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The Red Squirrel Papers

Posted on March 23, 2014 by

Earlier this week we noticed the curious lack of media coverage of the “Devo Nano” report. As the document spelling out Labour’s “more powers” offer to Scotland in the event of a No vote, its release was ostensibly the most important milestone so far in the independence debate, so we found it very strange to see it get such a muted reception, particularly from the Daily Record.

1888

Two days later the explanation arrived, in the form of the so-called “Red Paper”. Described by some journalists as a “mini-manifesto”, it was a 64-page uncosted wishlist of vague feelgood notions like reducing child poverty. (A brave, daring and controversial step there to be sure.) And this time the papers were all over it.

The odd thing was that even Labour weren’t overplaying the glossy pamphlet.

“Sarwar said the document was not a manifesto: many of its pledges, such as plans to pay NHS staff a living wage and increase free childcare, were not detailed or fully costed. Those would be set out before the 2015 and 2016 elections. ‘This is not a manifesto: it’s an ambitions document,’ he said.”

An “ambitions document”? Even in politician-speak that’s a wishy-washy phrase, meaning “We’d kind of like to do some of this stuff, but we’re not committing ourselves to anything”, but to the press it was akin to the Ten Commandments.

“Scottish Labour unveil radical vision for a fairer Scotland in battle for country’s future”, blared the Daily Record, though the document offered nothing even remotely matching that description. An even more over-the-top leader column proclaimed it the magic bullet that shot the independence fox:

“Undecided voters have been crying out for politicians to give positive reasons for sticking with the UK. Today, finally, they have been provided with some good ones.

Labour’s Red Paper offers undecided voters a road map to a fairer Scotland with crackdowns on poverty and a share in prosperity. It is a Scottish document which outlines how it is possible to take different approaches on key issues north of the Border while still working together across the whole UK.

It is also in sharp contrast to the SNP Government’s white paper on independence, which is a blend of wish list and extremely optimistic speculation.”

And yet it was plainly none of those things. Its few concrete proposals (eg those concerning the living wage, abolishing the bedroom tax and introducing a 10p tax band) are wholly dependent on the election of a co-operative Labour government at Westminster – an outcome which appears to be growing less likely by the day – not areas where “different approaches” can be taken north and south of the border.

And in any direct comparison with the White Paper, the Labour effort comes off very poorly indeed. Take for example the respective pledges on childcare. The “Red Paper” sets out its aspirations (Essentially, “We think more childcare would be a good thing”) in just nine paragraphs spread thinly across pages 14 and 36.

childcarerp

Not once is the cost of the policy mentioned, nor where the money is to be found. By comparison, the White Paper is clear and specific on both.

childcarewp

Among scores of other mentions, pages 78 and 79 (electronic edition) of “Scotland’s Future” specify both the anticipated cost of the SNP’s improvements (£500-600m) and where the money will come from. Whether one accepts the figures or not, they’re at least there to be scrutinised, which is more than the “Red Paper” manages. It’s a sharp contrast all right, just in the opposite direction to the Record’s claim.

The rest of the Labour document is just as vacuous. It promises to “build on the success of Scotland’s national parks”, without elaborating on what that might possibly mean. It talks of transforming education, alongside not one but two graphics promising to “half” things. (The verb form of reducing something by 50% is “halve”, halfwits.)

halfs

Much of the “Red Paper”, whose official name is “Together We Can”, is in fact padded out with graphics suggesting that we cannae. Dire stats about demographic timebombs and fiscal deficits which will be very familiar to students of “Better Together” literature,  litter the pages in a gloomy red-on-grey livery, without even the smallest print hinting at the sources of the data.

(By comparison, the White Paper is stuffed with footnotes and references backing almost every figure it cites. The “Endnotes” section alone, containing clickable links for every annotation, runs to 34 pages.)

We could go on, but to do so would miss the point. It’s self-evidently absurd to put out a meaningless wishlist of hopes for an election that’s still more than two years away, within 48 hours of the document you’re counting on to win a referendum in just six months’ time. Unless, that is, you know the document is such a lame duck that you want to distract people’s attention from it.

