you guys down there in England are getting the better deal so perhaps you are the ones who should be thanking us!

    PS Why are you so keen to keep us in your Union?

    PPS Do you think Andrew Neil is keen to stir up racial hatred and why would he do this?

  28. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    13 March, 2016 at 12:35 pm
    @heedtracker

    Nice try Kevin, except you ducked the questions. We have a deficit because of the socio economics of our neighbour. Its that simple. Ofcourse you and your massed ranks of tory hacks are blaming SNP Scots.gov for it all but can you force enough Scots to agree with you?

    Probably not now Kevin.

    Ligger Neil kept saying “leave out NOT Scottish oil and gas industry from your failed Scottish economics” this morn was another ridiculous tory absurdity.

    If only because Yoons like you say, no keep NOT Scots oil in the Scottish books, they ruined by the Brent barrel prices.

    Can you see why not enough are buying your ongoing UKOK Project Fearing Kev?

    Also Kevin

    “But lest we forget that one of the central tenets of the SNP White Paper and subsequent independence campaign was one where “the people of Scotland will be £500 per person better off if independent”

    Did it say we’d be better off on independence day in 2 weeks Kevin?

    Also, also, have to give it to you Kevin, this is very hard hitting monstering of everything Scotland running Scotland, one of your best actually

    “The nutters down south are winning the Leave vote because they’re spewing out the same rhetoric of “surely we’re not too wee to govern ourselves” and “we want our sovereignty returned” – it’s the same nutcase rhetoric we see up here – at least up here there’s no xenophobic rubbish (aside from who should be allowed to vote).”

    Comparing the EU to the UK is pure UKOK bullshit as you know. England completely controls the Scottish economy and the EU just doesn’t control the UK.

    All you’re saying Kevin is, England must never give up control of the Scottish economy. England will tolerate differing Scottish and English social spending policy but we will never give up our ownership of Scottish economics. We’ll see Kevin.

  29. Colin Rippey says:

    @Ruby

    Why if Scotland is such an economic basket case are voters/politicians in the RUK begging us to stay?

    Simple, because the people of Scotland voted to remain in the UK – this is the same answer I’ve given to you when you’ve asked the question before.

    In September 2014 after a long campaign when asked the question “Should Scotland be an independent country” 55.3% of people who voted chose No.

    The rUK committed to “respect the result”, so did the SNP.

    Most recent yougov poll had support for independence DOWN to 40%, it must be truly awful for you to get into your head that despite all your perceived arguments for independence the support for it seems to be waning?

  30. I do not know how people like Andrew Kneel can live with themselves they know the figures they use are false they know they are twisting the truth but it does not seem to bother them honestly what kind of people are they? I can only conclude their god is spelled goLd do they ever have the courage to look in a mirror ?

  31. Callum says:

    Key fact 6

    UK revenues have dropped 1% since November 2015, so it’s hardly a surprise when a 1/10th unit of the UK also drops 1%.

  32. Robert Graham says:

    If after 10 years of austerity things hadn’t improved as they plainly haven’t for the majority of the people,I would chuck it and send for a plumber as this country is leaking money faster than it earns it,checkout the UK debt clock,as for Gideon ,he and his pals couldnt give a f/k they are doing ok ,selling off what we have paid for and selling it even faster than Thatcher ,the big prize is the NHS just watch this feeding frenzy when it starts and it will soon .

  33. Finnz says:

    It would appear that Mr Rippey will only accept figures which are sourced from GERs, except he has already accepted that this £15 billion figure could quite easily be reduced by £2 billion through cuts in defence spending.

    So within the blink of an eye, its been reduced by 12%.

    I notice the rising debt interest repayment to Westminster accounts for over £4 billion a year. Scotland of course is not obliged to continue paying that, so there’s the deficit nearly halved.

    Oil revenue will obviously increase given time and Scottish based oil companies will be obliged to pay their taxes to Holyrood, quite likely becoming visible to the Scottish exchequer for the first time…

    Lots of possibilities and nothing fixed in stone…

  34. Ruby says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    13 March, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    @Ruby

    Why if Scotland is such an economic basket case are voters/politicians in the RUK begging us to stay?

    Simple, because the people of Scotland voted to remain in the UK – this is the same answer I’ve given to you when you’ve asked the question before.

    Ruby replies

    That doesn’t make sense! How did the did voters/politicians in the RUK know we were going to vote NO? They were begging us to stay before voting day?

    Why would the voters in the RUK be keen for Scotland to have what the majority want when they are perfectly happy to vote Tory when they know that is definitely not what Scotland wants?

  35. Croompenstein says:

    @Colin Ripley –

    it must be truly awful for you to get into your head that despite all your perceived arguments for independence the support for it seems to be waning?

    Just you hold on to that thought if it helps you sleep at night Colin.

  36. heedtracker says:

    The rUK committed to “respect the result”, so did the SNP.

    So why did The Vow turn into a means of stripping away £7bn from Scotland lately Kev?

    Hardly an act of respect.

    Vote NO for devo-max and federal UK, all kept off our referendum ballot by our imperial masters, only to suddenly pop up as the historic The Vow fraud, in the last week or so and as UKOK thought they would lose.

    None of this has suddenly been forgotten Kevin. It worked but look at SNP polls now, 56 SNP MP’s, probable SNP Scots.gov next five years, red tory struggling to hold on to what support BBC Scotland can save them.

    Scots know they were robbed and this is the result. Or maybe youre right Kevin, you won, the great shyste worked and its all over now, for another generation.

  37. Bill McLean says:

    Mr Rippey – “the rUK committed to “”respect the result”” so did the SNP”. Let me make it clear to you Mr Rippey I did not commit to respect the result and will work for independence until I can no longer and so will many thousands more – this is what people like you fail to understand because you have no ideal only a bent knee for one of the most disreputable regimes the world has ever seen! You have strange ideas of “respect”. How much respect did your masters and betters show when they failed to implement their promises in “The Vow”. Remember “The Vow” made in a panic by Cameron, Clegg and Miliband in blind panic. Respect liars – are you nuts or just another one?

  38. Glamaig says:

    @Colin Rippey
    Comparing Norway’s finances with Scotland’s, which country would you say has benefited the most since 1970, and why?

  39. gordon ford says:

    Re- Andrew Neil’s throwaway line at the end of his interrogation of our FM.
    My complaint regarding Racism and Bias was made before the Prog ended.
    Not that the BBC will say anything to the arrogant, overpaid Neil !!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Ruby says:

    Does anyone find it suspicious that so many English voices are speaking up against Scottish Independence?

    ie Adam Tomkins, J K Rolwing, Kevin Hague, Katy Wiles, Brandon Whathisname etc etc.

    Are these English people asking us to ‘lie back & think of England’?

    What is the benefit for England of having Scotland in their Union?

  41. Capella says:

    As well as the smoke and mirrors of GERS, there are also the scams to be taken into account. Such as:

    adding interest to Scotland’s “share” of the debt repayments although the BoE does not charge Westminster interest.
    “Scotland has paid around £1.12bn in interest payments to the UK government – essentially acting as an additional stealth tax on Scotland since we, unlike Westminster, don’t then get the money credited back.”
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-angels-share/

    charging Scotland approx 18% of the debt for years although the population share should be 8%
    “Mr Waldegrave gave the figure for Scotland’s deficit share for every year since 1979, and the average turned out to be almost exactly the 17.9% first identified.”
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/information-retrieval/

    altering the maritime boundaries between Scotland and England to give England a large share of the oil revenues and reducing Scotland’s share.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/01/scotlandengland-maritime-boundaries/

    John Jappy’s revelations that Scotland has been a net contributer for decades, even before oil and gas.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/on-our-own-two-feet/

    The subsidy myth
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-historical-debt/

    Perhaps we need to draw up a charge sheet.

  42. Glamaig says:

    Ruby says
    What is the benefit for England of having Scotland in their Union?

    I wonder how long it will be before this ‘Scottish black hole paid for by UK’ argument backfires and English voters hit hard by cuts start agitating for deadweight Scotland to be expelled from the Union.

  43. Colin Rippey says:

    @Finnz

    I notice the rising debt interest repayment to Westminster accounts for over £4 billion a year. Scotland of course is not obliged to continue paying that, so there’s the deficit nearly halved.

    No debt obligations will almost certainly mean no currency union, so you’re okay with that? That a new independent state with a new currency who has just said to the international debt market “we’re renaging on our perceived share of UK debt, but any chance of a payday loan ’til the price of oil goes back up?”

    Maybe you should apply for a job with the Scottish Government as an economics adviser?

  44. Ruby says:

    Another simple question to add to my list:

    In what way does England benefit from having Scotland in their Union?

  45. heedtracker says:

    What is the benefit for England of having Scotland in their Union?

    1. Trident nuke dump, safe distance from England’s main population centres

    2. Balance of payments

    3. Borrowing and interest costs would jump up without Scotland in their books.

    4. Massive territorial loss, near on a half of their lands and vast Atlantic oceanic territory losses.

    5. Above all else, a successful PR democracy that Scotland can clearly become right on the English border would mean progressive liberal England will want one too, spreading from The North. That’s just never going to happen in a tory boy world of Lords and royals, City rich, shire tories, tory BBC goon show, house price obsessed middle England.

    Red and blue Toryboy world rapidly dragged the UK into US style neo liberal, slave wage, high tax on slave wage economics and just enough tory England is happy with that.

    Just ask oor Kevin up there.

  46. Ruby says:

    OMG Keverage is in full blown ‘Yoonsville Ground Hog Day Indy Ref Debate’

    I’m just waiting for him to tell us that our cousins in England will become foreigners!

  47. JLT says:

    Well said, Stuart

    That one line alone in Explanation 1 says it all.

    Scotland has been part of the UK for 308 years. It’s had its own parliament for just 5% of that time. Even now, almost all key economic levers – taxation, welfare, immigration and many more – are directly controlled by Westminster, as is a huge chunk of “Scottish” spending. If the economy is a mess, 95% of that mess happened on the UK Parliament’s watch.

    The fact is …that if 95% of our economy was controlled by Westminster over 308 years, then the fact of the matter is, that the economic mess for the whole of the UK lies at their doorstep. If the Scottish people didn’t have to pay for an over-budgeted defence policy as well as paying way more than we should have to on the National Debt (in which, probably 85% belongs to England since England does have 85% of the UK’s population), then I’m sure our ‘deficit’ wouldn’t be as bad as the backers of Unionism would declare.

  48. Ruby says:

    heedtracker I see so basically the Yoonsters are asking us to ‘lie back and thing of England’?

  49. Colin Rippey says:

    @Bill McLean

    I did not commit to respect the result

    So if the result was Yes you would not have respected that? That’s a curious position for someone to adopt given that you want independence. Is there some other way you want Scotland to gain independence other that by a democratic process?

  50. Daisy says:

    Hi,
    Here’s my most recent blog post ‘SNP Spring Conference: The Call of Hope.”
    https://daisycollinsblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/snp-spring-conference-the-call-of-hope/

  51. katherine hamilton says:

    Oh Colin, support is not waning. “Up here”, as you call Scotland, the winds of change are blowing. You don’t like it but denying it won’t make it go away. Take succour in your polls but the word on the street is quite different.

    Oh and by the way, like other posters on here explain your position constructively. Just saying Scotland is better in the UK with no substantive evidence base really won’t do. Go on, make me change my mind.

  52. Ruby says:

    Glamaig says:
    13 March, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Ruby says
    What is the benefit for England of having Scotland in their Union?

    I wonder how long it will be before this ‘Scottish black hole paid for by UK’ argument backfires and English voters hit hard by cuts start agitating for deadweight Scotland to be expelled from the Union.

    Ruby replies

    I’m very surprised that it hasn’t happened already. Perhaps it has but it’s a taboo subject in the media.

    I think that would be a perfectly normal reaction from the English voters what I find strange is the idea that they are so keen to keep us in their Union.

    I suspect the ordinary English voter is being well and truly shafted and they don’t have a clue what’s going on.

  53. Daisy says:

    Hi everyone,

    Here is my most recent blog post, ‘SNP Spring Conference: The Call of Hope.’
    https://daisycollinsblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/snp-spring-conference-the-call-of-hope/

  54. Colin Rippey says:

    @heedtracker

    None of this has suddenly been forgotten Kevin. It worked but look at SNP polls now, 56 SNP MP’s,

    And yet support for independence is not reflected in the most recent poll. There are plenty of people who vote SNP but strangely enough do not want independence.

