The less-deserving pro-independence website

Wings Over Scotland


Trimming the fat

Posted on June 21, 2013 by

We should, if for nothing else, commend the No campaign for gradually learning from experience. Much hilarity ensued when it attempted to claim an independent Scotland would need to renegotiate “14,000 treaties”, and even more fun was had when it produced a list of 500 (actually 507) “questions” about independence.

manyquestions-prog278

So we applaud the UK government for dialling down the crazy a notch and producing another doom-and-gloom list of reasons why it would be impossible for Scotland to achieve what around 150 countries have managed to achieve in the last century or so, but which restricts itself to just a modest 200 entries.

The latest attempt to terrify people out of voting Yes with the threat of a mountain of paperwork took the form of a daunting directory of UK administrative bodies which an independent Scotland would have to replicate lest the entire nation were to collapse into primitive, seething anarchy akin to an Old Firm under-17s game or something.

You can read the entire thing here, much of which comprises a compendium of the bleeding obvious (We’d need a Scottish HMRC and our own Ministry Of Defence? Who knew?), but other parts of which appear, well… somewhat less essential.

Here are a few of our favourites.

——————————————————————————————————-

THE UK SPACE AGENCY
Tell you what, let’s put interstellar exploration on the “B Priorities” list, eh?

THE BIG LOTTERY FUND
Is it strictly necessary to operate a Desperation Tax on the poor? Does the state have to run it? And if so, do we definitely need it right away?

HIGH SPEED 2 LTD
What, the HS2 that isn’t coming within 200 miles of Scotland?

THE OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY
The one the UK managed to somehow struggle along without for hundreds of years until it was formed in 2010?

THE STUDENT LOANS COMPANY
See also: Gallows Maintenance PLC and the Office of the Witch-Finder General.

THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS
Are we planning to engage in a major war requiring conscription any time soon? Probably safe to cross this particular bridge when we come to it, then.

THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT
“The Advisory Committee on Consumer Engagement reviews and assesses the Food Standards Agency consumer engagement work and provides external assurance to the Food Standards Agency Board that they continue to “put the consumer first” and that engagement is following good practice.”

Wait, has someone slipped us a leaked “The Thick Of It” script instead?

THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE MISUSE OF DRUGS
Misusing drugs is bad, mmkay? That’s that one sorted.

EQUALITY 2025
“Provides confidential advice to the UK Government on issues that affect disabled people.” Not a problem, as by the time independence negotiations are concluded Atos and the DWP will have eliminated all disability. (Or perhaps just all disabled people, if Iain Duncan Smith can get away with it.)

REMPLOY LTD
See above.

THE HORSERACE BETTING LEVY APPEAL TRIBUNAL
Okay, we’re going to have to throw a few billion at this one.

THE CERTIFICATION OFFICE
“Maintains a list of trade unions and employers’ associations.” So, a bloke with a big notepad and a pen, then.

THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION (BBC)
Don’t we already own BBC Scotland? How much does a new nameplate for the front door of Pacific Quay cost?

BBC WORLD SERVICE
Hang on, that isn’t included in “BBC”? Is it vital to have a Scottish World Service competing with the UK one? Is that a thing normal countries have? Is there a Belgian World Service, or a Danish World Service?

PASSENGER FOCUS
The independent passenger watchdog, whose mission is to get the best deal for passengers.” Based on current rail fares, a function that’ll be just as effectively served by a £45 cuckoo clock from Argos.

VISIT BRITAIN
Fairly sure we’ll be wanting people to Visit Scotland instead.

COMMISSIONERS FOR THE REDUCTION OF THE NATIONAL DEBT
Yeah, because those guys have done such a bang-up job so far that we couldn’t possibly get by without them.

THE SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE MEDICAL IMPLICATONS OF LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS
Wait, what? There are more than two levels of “lethality” now? (Beyond “lethal” and “not lethal”.) Are you SURE this isn’t from “The Thick Of It”?

——————————————————————————————————-

Well, you get the idea. Perhaps later we’ll break down the (partly) more serious entries of the list and see how many of them are in fact one thing made to look like 10, as seen in the unforgettable “500 questions”, and how many more are useless quangos that should never have existed in the first place. But in the meantime, just stay tuned for the latest No-camp fearbomb, which we’re sure will be dropping any day now.

Print Friendly

118 to “Trimming the fat”

  1. Cath says:

    THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS
     
    How often to they meet and how much do we pay them for doing it?

  2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Stephen Noon with a few more easy shots:

    http://www.yesscotland.net/knowing_little_and_caring_less

  3. Bobby Mckail says:

    “The advisory council of the misuse of drugs!  Didn’t Gordon Brown sack the Chief Scientist who was a member of that board for saying to the press that cannabis should be decriminalised?

  4. Cav says:

    Is there really one of these???THE SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE MEDICAL IMPLICATONS OF LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS
     

  5. Juan Bonnets says:

    This just seems like another exercise in scoring a series of spectacular own goals, as all it serves to do is to remind people just how bloated and inefficient the UK civil service is. Publishing a list like this isn’t going to sway Yes voters to vote No, invites ridicule of only a slightly lesser magnitude than the “14,000 treaties…” nonsense, and will surely only lead to a few undecideds saying “hang on a minute, if we start from scratch we can apply some joined-up thinking and eliminate a bunch of unnecessary bureaucracy”.
     
