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Wings Over Scotland


We’ve got five minutes spare

Posted on September 23, 2013 by

Arch-Unionist and BBC-favoured pundit (hey, what a freakish coincidence! What are the odds?) Professor Adam Tomkins of Glasgow University has a blog post up today. A reader asked us to go and tackle it, but Prof. Tomkins has one of those infinitely irritating twatblogs that won’t let you post comments unless you hand over all your personal details and give permission for spambots to assail your Facebook and Twitter accounts with annoying gibberish, so we’ll have to do it here instead.

uniontwat3

It won’t make any sense unless you read the post first. It’s here.

“It was a slow summer. Both sides in the campaign seemingly ran out of things to say and resorted to throwing sand in our eyes. “Labour for independence” was exposed as an SNP front.”

No it wasn’t. In fact that’s such a fatuous lie we nearly stopped reading right there.

“by and large the polls persistently suggest that No hovers in the high 50s with Yes in the low 30s”

No they don’t. Professor John Curtice puts the average of all polls at 40-60.

“At least, I very much doubt that “what Scots want” is the devolution of more powers to Holyrood.”

Yet they clearly and repeatedly show that it is. By comfortable margins, consistently in poll after poll, they say they want welfare devolved. They want taxation devolved. They want control of oil revenues devolved. They might not know the finer details of devolution, but they know full well that welfare and benefits are controlled by Westminster governments, and they don’t like it.

“it should be a story about balancing the extensive powers that have already been devolved with commensurate responsibilities to ensure that those powers are exercised in a manner that accords with “what Scots want””

So let’s be clear – your view is that what the Scottish public wants is to have extra layers of government bureaucracy, eg a totally pointless separate Scottish HMRC collecting taxes that are already collected perfectly adequately by the normal HMRC, but to have no more control over how those taxes are used?

In short, you’re mental, then? Glad we cleared THAT up.

“They mean to win, to win big, and to put in place after a No vote a deal for Scotland that will be so attractive that the very thought of doing Indyref No 2 becomes unthinkable.”

Why on Earth would they do that? Why would they reward Scotland for throwing away its only bargaining chip? Andrew Neil – no Scottish nationalist he – recently told a gathering of media/business folks that “Devolution, the Calman Commission, the Scotland Bill, the Edinburgh Agreement, all of this and more you have, is because Westminster parties are scared of the SNP.  If you vote ‘No’ you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

With that threat taken away, in what lunatic’s world does Westminster willingly grant Scotland any favours? If there’s a No vote in 2014, there will be no further referendum in our lifetimes. Westminster will see to that, quoting Salmond’s “once in a generation” back at him. Permission will not be granted a second time, and any attempt to proceed without it will be crushed.

Labour’s position is clear: One Nation. That plainly doesn’t mean “MORE scope for parts of the nation to do things differently”. It means an end to Scotland’s little concessions. No more free services, because we can’t be One Nation if some of us get stuff the others don’t.

And the Tories? They’ve never promised more powers at all. Until recently their official position was “a line in the sand”, and it will revert to that, because nobody votes for them in Scotland anyway and it’s never mattered to them. Scotland is a Tory write-off. If there are bribes to be offered for 2015 votes, they’re not coming our way.

“Ripping Britain into two is a means not of preserving the social union, but of tearing it up. “

Drivel. Who do you respect more? Your neighbour who runs his own affairs or your feckless 30-year-old son who grumbles about you incessantly but won’t leave home?

This is tosh. You’re a Unionist but you’re supposed to be clever as well. Do better.

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123 to “We’ve got five minutes spare”

  1. Seasick Dave says:

    He’s not a very bright professor, is he?

  2. Hazel Lewry says:

    Aw, gee thanks…. that photo just caused me to sick up in my mouth …. and as for his scribblings …. least said soonest mended.

  3. Bill C says:

    Another demolition of unionist lies. Brilliant Rev.

  4. orpheuslyre says:

    Ouch.

  5. HandandShrimp says:

    Didn’t get past the first paragraph. Too much above the line trolling. I don’t really count him as a serious contributor to the debate.
     
     

  6. Sneddon says:

    Yes he’s a fine advert for his department but then again I’m studying elsewhere.
    Unusual that he won’t apply the same academic rigour to his blog as he , no doubt, requires for his students.  To complete the mindfuck apprently according to twitter he’s a republican as well.
    File under ‘Does not apply to balanced debate, Bampot, Do not read’

  7. muttley79 says:

    @HandandShrimp
     
     
     I don’t really count him as a serious contributor to the debate.
     
    BBC Scotland do!.. 😀
     

     

  8. HandandShrimp says:

    PS The picture that accompanies stories from this blog is superb. It is what flashes into my mind every time I hear the chap’s name.

  9. Annibale says:

    Do they really believe we are incapable of checking facts? They’re preaching to those who believe soap operas are real!

  10. Alasdair Reid says:

    Is that really him in that silly outfit in the photo….
    To be fair he makes a couple of fair points about the Labour party “leadership” in Scotland disappearing since before the summer but then that hardly requires a PhD to notice….
     

  11. Sneddon says:

    Alba Matters wrote a good piece about him and his propensity not to publish comments
    http://albamatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/adam-tomkins-school-of-impartiality.html
     
    A mental read nevertheless Rev. Thank god he’s probably kept away from the undergrads.  I wonder who at the BBC he went to uni with?

  12. kininvie says:

    What? Not even ‘an alert reader’. I’m taking the huff….

