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100% of nothing

Posted on May 22, 2013 by

The SNP has been assailed from all directions at once recently on the subject of Corporation Tax in an independent Scotland. Radical left-wingers say there’s no point in independence if we’re just going to ape neoliberal policy. The No camp insists both that a “race to the bottom” would be destructive and counter-productive and morally wrong, and that we wouldn’t be allowed to anyway.

(Even the Tories attack the idea, despite having just stolen it wholesale.)

coprtax

At the same time, the Scottish Government has been bombarded with criticism for giving grants to companies like Amazon, who received more money in the UK from government handouts than they paid in tax. (Despite the company’s tax avoidance being wholly in the remit of the Westminster government rather than the Holyrood one.)

We don’t mind telling you, readers, we’re a bit confused.

If it’s a bad thing that Amazon, Google, Starbucks and the rest dodge tax, wouldn’t it be better if we controlled our own taxation (and tax recovery) in order to stop them? Failing that, wouldn’t it still be better to at least get 12.5% of their profits in tax (as Ireland does when Google routes its UK income through there), rather than the approximately 0% we’re getting in the UK?

We’re not instinctively big fans of low corporate tax rates. We’d much rather see governments take tougher action to recover the tax they’re owed. But as it seems to be increasingly impossible to get companies to actually pay the stuff at all – as they’ll just move to somewhere else that’ll be grateful for the jobs – it seems pointless to insist bloody-mindedly on higher rates that don’t get paid, when you could set lower ones that would, AND would let you keep the jobs.

Despite how it’s sometimes presented in the media, Corporation Tax isn’t a Laffer Curve issue, an ideological choice where cutting the rates delivers more revenue because it encourages companies to grow and therefore make more profits and pay more tax on them. It’s a simple matter of pragmatism in the hideous reality of the globalised economy. We can either get 15% of something, or 100% of zero.

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    1. Eva says:

      Well said, yet again!

    2. Keir Liddle says:

      I think that a re-imagining of the corporate tax system is worth considering. Have a low rate for companies that employ say over 150 odd (or similar number) employees in Scotland of around 12% (just undercutting Ireland but offsetting the low corporate tax by increasing the amount of Scots in Jobs and growing the economy. Then have a second higher rate (that undercuts the rUK rate) of around 21% to encourage companies to set up “token” head offices for tax purposes in Scotland. 

      I’d also suggest a “progressive” form of corporation/business rates where by the scale of the company in Scotland determines how much a company pays. So that small and medium business pay a lesser rate than large multinational corporations. 

      It’s also worth noting that a low corporation tax doesn’t mean that all other taxes have to higher to compensate. It could be coupled with all manner of measures to encourage growth, reduce unemployment and have a living wage. In one sense I suppose you could argue that if you combine a living wage requirement with low corporation tax you amount to what Ed Milliband recently suggested when he said the govt should subsidise companies who wish to give employees a living wage. 

      Only doing it with an explicitly lower corporation tax that offsets the cost to companies of a living minimum wage seems a far less burecratic way of going about it rather than taking the tax and then giving some of it back to companies who are nice enough to pay their workers decently.

      Of course it’s an in congruent position to hold (low corporate and high personal taxation) but not as some have suggest an entirely inconsistent one.

      TL:DR version: it’s a balance between, as you put it, taxing on what we have or trying to tax more folk less. Which one will bring in the most to the balance sheet?

    3. Max says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22613205
       
      Google’s boss has told UK politicians to “sort out” the tax system, after criticisms of the internet search giant by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

    4. Rod Mac says:

      In either the UK context or as an Independent country perhaps there is another way to get these companies to stump up their fair share.
      We should introduce a Living wage , as opposed to a minimum wage.
      That way in UK scenario   you remove 6million people in work on benefits ,reduce the welfare bill and the money earned would be spent in the real economy not stuffed in some Swiss or Belieze Bank.
      I do not hold with the all these companies will just leave UK.
      Look at the profits these giant companies make , do you see Tescos ,Starbucks, Vodaphone  et al  just walking away?
      The Living wage gives the people working dignity ,it would also encourage these so called “scroungers and skivers to seek employment.
      it increases the Tax Take and seems to me everyone is a winner except the bastards that are avoiding paying any tax in the UK model.

