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Wings Over Scotland

A fundamental difference in approach

Posted on June 21, 2017 by

Richard Murphy, political economy professor.


(All clips via the always-excellent Phantom Power Films.)

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  1. 21 06 17 08:56

    A fundamental difference in approach | speymouth

201 to “A fundamental difference in approach”

  1. Ken500 says:

    What has happened to minimum pricing on ‘loss leading’ cheap alcohol?That will cut public costs in Scotland. Cut crime etc. £Billions. The Court agreed it could go ahead. After the ignorant, useless Unionists tried to block it. Some Whisky companies evade tax and pay no tax on vast profits.

    It is Tory illegally high tax on the Oil sector, which has led to the decline in the Oil & Gas sector. Losing thousands of jobs in Scotland. 40% tax since Jan 2016. Losing £Billions. Osbourne tried to destroy the Oil & Gas sector. Deliberately?

    Westminster has been secretly and illegally taking £Billions out of Scotland and wasting it. Against the majority wishes and the public interest. They still are. £20Billion a year.

    Westminster Unionists are a bunch of criminals, defrauders and liars. Most of them should be in jail. Wasted £Billions. Illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion.

    The Tory/Unionists are mucking up the world economy. If May and the Tory/Unionists don’t resign the economy is going into decline.

  2. Ruglonian says:

    Cheers Phantom Power, and everyone else involved in these videos – the ‘No to Yes’ slant is one of the most powerful tools that the Independence Movement has to offer – aside from our individual conversations with No voters, nothing else will have such an impact as these testimonials.

    Make sure folks see these – share them outwith your usual circles, make hard copies and give them to folk that aren’t online, get your local Yes group to have a ‘No to Yes’ event – these personal accounts are far too good to be kept within the ‘Pro-Indy bubble’

  3. Les Wilson says:

    I really like this guy, does not appear to give a fig about what the UK establishment think, and says it as it is.

    Great to hear he is turned to Yes, we need guys like this, an expert who tells the truth regardless. He makes the Independence case for us, and in effect explains how we are getting bled dry.
    Hopefully he will make some no’s pause and think.

    We have the best case, no doubt about that, it is underhand politics that is our problem, Westminster has spun a complicate web around Scotland since 1707, that will be hard to break.

    Yet more tools and more reasons for Scotland to do just that, keep rising. The Union is dead, we just need the political ways to bury it.

    I think a legal divorce via the courts is the best way, they have broken our equal partnership, constantly. Time to highlight the fact i legal terms. Once done, we need to sue for compensation for what they have done to our country in so many ways.

  4. Ken500 says:

    Scotland raises £54++. The UK raises £533Billion. Scotland raises more pro rata. £533- £479 is raised in the rest of the UK. Divide £479 by 11 (rest of the UK 11/12 pop) £43.5Billion.

    The rest of the UK borrows and spends. £100Billion more. £50Billion on public service £50Billion on private sector. Scotland has to pay £4Billion on loan repayments ion money it doesn’t borrow or spend. Loses £3Billion? In tax evasion. £1Billion on Trident. Lost £4Billion on Oil/Gas revenues.

    = £13Billion. Scottish Gov can’t borrow 10% £6Billion to invest in the economy. Growth =


    Scottish Block Grant has illegally been cut 10% a year since 2010. Osbourne/Alexander. Now cut £3Billion a year

    Prof Murphy is correct.

    Vote SNP, SNP. Vote for Independence. Scotland would be in surplus. The money raised would be better used with more growth.


  5. Capella says:

    Excellent video. Prof. Richard Murphy knows what he is talking about and spells out what the absolute minimum requirement is for the Scottish Government – accurate information about revenue and expenditure. All else is spin.
    Well done Phantom Power and RM. Must be shared far and wide.

  6. davidbsb says:

    I watched about half of this yesterday and the rest today. I crossposted it. However this is heavy going. I doubt that all the viewers will understand all he is saying. And I suspect a lot of those who do understand it will argue opposing positions. And its over long. It could be recut a bit shorter.

    These are generally very good films. So I am reluctant to criticise. But the yoons will. We have to be resolute and 100% unquestionably right. Sorry.

  7. Street Andrew says:

    The Richard Murphy piece is dynamite.

    He highlights a lot of the issues that were not addressed prior to Indyref1 in a calm reasoned and rational way.

    Some very good signposts for the roadmap to independence. And it’s a very positive picture he paints despite pointing out there’s a lot of serious preparatory work to get right.

    He’s not the only economist who points to the vital importance of Scotland having control of its own currency. (The Scottish Poond ?) The Euro would be a disaster I believe and the pound not much better.

    There needs to be serious consideration given to the practicality of a cryptocurrency style ‘Scotcoin’. Blockchain technology is already impacting on traditional banking and if that’s going to be the future Scotland needs a currency that meshes with that rather than fighting a rearguard action to keep paper money.

    For those who favour the belt and braces approach we should be actively looking for Gold in them thar Glens. Money in the future will be Gold backed, or exclusively digital or a combination of the two.

  8. Free Scotland says:

    Thank you, Phantom Power Films.

    This series has something for every level, from those who have a firm grasp of highly intellectual concepts to ordinary voters who just know instinctively that there is something seriously wrong with the unionist attitude to Scotland.

    These deserve to be shared far and wide.

  9. Ian McCubbin says:

    Phantom sent it direct yesterday but so glad you have it too.
    This is really good and Richard is one of Independence for Scotland’s great assets.

    I’m another note have been researching Luke Graham MP. He is not a resident in Scotland never has been. He apparently lives with Liz Smith MPS in Madderty at an address owned by Alistair Mair former director of Caithness Glass and STV. He is a well known Tory activist and benefactor. Luke Graham lives in Swindon.
    Wonder how many other new Scots Tory MPs are n’t actual Scots by residence?

  10. paul says:

    It’s a long piece, but compared to the unread doorstop the SNP produced last time, very concise and understandable.

    He hits all the right points that were avoided, currency independence is essential, tax is a balancing operation to stabilise the effects of public spending.

    The SNP’s unwillingness to, at least publicly, address how they will handle these choices will remain an achilles heel.

    There is no need for fancy new tech like blockchains which are actually incredibly inefficient. They might have some applications, but they are hardly a universal option.

    Paper money has a lot going for it, it makes for largely fee free transactions.

    As for digging up metal and putting back into the ground in the form of a vault, I don’t see the productivity in that. Gold standards were, rightly, dumped a long time ago.

    Successful societies are based on the effective utilisation and involvement of their citizens.

  11. blood of bruce says:

    under attack again this morning from bbc re named person.

    we are seriously dropping the ball here letting bbc mis imformation reach a popular call in show unchallenged each morning.

    get the finger out, because they are chipping away a wee bit each day on anything they can twist against the snp or independence.

  12. Johnny says:

    Saw this yesterday – was excellent.

    Informative, first and foremost, but the last couple of minutes chimed with me very much. My main reason for voting Yes in 2014 was that I thought the country needed an infusion of confidence (as Richard identifies as likely) having spent so long been run down so as Scotland wouldn’t seek to leave the union. Maybe some people don’t recognise the ‘union’ as that sort of relationship, but I do.

    It is my view that the SNP (or the Yes movement, whoever) should give the maker whatever he wants for this video (probably nothing, but it’s so well done he deserves loads) and get it out there by whatever means possible. TV, DVD distribution, whatever. Someone must know the best way. As has been pointed out many times, the net is great, but not everyone sees things on there….

  13. Johnny says:


    I might have agreed with you, were it not for the fact that the Professor explained things in very accessible terms, and repeatedly highlighted the most important points.

    I think his message gets across.

  14. Dan Huil says:

    Excellent stuff from Murphy. The Scottish government should act upon it. It should also act as if it was a government of an independent nation. If that breaks Westminster’s laws, so be it. The feart in Scotland will probably wail and moan but that is all they do anyway. Give the gutless britnats a kick up the backside.

  15. PhilM says:

    Just my opinion…but I doubt we will ever have a gold-backed currency unless it’s held centrally and understood to be so (which is never going to happen in any foreseeable future). All the reasons why the US went off gold in the 70s still exist and no-one wants to kill the world economy by adopting gold and punishing the US for running large deficits. For some reason gold seems to bring out the crank in otherwise sane people (see assorted rogue’s gallery on the Keiser Report down the years) and US history is littered with these clever idiots. There was even a political party, the Greenback Party, created in C19 to stop the US returning to the gold standard after the Civil War.
    Local currencies are the way to go to stop the rich stealing our future.

  16. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent video.

    Dispels the invalid model that a country’s finances are like household ones.

    The Union’s most potent weapon has been to keep Scot’s ignorant. Hide facts and figures, spread misinformation, and deny the truth – it has worked well for them.

    If a well informed population making fact based decisions, with a bit of emotion thrown in, were to decide a Brexitised Union was our best option, I’d be very surprised! Ignorance won IndyRef1.

  17. Johnny says:

    Put it like this…imagine TV news was even half as informative as this video, and didn’t treat everyone like they were idiots.

    Yes, some complex ideas involved, but I think they were explained well. You have to give people credit, and I think anyone who *wants* to give things a think through could follow this easily.

    As for ‘oh, the unionists will just argue against it’. Well, yes, economic theory tends to be subject to debate. But Murphy makes no great claims really….the main point is ‘Scotland needs more evidence to know how its economy really performs’. I’m not sure anyone without an agenda could argue that that’s a fair point and that it’s what any true economic scientist should want.

    He doesn’t say ‘and then I am saying it will 100% prove that Scotland will be the richest country EVARRRR!’. Only dishonest parties would claim that and we should never get to thinking ‘let’s not put this useful material out, because the opponents will just say its lies’.

  18. blood of bruce says:

    stay ready, stay organised, this is an information war !!

    we are up against it here, fight fire with fire.

  19. jfngw says:


    Most journalists are not qualified in anything but writing. Just because someone at the BBC has been given the title of editor on a subject isn’t actually because they have any expertise in the area.

    Hardly any journalist could present this information, in fact they would see their role is to challenging it, find someone (probably called something like Kevin) to debunk it.

  20. Breastplate says:

    Taken in conjunction with this article it’s easy to see why we will only ever be allowed Westminster government estimates of Scotland’s wealth.

    Misappropriation of Scotland’s finances on a massive scale.

    Apologies if I’ve not formatted the link properly, I never usually post links.

  21. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    “It’s impossible for a country with its own currency to go bust”

    Apart from Scotland, as we’d be like Greece without the sun, according to the MSM.

  22. Ken500 says:

    The journalists are appalling. It only takes 5mins to 10mins on the internet. On many topics. To find the statistics and information. To redact many of their claims. It really is disgraceful. They just accept Unionist Party handout as genuine. Without as much as any research or investigation. They are so biased it is just unreal. Peddling and regurgitating false facts that can easily be checked in less than 20mins. Not comparing like with like etc.

    They really are the Unionists stooges. Helping the Westminster crooks and criminals ruin the world economy and get away with it. BBC is culpable in every way. Never bothering to check facts. Lazy and unprofessional Telling out right lies. That can easily be checked. They are despicable and help in contempt. They are as culpable in the Unionist corruption. Lying their pockets on other people’s misery. Regurgitated nonsense. Contemptible.

  23. Big Jock says:

    Theresa May promises ” Humility” in Queens speech. Do cyborgs have such a thing. Meantime the Scottish Government have still been excluded from Brexit talks.

    I give this until October and will be out of the EU without a deal.

    Also I expect Sturgeon has a trick up her sleeve for toxic Mayhem.

  24. Ken500 says:

    Luke Graham is committing electoral crime. He should be reported to the electoral authorities and the Police. He has made false declaration. Candidates have to be resident in the constituency. To stand for election. Liz Smith (Alistair Mair) has committed electoral fraud as well by aiding and abetting him to make false declaration. Gerrymandering. Punishable by prison.

    The Tory Party have such few Party members. They have to pull people off the street to stand. That is why they are such poor quality, useless representatives.

  25. Dr Jim says:

    The assumption here is that most people are there and ready to be convinced of the argument, but they’re not and that’s Scotlands problem
    The division in Scotland is either a sectarian one or one of blind misdirected loyalty
    There are still people out there who mistakenly believe they wont be British anymore so no matter what the argument they don’t want to know about it
    And then there are the ones who will never vote on anything because they don’t either believe anything will change or because they couldn’t care less

    You can’t convince those who wont listen no matter what you try so it’s a game of shutting the media up and trying to stop them deliberately muddying the waters to sway confuse and subsequently create the doubt in folks minds so much so people stick with the status quo

    Without the media in Scotland YES would win every time
    These films are great and a reinforcement of our argument but because we can’t access the media like the NO side can do so easily they wont be seen and will be dismissed as propaganda because if it was true it would be on the real telly

    Mr Murphy is 100% right and in England most of what he says would be accepted by ordinary folk as a reasoned argument and having a little faith would likely see a Yes win
    but England don’t have the NO Surrender culture we’re stuck with in Scotland where knuckle dragging screaming racist sectarian bigots would rather die than listen to any kind of reason

    The SNP have done the unreleased poll so they already know what ground they’ll be fighting on numbers wise so we’ll hear more about that in the coming days from the FM
    Until then it’s up to the wider Yes supporters groups to find a way of coalescing and making a loud noise so the media are forced to accept the SNP are not in this alone
    After all the SNP can only reflect the will of the people if we show it loudly enough

    But that’s another question

  26. Chick McGregor says:

    Good stuff.

    Wish he’d said more about the drawbacks of creating money out of fresh air rather than a brief mention of inflation.

    Also wish he had talked about the UK’s horrendous trade deficit.

  27. Petra says:

    Great to know that an Independent Scotland could be starting off with no debt and if we had our own currency we’d never go bust. Strange that so many economists, and the MSM, in the UK have omitted to mention this. Wonder why? Eh?

    Let’s hope that Nicola’s Committee has covered the points raised by Mr Murphy (taking into account the number of extremely prestigious people on the Committee, I’m sure they have) and they’ll be announced when we have a date for the next referendum.

    Overall a fabulous and MOST helpful piece from Richard Murphy which restores your faith in humanity. Thanks a million Richard.

  28. paul says:

    All money is created out of thin air,and is returned to it by taxation or debt extinguishment.

    What happens in between is what matters, is it:
    used for investment?
    used for consumption?
    used for accumulation?
    Are their real world resources (labour,physical plant,resources) for it to be used?

    It’s a social construct/ technology not a finite resource in itself.

  29. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    It would be very useful if the general pubic actually knew what “money” (as they recognise and understand it) actually is.

  30. Robert Peffers says:

    @galamcennalath says: 21 June, 2017 at 9:56 am:

    “Dispels the invalid model that a country’s finances are like household ones.”

    That’s true.

    “The Union’s most potent weapon has been to keep Scot’s ignorant. Hide facts and figures, spread misinformation, and deny the truth – it has worked well for them.”