  13. frankieboy says:

    Shockingly bad. I would never have handed that in as a piece of work. I went to university as a mature student. I was cynical about academics but didn’t know why. All university taught me was why.

  14. Tom says:

    It’s amazing that a worm-like transphobic ex-pat like yourself could criticise a man of far more learning than you could possibly ever gain. 

  15. Karamu says:

    Do I have to read it? Was losing the will to live 100 words in.
     
    Makes me ashamed to be a Glasgow Uni alumni….

  16. ‘ If there’s a No vote in 2015’
     
    What No vote is that?

  17. mrbfaethedee says:

    O/T – for the constitutionally minded –
    Google have a new site up for exploring the various constitutions from all around the world. A useful wee site to have if we ought to be thinking of our own.
    https://www.constituteproject.org
     
    btw – Well done everyone at the rally, two strikes for me 🙁

  18. muttley79 says:

    @Sneddon

     I wonder who at the BBC he went to uni with?  
     
    Boothman?! 😀

  19. kininvie says:

    Want to give your kids nightmares? Here’s how:
     
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/09/23/article-2429682-182CD32000000578-158_634x422.jpg
     
    (Have to hand it to the DM on this one – well done the picture desk)

  20. big_al says:

    Could have saved you 500 words in three…..
     
    What a ****

  21. Morag says:

    Makes me ashamed to be a Glasgow Uni alumni….
     
    Somebody stop me….  No, I must resist….  Oh what the hell.

    Alumni is plural.  You’re an alumnus.  And to be fair, I have noticed the official Glasgow Uni fundraising efforts to the General Council members making this exact mistake.  Am thinking a small bomb might be appropriate.

  22. Karamu says:

    And, he’s talking about the weight of the British civil service being behind the no vote… Is that no cheating??

  23. Morag says:

    Cynical Highlander said:
    ‘ If there’s a No vote in 2015?

    What No vote is that?
     
    Wait for it…. Three….  Two….  One…..

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU MEAN!

    (I don’t know if you get special points for getting one over the Rev, but you should.)

  24. gordoz says:

    Sorry folks but ever since their ‘Student Poll’ Glasgow Uni has lost all credibility for me
    its now clearly hotbed for ‘British Together’ and regionalists like Mr Tomkins.
    What has happend to Scottish educational institutions when they hire loud mouth clowns like this ?  
    How sad when you think of the political views which once emerged from such a place.

  25. Morag says:

    And, he’s talking about the weight of the British civil service being behind the no vote… Is that no cheating??
     
    I spotted that too.  Yes it’s cheating – when they think the Scottish government is doing it, that is.  But they can’t possibly cheat!  You know, that great British attribute, “fair play”.  Since that is known to be a British characteristic, then clearly everything they do must be absolutely fair, by definition.
     
    And who let you use my randomly-assigned avatar anyway?  😀

  26. Morag says:

    Sorry folks but ever since their ‘Student Poll’ Glasgow Uni has lost all credibility for me
    its now clearly hotbed for ’British Together’ and regionalists like Mr Tomkins.
     
    Oh come on, remember the turnout.  Mostly, nobody was paying a blind bit of attention to student politics.  That is absolutely traditional Glasgow Uni.

  27. crisiscult says:

    Kind of semi related, but have bumped into this guy a few times at Glasgow Uni – Greg Philo of Glasgow Media Group – and was chatting to him about the media coverage on Israel v Palestine (we were very much on the same wavelength on this one) and of the referendum. So, when we got to talking about our actual views on independence, I thought it was somewhat ironic that he started spouting most of the propaganda that comes out of the MSM to justify why it would be a terrible idea. Can we add him to another of Glasgow University’s not so bright employees? Or is he just another victim of this cognitive dissonance that I learned about through reading this blog?

  28. Pedro says:

    Here’s my reply to that post on that blog (still awaiting moderation):

    Tearing up the social union? Eh? Forcing divisions between two neighbourly people? What?

    To be honest, I’m at a loss to even attempt to comprehend just why you cling to the belief that “A robust, responsible, grown-up devolution within a Union fit for the twenty-first century” is even possible this side of pigs taking to the air.

    You know that’s not going to happen. The London focused UK will not allow that to happen. Westminster will never allow that to happen.

    Do you really think that if Scotland falls for the Project Fear scare stories couched as ‘legitimate questions’ by the unionist press (print and TV) and votes NO for more of the same that the London based political parties will spend little more than a nano-second in dismissing the bleatings of the Jocks up in north Britain for ‘more powers, please’?

    I don’t think that you seriously can?

    Oh, and one of the reasons why I’ll be voting Yes on September 18th next year, never mind removing Trident (which will be removed) and never mind the UK sending Scottish soldiers to die in illegal wars (which will never happen again) is to definitely remove Scotland from the ‘British welfare state’. The UK clearly has different priorities on that. The Scotland welfare state will address it’s own priorities. As it should.

    Just like every single other country in the world does.

    It’s normal.

    Vote Yes.

  29. gordoz says:

    Sorry to say Glasgow Caledonian Uni are no better – they have hired Brian Wilson as a visiting professor of politics ?? Brian Wilson ?? How embarassing no bias there then !

  30. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Exactly, Morag
    My grand-daughter is at Glasgow Uni and she tells us that the political clubs, particularly the Labour one (full of wanabee researchers), are a joke and very few people pay any attention to them. 
    Hardly anybody voted in that election

  31. Jeannie says:

    @kininvie
     
    Gordon Brown looks like Albert E. Neumann from Mad Magazine in that picture.