    5. Tom Hogg says:

      I’m not a fan of this policy for a number of reasons but mainly because (as you’ve demonstrated) it provides an easy stick for both left and right to beat the SNP with.  I understand and agree with the principle behind it, but I’d rather see a tax regime that encouraged profit reinvestment in a different way than simply cutting the rate across the board. How? I haven’t a scooby, I’m not an economist…

      On a personal basis my own company reduces its tax bill by sponsoring Partick Thistle. Don’t all rush at once.

    6. CameronB says:

      Pardon me for asking what is probably a stupid question, but, aren’t tax rates something that will be determined by a democratically elected Scottish government? Which ever form that takes, we need to give it our mandate first.
       
      Vote Yes for the right to Scottish self-determination, nothing else (though I could do with some hair perhaps). 🙂

    7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Pardon me for asking what is probably a stupid question, but, aren’t tax rates something that will be determined by a democratically elected Scottish government?”

      Yes. That’s why I said “the SNP” rather than “the Yes campaign” or even “the Scottish Government”. But the mere act of being ABLE to alter Corp Tax is being used, bizarrely, as a stick to beat independence with.

    8. Adrian B says:

      Headline in the “stolen it wholesale” link;
       
      Budget 2013: corporation tax to be cut to 20%
      Osborne says ‘Britain is open for business’ with new rate one of lowest in western world, below Luxembourg’s 21%

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/20/budget-2013-corporation-tax-cut
       
      Britain will have one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the western world from 2015 as the chancellor attempts to woo businesses to the UK.
      The cut to 20% is the third in a row by George Osborne, with the rate dropping from 28% to 24% in April, and from 24% to 21% in 2014.
       
      Alex Samond and the SNP separatists are clearly to blame then.

    9. Desimond says:

      At some point, that true moment of clarity, like Toto revealing the big voice source behind the curtain in Oz, , all the people are going to realise “its all a sham..those people dont really know what they are doing…please God its going to be before they step into that polling booth.

    10. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      Don’t think we can get tough with international corporations’ tax avoidance until we have sufficiently built up our economy post independence.We need to build up an oil stability fund and reinvigorate our manufacturing industries such that we do not depend on large corporations providing jobs.For now,this is a necessity.

    11. murren59 says:

      In the US, southern states are fighting each other to attract major corporations to their state by offering low and deferred tax incentives.  Think what several large companies, each employing 2500, with an average annual pay rate of 30K, could do for the Scottish economy.

    12. handclapping says:

      A lot of tax is dodged through borrowings. Just as Income Tax has had the tax benefit of borrowing stripped out so should business tax. The profit making enterprise, the economic unit to tax, is the business, borrowing along with equity is just a method of financing it.
      Why should we struggle with our mortgages when some buy to letter can write off hers against the rents she gets? Our Muslim friends do better with their way of participating in business under Sharia than we do with our state approved usury and the banks that go with it.

    13. CameronB says:

      “But the mere act of being ABLE to alter Corp Tax is being used, bizarrely, as a stick to beat independence with”.
       
      We are no longer on plant earth though, we are on planet bizzaro. Or are you seriously trying to convince me that Better Together have recently rejected the input offered by fellow Westminster party, UKIP (a party that is dedicated to British unity)? Or that SLabour are now going to work better apart from Better Together, only imaginatively branded as UnLabour? They are lucky they have a ‘Truth Team’ to help them get to the facts of the real issues. See, I don’t have time to read multiple newspapers or blogs and don’t have a TV, so I tend to miss a lot of important stuff. 🙁

      Sorry if that is considered OT.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/may/12/ftse-100-use-tax-havens-full-list?INTCMP=SRCH
       

    14. SCED300 says:

      On a general point. I was talking to a friend about Independence and he was talking about how Alex Salmond was or wasn’t doing things, but focusing on the negative, as he saw it. Just out of curiosity I asked if he knew who the leaders of Labour or Conservative Parties are in Scotland, and what their policies are; he didn’t know the names or the policies.
      I was talking to two women about Independence, one was inclined to vote No and the other trying to find out more information. They both knew who Alex Salmond was and Nicola Sturgeon, at least their names, but on the same questions about Labour and Conservatives, again they didn’t know.
      Interestingly the man was over 55, the possible No woman was over 55, the ‘trying to find out’ woman was 35 and she said all the people in her circle were voting Yes.
      It was interesting because there seems to be a wall. It was just an impression, but I thought the two negatives, although they didn’t know what the status quo offered they were hoping all would be OK if they did nothing.
       

