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A bag full of nothing

Posted on January 23, 2015 by

We don’t get paid enough. Then again, we’re not sure how much money it would have taken to make the job of wading through the UK government’s 134-page “command paper” on Scottish devolution bearable. There may not BE that much money.

The entire document is a heroic achievement in the field of wonkspeak, screed after screed of impenetrable jargon deployed to create something which could in fact be accurately and fully summed up in six words: “Oh, we’ll figure something out later”.

Here’s a (very) typical passage:


We haven’t left out a subsequent paragraph explaining the answer. The paper simply leaves this and pretty much every other question hanging in the air, to be filled in at some unspecified future date after the general election, by whichever party is in government, if they can be bothered.

Don’t all celebrate at once.

Most of the pro-independence reaction to the paper has been focused on the apparent “veto” the document gives the UK government on any new welfare proposals from the Scottish Parliament.


But in truth those clauses underwrite everything the Scottish Government does, and always have done. The Scottish Parliament is in reality an executive branch of the UK Government, and Westminster is ultimately sovereign over everything. If it doesn’t like what Holyrood does, at the end of the day it always has the power to overrule it. The final arbiter of what is “reasonable” is the government in London.

That’s the meaning of the phrase beloved of politics nerds: “power devolved is power retained”. It basically says that you’re prepared to let someone else ride your bicycle, and you might let them do so indefinitely without asking for it back, but at the end of the day it remains your bicycle and you can repossess it any time you like.

(Here, the UK government is additionally demanding that Scotland should check with it first about where it rides the bicycle to and when.)

In the coming days and weeks you’ll probably be presented with acres of column inches and an army of talking heads discussing the command paper, so we’re aiming to make our analysis the most concise: the document is empty.

Its only purpose is to buy some time and get the three No parties who signed “The Vow” past the general election, at which point devolution can be kicked into the long, long grass, of use only as a tool to bring about “English votes for English laws”.

We’d call it a pig in a poke, but even that would be to over-dignify it. That figure of speech means to be sold something unseen inside a bag which purports to be a pig but turns out when you open it to be a cat or a dog (less valuable as a source of meat). But there’s no sign even of a scrawny old hound in here. It’s an empty sack cunningly folded so as to frame the air inside it into the appearance of solid matter.

You can try ploughing through it yourself if you don’t believe us. But we did it so you don’t have to, and believe us, you don’t have to. There’s literally nothing to see here.

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  1. 23 01 15 12:36

    A bag full of nothing | Politics Scotland | Sc...

  2. 23 01 15 13:42

    A bag full of nothing - Speymouth

129 to “A bag full of nothing”

  1. jimnarlene says:

    Pig in a poke, without pig or poke.

  2. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Move along then, nothing to see here.

    Does anyone think that Smith actually wrote this?

    Who did it?

    Sir Euan MacPherson, probably

  3. Jim Thomson says:

    Not even a squirrel in a poke?

  4. heedtracker says:

    Well done. Its some achievement reading through all of it. So from their THE VOW fraud and vote NO for Devo Max and federal UKOK triumph 18th Sept 2014, does attempt any DWP change, they then have to “consult” with a ConDem Secratary of State such as the absurd ConDEm Carmicheal, so he can “ensure the delivarablity.”

    In what teamGB universe is that devo anything let alone devo nano?

    Only the British can pull off this kind of giant con.

  5. fred blogger says:

    it’s worse than m/t, it’s a blackhole that sucks in all matter.
    it will keep MSM in work for months, perhaps years.

  6. Embradon says:

    Reinstate the Renfrew 3. They were right.

  7. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    and the Veto clause.

    The Viceroy can decided that the natives will not receive.


    What if there are no MPs in Westminster from a unionist party? Very difficult but not impossible so will they did up and old Etonian ex Viceroy? II would put nothing past the barstewards.

  8. Swami Backverandah says:

    The bike’s rented.
    The rider pays for the privilege.

  9. A.N.Surgent says:

    Tried to read some of it but gave up when it became clear that whatever scraps of power were to be given the secretary of state had veto power on everything.

    It is essential to get as many SNP people to wasteminster as we can, so that it isn`t kicked into the long grass. Dread to think what would happen if only a few SNP people got elected.

  10. Jim Thomson says:

    @Swami Backverandah

    Aye, and we have to keep pumping up the tyres because they keep letting the air out for no good reason.