    I notice however the distinct lack of any mention of Brexit from any of the responses I’ve had, it’s almost as if the reality distortion field you are all behind cannot see what’s about to happen to all of us, the chaos of a Brexit and Boris Johnson in number 10 – if you think Cameton & Osbourne are hostile to Scotland just wait to Blonde Man takes over.

  55. Ruby says:

    ‘So if the result was Yes you would not have respected that?’

    Note use of ‘so’

    I’ve noticed Yoonsters use this a lot. It’s a statement masquerading as a question.

  56. Bill McLean says:

    Colin Rippey 1.28pm – I will only say politely as I can – what a stupid comment! What about the Vow Mr Rippey. What about respect – do you know what the word means?

  57. Ruby as I have said before in indy2 no Incomers should be allowed a vote only those who are born and live in Scotland should have the right to determine their country’s future what could be fairer than that ?

  58. Macart says:

    GERS is and always has been a political tool to foil political opponents and constitutional change. It is utterly useless as a method to determine an independent Scotland’s financial future and in no way even represents fully, Scotland’s financial present.

    There is no such thing as a comprehensive set of ‘books’ determining Scotland’s fiscal position produced by the Scottish government. They’re kinda not allowed to produce such a set of figures mainly because they are a ‘devolved’ legislature (duh).

    The articles analogy above the line is bang on the money (see what I did there?).

    ‘Unionists desperate to use GERS to rubbish an independent Scotland’s finances sometimes admit its flaws, but defend it by saying it’s the only data we’ve got to go on. That’s like saying you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow so for want of anything better you’ll base your plans around your horoscope in today’s Daily Star.’

    I can’t think of many folk who would determine the hypothetical future planning of a business, let alone a country, on the basis of an incomplete financial picture. Yet the meeja and establishment politicians are never done telling folk that’s exactly what they are doing.

    Scary, isn’t it? 😮

  59. Bill McLean says:

    “the distinct lack of any mention of Brexit” – how much effect do you think the vote here will have Mr Rippey. Are you playing at being stupid?

  60. Ruby says:

    Having Boris as Prime Minister in a RUK outside the EU will be a great thing for iScotland.

    All businesses located in England will move to iScotland which will most definitely be in the EU.

    The whole EU debate during the Indy Ref debate was a con. We were told vote NO for continued EU membership and it looks as if we could easily be ripped out of the EU by a vote taken by the English electorate.

    Not much respect there for the Scottish voter.
    You don’t con people you respect!

  61. heedtracker says:

    Ruby says:
    13 March, 2016 at 1:26 pm
    heedtracker I see so basically the Yoonsters are asking us to ‘lie back and thing of England’?

    They Project Feared the life out of democracy in their Scotland region 2014, as hard and as desperately as their BBC could. Or just enough Scots agreed that they really are safe and secure in the UK.

    Yesterday for example, progressive liberal rancid The Graun began blaming Scotland, YES voters, Alick Sammin etc for Project Fear or just another awful example of how professional liars slip into Britnat UKOK propaganda as easy as a UKOK pie. You know they won in 2014 right?

    Rancid the Graun is one of UKOK’s most ferocious full on rule Britannia in Scotland campaigners, so from this

    “Joke names for serious things are a fact of office life; many years ago the Sunday Times ran a series of interviews with powerful husband-and-wife duos that the staff, though not the interviewees, knew under the working title of “Nightmare Couples”. The mistake Shorthouse made was to mention “Project Fear” to a group of journalists at the Scottish Tory conference in June 2013, who quickly got it into print.

    A few days later, on 1 July, the Daily Telegraph’s Scotland editor, Alan Cochrane, recorded in his referendum diary, published last year, that Shorthouse was “in deepest doo-doo for coming up with the ridiculous Project Fear name … He really is a stupid boy. I’ve never rated him and always thought he was massively over-promoted.”

    It was a godsend for the SNP, which could now rebrand every unionist objection to independence as nothing more than scary propaganda.”

    to this

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/bellend3.jpg

    The stench of it all wont go away though, no matter how hard they lie to us now.

  62. wild haggis says:

    So Scotland is in a wee bit of debt, who isn`t ?
    I would rather be free and in debt, than chained to uk and still be in debt.

  63. Capella says:

    Last post hasn’t appeared – maybe too many links so amended version:

    As well as the smoke and mirrors of GERS, there are also the scams to be taken into account. Such as the following articles which are mostly on the WoS Reference Section:

    adding interest to Scotland’s “share” of the debt repayments although the BoE does not charge Westminster interest.
    “Scotland has paid around £1.12bn in interest payments to the UK government – essentially acting as an additional stealth tax on Scotland since we, unlike Westminster, don’t then get the money credited back.”
    WoS Reference The Angels Shasre

    charging Scotland approx 18% of the debt for years although the population share should be 8%
    “Mr Waldegrave gave the figure for Scotland’s deficit share for every year since 1979, and the average turned out to be almost exactly the 17.9% first identified.”
    WoS Reference Information Retrieval

    altering the maritime boundaries between Scotland and England to give England a large share of the oil revenues and reducing Scotland’s share.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/01/scotlandengland-maritime-boundaries/

    John Jappy’s revelations that Scotland has been a net contributer for decades:
    WoS Reference On Our Own Two Feet

    The lie about the subsidy
    WoS Reference The Subsidy Myth

  64. T.roz says:

    I just feel so stupid, I spent more than I should have last week. I would like someone to manage my spending for me, to take control. I’m so glad Westminster is there to point out that it is all the fault of this useless country; scotland.

  65. Ruby says:

    Colin Rippey says

    I notice however the distinct lack of any mention of Brexit from any of the responses I’ve had,

    Ruby replies

    Leaving the IndyRef2 aside what is the point of people in Scotland taking an interest in Brexit when their vote doesn’t count?

    The people in England will decide Scotland’s fate vis a vis the EU!

  66. Albaman says:

    Colin Rippey = O.B.E.,
    Purposely sent into this site to create devisivion, don’t feed the bugger, he’s not here for reasonable discussion, but only to try to create havoc.

  67. Nana says:

    @Capella

    I posted John Jappy’s blog earlier, so glad to see you are highlighting it as well.

  68. Effijy says:

    Blair Paterson says:
    13 March, 2016 at 1:01 pm
    I do not know how people like Andrew Kneel can live with themselves.

    I know! Old Brillo Heid is a £Millionair living in London.
    He has £Million contract in place as he is a valued member of
    lets make the rich and powerful more rich and powerful team.

    He would happily sell you, his country and his Granny to keep the sweet life he has doing the dirty work of his friends.

    Get a “Brillo Paid” very abrasive and unyielding on fair and just society brokers and full of soft soap for the gullible.

    He is the UK Pot calling the Scottish Kettle black and he should be Panned for it.

  69. Ruby says:

    Albaman says:
    13 March, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Colin Rippey = O.B.E.,
    Purposely sent into this site to create devisivion, don’t feed the bugger, he’s not here for reasonable discussion, but only to try to create havoc.

    Ruby replies

    He’s not creating anything he’s just making a fool of himself. I suspect he has scarpered now his ability to debate is limited.

  70. Iain More says:

    If somebody hasn’t said it already

    Key fact 1 = SNP BAD! SCOTLAND BAD!
    Key fact 2 = Scotland too wee
    Key fact 3 = Scotland too poor
    Key fact 4 = Scots too stupid

    Key fact 5 is = Key facts 1+2+3+4

    Well that is the Brit Nat Press and Media accountancy at work. Well that and what goes through the minds of Tory, Fib Doom and Labours Brit Nat squealers.

  71. Glamaig says:

    @Colin Rippey 1.28

    I would have more respect for the result if all newspapers and media funded and controlled by non-Scots, and all non-Scottish politicians had stayed out of the campaign and let Scots decide amongst themselves.

    Even then, however, I wouldn’t change my mind, any more than I would change party because mine didnt win the election.

    In the event of independence of course any No voter is entitled to campaign for a political re-union with the UK, to surrender all national revenues to the UK Treasury in return for the privilege of sending 59 MPs to be outvoted by 10 to 1 in their parliament. Do you think that would gain much traction?

  72. Almannysbunnet says:

    Fear not fellow travellers, the signs are good. Question Time producer goes rogue, Andrew Neill, beetroot red and frothing at the mouth, Brewer fluffing his script and Ripping Yarns slithering out from under his stone. Yoons are in full baying at the moon mode.

    They’re getting nervous and that’s putting it mildly. Their place in the world is under threat and it’s driving them mad. The break up of the United Kingdom will be better for all of us.

    Keep up the good work there is only one winner here 🙂

    SNP x 2

  73. heedtracker says:

    Albaman says:
    13 March, 2016 at 1:48 pm
    Colin Rippey = O.B.E.,

    He’s actually an interesting example of red and blue toryboy economix, UKOK style.

    He’s managed to raise enough money to buy wholesale cheap as chips sweat shop pet supplies. Anyone can do this but its still a risk.

    He’s then found retailers to buy his south east Asia sweat shop stuff and he’s able to take advantage of zero hour contract, slave wage work force in his Scotland region. It may or not be making a lot of money but it also enable him to tell his slave wage employees that if they voted YES, he’d take his business to England and they’d lose their jobs. As we know this kind of business model was deployed a lot by Project Fear who have even succeeded in terrifying Scotland into being afraid to take control of its own natural resources. Quite an achievement.

    In a UKOK nutshell, Kev’s made loadsamoney in this is the socio economic UKOK created entirely by red tories like Gordon Brown and why Saint Thatcher said New Labour was her greatest achievement, also.

    Crash Gordon helped out in lots of tory ways but if youre still at school, stick in because as you can probably see, the UK is very much two different countries.

  74. Bill McLean says:

    Frankly I’m a bit embarrassed that I responded to Mr Rippey – it, like him, is pointless. If we take stock of what we have achieved since 2007 thanks to the tireless work of the footsoldiers of YES and our competent, – compared to the competition – brilliant SNP politicians we are well on the way to freedom and Independence to set out our future without the interference of the war-mongers and show-offs at Westminster!

  75. ArtyHetty says:

    Re;Ruby

    Your question on why A.Neil was ratcheting up some racism, is of course because it is what he is told to do. The UKok establishment media want nothing more, (well, they do, they want Scotland’s one way gravy train to keep them rich) than to divide and rule.

    I guess we have to keep a close watch on what tactics they do use in the next few weeks. UKok have taken over countries who have resources and land that they happen to quite fancy having for themselves. I guess they already have Scotland shackled, but rest assured, they ain’t gonna let that go without a fight.

    BTW.
    Great article Rev Stu, have shared. There are many people in Scotland now really asking why rUKok want Scotland to stay if they see us a such a drain.

    People are getting the picture now, and that is why the establishment are wetting their pants!

    As for A.Neil, what a lying, arrogant twerp.

  76. CameronB Brodie says:

    but why cant Scotland run its own economy Kevrage?

    ‘Cause us Jocks is the ‘New Children of Ham’, masser?

  77. John says:

    Nana , Thank you for the video link , tells you all we need to know about how deceitful Westminster is , but why oh why did it take the Daily Mail of all newspapers to come out with the truth .

  78. Kenny says:

    Sorry, don’t have time to go through the thread, but a Tory came on and said Scotland voted 55% NO to stay in the UK…

    As we are talking economics, I must say this.

    In every economically active age group, SCOTLAND VOTED **YES**.

    It was only the pensioners who voted No. Every single age group which CONTRIBUTES to the economy, from 16 upwards, wants to contribute to an INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND.

    So, in terms of economics, those who are a plus factor taking in purely cold financial terms, voted in the MAJORITY for Scotland to be an independent nation. They did not vote for which government would be in power. But they believe that Scots (= those who live in Scotland) are best placed to take the decisions of what is best for those who live in Scotland…

    Would you really want us to determine English economic policy?

    Would you really want the people of Paraguay or Chad or Ukraine or New Zealand to be determining what happens in the UK?

    Of course, not. That is why the economically active population of Scotland voted to be INDEPENDENT (note — not even the promised “Devo Max” interested them) in September 2014. Since then, their numbers have only grown…

  79. JLT says:

    @Bill McLean says:

    Frankly I’m a bit embarrassed that I responded to Mr Rippey

    Bill, don’t take it to heart. We’ve all done it here one time or another. Basically, what I do now is just ignore the person. They are not here to discuss ‘a better Scotland’; they are here just to provoke, cause friction, and if possible, cause division.

