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A strangely familiar ring

Posted on July 31, 2014 by

This is Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, earlier this week:

“‘Commissioners have been ordered to put all services out to the market, NHS spending on private and other providers has gone through the £10bn barrier for the first time.

When did the British public ever give their consent for this? It is indefensible for the character of the country’s most valued institution to be changed in this way without the public being given a say.’

Mr Burnham has written to the boss of NHS England, Simon Stevens, to call for a pause in privatisation unless patient safety or service is at risk.”

And here’s a press release from the Unite trade union in 2009, when Labour were in power and Mr Burnham actually was the Health Secretary:

‘Roll back the privatisation of the NHS, Andy’

Unite presented a letter signed by 3,000 NHS members to the Department of Health today (Wednesday, 26 August), calling on health secretary Andy Burnham to halt the privatisation of the health service.

The [letter] was part of Unite’s Health B4 Profit campaign designed to preserve the NHS as ‘a publicly owned, publicly accountable, universal and comprehensive health service managed and run for the public good’.

Unite said that an estimated £20 billion would be spent on creating the bureaucratic market infrastructure for privatisation – money that could be better spent on frontline services.

Karen Reay said: ‘Today, we are asking Andy Burnham to protect the heart and soul of the NHS in England and roll back these costly and dangerous plans.

The continuing vicious attacks by vested interests on President Obama over his plans to provide healthcare for the estimated 47 million Americans currently without this safety net is a stark warning of what awaits British citizens, if the mercenary forces of privatisation are allowed to triumph.'”


We must confess, readers, we’re just not sure how fast Andy Burnham wants the NHS privatised. He certainly doesn’t seem to want the process reversed, but what’s the right speed? As fast as Labour were privatising it before the coalition was elected? A bit slower? Faster, like pulling off a sticking plaster? At the same speed, but put on hold for a few months until the election’s over? If anyone knows, do drop us a line.

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    1. 31 07 14 13:21

      A strangely familiar ring | Scottish Independence News

    131 to “A strangely familiar ring”

    1. Macart says:

      Most plausible scenario?

      Pay lip service to the public wishes whilst privatising with the speed of a weasel on crack.

    2. ScotFree1320 says:

      A fast/slow privatisation … it’s the best of both worlds 🙂

    3. Doug Daniel says:

      “At the same speed, but put on hold for a few months until the election’s over?”

      I strongly suspect this is the correct answer.

    4. Muscleguy says:

      In more shocking news leopard promises to change his spots without becoming a panther.

    5. Marian says:

      Burnham is yet another Labour politician who speaks with forked tongue in order to placate the financiers of London on the one hand and Labour’s paymasters in the Trade Unions on the other hand.

    6. Quentin Quale says:

      And there are still those who are saying they will vote No?

    7. Morag says:

      Put it on hold until after the election so that win or lose we get a chance to climb on the gravy train of private health companies.

    8. Murray McCallum says:

      Why don’t NewOneNation Labour and the Conservatives just merge?

      It would be the honest thing to do.

    9. Illy says:

      “At the same speed, but put on hold for a few months until the election’s over?”

      Almost, but not quite:

      “At the same speed, but with us in control of who gets all the profits, not the other tory party”

    10. Illy says:

      “Why don’t NewOneNation Labour and the Conservatives just merge?

      It would be the honest thing to do.”

      I think you just answered your own question there.

      Besides, they have to provide the illusion of choice, otherwise it might be *too* *obvious* that they’re both the same.

    11. alexicon says:

      Here’s the daily heil’s take on it from yesterday.
      keep thy enemies enemy close.;-)

      Burnham: Halt private sector deals with NHS – but Tories call him a hypocrite
      Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham launches Labour’s NHS campaign
      Claims the coalition’s ‘privatisation’ of the health service is ‘indefensible’
      But as Health Secretary he signed off deals allowing private firms in

    12. JimnArlene says:

      Wait till Labour are in power, ha ha ha ha ha, sorry, I can’t believe that scenario, but I bet that’s what he means.