  11. Jim Thomson says:

    Has there been an FOI request to get a copy of the first draft that went down to Westminster? That, reportedly, had a lot more meat in it until the ConDem/Lab censors got their scissors out.

    If there’s a copy floating about in cyberspace, and an eagle-eyed reader knows its whereabouts, can they please supply a link?


  12. Thepnr says:

    It’s a crime against trees to have actually published this. I tried to read it, hoping to find something juicy.

    No juice at all, totally dry and a waste of words.

  13. Morag says:

    Not up for the Plain English Award, is it?

  14. Holebender says:

    Bugger (tp) if there are no MPs of the right shade of blue expect a suitable “Lord” to be drafted in. This is British democracy, after all.

  15. john says:

    I love your description – an empty sack stitched together with impenetrable jargon and wonkspeak.

    Every time I hear or read something about this pathetic document I will focus on your description as a means of keeping me sane and and less impatient with political prevaricators.

  16. badgerboydarling says:

    Nothingness and lies in paper form. Scotland has less powers than the canton of Zug in Switzerland and Prince Edward Island in Canada. Beware of Unionists baring gifts.

  17. Swami Backverandah says:

    Russians cross border into England.
    Red squirrel spotted in Carlisle.

  18. boris says:

    This is what it’s all about. A young polish girl now resident with her family in Scotland and a convert to independence.

    Joanna Starosta, Glasgow, Scotland.

    “It was hard for me to find in Poland after we became an independent country. I just moved out from Poland and was incredible lucky to find a job in Scotland. I thought I came to Great Britain and it took some time to understand the difference between Scotland and UK’s countries. After I understood for what this nation is fighting and realized what kind of country it can become, I just felt in love with the idea.

    I got job, which is permanent, roof over head, can stay together with my family, because I don’t have to buy a home to make it happen and I got friends here. My mother, who is disabled person is included to this society in spite she is almost unable to communicate with English. My son is expected to become undergraduate for Quantum Physics this year and the fee tuition for all years was fully funded by the Scottish Government. I don’t have to buy a wheeelchair and other aids are needed for my mum as it is given to anyone in needs. My mother has also access to free fares everywhere in Scotland as everyone after their 60’s and me too as her carer. She can also stay relaxed as her prescriptions are fully funded. She and whole family have free access to the nhs. Scotland don’t want to participate in any wars or conflicts over the world and builds peaceful relationships with other countries.”

  19. yerkitbreeks says:

    The SNP had already decided this was a ” pig in a poke ” hence the politicking over the last few days on balance of power at Westminster etc.

  20. faolie says:

    You’ve got to hand it to Cameron though, he’s played blinder since Sept 18th. They had a strategy all mapped out for a No vote.

    First, The Vow, then EVEL the very next day and the Smith Commission, and now the Command Paper which gives us nothing but complexity.

    Then go public with, “Right that’s it, we’ve done our bit, there’s no more devolution required. Please go back to your little part of the UK and get on with it.” (from the Independent)

  21. Macart says:

    Well who knew?

    So basically nothing delivered.

    Not a ‘vow’, not home rule, not near federalism… nothing.

    In fact we’re pretty much exactly where we were prior to the referendum and all the jargon, (see ‘wonk speak’), sound bites and politico/media bullshittery in the world doesn’t hide the fact that we are not in control of anything. That we still require permission to go potty and we STILL have next to zero control over the levers of our own economy.

  22. msean says:

    This will be the command paper Mr Brown was talking up with Mr Camerons support? The one Mr Brown said that if you voted NO he would see through to home rule / near federalism? The one mentioned in that extended Brown political broadcast?

    We all knew this would happen,roll on Indyref 2.

  23. The Man in the Jar says:

    I am reminded of a song by the blues singer Seasick Steve.

    “I started out with nothing and I`ve still got most of it left”

  24. Capella says:

    It is being spun already as the greatest devolution of power to any state anywhere in whole world, ever.
    They have now delivered “Home Rule” as they promised.
    It may feel like living in an occupied country but that must surely just be an illusion.
    If only the Swiss cantons,German Lander and the US States had the freedom we in Scotland will soon enjoy. How envious they will be. We need to send a copy of the Bill now to the Catalans and Quebequois.
    We can all celebrate this historic Burns Night with a recital of Parcel of Rogues, the Twa Dougs, and Holy Willie Rennies prayer.