  32. Tris says:

    I think if you want to be taken as a serious and independent academic commentator on the subject of Scotland’s future in the union, it might be better not to dress up in a union flag suit. That tends to make you look like a clown.
     
     

  33. Jingly Jangly says:

    Brian Wilson he tried to bribe me to move my vote from Aberdeen to Arran
    as I lived at that time in a safe labour  seat,(Bob Middleton)  he offered me a pint  to change my voting address… is that legal!!!!
    Of course I didn’t tell him I was voting SNP he assumed I was labour as I was with
    a labour activist mate in the pub when they got talking to one another…
     

  34. Mr. K says:

    Is that the chap from this?
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5RWQABijO8
     
    Incidentally, listen to what George Galloway has to say about the issue being a “Gilbert & Sullivan show”.

  35. Albamac says:

    Stu,
    You commented on his work but forgot to grade it.
    F for FUD?
     
    Just catching up, folks, and a few topics behind.  I was distracted by something important.

  36. Arbroath 1320 says:

    This guy is a professor, SERIOUSLY?????
    What is he professor of……….Inky Pinky Parlez Vous! 😆

  37. EmbraBoffin says:

    The No vote would be in 2014, not 2015. Apart from that excellent article and I agree, unless there is a cast iron guarantee to more powers before the referendum then we can expect nothing else to be devolved. 

  38. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    There is so much in the way of recording of this event, whether TV, photos ,webcam etc I’m sure a great DVD could be made of it. Physically a DVD costs a few pennies but one made up with the high points of the march and the rally would be worth its weight in gold if widesly distributed. Can this be done?
    And just a point of iinformation. The Centre of OO is not Glasgow which may well in majority in areas of it now swing the other way (which is equally problematic for us due to the Labour Party’s sectarian nonsense round the communities). The OO is strongest in parts of Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and across to the Lothians

  39. Jock McDonnell says:

    Great demolition, ever since Anas went ‘over the top’ things have shifted perceptibly. The union is slipping and the harder they struggle the more it will fall.

  40. Doug Daniel says:

    Folks, don’t waste your time trying to comment on his blog, because if you look at his articles you’ll see that, with the exception of some pingback links from his other articles, he’s only ever published three comments – one of which is his own. Unless you’re telling him what a great article it is, he simply won’t publish it. He’s not interested in debating things, simply airing his point of view. Not a very academic approach…

  41. Arbroath 1320 says:

    It appears that another wheel has, or is about to, come off the unionist wagon. (Are there actually any wheels left on the wagon I ask?)
     
    Well here’s someone who, despite declaring himself a unionist appears to me to be slowly moving, at a snails pace, over to becoming an independence supporter.
     
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/20/scottish-independence-becoming-only-option
     
    As I read this piece I began to get the feeling that despite Better together’s best efforts he is in no way convinced that the union is safe. In fact, in my view, I get the feeling that he believes BT and the unionist parties have absolutely nothing to give to Scotland in return for a NO vote and slowly but surely the YES vote is beginning tyo increase at the total expense of the NO vote. :P:

  42. Karamu says:

    Morag says:
    23 September, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Makes me ashamed to be a Glasgow Uni alumni…. “Somebody stop me….  No, I must resist….  Oh what the hell.
    Alumni is plural.  You’re an alumnus.”
    Fair point…. I should have just omitted “a”. Can you believe that in other worlds I am too a grammar stickler?

  43. Karamu says:

    “And who let you use my randomly-assigned avatar anyway?” Lol, let’s blame Stu.

  44. Morag says:

    Can you believe that in other worlds I am too a grammar stickler?

    Easily.  As I said, the “Alumni Office” do it, and it is driving me nuts.

    I suppose the system starts to run out of avatars after a bit. I should change to my tabby cat anyway.

  45. muttley79 says:

    Anyone else think Professor Tomkins looks like Curly from Coronation Street in that photo?

  46. Morag says:

    Well here’s someone who, despite declaring himself a unionist appears to me to be slowly moving, at a snails pace, over to becoming an independence supporter.
     
    Ah, Kevin.  That was last January.  He actually wrote the first installment of that in October 2011, and that’s  hell of a read, too.  Never was there a more reluctant convert, as C. S. Lewis once said.

  47. gordoz says:

    O/T
    Some respite on educational front  – Great work by Stewart Hosie MSP @ Abertay Uni debate vs George Robertson (Lord blah blah)
    Before debate Yes 21% No 59 D/K 20.
    After debate Yes 51% No 38 D/K 11.
    250 students attended.
    Rev : Know it was reported before by others on here, but love to read about Mr Robertson getting a real pasting in a fair debate. Confrontation and debunking win the day!!

  48. HulloHulot says:

    I triple checked that his blog actually was called “Notes from North Britain.”
     
    It is.

  49. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just found this over on my partner’s Facebook page.
     
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=542279342511331&set=a.505970352808897.1073741854.100001878111975&type=1&ref=nf
     
    Coward is as coward does.
    Typical Better Together antics, spread the s***e and then run a mile when asked the simplest of questions!

  50. Tasmanian says:

    What’s this ‘social union’ he’s talking about? Shared welfare policy between the rUK and Scotland? I thought giving Scotland freedom to follow its own social policy is one of the key benefits of independence! So what’s the alleged problem?

    Is he talking of border controls?