    And that’s before we even mention the THOUSANDS of jobs that will return to Scotland from London, when even just the useful parts of these agencies come home again. And that is the biggest own goal of all, this time.

  6. Gordon Bain says:

    Spot on with the “in the thick of it” analogy. You couldn’t make it up. What’s really odd is that they appear to take themselves seriously, lol

  7. mato 21 says:

    And the country is supposed to be short of money.Getting rid of this lot alone would probably pay off the debt

  8. Craig says:

    This list is probably useful.
    We can go through it, score out all the useless ones and reassign their budget to setting up the ones we’ll need.
    It’s effectively a nice little to-do list. 😀
     
     

  9. Juteman says:

    Nobody knows who owns Pathetic Quay. It isn’t the BBC.

  10. Desimond says:

    To be fair,if we are going to have a Lottery,  a Scottish National Lottery Board would be good, can we have a Lottery that isnt run for profit loving Shareholders at Camelot?

  11. GP Walrus says:

    You’ve listed 18 there, which is nearly 10% of the list already.
    They never seem to point out that public sector spending often represents real jobs currently distributed across the UK which would be focussed in Scotland. Public spending goes largely back to, er, the public.
    With the BBC, we’d still just pay the same license fee as we are now, so no additional cost, but much more of the amount raised would be spent on Scottish broadcasting (including of course the new brass plate at Pacific Quay). That would represent money coming back to Scotland.
    Of course we already have our own student loans arrangements, so no extra cost. I’d like to see these turned into student grants. I’m very happy for my taxes to go to creating better educated citizens.

  12. Cath says:

    Public Health England (PHE) – Public Health England has been established to protect and improve health and wellbeing, and to reduce inequalities. These responsibilities relate chiefly to England. However, it also has some responsibilities in relation to Scotland (for example, it is the UK coordinating point under the International Health Regulations, and has some responsibilities in relation to radiation protection in Scotland).
     
    Are they seriously suggesting that between Health Scotland, Health Protection Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland etc, also set up to do similar things, we won’t be able to find anyone to handle “some responsibilities in relation to radiation protection in Scotland”?

  13. Desimond says:

    Craig says:
    21 June, 2013 at 4:07 pm : This list is probably useful
     
    Thats exactly what the Unionist Quango lovers will be thinking as they read through thinking “Right, where could we get a wee gig if they dare vote YES!”

  14. beachthistle says:

    I reckon this is going to be another 14,000 treaties foot-shoot for NO-Scotland. Surely it will just draw our attention to what UK level institutions Scottish taxpayers are contributing to, often for no, and in the case of Visit Britain, actually negative benefit.
    Despite having Visit Scotland, are Scottish taxpayers also contributing a per capita share to Visit Britain’s budget of £36m? If so, we are paying over £3m for Scotland to be primarily portrayed as being about shortbread and bagpipes, and for Scotland to have a passing (in relation to what happened in England) mention, and the Union not mentioned at all, in ‘Britain’s history’.

  15. Angus McLellan says:

    Confused about less than lethal weapons? Cracked can help (that’ll be a first!).
    The list is, to go all journalistic, a savage indictment of Whitehall quangocracy. I mean, why is there a DVLA and a VOSA? Wouldn’t one organisation have done? Didn’t one organisation do in the past? Why does every little thing need its very own regulator? Couldn’t gas and electric and water be handled by the same teams?
    It reads like a “how not to do it” of creating a government.

  16. We already have a Scottish Space Agency, don’t we?

  17. helpmaboab says:

    And you’re absolutely sure this isn’t a scene from Yes Minister?
     
    “Don’t go, we need you to account for 9% of this useless bureaucratic pish..!” 

  18. Cath says:

    It’s a list which shows absolutely why the UK needs a real shake-up.

  19. Juteman says:

    What about the quango for making up stupid lists
    Will we need to have our own?
    Could be a job opportunity for Lamont and Baillie post 2014.

  20. Max says:

     
    Looks like an independent Scotland will not have any weather if we lose the Met Office.
     
    Clearly the YES campaign have not thought things through. Scotland without weather is like Ant without Dec.
     
     

  21. Juteman says:

    Do we have a share in the Ministry for Silly Walks?

  22. CameronB says:

    @ Cav
    Remember, the UK is the world’s fifth largest weapons manufacturer. So its kind of important to instruct the future focus of RD expenditure (especially along the M4 corridor), as well as the makeup and competitiveness of our industrial base.
     
    Death and casino finance. That’s Britain that is.

  23. Westie7 says:

    @Horacesaysyes
     
    …You beat me to it

  24. Dal Riata says:

    The (Scottish) Daily Mail has, as is its want, jumped on this with glee as another reason for Scots to ‘reject separation’. From the article by one half of the Mail’s resident Scotland Vote No ‘journalists’ [sic] ( the other being a rodent, sorry, A. Roden) we find: 
     
    “Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said: “This list illustrates the ways in which the UK delivers for Scotland. It is a reminder of the many changes that Scotland would have to deal with under independence. It is clearly a challenge for the Scottish Government to outline what it would recreate and at what cost to the taxpayer.””
    The list lays bare the scale of the upheaval which”…blah, blah, bloody blah…
     
    Some of these “many changes” include:
     
    “MEASUREMENT OFFICE: Responsible for making sure everything from gas to scientific materials is measured properly.” Gosh! Scotland is far too stupid to deal with that kind of grown up stuff… and:
     
    “ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON ANIMAL FEEDING STUFFS: Advises on animal feed and feeding practices.” Golly gosh! Again, stupid wee Scotland won’t be able to do that itself – that’s far too hard.
     