  25. MajorBloodnok says:

    My worst nightmare would be to buy a pig in a poke and then find out it was just Jackie Baillie in there (even worse if she was being all come-hither).

  26. Grizzle McPuss says:

    As Paul Calf (Steve Coogan) might say…”’bag o’ shite”

    Well done Stu for getting through it on our behalf. I tried just a section, but ended up drifting into…

    “I can read but I can’t see it. I don’t seem to have it in focus here.
    If my arms were a little longer, I could read it. You haven’t got a baboon in your pocket, have ya?
    Here, here, here we are. Now I’ve got it.
    Now pay particular attention to this first clause because it’s most important. It says the, uh…
    “The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.” How do you like that? That’s pretty neat, eh?”

  27. Blind Squirrel says:

    It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. Dipping into the document under (23) Crown Estate: “The Treasury may make a scheme transferring on the transfer date all the existing Scottish functions of the Crown Estate Commissioners to the Scottish Ministers…” Of course, they may not.

  28. boris says:

    In the event Scotland does the right thing and sends a large group of MP’s to Westminster and a labour Party is returned to power with the assistance of the SNP the bargaining point might well be the post of Secretary of State for Scotland. The SNP mifgt well insist the post is given up to one of their group. Cat among the pigeons

  29. Peter A Bell says:

    Responding to criticism – and derision – of the command paper from Nicola Sturgeon and others, the British parties are taking the line that this is what the SNP signed up to. Don’t be fooled! The SNP grudgingly signed off on the Smith Commission’s recommendations. The UK government’s legislative proposals are something entirely different and significantly less than what was recommended.

  30. Luigi says:

    I do hope the people of Scotland will wake up to this nonsense and show Westminster that we want a real transfer of power. The people now know exactly what they have to do in May – the question is, will they do it?

  31. Bill Hume says:

    I’m surprised that anyone who reads WoS is surprised by this document. Did any of us expect more? Our task in the coming months is to counter the MSM spin and bias and get the truth out to the people of Scotland before the election. I don’t give a fig what the people in England think of this, they can rail and whine as they like……..we in Scotland have been well and truely conned.

    This is the message we need to convey to the Labour voters in Scotland, particularly those who voted no in the referendum and who believe that the SNP are capable of ‘ensuring’ a Tory victory.

    It will not be an easy task. Forget the polls…..general elections are a different animal to referendums, local elections and Holyrood elections.

    Stu, we NEED a new Wee Blue Book, distributed in good time, before May. We’ve done it once……..let’s do it again.

  32. Tattie-bogle says:

    The big question is has this and how many NO voters? pissed off

  33. Capella says:

    @ Gizzle McPuss
    The Sanity Claus scene. Might as well have a laugh. Don’t get hysterical now!

  34. Muscleguy says:

    According to the national it contains the ability to make and use our own road signs. And not just fringe them all in tartan but actually make new ones.

    Now this may seem minor, BUT with the number of road signs about it would have in it’s power (if it could afford it) to make Scotland look different whenever you went along a road in the way France or New Zealand are different. Something they may wish to introduce has been running in NZ for decades: at corners on rural roads, even quite minor ones, there is a board that not only indicates the direction and shape of the corner but gives an advisory speed it should safely and comfortably be taken at given ideal conditions. This enables a driver naive to a road to drive with more confidence. If you are barrelling along and a corner board has 70km/h on it you need on a dry road only slow a little. However it has 20 or 15 on it (they exist*) then you know you really need to stand on the brakes.

    *going along State Highway 1 on the Kaikoura coast there are some corners around/through some headlands that are this slow and the road descending from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound switches back across the slope like something from Switzerland.

  35. Gary says:

    The jargon reeks of the sweat of a nervous Civil Servant. One who’s realised there’s nothing to say and has padded it out like an overdue term paper done through the night, drunk after not having attended the course!

  36. Les Wilson says:

    Listening for a short time to “call Kaye” this morning, I am always shocked at how some “Scots” come on and while actually knowing very little are happy to praise Westminster for it’s efforts, but actually know very little of the actual issues or how they effect Scotland.

    The SNP are Scotland’s ONLY party, they are the main ones who have Scotland’s welfare at heart. We gotta obliterate the Union vote and get as many Scots in Westminster as is possible. It is the only way Scotland can advance it’s needs.