    If said person comes back (no names. I refuse to even acknowledge them) …just ignore them. Eventually like many others who came here …they will either take on a new pseudoname, or will simply just vanish back to the forums found in articles within the Daily Mail, the Herald or the Scotsman. You have nothing to apologise or feel embarrassed about. You just learn and move on.

    Anyway …enjoy the rest of your day, Bill.

  80. arthur thomson says:

    The bottom line is how the Scottish electorate respond to what the unionists are putting out.

    The QT from Dundee, the Andrew Neil interview and the rubbish put out in the name of GERS are understandably distressing to us. It is painful to feel impotent in the face of unionists using the power that they have misappropriated to destroy Scotland. I think that more and more Scots will be affronted by the notion that they are scroungers, living off the backs of their neighbours.

    We have to keep going, building on what we have achieved and ensure that Scotland is not destroyed by the unionists. The alternative is to accept, as previous generations did, that the lives of our children and grandchildren will be diminished.

  81. Breeks says:

    At the risk of sounding shallow or flippant; even if GERS was an effective yardstick alerting us all to an economy in crisis; I don’t think for a minute it is, but regardless, even if it was, I would still prefer to see my own country running it’s own affairs.

    These are statistics from a government which wilfully set out to misrepresent the truth about my Country’s oil resource and keep it all secret while pedalling myths which ran contrary to the truth, specifically because the truth would nurture resentment and feed demands for Independence. They are liars and thieves.

    These are statistics from a government which pays the BBC £3.5 billion, annually, to spout forth Unionist propaganda and strive to manipulate public opinion in Scotland. They are liars and cynical propagandists.

    These are statistics from a government which colludes with dishonest bankers to ween our Nation off heavy industry and manufacturing and syphon countless billions of our savings, earnings, and assets, and reward greedy spiv financiers who already have more money than they know what to do with. They are thieves and embezzlers.

    These are statistics from a government which jumps into illegal wars with both feet, while seeking to contrive legitimate reasons for going to war which are pure works of fiction. History is then re-written, and the part played by our domestic warmongers is air-brushed from history. They are liars, murderers and war criminals.

    These are statistics from a government which forfeited Scotland’s fishing industry as a bargaining chip. They are duplicitous and treacherous.

    These GERS figures are synominous with deception because of the letter “G” at the beginning. These are Westwinster Government figures, and we should all treat them with utmost scepticism. Trust them? Never. Never. Never.

  82. Colin Rippey says:

    @Bill McLean

    Ahh, I get it now, the only result you would have respected is the one you wanted. That’s fair enough, I now see what you mean by the word respect. I’ll take your meaning of respect into account the next time I read one of your comments.

  83. Dr Jim says:

    Shut up! Shut up! you’ve no oil, that’s past,
    Why don’t you all just admit it, admit it
    If Scotland had no people you’d be worse off and then what would you do
    What will you do when the Whisky runs out and your Aberdeen Angus’s all die you’ll be a basket case like several other countries I’m about to insult by calling them Banana Republics or Third World

    You must adhere to the Roman edicts as handed down by Consul General Mundell

    They’ve done all that and we’re not falling for it anymore even Project Fear is showing all the signs of cracking apart even on the bewildered, there’s only die hards left
    So what’s next, Trial by the Scribes and Pharisees of Nicola Sturgeon followed by Crusifiction

    Well they’re doing the Scribes bit

    I just had a thought Easter’s coming

    Britains most dangerous woman rises again
    But this time it’s personal

    It’s a movie!! Ahve rut a Movie!!…Quids in BTW!!

  84. CameronB Brodie says:

    Scotland has enormous latent development potential. The reason Scotland’s potential remains undeveloped, is the UK’s macroeconomics are designed to cater for the economic conditions of an over-heated south east. Not only are we held back by the Union, we are expected to finance the process.

    Are Yoon politicos and hacks completely thick or simply sick in the head?

    http://www.ponerology.com/

  85. Bill McLean says:

    Thanks JLT – I get so annoyed that people can run down the country they live in without making any positive contribution. I will not be responding to him again but would like to say I wish these people would go and live near London where debt is pushing £1.6 Trillion and annual deficit is approximately £100 Billion – not much reduction there from the “iron” Chancellor.

  86. Dan Huil says:

    Scotland must remove the shackles which bind her to Westminster’s incompetence. Independence won’t automatically cure all of Scotland’s problems deriving from the disgusting union with England but it will be a massive beneficial step forward.

  87. gus1940 says:

    test

  88. Colin Rippey says:

    @Kenny

    it was only the pensioners who voted no

    Good stuff, in your brave new world a wee dose of “assisted suicide” can be the first bill railroaded through parliament, then you can have a mass “assistance event” of all those dastardly old fogies who denied you your future…

    Next move onto “the wummin” as they voted No far more than the Men.

    Who’s after that?

  89. One_Scot says:

    For as long as I can remember I have believed that a life fighting for a good cause is a worthwhile life, whereas a life fighting to prevent a good cause is a wasted life.

  90. Glamaig says:

    Are Yoon politicos and hacks completely thick or simply sick in the head?

    I think they live in a bubble or network of people who are doing very nicely out of the current set-up, and reinforce each others beliefs. Any of them who dissent would be expelled from that network and their career path up the establishment ladder cut off.

  91. gus1940 says:

    Would it not be a good idea, a bit of fun and a way of letting off some steam if Stu could run a poll for The 10 Most Loathesome Scottish Tractors.

    After his disgustingly rude ‘interview’ with Nicola today I can’t see there being much competition for the No.1 Spot in such a poll

  92. handclapping says:

    Blair Paterson says: 13 March, 2016 at 1:37 pm
    no Incomers should be allowed a vote only those who are born and live in Scotland

    Wrong; nationality by place of birth is an English law concept, Scots law is nationality by descent. The problem with that is that of proving entitlement.
    ScotGov was right the last time, those living here are the ones affected and should vote. Whether living here extends to second home owners and students is a seperate question

  93. Dan Huil says:

    It has probably been said before but well done Brian Quail on his one-man protest against the transport of WMD through Scotland.

  94. scotspine says:

    Just listened to the French sing their National Anthem and as soon as Flower of Scotland began, I felt a surge of revulsion at the BritNat rugger buggers and had to change channel.

  95. Nana says:

    @Dan Huil

    I spotted this yesterday. Hopefully something will come of it and folk would donate.

    https://twitter.com/YESthatcherDead/status/708760036353437697

  96. Arbroath1320 says:

    So let me see if I have this right here. 😉

    GERS is a collection of ESTIMATES taken from another collection of ESTIMATES produced by Westminster and BBC/STV/SKY/MSM take these ESTIMATES as guaranteed FACT! 😀

    Scotland has, under this estimates of estimates calculation, a £15 Billion Black Hole and the whole media circus is going apeshit over it. At the same time the SAME individuals who have created the economic mess that has led to the £15 Billion Black Hole have at the same time created a £1.6 TRILLION Black Hole for the U.K. and the media is … surprising quiet! … Hmmm 🙂

    If I am right in thinking here I do believe that during the independence referendum of 2014 wee Ozzy the Towel Folder came out at some point and stated quite categorically that ALL debt up to the point of Scottish independence belonged to the U.K. Therefore, in my view, this £15 Billion Black Hole is a load of old bull. Unless something extraordinary has happened between 2014 and now that has significantly altered world economics I believe that come independence, had it occured next week as originally envisaged then Scotland would have had NO Black Hole because we would have had NO debt as previously confirmed by wee Ozzy. 😀

    Lastly, come independence we would no longer be paying for infrastructure projects in LONDON/England because we *ahem* benefit from them such as:

    LONDON Underground upgrade
    LONDON Crossrail #1
    LONDON Crossrail #2 (expected to start)
    LONDON super sewer
    LONDON Heathrow third runway (when they get it started … as they surely will … eventually)
    H.S.2
    LONDON Westminster refurbishment
    TRIDENT
    2 Aircraft Carriers … MINUS aircraft

    The cost to Scotland for these few projects alone would undoubtedly REDUCE the infamous £15 Billion Black Hole by quite a few £ Billion and by result IMPROVE Scotland’s ESTIMATED Black Hole substantially! 😀

    rant over. 😀

  97. Dr Jim says:

    In the event of Brexit if Scotland were to hold it’s membership of the EU (asking here) and become Independent

    Does that mean that Scotland MEPs would increase thereby giving Scotland more voting power over things like Tariffs and Treaties affecting the control of rUK Westminster over Independent Englands affairs

    Coz I like the sound of that, be a nice change for them

  98. CameronB Brodie says:

    I think they live in a bubble or network of people who are doing very nicely out of the current set-up, and reinforce each others beliefs. Any of them who dissent would be expelled from that network and their career path up the establishment ladder cut off.

    That’s roughly what this study of oppressive political systems suggests.

    http://www.ponerology.com/

  99. Legerwood says:

    I am confused.

    Last year there was all the publicity from experts (IFS?) about FFA and how we would have a £7 bn black hole if we had FFA.

    Now we are told that we have a black hole of £15 bn. Does that not make the case for FFA? Our deficit would be halved.

    It also begs the question as to how we go from £7 bn to a
    £15 bn black hole in 6 months or so. Who went mad with the Government’s credit card? Nicola, how many pairs of shoes have you got?

    What did we spend the money on? New roads? Total electrification of the whole rail network? 300,000 Council houses?

    Or 4 Trident subs?

  100. Brian Adams says:

    2 of the main arguments(lies) used against independence.
    Being unable to stay in the EU and being unable to use the pound have now been completely and utterly discredited.
    Both lies repeated over and over again, like a mantra by certain unionist politicians, who now seem, strangely to have disappeared.
    Are we reall to be expected to trust anything put forward by these proven unoinist liars.

  101. carjamtic says:

    Another excellent read Rev.

    The facts (links)are there for all to see.

    Re: Andrew Neil,my long held view of his manic presentations,they are for a targeted audience and it’s not us,It’s for the City of London and it’s Social Elite.

    His dismissive snide comments,his tone of irrelevance during his interviews are designed to undermine the person being interviewed,all geared,simply,to gain the acceptance of his ‘masters’,his ‘betters’.

    Our FM handled him well,perhaps he has some difficulty in interviewing strong women (Jeane Freeman) not that I am insinuating anything. 😉

    SNP x 2

  102. Dan Huil says:

    @Nana 3:04pm

    Thanks for that.

  103. bookie from hell says:

    Nicholas Soames ?@nsoamesmp

    I am very much afraid that the First Minister is a slippery customer . Not a convincing appearance by someone relaunching independence bid

  104. ArtyHetty says:

    Handclapping@2.53

    Agree with what you say. Should be a vote for those living in Scotland. All of my english friends voted YES, and almost all of the Scottish ones, voted no.

    We do need to look at the second homes and part timers though. I met at least on no voter who soent 6 months in France every year in their 2nd home. Mind he did say he would vote yes if we were taken out of the EU. Oh the irony.

  105. Arbroath1320 says:

    I knew I had a link about the Treasury somewhere saying IT will take ALL the U.K. debt up to the point of Scottish independence. 🙂

    The UK Treasury says that should Scots vote to leave the UK, it will honour all UK government debt issued up to the date of Scottish independence.

    The move, announced on Monday, is aimed at removing the risk of default from any debt-sharing dispute between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

    The Treasury said it will “in all circumstances” take responsibility for all UK government debt, should Scotland vote for independence in September.

    In other words were Scotland to be become independent in the coming weeks then it would, by the nature of this TREASURY statement of FACT, become debt free on day 1 of independence. Funny how NO ONE from BBC/STV/SKY/MSM actually heard this statement despite it being on the BBC website! 😀

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25707218

  106. ClanDonald says:

    Hey, Ripley, if you genuinely think the no result wasn’t swung by the faux-vow and should therefore be respected, you won’t mind re-running it without a vow this time? Just to prove to us that the no vote was just and right?

    Surely if the Scots are satisfied with their choice you have nothing to be afraid of?

  107. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:
    13 March, 2016 at 2:19 pm
    @Bill McLean

    Ahh, I get it now, the only result you would have respected is the one you wanted. That’s fair enough, I now see what you mean by the word respect. I’ll take your meaning of respect into account the next time I read one of your comments.

    Was it The Vow wot won it Kevin?! Clearly yoons and the UKOK propaganda pouring out of the BBC for example, want us to respect The Vow has been delivered, shut up, vote SLab or Tory even.

    But even by say the hard core UKOK thuggery on display George Square 18 Sept 2014, The Vow delivered question is being answered every time Scotland goes to the ballot box.

    Can the BBC ligger Neil, Gordon Brewster style, really force Scotland to accept their The Vow con or are we just taking a bit longer to attain that beautiful dream Kevin?