    15. Chalks says:

      The problem is, as I see it, that there are only so many large companies to go around, so I think the argument in a race to the bottom is quite correct….. the solution is quite simple invest in local businesses and allow them to flourish, thus increasing in size through our own stock exchange, push them ahead of other these globailised companes (especially if they are just going to cut and run after a few years if england/ireland whoever offers them a cheaper tax rate) …you’ll keep the businesses here for a few years out of sheer loyalty or necessity as they may develop a distinctly ‘scottish’ fare…..  it’s the only way to fight globalised companies, invest local, buy local.
      Be it manufacturing, whisky, donkey rides at silversands…..independences affords us the opportunity to directly affect our own economy through incentives and investment. 
      They can peddle this line about corporation tax all they want, but there is so much more to it than this, they try to bog the argument down to one point, when we have many points to make on why an indy scotland is better for us and our businesses
       
       

    16. John Lyons says:

      Hang on, I thought all those business leaders were against independence because the SNP were going to put business tax UP!???
       
      And the UK Govt whining about Scotland potentially undercutting them, eh…isn’t this capitalism and the free market and all those things they’re supposed to support in action???
       
      Don’t you just love it when you beat the big boys with thier own rules?

    17. Doug Daniel says:

      It makes my toes curl a wee bit when SNP folk mention cutting corporation tax, especially as it seems to be the only thing they’ll say about tax. Then again, we all know that if they say something like “we’ll put up the top-rate of income tax”, BetterTogether will scream “Higher taxes” Higher taxes!” until they go blue in the face.
       
      However, those who say “Nordic levels of spending with US levels of tax” clearly don’t know that Sweden’s CT rate is only 22%, and Iceland’s is only 18%. It’s an unfortunate fact of globalisation that big corporations have the luxury of being able to pick and choose where they base their operations. By default, they’re going to prefer big countries like Germany, France, Italy and Spain, which is why these countries can charge the higher levels of CT. But smaller countries need to offer something to attract businesses, and lower CT rates are an obvious way to do that.
       
      Is it ideal? Far from it. But we don’t live in an ideal world, so we need to deal with the realities of globalisation. We should certainly aim to get to a point where we can charge 25% like countries like Austria, Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, but these guys have a head start on us.
       
      Besides, I often think that as we’ll be creating a tax system from scratch, we’ll hopefully be able to create one that isn’t full of millions of loopholes and ways for companies to lower their tax through offering employees “tax efficient benefits” and the likes. If we do that, then as you say Stu, it’ll be far better to be getting 100% of what we SHOULD be getting, instead of bugger all of it, like what seems to be happening in the UK just now.
       
      And lest we forget who the architect is of many of the UK’s ridiculous tax loopholes: a certain Mr Gordon Brown.
       
      Besides, if we were able to ensure lower CT led to higher wages, thus allowing us to increase income tax, then all we’ll really be doing is collecting the money under a different tax. Theoretically, anyway…

    18. CameronB says:

      @ John Lyons
      Sorry this is OT but has been bugging me for ages now. Have you ever seen the Specials or the Selector in Edinburgh, years back? Are you also quite large?

    19. Lianachan says:

      O/T But I see ol’ Slugger Joyce has been at it again.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-22626211
       
      The word “Labour” is conspicuous by it’s absence on that report.  Yes, I know it would have to have been “ex-Labour” or “former Labour”, but still.  He’s a “Scots” MP.

    20. Angus McPhee says:

      “We should introduce a Living wage , as opposed to a minimum wage.”
      The distinction being that paying a ‘living wage’ is voluntary? They should be the same thing ie set the Minimum wage at a decent Level. Frankly if a company can’t afford to pay it we are better off without them as they are a drain on resources rather than an asset.
      “But smaller countries need to offer something to attract businesses,”
      We are called customers and a skilled workforce and we are still here no matter what the rate of tax is.