  51. Oldnat says:

    More seriously folks, Lamont’s “virus of nationalism” has now infected London Labour.
    According to the non-nationalist Edinburgh daily, the non-nationalist leader of British Labour is to say: “Let’s make sure, over the next year, we win the battle for the most important institution of all: our country.”

  52. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Oldnat says:

    More seriously folks, Lamont’s “virus of nationalism” has now infected London Labour.According to the non-nationalist Edinburgh daily, the non-nationalist leader of British Labour is to say: “Let’s make sure, over the next year, we win the battle for the most important institution of all: our country.”

      
    I could have sworn oldnat that she has already told the Labour Conference in Brighton that the referendum has already been won! Sounds like she is having a wee bit of second thoughts if this is what she is to say now!

  53. mogatrons says:

    Prof Tomkins wrote: ‘ Better Together employs maybe a dozen or so people ‘ ….
     
    ….’nuff said 🙂

  54. call me dave says:

    Oldnat:
    Aye she is becoming more strident as each week passes.
    Probably adds scores of votes to YES every week.
    What about Murphy’s maths re: Defence.  Is he that stupid.
    Oh wait if it’s YES he is toast… Maybe future Labour leader down South, they are welcome to him.
     
    All in tomorrows Scotsman.
     
     

  55. Jimbo says:

    Alex Salmond “looking silly parading himself alongside sports stars”
     
    Says the guy in the sensible looking butcher’s apron suit.

  56. Feil Gype says:

    ‘ No more free services, because we can’t be One Nation if some of us get stuff the others don’t’  that line destroys Better Togethers idea of ‘the best of both worlds’ ….if the SNP werent in charge in Scotland then devolution wid be a waste of time as the unionist MSP’s wid jist dae whit Westminster wanted. I pointed this oot te a unionist the night … I think i might get it printed on flyers ….

  57. Ronnie says:

     
    @Muttley 79
    Anyone else think Professor Tomkins looks like Curly from Coronation Street in that photo?
     
    No, but I’m sure he was with Charlie Cairoli in Chipperfields Circus at one time.

  58. Oldnat says:

    Arbroath 1320
     
    Tsk Tsk! Lamont can’t be the leader of British Labour – she’s not an MP! That line is to be delivered by someone even more important than Sarwar – by the great Miliband himself!
     
    I’d have included the link to the Scotsman article, but the Rev Stu would have put me in Purgatory till the rocks melt wi’ the sun if I did.

  59. Gallowglass says:

    I hardly ever read the Scotsman anymore, or the website.  And that’s from sitting up all night trying to get first comment in to set the tone.
    Worst of all, is at one point I thought it meant something. 
     

  60. Albamac says:

    Please disregard my earlier, inane comment.  I mean, how sad do you have to be to compose something so meaningless for the sake of inclusion?
     
    I just found myself at a loose end after posting something that mattered and then didn’t because Wings had flapped and soared off in another direction.
     
    The most recent topic, when I arrived, was outside ‘normal service’ so, at least, my comment wouldn’t be OT. As hard luck would have it, the perfect topic appeared immediately after I’d submitted it.  For me, ‘A Flavour of the Day’ would have been the bitter taste of Monday but, understandably, everyone else was enjoying the sweet aftertaste of Saturday.
     
    Then came a review of the latest performance from a Unionist buffoon and, by that time, I felt sure that my post, ‘outside normal service’, was a goner.
     
    Hope was rekindled when five more comments were added to the presumed dead thread, but it flickered and died when the absence of life beyond the hill was confirmed.

  61. Norrie says:

    My take on Lamonts comments re virus.
    http://norrie.wordpress.com/

  62. murtam says:

    Just a brief comment on the Professor’s blog.
    Have we returned to Alice in Wonderland logic where in order for the people of Scotland to get what they so obviously want they have to vote no when common sense says vote yes ?
    Not sure it would be good to go to this gentleman’s lectures if this is how he teaches his subject in Glasgow University.

  63. ianbrotherhood says:

    Does any university have a jar big enough to keep this belter in? One day he’ll be in the Scottish People’s Palace, just along from the Big Banana Feet and other weans’ favourites, with a wee note explaining the brief but interesting history of ‘Better Together’.

  64. Ampocarbuile says:

    I find it amusing that people assume that if you work at a university you’re intelligent. I spent 25 years working in universities, and I can assure you there are as many intellectually-challenged careerists, show-offs, self-publicists, and fools as you’ll find in any other field.
    Cowboys, zombies and vampires, mostly, with a generous sprinkling of really good dedicated professionals whose loyalties are to their subject and their students, not to their own careers. This loudmouthed nonentity is pretty typical of your average over-promoted academic dunderheid.
    BTW, Morag isn’t an ‘alumnus’ unless she’s a man. She’s an ‘alumna’ if she’s female.

  65. Taranaich says:

    “They mean to win, to win big, and to put in place after a No vote a deal for Scotland that will be so attractive that the very thought of doing Indyref No 2 becomes unthinkable.”
    Here’s my rhetorical question: IF they plan to “put in place” “a deal for Scotland that will be so attractive that the very thought of doing Indyref No 2 becomes unthinkable” then answer me one simple question.
     
    Why aren’t they offering this deal right now?
     
    Surely if it’ll make even the possibility of Indyref 2 unthinkable, then it should make a No vote all but a formality. That being the case, surely it would be in their interests to present it now and utterly crush the Yes campaign like an ant? Why wait till after the election to present this wondrous deal? Why not pull out all the stops to ensure not only a victory, but a crushing victory?
     