  108. Kenny says:

    I am increasingly convinced that Scotland needs to walk away from ALL British debt when we become independent.

    I now very much hope for a Brexit LEAVE vote, because Scotland would be in a VERY good bargaining position with the EU on our side — a very good position first for bargaining with rUK to leave rUK and a very good position then for bargaining with the EU to join the EU.*

    And I am increasingly convinced that an organisation (like Common Weal?) needs to scrutinise all economic data concerning Scotland being in the UK.

    And if data have been wilfully falsified to the detriment of the Scots, an independent Scotland needs to pursue an international court case for financial compensation.

    But in no way must we accept any share of British debt until we are furnished with all relevant and correct financial information — not the GERS nonsense, which is on the level of child-like actors such as Scottish Labour or the Scottish Conservatives or BBC stooges such as Andrew Neil.

  109. scotspine says:

    How long will it be before folk wake up to;

    *Contrived Audiences on State Broadcaster.
    *Westminster Govt trying to rip us off for £7 Billion
    *Daily doses of SNP Bad reporting on “Scottish Branch” of State Broadcaster.
    *Rude, Bullying, Misrepresenting, Toady, Journalists (Neil)
    *Being told we are only solvent because of English, Westminster hand outs.
    *Comments on MSM / Twitter etc from “Scots and Unionists supporting the above.

    FFS, how bad does it have to get before folk wake up and get it?

  110. Foonurt says:

    Aye,awe yoan kiddoan numurr-crunchurrs in daith-waatch beetulls, comin oot ah surroonin widwork, gurnin Scoattlin’s rookit. Aye, lik fuck it is.

    Hauf wurr poapulation waant independence, in wurr heidin there. Nae maetturr whit, thoan daith-waatch beetulls gibburr oan aboot, pittin Scoatlinn doon.

  111. CameronB Brodie says:

    Can a member of the SNP please suggest to the party that we need the Scottish NHS to undertake the scientific examination of the macrosocial psychopathological phenomenon, colloquially referred to as the “Scottish cringe”?

    What are it’s origins and how can we remedy it’s crippling effects on the Scottish psyche?

  112. Capella says:

    @ Nana
    Thanks for the link to the Business for Scotland article.

    I’ve been listening to the conference speeches this afternoon and feel so glad that the SNP are going to tackle broadband poverty. Until people everywhere can access the internet, as second nature, they won’t see this kind of information.

    Looked like a great atmosphere at conference. Once again – Both Votes SNP!

    http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/revealed-the-accounting-trick-that-hides-scotlands-wealth/

  113. maolbeatha says:

    This has all the hallmarks of the 2014 campaign. Make sure that the electorate never ever get the idea that Scotland could be financially viable. Make certain this point is reinforced at every chance possible. GERS was well utilised by the opposition. Whether or not is not important (to a degree) if its on the news and in the papers it will be believed by significant numbers. Nicola talked about looking at where we went wrong last time and changing tactics this tome to persuade. Play the ball not the man so to speak. Colin Rippey is a good example of that point. Without throwing insults either way, win the argument. Convince a no voter. The 2014 ref was rigged, possibly. The MSM stole it, possibly. But that’s not going to win over enough no voters. Andrew Neil did his job well today he used facts and figures (distorted and selected) to win the argument in the eyes of viewers. We need to be smarter this time, we need to win.

  114. Capella says:

    @ CameronB Brodie
    Is it not the well known “Caledonian Antisysygy” popularised by Hugh MacDiarmid? We are divided, schizoid, full of doubt, doomed to see both sides of every argument. It’s a feature not a bug!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Antisyzygy

    But fear not. John Swinney has just promised to boost our confidence as a nation. At last.

  115. Curly87 says:

    A couple of quibbles:

    Under 4, the debt allocation to an independent Scotland would not affect the deficit as measured in GERS, apart from a very small impact on the debt repayments on the spending. Also, under 3, I’d actually argue that Scotland’s deficit is ‘permanently big’ once you strip out the oil revenues (which will probably be inconsequential for the forseeable future anyway).

  116. Arbroath1320 says:

    CameronB Brodie says:
    13 March, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Can a member of the SNP please suggest to the party that we need the Scottish NHS to undertake the scientific examination of the macrosocial psychopathological phenomenon, colloquially referred to as the “Scottish cringe”?>/i>

    There actually is a course of medication that can be taken Cameron that cuts down on this dreaded disease. It is not that widely known … mainly because the likes of BBC/STV/SKY/MSM are rather loathe in their own wee loathesome ways NOT to report it. However, despite this I do actually have some of the details to hand and here they are. 😉

    VOTE X 2 S.N.P. on May 5th! 😀

  117. Fred says:

    Anent Andrew Neil’s taunt about being kept by the English obviously stems from the people of England foolishly filling his trough with caviare this many years. Time he was put out to grass with that other has-been Dimbleby.

  118. Fred says:

    Things looking good at Murrayfield, tell me this, why do the French team have wee saltires on their shirts?

  119. CameronB Brodie says:

    Capella
    Scotland does appear to be suffering some form of cognitive impairment. Perhaps caused by a confused identity, resulting from the impact of the Scottish psyche with the imported cargo cult of Unionism? 🙂

  120. call me dave says:

    Wasn’t Swinney great bringing it in at the end. 🙂

    @Fred
    It just might be that it is to signify that the Jersey was given to the player in the France V Scotland game.
    I’m not watching as I am on the footie final at the moment.
    last 1min of time.

  121. Just a word from the real world of talking to “real” people on their doorsteps.
    Canvassing this afternoon brought nil, yes nil, comments on the “S.N.P bad” stories that infect the M.S.M. Now, I,ve no idea why this is, but could it be that people have grown tired of the continued denigration of their country, or possibly less and less, read, watch, and listen, to the establishment lies.
    Probably a combination of both, so as I believe Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Don’t disturb your enemies while they are making mistakes”. They are making plenty, and while independence may not be around the corner, we will eventually get there. The movement is now unstopable

  122. CameornB Brodie says:

    Arbroath1320
    I’m a belt and braces sort.

    SNP x 2 + scientific examination of the cringe. 😉

  123. Arbroath1320 says:

    WOW!

    Can things really get much better than this? 🙂

    REALLY? 😉

    AWESOME S.N.P. conference AND Scotland beat France at Murrayfield 29 – 18! Looks like it was a fantastic game. I didn’t watch, everytime I do watch Scotland play football/rugby they always lose. 😀

    Yes I know they lose when I don’t watch as well but hey that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it! 😀

  124. Arbroath1320 says:

    CameornB Brodie says:
    13 March, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Arbroath1320
    I’m a belt and braces sort.

    SNP x 2 + scientific examination of the cringe. ?

    Trust you Cameron … never happy … I dunno … some folks huh! 😀

  125. heedtracker says:

    The other side of Scotch cringe was the look on the faces of assorted UK media liggers covering the SNP conference. Ashen faced shock, doesn’t come close to the PA and Courier hacks the BBC had on this morn. “Eh, no, this is not like the other party’s conferences, yes it is a big arena and there did seem to be quite a lot of events, and they were well attended.”

  126. CameronB Brodie says:

    Arbroath1320
    I’ll not be happy until Scotland has the opportunity to decide is own future, free of institutional UKOKery and “Project Fear” dark arts.

    #indyref2

  127. stephen says:

    @Alan Beveridge
    Good point Alan,at work I often engage people about politics etc.They don’t watch BBC Scotland ,STV news,Question Time ,Scotland 2016,Scotland Tonight,they don’t buy the Daily Record,Sun etc .The majority of the electorate don’t engage themselves fully with politics ,for whatever reason.When I see a bias media report or a SNP bad story,I often try to gauge the feeling at my place of work ,but either the people I speak to never heard or seen the relevant article.

  128. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Under 4, the debt allocation to an independent Scotland would not affect the deficit as measured in GERS, apart from a very small impact on the debt repayments on the spending.”

    Er, a very big impact. Scotland currently contributes several billion a year to the UK’s debt repayments.

    “Also, under 3, I’d actually argue that Scotland’s deficit is ‘permanently big’ once you strip out the oil revenues (which will probably be inconsequential for the forseeable future anyway).”

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet the only person on Earth who knows what the oil price will be in six months.

  129. Fred says:

    Thanks Dave, I thought it was for mebbes winning the Hundred Years War for them! 🙂

  130. In reply to handclapingj i still say only those who are born and live in Scotland should have a vote in ind., 2ref., no one else has the moral right to do so and I said Incomers not only English you say some of your English friends voted yes .well the stats that I read said 70to80per cent of Incomers voted no in ind., ref.,1 only the native people of Scotland have the right to decide the future of THEIR country that is the only fair way by the way I have only 4grandchildren who I love dearly and they are allEnglish and I have many English good friends who agree with me

  131. Brian McHugh says:

    Absolute rubbish Blair Paterson… I was born in Yorkshire to 2 Scottish parents, whose Grandparents were also Scottish. I only lived there for the first year of my life, until moving to Germany, until finally coming home when I was 6… I wasn’t born in Scotland due to being in an Army family… am I eligible to vote for Scotland under your rules?

  132. Curly87 says:

    I just went and downloaded the figures to check what you said. Fair enough, debt repayments (I think I’m right in looking at the public sector debt interest category) is larger than I thought, at about £3 billion a year. But even if iScotland negotiated, say, half the population share of the debt, that saves around £1.5 billion, which is a long way from closing the gap. There’s also the argument that iScotland would face a higher interest rate, so this might go up.

    It’s a similar story with oil revenues; of course I don’t know what the price will be in six months, but the point is that it’s not all about the price because the decline started before the oil price fell, and even if it went back up to £110/barrel or whatever, the revenues wouldn’t recover to levels of a few years ago.

  133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “No debt obligations will almost certainly mean no currency union, so you’re okay with that? That a new independent state with a new currency who has just said to the international debt market “we’re renaging on our perceived share of UK debt, but any chance of a payday loan ’til the price of oil goes back up?””

    Yaaaawwwwnnn.

    1. I specifically pointed out in the article that Ireland NEGOTIATED a zero debt share. Scotland needn’t be “reneging” on anything.

    2. Scotland has no debt. The UK has explicitly said it’s responsible for 100%. Any dispute about inheriting a share is a private matter between Scotland and the rUK.

    3. Lenders care whether they’ll get paid back and whether there’s any collateral to claim on if they don’t. They don’t give a shit about domestic disagreements. And Scotland has collateral aplenty.

    So, so bored of this whiny doom shite.

  134. Capella says:

    Given that the fall in the oil price was a cunning plan intended to break the Russian economy, with the happy side effect of ruining the Scottish economy, right up to the date of Independence had we voted YES (note that the oil price is now expected to rise), then we can safely assume that a vital commodity, which is limited in quantity and availability, will increase in price exponentially over the long term.

    Sorry about long sentence.

    Add to that an abundance of gas, hydro power and renewables and we can rest assured that Scotland can at least generate enough to keep us all warm and export plenty too.

    Neither the Russian economy nor the Scottish economy seem to behave as expected. But the oil will some day run out. Then how will we make plastic, fertilisers, pesticides, petrol, kerosene, paint etc etc.

    I may have posted this before. Dr Al Bartlett’s lecture on Arithmetic, Population and Energy. But it is entertaining as well as informative.

    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZCm2QQZVYk

  135. Ian Mackay says:

    I know that the majority of Scots in Scotland voted Yes and a majority of non-Scots in Scotland voted No – but I’m still uneasy about restricting the Indyref 2 vote to Scots born only.

    Even though we lost the referendum I’m still proud of the way the Yes campaign ran an inclusive campaign; and that many English-born folk in Scotland, for example, did vote Yes – precisely because they could see the clear argument for independence over their emotional tie to the Union.

    In my opinion, IndyRef 2 can definitely be won with another inclusive campaign. Project Fear will be less effective next time, and let’s face it Fear is all the Unionists have!

    Possibly the one change I would make is that of Postal Voting. To me, the whole system is open to abuse. I would like that cleaned up or if that can’t be possible then the system should be scrapped and an alternative made.

    Also I quite enjoy the odd Unionist post on this site. Their arguments are generally poor and I don’t think they serve to convince anyone of the continued survival of the Union. They do their own side more harm than good – and the more crazy Yoon posts more than convince me that a Yes vote and independence is vital to Scotland’s future.

  136. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Things looking good at Murrayfield, tell me this, why do the French team have wee saltires on their shirts?”