    21. velofello says:

      But what if the EU determined that there will be a uniformity of the corporation tax rate by all member countries? Arguably countries outwith the EU would decide to undercut the EU CT rate. Slap an import duty on incoming goods from such countries. Not really in the spirit of globalisation is it but then “what has globalisation done for me?”.

    22. Tony Little (aka Aplinal) says:

      @Doug
       
      Good points.  I was spitting bullets the other day when Harriet Harman (at least I think it was her) was complaining that the government should make the taxation rules and regulations easier and shorter and more simple to operate.  Just WTF was she and her Labour muppets doing for 13 years?
       
      Frankly I can not get worked up over Google, Amazon etc.  It is the managers’ job, and their accountants job to find ways to maximise the profits of their companies on behalf of their shareholders.  It is their “prime directive”.  the fact is, it is the UK tax rules that enable them to avoid paying these wodges of tax.  So CLOSE THE FREAKING LOOPHOLES.  Don’t winge, do something.
       
      I would hope that a future Scottish government would balance a more strict tax regime with the needs of the country.  It sure doesn’t happen now.
       
      @Kerr Liddle
       
      Interesting ideas.  When I working in banking – retail, high street, not the casino – SME customers were the major employers, not “Big Business”.  Anything to encourage more SMEs would be a good thing, and a variable CT regime would be fine with me.  

    23. benarmine says:

      o/t another disaster Rev, BBC reveals there’ll be no Scottish students at our universities in an independent Scotland. How could we have been so stupid?

    24. Training Day says:

      Saw that Benarmine. Sh*t stirring from Raymond Buchanan. A story utterly without substance and designed to provoke. About as far removed from news as you can get. Reporting Scotland is truly a national disgrace.

    25. kininvie says:

      Remember, in an independent Scotland, we can design our own tax system, and there’s no need for it to include corporation tax at all. We can do something else.
      Corporation tax is levied on profits, and has never caught up with globalisation, which allows multi-nationals to declare their profits in whatever jurisdiction suits them for tax purposes. So it’s an out-of-date concept.
      If we look at the advantages of a low-tax environment; it certainly encourages employment and specialist skills. If we look at it for specific sectors (e.g. Dublin for fund management, Bermuda/Guernsey for captive insurance companies) you can see it is possible to ‘specialise’ by creating a low-tax environment for the industries you most want to encourage. In Scotland’s case, that might well be renewables, or oil, or captives….or whatever.
      Replace corporation tax with throughput-tax. Essentially this is similar to VAT, levied on the value added to the product by the work done on it within Scotland. So, if Amazon buys books from the US for $x and distributes them via Scotland for $y, it is subject to tax of z% on the difference. BUT it can offset that tax by paying a living wage rather than a minimum wage (thus relieving the taxpayer from the insanity of tax credits), OR, if it is in a favoured industrial sector, it can have its throughput tax reduced all the way down to zero if need be….
      Endless possibilities…

    26. HighlandMartin says:

      Living up in the Highlands near Inverness, I can see the positives of having a lower corporation tax as we have a strong life science industry in Lifescan here.  Attracting new companies in this field not only gives employment it enables valuable reasearch to be carried out enhancing the intellectual investment in our universities and graduates.  New businesses employ new employees paying tax and NI.  Yesterday’s launch wasn’t about nicking jobs from England through a lower tax but announcing that Scotland is open, ready and willing to companies that do come here.
       
      How many at Lifescan? 1,100 currently and a new company opening for 100+ in the next year.

    27. creag an tuirc says:

      @kininvie
      Sums it up, we can use/create a tax system that suits our needs. We can do what the hell we like. Endless possibilities… too right.

    28. Juteman says:

      OT, but why is Lord John Reid being interviewed on BBC 24 about this attack in Woolwich?
      Surely a government spokesman would be more relevant?

    29. Shinty says:

      I am a complete lame brain when it comes to economics but if George Osbourne is cutting corporation tax (again) AND continues to do nothing in order to regulate tax evasion that means a whole lot less coming into the coffers, right? OK you may encourage more big business and get your dole figures down, but unless this new employment pays a living wage there will still be a problem with ‘top up’ benefits, and no additional money going into the economy.