The Devo Nano report has been almost uniformly rubbished by anyone who’s bothered to talk about it at all. Even diehard Labour activist Ian Smart, well-known to readers of this parish, called it “a complete mess” of nonsensical “posturing”, while our other best friend Euan McColm writes in Scotland on Sunday (the paper which has tried hardest to make a silk purse of the Devo Nano sow’s ear) calling it “an unloaded gun. But that doesn’t matter because there’s nobody in the party itching to pull the trigger”.

McColm (a deeply unpleasant human but not an idiot) concurs with our own analysis that Labour has deliberately and cynically pledged to devolve only powers which can never be used in practice:

“It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that the commission has attempted to appear bold by suggesting something that would never be ­enacted”

On Thursday we published several posts analysing different aspects of the Devo Nano report, inserting a picture of  squirrel  to hopefully-comic effect in each one to signify places where Labour hoped people wouldn’t look too closely at all the yawning chasms in its reasoning. The “Red Paper”, a brightly-coloured decoy seemingly rushed out with the sole purpose of burying Devo Nano before anyone realised what a shambles it was, is the biggest squirrel of all.

redsquirrel1

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78 to “The Red Squirrel Papers”

  1. turnip_ghost says:

    Excellent. I did wonder about the appearance of this red paper so soon after deco nano. I wonder, had the papers LOVED the deco proposals, would this red paper have been kept until closer to September….

  2. Doug Daniel says:

    I’d have gone with “halvewits” for comedy effect.

  3. muttley79 says:

    Yes, even SLAB have realised how bad their own more powers proposals are! 😀 I watched Lamont’s interview on the Sunday Politics Show today. I don’t think she answered any questions put to her by Gary Robertson, she kept returning to the SNP/SG. Lamont is utterly, utterly obsessed with the SNP, and Salmond in particular.

  4. Croompenstein says:

    Every Miss World has ‘ambitions’ for world peace but it ain’t happened yet..and neither will any of the uncosted shite in the ambitions document

  5. Dcanmore says:

    Just as you say Rev, and everything to do with Labour in Scotland these days, it’s a decoy and nothing more. Red Paper equates to red herring, more vague nonsense of ‘things’ that is the last throw of the dice by Lamont and Sarwar (and indeed the Daily Record too). There is only one thing on their minds after a NO vote and that will be relief. This ‘Red Paper’, once it has been through the wash a couple of times, will look a rather pale, limp excuse for a 2016 manifesto. This has nothing to do with the independence vote, it’s to keep Lamont and Labour in Scotland relevant after a YES vote. It even fails on that count too, in fact Labour has failure written all over it.

  6. Brian Powell says:

    Yup, and in the meantime in The Guardian, a taste of what is coming if we stick Together; the GP services in England.

    “GP services face extinction.

    “The leader of Britain’s family doctors has warned that GP services are “under severe threat of extinction” because they cannot cope with the growing demand for care. Practices are forcing patients to endure long waits for appointments, and allowing them too little time with their GP, according to Dr Maureen Baker, who chairs the Royal College of GPs.

    In an outspoken intervention, Baker claimed that allocating general practice an ever smaller share of the NHS budget was foolish because GP surgeries were “shoring up the rest of the NHS from collapse” by relieving pressure on hospitals.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/23/family-doctor-service-brink-extinction

  7. jon esquierdo says:

    The Labour party are full on people with low intelligence.

  8. jake says:

    An “ambitions document”…really?
    It’s not even jam tomorrow…it’s a union preserve

  9. Clootie says:

    “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.”

    ~Edmund Burke

  10. jon esquierdo says:

    That wee rid squirrel looks a bit like Malcolm Rifkind

  11. Linda's Back says:

    Don’t trust Labour on the NHS. As Private Eye reported on 7th March, former New Labour health secretary Alan Milburn, responsible for health reforms including foundation trusts and a big push on PFI described the NHS’s woes as “less about challenge and more about opportunity”

    Consultants from PricewaterhoueCoopers (PwC) have made a fortune from advising NHS Trusts including Mid Staffs which got into a shambolic mess which resulted in highest number of deaths after becoming a foundation trust.

    Mr Milburn chairs PwC health industries oversight board.

    And Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham talking to Holyrood Magazine wants us to go down the English route.