    Pretty standard for international teams in lots of sports to also wear the flag of the nation they’re playing (and quite often the date/location of the game).

  137. Luigi says:

    @Alex Beveridge

    Don’t interrupt them indeed. 🙂

    Having fought the 2014 IndyRef campaign like a general election (and almost lost a 30% lead), the yoons (parties and media) proceeded to fight the 2015 GE like an IndyRef campaign, resulting in near wipe-out. Here we are in 2016 and the nutters are trying to fight the Holyrood election like an IndyRef campaign again!

    Don’t interrupt them indeed. 🙂

  138. Ken500 says:

    The Scottsh Oil sector is being taxed 60/80% by Osbourne for the last five years when the Oil price has fallen 75%. Costing thousands of jobs in Scotland. The Tax should have been cut to stop production being cut. Losing Scotland £4Billion a year. Scotland could put a tax on ‘loss leading’ saving £1Billion a year. Scotland could cut Trident/illegal wars and redundant weaponry and save £1Billion a year. Scotland has to pay £4Billion debt repayment on money not borrowed or spend in Scotland for the last 5 years = £10Billion x 5 = £50Billion.

    HMCR is not fit for purpose. Scotland loses £3Billion? a year in tax evasion. Whisky companies tax evade. = £3Billion x 5 = £15Billion. £65Billion Osbourne has cost Scotland.

  139. Ken500 says:

    A residental qualification can be put on a Referendum. i.e. 3 years. It stops those who are passing through (students from elsewhere etc) from voting. Whose long term future:stake is not in Scotland.

  140. Skooshcase says:

    Nicola Sturgeon’s speech yesterday… Severin Carrell’s sidekick, Libby Brookes, pens an article for the Guardian about it, which – and so predictably – ends with a paragraph of the usual fucking lies from Unionist journalist-liars regarding GERS figures being gloom and doom for Scotland (for ‘balance’ ‘n’ awrat, ken…).

    To see what our better together patriots feel about Sturgeon’s speech, Scotland, and Scottish people like you and me, have a perusal of the comments (4000+, as of now), where about 97% of them are from those fine people – for whom Scotland’s abundant proudScotbuts voted ‘No’ to ‘that’ question given to them in 2014 so as still to be better together with in 2016 – who just can’t stop lovebombing us…. and feel the luuurve!

    http://archive.is/YkC40

  141. Proud Cybernat says:

    NS: “It’s not an indictment of the case for independence, it’s an indictment of Westminster mismanagement that, unlike Norway, we don’t have a massive Oil Fund to help us deal with that [Scotlan’d deficit].”

    AN: “Westminster’s paying for your deficit, Mrs Sturgeon… would you like to thank the rest of the people of the United Kingdom for making up for the deficit you’ve got?”

    Would I like to thank the rest of the people of the UK for giving Scotland Tory governments we don’t ever vote for? NO!

    Would I like to thank the rest of the people of the UK for spending 100s of £billions in WMDs and passing billions in debt onto Scotland when we are, as a natgion, entgirely against such monstrous weapons and waste of mony? NO!

    Would I like to thank the rest of the people of the UK for their UKOK Govt spending £billions on ‘national projects’ and passing the bill (debt) onto Scotland when we receive little to zero benefit from that spending? NO!

    Would I like to thank the rest of the people of the UK for maintaining an antiquated, unfit-for-purpose House of Lords? NO!

    Would I like to thank the rest of the people of the UK for ignoring the underlying strength of Scotland’s economy over the last 30+ years (when, for many of those years, it was stronger than the UK) and concentrating on just one or two years? NO!

    Spending in Indy Scotland simply CANNOT be compared with spending as part of this decrepit Union. GERS is simply NOT a blanace sheet however much the Yoons attempt to portray it as such. But watch this space. Watch what will happen to these GERS stories when the GDP/deficit begins to improve. Will you hear about it then? Aye–dream on. You only hear about Scotland’s deficit (actually the UK’s mess) from the Yoons when they think it is big enough to scare people. Funny how the UK managed to get by with a GDP/Deficit of 38% in 2007. Funny how that wasn’t scary.

    Away and chase yerself, Mr Neil.

  142. Brian McHugh says:

    Ian MacKay, Blair Paterson suggested two qualifying parameters for voting eligibility. The first was where you are born and the second was, living and working in Scotland (reference his post at 5:42pm above).

    My proposition, is that being born somewhere, is no fault of the individual. Heck, no one asked me where I would prefer to have been born?

    I think that with some sensible thinking, we can all agree that Blair’s first point on ‘location of birth’ is fraught with difficulties, due to people simply moving around… work… love… all sorts of reasons. Therefore, this pretty much excludes it as a sensible qualifying measure.

    That leaves Blair’s second qualifying parameter of, Those who live, work and pay taxes in Scotland… seems logical to me. 😉

  143. Proud Cybernat says:

    Over and above which, Mr Neil. The UK is like a rogue husband who has gone out on a gambling spree, spending all sorts on himself, on things his partner does not want or need and passing a big chunk of HIS debt onto his partner.

    Yes, the husband seemingly pays for the debt he has got his partner into but only through borrowing even more money he doesn’t have which, of course, he will, once again, pass on a big chunk of this new debt to his partner.

    Time to end this ludicrous relationship and stop the UK Govt dragging Scotland deeper and deeper into THEIR DEBT.

  144. Clootie says:

    …so how do we obtain the truth?
    …do we continue to let a dishonest media mock us by shoving unionist propaganda down our throats?

    When we respond to this spin in interviews it suggests it is valid data.
    If the SNP are looking for suggestions for the “summer campaign” start here. Refute the report and refuse to accept its validity.

    Why must we follow the Marquis of Queensbury rules when we have a dirty street fighter in the ring with us.

  145. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Brian McHugh Take no notice we,ve been roon the hooses wie this residency thing more than we need to, distractions like this we dont need.

  146. Lenny Hartley says:

    O/T my wee Collie dug doesn’t pay any attention to T.v. Just as well as I don’t watch it live.
    Anyway catching up with the Snp conference from yesterday, when Poultice was on. He ran upto
    The screen and growled (twice!)

    Smart dugs Collies 🙂

  147. Provost Sludden says:

    I was alerted by a friend to an article in the Fail on Sunday by Eurosceptic Peter Hitchens about the EU Referendum. I thought they apply well to our situation and answer our Yoon critics :

    “It isn’t about money or jobs. It’s an intuition. It is about that priceless thing, governing yourself, going out if necessary into the biting cold – rather than staying warm and comfortable by being someone else’s servant and subject”

  148. Brian McHugh says:

    Advice accepted Ronnie. 🙂

  149. Inverclyder says:

    Let the Scots go their own way if we vote for Brexit, says Leo McKinstry

    “the vast dependency culture in Scotland”

    “They blather about throwing off the colonial English yoke, yet seek to embrace the yoke of EU’s empire. This is not independence. It is abject surrender to continental oppression.”

    “It would be such a relief to bring an end to the soundtrack of Caledonian whingeing. Brexit, accompanied by Scottish separation, would at last mean freedom for the English from the twin expensive millstones of Brussels and Edinburgh.”

    There’s more than that in the so called article. Read more here…
    archive.is/LHhwr

  150. heedtracker says:

    I think Kevrage said that independence supports following but this in on the National facebook thingee

    “A majority of Scots would vote for independence if the country was removed from the European Union (EU) against its wishes, a new poll has suggested.

    If the UK as a whole opts to leave the EU in June, but voters north of the border want to stay in, just over half of those questioned by ICM wanted a second independence referendum to be held, when undecided voters were excluded.

    The poll, for the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, also found in those circumstances there could be a slim majority in favour of exiting the UK.

    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly warned that if Britain votes to leave the EU but Scotland opts to stay in, this could trigger a second vote on the future of the UK.”

    Could be an ANOTHER referendum coming, after England votes Brexit, which they probably wont, but you never can tell with England.

  151. heedtracker says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Y89dfR8v8

    I have fluent German but this subtitled for extra funniness and the translation’s toned it down. German satire, ripping off the Daily Show in the US, but still really funny and pretty much on the money.

  152. Inverclyder says:

    Heedtracker…

    Another side of the glittering jobby is that England votes to stay and Scotland votes to stay.

    Scotland will then be blamed by the tory press (#SNPBad) for keeping Engerluund in the EU. This will put pressure on an Engerlish referendum to eject Scotland from the union.

    It’s a Win Win situation really!

  153. Doug McG says:

    O/T Can one of the musicians out there produce a little musical parody I fancy? Young , Gifted and Black was a great melody and cries out for the Poor , Stupid and Wee treatment. I can hear it now , it’ll be NO 1 by May 5th.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubDVUQon5BE

  154. Nana says:

    O/T

    Very worrying, Trump spreading hatred everywhere he goes.

    As this is a video and I am unsure if it will cause problems with the site, to view google

    msnbc Rachel maddow escalating aggression Trump

  155. Dr Jim says:

    The only people who shouldn’t be allowed a vote in the next referendum are the folk who voted NO in the first one

    With that in mind Polygraph machines could be installed and monitored outside all the polling stations

    If you’re found to be lying you get killed

    Seems fair to me

  156. HandandShrimp says:

    “First minister,would you like to thank the people of the U.K. for paying for your deficit!!”

    How does Andrew Neil know it has been paid. The UK deficit has grown (again and by far more than the supposed Scottish shortfall). It might not be repaid at all – it might just be sitting in the debt pile with all the rest.

  157. Jimmy says:

    On Thursday’s Question Time John Swinney said it is not for him to decide when/if to hold a second Independence Referendum, , it is for the Scottish people to decide that.A mere two days later we are informed by Alex Salmond that Niicola Sturgeon
    is planning for another Referendum and it will be her who decides when it will be held.
    I myself think it will be Nicola who decides the Referendum date, at least this time when Scotland votes NO she will be needing new excuses for failure and not a rehash of the stuck gramophone record of excuses that cause our eyes to glsazeover.

  158. Glamaig says:

    Scotland will then be blamed by the tory press (#SNPBad) for keeping Engerluund in the EU. This will put pressure on an Engerlish referendum to eject Scotland from the union.

    This might be a possible side effect if Nicola makes forays to England to argue for Remain – tail wagging the dog and all that 🙂

  159. Dan Huil says:

    @ Jimmy

    You’re obviously a big fan of AS and NS.

    “…that cause our eyes to glsazeover.”

    Should’ve gone to Specsavers.

    SNP x 2

  160. Glamaig says:

    It isn’t about money or jobs. It’s an intuition. It is about that priceless thing, governing yourself, going out if necessary into the biting cold – rather than staying warm and comfortable by being someone else’s servant and subject”

    I dont think they are even aware they are using the arguments for an independent Scotland and arguing the opposite of what they did in 2014.

    They just cant see that the amount of control Brussels has over the UK is about a hundredth of the control that London has over Scotland.

    They do seem to have zero self-awareness, maybe its the kind of school they go to.

  161. scottieDog says:

    In arguing deficits of a currency issuer like the uk it’s equivalent to arguing which star revolves round earth the fastest.

    The economics of Milton friedman adopted by firstly jim callaghan then obsessively by thatcher are akin to physics before copernicus.

    Might be mistaken but could be seeing the snp move to proposing a sovereign currency for indy2 – thank goodness.

  162. Tam Jardine says:

    I have been looking at the big GERS spreadsheet and filtering it to show the costs attributed to Scotland.

    Why is expenditure for Teachers Pensions in England and Wales (£86.83m) attributed to Scotland?

    Why is expenditure for the Welsh Government (£1.09m) attributed to Scotland?

    What in the name of god are we paying £13.46m towards the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority?

    Why is our contribution to the Department of Transport £310m when transport is a devolved matter?

    Of this contribution- why are we attributed £5.4m towards HS2 when A we are still quite some time away from ground being broken and B HS2 will have absolutely zero to contribute towards Scotland- in fact if anything will make Scotland more remote by improving transport links to competitor cities in the UK.

    Now- looking through these figures you get a bit cavalier- I don’t begrudge the Welsh a million quid (to do so would seem miserly when we are contributing £140 million towards the Home Office for example) but what on earth is it doing there?

    Another crazy thing I can’t get my head around. If you take something like HS2 – when the big spending really kicks in on a project like that we will be taking a hit on it and punting in our share. How can we do that without being attributed some of the revenues associated to HS2 in England?

    Not that it will be an easy thing to do but surely if you are attributing costs of a project in England like HS2 or Crossrail 1 or Crossrail 2 then you cannot do so without allocating some of the revenues generated? Income tax, corporation tax, national insurance, VAT etc etc will be the end result of these projects all attributed to rUK in the future will make up no part of Scotland’s revenues (unless I am mistaken).

