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Wings Over Scotland

A consensus is reached

Posted on April 12, 2017 by

The John Beattie Show on BBC Radio Scotland today hosted a 20-minute-long debate between Professor Richard Murphy and an amateur Unionist blogger who for the last several years has used the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures to prove that an independent Scotland would be economically unviable.

Below is a very short extract from it. (The full debate is here.)

(The John Beattie Show, BBC Radio Scotland, 12 April 2017)

We’re glad that’s finally settled. Though we have to admit, given that all parties to the discussion now absolutely concur on those facts, we’re a bit confused about what the amateur blogger’s been doing for the last five years.

“Richard finished his piece by saying they can’t tell us what an independent Scotland’s finances would look like. That is, of course, absolutely true.

What the GERS figures do tell us is, historically, how do Scotland’s revenue and expenditure figures look as an integral part of the UK.

You said – and it’s a critical phrase – ‘the purpose for which it’s intended’. Nobody suggests that the GERS figures show what a future independent Scotland would look like.

– Kevin Hague.

We can find nothing to disagree with in those statements. It’s good to talk.

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213 to “A consensus is reached”

  1. Capella says:

    Ha ha ha ha – revenge is a dish best eaten cold, right enough.

  2. Heidstaethefire says:

    The purpose for which it was intended was to make the Scottish economy look like a basket case, as Secretary for Scotland in a State at the time Iain Laing admitted in a 1992 memo to John Major.

  3. One_Scot says:

    Beginning to think that Kev might have been better off going to his board meeting.

  4. Thepnr says:

    Been waiting on this. Isn’t it just great, hope he will stop suggesting now that an Independent Scotland’s finances will be the same as those under UK rule.

    Kevin, I agree with your statement on the Beattie show. They won’t be the same, now swallow your pride and vote YES.

  5. heraldnomore says:

    I see no reason to change my policy of buying cat food at other outlets. If only Richard Murphy did cat food…

  6. handclapping says:

    Emitted to

  7. Camz says:

    “So what’s your point caller” – I hear your opponents say.

    So let’s move ahead. GERS is dust. If anyone uses it to argue against indy, we can reference this excerpt.

    So what economic data CAN Scottish people rely on to estimate what an independent Scotland will look like?

    We need to start regularly linking to a single source of reliable data, and not a collection of sources or info-graphics from Twitter users (credit to each and every one of them though).

    The mischief maker in me fancies a document titled:

    “The Correlated Economics of Livelihood and Trade in Scotland (CELTS)”


  8. Noel Darlow says:

    Kevin who?

  9. Arbroath1320 says:

    Gawd I just love it when Karma comes to town. 🙂

    Ain’t Karma a BITCH! 😀

    So I’m guessing that as our pet food salesman has been using the discredited GERS to fight against Scottish independence he will now be fighting FOR independence. After all if he now agrees that GERS is shite at predicting what an independent Scotland’s financial position would look like that is all his arguments agaisnt indy blown out the water, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. ScottishPsyche says:

    So Kevin ‘GIGA’ Hague finally admits GERS is worthless as an indicator of the economy of an Independent Scotland. He can now devote himself to his true passion which is promoting Kevin Hague.
    Will the Daily Record still allow this person a platform to spout his nonsense?

  11. ScottishPsyche says:


  12. David says:

    @ Camz

    Its hard to get solely Scottish economic info.

    When I argue I simply mention the general abundance of Scottish resources and the low population as a matter of fact.

    Then the question is: IF Scotland is in financial difficulty, given the resources/population then where can the blame for the mess be laid? Perhaps at the feet of the institution that has governed Scotland for centuries?

    The trouble with detailed economic data is that it can be skewed 1 way or another very easily depending on the governments agenda. Its done all the time, all over the world.

    Sticking to the basic core economics such as this is much simpler to understand and makes a stronger argument in my opinion

  13. Andrew Davidson says:

    Within a fortnight he’ll deny ever having said such a preposterous thing and as he’s always said, GERS shows Scotland is too poor.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    That’s not why egotistical Kevin Hague went on the show though is it
    Pet food boy went on the show to promote pet food boy and to sound more credible than economy man
    Economy man went on to talk economics, pet food boy just went on to talk sneery superior better together stuff

    So the BT folk will believe pet food boy sneered better and folk with a brain will have been trying to listen to economy man and believe him

    So it’s pet food boy or economy man, who’s right? and we’re back to


  15. Bill McLean says:

    And what other figures do you suggest they use Mr Robertson since the only figures they have are those estimated by Westminster who control the entire Scottish economy by the “block grant” system? I’m afraid you read like a very bad loser. Let’s not forget that once caught lying you are stuffed! Westminster’s lackeys lied about pensions, the EU and for God’s sake invasion from space! Why don’t you just take your faculties in hand and think for yourself. Unionism is in every way a falsehood and this is the rot that will bring it down!

  16. Phil says:

    Thanks Rev Stu: heard this unexpectedly. This is the sort of debate we have been deprived of for some years.

    It seems to start on the BBC Radio iPlayer, John Beattie show, 12th April, at about 40:50 min:sec.

  17. Bob Mack says:

    A little light reading for Kevin. Arthur Miller wrote “Death of a salesman”. Very apt after today I thought

  18. Lochside says:

    I heard this…and as expected… and Hague came over as a snivelling sniggeering twat. Murphy was good but there was not enough time to really get into this.

    My point is: we on here know and have always known that Gers are a bogus invention by Tory Boy Lang 25 years ago to distract the theft of the oil revenue by focusing the Jocks on their begging bowl shite for brains economy.

    But….why can’t someone just give us straightforward near approximate figures at Holyrood. For instance, we were told by all the parties that Scotland raised £10k per head in tax. The last time I checked that equated to around £50 billion. Ken 500 has quoted that approx figure many times.

    Holyrood has been getting back £30 billion in Barnet [in] consequentials. Is this the 60% that Murphy refers to in the broadcast that Scotland gets to spend? We know about the ‘debt’ share, the Defence, the English infrastructure that we pay for. But is it coming out of the £20 missing billions?

    Remember the Unionist reposte to the £10k a head we gave in tax (England was only £9.5k) but we were supposed to ‘receive’ a £1700 per head ‘English subsidy) therefore £8.5 billion. Yet now we are supposed to be running a deficit of £15 billion?On a budget that is legally not permitted to go into deficit? All because of oil price drop…yet we have only supposedly been ‘allowed 8.5% of that revenue within the Barnet handout how does that work out? The tories has incurred £800 billion extra debt in 7 years..why has Englands deficit not shown a similar doubling to ours?….I know the’s rhetorical…but

    People on the doorstep need a basic sum to demonstrate to them these basic contradictions and lies. Telling them that the Barnet is bullshit because a few economists say it is ain’t going to swing pensioners and others who are deeply sceptical of Scotland’s economic worth.

    During 2014 when people asked me about oil..I pointed out the Inter Regio con and the basic arithmetic that Ian Wood was peddling that there was going to be a drop from 20 million to 12 million barrels a year .. that Union dividend was 8.5% of 20= 1.7 and IndyScot was 90% of 12= 10.8. They all got the picture right away. Something similar needs to be published by the SG to wipe out the GERS rubbish and obfuscation .

  19. Bill_T says:

    Oh well, guess there goes the cushy appearance fees. Back to the day job then.

  20. frankieboy says:

    Maybe now Mr Winalot will heed the Scottish Treasury Financial Unit

  21. Conan the Librarian says:

    Hague is busy re-writing history on Twitter as we speak.

  22. Proud Cybernat says:

    So, as an integral part of the UK, it looks to me like the UK has gotten Scotland up to its eyeballs and beyond in serious debt.

    Time to bail…

  23. harry mcaye says:

    Tweeted Hague earlier, highlighting Merryn Somerset Webb’s comments a year or two ago about GERS, which basically echo Richard Murphy and indeed Kevin’s remarks highlighted above. He replied saying “massively outdated – ask her now”.
    But hang on, surely GERS is GERS, he took Murphy to task for saying the figures ten years ago were basically correct but not now (that confused me too) but now Ms Webb has changed her tune. Why? Nothing has changed on their premise and nothing has changed as to their reliability or lack of on determining what an independent Scotland’s finances would look like.

  24. Doug Mcg says:

    For once , the vague one had to resort to the truth. He has also become an astrophysicist in the recent lean times , being now qualified to rule that the earth is flat. That Murphy , filthy globalist eh??

  25. Gail Hughes says:

    GERS tells us nothing about the strength of Scotland’s economy. It is not intended to. It is a record of government expenditure and revenues. It only tells us the results of government, at all levels, decisions on expenditure and revenues.

    What it actually shows is that the UK government woefully fails to raise sufficient revenues to properly fund public services. Not that that should be a surprise to anyone. Scotland’s public sector revenues are little more than three quarters of the EU average. GERS also tells us that 83.5% of those revenues are directly controlled by Westminster.

    One more thing it tells us is that Scotland’s public spending is not unaffordable. It is only around 90% of the EU average.

    I really wish people would stop trying to discredit the GERS figures. For one thing it is an un-winnable argument as there are no more definitive figures to refer to. Mostly, though, because the GERS figures as they are, argued correctly, give us everything we need to make the economic case for Independence.

  26. Jack Murphy says:

    Thankyou Wings for the clarification on the GERS figures.

    This link to the full radio discussion between Professor Richard Murphy and a Blogger Kevin Hague is going into my Bookmarks/Favourites for future use.

    I would politely suggest others do the same. 🙂

  27. Proud Cybernat says:

    Ruchard Murphy’s view on GERS is an “outlier”.

    What, as opposed to being an out and out liar like you, Kevvy-boy?

  28. Doug Mcg says:

    It’s just a thought , but during the debate it was stated that it wasn’t possible to accurately define Scottish taxpayers for revenue purposes.

    This is unacceptable , if you live and work in Scotland and pay taxes elsewhere then you should not vote here. The Scottish Government should demand this as part of the franchise. It is just not fair on the rest of us.

  29. Robert Graham says:

    Well that was very informative wasn’t it, Basically it was an amateur DIY guy arguing with a Electrician as to what was the safest type of RCD to use in a domestic shower circuit.
    Why does this person who as far as I can make out is as competent as my cat to comment on what is generally agreed by all as estimated data that is used to compile GERS , why does the BBC continue to allow him a platform is it because he speaks with authority or we need a Union top up today ? .
    Mr expert quotes all these think tanks, stating them to be independent organisations, like the Fraser of Alexander institute ( tripped over his right wing guessers) , I prefer to believe a professional who has studied the economy in detail and I believe the ratings agencies who also concluded they couldn’t make an assessment of Scotlands economy based on the figures provided by Westminster.
    I was surprised the BBC even allowed the discussion to take place, I wonder if they expected a knockout blow to be delivered by their favourite Union supporter, nice try but no Cigar.

  30. AndyH says:

    But GERS!

  31. Thepnr says:

    Kevin Hague is really not that different to the posters on Wings though with one major exception. He craves the publicity that newspaper articles and appearances on TV or Radio bring him. Few posters on Wings would I guess other than the Rev.

