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The Pish Gallop

Posted on December 15, 2015 by

We’ve spoken a number of times before on this site about the “gish gallop” or “swarm of wasps” debating technique, in which a person attempts to bury their opponent under such an overwhelming tsunami of false, misleading or nonsensical claims in a short space of time that they can’t possibly debunk it all.

The Urban Dictionary gives an example of the form:

gishgallop

Faced with such a rushing torrent of drivel, it’s almost impossible for an opponent to know where to start in order to begin to even scratch the surface (if you can scratch a torrent). And that brings us directly to Severin Carrell’s article in today’s Guardian.

debtmountain

A near-incomprehensible rag-bag of random semi-facts, the piece paints a terrifying picture of a mammoth financial black hole caused by an SNP “spending spree”.

“Public sector debt in Scotland has mushroomed to record levels after an SNP government spending spree funded by billions of pounds’ worth of borrowing from pension funds, international banks and the Treasury.

An investigation by the Guardian has found that total borrowing to build schools, roads, railway stations, colleges and hospitals under the devolved government could reach £50bn by the end of the decade, putting a heavy strain on the public finances.

The scale of the debt, which dwarfs Holyrood’s annual budget of £30bn, has never been set out by ministers or investigated by the Scottish parliament. It has led to calls by Scotland’s auditor general, Caroline Gardner, and opposition parties for greater openness over public finances.”

The news may have come as something of a surprise to people who were under the impression that the Scottish Government currently has almost no borrowing powers. The Scotland Act 2012 only empowered it to borrow up to £2.2bn – in total, not per year, and even that only came into force this April.

(There’s also a £0.5bn contingency for emergencies, but only £200m in one year.)

As far as we know the increased borrowing powers set to be provided by the Scotland Bill 2015 haven’t even been determined yet, and are still being haggled over as part of the discussions around the so-called “fiscal framework”.

You have to pick your way through the article and piece together isolated fragments of information to try to arrive at Carrell’s figure. As best we can make out it comprises:

£22bn – inherited PFI debts
£15bn – council debts
£9bn – Scottish Futures Trust projects
£4.9bn – proposed rail network upgrades

That total does indeed come to £50.9bn, but almost three-quarters of it (72.7%) is PFI projects passed on mainly by previous Labour governments and debt run up by local councils, almost none of which are SNP-run. (Just two of Scotland’s 32 councils have SNP majorities, with seven others run in coalition or as minorities.)

It seems extremely harsh to hold “Holyrood” responsible for a debt that’s still in significant part only a future projection, and which – even if the figure became true – Holyrood would have run up, at most, about a quarter of. And it’s also not clear why the sum should be regarded as so horrendous anyway.

If true, a debt of £51bn would represent around 32% of Scotland’s current GDP of £159bn. That compares extremely favourably with the UK’s current debt of between 82% and 90% of GDP, (depending how you calculate it). George Osborne’s most optimistic target is to reduce that to 72% by 2020 – still over twice Scotland’s level.

ukdebtgdp

(The UK also has an extra £2 trillion in pension liabilites – which we think Carrell is including in the Scottish council debt figures, and would therefore make the relative Scottish figures even better, but the article is so vaguely written it’s hard to be sure.)

The rest of the barrage of scattered chaff that pads out the rest of the Guardian piece appears to only be there to obscure the weakness of the central case, and as such we’re not going to waste any more time on it.

The simple fact is that until eight months ago, Holyrood had a fixed budget. It had no borrowing powers whatsoever – the Scottish Government could only spend what it had. Nobody yet knows how much it’ll be able to borrow in future, but whatever limit is set will represent only a tiny increase on the debt burden Scotland has already been left with by previous Labour governments and councils.

Pretty much every country on Earth will at some point face a reckoning over its debt, and Scotland is no different, whether devolved or independent. But blaming that on “an SNP government spending spree” is some way beyond misleading or misinterpreted, and well into the realms of flat-out lies.

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    131 to “The Pish Gallop”

    1. Dcanmore says:

      Yup, read this tripe earlier Graun online, came to the conclusion it’s to help Sarah Smith along a bit in her new role.

      Cue shock headlines and faux outrage on BBC Reporting Scotland tonight.

      Is there an election coming up?

    2. Itchybiscuit says:

      Perhaps one day the Unionist meeja will wake up to themselves.

      Each and every ‘SNP BAD!’ article drives another voter towards the SNP.

      Perhaps Zuzu would have put it another way? ;o)

    3. muttley79 says:

      Severin Carrell’s usual standard then. I see James Kelly MSP has been in bother with the Presiding Officer:

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14146546.Labour_MSP_kicked_out_of_Holyrood_chamber_after_blazing_row_with_Presiding_Officer/?ref=twtrec

      Marvellous stuff from Kelly! 😀 😀

    4. bobajock says:

      Guardian is an embarrassment of disinformation. Labour PFI pain for Scotland, they invented the turd, laid it everywhere, and Scotland has to keep standing on it, the SNP having to pick up their mess.

    5. ScotsCanuck says:

      … could be summed up as ;- too wee, too poor & too stoopid meets Private Fraser “we’re all doomed, doomed I tell ye” …. oh! and SNP BAAAD.

    6. call me dave says:

      That didn’t take long

      Slam dunk!… Next! 🙂

      Because, be assured, they will have another frightener along in a minute or two.

    7. Chitterinlicht says:

      It truly is a steaming pile of horse pish n shit.

      I tried to log on Gaurdian to point this out and couldn’t. No biggie.

      Random unconnected data with no comparisons or benchmarking to rUK.

      Just rubbish article.

      Quite angry. Also in very busy train COZ LABOUR DIDNT BUILD ANOTHER ONE on time.

      Grrrrtr

    8. Ruglonian says:

      Wonderful.

      Stu has anyone ever told you that you have a real talent for this stuff 😉

    9. ScottieDog says:

      [sigh] just had a bellyful from an old mate of SNP bad concerning the forth bridge. It’s hard to know where to start with people.

    10. Wulls says:

      Surely this has to be a complaint to the IPCC.
      I don’t think it strays into the flat out lie territory.
      It IS a flat out lie. I’m sure they will be on it.
      PS. Anyone seen the labour MSP getting ejected from Hollyrood ????
      Hilarious. Petulance on steroids.

    11. call me dave says:

      MSP turfed out of the chamber…guess who?

      https://archive.is/RT6LB

    12. dakk says:

      Well demolished Stuart.

      What a tawdry partisan excuse for a journalist is Severin Carroll.

      The Guardian is indeed rancid when it allows such disinformation to be published.

      Who buys it in Scotland anyway except the odd senile champagne socialist?

    13. Proud Cybernat says:

      CorpMedia lies? Surely you jest?

    14. jimnarlene says:

      Monty Pythonesque, “He’s making it up, as he goes along”.

    15. Cuilean says:

      “Pretty much every country on Earth will at some point face a reckoning over its debt”.

      Not Norway.

      Sigh.

    16. Graf Midgehunter says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing a list of all the major PFI projects from the “Scottish” Labour government times and the Labour Council projects.

      All nicely totted up and with end dates to show folks just where the debt comes from.

      And then a list of the SNP SG projects just to show what REAL Government does. 🙂

    17. Jack Murphy says:

      The BBC Spends £2,500 A WEEK Buying Copies of The Guardian !