    Waiting 20 years for a parliament after we were “promised” one in 1979 will look optimistic this time in 2016.

  66. nelliejean says:

    “Mr Salmond … looking silly parading himself alongside sports stars”

     
    So did I just imagine Andy Murray being called to Downing Street for that photo op with Cameron?

  67. john king says:

    Karamu says
    “Do I have to read it? Was losing the will to live 100 words in.”
    Do you WANT  to be kept in after class? 🙁
     

  68. john king says:

    I’ve got it
    that guy in the picture is Curly Watts I swear it is

  69. john king says:

    cynical highlander says
    “‘ If there’s a No vote in 2015?
     What No vote is that?”
     
    shhhh if they all turn up a year late then bugger thum serves them right 

  70. john king says:

    morag says
    ” Am thinking a small bomb might be appropriate.”
    Way to go Morag, if we weren’t on an MI5 list before we sure as hell are now. 😉

  71. john king says:

    muttley79 says @ 12.17 am
     
    DOH!

  72. john king says:

    ianbrotherhood says
    “Does any university have a jar big enough to keep this belter in?”
    but we already have a man in a jar

  73. JamesLSnook says:

    It does seem a little weird that someone who allows himself to be photographed looking like that should complain about Salmond at Wimbledon ‘grinning inanely like an out-of-place schoolboy in a suit’. What was that someone once wrote about seeing ourselves as others see us?

  74. Smudge says:

    If there was ever a greater need for a UCock sticker (to stop the excrement being spouted) I can’t think of one

  75. fatweegee says:

    2015?

  76. JamesLSnook says:

    And more substantially, he claims that Holyrood is responsible for allocating more than 70% of Scottish public spending, whereas this document, paras 2.2 and 2.3, indicates that Holyrood and Scottish local authorities between them allocate just over half (38bn of 64bn) of the money spent for Scotland. The difference arises from the fact that he’s not counting the money spent on Scotland’s behalf, only money spent in Scotland – which isn’t the full picture of Scottish public spending, as we all know and as the balance sheet in GERS every year makes clear – and overestimates the powers of the devolved parliament. It is therefore a very wonky stat indeed.

  77. David Martin says:

    I don’t think “uniontwat3” is our esteemed professor, but his wikipedia entry is crying out to be updated with a link to this article!

  78. patronsaintofcats says:

    What a maroon.  Seriously, what kind of nut job owns a suit like that? Words fail me…

  79. Shinty says:

    nelliejean – nice one!

  80. Craig P says:

    I like the hilly landscape picture at the top of his blog. Could anybody tell me whereabouts in north Britain it is? I can’t place it. 

  81. Simon says:

    Craig, perhaps it is a generic landscape. After all one place in North Britain is pretty much the same as another.

  82. Soda says:

    Give the guy a feather duster as he is the new diddy man.

  83. Doug Daniel says:

    I can’t wait to read Stu’s take on this – Margaret Curran saying devolution hasn’t delivered better health and education for Scotland, saying she thinks money should be allocated to Scotland based on need, rather than the current Barnett formula (so ignore the fact Scotland generates vastly more revenue per head than rUK), and there’s also this snippet about a 2009 report by John McLaren (of CPPR and BBC fame): 
     
    “A 2009 report by John McLaren, a co-architect of the Scotland Act, found that the country’s health service and education system had slipped further behind England’s in the first decade of devolution.
    It concluded that public services may have been better had the Scottish Parliament not been created and its powers retained at Westminster.”
     
    One Nation indeed.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/10329316/Margaret-Currans-doubts-over-Scottish-devolution.html

    Hey, who was in charge for the first eight of those 10 years again? And who was Minister for Social Justice and Minister for Communities during that time?

  84. Macart says:

    No, I’ve read it twice and can only conclude, the prof’s an idiot and at best misleading, at worst a liar.

  85. Albalha says:

    So the Labour narrative today is to crank up the Scottish/English ‘it’s personal’, even more.
    Ed will be telling the story of a Glasgow based Labour delegate who had to be treated in Liverpool during last year’s conference. And she still goes there, from Glasgow, for check ups. I wonder if he will actually say that if Scotland is independent then people living in Scotland will be left to die in the streets of Liverpool.
    Also, from interviews I heard this morning, Labour are heavily promoting the line that the SNP Gov has done nothing for the last three years as they only care about the vote.

  86. Shinty says:

    Anyone still looking for pictures of themselves – this is a good video of the whole march as they come down to the traffic lights
    http://youtu.be/3DAGCnES0Bg

  87. Votadini Jeannie says:

    On a side note, I’m a mature student at an Edinburgh Uni and on returning after the summer, I found Better Together leaflets pinned to many of the noticeboards, but nothing at all from the Yes campaign.
     
    In the interests of balance, I removed as many as I could, but this is an area where Yes Scotland really needs to get it finger oot.

  88. Gillie says:

    What we are beginning to see is Labour back-tracking on the devolution project. 
     
    To argue. as Margaret Curran has, that Scotland’s independent health and education systems are not best served by a Scottish parliament goes against the evidence and everything that Home Rule stands for. 
     
    It confirms again what we already know about Labour’s intent and that is to strip Holyrood of powers and pass them back to Westminster or hand them over to the likes of Glasgow city council. 

  89. Craig P says:

    Simon, you are right, it is a generic wordpress theme image. Didn’t think I recognised it 🙂 Close enough, I suppose, for someone not particularly interested in Scotland.