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

    Wouldn’t that be a good thing, pulling in the same direction as opposed to pulling our separate ways?
    Devolution, in its early days, was about doing something different and it needs to enter a different phase where we start talking again more about a UK-wide policy because in the end, that helps everybody.”

  12. Albalha says:

    So Ed Balls demanded its rowing back on taxation, what a surprise.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/labours-lamont-gets-nasty-in-fight-against-snp.23761146

  13. BuckieBraes says:

    With all the pre-conference hype, I was seriously expecting an offering from Labour that would potentially have the effect of strengthening the No vote; so still can’t believe what a complete hash they have made of things.

    As far as ‘more powers’ are concerned if you vote No, this is your lot, folks. If you’re lucky. Which you won’t be.

    And, remind me, what is it certain folk in the media have been trying to tell us again? This referendum is a choice between independence and what?

  14. muttley79 says:

    @jake

    Lamont called the Yes campaign the most dishonest political campaign in history (or words to that effect). However, in the Sunday Herald today it clearly says Lamont held meetings with Ed Balls and his advisers, and they were against the initial SLAB proposals of devolving all of income tax to Holyrood. Lamont was asked if Ed Balls was against the initial proposal in an interview with Gary Robertson today. She said he was not, and therefore is clearly lying.

  15. Brian Powell says:

    The tragedy about the Daily Record lies, is that No voters and Yes voters will be screwed when those Devolution ‘plans’ turn out to be shit.

  16. CameronB says:

    Even I half a better grasp of the English language. 🙂

    If this is the level of professionalism and attention to detail Labour (North British Branch), are able to muster in response to the biggest political event in British history, then they are truly a disgraceful disappointment. Fresh air sold as a tonic.

    Steady on there with that progressive attitude though Rev. Ending child poverty? Indeed!

  17. JLT says:

    Keir Hardie would be shell-shocked if he saw what had become of his Labour Movement.

    I have a picture in my head imagining Hardie standing in amongst the Labour supporters as he thunders away in blind fury at the Labour leadership as they sit at their wee table up on the stage.

    Strange that when you think about it …how the visionaries are always cast to the side along with their main principles as the opportunists manage to slide into position to take control. Keir Hardie had a vision; today we have too many so-called Labourites sniffing for a position in the House of Lords. Yep …very strange that!

  18. MajorBloodnok says:

    What’s the symbol for a public convenience doing there next to the child poverty graphic? Are they going to halve those as well?

  19. CameronB says:

    Not that a simple spelling mistake is my only disappointment.

  20. heedtracker says:

    Even after all these years of anti Scottish democracy propaganda, it is still shocking just how UKOK media is so blatantly NO biased. As in this mornings BBC Politics Scotland show headline “Labour to give Scotland more powers so vote no.” The BBC in Scotland just couldn’t care less what anyone in Scotland thinks of them.

  21. No No No...Yes says:

    Looks like the panic has set in as the Better Together campaign are rushing around trying to find stories to deflect todays positive YES headlines.

    The BBC have this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26705466

    “Blackrock which is based in New York and manages trillions in financial assets, will be sending out its 12-page assessment to clients next week.”

    So, a story that was in the pipeline rushed out today, or am I being cynical..?

  22. tartanfever says:

    Major B.

    Been trying to figure that one out for the last half hour.

    I’ve taken that graphic to mean that child poverty will halve with the introduction of unisex toilets.

  23. Bingo Wings Over Scotland says:

    There’s a fantastic quote in the Herald article that Albalha shared at 1.55pm:

    A senior party source said: “Ed Balls was sceptical of the interim report. He understands economics, while Johann does not.”

  24. bookie from hell says:

    Emerging market funds invest in the vibrant economies of the developing world, from the ‘BRIC’ nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China, to the more dynamic niche markets such as South Africa and Chile.