    I thought though a few months ago after Brexit through following the Wings twitter feed that he was swithering about where to go next. He definitely made a couple of tweets that may not have been pro-indy but were critical of the UK.

    I seem to remember some of his twitter followers getting upset with this. Anyway there are many who are having such self doubt, Kenny Farquharson in The Times today is one, Alex Massie and Chris Deerin are others.

    I still believe all 3 will vote No in a second referendum but if the likes of them are struggling with their consciences what are the vast majority of those that voted No last time feeling and thinking?

    I think we have many converts yet to come, there is a wave of support for Independence building. That’s my hope and wish, I see some evidence of it coming true.

    First a trickle then a flood.

  32. proud nat says:

    Now we need to explain GERS to the not so well informed.

    That is the hardest part of all of this.

  33. Proud Cybernat says:

    Kevin goes large…

  34. caz m says:

    Excellent work again REV.

  35. Flower of Scotland says:

    Nice one Rev!

    It’s been so much fun this afternoon. I’m on twitter but don’t tweet much. However I congratulated Richard Murphy on his twitter feed and low and behold I had lots and lots of angry Unionists tweets!

    Ha,ha! They are very rattled this afternoon.

  36. gus1940 says:

    Is it too much to hope than when the BBC start to do Indyref2 TV debates that John Beattie gets a chance to be chairman rather than the usual Unionists such as Glenn Campbell.

  37. Flower of Scotland says:

    Hi Handclapping@1.51pm

    Haven’t seen you on Wings for ages.

  38. John H says:

    Proud Cybernat.
    I hope you sent that to Kevin Proud Cybernat. 🙂

  39. Robert Graham says:

    According to the BBC website a prospective Tory candidate has been forced to withdraw after posting a series of online comments directed at the first minister, his name however will remain on the ballot paper, he apparently has links to Britain first, I wonder if Scotland in Union are the same organisation ? . And how many others are still on ballot papers but just haven’t been caught yet .
    A disgraceful disgusting party whose actions should be laid at Ruthies door every single day . Let her own them, it’s her party the Red Cross ,the UN , and various police forces have and are investigating , and this lot have the bloody cheek to smear others .

  40. JLT says:

    This article is being kept aside in its own special folder on my PC.

    You can’t argue with a Professor, a person at the very top end of their field. So, I think it’s safe to say that Facebook and Twitter are going to be red-hot with links galore from everyone here to this very article. It doesn’t matter if folk whine ‘but it’s Wings over Scotland. That means that it will be biased’.

    Because, the simple fact is, no it won’t.

    The Professor was speaking on BBC Radio Scotland and neither the Professor, nor BBC Radio Scotland, have anything to do with Wings. End of!

    So dearie-dear …how do you like them apples, Unionists?

  41. galamcennalath says:

    That makes Kevin a GERS denier too, I assume?

    So, which pundits out there still use GERS as if it was relevant to anything in the real world?

  42. nodrog says:

    I wonder how Kevin spells outlier/outliar. Could be controversial.
    He kept on repeating it.

  43. carjamtic says:

    In order for any of us,to make correct decisions,firstly we need to first measure the ‘thing’ that needs to be measured (collect some data),this data then helps us to make,informed decisions.

    The professor made some very good points,in highlighting the inaccuracies of the data and the fact we need it to be more ‘site specific’ data (in not only in terms of what we are measuring,but also where we are measuring) for the data to be of any use to us,the GERS data,collecting method may have been acceptable 10 years ago,when there was no requirement for ‘informed decision’ making.

    Things have moved on,we now have a ‘need to know’ if this data is accurate,I think it is obvious to all,that we must update this whole process,to allow the data to be accurate for Scotland and fit for purpose.

    If only some of the data is accurate and the ‘measuring devices’ have not been recalibrated (to a known standard ) we might as well all just produce our airline boarding passes and enjoy a warm beer,while the cabin crew stick their wet fingers in our ears,to check for temperature,wind speed,altitude,before they begin dragging us off the plane…..’now is not the right time’ the conditions are not right and anyways,we need your seats for ‘priority’ brexiteer passengers…,security!.

  44. heedtracker says:

    Is this a break through, where Scotland does start actually forecasting Scotland’s nation state economics, not regional GERS stuff?

    Did the Haguester bash away about his magical fiscal transfers too?

  45. Bill McDermott says:

    Here is my conundrum regarding Mr Kevin Hague. He has been saying since 2014 that GERS proves Scotland is broke and relies on the goodwill of Westminster and the English people to keep us afloat. Therefore Independence is non-viable.

    But now he says that GERS doesn’t tell you anything about an independent Scotland’s finances. His submission is that they are accurate guesstimates, but they tell you nothing. I am confused.

  46. Dr Jim says:

    Just in from Morrisons where all the Nationals were hidden underneath the Daily Mails….all of them!

    I rectified the display!

  47. DerekM says:

    So does that mean wee Kev is either extremely stupid or a complete liar,i have not worked that one out yet.

    Nobody suggests that the GERS figures show what a future independent Scotland would look like.

    So Kev want to tell me why you have been suggesting this for nearly 5 years.

    I do feel a bit sorry for the Prof getting dragged into debating with a snickering abusive wean with the brain the size of a pea.

    He must be wondering what the hell he did to find himself debating economics with a complete moron.

  48. Juteman says:

    Do you think a country should run its own affairs?
    Everything else is just noise.

  49. Dr Jim says:

    My grasp of macro economics is well, none!
    So..when economists talk of Scotland as a 150 billion pound economy what does that mean

    Asking for myself coz I’m rubbish at this stuff!

  50. nodrog says:

    Tory council candidate suspended over online comments.

    Desperation at it’s worst on BBC Website.

  51. Andy Anderson says:

    This along with a whole heap of other stuff over the last year it discredits GERS completely.
    It is the same with a multi site business if they are fully integrated financially. When you sell one part off the economic picture changes completely for the sold business for a whole host of reasons. A country is the same although obviously the latter has more variables.
    Good you caught this Stu.

  52. Marcia says:

    According to some news outlets over the past 5 years the not too successful pet food salesmen (based on actual annual accounts)forecast of an Independent Scotland was always right when we knew different.

  53. gerry parker says:

    Looks like “Winalot” lostalot.


  54. Iain More says:

    Ach stop it you lot I don’t have any unbroken ribs left to break with laughter. I’m in agony!

  55. Marcia says:

    Charts don’t work on radio.

  56. jdman says:

    nice one Gerry,
    maybe his freind Murdo can give him some tips on losingalot! 🙂

  57. Thepnr says:


    What about the top 40 on a Sunday then 🙂 Just kidding.

  58. jdman says:

    “Tory council candidate suspended over online comments.

    Desperation at it’s worst on BBC Website”

    What I had read was the Tory party were “withdrawing thier support for his campaign”
    that does not sound like turfed out to me, I reckon if by some miracle he wins without them he’ll still be in the Tory fold!

  59. slackshoe says:

    I see one-man Dunning-Kruger effect Kevin is still just as insufferable as last time.

  60. Stoker says:

    WOS archive links for October 2013 now showing over on O/T.

    Or shop til you drop! 😀

  61. Robert Peffers says:

    Oh!Come on! Guys and Gals.

    It isn’t that GERS uses the wrong figures that makes them utter trash. GERS Figures are mainly rough estimates at best and are thus inherently inaccurate by definition.

    It is the GERS methodology that, if looked at without the complication of raw figures, that gives the Westminster cunning plan away. Further it is not the quoted figures that gives the lie but the omitted and never quoted figures that tell the tale.

    Take, for example the oil & gas revenues that Westminster claims as the UK’s extra-regio-Territory contribution. They do not come from an extra-regio area they come fairly and squarely around 97% from the Scottish geographic area. Yet Westminster accounts them on a population share rather than the true geographic share.

    Then we have VAT. Let’s consider just the Road Fuel Duty collected at the garage forecourts and that duty also carries VAT. Scotland has a small population but they are spread thin on the ground and thus distances travelled just for essentials are much greater.

    A cockney can shop for just about anything, visit any essential service and get to almost anything they require on foot within easy reach of their home. A rural Scot may drive hundreds of miles for a single essential service. It all requires road fuel and payment of VAT. Not to mention that the prices charged for that road fuel are higher in rural Scotland. But here’s the thing. If that road fuel is bought from, for example a UK wide Supermarket, like Tesco, then both the VAT and the Road Fuel Duty will be paid to HM Treasury as from Tesco’s head office and thus accounted as earned in England.

    Once again it is only estimated by GERS as a population percentage. So what about Scots exports that leave the UK from England on their way out of the UK – Aye! That’s right it is accounted as English Exports.

    Just about ever figure is chosen on such wrong basis in GERS and can be seen to be mince and not a single actual numerical figure in sight.

  62. Bill McLean says:

    An advert some of our more senior posters will remember – I remember it well! “Don’t be vague, ask for Haig” – ah Bisto, happy memories. Ok, that’s all from me today i’m off on the zimmer!

  63. Breeks says:

    Trying to be dispassionate and objective, I don’t think anybody learned anything from that “debate”.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong here, but I put this forward as an example of why GERS is unreliable:

    To calculate (make that guesstimate) Scotland’s GDP, they at first calculated a GDP for Scotland something like 43rd in the world; Scotland would be between Finland and Portugal. They argued that GDP figure included oil, and was based on GERS, however the GERS figure was calculated UK data, UK oil production. Of that UK oil production, Scotland’s pro-capita “share” of UK oil was 8-10% , so Scotland’s GDP was thus similar to Portugal, but based on GERS figures which attributed to Scotland a mere 10% of its rightful oil revenue. Make a much appropriate comparison with GDP calculated to include Scotland’s 96% share of “UK” oil which WOULD be Scotland’s oil, and Scotland’s GDP looks infinitely better, 5-7th place, somewhat better than 43rd.

    The point is the GERS data is unsuitable as a projection of an Independent Scotland’s economic performance, because as in the above example, there is a rationale behind working out a pro-rata figure, but that rationale can be, and very often is clumsy, inaccurate, and wildly at odds with what the true figure would actually be.

    To prepare economic figures for worthwhile comparison, it’s no good using GERS and it’s sweeping presumptions and extrapolations. What Scotland requires is the raw actual data. The actual numbers, actual expenditure, actual income. Not guesses, not extrapolations, not equivalences.

    The oil is just one facet of GERS, but the above example illustrates how the figures can be argued as diligently prepared, and fitted to a logical rationale, but yet still wildly distort the economic reality. Think about that a minute. If they can base assumptions and predictions upon Scotland securing merely a tenth of its real revenue from oil, then what other inaccuracies to the GERS figures inadvertent obscure?

    As the Scottish and English/British economies diversify and grow apart; think our NHS, free prescriptions, free healthcare, AIDS drugs, then think of our VAT paying Police, our access to Free University Education, our oil, our whisky, our whisky that exits the UK via an English port… The more different we become economically, the less and less GERS can reliably tell us. And after independence, we’ll do everything differently.