    First of all the Westminster Establishment doesn’t need to keep a proportion of the people of Scotland ignorant – certain factions of the people of Scotland are doing that job for the Establishment all by themselves.

    Certain factions of Scotland’s population do not even think of themselves as being the people of Scotland. These people think of themselves as the people of the, “Great Britain”. What’s more the think, “Great Britain”, is the entire British Isles and worse still think the term, “Great”, in, “Great Britain”, means it is, “Wonderful”.

    It is in fact only the largesse island in the British Isles.

    Then we have a certain faction that are, “Loyalists”. Trouble with this particular faction is that they are not loyal to the Monarchy of either Scotland, or even The United Kingdom but are factually Loyal to only the Monarchy of England that was imported into the Kingdom of England in 1688 by the rebelling Parliament of England.

    In 1688 the Parliament of England rebelled against the monarchy of England and deposed the Monarch of England who also wore the still independent crown of Scotland. In 1688 the two kingdoms were still independent.

    Trouble was these Loyal Royalists wrongly assumed they had also deposed the monarchy of Scotland and that plunged the two kingdoms into wars that ran from 1688 until 1745, (and for those loyalists is still extant). Westminster still claims the rebellion was a rebellion of the Jacobites why supported the still legally independent monarchy of Scotland. You cannot rebel against a foreign kingdom’s monarchy.

    That war they still call the Jacobite Rebellion went on until 1745 at Culloden almost 40 years after the Treaty of Union was signed.

    Then we have another faction who believe they are English/British and who have sold up larger, and more expensive properties in England, and retired to Scotland to benefit from the much better social security policies instigated by the SNP/SG at Holyrood. These stupid people do not seem to realise they endanger the benefits they enjoy while they remain in Scotland.

    “If a well informed population making fact based decisions, with a bit of emotion thrown in, were to decide a Brexitised Union was our best option, I’d be very surprised! Ignorance won IndyRef1.”

    See above and perhaps think again, galamcennalath.

    The phrase, “Ye maun tak a cuddy tae the watter – bit ye canna mak yon cuddy drink”, springs to mind.

  31. crazycat says:

    @ Ken500

    Candidates do not have to be resident in the constituency they are contesting (though I think they should).

    Two of the four candidates on my ballot paper 2 weeks ago had addresses outwith the constituency, described only as “an address in Edinburgh West/Glasgow North East”.

    It is necessary for ten people on the electoral roll in the constituency to nominate the candidate. That seems to be all, provided the candidate meets other criteria – UK/Irish/Commonwealth citizen with leave to remain, etc. I’ve read the Electoral Commission guidelines – if anyone else can find statements about residency qualifications, that would be interesting.

    Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales have to be ordinarily resident in the area they seek to represent; one of them was accused of not doing so in 2012. The issue was whether or not he had lied on his nomination form (no, apparently).

    Also, Paul Nuttall was criticized during the Stoke by-election because he claimed to be already living there, when he had not moved into the address he gave. Again, the issue was whether or not he lied. But it didn’t disqualify him.

  32. David Caledonia says:

    At least Mr Murphy is giving an independent and unbiased account of the reality of scotland’s financial situation

  33. Robert Graham says:

    All these clips need a wider audience I think we would all agree on that, The media ain’t going to cooperate, so the only ones who can push this are the governing party the SNP , I have lost count of the people on here weekly saying the message ain’t getting out there, and the failure to return fire, The usual suspects can shut the f/k up about doing it yourself, why try and reinvent the wheel, the organisation is already set up it just isn’t being used to the best effect , if this ineptitude continues people will just get fed up and lose all interest , maybe that’s what we saw in the last election .

  34. gordoz says:

    Guy knows his stuff.

  35. galamcennalath says:

    Robert Peffers says:

    Certain factions of Scotland’s population do not even think of themselves as being the people of Scotland. These people think of themselves as the people of the, “Great Britain”.

    Very true.

    Some do it for twisted reasons of Greater England nationalism.

    Others, however, do so for reasons which are conservative, with a small ‘c’. They have done well out of their Union and wish things to carry on just as they are, because that suits their status, wealth, and/or security. And therein lies an issue for them, and an opportunity for us. Given the impending Brexit driven financial and perhaps even social chaos, a persuasive case can be made to this group that the best self-interests are with an iScotland.

    This video sets out how iScotland could be a fairer place. However, equally it could also be a more financially secure place than down-the-tubes UKnotsoOK, for those more concerned about themselves rather than society as a whole.

    The more on the Indy bus the merrier.

  36. Petra says:


    David Davis, Westminster Brexit Secretary, confirmed yesterday that the UK will be leaving the customs union and the single market, so where exactly are they going with this?

    Yesterday was day one of the Brexit talks so I’d imagine they knew that this was the route that they were going to take before the General Election (maybe, LOL). If their plan is to leave the EU and opt for WTO rules shouldn’t they have informed the public, more so businesses and the fishing and agricultural sectors before the vote? Informed them of the implications, such as costs and the fact that their produce will be lying rotting in containers.

    The following is a snippet from an article by George Kerevan in the National.

    ”…. Conclusion: an England outside the EU customs union would make it very difficult for an independent Scotland to contemplate being a full member of the EU. Which points indy Scotland in the direction of a Norway-style link with the European Union. The latter is not a bad idea as it would allow us to operate a local farming and fishing regime, and satisfy those Yes supporters who are wary of giving up control by London for control from Brussels.

    The worst possible outcome from Brexit negotiations would be for the UK to quit the EU altogether recognition of product and safety standards. You can load a truck with widgets in Glasgow and drive them to the Turkish border, with minimum fuss. But leave the EU for WTO rules and bureaucratic chaos descends. Goods are subject to border checks, visual inspection and physical testing. A typical container inspection costs £700 and detention could cost you £80 a day for the ten days it will take to get your product tested. Add the testing fee and your firm is now out an extra £2000 to deliver each container to the EU. And God forbid if you are a Scottish company exporting animal products to the EU and revert to WTO rules for its international trade — a “hard” Brexit. Why? …….”

  37. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    It would be a pity if this excellent video were merely to result in an esoteric debate about economic theory. Important as that may be in the longer term, it has little appeal to ordinary folks, I’m afraid.

    The crucial matter at the very heart of this longer video is Prof. Murphy’s very reasonable appeal for the facts. We all really need to know the full story about the economy of Scotland. GERS is a political construct, a house built on sand, yet it is continually cast up by Unionists as the (alt-)truth about independence.

    Murphy is right: we (both people and parliament) cannot easily make sensible and rational decisions about our future without having a comprehensive understanding as to what is really happening in our economy.

    And we have to ask why it is that the Union appears so determined to hide that information…

  38. mike d says:

    Robert j sutherland. The union are so determined to hide this information, because it would make the mcrone report pale into insignificance.

  39. Bill McDermott says:

    The crunch here is to get the reality out to the great Scottish public that running a country’s budget is far removed from household finance and yet even yesterday Hammond was talking about ‘we can’t live beyond our means’.

    What does this mean and how can the likes of Richard Murphy counteract it? It is so ingrained in our thinking that it is the automatic response to the Tory meme of a strong economy.

    What Westminster means by a strong economy is having a high value pound and keeping the money flows going into the City.

    I would like to get all the newly elected Scottish Tories into a room to watch this and seek their uninformed responses to it.

  40. Jack Murphy says:

    Robert Graham sayid at 1:40 pm
    “All these clips need a wider audience I think we would all agree on that, The media ain’t going to cooperate……”

    Send a Hard Copy to Scottish TV.That would really annoy the High Heid Yins at the BBC in Scotland!

    Seriously—-the Movers and Shakers with notebooks in hand in Scotland REALLY need to see this,and even more importantly our neighbours—- the People in Scotland.

  41. fillofficer says:

    the scotgov finance gurus must know all that stuff too. i dont understand the dithering. way too cautious. they could’ve missed their opportunity window already. just thinkin oot loud, sorry

  42. Macandroid says:

    Scotland has the potential to be one of the most energy rich countries in the world, a giant in fact, when you combine the untapped oil in our seas with the renewable energy capable of being produced from wind, wave, tidal and hydro sources.

    The question for all numpties out there is – would Westminser governments of any hue try so hard to hold onto us if we were really being subsidised? They would abandon us in a heartbeat, as they do the less well off and disabled, is the answer.

  43. clipper says:

    O/T I hope I’m just worrying needlessly but if NS and the SNP show the slightest indication of backtracking on indyref2 then we’re screwed. A strong forthright and unequivocal statement to the effect that indyref2 is very much ON the table – at a time of the SG’s choosing – is required.

    Apart from everything else it would be a great way to piss on the triumphalist unionist parade and screw up May’s brexit negs nicely.

  44. Ken500 says:

    If there is no is no need for residential requirement for election. Why was the Swindon address not given. Or is Luke Graham decamping in Liz Smith accommodation owner by the Tory donor guy. It is obviously not Luke Graham’s abode. Is he in temporary accomodation. Is there not a requirement for permanent residence. Voter need residential qualification. Often conforming with council tax information and confirmed declaration of residency. Does Luke Graham not pay council tax? Or have council tax record. A tax dodger?

  45. Col says:

    I’ve said before, the fact that Scotland can never get a hold of the information regarding the money WE pay into the union with England whilst THEY will always be able to access it should really be highlighted. It simply leaves us wide open to the engrained corruption of Westminster and boy do they use that power over us.
    Imagine a Scotland where even the unionist Scots we elect stood up for this country, maybe that’s another thing that should be repeated.
    We are in the worst possible kind of union imaginable, it is not the kind of union that would ever be replicated in the future for the simple reason that it is only a union in name and infact was a near total takeover of Scotland.

  46. Macart says:

    Superb vid by Phantom Power yet again and a first class case put forward by Mr Murphy.

  47. jfngw says:

    Those that believe this video would produce a winning position should also consider that the unionists will be able to produce a string of ‘experts’ who will provide an opposite scenario. This subject is too complex for most voters and they are happier to believe the economy is like a household scenario as it’s easier to understand.

    Remember we are not engaged on a level playing field. An example is winning at WM is no longer about having a landslide of seats in Scotland but also requires a majority of the vote. This is a line pressed also by the BBC which never in the past has questioned the legitimacy of any WM government with a majority of seats.

    The longer this denial of Scottish democracy goes on the more I want a referendum, even if the vote is lost (god forbid) it enforces the authority of the Scottish Parliament.

  48. Proud Cybernat says:

    Another cracking film from Phantom Power. And well done Professor Murphy.

    O/T and a little reflection.

    ‘Autumn Leaves’ (A short film by Cine Alba)

    It’s 18th September 2014. The polls have just closed. Watch the drama unfold:

  49. jfngw says:

    The SG really need to drop GERS in its current format, obviously unionist parties would be against this. What they should be publishing is the spending purely of the devolved government budget and the cost per head of this spending.

    This then leaves the UK government to produce their own figures for Scotland for the non devolved spending. Then we can then wonder why the spending per head allocated to Scotland by WM is so much higher than other parts of the UK.

  50. Breastplate says:

    Regarding the McCrone report that was classified ‘Top Secret’ and talked about how Scotland was embarrassingly wealthy.
    Ask yourself this.
    If the McCrone report was about how embarrassingly rich England was, would it have been hidden away?

    Who benefitted from the McCrone Report being hidden away?

    Who benefits now from Scotland being given estimates about its own finances?

    Who in their right mind would trust Westminster to prioritise Scotland’s needs?

  51. Brian Powell says:


    As you hear in the video the Scottish Government doesn’t know what VAT, CT, and most other taxes are collected. They can’t produce their own figures. without that.

  52. Robert Peffers says:

    @Johnny says: 21 June, 2017 at 9:59 am:

    ” … Murphy makes no great claims really….the main point is ‘Scotland needs more evidence to know how its economy really performs’.”

    There is also the point that none of what Murphy says is actually new it has all been said before. What Murphy does is state it in a really concise, logical and clear manner that non-economist, members of the electorate can follow and understand.

    Again, many others have, including Alex Salmond who comes from a banking background, stated much the same thing and I cannot recall any of those from either a financial, banking or economist background ever claiming that an independent Scotland would be a land of great wealth and a cornucopia of free milk & honey and free welfare for the underprivileged.

    Though that is always what the YoonYoonist blowhards contend was being claimed. The claims made were that the methods being used by the Westminster Establishment, and their Civil Service Mandarins in Whitehall, were very much guesswork and could be often be seen to be always biased in favour of English interests. Much of it is demonstratively sheer daylight robbery by creative accounting.

    One issue I do have with Prof Murphy’s excellent efforts is that he misses the obvious reasonable way for an independent Scotland to handle the little matter of what currency to use. We already have our own currency. It is the one both kingdoms agreed when they signed the Treaty of Union and that currency, the United Kingdom Treasury, The Royal Mint and the, (misnamed), Bank of England that never, in its entire long history, ever belonged to the country of England. It was a private company until 1946 and was then nationalised by the United Kingdom to which only the Kingdom of Scotland & the Kingdom of England are partners in forming.

    As also agreed in the Treaty of Union, Scotland already has her own distinct currency called the Pound Sterling and Scottish Banks and coinage are already distinctly Scottish to the extent that English shops have a very long history of refusing to accept Scottish Banknotes or even claiming they do not equal English Banknotes in face value. Strangely I’ve never heard of them refusing distinctly marked Scottish pound coinage.

    So, on day one of Independence, (please do not call it Scottish Independence for like everything else, “United Kingdom”, it is equally only Scottish and English as no other kingdoms ever signed the Treaty of Union). So on day one the currencies of Scotland and England remain the Pound Sterling and are tied to each other in value.

    Then as our two economies diverge we can allow the two to diverge and I have no doubt the banknotes and coinage will alao become more distinct. We thus end up with the Pound Scottish and the Pound England. Now, before you go off at half cock, consider how many different countries have the Dollar as their own currency and many of them are not in any way tied to the USA Dollar:-

    Furthermore there are several other Dollar Currencies out there and it is not a problem for anyone.

    So who should an independent Scotland be dictated to by an independent England that has always spun the propaganda that Scotland is leaving the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom will continue to exist but without Scotland. It won’t for without Scotland there is no United Kingdom. So why should Scots bear the costs of changing currency to suit England?

    We should keep the Pound Sterling and let an independent Scottish Government choose when Scottish Sterling stops being on par with the English pound sterling.

    Unless I miss my guess, the values of the two currencies will quite soon diverge and I’d bet the Scottish Pound Sterling would be much the stronger currency in a very short period of time.

    It would please me greatly to be able to tell English tourists in Scotland tendering their English pounds for goods in Scottish shops, “Sorry Sir/Madam, but I must only offer you 90 pence in the pound Scottish for your English Money.

  53. jfngw says:

    @Brian Powell

    That was not the point of I was making. But within the block grant these figures must be present currently even if they are not correct, it is what the SG receives. The SG should only be responsible for publishing figures that they control, be that income or spending.