    No wonder our figures look shit. If we contribute towards infrastructure in Scotland it appears on both sides of the books in terms of expenditure and resultant revenues. If the infrastructure is in the rUK and we are attributed costs but no revenues then surely the figures are skewed significantly?

    One may argue that infrastructure benefits in London will benefit Scotland and that may be true to some immeasurable extent but there will also be immeasurable economic harm committed by such improvements as well in improving a competitor city.

    If you take a project like HS2 it will have the dual effect on these GERS figures of increasing our expenditure per capita and reducing our revenues relative to the rUK per capita?

    I cannot get my head around this at all.

  163. Scotspine says:

    Jimmy, Fuck Off you bended knee cringer.

  164. Tackety Beets says:

    Ref A Neil’s and his quip suggesting Nicola thank rUK for bailing Scotland out.

    Eh naw Scotland is 70% (approx) run by WM and is continuing to run The whole UK in a massive deficit and ever increasing £1.5tril debt.
    And A Neil want us to thank them for doing so …..is there no shame ?

    Landed on The pet mannie keverage Twitter earlier felt like butting in and asking them when is WM going to do something about Scotland’s economy. How can these people like things the way it is now ? Worst of all they gloat about it !

    Gggrrrrrrr !

  165. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    In the latter stages of the indyref, an analogy suddenly struck me that has seemed ever more apposite in the time since: Scotland’s relationship with the Union is an abusive one.

    When enough Scots finally got fed up enough with our 2nd-class treatment within the Union and demanded a chance to leave, we were bombarded with a combination of threats and “love bombs” from the Unionists to reject this golden opportunity. Desperate promises were made to “change for the better”, “turn a new leaf” and “do right by us”. As a result, a fair majority felt that they would give the Union one more chance.

    Since then the predictable has happened. The rosy promises have faded, been forgotten or even flatly denied (as eg. we saw only too clearly on Question Time a few days ago). Now we are again ignored, browbeaten as being miserable ingrates who should be thankful that the Union deigned to keep us on, and our fair hopes and ambitions are constantly denigrated.

    As is typical of abusive relationships, one of the saddest aspects of the control freakery is that too many of us still have very weak self-awareness, and aren’t even able or willing to recognise that they are being cynically exploited.

    Which makes it ever more important that there are now excellent platforms such as Wings to expose the yoon lies, put-downs and other abusive manipulations, so that the scales will fall from enough folk’s eyes that we can finally throw off these vile shackles.

    The truth will set us free.

  166. Nobody’s paying for our deficit. By definition it is not paid.
    It is generally proposed expenditure against future expected revenues and of course a clever manager makes what appropriate adjustments he can to spending plans as the revenue base fluctuates

    Andra of course, being a very clever chap in London, thinks we are all stupid

  167. ben madigan says:

    I was delighted to see Nicola Sturgeon has decided to re-start the Independence campaign this summer, presumably after the brexit referendum outcome.
    As she said unionist voters had to be convinced (just as nationalist/republicans have to do in NI), here’s a view of what makes up the Unionist mindset in NI and Scotland, with a call for ideas on how to change its mindset!!

    https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/convincing-unionists/

  168. Inverclyder says:

    Scotland beat France and hand England the Rugby.

    West Highland Terrier wins Crufts.

    Is someone taking the piss here?

    SNPBad!

  169. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Self-loathing Jimmy

    When the polls in Indy#2 ineveitably show YES in the lead (as they did last time),how will the 3 Amigos/Daily Redcoat turn it around next time? How will the UKOKERS manage to convince the Scottish Electorate of VOW2-SOOPA-DOOPA-WI-BELLS-ON is the real deal this time, honest guv? Do you really think those that were conned last time with ‘The Vow’ will be totally gagging to be conned again with Son-of-Vow? Aye, right!

    You’re dreaming, laddie if you think the UKOKERS will be able to pull off that con again. Now away and lie doon and take a pill for that underlying self-loathing/Scottish Cringeness/ScotButness/I’m-A-Dependent-Wee-Soul/Cannae-Stand-On-Ma-Own-Two-Feet disposition you so evidently possess. And come back when you can properly deconstruct, analyse and compare statements made by two individuals which do not contradict each other in any way, shape or form.

  170. scottieDog says:

    Afneil hasn’t a clue. The uk debt has increased since the inception of the bank of england. It’s deficit is expressed in terms of it’s gdp

  171. charlie says:

    andrew neil makes me sick. Far to sick to go eat myself like a good wee jock so am thinking…
    SNP x2?

  172. Legerwood says:

    Inverclyder says:
    13 March, 2016 at 8:55 pm
    “”Scotland beat France and hand England the Rugby.””

    Does that mean they will now write off the £15 bn debt?

  173. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Self-Loathing Jimmy

    And another thing.

    When IndyRef#2 comes along be sure that your 3 Amigos/Daily Redcoat don’t have the stupidity to make ANY stupid Vow offers or ANY offers whatsoever. Do that and you might be seen to have won this argument fair and square. Do it not and you will be seen to have CHEATED AGAIN, to have CONNED your way to a hollow victory. And, as such, the debate WILL NOT have been settled because a result on such a premise will NEVER be seen as fair and the debate will go on and on and on until such time as the UKOKERS can conduct a fair campaign, a campaign WITHOUT BRIBES.

    If you want an end to this constitutional wrangle for a generation (that’s a figure of speech btw) then that is what the UKOKERS MUST do in IndyRef#2. You only have yourselves to blame for the continuing, ongoing debate. In short, IndyRef#1 was not seen as having been won fairly (because of false promises made, promises that broke electoral and Purdah rules) and thus, it cannot be regarded as the settled will of the people of Scotland. Not by a long chalk.

    Now, Self-loathing Jimmy – about yon plate at yer feet. It should be easy for you to pick it up on yon bended knee. Take it for it has yer arse on it – about-turn from this place and mind the swing of the door doesn’t rip you a new one on the way oot.

  174. Inverclyder says:

    Legerwood

    It means that France are reconsidering the funding for the Nuke Power Station!

    Keep an eye on that one and the ramifications if it doesn’t happen.

  175. Macdoc says:

    Ireland’s deficit 2010 -32.4%. Deficit 5 years later -1.8%. They have a smaller population than us. We could do the same for Iceland etc.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ireland/government-budget
    BUT NO. Scotland alone is uniquely incapable of improving our finances with fiscal control

    PEOPLE like Colin Ripley are either clueless about this subject and honestly believe they can extrapolate from GERS or are deliberately dishonest. Along with our media they are anti-Scottish

  176. CameronB Brodie says:

    Tam Jardine
    Aye. HS2 will provide the southern half of Britain with a significant overhaul of transport and associated infrastructure, such as drainage, ect., not just the high-speed rail line, thus improving connectivity and enhancing environmental conditions in general. The south of Britain can therefore be expected to become more competitive than the more peripheral and less connected regions of Britain, such as Scotland.

    This is the polar opposite of the EU’s aims for the trans-European HSR network, which was intended to bind Europe together by mitigating locational disadvantages, such as distance from central Europe. The original plan terminated in Scotland, linking to ferry services to Ireland and the Western Isles. Trust Westminster to make a complete pig’s ear of it.

  177. Alan Crerar says:

    For 10ish years before Indyref1, support for YES hovered around the 28-30% mark. A 2-year campaign (really just one year) by YES brought support up to 45% against all the odds.
    Ms Sturgeon (not ‘Mrs’ you twat ‘Sir’ Andrew Neil) announcing the low-key beginning of the Indyref2 campaign is, I trust, going to have same effect in the next two years. 60% it is, then – 2018. SNP 1&2.

  178. Ken500 says:

    HS2 is an absolute waste of money. It will do nothing to enhance the UK economy. It will be detrimental to the economy. There absolutely no business case for it. The present rail line should be improve. Another grotesque project which is against the majority wishes and the public interest. It will take longer. It is an absolute disgraceful waste of publc money. Osbourne is a manipulative liar. Hinkley nuclear sntation is the same. A grotesque project, a total waste of public money. A wasteful disaster.

  179. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Every edition of The Daily Politics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Andrew Neil to prove that he’s not a total wank.

  180. dakk says:

    BritNat propaganda would never countenance any other country could possibly be better governed than ‘Britain’.They will never get over the Empire,and their superiority complex.

    At least not until Scotland leaves.

    Only then perhaps would it sink in that they better get their arse in gear quick like, as they are not well governed.

    If they allowed GERS to show a £15 bn surplus on Scotland’s books,it would only be possible because of Westminster.

    We would then only be too wee and too stupid to be independent, and stinking rich because of England.

    And to Colin Rippey.

    The English people will bottle Brexit,don’t kid your self.

  181. North Chiel says:

    If there is one factor which “tipped” the referendum towards ” better together”, it was the ” propaganda war” launched in the final days and weeks of the 2014 campaign, with one seasoned journalist describing this as the biggest propaganda campaign launched by the “British state”, since the 2nd world war..make no mistake this ” offensive” made the difference together with the final
    “coup de grace” the ” Jackie Bird/ Daily record ” vow fraud. The London establishment, and ” MSM Lackies” have not forgotten this.
    Thus consequently over the past week, I see unmistakable evidence of a ” new propaganda tirade” launched by the press, BBC and local radio against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon in particular. Eg the Question time ” set up”, an anti Nicola/ SNP “Scottish Sun”editorial “yesterday and today a disgraceful ” phone in” on local radio ” Ally Bally” show with a tirade of anti SNP callers allowed on the “airwaves” supposedly selected at “random” re the ” host”. However he gave the game away by way of a conversation with a ” randomly selected” pro SNP caller who just happened to be somewhat” anti English”admitting that a “call handler” ” filtered ” the calls selecting ” appropriate callers . Believe that ” tosh” if you like.This was another ” anti Nicola/anti SNP MSM set up.
    The ultimate aim is to deny the SNP a Holyrood majority and the plan is an equivalent ” propaganda blitz” to the 2014 referendum blitz.
    The London establishment won the last battle with this tactic, and they are trying it on again ahead of May 2016

  182. ScottieDog says:

    First things first, the reason the UKs 10% deficit isn’t a problem or even a 20% deficit for that matter is because it is the currency issuer.

    It’s a bit like saying Florida has a deficit greater than the USA overall and therefore isn’t viable. It would be without doubt with its own currency and central bank.

    The Tories really are the core believers in the flat earth economics society. They haven’t caught up with the the fact that
    1) there is no longer a Bretton woods system (ended in 1971). There is no gold standard. if you take a £10 note into the Bank of England to redeem it for something they will give you a brand new note in return – nothing else.

    2) the pound like all other currencies is FIAT MONEY. It isn’t based on any precious metal or any other base or reserve. It is issued by typing numbers into a computer. To say there isn’t enough money or the UK govt can default is like saying that you can’t post much more on wings because you might run out of key presses on your computer keyboard!

    We accept UK pounds because we have to pay taxes in it. Taxes drive money.

    If England wants a parliament then give them one. Then we can see how the consequentials work out then.
    The banking sector’s ability to create money in the form of IOUs when you or I borrow should create a UK wide benefit and should not be attributed to one part of the UK – i.e London. The Pound is the UK’s sovereign currency NOT london’s and banks exist all round the UK.

    So hopefully the above shows that all that holds Scotland back is the fact that it isn’t a currency issuing state. If it were, then all that would limit us would be our per-capita resources – which blows rUK clean out of the water. (No trident pun intended)

    Sadly,the Tory economists are still where the physics profession was before Galileo.

  183. scotspine says:

    @ North Chiel

    Re this propaganda blitz from Yoon media etc. Can they not see, that if they continue these methods and deny democracy in our Country, then the outcome will be something no-one wants…

  184. Legerwood says:

    Inverclyder says:
    13 March, 2016 at 9:47 pm
    Legerwood

    “”It means that France are reconsidering the funding for the Nuke Power Station!

    Keep an eye on that one…””

    Oh I think EDFmay already be rethinking the power station. The last I heard EDF were going to ask the French Government for help with funding for HP because of the financial mess they have got themselves into. Good luck with that one!

  185. cearc says:

    Tam,

    Well done, thanks.