    Who knows the true picture? Well, the UK Treasury does, but isn’t telling. The whole point is, the UK Treasury needs to open the books. GERS isn’t good enough, since it does not provide the actual information required. Not only does it prevent you working out anything accurately, you cannot even quantify a margin of error.

    The point Professor Murphy was trying to make, and not very well I fear, was that an accountant cannot audit an estimated tax return. It is the accountancy equivalent of asking how long a piece of string is. An accountant needs the actual ledger with income and expenditure to do his job with appropriate thoroughness to produce worthwhile data and meaningful conclusions.

    Presenting us with GERS rather than raw data is the Treasury telling Scotland your economic performance is X,Y, or Z because we, the Treasury, says it is.

  64. Robert Peffers says:

    Here’s a wee O/T laugh for you.

    I had to go shopping today. A neighbour’s wee girl sometimes walks my wee Papillon bitch as I’m often too disabled to walk much.

    She called to walk the wee dog and was a bit long returning so I was waiting at the gate in the camper van for her return.

    Now Papillons have very large ears and when it is windy like today it can cause them problems with the wind whipping their long ear fringes about.

    The wee lass came on the scene but stopped to speak to a couple passing by.

    I heard the wee girl explaining to the passers by that the dog was, “afu bothered by the Wind”.

    I’m still laughing yet and that happened around 11:30 this am:

  65. Proud Cybernat says:

    Kevvy-boy calls Richard Murphy “a flat earth denier”.

    Yeah, Kevvy-boy. As are most people.

  66. CameronB Brodie says:

    OK, so that is step one on the road to recovery for GERS addicts. Next is the recognition that macro-economics is an imprecise ‘art’ and that economies are shaped by cultures, not the other way around. To think otherwise is a sure signs of being a Tory, frankly.

  67. galamcennalath says:

    Unionist politicians and pundits just don’t get it. The pro-Indy lobby, the SG, or SNP don’t want much from London/WM/UK government. Although they believe that is exactly what we want.

    No, what we want is simple. We want them to stop whinging, moaning and obstructing. We want them to get out of our way!

    Unionist contributions to the constitutional debate are nil. They make no case for their Union, they have no vision for a UK future, they seem to have nothing positive to say. Denial, spin, lies, and obstruction. Not just Scotland, but the whole Brexit fiasco. Sad and pathetic.

  68. jimnarlene says:

    What happened to his board meeting?

  69. CameronB Brodie says:

    The thing is, macro-economics, in-general, uses empirical tools in a similar way to the colour management algorithms in photo-editing software. No matter how well intended or practiced, such interpretation generally fails to reproduce the true pigments and hues of real life circumstances. A little more sophistication is required to achieve that end.

    ..For some years a cult figure of postmodern theory, Baudrillard moved beyond the postmodern discourse from the early 1980s to the present, and has developed a highly idiosyncratic mode of philosophical and cultural analysis. This entry focuses on the development of Baudrillard’s unique modes of thought and how he moved from social theory to postmodern theory to a provocative type of philosophical analysis.[1] In retrospect, Baudrillard can be seen a theorist who has traced in original ways the life of signs and impact of technology on social life, and who has systematically criticized major modes of modern thought, while developing his own philosophical perspectives.

  70. Legerwood says:

    Marcia says:
    12 April, 2017 at 4:18 pm
    Charts don’t work on radio.””

    Oh, I don’t know. I remember a ventriloquist who worked on the radio – ‘Educating Archie’. I am sure somebody must remember that show. TV killed it – his lips moved!

  71. Les Wilson says:

    Don’t worry somewhere and someone deep in a treasury cavern will know pretty well what Scotland’s real GDP should be.
    That is precisely the reason that no data is allegedly gathered, hence vague estimates.

    However, they will have a close idea and that breeds the fear of losing us. There is no way the treasury has such a vague idea, they will have great software to pin it as near as they can, because they need to know and it would be remiss of them if they didn’t.

    Akin to the McKrone report, it is well hidden from us.If we were as bad as they say, they would be leaving the Union themselves and setting us adrift. The treasury is our worst enemy, as it has been for 300 years. Trust nothing that comes from them nor anything associated with them.

  72. frogesque says:

    @Ledgerwood 5.45

    Lols! Just a few days ago on a different forum I compared Osborne to an Archie. Had to explain the reference.

    Uncanny resemblance though!

  73. Bob Mack says:

    I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but did not Dr Andrew Goudie who was the chief economist in the Scottish government around the time of devolution, not state time and time again that GERS were meaningless to evaluate the finances of an indy Scotland.

    This has been known a long time.

  74. But I believe Wullie Rennie. Scotland will have a £15 billion deficit and have to raise taxes and cut public services.WE are poorer than Greece FFS.
    Oor Wullie’s CV is more impressive than that of some Oxford Professor any day.
    He used to handle cash driving a ‘bus after all.
    At last this GERS shite is consigned to the bin, alongside Scotland joining a ten year queue and would be no means certain of rejoining the EU, and Darling’s lie that Salmond grossly exaggerated the oil reserves.
    One by one, the lies and distortions unravel.
    It won’t stop Douglas Fraser over at Pacific Quay bringing up GERS and the price of oil from time to time, though, but, mind.
    Beattie and that Lass who co hosted the debate today did their best for the Union cause, quoting the White Paper, and the Scottish Government’s apparent endorsement of GERS.
    I’ve looked. I can’t see English based supermarket chains submitting discrete Scottish Vat and Tax returns.
    No, I don’t see a batch print out from HMRC identifying Scottish taxpayers.
    25 out of 26 sets of figures are ‘estimates’.
    We’re doomed.

  75. mike cassidy says:

    He should have gone to his board meeting.

    Boards dont hit back.

    Unlike Mr Murphy.

    What was the law in the Charles Bronson film, “Murphy’s Law”

    Don’t Fuck with Murphy!

    At least we’ll never have to experience again Andrew Neil asking the First Minister if she is going to thank the English for subsidising Scotland

    OT The odd thing about the ventriloquist on the radio. It was performed in front of a live audience each week. And they laughed!

  76. Joe of the Coutts says:

    Yes – we listened to educating Archie on the radio for years! What – a ventriloquist- on the radio?
    Happily – now we can see their lips.
    Petet Brough, Archie’s dad, tried tv, but had to use a large, splutter, hanky to hide his lips!

  77. No sooner do I write the above than Willie Rennie gets the headlines on Herald Britland online, accusing Nicola Sturgeon of ‘losing the plot’, and apparently making a right royal fool of himself, doubtless in homage to his Better Together Blue Tory Co-pilot, Ruth the Rapefinder General by:_
    “Kicking off the LibDem campaign by riding a giant lawnmower around a machinery depot in Inverkeithing” to launch the Lib Dem manifesto.
    He added:- “the May 4 vote was a chance to send a warning to the SNP.”
    The man’s a grade A dick.

  78. Famous15 says:

    The source information for GERS is given by the UK Government so even “respectable” statistitians in Scotland are dealing with the an “unfriendly” source as confirmed by Iain Lang a former Tory Secretary of State for Scotland.

    Accurate information could be given but Whitehall do not wish to assist Scotland. Garbage in garbage out is not good enough for quality governance.

    The accurate fiscus figures are essential for government in Scotland thus might I suggest Sotland becomes independent in order to govern properly. Just a suggestion.

  79. handclapping says:

    @Flower of Scotland
    I’m glad at least one of us has a working memory! I’m normally so late on the threads now that somebody has already said what I wanted to say.

  80. Thepnr says:

    Man the things I would never have believed unless I read them below the line on Wings. Educating Archie a ventriloquist on the radio!

    Whatever next lol.

  81. Gary45% says:

    Had a wee look at yatube at the weekend, Sky news were using data produced by the “poop scoop bag” salesman, they even put his name up on the screen.
    I thought Sky TV were shite, but they are worse than that.
    I suppose most of the Sky viewers are only watching sport.

  82. Cactus says:


  83. gerry parker says:

    Aye Jack, as my friend Patrician said just the other night.

    “Ask them who we owe this 15 Billion pounds to?”

    and as @farrochie said today. “Who in the Scottish Government has the means and the authority to pay down this deficit”

    Good questions both.

  84. Legerwood says:

    frogesque says:
    12 April, 2017 at 5:52 pm
    @Ledgerwood 5.45

    Lols! Just a few days ago on a different forum I compared Osborne to an Archie. Had to explain the reference.

    Uncanny resemblance though!””

    I think Osborne does a better impression of wood than Archie though.

  85. Rock says:

    Any self respecting people would want to be independent of a coloniser at any cost.

    Unfortunately there are too many selfish middle class Scots who would rather live under colonial rule than perhaps suffer a small drop in income which would benefit those less well off then themselves.

    Proud Scots, but— are a disgrace to Scotland.

  86. Ken500 says:

    There is a new channel STV starting. 7pm News.

    Hope they have better business cover. Especially Oil & Gas sector. They are useless.

    The non existent Scottish Conservative and Unionists Party. Are having a nonsensical party political broadcast. Vote for them to stop a 2nd IndyRef. They can’t stop.

  87. Marcia says:

    A good bit of necessary satire from Janey Godley;

  88. Cactus says:


  89. Ian McCubbin says:

    So good can we have all MSN papers print the fact as a headline and it feature on BBC news at 6. I doubt it but in an independent Scotland yes.
    Well covered as always Stu and a cause I can leave alone now.
    PS has anyone told Murdo?

  90. Craig P says:

    This debate could use a few more Richard Murphys. Nothing confounds a unionist quite like an English voice disagreeing with them. Bit harder then to dismiss the opposition as grievance-mongering Anglophobes. Forced onto neutral ground, all that’s left is the real unionist argument: blood, soil, and sentiment.

  91. Still Positive says:

    Thanks for that, Marcia @6.37.

  92. Thepnr says:

    When I was a younger man and Thatcher was busily ruining the economy with interest rates of 17% and inflation at 22% in 1980 I still naively thought that those running the country and their advisers must have been among the best brains in the UK.

    How thick I was then, I now clearly see that they don’t have a clue what they’re doing and stumble from one crisis to the next.

    Let’s think about the Thatcher government just for a minute, she had the fantastically bright idea of changing from a primarily industrial/manufacturing economy to a service economy to be dominated by banking and other financial services like insurance.

    Boom! There goes Ravenscraig along with most other UK steel mills. Slam! the gates of almost all UK mines are shut for good and the shipyards are emptied of shipbuilders.

    All this for ideology, to break the trade unions, didn’t matter that families were broken too in the process.

    Look where we are now, one of the most indebted countries in the Western world. Wages stagnating and actually lower in real terms than they were in 2010. The very poorest, those on benefits are even worse off and being made even poorer as we speak.

    The best brains in the UK running the country?. No, I don’t think so now, it’s been a long time if ever that we have had that.

  93. HandandShrimp says:

    The Unionists seem awfully grumpy these days

    …is it something we said?