  25. Red Squirrel says:

    UKOK must secretly be hoping for a Yes vote – it beggars belief that they’re publishing such a daft list, especially since it’s clearly been written by some idiot who has no idea of the bodies already in place in Scotland.  
     
    Finally feels like the Yes campaign is getting going – their rebuttal to this is just beautifully done.

  26. Chic McGregor says:

    Won’t the rUK have to have an approx. 10% jobs reduction review on anything which currently serves Scotland as well?
     
    Aren’t we already paying for those(+) anyway via the (higher pro rata) Scottish tax take by the Treasury?
     
    Would re-employing those people in Scotland be such a very bad thing for the Scottish economy?
     
    Answers on a post independence card please.
     

  27. Boorach says:

    Got an address for the consciencious objector one?
     
    I conscienciously object to this union and wish to withdraw from it forthwith! 🙂

  28. scottish_skier says:

    What’s really odd is that they appear to take themselves seriously.
    Britain takes itself very seriously. People across the world are ‘in awe’ at how seriously it takes itself.

  29. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    They forgot the Broon school to avoid boom and bust! Well boom anyway.

  30. Teechur says:

    Mmm… Office of Budget Responsibilities? Isn’t that the one Osborne set up to say that Scotland didn’t have enough North Sea Oil left to deep fry a Mars Bar so we should stick with the Union… I think we can live without that one as well. 😉

  31. Jiggsbro says:

    “The advisory council of the misuse of drugs!  Didn’t Gordon Brown sack the Chief Scientist who was a member of that board for saying to the press that cannabis should be decriminalised?
     
    Most of these advisory councils could be replaced by an mp3 file of Sir Humphrey saying “Yes, Minister”.

  32. Gordon Smith says:

    When you do the next installment of this article, will you be drawing up a sublist from this list of those bits we already part own 8.4%  (I suspect most all if they are “Public” bodies”.)
     
    thanks
     

  33. Famous15 says:

    The List…..just set phasers tae Malky!
    Scottish politics does not need satire.The annoyance is that if there are more Unionists than we think then the national IQ may not sustain self government.But wait! The current Scottish Government may just about be up to the task…..in fact I am certain they are.

  34. beachthistle says:

    Interesting that the Forestry Commission is on the list. Back in 1997, the Devolution (Scotland) White Paper had forestry listed as one of the to-be-devolved 100%/non-reserved matters. This unleashed a tidal wave of behind-the-scenes lobbying from landowners, forestry companies and Forestry Commission officials themselves. Apparently Henry McLeish tried to resist, but gave up the fight when he realised how highly and well-connected the lobbyists were when he had so many other similar battles to fight.
    And so, due to the victory of the vested interests, the proposed 100% devolved Scottish Forestry Commission became a ‘cross-border-agency’ fudge. ‘Forestry Commission Scotland’ came into being, under the wing of the UK DEFRA Ministry (which was actually in itself a political loss for Scotland, as the Secretary of State for Scotland had been the lead minister for forestry in the UK, mainly because the HQ was in Edinburgh). Forestry Commission Scotland is as ‘Scottish’ as the unregistered ‘Scottish Labour Party’, with its most senior governance entities being in London.
    So the fact that the Forestry Commission is now able to be touted as an institution that may need to be replicated post independence is 100% the result of the kind of London lobbying and vested-interests that Scotland needs to get away from by voting Yes next year.

  35. handclapping says:

    What Im waiting for is the first acknowledgement that Westminster has had a look at the list and said “Hold on, this list is not a showcase for how to run a Government.”.
     
    I am not holding my breath.

  36. Stevie says:

    Actually, we won’t need a Students’ Loan Company.
    What’s the statute of limitations on the time that is required to pass before the loan becomes just bad debt?

  37. I think The Scotland Office have been really helpful here in highlighting to Scots the savings that are available to us if we shake off Wasteminster’s bloated Civil Service and Quangocracy.

  38. handclapping says:

    Another way of looking at the list is that every single one of these bodies is due to the inability of some Westminster politician to wipe their arse with the paper provided.

  39. Vronsky says:

    Time for some separatist fearbombs:

    If Scotland remains part of the Union:

    * your children will gradually acquire Estuary English and will sound like Roland Rat.

    * there aren’t enought Smeatos to protect you.  People from far away will come here and kill you, because you went there and killed them.

    * you’ll sleep beside a mountain of weapons of mass destruction knowing that you are the likeliest fatality.

    * you’ll get nul points in every Eurovision song contest.

    * you’ll have to pretend you’re interested in cricket.

    * you will not be allowed to throw peanuts at the television when the queen comes on.

    * you will be required to believe that Malcolm Rifkind has a brilliant mind.

  40. Jiggsbro says:

    What’s the statute of limitations on the time that is required to pass before the loan becomes just bad debt?
     
    Less than 500 days, now.