  186. Dr Jim says:

    Have you noticed how much misquoting of what the FM says by Yoons, they all seem to have difficulty understanding either the written word or spoken english

    The FM says one thing and within minutes the Yoons claim she said something else, It definitely proves to me Yoons are not bright people and indeed many of them lagging quite far behind the average in comprehension skills

    It’s a shame considering the FM is working so hard on improving education, but perhaps she’s targeting some of the wrong people and ways need to be found to help this group of Sectarian Bigoted Bastirts with brains the size of Fukcing walnuts

    SNPx2 Satisfying isn’t it (She’s not even started campaigning yet) and the wee Yoon souls are wetting themselves and wringing their wee handies

  187. macdoc says:

    Irelands Net Fiscal Balance 2010 -32.4% GDP

    Irelands Net fiscal balance 2015 -1.5% GDP

    Scotlands Net fiscal balance 2015 -9.7% (Worst in decades) %GDP

    But with fiscal control unionists believe that Scotland alone of all nations is incapable of improving that into a yearly manageable deficit or surplus.

    another comparison

    UK Net fiscal balance 2009 -11.2% (As far as i’m aware this is a higher number than 9.7%)

    Uk Net fiscal balance 2015 -4.9%

    But again Scotland works in yearly isolation things can only go negative in Scotchland. There is no such thing as economic growth. No such things as savings and expenditure such as defence that others have touched on, that would instantly be saved on independence.

    Scotland is stuck in perpetual black hole unable to escape the gravitational pull that exerts itself only in Scotland. Its embarrassing the cringers that come on this site, punching the air in delight at any misfortune or bad economic news that hits scotland, I bet they were pray every day at every Scotland football and rugby match that we lose in case we get any sense of national pride. These people are a disgrace to Scotland and the sooner we are rid of such thinking the better.

    One last point, the media in Scotland are a disgrace, purposefully misleading in a hope to brainwash the lay. Any statistic can be misconstrued when taken in isolation and they prey on the fact the average person on the street knows nothing of macroeconomics.

  188. North Chiel says:

    Another tactic is to keep the SNP on the “defensive” with JS and Nicola constantly having to counter the ” too poor” / ” deficit / black hole” jibes .we really require to get on the “front foot” over this and ” determine” the true position of both “Scotland’s balance sheet” and our “trading account”
    Every single detail should be analysed and all the ” hidden” ” Uk expenditure” not assigned to Scotland exposed. However, I expect the ” balance sheet” when Scotland’s share of UK assets is ” assigned” would be very healthy indeed.
    Just one example would be the benefit to the Scottish economy of all the ” London based Whitehall ” civil service jobs re reserved ministries being ” repatriated” to Edinburgh.
    Or what about our share of overseas embassies and “uk” property held overseas?
    Let’s start digging out the ” real facts and figures” within this ” supposed Union”
    What about the real value of our exports ? and what about ” transmission charges ” to the grid re our energy producers .
    Could Jim& Margaret Cuthbertson be ” crowd funded” as regards ” the real truth”
    It’s high time we went on the ” attack ” , NOW ,and not to wait until the 2nd campaign is under way

  189. call me dave says:

    C U Jimmy!

    Getting Swinney, Salmond then Nicola, into one sentence.

    What are you like! Yer teas oot! 🙂

  190. Tam Jardine says:

    cearc

    no bother. It just strikes me that 2 factors alone give us GERS figures that will forever paint a situation where Scotland looks to be in a far worse condition that it is.

    1. Of the 2 territories compared there seem to be many examples of Scotland contributing towards projects that will increase revenues in rUK. HS2 will increase spending per head in Scotland. It will not increase tax revenues in Scotland- in fact in all probability it will decrease them through competition.

    HS2 will increase spending by less in rUK as it is being contributed towards by Scotland. It will increase tax revenues in rUK.

    So these 4 forces will act in unison to increase the GERS measured gap in economic strength between Scotland and rUK.

    2. Scotland’s population is stagnant for any number of reasons and in relative decline compared to the rest of UK. Every year our population rate is growing slower than rUK it pushes the per capita spending up (and many costs like defence and law and order do not simply drop in line with population). Every year our population rate is growing slower than rUK the onshore tax revenues will tend to fall behind.

    So what to do if one wanted to improve GERS figures (if that indeed were the goal)? Well, we would have to stop contributing to infrastructure projects down south and cut off all unnecessary spending on areas which have zero benefit to Scotland (and there are many).

    We would need to bring defence contributions down to reflect the sparse defences we are protected by up here. And demand our share of the conventional navy be stationed here as a proper naval defence force to patrol our waters.

    We would have to take measures to grow our population to increase tax revenues and make infrastructure more efficiently used (and spread the cost amongst a broader population base).

    None of these things is possible without independence. All are possible with independence.

    Another inevitable consequence of course would be cutting off contributions towards the house of lords, commons and all of the assorted westminster departments. Government in Scotland would then increase its role and costs associated but those costs would be spent here with all the tax revenue benefits accruing here.

  191. ScottieDog says:

    It really is worth considering that the reduction in the UK deficit is being done by encouraging the private sector (mostly the mortgage sector) to take on more debt. This can be done for a while until we come up against another recession like 2008 or until the private sector simply stops borrowing.

    When that happens the decicit increase anyway.

    It’s worth stating the following..
    UK national debt : GDP – 80%
    UK private debt : GDP – 380%

    We don’t have a national debt crisis.

  192. CameronB Brodie says:

    heedtracker
    I meant to say thanks for the clip, very funny.

    We need these guys to re-do the sketch, incorporating all the British sovereignty/Scottish constitutional hypocrisy. We already have the beginnings of a German network and you did say your fluent in German. 🙂

    I’d hope they’d study WOS in depth, before attempting such a task though. 😉

  193. CameronB Brodie says:

    North Chiel
    Oops. Were we supposed to stop expressing our human right to determine our identity? 🙂

  194. Derek Henry says:

    All GERS is telling you is how much the non goverment sector has saved. Or in otherwords government spending that has not been taxed yet.

    Government deficits = Non goverment sector savings to the penny.

    There is no getting away from this simple accounting fact.

    And I am prepared to put a very hefty bet that you can find the goverment deficit in all of our pension funds. As this is where the majority of our savings end up as we put them there.

    Take our national debt of £1.6 trillion for example. This again just represents the entire savings of the non govermental sector to the penny.

    You can find it all here on page 2.

    https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/files/37839926/2014_Pober_Angela_1042818_ethesis.pdf

    As Japan has showed for nearly 50 years even though the neoliberals and fiscal conservatives have had them bankrupt every week. Central banks can buy up their own debt without offering it to the markets at all. Which essentially means they can fund themselves.

    No taxes or gold insight.

    Japan – another week of humiliation for mainstream macroeconomics

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=33094

  195. Derek Henry says:

    There was a brilliant presentation on you tube from last week when Warren Mosler visted the Bard College In Berlin. To expose the seven deadly economic frauds. Warren starts his lecture 11 mins in.

    Fraud 1:

    The government must raise funds through taxation or borrowing in order to spend. In other words, government spending is limited by its ability to tax or borrow.

    Just watch how he destroys these myths.

    It’s very simple

    Because it’s impossible to do a reserve drain ( taxes) without doing a reserve add (government spending) in the first place. Every central banker out there will tell you this simple fact. Write a letter or email them and they’ll all give you the same answer.

    All people need to do is ask themselves a few simple questions and they can soon work it from themselves.

    A) Why on earth would the monopoly issuer of £’s need my £’s before they can give out more £’s ?

    B) Why on earth would the monopoly issuer of £’s need to borrow £’s from anywhere to be able to give out more £’s ?

    The clue to the correct answers is in their title the monopoly issuer of £’s. Voters seem to be unable to grap what monopoly issuer implies.

    Then of course you get Zimbabwe types and Weimar Republic types who think there would be hyperinflation the world would come to an end if the government just spent £’s.

    These people don’t seem to grasp the difference between demand side inflation and supply side inflation.

    Let’s face some economic facts here.

    Japan has been running huge budget deficits for 20 years with a debt to GDP ratio over 200% to try and inflate.

    Deficit spending in China has been running over 20% per year when you include state lending to state owned enterprises, local governments, and other entities where repayment isn’t a factor, making that lending, for all practical purposes, pretty much the same as deficit spending.

    The only time the US deficit spending got that high, with pretty much the same growth rates, was during World War II. And while considered high, China’s inflation seems to have peaked at about 6%, a far cry form hyper inflation.

    In conclusion, theory and evidence show it’s impossible for the Bank Of England to create inflation, no matter how much it tries. The reason is because all the BOE does is shift £’s from one type of account to another, never changing the net financial assets held by the economy.

    Changing interest rates only shifts £’s between ‘savers’ and ‘borrowers’ and QE only shifts £’s from bond accounts to reserve accounts. And so theory and evidence tells us not to expect much change in the macro economy from these primary BOE tools, making it impossible for the BOE to create inflation.

    The last 10 years has shown just how hard it is to achieve inflation when that’s all countries have been trying to do.

    The only problematic inflation we’ve ever experienced in the West post WWII is from the oil-supply shocks & wage indexing of the 1970’s, there have been zero incidents of demand led inflation reaching problematic levels in the West or in almost any developed market economy for that matter.

    The U.K. currently has some inflation in housing prices only, due to a combination of monopolistic markets and poorly regulated finance. But we don’t have widespread inflation, and there is a lot of slack in our economy overall. Answer is just to build more.

    Some people like names they know and trust because the ministry of truth has built that into them.

    Well Prof Steve Keen presenting a banking Lecture at Edinburgh University.

    Again on you tube called Just Banking Presentation Edinburgh 2012.

    Steve built a live working model that you can see in the presentaion that shows clearly everything that I posted above is true.

    Voters have to stop burying their heads in the sand and sticking their arses in the air. They need to question the ministry of truth at every turn.

  196. Derek Henry says:

    UE is needed rather than QE

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=19828

    What is UE you might ask? Unemployment easing!

    Where the treasury departments, supported by their respective central banks, immediately set about directly creating jobs and reducing the unemployment rates around the world. Putting cash (wages) into the hands of those that are most constrained (the unemployed) will do much more good for the economy than doing portfolio swaps with banks who will not lend to thin air! So we need UE not QE.

    The aim of QE was to “lower yields across a range of securities” because they believed “as usual, lower interest rates have supportive stimulative effects on the economy”.

    The mainstream belief that quantitative easing will stimulate the economy sufficiently to put a brake on the downward spiral of lost production and the increasing unemployment is based on the erroneous belief that the banks need reserves before they can lend and that quantititative easing provides those reserves.

    Mainstream macroeconomics create the illusion that a bank is an institution that accepts deposits to build up reserves and then on-lends them at a margin to make money. The conceptualisation suggests that if it doesn’t have adequate reserves then it cannot lend. So the presupposition is that by adding to bank reserves, quantitative easing will help lending.

    This is clearly an incorrect depiction of how banks operate in the real world. Bank lending is not “reserve constrained”. Banks lend to any credit worthy customer they can find and then worry about their reserve positions afterwards. If they are short of reserves (their reserve accounts have to be in positive balance each day and in some countries central banks require certain ratios to be maintained) then they borrow from each other in the interbank market or, ultimately, they will borrow from the central bank through the so-called discount window. They are reluctant to use the latter facility because it carries a penalty (higher interest cost).

    The point is that building bank reserves will not increase the bank’s capacity to lend. Loans create deposits which generate reserves.

    The major formal constraints on bank lending (other than a stream of credit worthy customers) are expressed in the capital adequacy requirements set by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) which is the central bank to the central bankers. They relate to asset quality and required capital that the banks must hold. These requirements manifest in the lending rates that the banks charge customers. Bank lending is never constrained by lack of reserves.

    Slightly lower interest rates may lower the cost of borrowing but if the expected return over the lifetime of the loan (of the productive asset purchased) is unfavourable then there will not be an upsurge of demand as a result of quantitative easing interventions. That is exactly what we have been witnessing over the last three years.

    Also the monopoly issuer of £’s does not need to borrow £’s from anywhere if it needs more. The clue is in their title. The monopoly issuer of £’s

    It is a political choice to borrow £’s – Corporate welfare.

    It’s like saying we can’t create £’s to build 10 hospitals because the household budget, gold standard fixed exchange rate zoomers, say it will be ZIMBABWE time.

    Yet, the same zoomers then say if we borrow the exact same amount we were planning to create then we will be fine and no Zimbabwe.

    Insanity !!!!

    The emphasis on monetary policy as being the vehicle to provide the primary stimulus to ailing economies instead of fiscal policy is contrary to the evidence and reflects the ideological shift that occurred under Monetarism and was refined over the, more recent, inflation targetting era.