  37. Grizzle McPuss says:



  38. badgerboydarling says:

    Vote No get No-Thing in paper form, as if we didnt know already.

    Decent No voters, the westminster british parties are taking you for fools, you have been well and truly done. Question is are you going change your tune?……….

  39. manandboy says:

    Well done Stu.

    The Command Paper takes us one step nearer to ‘fulfilling’ the empty promises of the VOW.
    Reminds me of Eric Morcambe’s famous poke which he used to make you think that something had dropped into it from above.
    Most of us have tried that particular ‘joke in a poke’ and got a laugh out of it.

    Cameron’s ‘joke in a poke’ though, is something else entirely.
    And there’s nothing funny about it,
    for while Eric’s was done for laughs, Cameron’s is done for fraud.

    The VOW effectively defrauded Scotland of it’s Independence.
    The English thought it was funny –
    even QE2 must have smiled for at least the whole day on Sept. 19th.

    Not satisfied with that, Westminster has played hardball
    with anyone who doesn’t see the ‘joke’,
    insisting that there IS something in the bag
    and that it is the same as what was promised
    back in September just before Indy.
    And woe betide anyone who calls the Emperor out.

    But this is the style of the neo-Liberal Unionists –
    little better than spivs, shysters and brothel sneakers.

    They steal your wallet then shout their lies and denials in your face.
    Tory intimidation – an old habit of theirs.

    The Command Paper is only one step from becoming waste paper –
    human waste paper at that.
    No wait, it’s already been used for that particular purpose.
    The Cabinet have seen to that.

    But we’re supposed to treat it with respect?
    Away’n shyt, Dave.
    Oops, sorry, I forgot, you already have.

  40. A.N.Surgent says:

    If as we hope the SNP send an army of mps to wasteminister and they do hold the balance of power and go into a coalition gov with labour. Could not a condition of the coalition be that Alex be made secretary of state for Scotland. Fireworks aplenty.

  41. big jock says:

    Listening to Cathy Jamieson on the Big Debate. It appears the SLAB way of dealing with things, is just to accept them without question. Who cares if the Smith proposal is just the scraps of what we were promised. Westminster has delivered end of. I think this sums up SLABS problem they still haven’t grasped that they are supposed to be representing Scotland and not London against Scotland. It’s why they will get turfed out in May. They are not even standing up for the Labour govt in london. They are backing the Tories by agreeing with the vow without question. They are supposed to be the opposition but the referendum has made them into them and us.

  42. Chitterinlicht says:

    It is, in my politest voice, pish.

    Lots of words of very little substance.

    If implemented totally confusing and will make holding parliaments to account impossible.

    This may be its intention.

    Simple is always best and that is why I want independence.

    Nothing in last 2 years has changed this view.

  43. Lesley-Anne says:

    Well what do you know?

    Screwed by the VOW

    Screwed by the result

    Screwed by alterations to the outcome (Cameron and his EVEL)

    Screwed by Smith Commission

    Screwed by final Smith Commission report

    Screwed by Westminster

    I think there might be a pattern forming here but damned if I can see it!

  44. John G says:

    I doff my cap to you Sir. managed 30 odd pages, with the emphasis on the odd, and gave up. Think it was written to ensure that happened to most people. Jam tomorrow, with no ingredients list, no price, and a jar which means you can’t even see the contents. smithpish indeed

  45. gillie says:

    The Scotland Act (1998) was just able to stand on its two feet.

    The Scotland Act (2012) was left hopping about on one leg.

    The Scotland Act (Future) looks like it will fall on its erse, legless, and drag its saggy bottom like a dog with worms.

    Westminster simply doesn’t get it, and continually misreads, misrepresent and miss completely want Scots want, i.e. a modern democracy that works for a just, fair and equitable society, where all contribute and all benefit.

  46. big jock says:

    They have unwittingly signed away the union, by trying to dupe the Scots.

  47. Grouse Beater says:


    You might want to check out a rather acrimonious edition of BBC Scotland’s radio version of QT broadcast from noon today, fronted by Gordon Brewster.

    Raucus interjections aside, for the first time in my memory the notion Scotland has a right to comprehensive decision making got the upperhand on most issues discussed, Cathy Jamieson’s prevarications treated with cynicism, the case for genuine democracy aided by a few jeers from the audience at BBC loaded questions.