      How does all this square with the ever rising UK debt.

      If companies like Amazon took the huff and up sticks to somewhere outwith the UK, then maybe people would start buying from local businesses again. How can they threaten to leave when without their workers they would have no business (here in the UK at least)

      Surely this is a bluff that works both ways.

    30. Jiggsbro says:

      Surely a government spokesman would be more relevant?
       
      I think they’re all in a COBRA meeting. It would have been a choice between a government lightweight or a former heavyweight.

    31. Simon says:

      The think about tax is that it does two quite separate things.

      The first is to raise money for the Treasury. Sure this needs done in an independent Scotland, and we can argue about what is the optimal level as a percentage of the economy as a whole.

      But the second is that it really strongly affects behaviour. If you tax windows, for example, people brick up unused windows to avoid the tax. If you tax bigger cars more, people switch to smaller more economical cars.

      The interesting thing is if you tax paid work, people will be less keen to work hard for more money, and if you tax profit-making companies, then companies will be less keen to declare profits here. Basically if you tax it, and it is easily avoidable, then people will change their behaviour so as to avoid it.

      There’s a convincing case that, having decided what percentage of the economy you want to get in tax for the Scottish Treasury, that you should levy that tax primarily on things that are hard to avoid, and that generally speaking are a cost to society and not a benefit.

      Excamples would be pollution, resource use, land use. I would be happy to see income tax and corporation tax abolished in favour of pollution taxes, mineral and resource taxes and land use taxes.

    32. Inbhir Anainn says:

      O/T and so it came to pass whilst satirical in nature, nevertheless it seems to ring true on many an occasion.
       
      Preserve the Union – A Guide for Unionists
       
      http://youtu.be/zO5leiwEiTM
       

    33. Juteman says:

      The ‘terrorists’ seem to be a couple of lunatics.
      I hope this isn’t a black flag op.

    34. Lochside says:

      BBC Scotland tonight…and yet another risible scare story from Brian Wilson’s brother-in-law ,ochone, ochone Raymie Buchanan take a bow you ("Quizmaster" - Ed) puppet! According to this sorry apology for a journalist an Independent Scotland would be pushed out by RUK Students because they could come here to study for no tuition charges apparently (according to ‘EEC’ rules! and oh, by the way, they currently subsidise Scottish Universities by £150 million per year. This is all according to ‘leading Academics’..no names, just stock footage of some grinning Special branch stooge mouthing the same old lies masquerading as ‘research’. This coming hard on the heels the day after his and the msm’s downplaying of the SNP’s economic proposals for post Indy Economic strategy, when AS was permitted a couple of sound bites before being talked over on the Scottish news flagship, would make George Orwell spin in his grave. The day that the rotten edifice known as the ‘BBC in Scotland’  or the Ministry of (No) Truth crumbles and becomes council flats for all those evicted by the Condem austerity policies the better. 

    35. John Lyons says:

      @Cameron B…define large… I don’t think so, I’ve got plenty of mates who are bigger, but yeah, 6 foot and 16 stone most people call that large. Never heard of those Edinburgh things though. I’m a highlander now…
       
      also off topic, but you started it, are you Benny Hill?

    36. scottish_skier says:

      Anyone see the hilarious irony in the ‘English students would be EU so could come to study in Scotland for free after independence’ BBC scare story?

      I wonder if Nigel Farage saw it and smiled wryly.

    37. Caroline Corfield says:

      Aha! So we will be in the EU then? Otherwise rUK students would not have any advantage, and neither would any other EU nationals to study for ‘free’. It’s hardly a consistent argument is it? Shifting sands are the foundations of the Better Together’s worst scenarios. I could suggest some pretty rock solid foundations to a future after a No vote however, based entirely on a reduction of Barnett formula income – a well evidenced scenario. 

    38. thejourneyman says:

      @scottish_skier I wondered about that as well? So are BT now telling us we will still be in EU after the vote?  Looks like they may be spinning out of control again?

    39. CameronB says:

      @ John Lyons
      Sorry, but you remind me of someone I met at a gig in Edinburgh, years ago, though I can’t remember which band I was watching. The reason I remember such a random event, is this guy turns out to be my mate’s cousin. Your pic reminds me of him so I thought I;d check. Otherwise I’d….. Yes, I’d say you were large, but not as large as this guy. Party why I remember him, he was very large.
       