  90. Eddie says:

    What course does Professor Tomkins run?  Is it a Phd in tugging at mother’s apron strings?

  91. Desimond says:

    Was going to suggest that with Jim Murphys  cringeworthy “New Law against attacking a member of our beloved Armed Forces” and the Scottish Govt Pension declaration that maybe an article on such an non-entity above was not needed, then I remembered the headline…says it all, bravo.

    PS…All these grammar corrections…does anyone like a peddant?

  92. Murray McCallum says:

    Looks like the New Labour tradition of smear has expanded from party members, to opponents, to private individuals, and now to respected institutions. I guess this is what happens when you have few shared core values to build policies and visions on – you simply seek to destroy what fabric is there in front of you.

  93. Mosstrooper says:

    It’s OK John King and all. I’m sure Margo meant a wee bombe.
    Move along now, nothing to see here.

  94. Albalha says:

    @shinty
    Thanks for posting that video, gives a real sense of the range of people who were there and the numbers.
     

  95. Doug Daniel says:

    Votadini Jeannie – it might be that Edinburgh University has funny rules about such things and that BetterTogether are simply ignoring them, which is exactly what they’ve done in regards to ScotRail’s policy of no political campaigning in their stations. I’m fairly sure Aberdeen University has some funny rules about it, because I think the students involved in Yes Aberdeen have to be careful about how they do things.
     
    Or it might just be that Edinburgh University is full of unionist toffs 😛

  96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s OK John King and all. I’m sure Margo meant a wee bombe.”

    Oh crivvens, let’s not get MI5 after Margo as well 😀

  97. Morag says:

    Anyone still looking for pictures of themselves – this is a good video of the whole march as they come down to the traffic lights
    http://youtu.be/3DAGCnES0Bg
     
    Nice vid.  Shame about the caption, which prominently refers to “Carlton” hill.  Or maybe that doesn’t matter, call it Tinto hill if you like, mustn’t be pedantic you know….  😉

  98. Spout says:

    @Crisiscult
    “Greg Philo of Glasgow Media Group – and was chatting to him about the media coverage on Israel v Palestine (we were very much on the same wavelength on this one) and of the referendum. So, when we got to talking about our actual views on independence, I thought it was somewhat ironic that he started spouting most of the propaganda that comes out of the MSM to justify why it would be a terrible idea. Can we add him to another of Glasgow University’s not so bright employees? Or is he just another victim of this cognitive dissonance that I learned about through reading this blog?”
     
    Funnily enough – sadly my experience also places Greg Philo in a lazy uncritical Unionist mindset.
    I’m sure he is a bright guy, but his acuity of criticizing the BBC over an issue that it is safe for the ‘unionist left’ to hold an opinion of (self-determination for Palestine) is deliberately  absent/myopic when dealing with Scottish self-determination & BBC bias.
     
    In short, Mr Philo knows of and is ignoring the BBC bias issue with respect to independence and is doing so with an ideological ‘axe to grind’.
     
    So much for academic distance/objectivity…..

  99. Iain says:

    I think a lot of people here have been taking the guy far too seriously. Even Scottish unionists – those who know of him – must regard him as a bit of a twat, and a liability to their cause. He should be encouraged – in particular, to wear that lovely suit as often as possible.

  100. gerry parker says:

    I thought I’d stand out in the video’s being a wee grey haired man with glasses and a moustache – Jeez – the 50’s must have produced one hellofa lot o’ us.
    Need to get a banner for the next one – or maybe ma brither Jimmy will bring along his pipes.

  101. Is that a photo of the dickhead who pranced around at the Falkland Islands referendum?

  102. Votadini Jeannie says:

    Yes, Richard Bruce, that’s the Falklands chap, not Adam Tomkins.

  103. JamesLSnook says:

    Votadini – funny, having read his blog the idea that he might dance around in a union suit didn’t seem at all implausible. Must remember to hover cursor over pictures on here…

  104. benarmine says:

    From the Tomkins blog – “And here, you’ll find NO arguments. Right-wing NO arguments. Left-wing NO arguments. Wingless NO arguments. Positive NO arguments. Negative NO arguments.” Wingless No arguments? Does he have a thing?

  105. Vambomarbeleye says:

    The suit says it all. He thinks he is very clever and witty for wearing it. Not so sure what it says about the tailor that made. Perhaps the tailor is a yes voter and is happy to take the money and let the man look a c**t.

  106. Morag says:

    Sigh.  The picture isn’t him….

  107. The Rough Bounds says:

    This guy is allowed to wander the streets on his own?

  108. muttley79 says:

    In regards to Margaret Curran’s comments: she really is a horrible piece of work.  She is the epitome of the careerist politician.  She has no discernible talent whatsoever.  Curran can only spout cliches and soundbites.  She gave the came away by saying that independence would split up the British Labour Party.  Curran has no interest in the people of Scotland, the Labour Party is her only political priority, because it offers her personal advancement and perks. 

  109. JLT says:

    I still believe that once we get to next summer, and with the referendum on the horizon, EVERYONE in Scotland will be discussing it. People will want to know the facts. The media can print as much crap as they want, but it can do bugger all about folk talking to each other.

    The vast majority of Scots are sitting below the interest line at the moment. They take an interest now and again, have a wee moan about lack of facts, and then get on with their lives again. It’s not that they don’t care, but rather, it’s a wee bit away yet, and therefore, Christmas, and holidays, and all the other guff come first.