    It was really the spending per head that is always quoted by the media, if this is then shown as SG spending per head plus UK allocated spending per head then it is clearer what the differential between UK spending allocation is.

    Accurate figures would be better but I don’t hold out much hope of these ever being made available.

  54. Cuilean says:

    These should be shown on the V as part of the Indyref2 canpaign, forget the dire, dire, dire, SNP type party political broadcasts.

  55. Cuilean says:


  56. heedtracker says:

    Great stuff. FFS Scotland, look about you!

    All our European neighbours from Iceland to Austria are successful nation states. Iceland’s a really fantastic country for starters. Where’s the greatest inequality and poverty in Europe, Scotland and Wales.

  57. Macart says:


    Or I suppose breaking to those who thought Scottish law and parliament carried no weight.

    Who knew?

  58. Brian Powell says:

    ‘I’m not too old to be new LibDem leaders, says Cable”, reported in the National.

    However he is extremely dim, being the man who sold off the postal services at half its value.

  59. Moonlight says:

    Elizabeth Windsor says devolved administrations will be involved in Brexit negotiations. I wonder what she thinks that means?

  60. Petra says:


    Dr Alex Woolf, an Englishman, is a medieval historian based at St Andrews University. ..

    He says ”… I can only save Scotland ….”

  61. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Elizabeth Windsor says devolved administrations will be involved in Brexit negotiations. I wonder what she thinks that means?”

    Just means ‘volved’ in ‘devolved’ is in ‘involved’. Normally.

  62. Ken500 says:

    If a Tory donor puts a candidate in temporary residence. Is that included in Electoral expenses. Necessary expense. Or a goodwill freeby.

  63. heedtracker says:

    You DO have to be honest about where you live, when you register as an election candidate. Look at Dr Nuttall,

    1 Feb 2017 – Paul Nuttall is using the rented property in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent, as a place … claims that party leader Paul Nuttall used an empty house as his home address … Central by-election had prompted officers to launch an investigation. … act 1983 to knowingly provide false information on a nomination paper.

  64. Cactus says:

    Aweright clipper says earlier:

    “O/T I hope I’m just worrying needlessly but if NS and the SNP show the slightest indication of backtracking on indyref2 then we’re screwed. A strong forthright and unequivocal statement to the effect that indyref2 is very much ON the table – at a time of the SG’s choosing – is required.”

    I’d imagine Nicola will stick to her guns and maintain the order. That is the responsible thing to do for Scotland. Reflect by stating that “due to these uncertain times” and ever-changing pace of events, everything stays in place. Once again, that is the responsible thing to do for Scotland.

    Btw, that’s the one true outcome ye get upon freedom.. certainty.

    Scotland’s Lifeboat awaits.. your Yes X vote is your life-jacket.

    It’s better to be on board, rather than being rescued.

    Save Our Scotland.

    Can you swim?

    Jump ship.

    Join us.


  65. Cactus says:

    Country before kingdom.

    Welcome Richard.


  66. TheWasp says:

    More praise on 5 live by a “lifelong Scottish Tory” for the ruthfuehrer. Great campaign, great personality, future PM of England and her colonies, the whole shebang. This person even had the timerity to say that the whole GE campaign in Scotland was about hard or soft brexit, and Tony Livesey, who I have a lot of time for,didn’t know enough about the scene in Scotland to challenge this pish. My wife texted in to the show to try and put the record straight but obviously it wasn’t aired

  67. Brian Powell says:

    Odd, the FM hasn’t said anything about rolling back on an Independence vote, but the Unionist politicians and press have been saying it, and now people who should be supporting Yes are going with that narrative. Too easily influenced it seems.

  68. Bill McLean says:

    The Wasp – my wife heard the exchange between Livesey and the Edinburgh woman on 5 Live and apparently Livesey did put her right at the end saying “but neverthelessthe SNP have the majority with 31 seats”! So maybe he does know a bit about Scotland unlike most of the BBC people!

  69. Robert Louis says:

    Just before anybody assumes I am a troll, I am not. Been posting here, since site began in 1872 or whenever. Was at the hydro when NS became SNP leader, went to conference many times and heard AS as leader, speak.

    The SNP just voted for tail docking. It was originally banned because it is so terribly cruel. It is quite frankly barbaric. Now the SNP have voted this cruelty back to life.

    I simply have no time for animal cruelty. None.

    Well done SNP. It was what the country has been literally crying out for, wasn’t it? The demand for it has been immense. Well done Nicola Sturgeon. Why not bring back fox hunting too? How about burning witches?

    Because I wanted independence, their have been many occasions where I have disagreed with SNP policy on some matter or another, but I have usually put it down by saying, ‘overall’ they stand for what I want, and I really do want independence.

    As regards independence and brexit, today the SNP have a video on their website, with objectives for their westminster MP’s. Number 2 is to secure a good brexit deal for Scotland. That is not what I voted for. The people of Scotland do not want a ‘good brexit deal’, they simply do not want brexit – their was a referendum, remember? REMEMBER??

    Following the election, I waited patiently for Nicola Sturgeon at some point, to make a stand, and defend independence and Scotland’s rights, but no, it just isn’t going to happen is it. Just more procrastination. Theresa knocked back the section 30, and the SNP collectively whimpered.

    Sadly, that, combined with their almost freakish inability to actually say the word independence anymore, and now tail docking FOR NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER, means I cannot support them anymore. You might call it a step too far.

    Simply had enough. This kind of thing happens to all parties in power for a long time, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon with the SNP.

    I think tonight the SNP sealed their own fate. The SNP simply no longer stand for what I (and many others) believe in.

  70. paul says:

    R peffers @ 4.31

    We should keep the Pound Sterling and let an independent Scottish Government choose when Scottish Sterling stops being on par with the English pound sterling.

    That is certainly an option, a recent example being the ‘velvet’ dissociation of Czechoslovakia.
    The peg lasted less than a week, 2009 saw Slovakia move to, IMHO, the darkside and adopt the euro.

    It’s hard to find a more amicable divorce so few lessons can be learned apart that it’s perfectly possible.

    There are technical problems (particularly sclerotic/undynamic financial infrastructure) but there is a clear precedent there.

    While I do not expect the dominant partner to show the same good faith as those in former Czechoslovakia did, remember that neither disappeared into the ground.

  71. Skintybroko says:

    The tail docking, my pet spaniel is not used for hunting but has had horrific injuries to its tail when running through gorse and brambles as it tends to do when out for its walks. Trouble is the breed has been docked too long and the tails are not strong enough to cope it will need a few generations to strengthen their tails. Takes forever to heal and puts it through regular bouts of painful visits to the vet. At least it will only be working dogs that are docked and from my own experience it is probably a good thing and is good animal welfare in practice.

  72. fillofficer says:

    so the maybot failed to crush the saboteurs, but the wealthy huntin, shootin, fishin lobby will succeed over an animal welfare issue. well done politicians, you’ve just handed a PR coup to the MSM. tory party ‘party’ tonight i bet ye. more clearances will follow no doubt. robert louis above might be right, i despair

  73. Breastplate says:

    Robert Louis,
    I know you are no troll as I’ve been reading your comments for the same amount of time but I feel you are overreacting, not about the tail docking but about voting for the SNP.

    Once independence is secured you would never have to vote for them again. You would only need to vote for them in the Holyrood elections anyway and if things go well you may never have a Holyrood election this side of independence again.

    I don’t know the slightest about tail docking but personally I always thought circumcision would be worse.
    Keep your pecker up. 🙂

  74. Rock says:

    blood of bruce,

    “get the finger out, because they are chipping away a wee bit each day on anything they can twist against the snp or independence.”

    And they have been succeeding while many pompous independence supporters became complacent.

    Admit it or not, a fall in SNP support from 50% to 37% is a major setback to the independence cause.

    The least Nicola can do now is to spell out very soon in clear terms that there will be an independence referendum before Brexit is completed, with or without Westminster’s permission.

    Or admit it once and for all that Scots are not “sovereign”.

    The unionists led by the BBC, Scotland’s enemy number one, are on the attack to prevent a referendum.

    It is now or never.

  75. Rock says:

    Big Jock,

    “I give this until October and will be out of the EU without a deal.”

    You will be proved right.

    The top priority for the British Establishment now is preventing Scottish independence at all costs, especially Scottish costs.

    Instead of shouting about our pretendy “sovereignty”, it is high time we actually gained it, for the first time.

    Unfortunately, it will not be possible from our armchairs.

  76. Glamaig says:

    I’ve heard good evidence from both side of the dog tail debate. The SNP are usually pragmatic and dont usually do anything without a lot of consultation. It was quite startling to me to see that in Holyrood after a lifetime of watching ideological policies forced through by Westminster governments.

    I really hate the idea of tail docking personally, but then I recognise that animal husbandry causes suffering too, and I’m not a vegan.

    I have given some thought to what would stop me supporting the SNP – the answer is if they became racist, or overly corrupt, or if some other more viable route to independence appeared which I liked better.

    The problem with being a political vehicle to independence is, you have to be a party, you have to get elected, you have to govern, and sooner or later there isn’t going to be anybody, anywhere who isn’t pissed off with at least one thing you’ve done.

  77. Ghillie says:

    Robert Louis, look at Skintybroko’s post.

    I know it is heartrending to have to perform certain procedures on animals in our care.

    My friend’s lively Springer Spaniel has had similar accidents where his tail has been badly injured during the course of his joyful lollopping about.

    I do have faith that our SNP-led Scottish Governent do have these animals’ welfair at it’s heart and have made this unpopular and difficult decision based on evidence and advice.

    I can’t see any benefit to any political party behind this, just common sense and actual kindness to save this breed pain.

    BUT I do want to see proper anesthetic used and proper after care for those pups!!!

  78. Rock says:

    “if we had our own currency we’d never go bust.”

    Does that mean an independent England with its own currency would never go bust?

  79. Brian Powell says:

    On tail shortening statement.

    Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and we take the welfare of our pets, animals and livestock very seriously.

    After conducting extensive consultation we have seen enough evidence that some working dogs are suffering serious tail injuries and believe the case has been made for the law being changed.

    This includes research from Glasgow University which found spaniels and hunt point retrievers with tails shortened by a third “were 20 times less likely to end up with an injury”.
    Changes will allow vets practising in Scotland to make a professional decision about whether shortening the tails of Spaniel and Hunt Point Retriever puppies presented to them will protect animal welfare overall by preventing further injuries in later life. This will only apply where there is evidence that dogs are likely to be used for work.

    The legislation will be more restrictive than in other parts of the UK, as it will not be permissible to shorten the tails of terriers and no more than the end third of the tail may be removed, minimising the effect on the dog’s use of its tail to communicate.

    The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has taken evidence over a number of weeks and, after careful consideration, have approved the draft legislation. It will now be considered by all members in the chamber.

    The key thing to note is that we are not talking about tail docking – it’s tail shortening, purely on animal welfare grounds, and only where vets make a decision that it’s appropriate.”

  80. jfngw says:

    ‘I’ll never support the only viable independence party again since I can’t stand puppy tail docking.’

    I fear we have some fair-weather independence supporters around. So easily deflected from the objective, which in the long term is not for any particular party.

    If you want independence then who else will you vote for, don’t say the Greens as they will never be more than a minority interest party.

  81. Brian Powell says:

    On shortening tails:

    Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and we take the welfare of our pets, animals and livestock very seriously.

    After conducting extensive consultation we have seen enough evidence that some working dogs are suffering serious tail injuries and believe the case has been made for the law being changed.

    This includes research from Glasgow University which found spaniels and hunt point retrievers with tails shortened by a third “were 20 times less likely to end up with an injury”.
    Changes will allow vets practising in Scotland to make a professional decision about whether shortening the tails of Spaniel and Hunt Point Retriever puppies presented to them will protect animal welfare overall by preventing further injuries in later life. This will only apply where there is evidence that dogs are likely to be used for work.

    The legislation will be more restrictive than in other parts of the UK, as it will not be permissible to shorten the tails of terriers and no more than the end third of the tail may be removed, minimising the effect on the dog’s use of its tail to communicate.

    The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has taken evidence over a number of weeks and, after careful consideration, have approved the draft legislation. It will now be considered by all members in the chamber.

    The key thing to note is that we are not talking about tail docking – it’s tail shortening, purely on animal welfare grounds, and only where vets make a decision that it’s appropriate.”

  82. Bill McLean says:

    An establishment party cannot pursue anything as radical as independence – unfortunately the SNP have now become the establishment. Speaking to my MP the other day who admitted there was not enough interaction between our SNP MPs at Westminster. Like many others i’m rapidly becoming disenchanted by what started out as a radical, progressive, courageous movement now becoming like those we want rid of. Just my rant – may feel different tomorrow, but doubt it!

  83. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Please watch this all the way through. There are three different sections. The highly articulate and very vociferous commentary in the middle piece has some words for the media

  84. Richardinho says:

    There’s no mistaking the sense that the SNP are now on the back foot and somewhat floundering. I think it may turn out to have been an error not to have campaigned in that GE on the platform of UDI (unilateral declaration of independence). I fear that much of the impetus we have built up over the last few years is in danger of being lost. Does someone want to tell me why I am wrong?

  85. Rock says:

    Robert Louis,

    “Simply had enough. This kind of thing happens to all parties in power for a long time, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon with the SNP.”

    Rock (13th July 2016 – Fist brutally attacked by face)

    “I believe the SNP too has been infiltrated and needs to be extremely careful.”

    They missed the golden opportunity to strike when the iron was hot with 56 out of 59 MPs, 50% of the vote and a strong remain vote.

    Instead, Nicola wasted months flogging a dead horse – a separate deal for Scotland which was never going to happen.

    Admit it or not, a fall in SNP support from 50% to 37% is a major setback to the independence cause.

  86. Nana says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    I watched it yesterday.

    Here’s the link

  87. Robbo says:

    Robert Peffers says:
    21 June, 2017 at 4:31 pm
    @Johnny says: 21 June, 2017 at 9:59 am:Robert Peffers says:

    “It would please me greatly to be able to tell English tourists in Scotland tendering their English pounds for goods in Scottish shops, “Sorry Sir/Madam, but I must only offer you 90 pence in the pound Scottish for your English Money.”

    I was thinking Robert would it be illegal to adopt this scenario now?

    I run a market stall and currently accept cash only.

    Is it my right to charge what i want for my products? Can I say for instance:-

    “Sorry mate, BUT that’ll be 11 pounds English sterling for them here bits, or £10 Scottish sterling( ie Clydesdale bank and Royal Bank of Scotland notes).”

    That would devalue the English bank note in JIG TIME if it were adopted everywhere that takes cash here in bonnie.

    Is it illegal?? lol Would love to adopt this policy NOW!

  88. Rock says:


    “I’ve heard good evidence from both side of the dog tail debate.”

    You would hear good evidence from both sides of the hunting foxes with dogs debate.

    Doesn’t make it any less barbaric.