  41. handclapping says:

    Dont know what happened there but the post lost –
     
    Our battle cry should be Westminster is not working for us!
     
    Hat tip to Robert Black for JoLa’s sphincter analogy 🙂

  42. mato 21 says:

    So this is where theTruth Team sprung from Seconded to Scotland to keep an eye on the restless natives and housed in the bunker beneath Pacific Quay so that they have easy access to the misinformation team
    It all fits beautifully  

  43. Taranaich says:

    Tell you what, let’s put interstellar exploration on the “B Priorities” list, eh?
     
    I don’t know, considering the billions of dollars NASA has contributed to the US economy in inventions and research, and considering the Scottish people’s historical knack for creative ingenuity, I think a Scottish Space Agency would be a very productive use of our time & money – as long as we don’t pull a Beagle 2, that is!

  44. No 166 Defence Nuclear Safety Committee (DNSC) Doh!

  45. No, a Danish World Service doesn’t exist.  Good idea, though!

  46. handclapping says:

    Our share of that list must account for 18000 or so civil servants. In addition to their employment in Scotland and the benefits from them spending in the Scottish economy and not London’s, we will have a cash saving of £50 million each year from not having to pay London Weighting / London Allowance.
     
    Could we run our Government at a profit? Talking of which most of these bodies were from pre-privatisation days when Governments actually did things. The modern equivalent is the G4S, Atos etc contractor. How many of these private contracts are as inefficient as those on the list and could be abolished for better?

  47. Tattie-boggle says:

    Are they eventually opening the books . Seriously some crap we are paying for ! Someone on twitter quoted  “Bonfire of the Quangos” just brilliant 🙂

  48. Angus McPhee says:

    Had a quick look at the list and a great many of these already have Scottish counterparts or are irrelevant, quite obviously a list designed to promote insecurity rather than a genuine attempt to raise concerns. It’s astonishing.
    Just look at the just first three for example:
    Cabinet Office (CO)
    Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS)
    Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS)

    They really are hoping we are to thick to notice.
     

  49. handclapping says:

    Robert Bryce not Robert Black. Doh!

  50. Angus McPhee says:

    Oh They forgot to add one that doesn’t have a distinct Scottish equivalent.
    Labour party

  51. Angus McPhee says:

    Tell you what, let’s put interstellar exploration on the “B Priorities” list, eh?
    Too late.
    http://www.satellitetoday.com/enterprise/school/Clyde-Space-Announces-Launch-Date-for-First-Scottish-Satellite_40580.html

  52. Eva says:

    Hi Rev, I don’t want to undermine a potential future analysis of yours, but have you any comment to make on Scotland’s need to replicate the “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” which appears on the BBC version of the list after “Visit Britain” and before “Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee ?”

  53. Atypical_Scot says:

    Brilliant article.

  54. john king says:

    Juteman says:
    21 June, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Do we have a share in the Ministry for Silly Walks?

      swine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w

  55. Seasick Dave says:

    I propose that we prioritise the Space Exploration one.
     
    Johann Lamont could be our ambassador in space, travelling to far distant galaxies to meet like minded space dwellers and to tell them how glaikit we all are back in Scotland and how our favourite food is mince.
     
    Its Friday and I’m feeling generous so will chip in a tenner to get things rolling.
     
     

  56. CameronB says:

    Sorry, OT. Re. the UK’s defense industries. Here is an interesting article about the pending strategic tie-up between the UK and the UAE. A permanent regional presence?
     
    http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/13428

  57. Atypical_Scot says:

    Eva says;“Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee ?”
     
    How to punt trident down south committee, There’s a chap in Aberdeen called Otto that’ll be going down south, maybe he’s got room in his car? 
     
     

  58. Murray McCallum says:

    Equality 2025 / Remploy Ltd
    Didn’t the Westminster government close Remploy factories quite recently?  Part of giving the vulnerable a good kicking.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22530444
    The Daily Record ran a very upsetting personal story on this
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/heartbroken-remploy-factory-workers-say-1568107
    Would be good to aim for a more equal society perhaps?

  59. Ian Mackay says:

    THE UK SPACE AGENCY:

    Stewart Stevenson MSP was at our science society in Glasgow a couple of months ago and he said that a Space Programme was not part of the reserved powers for Westminster.

    That means the only thing holding Scotland back from having a space programme is the fact that Holyrood hasn’t legislated for it. (A majority SNP Government is probably the only time that such legislation could pass.) Until such Scottish legislation comes forward we are stuck with the UK Space Agency.
    Scotland has a burgeoning sector in Glasgow regarding cube sats and pocket sats. At our last talk last week it was noted that the UK Space Agency is holding Scottish development in this field back by not issuing grants to Scottish businesses.
    We could develop a world class industry for developing & building miniature satellites for commerce and science here in Scotland if we had control of our own space agency. The specialist companies we have here in Scotland already seem to be here in spite of the UK Space Agency, so any change would be a step forward.

  60. Bugger (the Panda) says:

     
    Seasick Dave says:
     
    21 June, 2013 at 5:50 pm
     

    I propose that we prioritise the Space Exploration one.
     
    Johann Lamont could be our ambassador in space, travelling to far distant galaxies to meet like minded space dwellers and to tell them how glaikit we all are back in Scotland and how our favourite food is mince.
     