      Anyhoo, Benny Hill is certainly a good guess, but a bit wide of the mark I’m afraid. He actually goes by the monicker of “The Crusher”, who was a bit of a bad-boy US wrestling star. I’m not sure how much of it was his act, but he comes across badly in interview. I just find it amusing using the image of someone who comes across as an ignorant, psychotically violent redneck, when I do my best to be polite online. I also think he has nice hair, but that Ian chappy I’ve seen loitering around here, doesn’t seem to agree. Anyway……don;t bother with the tribute clip if you can’t stand crunchy retro music. You did ask. 🙂

    40. scottish_skier says:

      Aha! So we will be in the EU then?

      Quite. That and well, would England?

      Farage wants to strip you [English people] of your ability to get free tuition in Scotland!

      It’s farcical.

    41. CameronB says:

      Sorry Rev. I forgot to edit the link and someone had posted before I could get back to it.

    42. Linda's Back says:

      When at work, Westminster MPs have criticised the UK tax authorities cosy links with the big accounting firms that help companies avoid tax. The public accounts committee report is a damning indictment of the Treasury and tax officials. Some £25.5bn remains uncollected from disputes with 2,700 companies using schemes promoted by accountants. Imagine how that would help the economy. 

    43. Dorothy Devine says:

      Apologies for going off topic but I came across an article of interest  in the Guardian and at least I didn’t do it first on your new thread!.

                    
      UK provided more support for CIA rendition flights than thought – study

      The Rendition Project suggests aircraft associated with secret detention operations landed at British airports 1,622 times
       
      an extract,
      “Some 51 different UK airports were used by 84 different aircraft that have been linked by researchers to the rendition programme. Only the US and Canada were visited more frequently. The most used UK airport was Luton, followed by Glasgow Prestwick and Stansted. There were also flights in and out of RAF Northolt and RAF Brize Norton.”

    44. Peter says:

      Amazon pay more in employers NI, plus the income tax and NI on their employees wages, plus the savings on unemployment benefits EVERY YEAR than they made in a ONE OFF grant.
         Also RBS has paid off the bail-out and has no government debt. Just another lie the unionists and assorted lefties just keep telling.
         
         

    45. Appleby says:

      Higher minimum wage and lower taxes for business would put the money in the country into the right hands – those who are working for it and need the leg up the most, the poorest working people. It’d help employment, living standards, economics, reduce losses due to paperwork, etc.

    46. Eva says:

      More nonsense from Raymond and Ms Bird about Scottish students being squeezed out, where will this rubbish end?

    47. EphemeralDeception says:

      @Lochside,
      I have a suspicion that when the YES vote manifests and the process of denial, anger, depression and eventual acceptance within the MSM that the Union is actually over, takes hold; it is then that the current bottom feeders within the BBC will suddenly become ardent Scots.

      I would hope for a clear out of the organisation in Scotland from top to bottom, but I cannot see it happening. A sudden ‘Scotification’ may well take root. I can just picture them updating their CVs : Search for ‘British’, replace with ‘Scottish’…
       
       
       
       

    48. K8tie says:

      To resolve the BBC issue relating to bias, a possible solution would be for the Scottish Government to state that people who don’t pay the TV licence fee will not be prosecuted by the courts. Only joking of course!

    49. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @EphemeralDeception @Lochside @Eva
       
      To combat the MSM bias, and to preserve my sanity, I’ve been putting out ironic tweets using some of the language the scare/fear-mongerers are using. Just like with #500questions, irony/humour is our best weapon to expose the absurdity of their claims.
       
      Yesterday, the Scotsman ran a bank scare story a couple of days ago with a headline including the phrase “Yes-Vote Pressure”, as if this was some sort of extant thing. So I tweeted yesterday:

      “The Scotsman warn that Excessive “Yes-vote pressure” may explosively compress Indy Scotland’s Dark Energy!”