    13. heedtracker says:
      “In retirement, she told friends her proudest achievement was moving the Labour Party onto her economic ground.”

      If teamGB was even remotely solvent or not a slave wage low skill economy, Burnham and co selling the NHS to tax evading profit takers might have at least some logic. We’ll probably never know the why, until Burnham;s just one more Labour lord at the unelected HoL trough and on the board of BUPA, unless we vote Yes.

    14. YESGUY says:

      I think once any DK’s out there see that the NHS in England is being privatised will swing them to a YES.

      The NHS is a big deal and folk down there have noticed and have marched and protested about this for a while now. Sadly the MSM seem to cover the govt tracks by ignoring the protesters. It’s not just Scotland that have the Liar MSM.

      Thank goodness for the YES vote . We can be shot of them all and get on with building a new country.

      As regards the referendum being unlawful. The Edinburgh agreement says they will stand by the wishes of the Voters on the issue , anything else will cause the UK a lot of problems world wide and the Scots won’t take it sitting down. Any refusal will cause an almighty stink .

      We really are winning and the sheer desperation of BT shows in their recycling of old scares and smears. keep the faith folks , not long now.

    15. JWil says:

      Scottish Labour continues to tell the lie that the privatisation of the NHS in England will not lead to the same thing happening to the NHS in Scotland.

    16. Gabriel says:

      Unite must have been pleased with the response. Andy Burnham stopped privatisation stone cold when the imposed a ‘NHS preferred provider policy’.
      He has been remarkably consistent on the issue. Private sector can be used to boost capacity and cut waiting lists. Good example is the role of Brook Advisory, Terence Higgins and BPAS in sexual health. Developed and improved services that the NHS hadn’t.
      There is a big difference between the use of non-NHS organisation on the margins and the current policy of wholesale privatisation.

    17. Papadox says:

      As the male cyclists left Glasgow green EBC were showing a beautiful shot of high court with enormous saltire blowing in the breeze atop of the building, very impressive.
      Didn’t take EBC very long to change the camera angles and cut out the saltire. Someone was obviously getting direction from on high. Pretty childish and of course non political. Good old EBC.

    18. David McCann says:

      Ca canny until I am in that’Other Place’, then Ill fight it tooth and nail!

    19. desimond says:

      Poor Andy, first cursed with Alastair Darlings eyebrows and now the knives are out….will he get the stitches done locally or via BUPA?

    20. Papadox says:

      @jwil says 12:50

      I thought Andy Burnham wanted all NHS to be amalgamated and controlled from Westminster, and of course A Carmichael has told us we will be put under the Westminster cosh if we vote no.

      Aye revenge is sweet. Are the no voters deaf and blind or just mentally challenged.

    21. yerkitbreeks says:

      Way back, just as Tony Blair & Co were due to take over from the Tories, as a senior Kent health professional I was invited to a talk by the Chief Exec of the Fabian Society ( Labour Think Tank ) so we would know what to expect as ” Fundholding ” by GPs was in such a bad way.

      Guess what, I overlooked the red – pink change implied in New Labour when told that the new word would be ” targets ” instead of Fundholding. Things have really deteriorated in England since then.

    22. T222Deracha says:

      Sorry to be O/T, but Jiminee Murphy is blaming a lack of social housing in Barrhead on the Scottish Government not providing funding. No mention of the Tory austerity, it’s all the fault of the SNP. The same Jiminee was voted in as an MP because in his own words “only Labour can save you from the Tories”. Nobody challenges Jiminee and people accept what he says as the truth. If there is a NO vote in September, the SNP should resign as the Scottish electorate will have proven themselves too stupid to be Scottish! Rant over.:-[

    23. Clootie says:

      His cut from the companies is at risk unless he achieves a pause and wins an election.

      One NHS is private hands.

      …and still they vote Labour?

    24. heraldnomore says:

      Oh look. Here’s the charming Mr McTernan, in discussion with the nice Mr McBride, telling us about the wonders of Labour. Eight minutes out your life, such fun:

    25. desimond says:


      Jiminee probably still beeling after getting dogs abuse for keeping schtum about Gaza…quelle surprise there!