      Mail Online:-

      https://archive.is/KEckE

    18. Lollysmum says:

      They are getting more DESPERATE by the hour. This is hilarious.

      I’m with Midgehunter a full list of PFI projects & lets see who is to blame. Could be useful in March/April anyway

    19. Jimbo says:

      I wonder if Carrell included Scotland’s share in paying for England’s new High Speed Rail project (that won’t reach Scotland) and London’s Super Sewer upgrade?

    20. Ruglonian says:

      O/T

      So, James Kelly (not our nice ScotGoesPop one) has been booted out of the chamber in Holyrood! – Presiding Officer getting in ahead of us Ruglonians, roll on May ’16 😀

    21. Capella says:

      You overlooked the operative word COULD.
      “Holyrood’s borrowing COULD hit £50bn by 2020.”

      There again, maybe it won’t.
      In the universe inhabited by Severin Carrell, all things are possible.

    22. David McCann says:

      Severin Carrell.
      He who is a regular ‘expert’ commentator on BBC Scotland and STV?
      How come you are never asked Stu?
      Is it because you might destroy their ‘bad SNP’ story

    23. Phil Robertson says:

      And the debt you failed to notice/mention – student debt. Currently somewhere north of £3B and scheduled to hit £6B by the end of the decade, it was the one that the SNP was going to “abolish”.

      Clearly that policy languishes in the same dark corner as the plan for local income tax.

    24. Jim Mitchell says:

      But Mr Carrell can’t be a liar, I’ve seen him on the BBC, oh wait a minute!

    25. Jack Murphy says:

      Jack Murphy at 4:35pm quotes re The Guardian and the BBC:-
      The BBC Spends £2,500 A WEEK Buying Copies of The Guardian !

      Mail Online:-

      https://archive.is/KEckE

      Continues: “The startling figure is nearly 45 per cent higher than its bill for any other title, despite the Guardian accounting for a tiny fraction of Britain’s newspaper sales.
      It sells just 176,000 copies a day, according to official circulation figures.”

    26. Paul Miller says:

      There must be a reason why the Tories could be the next opposition. Might it be everyone is sick of the media/Labours constant shock SNPbad headlines. When is the media going to stop being Labours mouthpiece!?

    27. Kragos says:

      Just leaves me in disbelief how low standards have fallen in journalistic circles. Or is it just publishers only want SNP hate articles surrounded by reality show crap in their newspapers?

      had a look at current circulation figures for the nationals, most have crashed spectacularly in the last few years. The Guardian especially is around 40% down compared to 2010, and they can’t just blame it on people switching to online services.

    28. Tam Jardine says:

      Reading through the comments below the line, I thought- well done Sev: objective achieved. For hundreds of folk casually glancing through the article the lazy impression you get is SNP run up £50 billion debt ergo Independence would be catastrophic. English people reading it can feel good about themselves that Scotland is a basket case economy surviving on their generous handouts.

      Unless you have an interest in Scotland or have an enquiring mind it is like a thick propaganda soup being spooned down your neck.

      Its is so disingenuous Goebbels would be impressed.

      The one mention of Scottish Labour is a bafflingly self-unaware comment by The Motte:

      “Scottish Labour’s finance spokeswoman, said she would be urging Holyrood’s finance committee to investigate. “Future generations are facing a debt mountain and we’re putting more and more on the nation’s credit card.”

      In an alternate universe where Sev is a proper journalist rather than a propaganda slave to the machine, where instead of being a fucking empty shell he is a proper human being Sev would continue: “When pressed on Scottish Labour’s £22 billion PFI mountain…”

      Aye right.

      That is the one and only mention of Scottish Labour in the piece.

      I don’t cure cancer or further world peace in my job but Jesus H Christ – I get to the end of the day and I can look back on my day’s work with at certain pride.

      If my daughter asks me what I did at work at least I don’t have to say: “well lass, I wrote some tissue of lies and innuendo to try and fool people into thinking one political party is profligate in order to get people to vote for the political party that was actually profligate.”

      You are a long time deid, as they say. Imagine spending your short time on earth dripping poison into folks ears!

    29. Luigi says:

      Would it be worth actually sending the BBC a copy of WoS rebuttals (with full links) promptly each time the corporate press try it on? The reason I ask is that it was mentioned somewhere that the BBC lazily rely on the corporate press for stories. That is their excuse for regurgitating the lies, apparently. If rebuttals are sent to the BBC formally (registered post!) then at least they no longer have that excuse when they regurgitate it.

    30. Dandy Dons 1903 says:

      Its in the Guardian and written by Severin Carrell. Therefore its always going to be a steaming pile of unionist cack.

    31. Lesley-Anne says:

      Sorry for O/T here. 😉

      As many on here are aware there are, despite our usual comments, a few Labour M.S.P.’s who have become *ahem* favourites of this, and other sites, over the years. Well here is his latest attempt to extend his hold on the Title of “Favourite Labour M.S.P.!” 😀

      http://news.stv.tv/scotland-decides/news/1336071-msp-ejected-from-scottish-parliament-chamber-in-row-over-bill/

    32. Edward says:

      Regards James Kelly
      After watching the full clip that Stuart has loaded onto You Tube, I’m of the mind that Kelly was ‘not well’

      I would go as far to say he was under the influence of alcohol or perhaps hypoglycemic, which has the same effects.

      If you notice on the video, he was hesitant when he stood up to make his point of order, but then proceeded to waffle

    33. arthur thomson says:

      The Guardian – Labour’s friend, prints toxic lies about Scotland.

      No-one who genuinely supports Scottish independence can honestly continue to promote the notion that Labour, whether the Slab Branch office, the UK version (with or without Corbyn the friendly balloon) or its media backers, are somehow superior to the Tories. They are absolutely as bad as each other.

      This is a good example of the continuation of Project Fear, of the continuing collaboration between red and blue tories and the media. They are still in it together and still without scruples.

      The struggle goes on and the first target for all who support independence must be the eradication of all remnants of Labour influence in Scotland. Then we can deal with a Scottish Tory party that may well be reinforced by working class tories who have deserted from Labour but will cut no ice with the majority of Scots.

    34. Bruce L says:

      What depresses me most about articles like that is not so much the tripe itself, as the anti-Scottish animosity and smugness below the line. They unquestioningly buy the thrust of the article hook, line and sinker, spout some nonsense along the lines of “oh I’m sure those chippy Jocks will be along any minute to tell us how this is all the fault of the English” then move on, without a shred of self awareness, to denounce some poor fucker for believing something they read about the Labour party in the Daily Mail.

    35. Bill Hume says:

      ScotsCanuck…….no it’s not Fraser, it’s Corporal Jones…..DON’T PANIC.

      I can smell their fear.

    36. liz says:

      Interestingly he is trying now to justify that article on twitter by posting up a completely different article which is less hysterical – of course no comments allowed on that one.

      https://twitter.com/severincarrell/status/676795219732508672

    37. Embradon says:

      I read the headline this morning and thought “I smell shite”.
      But no, after just a few paragraphs it was identifiable as pish.

    38. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just read this from G A Ponsonby on Twitter:

      Electoral Commission has fined the Labour party £1848 for making 2014 EU Parliamentary Elections campaign payments after the legal deadline.