  94. Meindevon says:


    The local news here in DDD has just reported the news I’ve been waiting for. Our Devon and Cornwall police commissioner, yes that’s our POLICE Commisioner, has had her files regarding the Tory election fraud dumped well and truly on the CPS’s desk! Well how is this going to pan out, I wonder? If it blows over it will be assumed to be a cover up (quite rightly) and if it doesn’t….well where will that lead? (I know two polis in the internal cock ups dept and will be making subtle inquiries, hehe)

    Presumably if she’s guilty, all of them are. Will the GE be null and void? Will the EU referendum be null and void? And, of course, will there be enough popcorn in the world to go round?

    So, so funny and yet so tragic at the same time.

  95. CameronB Brodie says:

    Care to detail the “intersectionality” of your analysis? There may be some truth to your point but you have a rather blunt and unhelpful way of expressing yourself, IMHO. More persuasion and less divisive accusation please.

  96. Shug says:

    When facing a unionist quoting GERs as a reason against Indy I would quote them back as a reason for Indy
    They represent London mismanagement of scotlands economy over the last 50 or 60 years
    How bad a government do you have to be to make a 10 billion deficit in the economy of the 13 largest oil producer in the world
    The deficit they quote is a representation of their incompetence.

  97. heedtracker says:

    Look at the new guy. Welcome to Scotland 2017, 1917 Scotland was probably the same too.

    Richard Murphy? @RichardJMurphy 37m37 minutes ago
    To those who disagreed today, I am baffled and bemused. Why don’t you want Scotland to have the best data it can have? I just don’t get that

  98. Ian says:

    ‘However, it might also be recognised that GERS has been a political initiative from the outset. Formally introduced in 1992 by the then Scottish Secretary Ian Lang, it was designed – as the minister acknowledged in a leaked document – to “undermine” the UK government’s rivals. It was intended, in part, to demonstrate to the public that devolved self-government was A Bad Thing.’ – BBC 9 March 2016

    GERS are a classic case of choosing the answer you want, them working backwards to fill in the required figures. But that’s what happens when politics overrules economics or the real world.

    Speaking of real world. Is Norway still getting a lot more for each barrel of oil than the UK does? Seems like that would impact all sorts of economic figures, not just GERS. But then that wouldn’t be an ‘assumption’ but a ‘fact’.

  99. CameronB Brodie says:

    Sorry, didn’t mean to confuse, I meant any intersectionality identified in your analysis, of course.

    Rusty, Edinburgh. 😉

  100. Macart says:

    Heh. That’ll leave a mark.

    Long overdue. 🙂

  101. G H Graham says:

    Message to BritNat Zoomer, K**** H****; if you sat at a board meeting & attempted to convince the members that your company’s most recent financial performance was a cast iron indicator of future revenues & expenses, they would walk you out the door.


    Any director worth his salt would demand to know what action or change in direction you are going to take in order to reverse your company’s poor performance & return it to profitability.

    And you would be the first to admit that any debt your company carried, might initially constrain your choices but it could never be an indicator of future financial performance.

    Quite why H**** is convinced these options would not available to an independent Scotland remains a mystery.

    Maybe he’s just bitter because not enough people want to buy his dog food?

  102. Robert Peffers says:

    @Legerwood says: 12 April, 2017 at 5:45 pm:

    “Oh, I don’t know. I remember a ventriloquist who worked on the radio – ‘Educating Archie’. I am sure somebody must remember that show. TV killed it – his lips moved”

    Aye! Legerwood. Ah kin mind wha he wis – Peter Brough.

  103. lenny Hartley says:

    see they are planning a new 2 mile tunnel under the Thames connecting to the M25.
    Wonder how much that will cost us if we don’t vote YES

  104. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I think rodeo Ruth’s teas oot. Loss of support for her might well be accelerating. There was a hustings at Strachur last night. The Tory candidate,a pleasant and articulate lady,was a Labour councillor over at Greenock for 10 years. That got people to wondering that maybe she was a Tory that won a council seat by pretending to be Labour as the chance of Greenock electing Tories is very low. Or maybe she was Labour pretending to be Tory to win a council seat in Argyll.
    But when she explained that Ruth Davidson had inspired her to support the Tories there was an audible drawing in of breaths and a few muttered FFSs in a very large audience.

  105. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I think rodeo Ruth’s teas oot. Loss of support for her might well be accelerating. There was a hustings at Strachur last night. The Tory candidate,a pleasant and articulate lady,was a Labour councillor over at Greenock for 10 years. That got people to wondering that maybe she was a Tory that won a council seat by pretending to be Labour as the chance of Greenock electing Tories is very low. Or maybe she was Labour pretending to be Tory to win a council seat in Argyll.

    But when she explained that Ruth Davidson had inspired her to support the Tories there was an audible drawing in of breaths and a few muttered FFSs in a very large audience.

  106. lenny Hartley, if we vote No (och, don’t be ridiculous, Jack)
    we’ll be stuck with roughly 9% of the cost. We’ll ‘own’ 316.8 yds., give or take.(9 hundredths of 3520 yards.)

  107. Robert Peffers says:

    @Bob Mack says: 12 April, 2017 at 5:59 pm:

    “Did not Dr Andrew Goudie who was the chief economist in the Scottish government around the time of devolution, not state time and time again that GERS were meaningless to evaluate the finances of an indy Scotland.”

    Yes Bob Mack, we old hands knew what GERS was soon after their first exposition. Just like we knew about the McCrone Report even although it was quickly hidden away from public view.

    Like today, though, we had lots of trouble getting the information out to the general public. That factor is still a major stumbling block to our independence. Yet in spite of that major hurdle the truth is slowly getting out there to the people of Scotland.

    Someone, (see note), once said, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.

    NOTE:- “this saying comes from Bible. (Jer. 5:21 – King James version):-
    “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

    The presently worded saying has been traced back in English to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse as quoted. “In 1738, it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation,’. It is first recorded in the USA in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’.”.

  108. scottieDog says:

    Yet in his blog he makes statements like these..
    “The GERS figures provide the foundations on top of which any credible economic case for independence must be built.

    To illustrate. According to 2014-15 GERS our pro-forma accounts show Scotland running a £14.9bn deficit. If – as the White Paper suggested – an independent Scotland were to spend £0.6bn less on defence and other costs (compared to the amount allocated to us in GERS) then our deficit would become £14.4bn.

    Here are two examples of this particular type of GERS denial in use;
    “the GERS figures tells (sic) us almost nothing that can be related to the finances of an independent Scotland” (Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp in the National)
    “the total expenditure in GERS says nothing about the total public expenditure resource which a Scottish Government might choose to deploy [..] the GERS revenue figures say relatively little about the tax revenues that could be available to a Scottish government” (The Cuthberts, as quoted by Paul Kavanagh using this meme)
    To suggest that how our fiscal balance would look based on the taxes we’re used to raising and the public spending we’re used to receiving tells us “nothing”, “almost nothing” or only “relatively little” about an independent Scotland’s potential finances is frankly insulting to the intelligence of the reader.

    The figures tell us a great deal about where we start from and the scale of the challenge we’d face.”

  109. Robert Peffers says:

    @mike cassidy says: 12 April, 2017 at 6:06 pm:

    “He should have gone to his board meeting.
    Boards dont hit back.”

    Not unless you take a scaffolding board and whap him on the back of the head with it.

    ” … OT The odd thing about the ventriloquist on the radio. It was performed in front of a live audience each week. And they laughed!”

    Och! mike, it was canned laughter. There were no microphones covering the radio audiences. Note that you never heard anyone in the audience cough, sneeze or make any other noises than exaggerated applause or exaggerated laughter.

    The sound mixer at the sound console just slid the mixer control up at the appropriate point you never heard the real audience on radio. BTW: You still don’t.

  110. JUDGE says:

    Time to get out there Wingers and spread the word and NOT be sidetracked by meaningless nonsense.

  111. Legerwood says:

    Thepnr @ 7.04

    I don’T think it was a case of Mrs Thatcher having a bright idea and switching from manufacturing to financial services etc. The reality was more complex and many people before and after Mrs Thatcher hid their culpability in the demise of British manufacturing.

    Many of the heavy industries such as shipbuilding and mining were in decline long before Mrs Thatcher came along but blaming her for all of it suits too many people including the Labour party who were just as culpable and in some cases maybe more than Mrs Thatcher. By the way, Ravenscraig closed after Mrs Thatcher left office and it was a Tory Government in the 1950s that gave the go ahead for its expansion.

    Labour were in Power in the 1960s and 1970s yet did little to stop the decline. And they were in Power again from 1997 -2010 yet did little to stop the job losses in manufacturing instead going full out for banking and financial services. More so than Mrs Thatcher who actually signed the UK up to Base I, an early attempt at banking regulation and who can forget Gordon Brown’s light touch regulation. During Tony Blair time in office manufacturing as a share of GDP halved from 22% to 11.5% and 2 million jobs were lost.

    When Labour were fighting the 1979 election they claimed that inflation was 8%, the Tories said 16% but the reality was nearer 25%. Do you know what that is like? Well one week you go shopping and a £1 buys a loaf and a packet of digestive biscuits, the next week it buys the loaf and the next week…! Interest rates were increased by Mrs Thatcher to tackle inflation but that was too narrow a focus and the recession that resulted strongly suggests that it was too drastic a policy.

    Details of shipyard closures on the Clyde from 1900s onwards. The decline started in the 1900s and continued on. The two world wars delayed the decline but closures picked up again in the 1969s – note the number of closures when Labour were in Power in 1960s.

    Mining was the same. Two links one for mine closures in Central Scotland from 1947 onwards and the other for mine closures during the terms in office of various Prime Ministers

    The picture for rail and steel was similar. Beeching cuts in the 60s – almost half the network closed down for example.
    By the time Mrs Thatcher came along these industries had already been in decline for some time.

  112. Robert Peffers says:

    @Robert Peffers says: 12 April, 2017 at 8:33 pm.

    ” … Och! mike, it was canned laughter. There were no microphones covering the radio audiences.”

    I meant to add, why do you think, that when they throw the meeting open for questions, they have to have assistants take a radio mikes to the questioners in the audience?

    Go figure.

  113. Thepnr says:


    Always happy to be put straight. I know there’s a lot more to it than simply blaming Thatcher. For me though her and her government are the focus of my attention simply because I started work in the shipyard in 1975. In 1977 the yards were nationalised by the then Labour government and mine closed in 1980 under Thatcher.

    It cost the government more at that time to pay for those made redundant and their families on the dole than it would have to keep the yard open.

    Your absolutely right though that neglect to invest in new equipment and methods was a large part of their demise. However since all the yards were privately owned up until 1977 that can hardly be blamed on Labour.

    Iain MacWhirter in the New Statesman in 2009 says it better than I can.

    “Scottish heavy industry had been in decline since the end of the First World War, but Scotland was still a society based around industrial communities, as with the Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell and the coal mines of Fife.

    By the time Thatcher was finished, Ravenscraig was no more, and the pits had closed along with the car plants and aluminium smelters.