     
    Would she be feeding the Monkey. Would that be her role?
     

     

  61. Juteman says:

    I propose Johann be our first Space Caded. She is proficient at saying the word ‘debate’. Martians like to debate. They are fron the Red planet…
    Seconded?

  62. Lurker in the Wings says:

     @Seasick Dave,
                                  we have a contender to replace Mrs Lamentable who would definitely prioritise a Scottish Space Agency
     
    http://www.bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/index.php/engerland/453-labour-politician-fathered-child-with-cat-queen-alien.html

  63. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Where is the Major when we need him?

  64. The truly disturbing thing about this list is that the UK has has all this shite already! If they were serious about austerity I think we can find some better placed to cut than the disabled!

  65. Jiggsbro says:

    Equality 2025 / Remploy Ltd
    Didn’t the Westminster government close Remploy factories quite recently?
     
    The whole list is pretty ridiculous, but Remploy was the one that convinced me they were just taking the piss. (I suspect an administrative cock-up resulted in George Galloway being put in charge of the respect agenda)

  66. creag an tuirc says:

    Ian Mackay says:
    21 June, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    THE UK SPACE AGENCY:
    Stewart Stevenson MSP was at our science society in Glasgow a couple of months ago and he said that a Space Programme was not part of the reserved powers for Westminster.
    I think Outer Space is a reserved matter Schedule 5 Part II – L5 of Scotland Act
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/schedule/5

  67. Richard Lucas says:

    I want a Scottish Space Agency to have its launch pad in North Queensferry, and to give its vessels Culture names.

  68. BillyBigbaws says:

    @ Murray McCallum,
    Yep, the Tories closed down the Remploy factories not long ago, and that old charmer Ian Duncan Smith added insult to injury by claiming that the Remploy workers were lazy, and just sat around the place drinking coffee all day. 

    He seemed oblivious to the tactlessness of telling disabled people, many of them in wheelchairs, that they sit around too much. 

    It’s a pity that the govt. will happily release a list of shared UK bodies like this one, but still refuses to release an up to date version of the National Register of Assets. 

  69. CameronB says:

    And restricted access to the McCrone Report for so long.

  70. john king says:

    “Got an address for the consciencious objector one?
     I conscienciously object to this union and wish to withdraw from it forthwith! ”
    sorry no can do,
    we don’t have an advisory body on contentious objectors 🙁

  71. john king says:

    scottish_skier says:
    21 June, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    What’s really odd is that they appear to take themselves seriously.Britain takes itself very seriously. People across the world are ‘in awe’ at how seriously it takes itself.

      ahhh ha ha ha ha ha ha HA

  72. john king says:

    ten minutes later ahhhhh ha ha ha ha hah ah hah 
    aahh ha ha ha ha ha
    ah ha ha hah ahh ha ha ha 

  73. Alan MacD says:

    A Scottish Space Agency you say:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlfGQtIXlWA
     
    Phazer’s set to malky!
     

  74. john king says:

    “How to punt trident down south committee, There’s a chap in Aberdeen called Otto that’ll be going down south, maybe he’s got room in his car? ”
    have I stumbled upon comedy half hour?
    f**kin hilarious ha ha ha ha ha hah ahhh ha ha ha ha
     

  75. john king says:

    “I propose Johann be our first Space Caded. She is proficient at saying the word ‘debate’. Martians like to debate. They are fron the Red planet…
    Seconded?”
     
    AYE

  76. john king says:

    “The truly disturbing thing about this list is that the UK has has all this shite already! If they were serious about austerity I think we can find some better placed to cut than the disabled!”

      never a truer word said, in all seriousness, we should be kicking up hell about the total waste of money some of these pointless agencies are when these bastards are screwing money out of the disabled and the elderly, we should be turning this idiotic fearbomb on the sods and make then explain why the millions spent on these stupid agencies is money better spent than on the people who really need it,
    lets turn this into a campaign, 
    they’ve just given us a free shot at goal, 
    we should not waste the opportunity.

  77. Robert Bryce says:

    Bugger (the Panda) says:
     

     Seasick Dave says: 
    I propose that we prioritise the Space Exploration one. Johann Lamont could be our ambassador in space, travelling to far distant galaxies to meet like minded space dwellers and to tell them how glaikit we all are back in Scotland and how our favourite food is mince.  Would she be feeding the Monkey. Would that be her role?
     
    Interesting concept that. A shaved monkey looking after a monkey! Like the blind leading the blind (genuinely no offence intended to blind people)?
     
    I suspect it would all end in tears (after a debate obviously).

  78. Derick Tulloch says:

    Richard Lucas says:
    21 June, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I want a Scottish Space Agency to have its launch pad in North Queensferry, and to give its vessels Culture names.
    Wins prize for best comment of a wonderful thread.  Win or lose in 2014 it is a braw thing to be in such company.  Did I say I detest the Fiberals?
     

  79. velofello says:

    Space agency? What about the UFO department, didn’t they shut that down recently?
    Ms Lamont, space ambassador, smoking the peace pipe in some outer space planet with the foreigners.”What’s mince you ask? Aha a very good question. ( tuition by BBC’s Brian Taylor showing its benefit). Well mince has two meanings, confusing I know.Ye see, there’s the mince you eat, and mince I talk. And what’s salmon you ask? Well,ahem, there’s salmon the fish from the deep sea that I can eat, and then there’s Salmond that I canny fathom”.                                       
     

  80. The Rough Bounds says:

    A Scottish Space Agency.
     