  48. Cuilean says:

    To paraphrase Ms Elaine C Smith: –


  49. Marcia says:

    A video by NS on the week and the Smith Commission;

  50. ronnie anderson says:

    Would it be worth while asking the Plain English Society for a translation.

  51. Proud Cybernat says:

    No reheated Dundee Cake in that bag either then? Guess it’s just a “pocketful of mumble” then–such are Unionist promises.

  52. frazer allan whyte says:

    Actually it’s quite simple Scotland needs to “dynamically and mechanically” remove its imperial masters – preferably by bulldozer. The referendum was a start, May can be a further strong push but sovreignty will never be conceded – it must be taken.

  53. Clootie says:

    MajorBloodnok says:
    23 January, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    “Thanks for that!” – I now have that vision locked in my head

  54. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @MajorBloodnok (12.37) –

    If laughter is the best medicine, I’ve just ODed. Superb.

  55. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Awe Morag you got in there 1st, ma piece on Plain English . I only read the Revs piece (not any posts) , then posted the Plain English Society post, great minds think alike an awe that lol

  56. heedtracker says:

    Once they get EVEL up and running this giant farce is going to look completely insane no matter how hard BBC/Slab and co try and brainwash us into accepting something has actually changed. Scots MP’s blocked from voting in Westminster while Holyrood policy blocked by ConDem Carmichael Scottish Sec of state or, Westminster.

  57. Clootie says:

    Perhaps not quite what Buddha intended but I had to smile!

    “Emptiness” is a central teaching of all Buddhism, but its true meaning is often misunderstood. If we are ever to embrace Buddhism properly into the West, we need to be clear about emptiness, since a wrong understanding of its meaning can be confusing, even harmful. The third century Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna taught, “Emptiness wrongly grasped is like picking up a poisonous snake by the wrong end.” In other words, we will be bitten!

  58. Spout says:

    Thanks Rev. – important piece – may not read it…

    Yup – we are in a terrible situation.

  59. manandboy says:

    @AN Surgent

    Were Alex to become Sec of State for Scotland,
    the air in England would turn blue.

    That would be too good to become true.

    But please, let it happen!

  60. Needless to say the Brit press disagree. They’re doing effing© cartwheels: ‘ …one of the most potent devolved parliaments in the world’, claims the DR, “the SNP are being ‘predictably surly'”, and, ‘the only point NS could find to argue on was so arcane and technical that it was laughed out of court by opponents … The Vow is on track.’

    It’s moments like this (as often it was during the campaign) that you feel like you’re trapped inside some kinda TeamGB/UKOK/BT version of the Matrix.

  61. big jock says:

    Do you know what guys the aftermath of the election is going to be fun and games. Watching them running around trying to do backroom deals will be hilarious. I would not put it past Labour and the Tories to form a co-alition to try and save the union. It’s like plastering over a leaking pipe. It lasts a couple of weeks then the whole ceiling comes down!

  62. big jock says:

    The most powerful parliament with less power than a US state, and can be abolished by London at any opportunity. We are not even a sovereign government!

  63. Luigi says:

    There is now more life in the Monty Python parrot than in this so called Vow.

  64. Graeme Doig says:

    More crumbs from our masters table.

    Maybe enough crumbs for us all to make some Dundee cake to send down to Tory party HQ for Esther 😉

  65. A.N.Surgent says:


    The state would go into meltdown, it would be hilarious. 🙂

  66. gillie says:

    Rumours are that all is not well in Scottish Labour.

    Jim Murphy is facing internal criticism. MPs and MSPs are now complaining he is simply doing his own thing and increasingly isolating himself from the rest of the party. No consultation with others, including his front bench team, with everything coming through McTernan.

    McTernan seemingly is gunning for Jackie Baillie, thinks it was a big mistake for Baillie to be given the Finance brief and blames Dugdale for suggesting her appointment. Baillie was missing from FMQs yesterday.

    Paranoia now stalks the Labour benches.

  67. John Fisher says:

    Am I right in thinking that with the new setup after the smith com the Scottish gov can set the income tax rate , keep the tax raised , then Westminster adjusts the block grant we get so that we are no better off or worse? If that is correct in theory could Scottish gov set say a 1% tax rate give Scotland a nice wee bonus then get Westminster to give us our grant at our agreed sum thanks very much? That would stir things up

  68. bookie from hell says:

    when I started reading the draft yesterday–I realised it was all lawyers speak,more vague than the Vow is some acheivement

  69. Tamson says:

    As most of us knew already, it’s 1979 all over again. Has-been former Scottish PM dredged up to promise jam tomorrow on eve of referendum, said jam disappears shortly thereafter.