      Then today Gray MSP talked up the BBC’s ridiculous University scare story. So, I tweeted

      “Yes-vote pressure” strikes again: First Banks, now Universities! See @IainGrayMSP‘s brave response!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jeistw7BcHY&noredirect=1
       

    50. Dal Riata says:

      Regarding today’s scare stories, from the renewable energy nonsense to the laughable BBC no-Scottish -students-in-Scotland pish: I can’t help but think that there has to be a place, where a group – akin to those attending the UK Cobra meetings – has, perhaps, weekly meetings where they discuss what the coming week’s anti-Scottish independence scare/smear/falsified stories are going to be. Or maybe it’s all done by video link-up. Possible? Mibbes aye, mibbies naw. 
       
      Whatever, I’m convinced there has to be some sort of coordinated effort going on somewhere by somebody. The constant supply of anti-independence guff, the ‘imminent’ ‘experts’ found to proclaim the guff, the Better Together and their cohorts’ ‘press releases’, the MSM coordinating in printing and broadcasting the same guff at the same time … that stuff is not coincidental.
       
      I realise that with the situation as it is now it would be easy to get bloody paranoid! Am I being paranoid about it all? I hope not. I don’t think so. Too much of what’s going on can’t just be ‘happening by chance’, surely. So, how is it done? Opinions anyone? Or will we have to wait until Scotland is independent before the truth is eventually exposed?

    51. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Dal Riata
      You are not being paranoid. It has beennobvious for some time that the scare story agenda is completely coordinated.
      But people are beginning to make comment about it now so it is becoming significantly counter productive

    52. Dal Riata says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      Yes, good point. Hopefully, more and more people will notice and think, ‘Hey, wait a minute. What’s going on here? How come it’s always like this?’

    53. Angus McPhee says:

      Things will get considerably worse.

      You can expect the full power of the British state to be employed in one way or another, with all the dirty tricks that implies.

    54. kininvie says:

      @ Dal Riata:
      Keeping Scotland within the Union is government policy, so this is co-ordinated. Not in any especially sinister way, but between govt depts, with the cabinet office or even someone in no 10 putting it all together. This is what happens with most govt policy, after all.
       
      But what is hilarious is how they keep getting the tone wrong. They call for ‘evidence’ from various depts, stick it all together and launch it as a kind of knock-out blow. But the effect (because they don’t understand how it will play in Scotland) is either calling-into-question, ridicule, or else being ignored.
       
      Not saying, BTW, that this implies voters in Scotland are sophisticated and pro-Yes. Merely that stuff that originates down south is taken at a discount, and even the MSM don’t go overboard on it. This is one of the reasons the No campaign cocks up, by not coming up with its own pro-Scotland, pro-Union arguments, but relying on what it is given from Westminster.

    55. kininvie says:

      @ Angus McPhee
      They are simply not competent enough to do it. You are being subjected to the ‘full power of the British state at this very moment’. Do you feel less empowered?
       
      OK, I suppose the ‘full power’ could potentially involve all kinds of nastiness, with you and I being arrested and thrown into a dungeon. But if that happens, the British state is so dead in the water as no longer to be recogniseable. Give credit where it’s due, and look at the contrast between how we have been treated and Spain and Catalonia

    56. Angus McPhee says:

      “They are simply not competent enough to do it.”

       Don’t underestimate their abilities. Or their motivation.
       

    57. kininvie says:

      @ Angus
      Well, we’ll wait and see. But I’ve not yet seen much evidence of competence…
       
      O/T (and a rant) What on Earth has happened to the mindset down South? There’s a very nasty murder, and immediately COBRA is called in, PM flies home, EDL marches, and Twitter erupts in anti-Muslim bile. Sad though it may be, some people commit murder for all kinds of reasons, including that their God told them to do it. It’s been going on for centuries for heaven’s sake! You only need to look at the footage to conclude that this was the act of individual nutjobbery, not a planned co-ordinated terrorist attack. Yet the full panoply of the anti-terrorism establishment is immediately pulled into action -and gets the inevitable response. What on Earth has happened to common sense?

    58. Holebender says:

      Any excuse to clamp down on civil liberties will be grabbed with both hands.
       
      cf the fuss generated when a few student protesters shut down the “press conference” in that Edinburgh pub. There is a strong appetite in some quarters for removing civil liberties like the right to protest.

    59. Albert Herring says:

      ‘imminent’ ‘experts’
       
      LOL



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