    Well, we’re part of the way there. There’s an area of Mars that is called Glenelg.

  81. Ian Brotherhood says:

     
    There’s a lot to be said for sending Jackie Baillie into orbit – it would be fascinating to see what happens to her when freed from the clutches of gravity.
     
     
     

  82. Mosstrooper says:

    Can we have an Advisory Committee for the Medical Implications of More Lethal Weapons and can I be on it ?
    Please, please please, gonnae, gonnae gonnae!!! 

  83. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    Does this all mean that if I want a visa to go to, say, USA, I don’t have to go to London or Belfast, but can get one in SCOTLAND?

  84. DJ says:

    Ian Brotherhood;
     
    I have an engineering degree and have unfortunately not been able to calculate the exit velocity of Jackie Baillie from the Earth’s orbit. Perhaps you should ask someone in my class who got 1st class honours!

  85. Seasick Dave says:

    Bugger the Panda
     
    Would she be feeding the Monkey. Would that be her role?


    Erm, well, the monkey would be piloting the spacecraft and Johann would be in the back seat telling it how to drive. “Slow doon, ye nearly hud us killed back there”, that sort of thing.
     
    On arrival at a space colony, she would whip out a prepared speech and lambast Alex Salmond.
     
    Does that help?
     

  86. Gordon Smith says:

    Jackie will need to be traveling at Escape velocity.
    For a Spherical body that would be : Ve = 2/2GM/r where universal gravitational constant is (G = 6.67×10?11 m3 kg?1 s?2).
     
    Now , as we know Jackie has a profile somewhat deviating from the ideal Spherical model, but given some additional propulsion even with her additional   gravitational potential. Given her numerous thrustful gasious escapes, and projective vicerations, and compiling that with the additional luner gravitation thrust due to her ample ballistic trajectories. Escape velocity should be possible

  87. Robert Bryce says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:

     

    There’s a lot to be said for sending Jackie Baillie into orbit – it would be fascinating to see what happens to her when freed from the clutches of gravity.
     
     Once again the pro independence campaign hasn’t thought it through properly.

    As all launches are powered via chemical energy I shudder to think of the carbon footprint involved in such a launch. The entire northern hemisphere would be spitting out bits of carbon for months after.

    We must also consider the Pacific splashdown should we be unlucky enough to have her back. Japan is only just getting back on it’s feet after the dreadful tsunami that devastated their coast. It would be common courtesy to inform them of the inherent tidal dangers of her return to earth. How would Scotland do this without telephones, internet or carrier pigeons?
     
    Has anyone even bothered to investigate the consequences of a universe where black holes are sucked over Baillie’s event horizon and condensed into singularity? No, I thought not.

    There needs to be many shifts put in investigating this with an LHC (Large Hadron Collider) but ooohh……….guess what? Scotland doesn’t have an LHC!!

    Only as part of the UK can Scotland use an LHC. It would be way too complicated for Scots and there would be countless forms to fill in before the world would allow us near it. How would you do this without pens?

    The UK is looked at “in awe” by the world and punches above it’s weight and can get what ever it wants (As long as the USA sign it off). And anyway, everybody knows that only Prof Brian Cox can switch it on and he’s not Scottish!!
     
    The SNP would be well advised to add this to the white paper being released later on in the year to scotch the inevitable “you haven’t thought it through properly” jibes from the Nay sayers.
     
    Good night & god bless!!

  88. Barney Thomson says:

    Boorach says:
    21 June, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Got an address for the consciencious objector one?

    I conscienciously object to this union and wish to withdraw from it forthwith!  
     
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/advisory-committee-on-conscientious-objectors

    MOD
    DGLS-Sec 1b
    7th Floor, Zone C Desk 19
    Main Building
    Whitehall
    London
    SW1A 2HB
     
    Fill yer boots!

  89. Diego Hernandez says:

    The UK is looked at “in awe” by the world and punches above it’s weight and can get what ever it wants (As long as the USA sign it off).

    Through your sarcasm, you perfectly captured one of the most risible claims by the unionists.

    The space programme example illustrates the hollowness of the notion that the UK is a strong union that punches above its weight. The UK is the only country to have developed an independent launch capability before abandoning it without replacement. Unlike Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the UK does not own a stake in Arianespace. Nor does it actually contribute anything substantial to the International Space Station. It only recently took the first symbolic step of training an actual ESA astronaut. What little involvement the UK has in space is mostly down to the initiative and multiparty collaborations of private companies and isolated academic institutions. This despite the UK being the fourth largest funder of the European Space Agency, its contribution still being much smaller than those of Germany, France and Italy. Only at the end of the 2000s did the UK realise that it actually needed to co-ordinate space activities under a proper, focused space agency, decades after the USA, Germany, France and pretty much every other country with an involvement in space did so. If anything, the UK punches way below its weight.