    Only difference this time is that all 3 Westminster parties are in open collusion in hoodwinking the Scottish electorate, and they have to survive an election in May.

  70. Tattie-bogle says:

    from 1987 if it wasn’t funny you would cry “is it a shoe shop”

  71. ronnie anderson says:

    Would the party of the 1st part of the Draft Develution Proposal ( SMIFF COMMISION ) send the Draft Proposals to the Plain Engish Society,who will hencforth be known as 1.1 for translation . Would the party of the 2nd part of the Develution Legislation ( Westminster Government ) 1.2 as will be hencforth reffered to as such,forward to the same afore aftermentioned Plain English Society for clarity on the use of wording. Would the party of the receipiants of said Draft Legislation ( Scottish Government ) whom henceforth shall be reffered to as 1.3 Dont not under any circumstances forward said Draft Legislation to the Plain English Society they have a backlog of daft English Language to cope with . To those reffered to at 1.3 ( Scottish Government) a simple solution to Your problem , Find 4 people with a handy OIL DRUM ( who shall be hencefour be known as( Hero,s of Plain Scottish Tongue Speak ) I’ll supply the Firelighters. REINSTATE THE RENFREWSHIRE 4 SOAR ALBA.

  72. woosie says:

    This has got to be the final straw. I’m fed up hearing about devo-lite, devo-max, Smith Commission, Barnett formula, EVEL, etc; I am now officially for the full boonah. No UK, no Trident, no monarchy, just Free Scotland!

  73. Lesley-Anne says:

    If anyone is wondering how the TV debates shenanigans thingy is going then this is from the Guardian.

    The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky have said they will “empty chair” any party leaders who refuse to take part in their revised proposals for TV election debates.

  74. hetty says:

    I doubt that most no voters will take much notice of this and the fact that Scotland has been shafted and is the laughing stock of unscrupulous politicians down in WM. What it seems is that layers of waste of time bureaucracy are being handed down, while they still steal our oil, and the rest, our revenues are theirs to do as they see fit, for their own benefit. Scotland, an occupied territory.
    I doubt a no voting lawyer friend of mine, would bother reading this gobbledegook! Should be compulsory reading.

  75. ronnie anderson says:

    Ah canny wait tae Sunday.

    What a friend we have on jesus all out sins and GREIFS to bear.

  76. Calgacus says:

    Thanks Rev. for wading through this pish.

    Just to check, have they kept their vow of devo max/home rule/federal state/ffa?

    No, didn’t think so.

    Lying Red/Blue/Yellow Tory scum.

    Let’s punish them severely at the ballot box in May.

    Nemo me impune lacessit

  77. Nana Smith says:

    Not well this week so just catching up….

  78. Croompenstein says:

    And now we have to pay 5p for the fucking bag 🙁

  79. Calgacus says:

    This is the day the union died. R. I. P.

  80. Jim Thomson says:

    @Croompenstein 2:30pm

    if you pay 10p, it’s a bag for life 🙂

  81. Macart says:

    @ Nana


    That was almost worth the watching of it.

  82. Alex Smith says:

    Just like in “A Night At The Opera”…there ain’t no Sanity Clause!

  83. Lesley-Anne says:

    Jim Thomson says:

    @Croompenstein 2:30pm

    if you pay 10p, it’s a bag for life 🙂

    You really shouldn’t talk about @#*&%$ £$%&*@ like that Jim you know Stu doesn’t like us giving away free compliments to the opposition! 😀

    Coat grabbed am oot the door and heading for the naughty corner … thankfully it is inside the “Darkened Room!” 😉

  84. big jock says:

    I think SLABS disintigration may actually happen before the GE if the polls continue as they are. London will be all over Murphy like a rash. Milliband can’t win without Scotland! It’s not that he gives a fig about the country he just wants us to be loyal and prop him up in number 10. Cathy Jamieson exemplifies the brainless head in sand approcah to politics and the mood in Scotland. I will say it bluntly she is as thick as two short planks. Anyone can collect a pay packet and not think for themslves, and robotically repeat a mantra.

  85. SquareHaggis says:

    Kinda like this?