    Our specialist team of 27 investment professionals aims to produce long-term capital growth from emerging markets though these companies can also carry higher political and economic risk than those in developed markets. The team has a deep local knowledge of the 28 markets classified as ‘emerging’ and focus on:
    ?Analysing up to 750 different companies
    ?Finding the emerging sectors and markets that are expected to produce long-term capital growth
    ?Utilising global research and technical expertise to minimise the risk of investing in sometimes volatile nations or sectors

    bfh—new emerging Scotland should be right up there street

  25. bookie from hell says:

    BLACKROCK

  26. rab_the_doubter says:

    Just had a look at the BBC website, re Blackrock assessment on independence. My reading of this is that once again the BBC are cherrypicking the negativity to help them with their headlines.
    An alternative headline would be:

    “Worlds Largest Investment Company Dismisses Risks to Scottish Financial Sector Jobs Following Independence”

  27. Derick fae Yell says:

    O/T (but I think you’ll forgive me). This nearly needs a post all to itself!

    Last night’s Althing Debate, Shetland
    Tingwall Hall, Saturday, 22 March 2014

    Motion, “The time is right for Scottish independence”
    Speaking
    FOR
    Proposer Mike McKenzie MSP
    Seconder Danus Skene (Yes Shetland)
    AGAINST
    Alastair Carmichael MP, Secretary of State for Scotland
    Ian Duncan, Conservative No 1 EU elections

    Pre discussion vote
    For 58
    Against 57
    Don’t know 31

    After discussion
    For 70
    Against 48
    Don’t know 22

    Yes Shetland!

  28. Derick fae Yell says:

    That, incidentally, is a huge turnout for the Alting. 20-30 is more usual

  29. CameronB says:

    I don’t often drink, so a half and a half would normally make me merry. 🙂

  30. Juteman says:

    Certain journalists are playing a major part in attempting one of the biggest con tricks in history.
    Do they not worry about how future generations will judge them?

  31. Derick fae Yell says:

    This from Yes Shetland

    AND NOW HERE IS THE BAD NEWS Please forgive the headline but we are taking lessons from Scotland’s mainstream media and putting a negative spin on the most positive Shetland-related story since the campaign began.

    Shetland is possibly, along with Orkney, one of the most challenging places to campaign for a Yes vote, not least due to the difficulty in keeping upright when there is a “breeze” and the community being very sparsely populated, and it has been a safe Liberal Democrat seat since….well who knows, there are few people still alive to remember how many decades ago the Liberal Party took a hold. An unassailable hold. Until 2011 when 20% of their vote share went to the SNP.

    What happened on the night of 22nd March 2014 may become nearly as memorable as on the 18th September of the same year, when 150 people turned out to hear The Althing Debate propose the motion “The Time is Right for Scottish Independence”.

    The single most vociferous Scottish voice against independence in the halls of Westminster must be The Rt Hon Alastair Carmichael MP whose support for all things Tory, from nuclear weapons to bedroom tax to war with Syria, has put him at the forefront of one of the most negative and systemically deceitful attempts to manipulate the Scottish voter into voting incorrectly. Even Alistair Darling lags a close second with Danny Alexander bringing up the rear. Were all three in the same place at the same time lightening strikes would probably be repelled. But we’re no meteorologists.

    Mr Carmichael was joined by a name unknown to most in Shetland – Neil Duncan (Con).

    Supporting the motion was Mike McKenzie MSP and Danus Skene for Yes Shetland.

    The contest, if it can be described as such as there was none, was over before it commenced by the straw poll taken as to voting intentions. Even to long-time Yes campaigners, we were astounded that Yes were ahead BEFORE the debate, albeit by a margin of one! 58 Yes to 57 No.
    Nothing illustrates more the need to make every single vote count.

    Both Mike and Danus put forward reasoned and passionate debate why the time is now for Scotland to become independent, a very positive argument for the kind of country, embracing fairness and compassion for all, they wished to see after a Yes vote. They received much applause.

    How to report fairly on the No side? Incoherent, anti-nationalist, anti-SNP, anti-currency, anti-democratic, anti-any hope at all of survival without the crutch of Westminster rhetoric and dishonesty.

    Mr Carmichael made a fool of both himself and his party, but in particular those who voted him into office. If your reply to an audience member upset by the unfair 0-1% pay rises for millions of people fighting to keep food on their table, your justification from the stage cannot be “I did not take nor vote for the 5% MP salary increase” when your position includes £66,000 (MP), £79,000 (Scottish Secretary) and £198,552.42 expenses.

    Nor can you claim that “Edinburgh Banks were bailed out by the Bank of England as lender of last resort” when in fact it was the Federal Reserve who saved Britain from financial disaster to a far greater degree, over £900 billion.