    A close relative of mine is involved in the satellite communications business, and his view of the UK in space is deeply sceptical. The UK certainly leaves no other country “in awe” of its space programme. Likewise the view of other people I’ve met in the electronics and tech industries. These are Britons, to be clear. Their view is that the UK’s commitment to any part of the economy but the City of London and Fleet Street is inconsistent at best. Things like the space programme and technology sector require decades of careful macromanagement, and that has never been forthcoming from the UK government. Even the USA has done better. Whenever it periodically decides to buck its ideas up, the additional hurdle of the hyper-centralised British economy and political system has to be overcome. See the above cited example of UKSA not giving grants to companies in Scotland. It’s no wonder British scientists and engineers have historically done more work for NASA than their own country’s space programme. In that context, it’s hard not to think of how the current UK would be much stronger where it matters if it were divided into its components rather than all suffocated under Westminster incompetence.

    What would happen to the UK Space Agency if Scotland became independent? It would continue existing, struggling to help the rUK catch up with the rest of Europe and the rest of the world. Scotland would probably set up its own space agency at some point in the near future. Scots seem to value science and innovation, so it would make sense that they’d put their ingenuity to work in partnership with other countries. Sure it would be “duplication”, but nobody ever complains about Canada having a separate space programme from the USA’s. They could do a better job of it than the UK has done. Much like how the Scottish involvement in the EU, UN and other international bodies would grow outside of the UK, I can foresee Scottish involvement in ESA (perhaps even ISS or its replacement in the longer term?) also growing. To pardon the pun, it isn’t rocket science.

  90. Tasmanian says:

    I understand ‘less-lethal’ means ‘not intentionally lethal but might turn out to be lethal anyway so don’t go tasering people gratuitously’.
    Because if you say “Here you go, officers of the Newham Parks Constabulary, here’s your non-lethal tasers, have fun!”, they’ll go tasing people without thinking anything of it, and some of them will have weak hearts or epilepsy and they’ll die from the tasering. Semantically “less-lethal” accurately suggests that even though the weapon is not intended to kill, it still might, therefore it’s emergency-use-only.

  91. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Dal Rita….( the other being a rodent, sorry, A. Roden) we find: 
     
    Oi !!!   😉
     

  92. AlexMcI says:

    All this Talk of launching things into space seriously worries me. You would have thought we might have learned our lesson from those bloody New New Yorkers and their obscene ball off garbage. God I hope we have a Philip J Fry in the future.

  93. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @DJ, Gordon Smith & Robert Bryce-
     
    Great stuff.
     
    It’s really quite amazing, the knowledge pooled here.
     
     

  94. Marker Post says:

    From the BBC article:

    British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) – The BBC is the world’s leading public service broadcaster. Its mission is to enrich people’s lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. [Where would you start with that one? As we all know, a small proportion of the license fee is actually spent in Scotland, much less than the 8.5% or so that we contribute. Secondly, it’s obviously not fulfilling its mandate. So, scope for reform and saving of money. On another note, why is there a license fee at all, why not just pay out of general taxes, cut out the expensive and ineffective bureaucracy to collect and administer it?]

    Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – GCHQ is one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies and forms a crucial part of the UK’s National Intelligence and Security machinery. [Looks like their mandate might be a bit too broad, especially given today’s revelations on the Guardian]

  95. Jiggsbro says:

    On another note, why is there a license fee at all, why not just pay out of general taxes, cut out the expensive and ineffective bureaucracy to collect and administer it?
     
    Because a licence fee maintains the fiction that the BBC is independent of the government. If it was entirely funded by taxes, it would be entirely dependent on the goodwill of government for its funding.

  96. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Jiggsbro-
     
    re BBC Licence fee:
     
    It’s also difficult to think of a more effective way of co-opting folk into swallowing propaganda than forcing them to pay for it.

  97. Robert Bryce says:

    @ianbrotherhood
     
    I tweeted on this subject some time ago.
     
    You wouldn’t pay for or accept being fed shit at a restaurant so why do we insist on paying for the shit the BBC news & current affairs department peddle?
     
    I do still pay the licence fee as I own a TV. I am ever hopeful that after a Yes vote there is a root and branch stripping of the rotten political infiltration (mainly by Labour) that’s happened in Pacific Quay.

    This must never be allowed to happen again. All employees of a state broadcaster in a position of influence MUST be forced to disclose their political persuasion (to include party membership past or present) and have it on clear public display. 
     
    I would go as far as creating a public body made up of ordinary punters on the street drawn from the electoral register (like jury service) to sit once or twice a year without political influence and review complaints, the performance and impartiality of the state broadcaster.
     
    That way we the public know the political balance and persuasion of the organisation at all times and have the final say over the government or it’s appointed quango in it’s running.
     
    The state broadcaster would be DIRECTLY accountable to the people.
     
     

  98. handclapping says:

    My favourite has to be the Commissioners fot the Reduction of the National Debt, that is the Speaker, the Accountant of the Supreme Court, the Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England and his two deputies. Set up in 1786, the year of the Kilmarnock Edition, purportedly so that England’s might should not be constrained by being in hock to Johnny Foreigner, in fact to cover for the fact that the sinking funds for the various issues had been sunk, borrowed and not repaid.
     
    Even in 1786 Westminster was not working for us.
     
    Still it is encouraging to know that what remains of the National Insurance Fund Investment account, all £28,400,000 of it, is safe in their hands. It will really make a dent in the circa £400 billion liability for future pensions.
     