      I wonder if they will be doing a wee fund raiser to help themselves out of yet another wee hole! 😀

    39. Mark Russell says:

      Stu et al.,

      Doesn’t it scare the shit out of you when you stop and consider just how many nutters are out there in positions of influence and authority? I very much enjoy reading your excellent website, but inevitably it leaves me wishing I had bought another few rounds for the AK47 as there is no way we can possibly build enough secure mental health facilities to keep us safe anymore. If it wasn’t so serious I’d pish myself laughing.

    40. Undeadshaun says:

      Edinburgh royal infirmary has 1.26 billion debt alone

    41. heedtracker says:

      Shameless pack of shysters, but we’ll just have to get used to the next 5 months of bullshitters like Carrel going UKOK mental on SNP Scotland. It just shows how important it is for them to SLabour back in next year.

      So from reality

      “That total does indeed come to £50.9bn, but almost three-quarters of it (72.7%) is PFI projects passed on mainly by previous Labour governments and debt run up by local councils, almost none of which are SNP-run.”

      to SLabour bullshit artists

      “Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s finance spokeswoman, said she would be urging Holyrood’s finance committee to investigate. “Future generations are facing a debt mountain and we’re putting more and more on the nation’s credit card.

      “What the Scottish government is doing to add to public sector debt is like PFI on steroids. It is essential with the new powers coming to the Scottish parliament on tax, spending and borrowing that we have complete transparency on the nation’s finances.”

    42. Lollysmum says:

      Will someone correct me if I’m wrong here but didn’t SNP govt buy out PFI contracts on two or more schools? That’s not the actions of a profligate govt. Far from it, it shows a govt that is investing in the future & looking to reduce the burden that such contracts place on anyone trying to manage a budget incorporating PFI payments.

      This is why England is in trouble, hospitals, schools & countless other projects have used PFI & they are all running into problems with paying extortionate lease terms within those contracts.

    43. Lollysmum says:

      O/T
      Good news-Orkney 4 fundraiser passes £195,000 🙂
      Just under £13k to go to target

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/story

    44. Lesley-Anne says:

      Just watched 10 second video of Nicola Sturgeon giving £5 to Social Bite to pay for a Christmas dinner for a homeless person. I have donated £10 from me and the Big Boss ;).

      I know folks on here are for ever making donations but at this time of year I think this is a truly worthy cause. You can give a donation here.

      https://www.itison.com/Glasgow/deals/buy-a-homeless-person-xmas-dinner-social-bite–3

    45. Jamie Arriere says:

      Here is a link to the PFI projects currently active for anyone to pore over. I notice that the publication date of the spreadsheet is Dec 15th last year, so maybe an up-to-date version should be forthcoming soon

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/private-finance-initiative-projects-2014-summary-data

      Filter the region column to Scotland in column G. It is absolutely eye-watering to compare the capital value of each project in column R with all the annual payments scheduled in the columns to the right.

      eg Angus Schools project : Capital value £45.7m, total payments scheduled £198.1m

      IT IS AN ABSOLUTE SCANDAL!!

      It is reassuring to notice that no projects were begun after 2007, and there are none in procurement

    46. Lucasaye says:

      Just been on another website and the guardian article was mentioned by some of the contributors with comments like we dodged a bullet with the Indy ref and we must question the snp about this the people making the comments regard themselves as intelligent so I despair because it shows the media lies are getting through to some people

    47. Macart says:

      Neatly done Rev.

      Near had a fit at the soundbite in really big quote marks from Jackie Bailie. 😀

      Dear God! How desperate do you have to be to call JB for a quote on PFIs? Desperation IS what its all about though. Apparently there’s an election in the offing next May and Mr Carrell is simply doing his bit for his favourite cause… Labour.

      Point and laugh folks, point and laugh.

    48. Iain says:

      It’s absolutely shocking that a newspaper in twenty_first century Britain can print such a pile of steaming crap and get away with it.

    49. Sinky says:

      Yet again stv news state that M9 tragedy was a 999 call. They are getting as bad as the bbc

    50. Iain says:

      We have an absolute duty to our kids, the old and vulnerable in our community and all the people being stripped of their benefits, to vote these bastards out in May. Vote Snp,Snp!

    51. galamcennalath says:

      Kragos says:

      “publishers only want SNP hate articles surrounded by reality show crap in their newspapers”

      It’s all like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and 1984. One minute it’s surreal, fantastical and unbelievable. Next minute it’s dark, threatening and scary!

      On the face of it, they should be trying to get sales up and therefore increase advertising income. Yet their mission seems to be at absolute odds with that, as they drive more and more readers away!

      Somebody somewhere is pulling the strings and setting the agenda.

    52. heedtracker says:

      Point and laugh folks, point and laugh.

      It is sad to see a once great newspaper turned red tory rag though. They explain here, propaganda goons like to back up their goonery

      https://archive.is/OEmLq

      Ferocious attack propaganda works, usually, Scotland region left out by this goon, as per

      “One of the more predictable outcomes was among Guardian readers, where 62% voted for Labour (as against 46% in 2010) and 11% voted Lib Dem, compared to 37% last time. More Guardian readers voted Green (14%) than at any other title. And Ukip? Just 1%!”

    53. galamcennalath says:

      Iain says:

      “It’s absolutely shocking that a newspaper in twenty_first century Britain can print such a pile of steaming crap and get away with it.”

      They print such shit, and get away with it, because this is 21stC UKOKland.

      The solution is obvious, get out of their Union as soon as circumstances allow!

      Starting with SNP, SNP in May.

    54. Gerry says:

      Itchybiscuit says:
      15 December, 2015 at 4:11 pm
      Perhaps one day the Unionist meeja will wake up to themselves.
      Each and every ‘SNP BAD!’ article drives another voter towards the SNP.

      YES – 100% correct. The problem is that they have nothing positive to say about the union.

    55. Sinky says:

      Is James Kelly’s Holyrood expulsion just a publicity stunt in run up to Labour’s list raking vote.
      He’s not that clever is he?

    56. Taranaich says:

      “Public sector debt in Scotland has mushroomed to record levels after an SNP government spending spree funded by billions of pounds’ worth of borrowing from pension funds, international banks and the Treasury.

      It’s that phrasing “spending spree” which really gets my goat: it gives the impression the money was wasted on lavish luxuries, or failed projects, or some other frivolous endeavour – as opposed to, you know, “schools, roads, railway stations, colleges and hospitals.”

      I’m sure people will be appalled that the Scottish government have spent all this money on public services. The nerve of those people! Just who do they think they are!?

    57. Harry McAye says:

      STV’s Colin Mackay has been told by at least one person, ie me, that he got it wrong a few weeks ago when he said the call to police for the M9 crash was a 999 call. It was of course a 101 call. And yet tonight he repeats his “mistake”. I also tweeted the presenter John Mackay, asking whether it was a lie or just a mistake. He said it was a mistake and it would be corrected. I tuned in the following night and…nothing.

      I’ve just been told on twitter that John Mackay has since referred to it being a 999 call himself before the erroneous report tonight, so that’s at least three times. Maybe GA Ponsonby should do a book about STV bias.