    The nationalist pop duo the Proclaimers wrote a hit song in the 1980s, “Letter from America”, which listed the industrial icons that had closed: “Bathgate no more/Linwood no more/Methil no more . . .”

  114. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Legerwood at 8.53

    Indeed, but you somewhat miss the point. The UK steel industry had been in decline, like much of UK industry, for some time and there was serious over production of a range of product but the production levels at Ravenscraig were the highest in Europe and Gartcosh produced what was the UK car industry’s preferred steel when they were closed. It may well have made some sense to close both these Scottish plants from a UK point of view and concentrate industrial production in a triangle from Teeside across to South Wales and down to the Channel Tunnel but no Scottish government would have effectively closed down the Scottish steel industry.

    In fact I was about in the late 1950 when nationalisation was in full swing and the late David Murray from Cambuslang was trying to warn Scotland that the nationalisation of the totally integrated Scottish steel industry would result in the loss of Scottish control of it and that any rationalisation would inevitably result in lots of its specialisations being transferred elsewhere making it steadily less self sustaining. How right he was.

  115. handclapping says:

    @Scottie Dog
    I thought the argument was that all the figures are estimates of proportions of estimates.

    Just looking at the figures for income tax “raised” in Scotland, HMRC are only just now, at the start of the 2017-18 tax year for which they have to account for the non-dividend, non-something-else, tax on income in Scotland, able to say who are the Scottish income tax payers, and how many they are. We may know by mid 2018 what HMRC have assessed as due and how much of that they have collected.

    Multiply the guess work by the bits they wont tell us about, eg the income tax on dividend income etc, VAT actually returned through London HQ and so on and basically we haven’t a clue what Scotland’s revenue is right now or what it would turn out to be in the first year of independence even if they left everything unchanged for that first year.

    And of course if you are a complete tinfoil artist there is always the possibility that HMRC will lie to us anyway 🙂

  116. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Legerwood

    Add the 1976 IMF bailout to the pre-Thatcher guilt list, too. It came with some very strict conditions for cutting public services. Luckily the North Sea oil boom helped save the London lot from having to continue supping from the IMF’s poison chalice. Wasn’t that a stroke of luck?

  117. Marker Post says:

    The report on the European referendum today also said that the UK government must in future prepare for all outcomes of a referendum. It should therefore be in the UK government’s interest to produce accurate figures (not estimates), just as much as in Scotland’s interests, or in Manchester’s interests for that matter. The fact they don’t means something.

  118. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’d go along with your picture of long-term decline, which should be seen as a reflection of globilisation. As Britain has historically suffered from poor levels of productivity, so much of the developing world has caught up or surpassed Britain, in terms of social and industrial capital. Also political freedoms but I thought that a bit to painful to point to.

    Britain’s main problem is that it’s social and commercial modes of thought are bound up in Victorian tradition designed to deify a Medievalist Establishment.

    UKOK plc. is an anachronism in the post-modern world, frankly. Thatcher wasn’t personally responsible for that, though she was an anti-social radical. Other than that, I have no good to say off her. 🙂

  119. Robert Graham says:

    Oh dear British fans spreading their usual brand of tourism in Madrid , by getting to know the locals and their culture, such fine ambassadors don’t you think ? .

  120. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Like others, I fell foul of the WOS filters, and made comments on Ruth D’s attitude to the ‘R*** Clause’, honestly didn’t know why they hadn’t shown.

    It’s obviously something which we should have been discussing, so can we agree to use R*** as substitute for the ‘offensive’ word?

  121. Bill McDermott says:

    O/T I have just been over on Craig Murray’s blog and picked up this piece about the Sarin incident in Syria. It makes you think about the true perpetrators of the attack and calls into question Trump’s evidence-free approach to these things.

  122. The Jury says:

    The people of Scotland will decide what direction we go in when Nicola gives us the date for IndyRef2.

  123. Robert Peffers says:

    What you all seem to me missing is that these were the boom & bust years. These were, as usual, stacked against Scotland.

    The bust would begin in the London area and Westminster take instant action that instantly affected the entire United Kingdom. Trouble is that those areas furthest from London had not yet seen any benefits from the last boom that had also began in the London area and spread slowly northwards. In short the booms were a slow outward spread from London while the remedial actions were instantly applied everywhere including those parts that had never had the boom.

    So Scotland was hit by remedial action but had never benefitted from the previous boom and one of the remedial actions was that UK wide business’ would make cut-backs and always began with their Scottish branches first and worked their way southwards.

    Thus the English North East also suffered the remedial actions but not nearly so much or so bad as had Scotland.

    Then before the next boom reached Scotland the economy of London overheated and Westminster began the next remedial action. It was not just the private sector doing the cut backs in Scotland for so were the nationalised industries and the Royal Dockyards, Air Bases and Army Regiments.

    During this period the Government removed the Nuclear Submarine work that Rosyth Dockyard that had specialised in from day one and developed it. The moved it to Devonport and they, Devonport, hadn’t a clue.

  124. Thepnr says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Re the R*** Clause as disgusting as it is we’re losing sight of the fact that all families receiving any kind of benefits, tax credits or whatever are having their money cut as only two children will now be be counted. The reality is most women wha are on benefits and have three or more children will not have been raped. We should be fighting the whole bill and not just one clause.

    This is just so harsh for those mainly on the breadline already, like taking housing benefit from 18-21 years olds which will force many to become homeless.

    The Tories are undoubtedly the cruelest type of government that society could choose yet time after time that’s what we get.

    A decent wage where tax credits are not required, a decent welfare system which takes care of us all when at our most vulnerable, a health system that is properly funded and provides the care we all need and an education free for all.

    That’s not much to ask for is it?

    Your fucking right it’s not we had all this prior years ago so let’s bring it back in an Independent Scotland, that’s the only way we ever will. Staying in the UK means these things are only going to get worse.

  125. CameronB Brodie says:

    P.S. Of course, Britain’s medievalist Establishment revels in it’s own exceptionalism and considers human rights with the same skepticism any self-respecting slave owning class might (see UK Supreme Court v Scotland).

  126. crazycat says:

    @ Ian B

    It was part of one of my comments that featured in the explanation of why the filter had been triggered and I feel suitably embarrassed and guilty – I certainly didn’t intend to cause a moderation overload! – but I hadn’t understood that would be the consequence either. Presumably I’ve never previously tried to post anything filterable.

    Annoyingly, I nearly didn’t use the r-word – I was going to call it by the government’s official title to illustrate how that adds to the insult/injury. But if I had done that, it would have gone through straight away and we would never have had the explanation.

    So yes, I agree with your suggestion.

  127. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Tomorrow’s National front page:

  128. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Tomorrow’s “National” twitter pages:

  129. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @crazycat –

    Cheers, but I don’t believe you’ve anything to apologise for.

    Way things are going, this whole stushie could end-up being referred-to (in Scotland at any rate) as the ‘Ruth Clause’, and if that happens she’ll have no-one to blame but herself.

    Demo in ‘George’ Square tomorrow protesting against the whole thing. Here’s hoping the weather and turnout are fair. Alison Thewliss has been tenacious and deserves great credit for highlighting this scandalous Tory legislation.

  130. Capella says:

    I had a comment disappear on the previous thread. It didn’t have the r-word. But it did have a link to a Craig Murray article. Not that that’s been a problem before. When I tried to repost, I got the “this has already been posted” message. Just another little mystery.

    BTW – been reading Richard Murphy’s twitter and blog for feedback on the John Beattie radio interview. He’s quite heroic taking on this issue. I do hope he succeeds in drumming some sense into the debate about Scottish finances.

  131. Ian Brotherhood says:

    P.S. I’m not suggesting that anyone start using ‘Ruth Clause’ simply to circumvent WOS filtration, but if it catches on, so be it.


  132. Sinky says:

    Did BBC TV report on Western Isles Tory council candidate’s online violent threats to Nicola Sturgeon?

  133. crazycat says:

    @ Ian B

    Are you going to George Square tomorrow? I’m still trying to decide – it deserves support but sloth may win out.

  134. heedtracker says:

    The picture for rail and steel was similar. Beeching cuts in the 60s – almost half the network closed down for example.
    By the time Mrs Thatcher came along these industries had already been in decline for some time.”

    Thatcher’s lot could have forced oil co’s like BP and Shell to invest in British steel, from the start of the north sea oil expro boom, early 70’s. Japanese steel was and is the preferred steel for NOT Scots oil and gas industry.

    I dont know why sold off BP for example loved made in Japan steel so much. A little research would probably show its all state subsidised to undercut British steel. With free marketeer Thatcheritenomics, BP and Shell would have been free to get the cheapest. High quality steel though, Japanese, very high. Japanese steel trading made David Murray a billionaire too. That’s what Thatcherite economics was all about. Norway did the opposite as tory UK and the UK working class can kiss my etc.

    Steel workers got their arse reamed by Thatcher basically. But someone kept voting for the old monster and her free market tory reign.

    Then Crash Gordo decided to get into politics… and now SLab are at the end of the road, a very weird red tory road indeed.

  135. The Jury says:

    Ruthie has just labelled herself with the tag of being more sympathetic towards the attacker than with the victim.

  136. Thepnr says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    I already replied to your earlier post about R*** Clause and then stupidly used the word r***d in the post so it’s disappeared into moderation.

    I’ll use the Ruth Clause from now on, it’s something I won’t forget easily.

  137. mike cassidy says:

    Mr Peffers. Even taking into account the difference between recording laughter live and actually creating an artificial laughter track

    I will not be able to listen to old radio comedies in the same way again.

    A quote from here.

    ” At least, in those days, most of the big radio shows had live audiences, but canned laughter may have already been added or used in place of some. I once attended a recording of Itma at the Aolean hall in London and the only suspect thing was that the staff trained the audience in responding properly to the show… they held up boards saying ‘Applause’ during certain parts of the show. “

  138. Another Union Dividend says:

    Great front page in The National to-morrow.

    A genuine question…. does The National forward their front page to BBC / SKY evening news reviews?

    If so, we should be taking the broadcasters to task, by reporting them to Ofcom, as apart from the Guardian (abeit a staunch unionist paper) they only review right wing papers.

    It’s time we took the Indy campaign to the heart of the London Establishment.

  139. Robert Peffers says:

    @Sinky says: 12 April, 2017 at 10:32 pm:

    “Did BBC TV report on Western Isles Tory council candidate’s online violent threats to Nicola Sturgeon?”

    No idea, sinky. I never watch live BBC but after your post had a Google and found this :-

  140. Thepnr says:

    Hopefully lighten the mood and bring a smile to your face, Methil No More. this is the best version, a true Scottish version 🙂

  141. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker @ 10.37

    A lot of decisions could have been taken differently. If Wilson had backed Barbara Castle and her ‘In place of strife’ would that have helped to cut the industrial unrest of the 1970s and given what was left of the heavy industries a chance to modernise and survive?

    For sure the oil industry could have been organised better eg Norway and the money that was coming on stream from the mid 1970s could have been spent to modernise manufacturing.