    Early in the crisis, the reliance on monetary policy to arrest the collapse in aggregate demand around the world only made the real crisis worse although it did stabilise the financial sector, for a time.

    Until policy makers realise that fiscal policy is a much more effective way to stimulate aggregate demand this crisis will continue to grind on. I think we need a period of unemployment easing not quantitative easing.

    All QE did was lower long term rates end of story.

    Has anyone seen a business proposition fail because the interest rate was 0.25% higher or lower ?

    Where are the investment plans that are so long term that they are affected by the odd quarter of a percent shift in interest rates?

    It was no coincidence that a few weeks after QE. We were all told we were going to have to work that little bit longer for a pension that would be less.

  197. Derek Henry says:

    The size of the deficit does not matter. It is what the government is spending on that creates the deficit that matters.

    It’s no use if all government spending was on the army for example.

    For example :

    What if the fiscal deficit was 1 per cent of GDP and rose to 2 per cent of GDP as new large-scale public works programs stimulated employment and unemployment fell from 6 per cent to 5 per cent?

    Would we consider that a deterioration that made any sense?

    What if the fiscal deficit fell from 2 per cent of GDP to 1 per cent of GDP as government austerity impacted poorly on economic growth and unemployment rose from 5 per cent to 6 per cent?

    Would we consider that an improvement that made any sense?

    It is not good talking about the size of the deficit(spending and taxation) when it is conducted as a stand-alone exercise and deliberately divorced from any context relating to the real economy – production, employment, and unemployment.

    Once we realise that the fiscal balance at any point in time is of no particular interest in itself, and must be interpreted in the context of what is happening in the real economy then ridiculous statements that the “national fiscal Outlook has deteriorated significantly” become transparent in their idiocy.

    Instruct the Bank Of England to provide the £’s to permit sufficient deficit spending aimed at increasing employment and production.

    Alas, no new money would need to be printed! Governments spend by crediting bank accounts in the main. They do not spend by printing money.

    The central idea is that government fiscal policy, its spending and taxes, its borrowing and repayment of loans, its issue of new money and its withdrawal of money, shall all be undertaken with an eye only to the results of these actions on the economy and not to any established traditional doctrine about what is sound or unsound. In other words ignore completely fiscal conservative theories built from sand not mathematics. The size of the deficit would be linked to the umemployment rate and not the interest rate.

    Financial responsibility of the government (since nobody else can undertake that responsibility) is to keep the total rate of spending in the country on goods and services neither greater nor less than that rate which at the current prices would buy all the goods that it is possible to produce … the government can increase total spending by spending more itself or by reducing taxes so that taxpayers have more money left to spend. Or reduce VAT or NI contributions either way does the same job.

    Sometimes the government might run a surplus and at other times a deficit and in neither case should the government feel that there is anything especially good or bad about this result; it would merely concentrate on keeping the total rate of spending neither too small nor too great, in this way preventing both unemployment and inflation.

    I Would explain to the voters that this sufficient deficit spending I am going to do aimed at increasing employment and production. Does not equal the ammount of money spent by you me and the rest of us. Some people might use it to save and others might use it to invest. In other words, it is currency users spending that creates the inflation risk not the original government spending. And as long as that total spending is at the appropriate level specified above, then it will be an appropriate accompaniment to total government spending ( currency issuer).

    I would ignore the principle of trying to balance the budget over a year or any other arbitrary period. All spending (private or public) is inflationary if it drives nominal aggregate demand faster than the real capacity of the economy to absorb it.

    Increased government spending is not inflationary if there are idle real resources that can be brought back into productive use (for example, unemployment). Fiscal space is not defined in terms of some given financial ratios (such as a public debt ratio). Rather, it refers to the extent of the available real resources that the government is able to utilise in pursuit of its socio-economic program.

    So, as long as the available real resources are there to help rebuild the NHS. That is people, land, materials etc etc. Then I would instruct the commercial banks with accounts at the Bank Of England to credit as many bank accounts as possible until the job was done. Keeping the total rate of spending in the country on goods and services neither greater nor less than that rate which at the current prices would buy all the goods that it is possible for our private sector to produce.

    Which is nothing like in the slighest the hyperinflation examples such as 1920s Germany and Zimbabwe or Venezula as there were major reductions in the supply capacity of the economy prior to these inflation episodes. One had their supply capacity bombed, an other did not have a supply capacity and the last one had dutch disease. Others were pegged to another currency.

    Linking the size of the deficit to unemployment is key here. The size of the deficit would be the size that supports full employment no more and no less.

    Which is why you would introduce Full employment via a Job Guarantee

    http://e1.newcastle.edu.au/coffee/job_guarantee/JobGuarantee.cfm

    Problem solved.

  198. Derek Henry says:

    Simon Wren-Lewis has a blog called mainly macro.

    He is the Oxford economics professor behind Labours new fiscal rule. Who is clueless and still thinks we work from a gold standard and fixed exchange rates.

    His post called A (much) better fiscal rule on his blog tries to explain his and Labours posistion moving onto the election.

    I’ve posted a question in the comments section under the name footsoldier.

    He has yet to reply.

    Unfortunately, the SNP do listen to this man which is a huge mistake.

  199. Derek Henry says:

    The real question is …

    Can banks individually create money out of nothing? — The theories and the empirical evidence ?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521914001070

    The answer is a resounding Yes.

  200. It is a strange argument for the unionists to use for Scotland to remain part of the union.

    They tell us that the union is good for Scotland, but then tell us, we can’t afford to be independent and run our own country because its an economic basket.

    By any logic, if that were the case then by the unionists own argument the union has been a disaster for Scotland and we should get out of it as fast as we can.

  201. Bryan Aychter says:

    Isn’t it terrible being Scottish we are so stupid that we need the English to look after us, we have no talented people that could run the economy. The English give us all these lovely things as all we can do is take benefits drink all day long have hundreds of unwanted bairns and fight all the time. Ruthie Kez and wee Willie winkie are fighting so hard for their masters in London to keep us in the union to save us from ourselves and so they can still get their ("Quizmaster" - Ed) benefits. Some of us have got up off our knees and some are frightened to even lift their heads the unionists are so pathetic it is embarrassing how they hate their own country and shame themselves.

  202. Sorry I have taken so long to answer Mr .,Mac Hugh but under my rules you are an Incomer so not entitled to vote

  203. neil allan says:

    There is nothing wrong with Scotland’s economy and the yield of Tax revenues; year after year it is around the same per head maybe a little less as the English economy, without any oil revenues at all. Counting in oil revenues puts it above England’s in most of the last umpteen years.

    It is the EXPENDITURE that creates the deficit; with goodies that the English don’t have such as free tuition fees, free care for the elderly, prescriptions etc. So the deficit is not Westminster’s fault. A lot of our higher costs of health, education, transport are unavoidable, and a lot because fewer Scots than English use private education, healthcare etc. But if we want to continue to benefit from the goodies then we don’t want extra taxation, borrowing, or cuts elsewhere. We would be better off relying on the existing pooling and sharing.
    And, no,Trident won’t pay for it all.The costs of welfare are about twenty times that of Trident.

  204. Jeanette McCrimmon says:

    FACT: a thing that is known or proved to be true.

    What is an estimated fact? In fact, there is no such thing as an estimated fact.

    We are treated like imbeciles by the UK govt.

  205. Tam Jardine says:

    neil allan

    “And, no,Trident won’t pay for it all.The costs of welfare are about twenty times that of Trident.”

    Hi Neil. You are right- getting rid of trident will not pay for welfare but I don’t imagine anyone thinks it will. However it would be possible to reduce defence spending by a fair old chunk and improve our defences significantly. Having a naval presence here would be a start.

    The ‘goodies’ you refer to are simply the spending priorities of Holyrood as part of a devolved budget.

    I would invite you to look at what we contribute towards in the GERS figures. There are ever so many items on the list of expenditures in your pooling and sharing model that result in no benefit for Scotland yet as we are attributed cost towards them they push our expenditure per capita up whilst having zero effect per capita on revenue. This makes our figures look worse in relation to the rest of UK.

    Take Crossrail or HS2- spending is allocated to Scotland with no benefits in tax revenue… they may even cause our economy up here harm. In the rest of UK the amount of spend per capita is less than it would be because Scotland punts in her share and tax revenues increase. Infrastructure up here is not treated in this way.

    There are numerous cases down the years of these big infrastructure spends down south that skew the figures again and again.

    I, and each member of my family are allocated part of the spending on Teachers Pensions in England and Wales and a tiny amount towards the Welsh Office… there are some stange costs allocated in those figures.

    In anycase- the bottom line is that with a country 6 times less densely populated than England everything costs more to deliver. Are you really surprised that spending is higher in Scotland per capita? How could it not be so? It would indeed be very, very strange if spending was less per capita in super sparse Scotland compared to super densely populated England.

    Do you know the other factor that is skewing the figures? Population change. Scotland’s population has been stagnant or growing far slower than the rest of the UK’s for almost all of the last 100 years. Our population is becoming even less densely populated than the rest of UK every year.

    The reasons for this are more complex than I can get into before the school run but if your population increases many costs for services like hospitals and schools are used more efficiently so cost per capita decreases. The opposite, in relation to the rest of UK is occurring year on year.

    The key levers of increasing the population through immigration are in the hands of Westminster. OK- so you cancel popular and important policies like free prescriptions, free education, free personal care for the elderly. The ‘goodies’.

    Do you think, after what I have written, that cancelling those policies would have a positive or negative effect on Scotland’s performance in relation to the rest of UK in these GERS figures? Do you think making Scotland a less attractive place would increase or decrease our population?

  206. Tom Wilde says:

    Fantastic article Stu. Are you going to delete all those posts from a couple of years ago which claimed that GERS was the statistical gold standard for Scotland and showed the irresistible case for independence?

  207. Robert Peffers says:

    “No matter how hard you try, no matter how many articles you write trying to claim otherwise, GERS are figures that politicians CANNOT ignore for the simple reason “there’s nothing else to use”.

    That, Colin, is rectally sphinctered male bovine waste matter. What is more you know perfectly well it most certainly is just that.

    There is one fact that makes all other arguments entirely spurious and it has been entirely evident since at least 01 May 1707. That fact is that the Kingdom pf England has had a very firm grip upon Scotland since that day and has never loosened that grip in any way unless under the pressures and threats of the Scots ending the United Kingdom.

    Make no mistake Colin, when, not if Scotland decides the Union is over the United Kingdom ends on that day. There will be no rUK of any shape, description or form. The Treaty of Union of 1707 is without doubt a union of the only two kingdoms extant in the British Isles at that time. The Status Quo Ante of all bipartite unions is exactly what a legal status quo ante legally describes. A reversion to, “The situation prevailing before the bipartite union existed”, and that, in 1707 was an equally sovereign, unitary country, Kingdom of Scotland joining with another equally sovereign, three country Kingdom of England.

    If you have the slightest doubt then open your history book, year 1284, and read, “The Statute of Rhuddlan”, by which the Kingdom of England annexed the Princedom of Wales. Then turn to the Irish Parliament’s, “Crown of Ireland Act”, 1542, when the Kingdom of England’s, “Lord of Ireland”, annexed all Ireland by forcing the Irish Parliament to settle the Crown of Ireland upon the King of England’s head.

    While you are at it, and Colin, you are indeed at it, Read up on the events of 1603 that DID NOT form a Union of the Crowns. If it had there would have been no need for a Treaty of Union 1707. You might also check out the Glorious Revolution that saw ONLY the Kingdom of England become a Constitutional Monarchy for Scotland remained an independent Kingdom until 1707 and England deposing her monarchy could not affect Scotland.

    Once more if it could have done so there would have been no need for a treaty of union.

    The plain fact is that if Scotland were actually such an economic basket case then England would have dissolved the Union in 1707.

  208. Gail Hughes says:

    I know that analogies between national economies and household budgets do not generally stand up, however well they might serve to make a largely economic illiterate electorate think the tories are a responsible party of financial management but this one I think does as it serves to illustrate the principle rather than draw a comparison:

    Imagine you employed an accountant to manage your finances. You left him in charge of how much you spent and in control of your income. At the end of the year he told you that, under his management, you had spent considerably more than you earned and now had considerable debts. He then told you that he planned to carry on in this way for the foreseeable future. Would you say “You are doing a great job, I could not afford to be without you.” and extend his contract indefinitely or would you terminate his contract immediately and take charge of your finances yourself?

    I never was convinced by the argument that getting Scotland into such a disastrous financial position that we could not afford to be independent, even if we wanted to, was much of an advertisement for the “benefits of the union”.



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