    58. Skooshcase says:

      Yup, first had a look at that smear-attempt headline on the Guardian’s website, saw that it was composed by Sleverin and just knew what was to come.

      I’m already banned/naughty-stepped by the Guardian for some innocuous response to some Britnat fuckwit-troll, which is maybe just as well as if I hadn’t have been I would’ve been ‘properly’ banned/naughty-stepped this time for giving a more ‘honest’ comment BTL!

      Project Fear never went away, it just hid in the sewer for a few months before returning, dirtier and filthier than before. Oh, and the smell….!

    59. gte says:

      So what’s missing?

      Scotland gets a share of the UK state’s borrowing. Perhaps a Barnett formula share of the debt? If its fair for spending, must be fair for the borrowing! 🙂

      Then there are the pensions. Labour left 5,010 bn [present value] owing to the public in 2010. That’s doubled under the Tories. Remember they have doubled the debt [I agree with that bit]

      So that’s another chunk of debt.

      Then there is PFI. That’s relatively small. I don’t have the break down for the rUK vs Scotland, but the total isn’t huge. About 100 bn.

      There’s there’s nuclear clean up. Paid for up front, for the state to pay in the future. It’s another debt and its hard to dodge. Around the 200 bn mark. 8 reactors in Scotland including the research ones. Out of 20 in total. Scotland gets a bigger chunk.

      Guarantees on things like BT’s pension fund, Royal Mail’s pension fund. About 300 bn at current losses. Who pays for that debt?

      I’m sure people will be appalled that the Scottish government have spent all this money on public services. The nerve of those people! Just who do they think they are!?

      The nerve of these people dumping the debt on the young. With interest. Do you think its moral forcing people into debt bondage?

    60. Breeks says:

      I’d like to propose crowd funding our own legal opinion concerning the legal status of Scotland’s sovereignty, with due reference to the AXA case which contested the right of the Scottish Parliament to make laws.
      I would like a second legal opinion governing the conduct of the mainstream press and media, and in particular, what right of redress we have to contest and combat their flagrant propaganda.

      I confess, I’m rather disappointed that Scottish Lawyers for Independence didn’t make a big effort to define, clarify and highlight the legal status of Scotland in the months leading up to the YES referendum.

      Perhaps funding such a venture with the specific objective of having a professional legal opinion would help. Far be it for me to raise money to pass on to a Lawyer, but the right legal opinion could and would be invaluable, and better inform all manner of initiatives to disrupt this barrage of Unionist propaganda.

    61. Ronnie says:

      @ Harry McAye,

      ‘Maybe GA Ponsonby should do a book about STV bias’.

      Maybe GA Ponsonby should do a book about STV lies.

      Fixed that for you.

      The difference being that the BBC are professional liars, the STV are just amateurs, but it does seem that they’ve been taking lessons from their chummies ben the hoose.

    62. Ken500 says:

      As usual no mentions of the assets. Unionists journalists and nonsense,

      Westminster had run up £1.5trillion of deficit and rising. 0.2Trillion since the Tories have mucked up the economy. Scotland is still making debt repayments on debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland.

      ACC Unionists/Green are making the most hideous mess of a City centre that has ever been seen. An absolute, complete and utter disgace. Increasing the debt and congestion Without a mandate. They are not fit for public office. They were offered £80Million to pedestrianise the City without any debt and they refused.

    63. Another London Dividend says:

      Hootsman online lead story

      Scotland would be “entirely bankrupt” and probably “scuttling” for help had it secured independence, a business minister has claimed.

      Conservative frontbencher Nick Boles told MPs he would use a meeting with oil and gas companies to discuss not only concerns over an apprenticeship tax but also their views on the SNP’s oil revenue predictions ahead of last year’s independence referendum.

      https://archive.is/76FX3

      When will SNP point out that if true then what a great advert for being a Union where we subsidised HM Treasury by £300 billions over 30 years.

    64. heedtracker says:

      . The nerve of those people! Just who do they think they are!?

      Its an interesting point that, that the whole BBC led UKOK media thinks its a major political power player in teamGB politics. UKOK politics is endemically corrupt, so it figures that UKOK media reflects that.

      In their Scotland region, they’re clearly going after that same 5% vote that won them their referendum, with fear and uncertainty their weapon of choice, again.

      Its only for your own good vile separatists, safe and secure, pool and share, vote SLabour, or else. UKOK.

    65. liz says:

      He is trying to make out Scottish Future’s Trust is the same as PFI.

      Looks as though PFI was to make trust fund managers rich whilst SFT is saving money on projects.

      Can the SG ‘borrow’ money from the treasury, isn’t that what JS tried to do for new Queensway crossing and was knocked back.

      BTW Guardian foreign correspondant and editorial teanm are both plugging Sev’s article on twitter

    66. Lesley-Anne says:

      Apologies if this has already been posted. 😉

      Common Space have started a wee series of asking *ahem* important questions to *cough* important people. I’m not that sure but I do have the feeling that one or two people may recognise this *ahem* famous personage. 😀

      https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/3132/12-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wingsscotland-s-rev-stuart-campbell

    67. The Long Decline says:

      Re Jamie Arriere at 5:51

      Great link.

      I just did a quick total on all the Scotland entries – Capital outlay £5.9 Billion Total payback £31.3 Billion.

      Blimey!

    68. heedtracker says:

      Severin Carrell ?@severincarrell 17 mins17 minutes ago
      for the record, it seems @theSNP signed off on 12 PFI/PPP contracts including Scotland’s largest, the £320m M80, in Jan 2019.

      The vile separatist bastards! How big is the UKOK PFI bill so far? Who owns the UKOK money tree anyway etc

      https://archive.is/r4rCQ

      A few years ago now but £300+ billion UK PFI bill, for which Scotland has to pay for.

      Its an incredible way of hoovering hundreds of billions direct out of UKOK public finance and right into the private finance world. who are all frightfully grateful too.

      Where have Crash Brown and Lord Flipper ended up, the great PFI big spenders.

      Crash Gordon on the board of Pacific Investments, worth £1.5 trillion and Lord Flipper’s on board of directors at Morgan Stanley. Sorry, that’s Baron Flipper. He’s come along from defrauding the tax payer has Baron Alistair.

    69. Dr Jim says:

      Re James Kelly:

      That looked like some kind of delaying tactic he was trying to pull off, I don’t know the purpose but you’d have thought he would have had something prepared to say other than “Naw ahm no gonnae” and “Stoap Interuptin me” “Eh Em Naw”

      Tricia Marwick gave him every opportunity so I think there was something else going on

    70. heedtracker says:

      Total payments and then capital costs in that 2012 The Graun list.

      Northern Ireland Executive-£1,999.77-£7,211.65

      Scottish Government-£5,692.80 -£30,755.49

      Welsh Assembly-£543.36 -£2,756.78

      Why would Bomber Blair/Brown/Flipper etc dump so much PFI debt on their Scotland region compared to Wales or NI?

      Lovely bunch SLab. So anyway, Jacky Bailie rages away in rancid The Graun today,

      “What the Scottish government is doing to add to public sector debt is like PFI on steroids. It is essential with the new powers coming to the Scottish parliament on tax, spending and borrowing that we have complete transparency on the nation’s finances

      Read rancid The Graun, tweet hammer of the Scots Severin Carrell, you complete and utter SLab bullshiter.