    So much for being “progressive”.

    How did the Greens vote?

  89. Rock says:

    Brian Powell,

    “Changes will allow vets practising in Scotland to make a professional decision”

    Whatever Dr Morag might claim, vets NEVER make “professional” decisions.

    They earn their money by doing what they are asked to do.

    If you take your pet to them to put it to sleep, they will do exactly that, no questions asked.

    Like all so called “independent” watchdogs, regulators and ombudspersons.

  90. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    You are not wrong but the SNP was completely taken off guard by an election that wasn’t expected,we didn’t want and we were not prepared for at all.
    I believe that this was planned as an assault on the SNP for months and was not a “snap” election and the hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of posted anti referendum leaflets into target seats were no more than a carry on from almost exactly the same leaflets for the local elections.

    The SNP determined no more than a holding operation on it on the assumption that the apparently collapsing Labour vote would come to us -and this was entirely sensible at the point at which he election was called as Labour was sitting at 14% in opinion polls. The Corbyn bounce sunk that putting Labour backup in Scotland to a little higher than where it was in 2015 at over 25%.

    I attach no blame – but I think we have learned a hard lesson

  91. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Robert Louis @ 19:49:

    [SNP] objectives for their westminster MP’s. Number 2 is to secure a good brexit deal for Scotland. That is not what I voted for. The people of Scotland do not want a ‘good brexit deal’, they simply do not want brexit – their was a referendum, remember? REMEMBER??

    I must say, I am in full agreement with you there. There seems to be an unfortunate impression of a deal of backsliding going on here. As I mentioned upthread, besides the narrow issue of Brexit being an insufferable and wanton economic tsunami, the more basic fact is that what precious little autonomy we have is being trampled all over, yet the SNP seem to be suffering an apparent loss of willingness to stand up as promised and defend us on this fundamental issue.

    I wish England all the best in whatever direction it wants to take, and have no objection to the SNP facilitating that for them if necessary. But I do expect the SNP to actively promote our own distinct direction, and ensure that we do have a chance to decide it for ourselves too.

    The main difficulty for us all is that the popular mood in Scotland has been well and truly confused by this Unionist-favouring UKGE, and not least by the media’s heavy-duty collaboration in that confusion. Ordinary people are needing to take stock, and perhaps have a chance to observe the Westminster pantomime season that is opening, together with the national humiliation which will be the Brexit talks. The media won’t be able to smooth away and hide all of that.

    Like you I’m not at all happy with the current apparent passiveness of the SNP. A darn sight more willingness to “stick to its guns” is my expectation. Easier for me perhaps since I’m not a member, but you at least can and should make your feelings felt at meetings.

    For the sake of cohesiveness of purpose at this confusing time, though, I hope we can all still afford the SNP a little slack.

    But only a little.

  92. Ghillie says:

    Oh Ye lot of little faith!

    The SNP won the most seats for Wetminster and have a proIndy majority with the Green Party in our Parliament and a tripple lock mandate for the Indyref which will be held in due course.

    Do not interupt your enemy etc etc.

    Get a grip.

    I’m with you Cactus = )

    Love Scotland X

    PS Well done Phamtom Films again. Prof Murphy made alot of sense. Thank you sir 🙂

  93. cynicalHighlander says:

    @Robert Louis

    Sadly I have to have the same misgivings.

  94. Richardinho says:

    ‘You are not wrong but the SNP was completely taken off guard by an election that wasn’t expected,we didn’t want and we were not prepared for at all.’

    Yes. As soon as I heard the announcement, I realised that this was an election that the SNP really didn’t need.

    But I also saw it as a massive opportunity: To campaign for independence whilst the rest of the UK was too preoccupied with other matters to be able to concentrate their attacks on us. The consensus, however, was that the SNP would be better biding its time and that the risk of rejection was too great. I was happy to accept the majority will so as not to rock the boat during the election, but there are no such constraints on me now.

    By all means, please tell me why I was/am wrong.

  95. lurky says:

    One point where I would disagree with prof. Richard Murphy is when he says “it is obvious from my accent and my name that I am not Scottish”. Why would it be?

  96. Glamaig says:

    Just a thought, what would be the consequences of going ahead with Indyref without a Section 30? One might be that the normal rules for media coverage etc in elections and referendums would not apply. We know how bad 2014 was, this time will be worse for sure, but without any pretence of rules for equal coverage, what would that be like???

    Its fair to assume there is a lot going on that we dont know about. Let’s see what Nicola says next week. At some point the charade of seeking compromise that we know wont happen has to end.

  97. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    me @ 21:01,

    I’ve just read the excellent article at Bella by Alan Bissett, kindly linked by Macart in the previous thread, which is worth re-linking here:

    This is what we are up against, peeps. An insidious attack on the whole concept of democracy in Scotland, for the sake of an suffocating nationalist ideology whose name must never be mentioned.

    So if we are rightly getting a bit antsy at the SNP right now, nevertheless don’t allow yourself to take your eyes off the real enemy here!

  98. Breeks says:

    @Robert Louis

    Re tail docking.

    I agree it isn’t pleasant, but I also fear sometimes it is necessary. It isn’t just dogs who get their tails docked, but nearly every sheep you see in a field has had its tail docked too. The reason is simple, because without the docking the sheep cannot clean its backside and insects lay eggs in the muck which grow into larvae and maggots which then start to eat the sheep and then things get really nasty. Without a tail, or more correctly a docked tail, the sheep stays cleaner and less susceptible to parasites. If I was a sheep, even if it hurt, (and I firmly believe it doesn’t) I would want my tail docked. This isn’t fiction or gruesome fabrication, I’ve seen it and smelled it, and it is the reason lambs tails are docked.

    Again with sheep, the tail isn’t chopped off with a knife or shears, but when very young, a tight rubber ring is put over the tail to stop the blood getting to it, and that’s it. The reason I know it doesn’t hurt is putting a ring on your little finger to see if it did hurt. It didn’t hurt, although it was obviously removed before my finger fell off. Necrosis occurs below the ring, and the tail shrivels up and falls off in its own time. It’s pretty efficient, painless because the tail just goes numb, and as a kid who grew up on a farm, I don’t recall a single case of infection or unwanted consequences. It sounds cliche, but the lamb doesn’t suffer. If you don’t dock the tail, the mature animal absolutely does.

    So much for sheep.

    For dogs, I find it tasteless and unnecessary if it’s done for aesthetic appearance and show purposes, and in those circumstances I support a ban on tail docking. But I’m also open to the suggestion that as for sheep, there are practical circumstances where it might be necessary, but in those circumstances it should be legal, provided its done by a vet.

    Am I persuaded dogs get their tails stuck in brush and bushes? No I’m not frankly. Sheepdogs might get their tail shut in a gate or something, but they wouldn’t do it twice. However, I think the reason might be closer to sheep and cleanliness. (The sheepdogs did suffer the same parasites, and on those days sheep are dipped, so are many unwary sheepdogs if they don’t pay attention.

    Those of us who have spaniels and similar dogs with longer flowing coats see them as pets and companions. They are very often groomed, coats brushed and untangled, and cuddled and treated as a part of the family. Many working dogs are not pets, and spend their lives in kennels. They never get the grooming or love and attention that a pet dog gets, and if they come in at the end of the day their coat matted with sticky willy, burrs and the other assortment of Summer “sticky on” things, then the dog can struggle to clean and de-sticky himself. If the dog gets ticks, there’s less chance of some kind human noticing and pulling them out. Working dogs are not pets. (And don’t go thinking they are miserable either).

    Going back 30-40 years, I’ve seen sheep dogs chucked through the sheep dip, and at the annual clipping time, all farm dogs with any kind of coat getting the doggy equivalent of an army cadets crew cut. Forget the Specsavers ad where the old boy clips the sheepdog by mistake. That impromptu haircut is what many sheepdogs actually do get. Spaniels and any other “hairy” dogs in the vicinity too. Be an interesting survey how many domestic arguments between farmers and farmers wives are started around clipping time by the words “what the bloody hell have you done to the dog?”

    So is tail docking the answer? No, but now and again, maybe. But don’t ask me. I’m squeamish. I have dogs, and the mere thought of anybody docking their tails fills me with absolute horror. A better idea is to ask the vets who see the consequences of not docking. I rather suspect that might be exactly what the SNP actually has done.

  99. Richardinho says:

    The problem was that Nicola was trying to maintain the fiction that there could be some kind of compromise with the Westminster government, particularly with the Tories. There can be none. We don’t really want it and they certainly don’t. If the ploy was to try and shame them and win the support of the Scottish people, it clearly didn’t work.

    To persuade people you have to be strong. You stand for what you believe in and if they don’t want it, then so be it. But if you stand for anything less you will never get anywhere.

  100. cearc says:

    Nobody seems to be very upset about dogs having their balls lopped off.

  101. Robert Kerr says:

    We shall see next week if Nicola comes out with the iRef2 or whatever.

    Be certain that the Britnat State and their front of ops Tory party have psychologically profiled Nicola and have a plan to minimise her impact on the future Britnat State.

    However. They don’t really understand the term “thrawn”.

    We shall see!

  102. Ian Foulds says:

    Any comments as to what M/s Bishop and Wheeler had to say in response to this article in the National today?

    (Hope the link works!)

  103. Clapper57 says:

    Robert Louis says @7.49pm

    Robert , I like you am pretty angry at this decision, actually initially I was seething but kept the heid because I did not have enough information and was also unaware of this practice.

    I , like you, am passionate about animal welfare and one of the reasons I voted for my SNP MSP as the candidate to represent SNP in my area was that she was too, at least that what she said to me when canvassing for my vote for her nomination as SNP candidate. .

    However , I see that she abstained on this vote which I find quite strange given her position on animal cruelty I would have thought, like Christine Grahame, she would have voted against this, however perhaps wrong of me to judge her reasoning without knowing why she voted the way she did.

    I am passionate also about independence but will not give carte blanche support to any party where I feel they are wrong in a specific policy.

    Never ever been critical of SNP before but was always willing to accept there may be certain policies that I would not support however as much as I am abhorred by this, I also, in fairness , need to research up on this and try establish why SNP voted for this and what would happen if they did not.

    I am never ever impulsive in my reactions and like to make an informed opinion on matters which I care about, especially when seemingly controversial and in this instance endorsed by a party I support ….not copping out Robert because at this point cannot see any positive reason for this but I will do some research as to statistics and also to establish what/who/why this was prompted.

    I do know animal charity Onekind were not happy with this so perhaps their website may offer some facts and information on this…..will stay clear of usual suspects presenting this in a negative manner purely for political gain as opposed to genuine concern for animal welfare.

    Perhaps you may have information/knowledge as to who/what/why and I would genuinely be interested in anything further you have to say on this.

    I have been a vegetarian for well over 25 years and supported various animal charities so I do feel very strongly on matters where animals are used for sports or abused in any manner.

    Brave of you to speak so honestly and that is what debate is about, the sharing of opinions, sometimes strongly felt, sometimes differing from others, but never to result in people abusing other people for their right to speak freely on any forum when they obviously feel so passionate about something. As long as it is an honest opinion it is worthy enough to be heard and your opinion, via your above post, is certainly honest and heartfelt.

  104. Another Union Dividend says:

    On independence, the SNP is not perfect but remains the main vehicle for Scotland’s self-government and once we are an independent nation we can vote for whom we like.

    Once independent, I would have great reservations about voting for a nationalist party.

    In the meantime, you must watch the Proclaimers tribute on BBC2 at 9 pm on catch up and keep playing Cap In Hand.

    Even as a Hearts supporter, I have seen them live several times and they are the voice of Scotland.

  105. Rock says:

    Dave McEwan Hill,

    “I attach no blame – but I think we have learned a hard lesson”

    I do attach blame – to pompous, complacent armchair pundits posting here and attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

    I have been warning about this for a long time, only to be attacked by the usual suspects for my “negativity”.

    Rock (18th April – The end of sanity)

    “The Tories only make extremely carefully calculated decisions.

    Saint Theresa has outsmarted Nicola Sturgeon.

    I had long called for a strike while the iron was hot, and call a referendum immediately after the Brexit result.

    The unionists were in complete disray and leaderless and the EU’s eyes were on us.

    Instead Nicola wasted months flogging a dead horse – a separate deal for Scotland which was never going to happen.

    Now the unionists have re-grouped and are determined to follow their rules and timetable.

    Despite everything, we hardly have 50% support for Yes.

    Things are nowhere near as easy as some posters seem to believe.

    The SNP should now be extremely careful what they promise.

    Going for independence with an SNP majority is extremely risky.

    Do not underestimate the British establishment.”

    Instead, pompous, clueless armchair pundits kept on insisting that we are dealing with fools and idiots and Labour would be lucky to get 15% support.

  106. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Another Union Dividend at 9.59

    The Proclaimers programme was great and it is what we need more of. Letter from America, Cap in Hand and Scotland’s Story are what we are all about and in the final analysis it is Scottish sentiment and national self respect that will carry us over the line. Does the party know this – because we have not had enough of it.

  107. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Richardinho @ 21:13 & 21:41,

    You’re not wrong there. The SNP have been trying to do the right thing over Brexit with their on/off/on compromises over the single market/EEA/EFTA, which as a devolved administration was ultra-responsible but it too often gave mixed messages that ended up pleasing no-one. With the shallow grip that many voters have of the real issues, aided-and-abetted by a seriously antagonistic media, politics can sometimes be very fickle and plumb ungrateful.

    I believe the SNP – as we all did – expected to take some losses from a 2015 high-water mark in a UK-focussed election, and thus were unwilling to tie a re-assertion of a right of self-determination too closely to a skewed election that could potentially damage that cause. (Besides, their locus of a claim to be heard resides in Holyrood, not in an England-dominated “other place”.)

    In the event, they took losses anyway, and some of those could possibly have been from a lack of motivation due to an apparently attenuated party position. We never will know.

    However, now is now. Right after the result, Nicola and Co. should have gone on a “we won” offensive instead of conceding the initiative to a media campaign which went into full “you lost” mode. I think it’s that apparent passivity and loss of initiative that rankles most.

  108. Rock says:


    “However , I see that she abstained on this vote which I find quite strange given her position on animal cruelty I would have thought, like Christine Grahame, she would have voted against this, however perhaps wrong of me to judge her reasoning without knowing why she voted the way she did.”

    Never give a politician the benefit of doubt.

    We cannot trust anyone who cannot put their money where their mouth is.

    After all, this was not going to bring down the Scottish government.

  109. Sinky says:

    Labour and Tory parties have been all over the place on Brexit but this has never been seriously challenged by the MSM/ BBC / ITV / Sky broadcasters.

    Only the SNP has had a consistent worked out plan for Scotland’s future.

    Now that the Tories have abandoned their election manifesto, where is Glenn Campbell to tear up the Tory manifesto on air?

    Again different media rules apply to the SNP

  110. Rock says:


    “Nobody seems to be very upset about dogs having their balls lopped off.”