    Lots of what ifs for lots of people to addressee and lessons to be learned.

    PS you used quotation marks – I am touched.

  142. Meg merrilees says:

    Perusing the web before bed and noticed a pattern on the impartial BBC Scotland website.

    Tory council candidate suspended re comments on N.STURGEON.. open for comments -NO

    Aberdeenshire local hustings debate… open for comment – NO

    M8 missing link to open a week early … open for comments – NO

    Scotland’s jobless total falls by 15,000… open for comments – NO

    Scottish Lib. Dems. manifesto launch … open for comments – YES mostly anti SNP

    Sturgeon: Indy ref 2 need not be divisive… open for comments YES – hundreds and mostly vehemently anti-SNP.

    These comments should not be allowed they are full of lies, insinuation, and hatred. They are insulting and divisive and as a public service broadcaster, the BBC should be moderating this site much more than they do. It is an insult to half of the population oF Scotland, many of whom still pay the licence fee-tax.

  143. Thepnr says:

    It wasn’t so long ago that UK governments encouraged families to have more than two children. They paid them child benefit or family allowance as it was it my day.

    Reason was clear for the economy to grow we needed a larger workforce. That’s still true today yet the UK want to restrict immigration and are discouraging families with more than two children.

    We are governed by fools, fools I’ll tell yeh!

  144. heedtracker says:

    Legerwood says:
    12 April, 2017 at 10:55 pm
    heedtracker @ 10.37

    For sure the oil industry could have been organised better eg Norway and the money that was coming on stream from the mid 1970s could have been spent to modernise manufacturing.”

    Its not about better organisation, it was class war and the tories did win. But it was an English class war, not Scottish.

    BP, British Gas etc, with giant oil fields like Forties were sold off for cheap but before that they were still able to buy Japanese steel and have giant jackets built in the slave wage Far East ship yards, as huge steel plants were left to get on with the end.

    You mention the UK rail industry but its booming now, in England only.

    When you look at Scotland now, sometime it feels like we deserve everything we dont get.

  145. Cactus says:

    ‘GERS’ debunked on terrestrial radio ~ excellent stuff.

    Enjoying the build-up and looking forward tae the results of Scotland’s local elections. Who would have thought it could be SOOOOO much fun he he 🙂

    Howsabout you? In the final week, everything’s gonna go intae overdrive.

    Dya wanna see (or hear) that ‘swing-o-meter’ go off the scale again!

    Especially in Glasgow ~ Yes!

    Scottish local elections day digital countdown clock:
    3 weeks tomorrow.

    Vote yellow.

  146. CameronB Brodie says:

    P.P.S. Of course, Britain’s medievalist Establishment also revels in it’s own highly developed skills in moral relativism, ably assisted by an (un)helthy dollop of social and normative inertia. It is almost as if Britain were indeed One Nation existing in a galaxy far removed from the rest of humanity. What a state to let yourself get kept in Scotland, in the 21st century FFS!

    Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    Our shared principles and commitments

    10. The new Agenda is guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for international law. It is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. It is informed by other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development.

    “The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.” (Article 1.1, Declaration on the Right to Development)

    “The human right to development also implies the full realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, which includes, subject to the relevant provisions of both International Covenants on Human Rights, the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources.” (Article 1.2)

  147. proud nat says:

    Hopefully there will be a decent turnout in George Sq in Glasgow for tomorrow night’s Protest against this Ruth’s clause.

  148. crazycat says:

    @ proud nat

    Ok, you’ve convinced me I should make the effort! (I don’t live in Glasgow, but it only takes an hour or so to get there.)

  149. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @crazycat –

    Unfortunately, I won’t make it to Glasgow tomorrow for the Ruth Clause demo, but more power to abody involved.

    Will be watching closely to see what kind of turnout there is, and whether or not our ‘Scottish’ media deign to give it any coverage.

    Sometimes we can do little more than ‘watch’, but there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as we’re awake when we do!

  150. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Boris, re: Tory Golan Heights jolly

    Yeah, I read something about that. No Scottish tradition of principle has been overturned, though; it’s just the North Britain brand extension of the Conservative Friends of Israel, dancing to HQ’s tune. Surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

    I’d imagine Kirsten Oswald will have to watch her Ps & Qs, having kosher Giffnock and Newton Mearns in her constituency, and do her best to weather the clownish efforts of the tories to try and inveigle some of her constituents; but I think CFI boy Gurd’s claim that there is a ‘growing sympathy towards Israel north of the border’ has something in common with the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail claiming his severed arm ’tis but a scratch’. Delusion.

  151. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Will Gary Robinson be all over this Ruth story on Tomorrow’s GMS???

    Or will he protect an ex work mate???

  152. Cactus says:

    Aye, first and foremost..

    It’s the Scottish Local Elections, NOT the Union Local Elections.

    Unionist parties do NOT represent Scotland, they represent the UK (London.)

    Unionist parties refuse to recognise Scotland’s current / future needs.

    Unionist parties report to their head office in a different country (London.)

    It’s a bit like America trying to tell Canada what to do.

  153. Swami Backverandah says:

    Kev will be along soon arguing that he didn’t shoot himself in the foot because his argument never had a leg to stand on in the first place.

  154. Graeme Doig says:


    Where is the ‘Ruth clause’ demo advertised?

    Think it’s a good opportunity to highlight Tory brutality so hope numbers are high.

    May get through myself.

  155. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker @ 11.09

    If by the Rail industry you mean the building of trains then certainly that is all in England.

    Some of the new trains for Scotland have been built in Japan and due to come into service later this year. The rest of the order will be built at the Hitachi plant that was built in England.

    Passenger numbers are growing year on year and the investment being made in the railway infrastructure in Scotland now is long overdue and will provide a better service but it is not manufacturing. Scotland was stripped of that over a long period of time as you can see from the links I put in my original post on this issue and successive governments both Labour and Tory were responsible for that.

    Even a a fleeting visit to England underlines how neglected Scotland is in comparison.

  156. ScottieDog says:

    The guy contradicts himself. On one hand he’s saying that GERS is non representative and on his blog says it’s the start point for Indy.

    Well nelson mandella’s start point was the opening of an iron gate..

  157. crazycat says:

    @ Graeme Doig

    I don’t do FB but can read this so I think it’s publicly accessible, unlike some of the pages that people here link to from time to time (cough – not you).

  158. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Swami

    Don’t go giving him ideas for his next tweet.

  159. crazycat says:

    @ Graeme Doig

    I tried to answer your question, and don’t think I used any banned words, but it has not yet appeared.

    If you look at Alison Thewliss’ twitter, it’s quite near the top.

  160. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Graeme Doig –

    Sorry, I don’t have much detail, it’s only what I’ve seen via The Twitter:

  161. Swami Backverandah says:


    “Don’t go giving him ideas for his next tweet.”

    You mean he might read this blog?

    Another admission?


  162. CameronB Brodie says:

    I think it not insignificant that the Palaces of Westminster’s are technically the tenants of the Corporation of the City of London, which is not bound by ‘UK law’ re. democratic representation. Yet the City of London has a representative in the House of Commons, just to keep things legit!

    I don’t know how one might set about graphing that set of affairs, Kev?

  163. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Swami

    He is omnipotent. Like the Lawnmower Man.


  164. Graeme Doig says:

    Cheers for response Ian, Crazycat.

    Haven’t had a trip through to my home town for a while and I always enjoy a wee bit demonstrating in George Square.

    Pressure needs put on Ruth. She’s as gutless as she is sly.

  165. Still Positive says:

    Does anyone know if the demo in George Square at 6pm tomorrow is being live streamed?

  166. Al Dossary says:

    Re Ravenscraig,

    The plant was originally planned to be sited at Hunterston in Ayrshire, by the then privately owned steel company Colvilles. Granted, a conservative government was in power but it was a completely different beast to the present blue Tory and the plant was planned and built before prjvitisationof the industry.

    Approval was granted in 1954, but by then they had been persuaded to build a medium size works, rather than the large scale, fully integrated works that was their original hunterston plan. This relocation was a political one to lessen the blow from the job losses being experienced in the Lanarkshire area.

    The works took everything that was thrown at them and somehow managed to survive right up to 1992, but the loss of the strip mill ensured that it was only a matter of time before it was closed. From 1984 thru 1992, every single production target we hardly was exceeded – hardly the sign of a basket case plant.

    I would love to know just how much of its end days raw material production was illegally allocated to British Steels plants elsewhere. In the final months, the Coke Ovens and Sinter plants were running at full capacity. I believe we had 300,000 tonnes of Sinter in the stock yard at the end – all of which was shipped south by road to the remaining steelworks. No doubt that year the other plants recorded unusual profits due to free raw materials.

    In its last month the remaining Blast Furnace broke every production record that existed for a single blast furnace.

  167. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Startling footage worth watching

  168. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Al Dossary at 4.20

    I remember talking to the inspirational Tommy Brennan at Firpark School. He was very proud of the huge efforts of the workers at Ravenscraig were making to save the plant including smashing all production levels despite under maintained furnaces.
    I suggested that a political decision had been made to transfer Scottish Steel production to Teeside and South Wales and that the efforts of the Ravenscraig workers would be betrayed.

    I was not surprised to see Tommy Brennan on the YES platform at its launch

  169. boris says:

    BBC Panorama failed to name the spivs that fiddled LIBOR scamming the electorate for £billions. Read my report on the matter published 2 months before the bbc

  170. David Caledonia says:

    It all gets rather a bit tedious at times, you know what i mean, when someone says, go to bla bla bla, and read Joe Bloggs article on why scotland would be this or that, for the converted like me, who where converted over 40 years ago, even before Mr Joe Bloggs was born its all been read before by people like me, so don’t tell people to go and read someone, as if they had suddenly discovered something new that the rest of us had never thought of, that, it just does not happen that way, the simple fact is scotland could stand on its own 2 feet, no problem at all, so all the lies being peddled and the people who peddle them are liars, you do not have to have a dialogue with liars, just tell them what they are and let others know about them, a liar soon gets to understand that only the truth matters, and being a liar means nobody listens to you anyway

  171. Sinky says:

    BBC GMS Radio Scotland true to form thisd morning over issue of more PPP school building problems. No mention that the vast bulk of these were as a result of Labour’s flawed PPP building programme for which taxpayers in most councils will still be paying millions in annual service charges for next 20 years.

    BBC put John swinney on the spot, after 8 am but no questions for Labour.

  172. Capella says:

    John Swinney excellent in interview with increasingly hysterical Gary Robertson. Made the point that all schools affected by structural faults were built before SNP took over and changed the system. It is LA responsibility to oversee school build and safety. Well worth a listen on BBC R Scotland just after 8.00 am.

  173. izzie says:

    No mention of the +Ruth+ clause on GMS shocking as this is in print media format. BBC protecting Ruth ‘I’m no a Tory’

  174. Clootie says:

    Whitehall produced data decade after decade in proof that no member of the Empire (including America) could survive never mind prosper without the generosity of London.

    GERs is just the latest set of Empire data manipulation.