    71. Dandy Dons 1903 says:

      What Tory Nick Boles really means is England would be bankrupt and scuttling around without the Scottish cashcow that is North Sea oil wealth to pilfer from its Northern neighbour under the union. The cheek of these english unionists and scotch vichy publications like the Hootsman knows no bounds.

    72. Skooshcase says:

      Sorry, O/T-ish

      Had a wee Google search about Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s editor, and came across Forbes’ list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2015”. On it, at #80 is Katharine Viner. She is quoted:

      “I intend to lead a media organization that is bold, challenging, open and engaging,” she said after her promotion was announced. “It will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events, setting the agenda and reaching out to readers all around the world.”

      “Setting the agenda” For sure they are. They have Severin Carrell as their ‘Scotland editor’, FFS! You don’t get more ‘setting the agenda’ than that!

      But anyway. Where’s oor Nicola? She’s got to be on there somewhere, considering she’s the First Minister of the country that was going to bring about The Fall of Western Civilization if its citizens voted Yes to independence… That’s some power right there, is it not, FFS?!

      [searches]… But, no, not on the list. With it being Forbes, it was always going to be America-centric, and yes, there are some notable names on that list. But, you know… for example, Beyoncé Knowles at #11 (In. The. World.)… LOL!

      http://www.forbes.com/power-women/list/3/#tab:overall

    73. heedtracker says:

      Total capital costs (£m) with Total repayments (£m)

      Northern Ireland Executive-£1,999.77-£7,211.65

      Scottish Government-£5,692.80 -£30,755.49

      Welsh Assembly-£543.36 -£2,756.78

      Oops.

    74. dakk says:

      Jack Murphy 4.35

      ‘The BBC spends £2500/week buying the Guardian’ ‘1551 copies’

      That means the Great British State is subsidising the Guardian and Severin Carroll place man’s wages.

      Don’t tell me the Labour Party buys the remainder of the Guardians for it’s research too.

      That would help with the Michael White’s moustache wax allowance.

      Follow the money.

    75. Lollysmum says:

      Heedtracker look again at that Carrrell tweet you copied. Just how did SNP sign off on something 4 yrs in the future? Time travel?

      He slipped up there 🙂

    76. Free Scotland says:

      “That will be a rare wee fire when it’s kindled,” said Severin as he pissed in the snow.

    77. Skooshcase says:

      @heedtracker at 7.24 pm

      “Severin Carrell ?@severincarrell 17 mins17 minutes ago
      for the record, it seems @theSNP signed off on 12 PFI/PPP contracts including Scotland’s largest, the £320m M80, in Jan 2019.”

      So that will be edited into the pile of pish-gallop that he spewed onto the Guardian’s website, then…? With the correction noted at least at the bottom of the pish-pile…? Aye, right. Don’t be so effin stupid!

      Another fraudster and faker masquerading as a journalist.

    78. Robert Peffers says:

      @Tam Jardine says: 15 December, 2015 at 5:04 pm:

      ” … Its is so disingenuous Goebbels would be impressed …”

      Face facts, Tam, The South Britain Establishment was in the propaganda business before Jesus was a laddie and the BBC first began its propaganda Service, 2LO, shortly after October 18, 1922 when the BBC was founded.

      Also, it was not until 1928 that Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels to the post of National Director of Propaganda for the Nazi Party.

      By BBC and South Britain Establishment standards Goebbels was a rank amateur.

    79. roughian says:

      Why is the BBC paying for copies of newspapers? Surely you must be able to buy a corporate on line copy that can be released on the BBC intranet. Even if restricted you could negotiate a rate of say pay 1 in 20 copies which would make the BBC outlay considerably less than current costs on papers. Oh but that would reduce the papers income and circulation figures and we can’t have that can we!!!!

    80. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says: 15 December, 2015 at 5:06 pm:

      ” … The reason I ask is that it was mentioned somewhere that the BBC lazily rely on the corporate press for stories.”

      Well, Luigi, the BBC don’t need to rely upon the national press for news stories for the BBC get their news from exactly the same place as the rest of the junk press.

      From the News Agencies such as Reuters. It used to be a very expensive ticker tape, “Wire Service”, but everything changed with the internet.

      Now anyone, Including you Luigi, can stick the following link to Reuters on their favourites bar :-

      http://uk.reuters.com/

      and access Reuters News Agency directly and for free. Thus cutting out the middleman.

    81. heedtracker says:

      Why is the BBC paying for copies of newspapers?

      Its the same toryboy crew/revolving door BBC style

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

      Laura Keunsberg’s BBC boss. Got really sick of that torygirl sneering at anything YES during the ref, but that’s her rewarded.

      Even further right, BBC probably buy thousands of Heils or, we wish you a merry toryboy xmas because we’re going to destroy you next year, degenerate Daily Heil style.

      Alan Roden ?@AlanRoden 27m27 minutes ago
      Wishing the “most dangerous woman in Britain” @NicolaSturgeon a very merry Christmas!

    82. Broch Landers says:

      Look, Severin’s just a house byline.

      Editorial cuts got rid of all the humans ages ago.

      The Guardian now has an Android, it’s a Lexus 6 or something, that files all the copy.

      The list of story templates is ingeniously economical:

      Jeremy Corbyn “is killing Labour”, says [Careerist junior MP / some bloke in a pub / Tony Blair’s personal trainer / subs please check].

      SNP under fire over [spending too much / spending too little / global warming / ISIS / being left wing / being right wing / being too popular / existing].

      Join the Guardian campaign to patronise Americans about [Trump / shale gas / some guff about liberty].

      Advertorial: Michael White’s [insert this year’s best buy] moustache trimmer only £[amount] at Argos this Christmas.

    83. Robert Peffers says:

      @Edward says: 15 December, 2015 at 5:09 pm:

      “Regards James Kelly
      After watching the full clip that Stuart has loaded onto You Tube, I’m of the mind that Kelly was ‘not well’”

      In which case, Edward, James has been always unwell for those symptoms you diagnose describe his normal status quo.

      The prognosis is that he will always remain so unwell.

    84. JaMur says:

      Back in yon day the guardian was the only paper I trusted.
      Sure does reek heavily of pish these days.

      on the ever growing list now.

    85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Phil Robertson at 4.47

      Your figures are absolute bollocks. The £3 billion you quote as Scottish student debt is actually less than one sixth of that at around £500 million and the average Scottish individual student debt is around £5500. (*That is less than one year’s of English tuition fees).

      THE AVERAGE ENGLISH STUDENT DEBT IS OVER £44,000.

      Will you withdraw the lies you posted at 4.47, Phil?

      The grants are in fact much more generous than when I and my generation did our degrees and I rather wonder if making student loans easily available is the reason the debts exist. I worked part time at nights all the way through my degree years.

    86. Kirsty says:

      I blush when I see how much effort has been put in to keeping us in the union whilst simultaneously teaching us how silly and incompetent we are and what a terrible, awful drain we are on *their* resources. I’m so glad they and their helpers are there to point out how policies that we didn’t devise, vote for or want but that were put in place by them regardless, have left us skint and for showing us how that’s also somehow our fault. Thank God. If it wasn’t for them setting me right, I might have thought that it wasn’t us who were the clowns but rather Westminster and the unionist parties who ran Scotland on their behalf.