  86. Author_Al says:

    Hmm – a bunch of duplicitous wonkers have concocted a pile of old wonk. What’s new?

  87. E=Mc2, haven’t a clue if it is right, but there again I rarely understand Westmonster position on conservation of energy,yet it appears like another example of how to waste energy.

  88. Juteman says:

    “It’s an empty sack cunningly folded so as to frame the air inside it into the appearance of solid matter”

    That’s the best description of Jim, the Proud Scot Murphy, that I’ve read yet.

  89. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Lesley- Anne 1.00 pm Ah hope we get Independence before the undertaker arrives lol.

  90. manandboy says:

    Gordon Brown has a statement on the SLAB website.
    Translated, the statement says that Gordon has NOT retired; that he is the only Labour politician with any gravitas; and that he will soon be joining the campaign, but at the right moment – after Jim Murphy has been dispensed with.

    It ends with:-

    “And the Scottish Parliament will now have substantial powers in jobs and social justice,
    as well as in tax matters,
    which will enable it to secure jobs
    and make decisions in fairness for the people of Scotland. This will ensure the new Scotland Act
    is a modern version of home rule for Scotland
    in an interdependent world.”

    Which means:- ‘I said something very similar to this and called it the VOW last September. The mugs believed it then and I’ve no reason to think they won’t believe this now. That’s what we’ve trained them to do with the help of one of our donors, Mr Pavlov.’

    – See more at:

  91. Nana Smith says:


    I didn’t watch it as I knew my blood pressure would rocket.

    I’m seeing comments on twitter regarding that freak show last night, some folks stating they have joined or about to join the snp or greens.

  92. Nana Smith says:

    Top-down legislation on powers for Scotland ‘doomed’, says SCVO chief

    The chief executive of Scotland’s leading network of voluntary organisations has issued a damning verdict on the UK government’s devolution plans.

  93. Macart says:

    @ Nana

    Good to know.

    The show and the Devo settlement deserve no less a reward.

  94. woosie says:


    Bang on hen!

  95. robjames says:

    It’s plain to see that there was never any intention to deliver anything. May I suggest we demand independence and use Scotland’s nuclear arsenal as a bargaining tool.

  96. Lesley-Anne says:

    ronnie anderson says:

    @ Lesley- Anne 1.00 pm Ah hope we get Independence before the undertaker arrives lol.

    You and me both Ronnie. 😛

  97. Nana Smith says:

    Scottish independence: Devolution proposals can’t stem the Home Rule tide

    By James Kelly

  98. Papadox says:

    They are taking the piss! They really do think we are very stupid. Then again they have probably only been talking to the proud NO tragedies, they think we’re all the same.

    If you kick a dog often enough and hard enough it will turn on you.

  99. Lenny Hartley says:

    Stu, Im sure most of us agree your not paid enough. Would it be too much to ask that you give yourself a decent salary after next months fundraiser?

  100. X_Sticks says:


    “Jackie Baillie in a poke” Rofling at that thought Major 😀

    Praise be to the Rev for ploughing through this shite and saving me the bother.

    No more and less than I expected from Westminster. Swearies.

    @Nana. Hope you’re feeling better soon 😀

    Aye, Ronnie, before the undertaker would be good.

  101. desimond says:

    To quote U2 and their marvellous song ‘ONE’

    Did I ask too much? More than a lot
    You gave me nothin’ now it’s all I got
    We’re one but we’re not the same
    Well we hurt each other then we do it again

    You ask me to enter
    but then you make me crawl
    And I cant keep holding on
    To what you got,
    when all you got is hurt!

  102. Maureen says:

    Oh how exciting, the smith commission has actually delivered something – I now know the proper meaning of pig in a poke.

  103. Nana Smith says:


    Cheers X Sticks,right now struggling through a horrible virus. It’s nasty!

  104. Mealer says:

    All this Smith commission stuff is about London rule.Its THEIR commission.

  105. Vacuous drivel from start to finish no wonder Labour love it.

  106. No no no...Yes says:

    It’s a pig with lipstick in a poke.

    This really is the pits from all Unionist Parties and the MSM. The Scottish public were taken for mugs with the Vow, but we will have a chance to show our verdict at the GE.

    I truly believe this week we have started the final chapter of this failed Kingdom. The Establishment will do everything it can to stop it, but a tipping point will be reached by the Holyrood Election.

    By the way, what odds are the bookies offering for Murphy to get dumped after the GE?