    Even now Westminster is not working for us

  99. Doug Daniel says:

    Of course, another way of looking at this is “hey, just think how many jobs are going to be created simply by becoming independent!”

  100. Shinty says:

    Robert Bryce
    I do still pay the licence fee as I own a TV.
     
    You do not need a licence to own a TV, you only need a licence if you watch broadcast TV  

  101. Angus McPhee says:

    “On another note, why is there a license fee at all, why not just pay out of general taxes, cut out the expensive and ineffective bureaucracy to collect and administer it?”
    Cos I don’t have a telly?
     
     

  102. Juteman says:

    I have a TV and don’t pay the UK tax.
    The only folk that get taken to court are idiots that admit they watch TV without a license. Don’t answer letters, and shut the door on any TV folk.
    It’s easier for folk that live above ground. If you live at ground level, they can look in your windows and catch you watching live TV.

  103. Robert Bryce says:

    Shinty says:
     

    Robert BryceI do still pay the licence fee as I own a TV. You do not need a licence to own a TV, you only need a licence if you watch broadcast TV 
     
    Should have clarified. I do watch broadcast TV on it.

    I have a strange compulsion to watch the modern day equivalent of the royal court interviewing for a new jester (Britain’s got talent etc) in glorious HD. 

  104. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Juteman-
     
    How would they know you’re not watching a DVD?
     
    In effect, they’d have to spy on you. How illegal is that?

  105. Robert Bryce says:

    ianbrotherhood says:
     

     @Juteman- How would they know you’re not watching a DVD? In effect, they’d have to spy on you. How illegal is that?
     
    Apparently not very if you work for GCHQ 🙂

    According to Finish TV tonight we’re the most spied on nation in Europe. Even the US apparently don’t spy on their citizens as much as GCHQ.
     
    If I hear another person say “If you’ve nothing to hide you having nothing to fear” i’ll burst!
     
    Following that logic you if you weren’t Jewish then you had nothing to fear from the Nazis.
     
    Stick that up yer arse GCHQ!

  106. Albert Herring says:

    “If you’ve nothing to hide you having nothing to fear” so you won’t mind if we come round and install these CCTV cameras in your house.

  107. CameronB says:

    @ Albert Herring
    You might already have one in your home, installed in your TV, fridge, washing machine, any electrical appliances, and of-course your smart phone. These snooping devices can be operated remotely for sound and picture, so GCHQ could be watch us all right now. Reassuring isn’t it?

  108. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @CameronB-
     
    Does that mean they could have pictures of me shagging my tumble-dryer?
     
    Gordon Bennett!…time I got rid of that old thing anyway.

  109. CameronB says:

    @ ianbrotherhood
    Joking aside, the Stasi could only have dreamt of achieving the level of surveillance we are all under, in the UK today. And with habeas corpus on a shoogly peg, things are beginning to look a little dystopian.

  110. Robert Bryce says:

    ianbrotherhood says:
     

     @CameronB- Does that mean they could have pictures of me shagging my tumble-dryer? Gordon Bennett!…time I got rid of that old thing anyway.
     
    The most disturbing thing about that statement is that you appear to be more worried about the age of your tumble dryer.
     
    Doesn’t it bother you at all that they may not be taking the pictures from your good side?

  111. CameronB says:

    🙂
     

  112. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @CamB & Robert Bryce-
     
    I’ve said too much already.
     
    (Besides, neither of you have seen my tumble-dryer.)

  113. Robert Bryce says:

    ianbrotherhood says:
     

     @CamB & Robert Bryce- I’ve said too much already. (Besides, neither of you have seen my tumble-dryer.)
     

    I’ll come clean (no white goods pun intended!).

    I work for GCHQ and have indeed seen your tumble dryer. Please buy a new one or we’ll come round for a chat!
     
    Oh and swap it round with the washing machine. You look better from the left 🙂

  114. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Robert Bryce-
     
    ‘You look better from the left.’
     
    As a socialist I take that as a great compliment.
     
    (PS Please, leave the washing-machine out of this…)

  115. Robert Bryce says:

    ianbrotherhood says:

     As a socialist I take that as a great compliment.
     
    We knew you were 🙂 

  116. Tamson says:

    Regarding the Student Loans Company:
     
    – most existing loans are repaid through the Inland Revenue.
    – Scotland already has the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, which handles most of the Scottish grants, endowments and the like, and the Scottish Funding Council which organises most of the college/university funding.
    – a large part of the Student Loans Company is actually based in Glasgow, and relocating it in a timespan under 10 years would be technically unfeasible.
     
    I could see SAAS’ remit being expanded, and/or a Scottish Government paying some administration costs to SLC – but to say it needs recreating is utter nonsense. I used to work there and know how things are set up.

  117. Tamson says:

    Actually, thinking further about SLC reminded me of the flipside to this business about “having to set up all these organisations”.
     
    It’s “Where is Scotland’s current Union dividend in getting some of the existing stuff?”
     
    Scotland is about 9% of the current UK, but does anyone think that 9% of the current UK administrative organisations are based in Scotland? Are they hell – most of them are in London. I can think of SLC (far from all of it BTW) and bits of the IR and DfID in East Kilbride, and that’s it.



Comment - new users please read this page first for commenting rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use the live preview box. Include paragraph breaks or I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




↑ Top