    87. Robert Peffers says:

      @Iain says: 15 December, 2015 at 6:01 pm:

      “It’s absolutely shocking that a newspaper in twenty_first century Britain can print such a pile of steaming crap and get away with it.”

      Ah! But!

      Are they getting away with it, Iain?

      My take on that is, with their ever dwindling readerships, they most certainly ARE NOT, getting away with it.

      They actually remind me of confused teenagers who, in their hearts know they are being stupid, none the less continue to indulge in self-harm.

    88. Ken500 says:

      £6Billion a year is borrowed for student debt in England. Only £3Billion of which is ever going to be repaid.

      Total taxes raised in Scotland – £54Billion. Total taxes raised in the UK – £515Billion. Take £54 from £515Billion = £461Billion raised in the rest of the UK. Divide £461Billion by 11 (rest of the UK 11/12 of pop) = £42Billion.

      The rest of the UK borrows and spends £90Billion and put a % on Scotland’s accounts. Scotland has to make debt repayments of £4Billion.

      Westminster borrows and spends as it pleases, without any agreement with Scotland but Scotland gets a % of the debt added to its account.

    89. Balaaargh says:

      Watched the clip of Kelly. I won’t comment on his wellbeing at the time he stood up.

      What I will comment on is that he needs to go back and learn what a “point of order” is. It is not an opportunity for him to attempt a political stunt around the legal advice stated. It is also not a method of filibustering by obfuscation. And it’s no wonder he got short shrift by talking back.

      The worst part is, this clown is not some newbie. We need better politicians.

    90. Robert Peffers says:

      @heedtracker says: 15 December, 2015 at 6:29 pm:

      “One of the more predictable outcomes was among Guardian readers, where 62% voted for Labour (as against 46% in 2010) and 11% voted Lib Dem, compared to 37% last time. More Guardian readers voted Green (14%) than at any other title. And Ukip? Just 1%!”

      Ah! But!, heedtracker, there is an obvious flaw in that calculation above – “62% voted Labour, (as against 46% in 2010)”, omits the crucial figures of what the actual former totals were. Nothing whatsoever can be deduced from those statements even if we did know the actual total numbers of the past and present percentages.

    91. Skooshcase says:

      Back in the day and not that long ago pre-Scottish referendum campaign, the Guardian basically ignored Scotland. Which all the print-based MSM did, of course.

      Although, when they did publish something on Scotland, even if it was of a dubious nature, shall we say, the comments BTL were mainly respectful with counterarguments made and some excellent posts from both sides of the argument.

      Not now.

      Since Ref1, its CiF articles that are Scottish-based are a bile-soup of abuse and offense from Britnats and trolls/flamers. Gone is any debate or civility. A few pro-Scottish independence/SNP hardy souls still take it upon themselves to inform the ignorant and repel the shit thrown their way – and an excellent job they do too – but, compared to the days when thing were more civil, the numbers are dwindling.

      And who can blame them. Why bother going BTL to counter the lies and misinformation ATL while you and your country are being abused there time after time after time.

      And to confirm what a fuck-up it is, the moderators allow some of the most heinously offensive comments to be seen, meanwhile, as an obvious supporter of Scottish independence, the SNP or both, make some innocouous comment and – Slap! – you get naughty-stepped or even banned! What a farce!

      Ah well, one good thing. The independence campaign forced the so-called left-leaning hypocrites at the Guardian to show their true political leanings. And surprise-surprise! Underneath, they are as rightwing and British Establishment as those that at least don’t pretend to be anything else, like the Mail and the Telegraph.

    92. gerry parker says:

      I sent an email mail to Tricia supporting her action.
      Kelly should really have a think about what he did and be man enough to apologise. Oh I forgot, Labour don’t do apologies. Maybe Kez will have a word. Oh I forgot, she’s posted missing.

    93. Kirriereoch says:

      @Skooshcase

      “Since Ref1, its CiF articles that are Scottish-based are a bile-soup of abuse and offense from Britnats and trolls/flamers. Gone is any debate or civility. A few pro-Scottish independence/SNP hardy souls still take it upon themselves to inform the ignorant and repel the shit thrown their way – and an excellent job they do too – but, compared to the days when thing were more civil, the numbers are dwindling.”

      Indeed. I haven´t once looked at the Guardian´s Scotland page since just before the referendum. It wasn´t worth the effort anymore. A few posts here and there (as urlaccount) in the last 16 months. It seemed to be more and more simply like “click-bait.”

      I have very occasionally glanced at Scotland related stories in the Guardian when they appear in the news-streams but a glance is more than enough.

      It has also tainted my views on, and regard for, the Guardian´s other reports. Its attitude to Jeremy Corbyn simply confirms all this too.

      I admire people who post here such as “heedtracker” who still seem to read the Guardian “stories” but also think sometimes heedtracker et al should simply leave it well alone and place the effort and time elsewhere.

    94. Joemcg says:

      English Tory Mr Boles-“Scotland would be scuttling off to the IMF” Wow just wow!

    95. heedtracker says:

      Nothing whatsoever can be deduced from those statements even if we did know the actual total numbers of the past and present percentages.

      Indeed Robert. They’re only hacks though. Its a dirty business. Mind how Graun ditched the most unpopular British Prime Minister ever?

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/apr/30/the-liberal-moment-has-come

      Gordon Brown was a fantastic coward for not going for 2008 GE but bottlers like Crash were turned on by the Graun. I mean they turned against Crash, not that they were turned on by the nutcase.

      But Crash then went on to save this farce union for them, so it just goes to show, The Graun backing, is the kiss of electoral UKOK death, hopefully!

      If their relentless monstering of Scottish democracy actually works and its FM Dugdale next May, we’re all fcuked.

    96. Papadox says:

      The EBC’s £2500 pw to the Guardian sounds affa like money laundering. A wee MI5 finance operation, on behalf of HMG For the benefit of the crown, £125,000 per annum nice wee earner.

    97. David says:

      many years ago the Guardian was my newspaper of choice. nowadays with a few columnists excepted it is just one big pretend intelligent middle England drivel.

    98. Ian Brotherhood says:

      First item on BBC North Britain’s 10 p.m. radio news is all about a British astronaut’s Mum sending him a nice message.

      We’re Better Together, in space…ffs…

      ‘Why build another atmosphere?’ etc… 🙁

    99. Ruby says:

      ‘The BBC spends £2500/week buying the Guardian’

      That is very interesting!

      I wonder which other government departments spend huge amounts of taxpayers money on newspapers?

      If the Guardian were to start printing anti-UK Gov articles would they lose their UK Gov funding?

    100. Grouse Beater says:

      Papadox: “The EBC’s £2500 pw to the Guardian sounds affa like money laundering.”

      That’s as nothing to the vast billions Dear Darling handed to the RBS to save its criminal bankers from drowning in their own vomit.

      And he committed billions more for the RBS’ future instead of letting the corrupt sections of the bank go under, saving only the profitable parts.

      Look at how we struggle now, and now told Scotland is accruing debt, and look at Darling now …

      Thank you No voters.