    Informing 150 people that they will be better together in the UK “family” is abhorrent deceit as the structural debt rises by £5169 per second. Over £446,000,000 per day(Eek). Eek is not on the ballot paper. Yes and No are.

    The people of Shetland refused to accept Eek and No last night. The Yes vote climbed to 70, the No sunk to 48. 50% Yes in Shetland with six months to go. And the MP for Orkney and Shetland and Scottish Secretary defeated in a village hall. In Tingwall.

    Last night. The 22nd of March 2014. We will repeat our belief once more. If Shetland can be 50% Yes Scotland WILL be 80% Yes and nothing less. Shetland already is. Scotland will be. We could not be happier nor more optimistic this morning. Please share.

  32. Les Wilson says:

    They just lie, understand that, it is all you need to know.
    Without reading anything !

  33. JLT says:

    I would be very curious to see what Blackrock ACTUALLY said. I have a funny feeling that only certain parts of the report have been highlighted.
    For an Investment Company like Blackrock, I don’t believe for a second that they are not eye-spying opportunities in the event of Scotland becoming independent.

    Somehow …after all the crappy scare stories of the last year, does the BBC honestly believe that Scottish folk give a hoot about a minor company in Scotland that employs around 450 people? Do they honestly believe that a company such as Blackrock is going to register with the vast majority of the populace? Unless you work in the Financial Sector, Blackrock could be considered by some people if asked of them, that they would think it was some sort of Geology company, or a Diamond producer.

    In fact, an article within the Financial Times on this subject discusses what was said. In it, I spotted this little gem in the article…

    (Said by Ewen Cameron Watt, chief investment strategist at BlackRock’s investment institute)

    “If I were a bondholder in either of those organisations, I would want to think carefully about pressing [them] to move their headquarters to a location with a deeper fiscal base. I think that is almost impossible to argue against.”

    The investment strategist dismissed, however, the theory that companies with large back office and administrative operations in an independent Scotland will pull out of the country in droves.

    “Office space in Edinburgh is 50 per cent cheaper than London levels. The idea of a wholesale exodus is highly unlikely – I think that is a red herring,” he said.

    So…it looks like no one is going anywhere then. Something tells me that on the 19th of September, all those Chief Execs at all these Financial Institutions are going to be screaming at Osborne to create a Currency Union. If Blackrock, whom the BBC have such faith in, then we have to say that we take every word that the executives in Blackrock are saying is true …hence …no one’s leaving!

  34. X_Sticks says:

    @Derick fae Yell

    Brilliant stuff Derick! Do you think Carmichael is a goner at the next election then? Who might replace him?

    What about Tavish? Will he survive?

    Yesterday’s result kinda puts the Orkney and Shetland independence calls in a different light too, doesn’t it?

    As you say though, potentially historic outcome for Yes Shetland!

  35. Derick fae Yell says:

    Carmichael has already said he is not going to stand in the next election. Suspect he’s for the Lords, if they’ll have him.

    Tavish will still be MSP next time, most likely. People vote Liberal in the Isles like they vote Labour in Easterhouse. But his majority will be down. I think the SNP might take Orkney though.

  36. Muscleguy says:

    @Derek fae Yell
    So where was Tavish Scott’s mythical Shetland Independence campaign in this? Did it even get mentioned? or is it just something Tavish trots out when speaking to others?

  37. Valkyrie says:

    Go Shetland! Let’s hope the debate in Orkney goes the same way.

  38. liz says:

    @Albalha – I clicked on that Herald article and read the BLC and yet again Terry Kelly is trying to claim Yes are worried about JoLa so she must be getting it right!

    He is constantly getting modded off due to his abusive comments.

  39. The Rough Bounds says:

    ‘Labour will half child poverty’?

    ‘Half’ is a noun. Correct grammar would be to use the verb ‘halve’, as in ‘Labour will halve…’

    Goodness me! What a bunch of grunts the Labour Party has become.

  40. No No No...Yes says:

    Re-Good news from Shetland. Well done folks, we are on our way.

    If the NO campaigner with Carmichael is Dr Ian Duncan, then it all makes sense why he was there.