    Excellent point.

    So called “professional” vets have no hesitation whatsoever in carrying out this barbaric practice.

    They have the animals’ interests at heart as much as Saint Theresa has the Grenfell Tower Block residents’ interests at heart.

    Society is rotten to the core and we are all part of it.

  111. heedtracker says:


    Outlander’s on More4, coming soon. Hope its as good a Braveheart:D

    Radio Times also gives it a mention, but Radio Times isn’t owned by BBC tory gimps now?

  112. Rock says:


    “To persuade people you have to be strong. You stand for what you believe in and if they don’t want it, then so be it. But if you stand for anything less you will never get anywhere.”

    Rock (1st July 2016 – All things are relative)

    “Scotland is NOT internationally recognised as a sovereign country/political state.

    There is ZERO chance of anyone from the EU discussing membership with Scotland until Brexit has been completed.

    There is ZERO chance of Scotland becoming a member of the EU without full independence from the UK.

    I therefore strongly believe that Nicola should very soon make it clear that Scotland cannot be a member of the EU without getting out of the UK.

    People don’t like being given false hopes. They appreciate the truth and at the moment Nicola has enormous goodwill.”

  113. Robert Kerr says:

    Re tail docking for dogs.

    Worth while reading the Kennel Club statement before getting too excited about this law change in Edinburgh.

    Note that the docking is only for very young puppies. It is also a good idea to have dew claws removed at an early age.

    At the last show I attended there was an undocked doberman. Quite strange.

  114. Rock says:

    “First past the post” voting system is undemocratic and I am totally opposed to it being introduced in Scotland, or in any “democratic” country.

    I just can’t understand how someone who has been reading The Guardian for centuries would be in favour of it.

  115. Sinky says:


    Outlander begins on More 4 on Thursday 29th June at 9 PM.

    Set your series link now.

  116. jfngw says:

    The SNP cannot force the population to vote for independence. You have to ask after the last few years why the desire to run your own country is still struggling. It’s not the SNP, it is the people themselves, they don’t have the desire and seem quite happy to allow others to make the decisions for them.

    It’s the easy way out as you can always gripe but avoid the responsibility, it’s then always someone else’s fault. I started voting for independence in 1992 when someone commented ‘when are you Scots going to stop whining and stand on your own feet’, I took that as good advice.

  117. heedtracker says:

    More planet toryboy stuff today. Our imperial masters are heading for space, the final toryboy frontier, where no toryboy has gone before, no foreigners, the sweaties can sit this one out too.

    “Space rockets will be launched from British soil for the first time under plans to be announced by Prime Minister Theresa May this week as she tries to show that she can get things done despite losing her Parliamentary majority in this month’s election.”

    “The rail bill will enable the continuation of Britain’s second high-speed line up to the north west of England.”

    Great news about HS2 heading to north west Britain too. It is fun being in teamGB.

  118. Meg merrilees says:

    Discussion on R4 earlier about Brexit details.

    When asked where the Tories stand on returning devolved powers on fishing to Scotland the answer was ‘that the important thing is for Great Britain to get powers over all the waters around Britain and Ireland and then decide what is the best thing for everyone. ”

    Not sure the fishermen in the NE will be happy with that answer, or the Irish government!

  119. heedtracker says:

    Sinky says:
    21 June, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Outlander begins on More 4 on Thursday 29th June at 9 PM.

    Set your series link now.

    Cant wait. BBC Scotland britnat gimpery is unwatchable and STV feels like shit all the time, so it’s going to be great to see Scotland filmed nicely alone.

    Meanwhile, this is another really weird flip flop by torygirl Laura Kuensberg, from Edinburgh.

    “In one speech, which was designed to get the campaign back on track, even held in the same room where Mrs May launched her bid for the leadership, she was asked seven times in a row by journalists, myself included, about police cuts.

    Seven times she gave almost exactly the same answer, more or less denying there was a problem, and not really appearing to understand the public’s concerns.”

    Its hard to know whether massed ranks of beeb tory liggers are enraged at Mayhem being such an awful waste of tory space but as per, beeb gimps black out of anything to do with Scotland in their UKOK politics rolls along.

    You can maybe spot Angus Robertson in Laura’s thing, a tv debate group shot, but otherwise Scotland, shut your mouth, let the biggies decide…vote Ruth D, she’s a REAL tory goddess.

  120. heedtracker says:

    Sorry folks, in that link to Laura Keusnberg thing, she did give Scotland a wee mention and Sturgeon’s wonky crown. That’s pretty good, condescending beeb gimp style.

    “For me, it’s just not that simple, but a gloriously tangled web of reasons and rationales. There was effectively a different underlying question on the ballot paper in Scotland for example – whether to have a second independence referendum. That drove the decisions for many voters, taking the shine from Nicola Sturgeon’s now wonky crown.

    It would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but it was the Scottish Conservatives that saved Mrs May, introducing a new Tory power, in its leader Ruth Davidson, to a broader national stage. Labour in Scotland didn’t collapse either, putting on seats.”

    But ever will victorious Ruth D do with all this amazing new Scottish haha tory power? Laura’s being coy, like everyone in Pacific Quay.

    It does make you wonder what might happen to Scotland, if beeb Scotland really can get a FM Ruth Davidson actually in to power.

    Scottish tories have no policies for Scotland to vote for, other than scrapping independence and ofcourse no indyref2. Start charging uni fees like England, sell off bits of tasty Scottish public sector, Scottish water would be flogged off even cheaper than the royal mail, fox hunting legalised and televised, Rangers made official queens eleven, er, BBC Scotland gimps all given knighthoods, Alex Salmond exiled to St. Helena…

  121. jfngw says:


    Re Outlander. My wife insisted I get Amazon Prime so she could watch this as she had read the books, beautifully shot, plus it had no adverts. I suspect this US production has spent more on this one drama than the BBC has in its entire history on Scottish drama.

  122. CameronB Brodie says:

    I like a man who can use a broad brush to good effect, so it’s inspiring to see you’re still managing to denigrate entire professions with one stroke. Stunning technique bud, what do you call it?

  123. Chick McGregor says:

    Without, I hope, giving too much away, Scottish nationalism in its modern form does not make an appearance in Outlander until series 2.

  124. North chiel says:

    As regards the Brexit forthcoming negotiations and the MANDATED independence referendum the FM should make it absolutely crystal clear to the Westminster government that there WILL be another referendum with or without the section 30 ” permission” ( thus making it clear that the Holyrood parliament is UNEQUIVOCCALLY the SOVEREIGN voice of the people of Scotland.).
    Furthermore, the FM should directly link the holding of this referendum with the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Specifically, the FM should advocate ( 1) All citizens of Scotland ( in view of the 62percent vote ) should have dual citizenship of both the EU and Uk , if they individually so wish (2) Scotland as an ” equal partner “under the treaty of union should have the option of single market/ and/or customs union membership ( again citing the 62 pic remain mandate) , and (3) all powers relating to agriculture and fisheries should be repatriated to Holyrood upon withdrawal from EU .notwithstanding the apparent
    England& Wales mandate for withdrawal from SM/CU . If in response the Westminster government chooses to ignore the democratic wishes of Scotland , our FM should categorically state that an independence Referendum will be held unless all of these conditions are conceded.

  125. Robert Peffers says:

    I see the usual suspect has pulled the late shift yet again.

    Even his own squad of numpties despise him and keep putting him on the late duty turn.

  126. heedtracker says:

    jfngw says:
    21 June, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Can’t wait. BBC Scotland’s not for Scottish drama and art though, to be fair.

    Its fascinating watching the end credits of a lot of US drama to see just how hard governments of film locations work to get tv and movies made in their areas. They often pay for them to come or give them tax breaks. Watched Lone Survivor movie 2013, about a failed US special ops in Afghanistan. They filmed it in New Mexico, who’s state gov gave the production co a 25% tax credit. Looks fantastic, makes you want to go, very much. I know the tories blocked all that kind of incentive to locate movies here for decades but Scots gov should be doing this too.

  127. Still Positive says:

    Robert Kerr @ 9.44

    Thrawn 🙂

  128. Petra says:

    I wonder how many ‘lurkers’ are being put off visiting this site now? It has gone from being a vibrant, funny, informative site to a, in the main, most depressing read.

    Nicola Sturgeon has worked her butt off for us but seems to be getting little support on here now. Fair weather friends right enough or is it the case that a number of people posting on here didn’t ever support Independence at all?

    Comments such as she should have called for a referendum following the Brexit result are totally ludicrous. We would more than likely have lost and be saying bye-bye to Independence for God knows how long, if ever.

    I read that “a fall in SNP support from 50% to 37% is a major setback to the Independence cause.” Well I don’t get it. As far as I can recall we were voting in a General Election two weeks ago, not an Independence Referendum. Labour was rightly predicted to do badly in the Election. The situation changed dramatically following the Manchester / Westminster tragedies when it became clear that T May had been promoting ‘free movement of terrorists’, factoring in the slashing of Police numbers followed by her diabolical – hit the pensioners / school kids – manifesto. The situation changed, practically overnight, to a straight Corbyn / May battle with Independence supporters in Scotland supporting Corbyn in an attempt to keep the Tories out. That, rightly, was the priority for many people at the time. Add to that the manifold sleakit actions of the Unionist politicians in Scotland and the MSM in general.

    Nicola had to change the date of her Conference, at short notice, due to one terrorist act and the release of her manifesto due to another, followed of course by the outcome of the Corbyn ‘surge.’ A surge in part due to him adopting (knocking) many of her progressive policies. In other words she has had to deal with a number of exceptionally unusual events, twists and turns, and contend with the overwhelming might of the Establishment, here in Scotland and of course down south.

    I reckon we should be rallying round to support her right now because she knows what she’s doing. Westminster is going into meltdown. The Tories are disunited. Labour is pretending that they are united now and of course the DUP has been thrown into the melting pot. Brexit will finish them off. Them meaning Corbyn AND May (Labour and Tories) as they are on the same page when it comes to the single market and so on.

    Sit back, be patient and watch support for Independence rising. More than anything please have some faith in Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP politicians. Contrary to the 37% (which didn’t include 16-18 year olds) being reported on here polls show that we’re starting from at LEAST 45% support. Polls also show that 92% of people who voted for Brexit in Scotland want to remain in the single market. How are they feeling now in light of the latest news? How will they vote in Indyref2? All we need now is a mere 6% to get us over the line and we WILL do it.

  129. Liz g says:

    Heedtracker @ 11.52 & all who haven’t seen Outlander
    Just you wait and see what they have done…. I have never seen Scotland filmed like that before.

    You will understand why Cameron wanted it held back..EP5 would have been released the Sunday before September 18th 2014!

    And just like Braveheart with Wallace,when it comes to how things were in the Highlands in the lead up to the Rising it gets the story told,but it’s no a documentary.

    This is very much a Labour of love and it shows.
    The heedbummer has said that the first season is “a love letter to Scotland”

    And rumour has it ….when discussing the hire of our National Monuments to film in and around (and there are loads of them that they use)… the Outlander team are a dream to work with,they never take the “we are the paying customers” attitude!
    But rather will go the extra mile because they just completely respect that those monuments are to be as protected and as preserved as possible.
    Ye have tae wonder if the sale of Fort George will be handled with such care?

    Anyhoo…. I canny recommend that show highly enough… it is really good and is doing well…very..well internationally,what will be interesting is if the UK MSM set out to rubbish it!
    It’s a Sony flagship show….and a serious production…as in the Hollywood lot are the real deal…
    It also has some food for thought in and around gender roles.
    That in theory should start conversations..
    Not forgetting that it cost more to make than Game Of Thrones.
    So if the UK media treat it unfairly…
    Might not have the result they intended..

    Hopefully loads of wingers will watch and promote it…
    I have heard, though could not confirm, that there is also EU money in that production..and that they were not happy about Brexit!!!
    But having said all that ye could, mibbi, if ye stood on one leg, closed one eye and squinted a bit!!!!kind of claim…this show is ” produce ” of Cumbernauld…. Cumbernauld could take pride in this show….and Cumbernauld needs this..AYE!

  130. North chiel says:

    Couldn’t agree more with ” Petra” at 0106 am . Our FM continues to do
    a wonderful job leading our country against a ” barrage” of never ending “unionist propaganda”
    led by BBC Scotland and the Tory owned ” Scottish” press. We all should be eternally grateful for this lady’s personal sacrifice on behalf of us all.

  131. mr thms says:

    For me, the EU referendum coming after the Scottish referendum and the triggering of Article 50 are linked. Article 50 provides the transitional arrangements that will keep the UK nation states under the EU umbrella while the changes to the constitution of the UK are made. I can see no other reason for the Labour Government at the time wanting Article 50 included in the Treaty of Lisbon. I’m looking forward to the twists and turns in the months ahead..

  132. Liz g says:

    Petra @ 1.06
    And I am no a member of the SNP….but I do think that Nicola Sturgeon Absolutely knows what she is doing…
    The rev says Hang fire…
    And Outlander is on cooncil telly…
    We have a triple lock mandate..

    So right now… I think the best thing to do…is what Margo said….find and persuade just one person..
    I have (how feckin creepy does that sound.. I am nice really honest) identified my “just one” what can I say… confidence is high..repeat… confidence is high.. LOL

  133. Cactus says:

    Don’t mind if I do…

    Magic Carpet Ride

    🙂 😉 🙂

  134. Doug says:

    Petra says:
    22 June, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I wonder how many ‘lurkers’ are being put off visiting this site now? It has gone from being a vibrant, funny, informative site to a, in the main, most depressing read.

    Petra, as a lurker in Canada, i feel your pain and agree with you wholeheartedly.

  135. Cactus says:

    Aweright Doug ~

    Welcome to ye bro.

    Canada rocks 🙂


    NB There’s more of us than there are them.

  136. Liz g says:

    Doug & Petra
    What in your opinion … need’s to change?
    Wasn’t on the site at the beginning!

  137. Cactus says:

    Good show the always-excellent Phantom Power Films.

    Lookin’ forward to your #17



  138. Cactus says:

    From Journey to Yes to ‘drivin’ wae Jim..’

    With 66,248,071 current watchings


    Choose a door.

    Choose fun.

    He he ~

  139. Cactus says:

    Ahm wae you too Ghillie!

    Scotland is excellent!



    Nana next… check out ra links.. what’s HOT?

  140. Doug says:

    Liz g says: Doug
    What in your opinion … need’s to change?

    I believe that the social services,dole money,prescriptions etc. etc. leads to complacency and that removes the will and courage to see a better future.Don’t rock the boat in other words.I have family in Newmilns and they can;t seem to get the message through, so possibly a move back over here.Thatcher drove me here in 81 and i can’t say i regret the move.

  141. Doug says:

    Cactus says:
    22 June, 2017 at 2:26 am

    Aweright Doug ~

    Welcome to ye bro

    Thank you, i have been lurking since 2012 though. LOL

  142. Derek Henry says:

    This is a huge mistake by common space.