    101. schrodingers cat says:

      CiF articles that are Scottish-based are a bile-soup of abuse and offense from Britnats and trolls/flamers

      they don’t like it up ’em though 🙂

    102. dakk says:

      Ian Brotherhood. 10.04

      ‘a British astronaut’s mum sending him a nice message’

      How wholesome.

      And the message was;

      Dear Timothy,since you’re up there, could you help our boys by dropping one of those brimstone thingies on that frightful ISIS whilst you’re over Syria.That’s my boy.

    103. HandandShrimp says:

      I frequent the Guardian but I couldn’t get past the first couple of sentences. I think they were code for “Please Daily Mail rescue me and offer me a job”.

      I gathered from the comments below that the rest was a Niagara of utter pish.

    104. Phil Robertson says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      “Your figures are absolute bollocks. The £3 billion you quote as Scottish student debt is actually less than one sixth of that at around £500 million and the average Scottish individual student debt is around £5500. (*That is less than one year’s of English tuition fees).
      Will you withdraw the lies you posted at 4.47, Phil?”

      See no reason to.

      Not sure what your sources were but the figures that I quoted were based on information from the Scottish Government and the Students Loan Company. They’re quite sound.

      However your figures do seem dodgy. You claim that student debt is £500M. That is difficult to believe given that in the 2013-14 academic year alone, student borrowing was £430M.

      Not for the first time on this site, there is a frightening lack of numeracy.

    105. Big Jock says:

      Ffs why are the Brits in such a lather at a 10 a penny astronaught going to a space station. They are so fecking insular. Who cares where he’s from. It’s like the line:” And no Britons wer injured”.

      I couldn’t even care if he was Scottish its irrelevant and its not groundbreaking.

    106. Thepnr says:

      @Phil Robertson

      Why do you never provide links to your assertions Phil? Perhaps because they are just selective?

      You got it right regarding the fact that in Scotland students owe a total of £3.5B. In England it is £64.7B. English students end up with more than double the average debt of a Scottish student.

      STUDENT LOANS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN
      SCOTLAND, FINANCIAL YEAR 2014-15

      The Loan Balance (including loans not yet due for
      repayment) at the end of financial year 2014-15 was £3.5
      billion, an increase of 14% when compared with 2013-14.
      Table 1 and Chart 2.

      The average Loan Balance for the 2015 cohort which entered repayment at the end of tax year 2014-15 was £9,440. Table 5(iii) and Chart 5.

      http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/student-loans-debt-and-repayment/scotland.aspx

      STUDENT LOANS IN ENGLAND, FINANCIAL
      YEAR 2014-15

      The balance outstanding (including loans not yet due
      for repayment) at the end of the financial year 2014-15 was
      £64.7 billion, an increase of 19% when compared with 2013-
      14. Table 1 and Chart 2.

      At the end of
      tax year 2014-15 the average Loan Balance for the 2015
      repayment cohort on entry to repayment was £21,180 Table
      5A(iii) and Chart 5.

      http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/student-loans-debt-and-repayment/england.aspx

      Your real name isn’t Severin Carrell by any chance? Maybe your just a fan.

    107. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Due to the number of mentions of “p!$h” on this page, I feel compelled to post this link again…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHVuPhOUDH4

    108. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Yes. I was quoting the annual debt rather than the accumulated figure.
      The point is that the average Scottish student accumulates less than half the debt of English students, largely because the Scottish Government cancelled tuition fees so whichever way you look at it the Scottish students under the SNP government get a much better deal. Also worth noting the loans come from a UK fund,not from the Scottish Government and obligation to start pay back only comes when a person starts earning decent wages and that payback is at very low percentage level. The griping about “Scottish Student Debt” is just another SNPBAAAD distortion

    109. richie bradley says:

      Surely the Guardian’s ‘integrity’ should be publicly questioned here. The majority of ‘sensible’ Scots assume that the Guardian is a Quality newspaper. What are they playing at here?
      We really need this to get more into the public domain, not everyone reads this Wings website.
      When I read this Guardian article today today, I knew there was something not right. The problem is, lots of people believe what they read in such newspapers.
      I asked my SNP MP recently what the SNP is doing to counter such absurd claims and muck-spreading. He claims that the SNP are not concerned, as ‘the SNP does not need the votes of people who believe this rubbish’. Sorry, but people DO believe this. I am really frustrated that such tripe goes unchallalenged. It might hurt eventually.

    110. Legerwood says:

      Phil Robertson @ 10.38 pm

      “Not for the first time on this site there is a frightening lack of numeracy”

      No there isn’t. You and Dave McEwan Hill have both quoted figures that are correct but are describing different things.

      The amount loaned to Scottish students in HE in financial year 2014-15 was £516.2 million.

      The loan balance, that is the total amount loaned to date less the amount that has been paid back, is £3,537 million an increase of 18% from 2013-14.

      Lending and interest payments outweigh repayments. The loan balance has been increasing year on year. The threshold at which repayment has increased since the loan system was first introduced.

      If you are going to quote figures make sure you fully explain what the figures relate to.

    111. Phronesis says:

      Some economists who are not exclusively fixated on the oil sector might disagree with the assumption that Scotland’s economy with independence would be a cataclysmic flop.

      This is because great economists can look beyond statistics to the human story, the connections between market turmoil,debt and the health of society e.g. Tomas Piketty, Branko Milanovic, Anthony Atkinson, Emmanuel Saez. Through their efforts they have provided us with a global and historical picture of world-wide intra-national income inequality.

      And of course an enlightened political order would understand inter-generational income relations/the inequality of opportunity/the generational elasticity of income and create policies and an economic framework to ensure equal opportunity for all children independent of parental incomes.

      This person has written extensively about this very subject;

      https://milescorak.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/social_mobility_summit_v3.pdf

      The higher the elasticity coefficient (on a scale of 0 to 1), the more inequality of opportunity-
      The UK tops this table at 0.5 equalled only by the USA.

      Denmark (0.15) Norway (0.17) Finland (0.18)have the lowest values-they have certainly used their contracting power to buy social justice and reduce inequality of opportunity for future generations.

      If we regard that as political competence-then it is very hard to see how UKOK can be regarded as anything but an economic failure.

    112. yesindyref2 says:

      A bit late to this party, never mind. Here’s an interesting quote from dear Severin in the Gruniad dated 19th December 2014:

      If there is one thing guaranteed to punch a hole in the Scottish economy it is a plunging oil price. Since the summer the wholesale value of Brent crude, the key North Sea price used as a global benchmark, has nearly halved from last year’s average of $109 a barrel. This month it fell below $60 for the first time in more than five years.

      or on the other hand, from ScotGov about Q1 and Q2 2015, AFTER the oil price had dropped as reported by dear Severin:

      When rounded to one decimal place, at 2015Q1 annual GDP growth in Scotland was 0.1 percentage points higher than in the UK. At 2015Q2, annual GDP growth in Scotland was 0.1 percentage points higher than in the UK. Between 2015Q1 and 2015Q2, the gap between annual Scottish and UK GDP growth rates remained at 0.1 percentage points in favour of Scotland.”