    We should be grateful Master hasn’t beaten us today…now eat your cereal.

  175. Iain says:

    When are the failed labour politicians going to face justice over the ppi scandal?

  176. Ken500 says:

    The Bank of England was illegally fixing the libor rate. Mervyn King, (Sir) Jeremy Heywood and Alistair Darling were on on it. They all denied it. There is documentary evidence. The Bankers lied to Parliament. Many people lost their homes and businesses because of what they did. The economy and the public lost £Billions. Many people lost their pension funds. It caused a crisis in Europe too. Banks in other countries borrowed too much money on the London lending markets. The domino effect. ‘Holiday Homes ‘ illegally and fraudulently sold in Spain etc. Fleecing other EU citizens without proper regulation.

    At least in other counties the Bankers and fraudsters went to jail. Not in the UK where they are protected by the illegal, illegitimate UK Gov. A Gov who cheated and lied to win a Refendum. They cheated and lied to win an election. Then they cheated and lied to win another Referendum Now Brexit.

    They are killing and starving children and vulnerable people. Refuse to help 30,000 displaced children, who are at risk. The UK/US have caused the worst migration crisis in Europe since 11WW. They have been indiscriminately and illegally bombing the Middle East to bits for years. They are master criminals who should be in jail. It doesn’t have to be like this. Scotland has a chance to vote YES in another Referendum. To contain Westminster corruption,power and criminality.

    Scotland loses £20 Billion a year to Westminster mismanagement. If Scotland was Independent with better policies which suit the Scottish economy, Scotland would not be in debt but be in surplus.

    6 jobs Osbourne’s mismanagement of the Oil sector. Illegally high Tory taxes when the price had fallen. Devasted the sector. More Oil and Gas has to be imported. Fracked Gas from the US and Gas from Norway. 120,000 were lost. Scotland coukd have had full employment. Plus the renewable Grants and investment and ECB investment and support Scotland would get from the EU. Worth £Billions. Support which Westminster denies Scotland. By distortion and lack of decision. Westminster even illegally took a CAP payments internded for Scotland.

    Scotland has to pay loan repayments on average £4Billion a year. For money borrowed by Westminster for Illegal Projects of no values in the rest of the UK. Hinkley Point by the sea, HS2, Heathrow and Trident. Redundant before they are completed. All a complete waste of money of liittle value, with cheaper safer alternatives. Including renewables.

    Scotland has to pay these loan repayment while Scotland infrastructure has been neglected by comparison. Ie comparative rail journey’s take an hour longer in Scotland because of the abuse of the Scottish budget and funds. Westminster unionist who never listens to anything that the majority in Scotland want. However reasonable, Scotland is now fighting for it’s life. It is fighting for it’s very existence. Brexit will devastate the Scottish/UK/world economy, it is only the SNP Gov which is standing up for Scotland. Preventing Scotland from oblivion. By useless unionists at Westminster, who are once again ruining the world economy. The rest of the UK in £Trns of debt and rising. Deliberately mismanagement of the UK economy to line their and their associates pockets. Now trying to ensure they do not have to resign for gross incompetence.

    Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion by the UK Gov has cost Scotland dear.

    The unionists who can’t count or read a balance sheet have continued their pillages in Scotland’s town and Cities. Destroying the local economy along with (non) green support. For Office and remuneration. Wasting £Billons and cutting essential services. A neglect of monumental importance. Most of the members of the unionist parties have acted criminally to destroy the Scottish /UK/world economy. Most of them should be put in jail.

    The Tories have committed electoral fraud. The unionist starve children and vulnerable people. In order to feather their nest with ill gotten gain. Making people worried, ill, sick and unhappy. Causing mental health concerns. The UK the most unequal place in the world. With no cohesion, but conflict and strife.

    The Union costs Scotland £20Billiion a year which could be better spent. £1Billion on Trident, £1Billion on ‘loss leading’ alcohol, (what happened to minimum pricing), £4Billion on loan repayments on money borrowed and not spent in Scotland, £3Billion in tax evasion. Whisky companies etc pay no tax at all on vast profits, HMRC not fit for purpose. £4Billion+ +a year lost in Oil revenues because of Tory illegally high taxes. = £13Billion . Scotland could borrow £6Billion. Invested in the economy even more revenues would be produced with better railways, infrastructure etc.

    At a local level unionists/greens have ruined the local economy. Got Cities into £Billions of illegal debt on groteque projects of no values. Appalling monstrosities projects totally against the public’s view. Cutting essential services. An appalling breach of trust. Most of them should be locked up for embezzlement and misuse of public funds. They are a complete and utter disgrace. City centres being ruined and getting Cities/towns into £Billiion of debt. Selling the City on the stock market. That must be illegal. Laws must be brought in that ensure that never happens again. It is a disgrace of total public trust. How do they get away with it. As for being decisions being st local level. ‘Let the people decide’. That is a fallacy when Unionist/greens deliberately do the damned opposite of what the majority want.

  177. louis.b.argyll says:

    We, taxpayers, are still paying vast sums for school and hospital buildings completed 10-15 years ago.

    These schools are supposed to be handed back to council ownership after the 25year contracts.
    Councils will then be liable for repairs.

    The facilitators of these schemes are now very rich, while the SNP picks up the pieces left by years of Labour control.

    After the 300% markup is paid, after the duration of the contract, councils will be given ownership of a crumbling mess.

  178. ronnie anderson says:

    This time last year.

    Its the 1st day of spring , Hiz anybudy seen any Crocus or are they still underground like UKIP.

  179. call me dave says:

    Big Auntie’s Radio 5 live reporting earlier this morning on the Scottish schools 17 in Edinburgh and 71 others have been wrongly built and have been or about to be repaired in places.

    Did mention the PFI initiative and says it will have extended throughout England so lookout.

    In Oban since yesterday (can’t get shortbread radio on DAB) Jings! There is always an up side.

    PS Here’s a good read. Hope it archives OK The author is getting pelters on twitter.

  180. Ken500 says:

    Buses are produced in Scotland which go worldwide. In Falkirk for the Chinese market etc. £Billions worth of contracts. Souter was involved. US bus companies.

    Councils do not proper a proper bus service in Scotland. Buses passing by communities but not stopping. To keep to an artificial time table. Councils are responsible. Paying for the park & ride and not getting a proper service. In some case public money being used to benefit private bus companies, Making massive orofits and not providing a proper public service,

    Whisky and fish go to China, China describes Scotland as ‘the Land of discovery and invention’ Describes Britain as, ‘an island without Empire’.

    Johnstone. The dope in a rope forbidden from going to talks with Russia, What waste of time and money. Another ‘psycho bastard’. Their own description. With delusions of grandeur. He had a privileged upbringing in the EU. Brussels. His father was an EU diplomat, Johnstone got an entirely free privileged education but imposed fees on other poorer, less advantaged students. He does not want them to benefit from a proper education system or EU membership. Murdoch fell out with Johnstone for telling lies. Very telling. The criminal who illegally bribed public officials and hacked phones fell,out with Johnstone for lying. No honour among thieves. Most of them should be in jail.

    Read Boris Johnston Wikipedia. To get a measure of dishonour and criminality. A lying thug.

  181. Puzzled Puss says:

    As a naïve observer with no knowledge of anything to do with economics, I continue to be bemused by the contradiction that while every institution, organisation and club in the land faces an annual requirement to produce audited accounts, the UK government, on the other hand, is apparently not constrained by any such obligation. Can anyone explain, please?

  182. I may be wrong about this, but is my understanding of PFI correct,that after the contract is completed after 30 years.

    When the consortium/consortia offers to hand back a school or hospital to the local authority or health board, the council or health board doesn’t have to accept taking on the ownership of the school or hospital?

  183. Croompenstein says:

    Sorry I thought he had shat himself and wasn’t doing the show but on hearing it he would have been as well sitting on the shitter.

    He just confirms that GERS shows how badly Westminster is fucking up Scotland and we could do things so much better ourselves.

  184. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Who’d a guessed it.

    BBC Scotland pulled out the old story about public-private partnership (PPP) and forgot to mention that these schools were built pre-2007.

    It was the Labour Party who sanctioned the building of these Schools.

    This story saved BBC Scotland from reporting on the Ruth Davidson scandal.

    And also to give the impression that it was all the fault of the SNP, just a couple of weeks before Local Council elections.


    Fuck BBC Scotland.

  185. galamcennalath says:

    Interesting article by Owen Jones about low wages, immigration, and Brexit.

    For ordinary voters Brexit was about immigration. For those financing and promoting Brexit it had nothing to do with immigration and had everything to do with a hard right turn to create a deregulated low wage economy.

    Those voting for Brexit because of immigration were well and truly conned IMO.

    In fact, I’ll go further and say that the EU itself is only incidental to Brexit! In the quest for a right wing wonderland, the EU stood in the way and had to be removed. Leaving the EU was a means to an end, not the main objective.

    Perceiving Brexit as a grand plan to ‘free’ business so it can behave as it chooses is important. Yes-Leave voters in particular need to not see the EU as the boggy man, but to appreciate that hard right forces are out to change the UK permanently using Brexit as their sledge hammer.

  186. stu mac says:

    @Legerwood says:
    12 April, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    Thepnr @ 7.04
    I don’T think it was a case of

    Very good points. Another important factor was the attitude of British business men who ran the big manufacturing complexes (shipbuilding, steelmaking etc.). After WWII the UK had a big advantage as our key manufacturing had been running had full blast for the war effort and many other places round the world were devastated. For over a decade we were doing great – but it was all based on almost clapped out, out of date tools and methods. It was well known we needed to modernise but that was put off because the profits were coming in hand over fist and why waste them on rebuilding our manufacturing base? It has to be admitted that some (not all) union leaders also had the same attitude: why bother about the jobs for future workers when you had full employment now and modernisation would spoil that?

    Well the inevitable happened and other countries began to compete but while we still had the old long term problems which had been hidden by lack of competition, they came back with modern methods and systems. By the time it became obvious we had to change it was too late and we’d fallen far behind. Naturally, this competition was inevitable but if we’d modernised at the right time we would still have substantial (though lesser and with fewer employed) heavy industries in this country. It’s the same old story really in this country: thinking everything is all right until it’s too late, making the wrong choices at every key moment, the current government we have shows this in extremis.

  187. Margaret says:

    louis b @9;13

    From memory many of these ppi/pfi contracts extend beyond 25years after which they will have to be bought out, as opposed to being handed over, or the lease renewed The ground on which many of them sit is not included and a rent would still have to be paid or bought out separately

    It is a scam of the greatest magnitude, as you rightly say the taxpayer will have to continue paying

  188. Ken500 says:

    London votes roughly 50/50. There are more Labour MP’s in London than Tories. The Tory support is in the Midlands and the North of England. A great swathe of Tory support right across from east to west. A band of Tory voters. Even in Liverpool etc. The Tories cheated and lied to win an election. Committed electoral fraud on a grand scale, in 31 Constituencies. Mainly in the south of England. Not a legitimate government. Imprisonent is supposed to be the sanction for electoral fraud and gerrymandering. Not a non sequential fine.