    HUGE !!!!!!!!

    Why ?

    Go to the comments page on the actual piece for more details.

    I’m afraid Richard has no idea what he has been talking about.

  143. Ghillie says:

    Petra @ 1.06 am

    Very very well said!

    Aye, keep the faith folks.

    Nicola Sturgeon knows what she is doing. She eats, sleeps and breathes Independence.

    Independence is riding the rapids while the rest are holed below the water line and sinking surely.

  144. Derek Henry says:

    I’ve never heard as much keek in my life.

    Neil Wilson

    Bill Mitchell

    Stephanie Kelton – Bernie Sanders economic advisor

    Warren Mosler

    Would destroy this fool.

    Yet again, we have gone to the wrong person to champion our cause.

    This is a PR disaster.

  145. Ken500 says:

    An elderly Lab with arthritis (pills) had previous had a funny turn (mild stroke) and was coping with poor eye sight. Developed a bleeding tail. The tip of the tail could have developed further infection which would have led to further harm. The only remedy possible would have been to cut the end of the tail off. The only humane solution. Otherwise it would have led to even more painful infection. There was no other solution. The dog was elderly and could not have an operation. It would have been too stressful. The vet could not leave the dog in that condition. It would have been inhumane (illegal). The dog had to be put down. Reluctantly. For humane reasons. It was suffering,

    There could be a case with some working dogs or others. There is a weakness in the tail. Or if the tail is susceptible to damage. Can get caught on fences and wire etc.which could lead to infection and harm. A dog in the countryside once got a stick stuck in it’s tail and had to have treatment (operation). Cut off the end of the tail. In some cases it could be a possibility, that docking the tail in a young dog, which is considered painless. This is preferable to a dog damaging it’s tail (weakness) further on when it is older. Giving it pain, damaging the health and needing treatment which could have be avoided by docking in some cases.

  146. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Petra, Doug et al –

    People drop away for all sorts of reasons, and, aye, getting fed-up with specific mischief-makers is one of them.

    Mind you, doesn’t seem to dent the rise in readership, so maybe we just need a few more lurkers to take the plunge and give us some fresh voices.

  147. Smallaxe says:

    Ian Brotherhood says;
    “so maybe we just need a few more lurkers to take the plunge and give us some fresh voices.”

    Quite right, Ian, if you’re out there looking in, as our Friend Cactus says, pick a door, come in, say hello, we need you ALL!

    Peace Always

  148. starlaw says:

    Anyone watching a working Spaniel in a bramble patch will understand why tail docking is to the benefit of the Spaniel.

  149. Ken500 says:

    In all the turmoil and chaos. Thank goodness for the SNP Gov standing up for Scotland (with major support). What kind of state would Scotland be in with the Tory/Unionists doing their worst with no protection. Thank goodness for the SNP Gov at Holyrood and Independence (in EU) still on the cards. Hopefully sooner rather than later. The lunatics at Westminster have really taken over the agenda. ‘Pycho bastards’, There own description right enough. Have their ever been such out of touch sychophants. Just watching them is disgusting. Multimillionaires killing and starving the vulnerable. Greed and manipulation. Avarice of monumental importance. The Westminster political class is eating itself. Pure wickedness. .

    Thank goodness the SNP Gov is still in control in Scotland to stand against the barricade of major political badness in the rest of the UK. Independence (in the EU) still to the fore.

    Holyrood structure is established under Scottish/EU Law. Enshrined within the European/International Rights Act. To leave the EU could affects the rights of people in Scotland to the Holyrood Parliament. Taken out of the EU against the majority in Scotland will. It could/would be a threat to Democracy in Scotland and the right to self determination etc enshrined in Scottish/EU/International Law.

    The Westminster Gov could/would try to take away any Scottish powers to enable self government and deminish the right of the people’s to chose Scotland’s own destiny. Leaving Scotland poorer. It is what Westminster Unionists have always done. Covered in secrecy. The facts Illegally and secretly kept hidden under the Official Secrets Act. The majority in the UK did not vote for this Brexit. They do not have a clue for what they were voting. They were maliciously deceived. As they are now finding out. The Tories will surely be out of Gov soon. Manipulating the system to stay in power will only exacerbate the situation. Making it worse.

    Burning towers and Ascot races. Bonfire of the vanities.

  150. Nana says:

    Oil & gas firms no longer planning job cuts

    Former Tory candidate sues party over MEP replacement

    At least 750 Whitehall policy experts to relocate to Brexit departments

  151. heedtracker says:

    I wonder how many ‘lurkers’ are being put off visiting this site now? It has gone from being a vibrant, funny, informative site to a, in the main, most depressing read.

    Its what trolling is all about Petra. Before the web, it was only newspapers, beeb creeps, ITV that did this to all kinds of non tory movements.

    You can do this all day but trolling by a dingdong like Rock is merely the evolution of how for example the BBC helped destroy the miners. Look at how that led to the end of heavy industry in Scotland.

    Scottish fledgling democracy is probably an even bigger threat to tory rule in this farce union than the miners ever were though. Strategically, tories only need to get the SNP out by a few votes and that’s the end of it all.

    This is what the creeps in BBC Scotland have been working at for a decade and their work is nearly completed. Just ask Rock.

  152. Smallaxe says:

    Nana; Good Morning, quite thundery looking here today, ah’m feart!
    Thank You, for Your lovely links. Peace Always

  153. Phronesis says:

    Petra @ 01.06- great post.

    The UKOK political system is experiencing a conceptual emergency-it can’t see (nor understand) the interconnected elements of a healthy and functioning democracy

    ‘We live in the age of the missing elephant. Psychologist and futurist Don Michael was first to point out the implications of a world of boundless complexity, rapid change and radical interconnectedness for the familiar tale of the blind men who if they could only see the whole would have recognised the elephant. No longer. In today’s world there is little chance that even the most advanced among us will ever know more than one small piece of the elephant. Furthermore there are now so many different pieces, they change so rapidly and they are all so intimately related one to another, that even if we had the technology to put them all together we would still not be able to make sense of the whole.

    These are powerful times, in which the world we have created has outstripped our capacity to understand it. We are experiencing a step change where complex human systems now operate within other complex systems, often with modes of thinking and practice developed in simpler days. This is a new world, raising fundamental questions about our competence in key areas of governance, economy, sustainability and consciousness. We are struggling as professionals and in our private lives to meet the demands it is placing on traditional models of organisation, understanding and action. The anchors of identity, morality, cultural coherence and social stability are unravelling and we are losing our bearings. This is a conceptual emergency’

    There is no conceptual emergency about Scotland’s Independence and its meaning- it is constant.

  154. Sinky says:

    Hapless or hopeless new Tory MP Luke Graham struggling on GMS just before 8 am. Can’t answer one question or even give an opinion on anything.

    However Gary didn’t ask about his Swindon place of residence electoral fraud on the voters of Ochil and South Perthshire.

  155. Nana says:

    Good morning Smallaxe, it’s a nice day here [so far]

    DUP tells Theresa May to ‘cut deal now or run cap in hand for next five years’

    The Queen’s Speech shows we’re still heading for a ‘Hard Brexit’

    Does not archive

  156. paul says:

    Derek Henry says:
    22 June, 2017 at 4:44 am
    I’ve never heard as much keek in my life.
    Neil Wilson
    Bill Mitchell
    Stephanie Kelton – Bernie Sanders economic advisor
    Warren Mosler
    Would destroy this fool.
    Yet again, we have gone to the wrong person to champion our cause.
    This is a PR disaster

    Bill Mitchell was happy to share a platform (with some caveats) with Murphy in the last year or so.

    He addresses the problems that the SNP fudged rather badly, and should face as soon as possible.

    Read Mitchell on the subject:

    He did not choose to destroy him then, so I suppose there’s no need.

    The position he lays out is basically MMT, and I thought he put it rather well.

    He’s not a champion, merely someone whose outlook and expertise lead him to a qualified support of independence.

    Hardly a disaster.

    If that’s the most keek you’ve read in your life, I envy you.

  157. Sinky says:

    New Tory MP Luke Graham for Ochil and South Perthshire on GMS just before 8 am struggling with any answers.

    However BBC didn’t ask him about his Swindon place of residence and false description on the ballot box.

  158. Robert Peffers says:

    @starlaw says: 22 June, 2017 at 7:29 am:

    “Anyone watching a working Spaniel in a bramble patch will understand why tail docking is to the benefit of the Spaniel.”

    So just what is this vital, “Work”, that this, “working Spaniel”, is engaged in carrying out, starlaw?

    I wouldn’t be flushing out animals and birds so that some human beings armed with guns could kill the flushed out animals and birds would it?

    Perhaps it would be to flush out foxes so that packs of hounds could then kill the flushed out creatures inhumanely or those people with guns could kill the flushed out creatures, would it?

  159. Famous15 says:

    O/T. The Great Repeal Bill has within it the possibility,by appropriate amendment,for the return to Scottish jurisdiction of the stolen part of the North Sea.

    Research is needed but I expect it would be an easy victory. Any takers?

  160. Ken500 says:

    The Westminster/Unionist chaos swings back and for.

    The winter of discontent, the three day week. Rubbish piling up in the street. The dead not buried. Then Thatcher to devastate the economy. Especially in Scotland. Interest rates at 15%. Over three million unemployed (in a smaller pop no). A civil war with the miners. North/South divide The booming south. ‘Loads of money’ Bankers. The devastation of the North in decline. Her colleagues, ‘the vegetables’, had to stab her in the back to get rid of Thatcher. (Reminiscences) Ten years of that. 18 years total. Scotland refused democratic rights. For which it had voted. – Devolution. 1979 – 1997. Scottish Parliament with limited powers. Established 1999. After a 20 year wait.

    Then the illegals wars, increasing debt, banking fraud and crash, evaded tax. 13 years – 2010.

    Independence Ref 1914. The vow. All promises rejected. All promised powers diminished. Cameron Evel. A total break faith. Breach of promises. Absolute betrayal.

    The EURef. Cameron/Osbourne gone. May installed, Now no mandate at all. A lame duck government. Walks like a duck and squawks like a duck. The same nonsensical carry on. The constant repeat of nonsense, hollow rhetoric. That does not give any confidence, faith or enthusiasm. Not suitable or up to the job. A disaster happening.

    Now 7 years of Tory collosal failure. 3 years left to go? Boris Johnston as PM will surely tip the scales. Surely that will be too much to bear for many people? It was as predicted. The runes are lining up under the stars just as it was predicted. Soon it will be the chance to go for it. The majority will not bottle it up this time. Independence in the EU. Peace, harmony, More equality, fair, happy and more prosperous. What’s not to like? Thank goodnes for the (SNP) Scottish Gov at Holyrood.

    Minimum pricing goes to the London (Blair) Appeal Court in July. They can’t refuse it under Scottish Law. Minimum pricing can be introduced to help the health of the society in Scotland and bring improvements. Total abstinence proper counselling rehab is more effective and less costly than prison, it pays for itself in long term benefits.

    All teacher’s should have additional means training. That must be introduced as soon as possible. Additional needs provision and help centres must be increased. They have been cut by Councils. They should restored to help distressed, anxious people. It helps the whole community and the society. To be happy and prosper

  161. Robert Peffers says:

    @Robbo says: 21 June, 2017 at 8:54 pm:

    “I was thinking Robert would it be illegal to adopt this scenario now?”

    No, Robbo, it is not illegal. If you deal in cash all your transactions are legally a contract between the buyer and the seller. The seller states the price and the would be buyer either agrees to pay the asking price or refuses to pay it.

    Consider also that the seller can state they only accept Scottish money or even the Euro or any other currency they care to deal in.

    You will note that the situation of English traders not accepting Scottish notes has never been able to be legally ended in hundreds of years. I watched some of those English traders happily accepting most European and World currencies but attempting to only to value Scottish notes at 90p in the pound.

  162. scottieDog says:

    @Derek Henry
    How did anything murphy said go wildly against the principles of mmt?
    He uses different language but his points about currency issuance were correct.
    We actually need a good 3 or 4 card carrying economists in the indy camp to take on the neoliberals in the IFS etc

  163. Macart says:

    Ta Nana. 🙂

    Yeah, apparently they’ve only just discovered a constitutional and legal road bump in Scotland.

    Uh huh!

    Couldn’t be they’ve known from the beginning, like a great many folk around this site, and simply neglected to fill the UK public at large in on the problem. (sigh)

    Who knew?

  164. heedtracker says:

    Sinky says:
    22 June, 2017 at 8:07 am
    New Tory MP Luke Graham for Ochil and South Perthshire on GMS just before 8 am struggling with any answers.

    Have same beeb gimps had on their shiny new Lord Duncan? Hootsman liggers say…

    “Reports claim Mr Duncan will be given a seat in the House of Lords and made the junior Scotland Office minister, despite losing to the SNP incumbent by 21 votes in Perth and North Perthshire two weeks ago.

    “Party sources are said to be keen to use Mr Duncan’s experience of the EU, which has seen him lead the EU office for the Scottish Parliament and advise the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee, before becoming the Tory MEP for Scotland in 2014.

    Mr Duncan did not deny the reports, saying: “I certainly hope that my experience in Brussels will be used to the fullest extent in every possible way.”

    If you only lose by 21 votes, it does seem frightfully unBritish to not give this lovely chap another job in their the Lords.

  165. Bob p says:

    Petra 1.06am. Great post,letters like this keep my spirits up and help us go that extra mile.

  166. starlaw says:

    Robert Peffers

    My Spaniel was generally hunting rabbits, for his own pleasure he never caught any as the rabbits were out of the brambles an hour in front of him.

  167. Ken500 says:

    Rees Mogg is just weird. It is uncomfortable just watching him. Switch off. Another little trougher. ‘living within the means’. Cameron gave RM’s mother in law? £100,000 of public money (benefit grant) to maintain the family Manor House tax evaded inheritance. Rees Mog in a hypocritical liar like the rest of them.

  168. heedtracker says:

    What will all the navy workers that booed Alex Salmond 2014, do now, how many defenceless people in hot countries will this thing kill, in defence of our precious precious union?

    When then defence secretary Des Browne approved the construction of two new aircraft carriers in 2007, the total budget was £4.85 billion. Various delays and set-backs mean the Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship, the Prince of Wales, will now cost a total of £14.3bn – including the Lockheed Martin F-35B jets that will fly from them.

  169. Ken500 says:

    Some Labs do catch rabbits, especially small rabbits. They eat them whole. If they get the chance. Even dead ones (disease or natural causes) lying about. They spew them up again. Or deposit them as a ‘gift/reward’ in all types of places. Some animals, like humans, have some quite strange behaviour. Dog eat dog etc. Special relationships? The survival of the fittest? A need for Dominance. Top dog? Cat fight. Rats in a sack. Sly foxes. Vultures. The cat that got the cream.