    It won’t be like that next summer. Once it has been hammered into them, that this is the most important decision that they will ever make; bigger than getting married or buying a house, then whether they like it or not, they WILL need to get involved …to take an interest.

    With that, it is up to us; the hardcore, to give them the facts. I know my work colleagues, my friends, and any one who asks, will be asking me directly what I think. They all know I’m Nationalist. They know I will have answers, and in turn, they may debate with me. I will tell them things that they never knew (defence funding, BBC not giving us our full money’s worth even though we pay more than what we get, how there is a trillion pounds worth of oil in the North Sea, and twice that in the Atlantic side). These things will be pointed out, highlighted, and I will tell them to check the internet if they don’t believe me. I will send them to this site. Then I will give them the truth …the truth that the Union will offer nothing at all. Rather … it will get worse …much worse. Once they get that fact into their heads, then yes …this is really about Project Fear; the Fear of remaining within the Union and its consequences. With that, they will jump into the ‘Yes’ camp.

    Next summer is the moment of true dread for the Unionists and the media. They can’t shut us up. Once we get down to word of mouth, it’s game over. Peoples awareness will be up. They will be more focused. They will want the truth!

    For ourselves, we need to learn the facts in preparation. We just can’t say, ‘it will be better!’. we need to explain why it will be better. We need to do our homework and have those facts ready in our heads. Do that …and we will all convert one person, just as Margo said last year. And with that …we can’t lose!

  110. Morag says:

    In the course of one of yesterday’s polemics, Derek Bateman evoked an image of Salmond giving a “humble concession speech” on 19th September.  Just reading that made me feel physically sick.

  111. Robert Louis says:

    JLT,
     
    A great posting.  I wholly agree, we need to GET the facts and arguments clear in our head.  In addition, those that can, should help with the YES Scotland campaign.  The more we see people talking about independence openly, the better.  As I think Scottish skier pointed out, all the evidence is that the YES vote as it stands is solid, but many who say they will vote NO, are easily persuadable.  It can be done, one person at a time.  Drip, drip, drip.  The No vote is ‘soft’, and that is why bitter together are spinning so hard, as they know it.
     
    I personally found one of the easiest ways to get people talking was wearing a YES badge every where I go.  It is quite surprising how many people are keen to find out more, but were almost afraid to say so.
     
    Final year, final push.  We can win, we WILL win.

  112. JLT says:

    Rev,
     
    I apologise now if there is something there (i’m being lazy, so double apologies). Maybe I’m jumping the gun (or the shark, as the Fonz would say), but I’ve wondered about this for a wee while.

    On your main homepage; would it be useful to have a large box that catches the eye, and this box is a link …a link to the facts of what Scotland will gain, or do, post-indy.

    You could then say, what the Union will offer. Point out what it really means, to stay in the union (in the sense, that, ‘you will suffer ….you will really suffer’ if you vote ‘no’.)

    For those who now and again, raise their heads, and take an interest, if something is there to give them those facts in one quick and easy hit, then I think that would be brilliant. Some would say, just go over to ‘Yes, Scotland’, but then some would say, ‘well, of course, they will say that.’ once they see the facts on that site. They may feel that they are not seeing ‘the balance’. What I mean by that, is that they see what is on the table from both camps. Give it to them, let them compare, and they can begin to weigh it up there and then.

    However, if your site is getting the numbers …and we know, that you are getting really large numbers of visitors, then folk, who are already praising this site for it’s great journalism, giving the facts and truth, and having no trolls on it …well, if they see those facts on one page, and on this site, then it’s going to make them sit up and wonder. They may convert right at that point.

    I think it’s worth a thought. Your analysis of the facts is spot-on, Rev. No one doubts it! If something like that was provided, then I would have someplace for them to go, to get those facts. The other regulars would do the same. If this is all about awareness, then this might not be a bad place for them to go to get those facts.
     
    I know, it would not be a quick thing you can just set up, but given time, if the right thought, the right layout, and the right wording of the facts are presented, then who knows!

    Like I say …it’s a thought…
     
     

  113. Robert Louis says:

    JLT,
     
    Do you mean something like this;
     
    http://www.yesscotland.net/answers
     
    I think it is a good idea to have something simple like that with key messages, also on Wings.  If short of time, maybe just a direct link to the YES Scotland page above.  It will really help those who want to get involved but aren’t political anoraks, or it even gives something to point people towards.

  114. Gavin Phillipson says:

    Doesn’t say much for ‘Yes’ supporters that so many of the above comments are no more than silly personal abuse. Whether you like his views or not, Tomkins is unquestionably one of the top UK constitutional law Profs in the UK and Glasgow is lucky to have him. A bit more playing the ball rather than the man might help convince neutral observers that Yes really do have the better arguments, rather than making them sound sour, chippy and aggressive…

  115. JLT says:

    The thing is Robert, Yes, I agree …Yes Scotland will give you the facts, and yes, I do agree with all those facts.

    But for folk who aren’t as politically aware or astute; people who want to see a ‘comparison table’ ..a balance, then I think that would help.

    Down one side, you have the main points of discussion ie Defence, Oil, Tax, etc. you then have a box with the post-indy facts and stats.

    You then have the post-union facts and stats. Finally, you highlight the difference between the two. Explain what it means either way. The chances are, the facts will point that Yes is the way to go each time. I have no doubt, that some facts (ie …a seat on the UN security Council would be ‘better’ under the Union), but hey! point it out.