      I’m surprised he didn’t compare us unfavourably with small EU countries because:

      At 2015Q1 annual GDP growth in Scotland was 1.1 percentage points higher than in the Small EU Countries. At 2015Q2, annual GDP growth in Scotland was 0.8 percentage points higher than in the Small EU Countries. Between 2015Q1 and 2015Q2 the gap between annual Scottish and Small EU GDP growth rates changed by 0.3 percentage points in favour of Small EU Countries.

      I guess dear Severein didn’t get his wish fulfilment. He must have been naughty because Santa didn’t fill his sack for him.

    113. carthannas says:

      Richie Bradley, your dead right about the SNP needing to deal with lies, omissions, distortions etc in the Guardian – and also particularly on the BBC. The latter is the main source of news and opinion for many people. I really don’t think that the SNP can continue to ignore blatantly biased stories to go unchallenged. How it’s done, I don’t know but it needs doing swiftly. This constant stream of SNP bad stories – the Forth Road Bridge and the article by the twerp Carrell – are just two of many, are bound to have a negative effect in the long run.

      O/T Stu – thanks very much for the badge and Fizzers!

    114. Ghillie says:

      Severin Carrell is not just any old FLAT OUT LIAR.

      He is a VERY VERY BORING flat out liar!!!

      At least JK MSP’s wee carry on was entertaining in a ‘oh please stop before you TOTALY embarass yourself!’ kind of way!

    115. Ken500 says:

      The assets outweigh any Deficit. . £50Billion would be extremely easy to pay down, if Scotland was Independent. Scotland would be in surplus,

    116. Undeadshaun says:

      Severerin is plainly lying as pfi’s were banned when SNP came to power, any pfi payments are there tory legacy.

      So when he says new pfi’s is he counting the SNP replacement npd’s which have much lower interest costs, or is he just doing what he always Does and is making it up?

      http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/Finance/18232/12308

    117. heedtracker says:

      Indeed. I haven´t once looked at the Guardian´s Scotland page since just before the referendum. It wasn´t worth the effort anymore. A few posts here and there (as urlaccount) in the last 16 months. It seemed to be more and more simply like “click-bait.”

      READ everything they fart out at Scotland. if you don’t read their propaganda, youre not…em…er

      Maybe youre right Kirriereoch.

      But then, check it out. Tories just removed the last actual bankster regs to at least make the accountable for the next City crash, which we will all have to pay for all over again, socialism for the richest, austerity for everyone else.

      https://archive.is/d9JlW

      Exact same Treasury that shafted Scottish democracy so hard last, the gits even gave themselves awards, coz they’re all so democratic n shit. Fair enough stinking rich City bums finance toryboys in Westminster but we all pay for the Treasury, who actually work for the City and round and round it goes.

    118. Will Podmore says:

      Ms Sturgeon has pledged to save the steel industry. Yet Scotland’s biggest infrastructure project of recent times, the new road bridge over the River Forth at Queensferry, was built with steel from China ordered by the Scottish government.

    119. heedtracker says:

      And again in the City, another triumph of UKOK tory rule

      https://archive.is/fkSag

      Regs scrapped,

      “The banking industry also kept up its calls for a review of the taxation of the sector, which is forecast to bring in around £1bn in corporation tax over the next six years. This followed a government move last year to restrict the way banks can use past losses to reduce their tax bills. The new measures anounced in the budget will bring in £2bn over the rest of the decade.”

      So while UKOK Britnats leap up and down with the thrill of oil prices falling, bankrupting their Scotland region apparently , we should all rejoice at the City spivs and their endless triumphs of UKOK business, all underwritten by sucker taxpayer.

      Short on second homes!

    120. heedtracker says:

      Will Podmore says

      70+ years of SLabour right to reign over Scotland destroyed all of the giant Scottish heavy industry and that’s all you have Will?

      Must try harder, Will Podmore.

    121. pitchfork says:

      Will nowhere in Scotland, or indeed rUK, has the capability to make the steel needed for the new bridge.

      This is not political bias, it is the sad legacy of decades of UK level governments mishandling of our manufacturing base. This can hardly be blamed on the SNP.

    122. Matt says:

      On the plus side, at least the article does concede there will be a cut in Scotland’s budget from the Treasury which represents progress from last month’s claims that there would be no real terms cut.

    123. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So what’s missing?

      Scotland gets a share of the UK state’s borrowing.”

      It would be a little harsh to hold the Scottish Government responsible for debts run up by the UK government, would it not?

      We’ve established in incontrovertible detail in the past – using the analysis of Professor Brian Ashcroft, nobody’s idea of a Scottish nationalist – that Scotland’s “share” of UK debt has in fact already been more than paid for, in advance.

    124. Will Podmore says:

      The steel industry employs 30,000 people. It could have provided the steel for the bridge. China decided to dump surplus steel onto world markets at prices below the cost of production. The government allows SSI in Redcar to go out of business.
      And yes of course, Labour/Tory governments have run down our industries.
      It is still the case that the Scottish government did not have to order steel from China; it could have chosen to buy Scottish or even British.

    125. gordon murray says:

      The UK national audit office estimates UK national assets to be £1,337bn
      UK national debt is now north of £1,600bn
      Take one from the other and multiply by 8.2% to get Scotland’s population share of the result.
      Given that Scotland currently pays £4.5bn a year in interest payments on UK national debt, plus our share of strategic UK national projects such as the London Crossrail, London Sewer Project, Thames Tunnel, London Underground upgrades, London HS1&2 Rail links
      You can see that on independence Scotland should have no black hole no national debt and no austerity budget beyond the first independent parliament.https://www.nao.org.uk/highlights/whole-of-government-accounts/
      check frequently asked questions: how much does the public sector own?

    126. Fred says:

      Perhaps friend Podmore could further enlighten us as to which British? steel company tendered to supply the Bridge. No Scottish company did so, probably not capable of meeting the requirements.

      Workington in Cumbria used to supply the entire British rail network with rails until some asset-stripper decided to take Labour’s Buff Hoon’s advice and get Britain out of the metal-bashing business. Where do rails come from nowadays?

    127. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      It’s not all Chinese steel…

      ” AN ENGINEERING company in the North-East that built some of the world’s most famous bridges has secured its future by winning a deal for the new Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.
      Cleveland Bridge in Darlington beat international rivals to the multi-million pounds order that safeguards 260 jobs and creates 130.
      The consortium Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) has appointed Cleveland Bridge to make massive steel girders that will support viaducts at either end of the 1.7 mile long structure.
      The deal has given the Darlington firm confidence to take on apprentices and draw up plans to buy new machinery.

      The bridge will open to traffic in 2016. Steel for the project is being supplied by Tata Steel from its mills in Scunthorpe and Motherwell.”

      That’s from:-
      https://archive.is/I0JkJ

    128. Fred says:

      Thanks for that Brian, Slab rabbited on about this last year.

    129. RabMac says:

      Thanks for the link Brian, that’s being bookmarked for future reference.

    130. Will Podmore says:

      Thanks very much Brian – very glad to see some of the work is being done in Britain. I’d like to see all of it being done in Britain.

    131. Phil Robertson says:

      Dave McEwan Hill, Thepnr and Legerwood

      Now that we seem to be agreed that cumulative student is over £3B and rising, any thoughts on the SNP 2007 election pledge to “replace the expensive and discredited Student Loans system with means-tested student grants”.

      It’s getting on for ten years now.



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