    The Argyll and Bute Conservative Party website has a short biography on him. It describes him as the Tory European Parliamentary Candidate for the Scotland electoral REGION.

    I couldn’t get past the next paragraph:

    “Ian was born and raised in Alyth, Perthshire, where his family farmed raspberries and strawberries.”

    Well there you, a man who knows all about the main ingredients of jam tomorrow.

  41. rab_the_doubter says:

    Totally O/T

    Can anyone explain why, when the largest (apart from the World cup) sports event being held this year is being held in Glasgow, for some reason this seems to be ignored by the Sport Relief organisers. The Olympics finished nearly 2 years ago.

  42. Flower of Scotland says:

    @Derick fae Yell

    It was certainly great to read the report from Yes Shetland. Well done them! I must say, after reading about Tavish Scott,s little independence plan for Shetland, I thought that most people in Shetland would have agreed with him. Thank goodness they seem to have more sense!

    Hopefully Orkney will follow Shetland,s example.

  43. Flooplepoop says:

    This seemed rather apt from the entry in Wikipedia for Keir Hardie
    ” Despite his early support of the Liberal Party, Hardie became disillusioned by William Ewart Gladstone’s economic policies and began to feel that the Liberals neither would nor could ever adequately represent the working classes. Hardie concluded that the Liberal Party merely wanted the votes of the workers but that it would never in return offer the radical reform he believed to be crucial — and decided to run for Parliament.” LFI should use that.

  44. Alba4Eva says:

    I think it unfortunate that folk on here are disrespecting the squirrel nation.

    here is what the squirrels think of Labour’s proposals (and they are to be respected for it)…

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7x89nMfHyag/TbtBt1jIsvI/AAAAAAAAAAM/ZhNebp_0joM/s1600/ardillas-chistosas%255B1%255D.jpg

  45. Brian Powell says:

    Just looking at the coverage, the BBC webpage, the Times and the Herald gave to Jenny Marra’s vacuous comment about control of the armed forces should handled by Brussels.

    “Jenny Marra said the current crisis in the Crimea revealed “the folly of nation states”.

    “She said: “Anyone who has been watching the coverage following the media’s reflections on the precipitation towards World War One a hundred years ago would see the folly of nation states.

    “Defence forces constantly being in the power of nation states’ hands is quite a dangerous place to be.”

    Europe nation states aren’t at war with each other, and somehow I don’t think Russia, and everywhere else out side the EU is going to centralise their armies, not unless there is going to be an invasion from outer space.

    How would your idea help the Crimea situation Ms Marra? Our nuclear weapons haven’t stopped any conflicts happening in the last decades. Would we have created peace by threatening Russia with a much bigger army?

    The US has a damned big army, navy, air force and nuclear weapons arsenal and it hasn’t stopped squit.

    The idea was trivial and irrelevant but the coverage was something to behold. Further meltdown of the Together groups standing I suspect, needed to shore up, failed.

  46. Albalha says:

    @DerickfaeYell

    Many thanks for your reportage. I’ve consistently said Yes will poll 60% on the day, but you’re 80%, now that would be quite something!

    I’ve only been to Shetland once in preparation for an interview years ago, had a great night at a music event featuring Shogglenifty. One of the other memories, from the museum, is just how tiny the Mary Queen of Scots shoes are oh and the lack of trees.

  47. Brian Powell says:

    Wasn’t it Blackrock who asset stripped the Southern Cross Healthcare Group?

    I believe Menzies Campbell is a non executive director of the company who took over Southern Cross after Blackrock got through with it.

    I wonder what BlackRock has its eye on in Scotland to asset strip? Scottish Water maybe/ Scottish NHS?

  48. Dale says:

    Wow! That is the best squirrel of all.
    I’m sold.
    Someone Falkirk me!

  49. McV says:

    I find it interesting that Labour say they will “half” child poverty by 2021. In 1999 Blair announced that he’d halve child poverty in the UK by 2010 and eliminate it by 2020. The Child Poverty Act 2010 is meant to do just that, and the coalition say they are committed to that target.

    Of course they’ll have to lift around 270,000 kids out of poverty every year until then to manage it, but it matters not. Labour’s pledge to “half child poverty” is already enshrined in law. Seems a bit pointless putting it in, unless they are just hoping no-one notices.