    The point is, if it is done right, done fairly, and with the correct facts, then the Unionists have no case. They can’t go , ‘that’s crap’ or ‘that’s nonsense!’ To them, it would be another daily nightmare for them. Wings giving the facts proper. How can they argue with the truth, when it is also …their truth!

    I think there is something in it. It’s not from the official Yes or No camp, but from a highly respected political website (I hope I got that right, Rev, when I say political. Punch me if I got it wrong!).

    For me, I wonder what others who are regularly on these boards think?

  116. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Tomkins is unquestionably one of the top UK constitutional law Profs in the UK”

    On the evidence I’ve seen, I’ll question that all day long. The fact that he only publishes comments that praise him, rather than tackling critical ones, suggests he’s not too sure about his abilities either.

  117. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Reading the posts about Curran and co got me thinking. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m not allowed to think but hey I went ahead and did it anyway! 😆
     
    When I was at school, and it wasn’t yesterday for those who might be thinking it was, there was a saying……’those who can do and those who can’t teach.’ Well I’d like to expand it a wee bit.
     
    Those who can do, those who can’t teach and those who can’t teach become Labour politicians!

  118. Morag says:

    My version went like this.  Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach.  Those who can’t teach, teach the teachers.
     
    That was a reaction to some “improve your lecturing” courses at London University while I was teaching there.

  119. Sonas says:

    gordoz said
    “Sorry folks but ever since their ‘Student Poll’ Glasgow Uni has lost all credibility for me
    its now clearly hotbed for ’British Together’ and regionalists like Mr Tomkins.”
     
    Of course you are entitled to hold this view but it’s wrong. Glasgow Uni certainly is not a ‘hotbed’ for BT. It’s just that Prof Tomkins has a hotline to BBC Scotland so he shouts the loudest.  Maybe better not to make sweeping generalisations about a massive institution with nearly 3000 academic staff.
     
    And that’s not him in the picture…

  120. gordoz says:

     
    Votadani Jeannie says :
     
    I couldn’t agree more about lack of YES involvement in many Uni’s.
    Dont see a big youth SNP or YES goup uptake in both Uni’s Im involved with. Have seen the beginnings of BT infiltration and cant understand where the youth wing of YES are hiding on the campuses.
     
    Really feel YES campaign must take this seriously now, the schools are much the same.
     

  121. James Morton says:

    Its the only thing that makes sense to them. They will never want to be in that position again, so removing the threat, in short, removing holyrood is the only option open to them. But that is a trap. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting this back in. There is no Darien crisis this time to spur on the need for closer union. I think any attempt to do this, will backfire on the unionist parties and cause a constitutional crisis. A crisis much greater than the one that led to the referendum for devolution.  I think for the Tories in London, they are prepared to make this gamble, for the simple reason that it will cripple Labour. The lib-dems have shown themselves to be all to easily swayed by a seat at the table. Labour? Scottish labour are just dumb enough thanks to the sparsity of talent in their ranks, to think this will be a vote winner with their one-nation labour bollocks.
    Comes back to what I said in earlier posts. I feel that if we lose it will be close, similar to 79, the resulting crisis that comes out of that, will bring the union crashing down around Scottish labours heads. They’ll be as toxic as the Tories are for long time.
     
    It would be better for them if the divorce was amicable.

  122. Morag says:

    Wasn’t this part of Scottish Skier’s premise?  That Cameron could see the writing on the wall and thought it would be best to get the inevitable over with?

    If we do lose, I can’t imagine we will never get independence.  Not now we’ve come so far.  It will however take longer.  How much longer is the question.

    It could play out like 1979, with sullen resentful people powerless in the face of Westminster diktats.  Except, I remember a “What If” programme on Radio 4, ages ago, and if was, what if the 40% rule had never been proposed.  The conclusion, Scotland would have been independent by the late ’80s, because the voters would have had a way to get away from Maggie.  This time, we have Holyrood.

    If they try to neuter Holyrood, this will go down like a lead balloon.  The wrangling and the unpleasantness could go on for a long time before the 18-year cycle or whatever it is comes round and we get another crack at it.  Who wants to live through that?

    Alternatively, the SNP could declare that any election is an independence referendum.  Vote for us if you regret the No vote in 2014, and if we get over 50% we’ll start independence negotiations.  That could be tried as early as 2015.

    It would be extraordinarily messy.  International recognition would be problematic.  Westminster would play hard-ball in a big way.  Does anyone want to live through that either?

    What is not going to happen is that Scottish identity is going to go away and Scotland settle down to be a contented wee region of Greater England.  Nobody who has been paying any attention at all to what has happened since the Hamilton by-election can possibly imagine that.  It’s only a question of how long it takes and how nasty it will get.

    That’s why we have to get a Yes vote next year.  They can’t put this back in the bottle and neither can we even if we wanted to.  Even if the SNP said they were shutting up shop it wouldn’t go away, though we might not like the sort of people who would fill the vacuum.

    A lot of the clap-trap about the inevitable march of history is bunkum.  But this one isn’t.  It’s as certain as the fact that women were going to get the vote, or same-sex marriage was going to be permitted.  More certain than the smoking ban.  It’s just the way we’re heading and we’re past the point of no return.  If we don’t do it the easy way next year, we’ll do it the hard way because there is no other way.

  123. Angle Grinder says:

    I look at that picture and I feel my right foot twitching at the open goal!  Boot… Nuts!



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