  170. Ken500 says:

    In the UK animal charities raise more than childrens’

  171. heedtracker says:

    Can we please stop worshipping dogs to the extent we do do? When I was a kid, it was just the dug. Now its an object of worship. People show you photos and vids of their dogs on their smart phones(me) People have framed photos of dogs on their walls at home(me) but they are just dogs!

    On the other side of the world, South Korea is currently celebrating its annual dog eating festival, where over 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered in Edinburgh festival levels of celebration.

    Dogs are usually tortured to death which enhances flavour, having been caged all their lives, they’re usually beaten, set on fire, big dogs are hanged and beaten to death, in their millions. Outwith this festival of torture for taste, anyone in SK can buy a dog, take it home, have the neighbours over, string the dog up in the garden by its back legs, skin and butcher the dog, for the barby. If the dogs lucky, the hungry guests will merely strangle it.

  172. Anne Bruce says:

    I’ve been a “lurker” for 3 years now. I seldom post mainly because there are other more articulate and funny posters than me. I read the posts because they were an education; because they bounced ideas around that were worth reading. Sure there were some disruptive elements but they were a minority. Now there are quite a few.

    I agree wholeheartedly with other posts above wherein they lament the loss of the previously funny, informative btl discussions. Now there are too many nasty, axe grinding, personal attacks. Some of them are poisonous; perhaps they are designed to be so to deliberately put people off.

    I skip through much more than I used to, sadly.

    I am, however, still grateful to those who continue to provide the links and the education.

  173. Brian Powell says:


    Ian Duncan would have been part of this:

    “Tories head new rightwing fringe group in Europe

    • Controversial Polish party prominent in 55-MEP bloc

    Monday 22 June 2009 18.52 BST First published on Monday 22 June 2009 18.52 BST. David Cameron finally delivered on a four-year-old pledge to establish a new centre right grouping in the European parliament when the Tories announced they would lead a 55-strong bloc of social conservatives in Strasbourg and Brussels.

    Labour accused the Tories of moving to the extremes of Europe after the party confirmed that its 26 MEPs would sit with Poland’s homophobic Law and Justice party among others on the right.

    The launch of the new movement means Cameron has abandoned two ­decades of Tories being in the mainstream of European politics for a new alliance on the rightwing fringes.”

    The EU officials would know this, and know he represents the UK Government in Scotland, not Scotland in the UK. If they don’t then the SG should let them know.

  174. heedtracker says:

    Its a psycho tory world, we just live in it. God knows what Hesseltine’s worried about. Psycho tories, red and blue, have the Lords, half a million BBC gimps, all newspapers etc. Who needs the teamGB electorate?

    “2 per cent of the older part of the electorate die every year – they are 70 per cent Conservative,” Lord Heseltine told Sky News.

    ”Another 2 per cent come in at the young end of the electorate – they are about 70 per cent Labour. That’s about 2 per cent change each year. There isn’t that much time.“

    Lord Heseltine said it would be “dangerous” for the Conservatives if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn remained a “credible candidate” for prime minister.”

    “There isn’t that much time” and St Thatch rests uneasy in her pyramid.

  175. Ken500 says:

    Rev Stu has to have time off.

    That is when the disruption of the tread starts. The dissenters start to wind up folk before they can be disconnected and banned. It is just part of the philosophy of the wreckers. Telling lies and miscalculating etc to give a misleading false impression, They have tried to destroy all websites in Scotland. In many cases they have succeeded. Few bother with them now. The biased moderation. Deleting and banns in many cases. Led to morose boredom. The sites are finished for any constructive arguments or points of view. Ground hog day. Is every day,

    Wings is so successessful because Unionists trolls are banned. They can’t disrupt the thread. They try but are not invited back. They have to give up. So information can be exchange. The internet acts as a vehicle of information for people who can acccess. The purpose of the exercise. The success of Wings. Beat them at their own game. The biased Press and MSM in decline because of misreporting. Wings soaring above, just as it should be, A better service.

    Thanks a Billion Rev Stu

    There are reports DUP demanding £2Billion for support. The criminal Foster strikes again. Extortion. Embezzlement. Demanding money with menaces. Getting away with murder. Most of them should be in jail.

  176. Lenny Hartley says:

    Petra 0106 very well said

  177. Martin Wood says:

    Quick question about GERS

    Can the SNP choose not to publish GERS or are they bound by legislation to do so?

    curious as to why they let it remain in it’s current format

  178. Muscleguy says:

    @Chick McGregor

    He did address the trade deficit, obliquely. He noted that an economy based on producing things people need (energy, food and drink, manufactured goods) is a good thing compared to an economy based on finance.

    Doing it that way avoids the trap of citing figures, which he has just said are unknown to any degree of rigour or surety.

    You will note he hardly mentioned any figures at all, he talked in generalities. Both to make it more accessible and because doing so would lead to instant challenge and accusations of hypocrisy.

    In terms of energy export we NEED the interconnect between Aberdeen and Norway which is being built (with EU funds in part). IF England is our only market for our excess power they will screw us down to a minimum price. IF we have the option to sell it to Norway, Sweden, Denmark etc then we have leverage in the price we receive, and we can insist the bill is paid in Scotpounds.

    The trick will be to ensure at some point in the chain tax on that is paid to the Scottish Exchequer for the reasons Prof Murphy explained so well. It can come from Crown Estate rents from offshore wind, wave and tidal. It can come from peppercorn taxes on power generated from other sources. Not swingeing prices of the sort which scuppered Longannet earlier than necessary.

    Getting connectors from the Islands to the mainland so the power generated can be fed to the grid is proving difficult in the Union. iScotland can mandate those, and others. We can run interconnectors across to Ireland as well.

    The EU is proposing a superconducting HVDC line running up the North Sea we could plug into as well. Such cables can store power as well as transmit it. Somewhere to put excess renewables when the wind blows, the sun shines and the tides run strong.

  179. heedtracker says:

    In the spirit of balance, the ongoing tail docking tragedy and as old tories like Mike Hessletine get ready for toryboy heaven, worrying that those of us left on toryboy earth wont vote tory when they’re dead…

    Who’s a good boy, you’re such a good boy, ouch…throttled. Calling all dogs in teamGB, Dont bite the toryboys.

  180. Ken500 says:

    Hesletine was involved in corruption and had to resign. Westland? helicopters. Some graft and corruption. Bribes. Just another Tory stooge on the take. Another Tory fake. Party to the Oil revenues fraud. The McCrone Report.

    Osbourne mucked it up. The Tory illegally high taxes. Losing thousands of jobs. The Oil/Gas sector taxes at 40% by Westminster. Since Jan 2016.

    When the Euro went down. The fishing industry temporary lost it’s major markets. The Scottish Gov EU Grants had to bail out the industry. Just wait for Brexit. Some of the fisher folk with £Millions of assets will be howling to be bailed out again. Others will go bankrupt. Processing firms and outlets. They had to be bailed out as well as the markets declined. There is still low unemployed in the NE despite the Oil related decline. Manipulated by Westminster mismanagement. Deliberately? Scotland could have had full employment.

  181. Brian Powell says:

    Martin Wood

    The Scottish Government doesn’t have access to the Treasury Tax receipts to present a different form.

    Until 2015 we had 41 Lab MPs and 11 LibDem MPs who had no interest in letting Holyrood know the figures. Lab and LibDems set up Holyrood to thwart Independence and Labour in Government sat on the real value of oil for 50 years.

  182. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Petra at 1.06

    Marvelous post. We have a leader who stands above any other political leader in the UK and who is exactly as she seems – genuine, honest, caring, concerned and very clever indeed. And who works harder for us than any political figure I have ever seen.

    When she walked out of a hour and a half visit to the rescued and refurbished Burgh Hall in Dunoon on Monday (she had appointments in Glasgow/Renfrew and Edinburgh the same day) the main street stopped,cars tooted their horns and people broke into spontaneous applause (those who weren’t getting photos on their phones).

    Too many people among us read and believe the utter shite they get in the media.

  183. Ken500 says:

    Doubt if the Holyrood Unionists published the accounts. They just continued the duplicity. Had no wish to be found out. Fifty years of Labour/Unionist colluding with the Tories/LibDems To keep most of the Scottish revenues flowing south to be wasted. To line their own pockets. They can’t count or read a balance sheet. Not up to the job. Not fit for public office.

    Was it not the SNP that started publishing the Accounts, for what they are, on the internet. On the Scottish Gov website. Open Government? There can be comparisons agsinst from the UK Gov website. There is still secrecy. On some aspects of Scottish revenues going South. No accountability. Or explanation. £9Billion, on unexplained ‘expenses’. No tally. Fraudulent accounts. The reason for accounts is to distinguish expenditure and expenses.

  184. heedtracker says:

    As soon as you leave PAYE and get into non PAYE taxation, HMRC simply say, how much do you want to pay and that’s it. As long as you dont try and get away with murder tax wise, HMRC wont bother you. Presumably its all because, like the US, UK is a very capitalist state, start a business, make your stash, employ lots of people, enjoy your wealth, under a strong and stable tory gov.

    You can begin to see why planet toryboy has shat its collective breeks over just how awful Teresa Mayhem really is, as a tory leaderene but above all else Brexit and Scottish democracy.

  185. heedtracker says:

    It would be great to hear from Professor Murphy on issues like say, Vodaphone’s tax deal.

    Other side of it all is, NOT Scottish oil and gas bled white, by exact same toryboys telling telecoms corps, just pay what you think is the right tax bill, chaps. Vote tory.

  186. Ken500 says:

    The Westminster Gov always stated in respect of the economy. They did not have the means to define separate Accounts. A blatant lie in recent times. A click on a mouse would give the required information. A total collusion to delude. The Westminster crooks and criminal and their cronies. Always misleading information. Blatant lies.

    That’s why Alex Salmond knew about it years ago, as an economist at the RBS. He was privy to the figures and numbers and could work it out. He was subject to Westminster M15 discrimination. He had to be discredited in anyway possible. So was the SNP Party. To keep up the scam. Other Tressury people also knew but a Civil Servants were subject to the Official Secrets Act. They could only disclose when they were retired. A few of them did. This was suppressed or ridiculed as well by the British State conspiracy. They delude in other places as well. Against the majority wishes and the public interest. They destroy the world economy. To line their own pockets.

  187. Smallaxe says:

    Anne Bruce says:
    22 June, 2017 at 9:03 am
    “I’ve been a “lurker” for 3 years now. I seldom post mainly because there are other more articulate and funny posters than me.”

    Hi, Anne, please don’t let a little thing like that curtail you posting, there are people on Wings who can and do, run rings around me, but I don’t let it stop me. ALL of us who have their home and their heart in Scotland has something to contribute to the conversation.

    You, I and many others like us are needed, if anyone has anything to say, no matter how trivial they may think it is, please join in and give your opinion we all have a right to our say in matters pertaining to and affecting the commonweal of our nation.

    I implore all who “lurk” to make yourselves known. Come in, Come in, it’s nice tae see ye, man or woman You’re Welcome, here’s my hand.

    Peace Always

  188. Martin Wood says:

    As far as I can find out GERS was introduced in 1992…so I don’t know.

    Wondering if they can just stop publishing it or are forced to

  189. heedtracker says:

    Smallaxe says:
    22 June, 2017 at 10:23 am
    Anne Bruce says:
    22 June, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Absolutely. Its a great way to get stuff off your chest, but probably wont change the world:D Even so your opinion is as important as anyone else’s.

    Its like the hoohaa about dog tail docking. I compared and contrasted it with South Korea’s colossal dog eating festival this month but South Korean’s are equally justified doing the same to us.

    Look at deer and grouse shooting in Scotland and the Highlands. We are told by the BBC etc to celebrate rich people sitting on Scottish mountains with their flunkies, blasting away at birds, deer, anything really.

    And said flunkies will have spent their entire working year, burning away any life at all across Scotland’s hill and mountains, shooting, poisoning, snaring all kinds of fauna, all to ensure the celebrated shooting of small Scottish animals for fun a success.

    Rejoice! command their gimps,

    Even the EU happily vomit millions of euros all over exact same rich “blood sports” toryboys.

    Because blood sports are so great for us all you see, just ask Daily Heil neo fascists like the one below. He did try to keep his EU dosh secret too, not that anyone can do anything about it anyway.

    The payments to Dacre’s estate were uncovered by, which campaigns for transparency in EU agricultural payments, the most generous of which go to sugar and dairy multinationals, and organisations such as the National Trust (£5 million in 2012), rather than to farmers. An increasingly large share is paid out, not for agricultural production, but to landowners who “improve the environment” or “diversify the rural economy” by overseeing activities such as grouse shooting – as is the case with the Langwell Estate


  190. Chick McGregor says:


    Actually national figures for trade, manufacturing etc are readily available from several sources, IMF, Eurostat, CIA Handbook.

    Here is a chart showing the dire position of the UK on manufacturing and equipment investment.

    The internal trade Scotland-England is much more susceptible to interpretation (fiddling) but oversees trade is fairly straightforward to estimate, in different ways, but in broad agreement.

    Well aware of the subsea cable to Norway saga (sic). Westminster ignored the recommendation for a Peterhead to Stavanger cable made by the team of independent consultants they hired.

    One of the first things the minority Scottish Gov. of 2007 did was to commence talks with Norway on a cable project.
    Westminster stepped in to halt it, threatening an official diplomatic incident if they did not.

  191. Liz g says:

    Heedtracker @ 10.45
    Good grief…that EU really needs us Scottish citizens to fix it…
    We should hurry up and become voting members.

    Seriously though.

    Anne Bruce @ 9.03
    Listen to Smallaxe, please keep commenting,the more the merrier, and everyone’s opinion is not only valuable but needed,so we can work out the best way to make the best Scotland.
    If you are worried about the response you might get… just address your comments directly to someone like Smallaxe or Nanna…they are very kind, and don’t worry about the moron’s.
    It takes all sorts and sometimes the negitive people on here are the very one’s that replying to them can become a technique to use that let ideas and opinions in
    Lookin forward to hearing more from you Anne.

  192. Derek Henry says:

    @ Paul

    @ Scottie Dog

    Your missing the point Richard does not get it. Anybody can stand up there and speak the truth that an Independent Scotland will only work by creating our own central bank and floating our own currency. Which is what Richard has done.

    Hip Hip Horay !

    By not really understanding what’s going on under the hood and not fully understanding the Job Guarentee. Any decent opponent will destroy him.

    After all there is no MMT movement without the job guarentee. The job guarentee is a core principle.

    What’s sad about the whole affair is our UK MMT group which works closely with people from Cardiff University and St Andrews University and Stephanie Kelton and Warren Mosler and Bill. Reached out to both the Rev and the SNP several years ago. We offered to write weekly pieces for Rev and do a weekend Quiz.

    We also asked Alex If we could help him with the currency question. We are the experts on this and we were ignored.

    Richard thinks tax is the core priciple and you would do if you wrote a book about the joy of tax.