  50. Davy says:

    Ok now I am really confused ? is labours No vote policy either:

    Gordon Browns speech of bollox’s,

    lamonts Devo commission (nano)

    or

    A red paper called an “ambitions document”.

    What is it ???? please.

  51. Derick fae Yell says:

    Albalha says: 23 March, 2014 at 3:26 pm
    I’ve consistently said Yes will poll 60% on the day, but you’re 80%, now that would be quite something!

    Yes Shetland think it will be 80%. Personally I would guess the overall Yes vote will be in the mid 60%s. We shall see.

    After many moons of trudging round the doors in Shetland when I lived there – last night’s debate and result is, well, it’s no bad. No bad at all. Going up to the Promised Laund next week so will see how the air feels. Cauld, likely.

    There are a very small number of noggin the nog fake viking nutters who make a lot of noise in the isles out of all proportion to their numbers. They are Shetland nationalists of the blood and Soil persualsion – more Breivik than Borgen. Vile. And few.

  52. geeo says:

    OT and apologies for that, but noticed this on stv news website.

    http://m.stv.tv/news/269177-report-commissioned-by-sir-tom-hunter-into-currency-with-rest-of-uk/

    How much coverage do you reckon this will get and more to the point, will osbourne and company reference it?
    Starts holding breath …..

  53. No No No...Yes says:

    Follow up to “Derick fae Yell” at 2.27pm.

    “Mr Carmichael made a fool of both himself and his party, but in particular those who voted him into office. If your reply to an audience member upset by the unfair 0-1% pay rises for millions of people fighting to keep food on their table, your justification from the stage cannot be “I did not take nor vote for the 5% MP salary increase” when your position includes £66,000 (MP), £79,000 (Scottish Secretary) and £198,552.42 expenses.”

    What is even more annoying is when you listen to Carmichael at Holyrood on 20 March. The video is here:

    http://moridura.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/what-is-devolution-unit-of-scottish.html

    Moridura has the transcript and Carmichael managed slipped in a wee gem at
    7mins 2 secs:

    “It did require me to get up at 5 o’clock this morning to be here.”

    Big Al is on a big salary, plus expenses, and yet it was such an inconvenience for him to get up out his bed to go to Holyrood.

    There are many people in Scotland who would be willing to get up at 5 o’clock to do any type of work.

  54. So was this red paper the “big surprise” we were told to expect? Or was that JoLa being even more of a bitter, twisted hag than usual?

  55. Eric says:

    @No No No…Yes

    “It did require me to get up at 5 o’clock this morning to be here.”
    Big Al is on a big salary, plus expenses, and yet it was such an inconvenience for him to get up out his bed to go to Holyrood.
    There are many people in Scotland who would be willing to get up at 5 o’clock to do any type of work.”

    The man is a lightweight – intellect, charisma, common sense, political sense and influence.

    There are better people in Scotland, that should be looking for HIS job.

  56. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Johann is on fire.

    YES Pollok are now up to two-thirds of their Campaign Base target, with 21 days to go:-
    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/yes-pollok-campaign-base?c=pledges

  57. Edward says:

    Its interesting that finding the Blackrock report is proving a tad difficult.
    The only report currently available is their 2014 outlook
    http://www.blackrock.com/corporate/en-gb/literature/whitepaper/bii-2014-outlook-international.pdf

    According to the BBC report it states “Blackrock, which is based in New York and manages trillions in financial assets, will be sending out its 12-page assessment to clients next week”
    So were they leaked the report?

  58. edulis says:

    No, No…Yes

    I am sure that oor Alasdair lives in Bath with his family despite being the Northern Isles MP. The Rev will correct me if I am wrong. That might be why he had to rise early to catch a flight.

  59. geeo says:

    It is great to see the results of people’s hard work and dedication paying off all over the country.

    When people are naming 18th September in the future as “Lamont Day” Scottish public holiday, let us make sure we raise a glass for the rest of those who made a YES vote possible!
    Hurrah !!!

  60. Thats great news about the shetland debate!

    I was in shetland,for the second year running,at the Screenplay film festival.Last september I wore my YES badge and got a few dirty looks,and speaking to some locals they seemed mainly NOs.