    The NE of England which has been neglected the same as Scotland because UK political parties don’t need these votes to get into power at Westminster and they know it. A cynical ploy to appeal to the masses with lies and innuendo. Now UKIP is a busted flush. They won the battle and lost the war. The same as the other unionist Parties. Completely useless. Who with any gumption would join a unionist a party. Except from the expectation of personal remuneration. A bit like the Masons. A secret, exclusive unequal unelected society running the UK. Breaking all the Laws of equality and convention, Breaking International rule of Law. The only way for Scotland to survive successfully in to get away from the intransigence. Vote for a Independence.

    London like most major Capital cities in the world has a multinational population. It is in the capital cities that International business is done and HQ’s are sited. The same in all capital cities in the world. Including Edinburgh. Business and Gov is focused there. Depending on Gov influence re-allocation for business, governance and fairness. Glasgow and other major cities are important. The importance, especially, of being run properly.

    A UK foreign minister had been appointed who is useless and is not up to the job. A major concern for UK governance. Just another troughing ignorant, incompetent. Westminster is full of them. They breed there.

  189. Fred says:

    @ Legerwood, incredible to think that at around 1900, Glasgow’s Springburn built the bulk of the world’s locomotives. Queen’s Park not included!

    Lesley Riddoch first-class in today’s National, plus the usual thought-provoking letter from Alan Hinnrichs from Dundee. The guy’s a star!

  190. Silverytay says:

    Peter McCulloch @ 9.47
    While I may be wrong my understanding was that the consortiums did not have to offer the P.F.I buildings to the local authority , health boards etc at the end of the lease .

  191. ScottieDog says:

    Just listened to the full broadcast.
    The key point is that even if Richard and Kevin came to an agreement about the correct data to use for Scotland it STILL would not reflect Scotland as an independent country.

    A sovereign currency issuIng country is not funded by tax revenue.

  192. Ken500 says:

    All major industries can decline when met with cheaper foreign competition. Business etc have to change and adapt to unfair? or otherwise competition, Scotland has an abundance of natural resources to be untilised and adapted for change and prosperity. With the right governance and support. Starting with NHS/Education etc. A heathy well skilled economy.

    The only thing that lets Scotland down is the illegitimate Westminster intransigence and interference. The Westminster secrecy and lies. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion costs Scotland dearly. The rest of the UK in £Trns of debt and criminally breaking International Law with impunity. The Westminster unionist criminals. The only way is to put an end to it. To survive and prosper. Brexit is a disaster for Scotland’s prosperity and future.

  193. Ken500 says:

    Under the PPI contracts the Estate has to be handed back in tack. In pristine condition. After the termination terms/time. The annual maintenance fees (which would have been invisaged without the contract) would have to deducted to give a realistic calculation of the relevant cost. Ie PPI calculated expenditure also carries the yearly cost (maintenance) which in any case would have had to been spent on the facilities/services etc. The costs depend on interest rates etc. Under which the funds have been borrowed etc. In some cases the money paid under cheaper interest rates etc could actually lower PPi contacts to lower than expected. Still more than could have been expected with yearly Gov raise funds etc. With lower interest rates which can never be predicted for the future, as economic conditions can change.

    The problems arise when the yearly costs escalate to higher than envisaged (in the original contract) The contacts are under written by public money, it is public funds that take the risks for obvious reasons. The amounts are substantial and markets, company conditions can change especially over a considerably period of time. The companies espdcially in unenvisaged trading conditions or financial changing condition could find the burden of cost higher than envisaged. The company can go bust with no liability. It is public funds which have to act as a bail out. In these circumstances. The risks can be too high. In any eventuality.

    In the case of schools which were badly illegally constructed that is negligence without liability. Breaking construction standards and rules. The culprits can be long gone. Even dead. The Gov must step in with funds to correct the inadequacies. Often with tragic loss of life. It is actually a criminal offence breaking H&S – company Law. UK Gov and liability. It happens too often. Helicopter crashes, Trams building practices PPl etc.

  194. Petermcculloch
    13 April, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for that, there has been so much conflicting info about PFI over the years, its some time difficult to tell fact from fiction.

  195. Tackety Beets says:

    As I have mentioned before on these PFI buildings:

    Trades I know worked on these sites in EDI , most left after a month or two as the work being done very much below standard.

    My Q on this is when will the Foremen & Clerk of Works for every site be pulled over the coals …… and I hope they grass up as to who was above them making them overlook regulations to save money.

    I was involved/ had a connection with one of the first PFI schools in the Highlands and according to the headmaster at the time he was having to replace furniture in the first term, at LA/School cost, as the furniture was nowhere near as “sturdy” as the usual education products.

    I never understood the LOGIC arithmatics involved in the finance of PFI builds.

    Its impossible for a 3rd party to borrow funds and provide the service at a lower cost than a LA ? However its more complicated as many contractors like Morrisons took over ther janitorial staff etc , still never made sense to me.

    I do appreciate it was all a big accounts swizz/wash, but it doesn’t wash with me.

    Well done JS on GMS just after 8 this AM

  196. liz says:

    @The pnr – Alison Thewliss said in her report to HoC ( in Hansard), that she and the SNP would fight all of the tax credit cuts.

    The R…Clause has gained the most publicity and in itself can bring the whole issue into public consciousness.
    You know WM does exactly as it wants as it has a majority.

    But the R,,, clause resonates with the public because it is so abbhorent even to those who agree with the cuts

  197. Robert Peffers says:

    @Peter McCulloch says: 13 April, 2017 at 9:47 am:

    ” … after the contract is completed after 30 years.
    When the consortium/consortia offers to hand back a school or hospital to the local authority or health board, the council or health board doesn’t have to accept taking on the ownership of the school or hospital?”

    You are correct. In many, if not most, cases the local authority owns nothing except the legally contracted obligation to pay for the maintenance, upkeep and repairs and, often also the cleaning, such things as the workers canteen, catering for such places as Hospitals and the parking of the clients/customers who use the facility.

    When the contract ends the consortium still owns the facilities and infrastructure. The client must then start from scratch or buy the buildings. They are then still left with the maintenance of, an often Jerry built, run down establishment.

  198. Socrates MacSporran says:

    In common with every other right-thinking person, I find the “Ruth Clause” in the new welfare bill totally abhorrent.

    But, leaving this disgusting clause aside – there are other terrible clauses and new practices being brought in, which, whilst not triggering the revulsion of this particular part of the package, are very harmful.

    Am I being totally cynical in perhaps thinking, the Tories have put this in, knowing it would immediately attract attention, in the hope that, utter revulsion at this one clause has diverted away from other harmful pieces of the new legislation which are equally harmful to even more of the claimants, but less-likely to be commented on.

    What else have they slipped past us, while we were distracted by “Ruth Clause”?

  199. Croompenstein says:

    What is this ‘no legislation passed at Holyrood for a year’ schtick that the yoons are howling about?

    I heard Gary Robertson get this wee dig in at John Swinney this morning and JS didn’t retort to it…

  200. Breeks says:

    Puzzled Puss says:
    13 April, 2017 at 9:38 am
    “As a naïve observer with no knowledge of anything to do with economics,….Can anyone explain, please?”

    Nope. But on a closely related subject, after four years of “intense” Independence related debate where finance has been a central issue, can anyone explain why the delicate but vitally important issue of an Independent Scotland’s economic performance is being discussed on the State Broadcasters prime time radio channel, between a Professor of Political Economics from the University of London, and “some guy” who sells dog food?

    It a bit like that famous clip when a Guy Goma turned up at the BBC to be interviewed for a janitors job but found himself live on the BBC being asked questions about the music industry. It’s about the only 2 minutes of BBC broadcasting that I would pay to watch. Lol.

  201. @Robert Peffers 13 April, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Thank you Mr. Peffers for clearing that point up for me.

  202. Jack Murphy says:

    re The Tory’s Rape Clause.

    Today The National is reporting a demonstration will take place in Glasgow this evening.

    “…..Anti-rape clause campaigners are gathering in Glasgow tonight for a demonstration against the “pernicious two child policy and medieval rape clause.” SNP MP Alison Thewliss, who has spearheaded the campaign against the policy said:
    “Tonight we gather to speak with one voice and send a clear message to this Tory Government: scrap the rape clause and two child policy now.

    “The fact that women have to demonstrate in George Square in 2017 against such a barbaric and vile policy is bad enough. What’s worse is the wall of silence these women are being faced with.
    Ruth Davidson and Theresa May cannot hide behind that wall of silence much longer.
    We are not giving up and we will fight this appalling policy every step of the way. We will not rest until our voices are heard and these anti-women policies are consigned to history……..”

    The National:

  203. crazycat says:

    @ Socrates MacSporran at 11.18

    Since you’re here – yesterday I addressed a post to you about the local election candidates in your ward – did you see it?

    I share your cynicism, too.

  204. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Robert Peffers.

    Robert something I have never seen discussed on the PFI’s is the Land Public land ( councils) ownership prior to building & what were the deals done , was the Land sold / Transferred . I’ll leave that though with you, you might want to do a bit more delving .

  205. scunner says:

    @ Capella 8.30am

    I caught that Swinney interview too.

    Surprised that he remained so calm in the face of so much ordure.
    Robertson seemed to be pushing for some sort of commitment to Scotgov centralisation on the issue of PPI building inspections, while Swinney argued correctly that the LA’s have statutory obligation to deal with it.

    Yeah, more “Centralisation” that the Yoons can beat the SNP with!

    Unfortunately I stayed on too long and caught the Willie Rennie interview which had me shouting at the radio. Apologies to my Neighbours!

    No more indy referendum mentioned in 1st minute, although they want another Brexit one (Scot voters not afforded same status as UK voters) , wanted 1p increase on income tax to pay for road maintenance (mentioned twice) with no way at all to implement that.
    Pressed on question of council coalitions, stated that they wouldn’t work with independence-seeking parties. So Lib-Lab-Con Yoon coalitions all round then.

  206. Socrates MacSporran says:

    crazy cat

    Noticed your post regarding candidates in my ward – many thanks for the heads-up.

  207. crazycat says:

    @ Socrates

    You’re welcome!

  208. Rock says:

    CameronB Brodie,

    Care to detail the “intersectionality” of your analysis? There may be some truth to your point but you have a rather blunt and unhelpful way of expressing yourself, IMHO. More persuasion and less divisive accusation please.”

    Is it rocket science to understand the point I made?


    “Any self respecting people would want to be independent of a coloniser at any cost.

    Unfortunately there are too many selfish middle class Scots who would rather live under colonial rule than perhaps suffer a small drop in income which would benefit those less well off then themselves.

    Proud Scots, but— are a disgrace to Scotland.”

  209. scunner says:

    Lol – for “PPI” read “PFI” in my post…

  210. David Mills says:

    can I suggest Kevs twitter post be responded to with

    “Nobody suggests that the GERS figures show what a future independent Scotland would look like.”

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