  107. Legerwood says:

    If as the Unionists claim this makes Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments then why do we still need a Secretary of State for Scotland who seems to have a supervisory/veto role if the quoted clause is correct?

  108. Anne says:

    Just read over the Smith Commission and it is a document with an intention to communicate with the lay audience unlike The ‘Command’ Paper. Wonder why?????????????

  109. Croompenstein says:

    @Nana- right now struggling through a horrible virus. It’s nasty!

    Get well soon Nana 🙂

  110. Nana Smith says:


    Ta!! It’s bloody awful but reading some of the comments on Wings especially Ronnie’s are fair cheering me up.

  111. Lesley-Anne says:

    Get well soon Nana.

    We all miss you. 😉

  112. velofello says:

    Comment 2 by B the Panda nails it for me “Does anyone think that Smith actually wrote this?”. In the timeframe of the Smith Report, a reasonable skepticism.

    The Establishment will do whatever it takes to retain their power.

    I’m increasingly confident that our Scottish trait of logic reasoning and assessment will bring about independence. It isn’t flamboyant, it doesn’t produce a quick result, but it is a difficult opponent for liars to contest over time.

  113. Nana Smith says:


    Thank you Lesley Anne. Feel like the walking dead.

    Hope I’m not mistaken for a member of Slab…hahaha

  114. Lesley-Anne says:

    I don’t think there is any fear of that happening Nana. 😀

  115. Fred says:

    Nana, pour yersel a large Scotch, add lemon & honey. Just got rid of it masel (ah hope). 🙂

  116. Nana Smith says:


    Good idea Fred but with the concoction of pills I’ve been swallowing along with day nurse, night nurse etc I might just take off!!

    Soon as I’ve stopped with the meds I will follow your recipe,at least I’ll be merry while suffering.

  117. Ken Waldron says:

    The only thing promised in the “Vow”was that the parliament would be “permanent”. That means effective sovereignty over those areas in its jurisdiction.
    Now they are saying decisions within its jurisdiction shall have to be approved by the Secretary of State: this is a step in the opposite direction. The whole thing is a crooked con.

  118. Finnz says:

    I am reminded if that old saying

    “How do you disappoint someone who has nothing”

    “Give them something broken”

  119. Fred says:

    Born with nothing, still got most of it left! 🙂

  120. Andrew Scott says:

    The sentence after the blue highlighting says (paraphrasing) “the Secretary of state can’t unreasonably object”. Fair enough but whose judges what unreasonable is? If it’s the person who has the power to be unreasonable or not then of course they can be as unreasonable as they want and still say they’re being reasonable.

  121. Kevin evans says:

    It’s sad to say though most people who voted no aren’t interested in all this stuff.

    I’ve tried to engage people in conversation about what’s happened since the refurendum but most no voters aren’t interested and do literally want to get back in there box and shut the lid.

    It saddens me

  122. john king says:

    Grizzle McPuss says
    ““The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.” How do you like that? That’s pretty neat, eh?”

    Did you get to the sanity clause?
    that’s a scream.

  123. john king says:

    The party of the first part

  124. Welsh and envious says:

    “Dynamically and mechanically”.

    Sounds like a severe case of adverbitis.

  125. Big Jock says:

    At the rate of Murphy,s bribes on a weekly basis. Surely he is going to offer independence by March. This week we have renationalise the rail network. Now super Jim’s going to single handedly stop tracking as that’s bad ,but build more nuclear weapons instead! Incidently he didn’t quite grasp that the rail franchise went to the Dutch company as no public or charitable bidders made offers. He must have a couple of mates with heavy wallets that want to buy a rail franchise. Either that or he is just going through a list of weekly bribes plucked out of thin air and talking white as usual. It’d pure pantomime!

  126. Big Jock says:

    White was Shite and tracking was fracking… Damn you spell check!

  127. John Meek says:

    Didn’t realise Sir Humphrey was still working in Whithall … thought he’d retired and was writing letters to the Torygraph …

  128. John Boyes says:

    Sorry to be adding this so late in the day but I’m fizzing after watching the full 91 minutes of Osborne and McPherson giving evidence to the Select Committee on Fiscal and Economic Devolution to Scotland.

    Watch it all if you wish but particularly from 55 minutes which I’m sure will be enough to have you in the same state as me. “No detriment” is truly Westminster’s “No surrender”

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