    MMT blows Richard’s belief (and those of his Tax Justice friends) out of the water. The public services come first, and the tax follows that if necessary. Tax is largely a hygiene factor and should be avoided if there are better tools available to move resources to the public sphere and manage markets so they deliver less unequal outcomes. The Job Guarantee being the main one – since it skewers the power over labour that corporations currently hold.

    Richard does not see tax as theft he thinks people enjoy paying their taxes and does not recognise that there is no social power of tax.

    So the point is we could have easily had Neil Wilson, Bill or Stephanie Kelton in our corner who would win any debate but instead we now have Richard Murphy.

    When Bill shared a platform with Richard in London. Bill slapped Richard down many times because what Richard was saying is simply not true.

    If you go to Richard’s site he uses MMT videos and quotes all the time. Remember 10 years ago he thought we were a bunch of Quacks now he’s using our stuff on a daily basis.

    It was our Group who put him right on many issues and he still does not get it fully. Bill owned him during that debate in London.

    He should have kept out of the Independence debate and let the people who really knows how it works defend our independence.

    I speak with the leaders of the MMT movement not just here but in the US regulary. Any decent opponent will destroy Richard that’s the problem because he just does not get it.

    He’s more of a liability than a strength when it comes to Scottish independence.

  193. Jack Murphy says:

    A recent Phantom Power Film introducing ‘CommonSpace’ the alternative Media in Scotland

    Phantom Power replying to a viewer’s comment:
    “The new Scottish media we’ve got is incredibly precious and there’s nothing like it : Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Bella Caledonia, Newsnet, GA Ponsonby – get behind them all?
    Reply 2
    Phantom Power
    And ScotGoesPop, Politics Scotland, Derek Bateman, Bonnie Prince Bob, Craig Murray – All brilliant contributors who give up their time – a wonderfully dynamic but fragile mix. Back em however you can from £100 bucks to just sharing is the way?”
    YouTube video:

  194. Derek Henry says:

    @ Paul

    @ Scottie Dog

    If you read Richard’s website all the debates are there in the comments section over the last 10 years.

    Then you’ll fully understand what I’m talking about. Richard will never admit that it was our group here in the UK and the US who has got him to this point.

    Yet, he still fights with us on certain issues because he thinks tax is god and quite clearly it isn’t and never will be if Scotland became independent and floated its currency.

  195. Derek Henry says:

    Once you get down to the nuts and bolts of it all any decent opponent will destroy Richard’s thinking.

    Neil Wilson, Stephanie Kelton and Bill does it on a monthly basis.

    Like I said Richard is a great guy but unfortunately is a liability not a strength when it comes to our independence.

    A job guarentee is a core principle of MMT and would be a core principle if Scotland gained it’s independence.

    Richard does not know how it would work. There is no social power of tax. MMT blows Richard’s religious belief (and those of his Tax Justice friends) out of the water. The public services come first, and the tax follows that if necessary. Tax is largely a hygiene factor and should be avoided if there are better tools available to move resources to the public sphere and manage markets so they deliver less unequal outcomes. The Job Guarantee being the main one – since it skewers the power over labour that corporations currently hold.

    Richard has been dropped by Corbyn and McDonnell and pushed to one side precisely because he can’t get past this incorrect belief in the magic power of taxation. And that makes Richard part of the problem, not the solution. He’s had eclectic beliefs for the best part of two decades.

    If the Scottish government maintains a peg with the UK then there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘trade deficit’. It’s a work of accounting fiction as the Scottish government has then decided to remain a county of the UK within the UK currency zone.

    The reality is based around the function of the government account, and where it is based. Let’s say they have it at the Royal Bank in the same way that the Finnish government has theirs with Danske Bank.

    The Royal Bank can then provide the Scottish government with an overdraft (since the restriction in Article 123 of the EU treaty only apply to central banks, not commercial ones) and charge the Scottish government an overdraft interest rate. That interest payment is then given to Royal Bank shareholders. The overdraft is reduced by the sales of Scottish fixed interest debt – but that is nothing more than a transfer from RBS shareholders to holders of Scottish debt. The payment is still the same, and still in Sterling.

    As ever you have to forget about the numbers and look at the reality of the situation. Find the people who are able to say ‘no’, and how they can enforce that. The no happens when commercial banks refuse overdrafts and people refuse to buy the state debt which then means government cheques bounce. At that point the purchases are not purchased and real output collapses – including the supply chain that relies on that circulation.

    For the transfer of Sterling into England to happen, somebody somewhere has to do the ‘borrowing’ that allows the saving – or the import sales into Scotland cannot happen in the first place.

    That is the wrong way of looking at it. The way of looking at it is that foreigners have to take Scottish pounds or they won’t be able to sell anything to Scotland. Those that find a way of taking Scottish pounds (by discounting them into their own currency via their own banking system) will get the trade. Those that don’t will lose the exports to Scotland.

    A Scottish government should refuse to operate in anything other than Scottish pounds and should offer import opportunities to those foreign salespeople prepared to take Scottish pounds over anybody else. You open up your country to exporters to your nation. If there are no takers then you cut your coat to your cloth based upon the current terms of trade.

    Neil Wilson has been doing a bit of thinking as to whether a floating currency could be introduced at city level – say Glasgow – particularly in Scotland where the Scottish government may have the power to allow it to work. It’s part of investigating how things would work in a fully dollarised environment (i.e. where all saving stocks are not in the local currency – and therefore neither are the borrowings).

    If nobody saves in your currency, you don’t have a deficit. The budget is balanced. But the budget has still forced circulation and activity in the real realm.

    Like I say I speak with the top MMT’rs both here in the UK and the US. I can ask them to do a video for common Space. Or write for Rev.

    Just email me.

  196. Breeks says:

    heedtracker says:
    22 June, 2017 at 10:45 am
    Smallaxe says:
    22 June, 2017 at 10:23 am
    Anne Bruce says:
    22 June, 2017 at 9:03 am

    “……Look at deer and grouse shooting in Scotland and the Highlands. We are told by the BBC etc to celebrate rich people sitting on Scottish mountains with their flunkies, blasting away at birds, deer, anything really.”….

    Why stop there? Look at the British Imperialism which did so much to introduce the concept of big game hunting which decimated the populations of animals all over the globe and drove many species to extinction.

    Here in Scotland, we had the Great Caledonian Pine forest. If it was still standing, as it was, not just isolated pockets, it would be a World Heritage Site as a unique global environment. Scotland has the same latitude as the great swathes of Canadian and East European pine forests, but Scotland’s ecosystem was virtually unique by virtue of the Atlantic’s continental drift, our shores are not ice bound in winter, and the forests were spared the plunging winter temperatures.

    You can recognise the old Scots Pine forest by the double canopy, a canopy of lower trees and shrubs, birch, beech etc, and a higher canopy of the ancient and mature Scots pine. Crested Tits, Crossbills, and Capercaillie were a product of this unique environment. In its way, Scotland was its own Galapagos. As I understand it, Pine Martins and Red Squirrels were once British wide, but only here in the North do their populations hold on… just.

    Personally, I think we ought to be seeking to reintroduce that unique environment, and being very proud of it. Not just in pockets, but wide swathes of acreage restored to its natural primacy as a viable environment for bigger animals. Scotland once had bears, wolves, wild boar, even European Bison. Now no predator is safe to walk, swim or fly in daylight.

    Would I advocate their reintroduction? Well maybe, but not while we tolerate persecution of what remains of our wildlife. Not while somebody can be filmed setting a pole trap to break the legs and trap a random bird, but probably a raptor, and yet be excused from prosecution due to the Court’s narrow interpretation of evidence. As a species, some of the things we do, and yes, do here in Scotland, thoroughly disgust me. We purge our skies of the wrong kind birds, we purge our seas of the right kind of fish, and persecute our foxes, badgers, weasels, stoats, martins, otters wherever they predate on our domesticity. Even crows are routinely shot as pests while still in the nest.

    Unfortunately, the environment is a spectacularly complex issue. It’s not just the grouse shooting and deer stalking that impoverishes our environment. The farming we are so proud of is just as culpable for damage to the natural food chains. Pesticides, herbicides, mechanisation, all play its part. When I was a kid, you would see and hear curlews and lapwings in summer, but the fields were drained to be less boggy, and you don’t hear the curlews anymore. You might see the odd pee-wit, but not the dozens there used to be. It’s also been a long time since I saw sparrows by the hundred. But it isn’t all bad. You’d be lucky indeed to see a heron, buzzard or otter when I was young. Now these are beginning to lay claim to being common.

    I sometimes wonder if there’s significant meaning in the fact that our waterways seem to be leading the charge to revitalise our ecosystem. To me that doesn’t reflect a more enlightened attitude towards the welfare wildlife, I wish it did, but it’s primarily an issue of pollution. SEPA can be fierce if you get on the wrong side of them, but perhaps that’s what it takes. Does that mean education is ok, but its legislation which makes things happen? Clearing up pollution in our rivers didn’t happen by chance, but our enlightened attitudes towards pollution are not being reflected in a wider new found respect for our wildlife.

    Not sure what I’m saying exactly. Scotland’s environmental credentials are sometimes very good, but sometimes downright callous and medieval. We have a lot of work to do, and a lot of attitudes to change. If our wildlife could vote, it would be nice to believe they would vote YES, but truth be told I rather suspect we would all be embarrassed by how shockingly low the turnout was.

  197. Derek Henry says:

    Consider what the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund owns – just as an example. Shares, property, bonds in Sterling. When it receives the coupons, dividends and rent it then buys more Sterling assets with them. What does that do? It just forces up asset prices in the UK focussing the economy on producing assets, rather than actual stuff.

    So the profit outputs go to those who trade assets to those who hoard assets. Also known as ‘rich people’.

    A very neoliberal viewpoint. If you want to encourage saving, (i) why do it with an instrument that is permanently tradable in an infinitely liquid market backed by HM Treasury as buyer of last resort? (ii) why do it with an instrument that can be held by business and banks and gives them a risk free income for doing nothing?

    Surely if you wanted to encourage saving for whatever reason you’d do it with five year Granny bonds at National Savings that can only be held by individuals?

    Gilts are there so that government can pretend private pensions are private and not a state pension/tax collection system in disguise. Index linked gilts were specifically brought in at the request of the pension industry.

    The rest are used as collateralisation instruments in the finance industry which is why, as Bill mentioned in one of his many blog posts, the Australian finance industry begged the government to continue issuing government bonds when Australia was running a surplus. Again this is so that we can pretend that the banking system is private and not a state franchise.

    There is, and remains, no need for government bonds. It is just a corporate welfare payment.

    As an example imagine a population where some are looking to move from spending to saving and some are moving from saving to spending. If you have tradeable saving instruments in a forced liquid market then nobody’s behaviour is changed at all. You’re relying entirely upon the idea that the price of saving will change minds ‘at the margins’ and there will be no networked feedback loop between the individuals. In other words you’re assuming advertising and Facebook don’t exist.

    If we could gain our independence we would not issue bonds as there is no need we could just use our ways and means account.

    The Ways and Means Account is just an infinite overdraft with the Central Bank, and it grows over time to balance the net-savings of the non-government sector just as the Gilt stock does now.

    The new Scottish Treasury simply doesn’t issue any Gilts any more. Any funding of private pensions in payment should be done by offering annuities at National Savings, which would also have the neat side effect of ‘confiscating’ net savings and making the deficit go down.

    It’s irrelevant what interest the Scottish central bank charges on the ‘Ways and Means’ account since any profit it makes from it goes back to the Scottish treasury anyway. So it can 50% if that gives the necessary level of satisfaction to mainstream economists.

    What you have is a standard intra-group loan account between a principal entity (Scottish Treasury) and its wholly-owned subsidiary. Normally those sort of loans are interest free for the fairly obvious reason that interest charging is utterly pointless, and they are perpetual for the same reason. Rolling over is totally pointless.

    Any term money can then be issued to the commercial banks directly by the Bank of Scotland – up to three month bills.

    These are the solutions this site should be promoting and should have been doing it years ago.

    We could help with that and create a series starting with an educational back grounder on how everything works and then show what a Scotland with its own central bank and free floaing currency can achieve.

  198. paul says:


    I have read Richard’s site over the last ten years and have watched him move to his present situation (I got kicked off when he decided to devote his blog to promoting Owen Smith, what a meltdown that was) and I think he’s a pretty decent bloke who might not have everything right.

    The job guarantee is probably the most explosive aspect (MMT is a description, JG is a prescription) of this school.

    I think it is its greatest strength.

    It is also, unfortunately, akin to explaining that the earth rotates around the sun, not the other way round.

    A lot of effort has gone into creating a completely dysfunctional employment ‘market’ and convincing people it as natural as gravity.

    Maybe he hasn’t got it yet, Just getting the relationship between currency/tax and spending was plenty for one 1/2 hour video.

    I have a lot of respect for your list,I would think wings is the perfect venue for promoting MMT/JG and a whole lot of good for true independence could be done with your suggestions.

    However all this talk of ‘destroying’ someone is, at least, broadly sympathetic is counter productive.

  199. heedtracker says:


    All great points. Blood sports are an environmental apocalypse in Scotland today and they don’t make any money. If they did, why does the EU pour money into it all?

    But Scottish Highlands are owned by some of the most powerful rich in the world, starting at the queen and working down into the UKOK tory sewer and tory delights like Paul Dacre of the Daily Heil.

    So they can always block any real change as easy as picking up the phone to their gimps in you know where, to start monstering any change in their Scotland region, and its all SNP bad too.

    Tree planting ‘threatening’ Scotland’s grand vistas
    By Kevin Keane
    BBC Scotland’s environment correspondent
    15 February 2017
    From the section Scotland

    Much of Scotland’s west coast sea boards once had vast rain forests, part of a vast northern European forestation, like say the giant sequoias on the US west coast, from northern CA to Canada. It survived right up until the Napoleonic wars and was all chopped down for the Nelsonian navy. Much of it now lies at the bottom of the Med.

    One of the oddest spectacles of our time is watching royals go round the world being all green and telling foreign types to be more environmental. And yet back home in their UK zone, they are environmentally catastrophic themselves.

    Welcome to the toryboy UK zone, in all its staggering hypocrisy and greed. Its almost up there with this royal blood sports lover and

    Are these guys psycho’s or just plain old UKOK bullshitters coming it?

    If Prince Phil’s not dead yet, it would be really great to hear him explain why rainforests in other countries matter so much to him,

    “It has become only too apparent that the world’s tropical rainforests are critically endangered.

    In the case of South East Asia, the forests are essential for the survival of the rich diversity of plants and animals, including such special species as elephants, rhinos and orang-utans. Equally important, they are of critical importance for the goods and services they provide for the local people.”

    and yet here in his Scotland region, he’s personally destroyed rather a lot of it. And it is his choice to destroy the Scottish Highlands. He owns a massive chunk of it and he chooses to burn off all fauna, just like all the rest of them.

    Hey ho.

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