    Im so glad things have changed there,makes me think people really are waking up to the fact Scotland can do this!

  61. Dr David Ritchie says:

    I notice that the Daily Record editorial was praising Lamont’s ‘gritty leadership’, poor proof reading there I think.

  62. john king says:

    Red Paper?
    oh I thought it was red pepper?
    I really thought it was Anas’s shopping list
    red peppers
    onions’
    garlic,
    etc

  63. Alan Mackintosh says:

    @john King. You forgot the main ingredient…MINCE

  64. john king says:

    dammit I knew I had forgotten something 🙂

  65. Red Squirrel says:

    More vacuous drivel worth less than the paper it’s printed on. Even IF Labour get elected (looking incredibly unlikely) any prospective powers, even useless pathetic ones like these, would need the support of parliament and that’s never going to happen.

    Devo anything is not on the ballot paper – anyone considering voting no must be clear that they are voting no to independence, not yes to something else that doesn’t and won’t exist.

  66. Derick Tulloch says:

    A fair report on the Althing debate in Shetland News.

    I love their masthead ‘Great is the Truth and it Will Prevail’

    http://www.shetnews.co.uk/features/scottish-independence-debate/8211-majority-favour-independence-at-althing-debate

    A little known fact is that the first ever Scots Language newspaper, anywhere, was the Orkney and Shetland Journal, first published in 1832 by Arthur Anderson, fae Eshaness, that founded P&O, amongst other things

    The fake viking tosh is just British reaction. It was when it started in Victorian times as a reaction against Liberal Home Rule (the irony!), it was in the 1970s, and it is now. Partition is not happening

  67. Lloyd George was part of the Cymru Fydd movement that set up to promote home rule for Wales. They had the backing of the Liberals in the north but once the ones in the south refused to support he went back to being a BritNat.

    You cannot trust any British politicians.

  68. boglestone says:

    Does anyone remember when Labour weren’t shit?

  69. geeo says:

    I live in falkirk, a place where a monkey with a Labour badge has a good chance of getting into westminster in a general election it is said.

  70. geeo says:

    Oops, posted before done there.

    Point being, talking to people(mainly neighbours/family and friends) about the upcoming referendum, the stubborn traditional labour voters i know are finding it ever more difficult to defend the undefendable.

    Not saying they are all a Yes yet, but i am working hard on those not sure yet.

    May only be a few people in the grand scheme of things but multiply that message across Scotland and a Yes vote is surely in clear sight come september.

  71. kalmar says:

    I was sure they weren’t shit in ’97.
    We all make mistakes though.

  72. steven Seagull says:

    @Debbie the Bruce

    Nae worries hen, next time there. I’ll be your plus wan.

  73. steven Seagull says:

    @ Dr David Ritchie

    Obv typo meaning $hitty, Bud.

  74. john king says:

    Boglestone says
    “Does anyone remember when Labour weren’t shit?”

    It is oft spoken about a brave and fearless tribe in days of yore who stood up for the downtrodden and dispossessed, or it could just be shite!

    Geeo says
    “I live in Falkirk, a place where a monkey with a Labour badge has a good chance of getting into Westminster in a general election it is said.”

    And what does it take for it to be guaranteed a seat in Westminster? maybe a blessing from unite?

  75. Taranaich says:

    Has anyone alerted the Red Paper Collective about this?

    http://redpaper.net/

  76. yerkitbreeks says:

    As we all mature from the politicisation the IndyRef has generated, slogans like ” patients receiving their results in less than two weeks ” are seen through.

    Basically, if you visit your GP, get him / her to write on the hospital referral letter, as the assertive middle class already do, ” could this be cancer ? ” This gets you fast – tracked at the expense of others, so that 90% of these alarmist referrals are NOT cancer.

    Since this screening is so poor, after a few months or years there is a wailing and gnashing of teeth and a target such as this impractical one is scrapped or rejigged.

    The poor English however, with four year ConLabLibdem jockeying miss the deception.

  77. Les Wilson says:

    Ref Blackrock they are just looking after the Union to be a part of their soft touch Financial regulations. They are all over the world and deal across many borders.
    However, they are close to the London elite. Enough said!



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