      I was thinking on how Labour blame SNP for everything ( Oh how their 7 years in admin been so disastrous for scottish society eh?) and their claims “But hey they could help now!”.

      Scottish Labour, also like Burnham above, dont get it, we dont want “help” or “reduction”, we want to STOP or remove issues like Housing shortages, foodbanks, bedroom tax and welfare austerity altogether.

      Until they get that, theyre lost.

    26. TD says:

      I’ve said this before – they are skint. Both Tories and Labour know that because of economic mismanagement they have got no choice but to unload the responsibility of paying for healthcare. With or without the subsidy from Scotland, they will privatise the NHS.

      The important point is that we don’t have to. We will not be skint. When we stop sending them our money we will have enough to afford publicly funded healthcare. But we will only have that choice if we vote Yes. If we vote No, they will force us down the same route.

      It is a stark but simple choice.

    27. heedtracker says:

      Frank Dobson, El Tone’s London Mayor patsy, doesn’t get New Labour selling off the NHS either, or rather the bits that can make a lot of money for BUPA and co.

    28. heedtracker says:

      Hell knows no wrath than an MP with a grudge, but Donbson says

      “The NHS reached its target of an average maximum wait of three months for a cataract operation two years early. Tony Blair attributed this to the involvement of the private sector. He must have been badly briefed by the privatising enthusiasts.

      The facts are that when Labour came to power in 1997, the NHS was doing 165,000 cataract operations a year. By 2003 it was doing 306,000 and in 2009/10 had reached 346,000. According to a recent parliamentary answer, the private sector had contributed to a cumulative grand total of 43,000 over seven years: an average of 6,000 a year.”

      A badly briefed prime minister of teamGB. Get away.

    29. Illy says:

      As regards the referendum being unlawful:

      So was the American revolution.

      Casting off governments is rarely lawful, but it can be peaceful.

    30. heedtracker says:

      Jim Murphy says SNP don’t build social housing but his colleague Frank says it’s far far worse under a Labour government

      “Yet the failure to build housing is one of Dobson’s greatest disappointments about the New Labour era. “I never did understand why they didn’t do it – it was as though council housing and housing associations had become an embarrassment,” he says, looking downcast. “It’s gone totally loony now.

      Here we are, just off Great Ormond Street, a word-class hospital and rightly so. If someone started as a children’s heart surgeon – new, without any capital behind him or her – they get around £80,000 a year; they wouldn’t be able to buy a small one-bedroom house in the area.”

      Jim Murphy looks like a loony at the best if times but that’s UKOK politics, blame everyone for the mess you leave behind and vote no, for more of the same, for ever and ever, amen.

    31. Quentin Quale says:

      it’s the complete denial of Murphy and the like that gets me. Seems to be filtering down to the UKOK/BT folks on the ground. Just had a very interesting chat with two most definitely No voting neighbours. Started off with a friendly ‘Oh you’ll have to take that badge off’. Erm, I don’t think I will – maybe when the Yes celebrations are over about November. Then when I offered a NHS for Yes leaflet came the now very familiar ‘Oh no, I don’t want one of those’. When asked if they might want to base their decision on more than unswerving loyalty to a dying cause (but rather more politely) they just laughed. Anyone else experienced such denial and unwillingness of No voters to engage in friendly chat? Undecideds, however, are more than willing to discuss the issues.

    32. Alex Smith says:

      No need to speculate on what DH might stand for, Stu – it can only be DickHead!

    33. Morag says:

      It’s Department of Health, but I think Stu knows that, as it’s quoted in the text and appears on the photo.

    34. Morag says:

      Quentin, you bet. I can’t understand why they don’t just put the papers and leaflets in the recycling pile if they don’t want them, but they demand that you take them away. It’s as if they feel their property is polluted if there is Yes material even in the letter-box.

      Though to be fair I’ve only had nine people refuse the paper, and one of these ended up taking it after a fairly long conversation.

    35. heedtracker says:

      No voters say why change anything, it’s fine for me but is it? Ultimately, the NHS is being sold because is spending at least one third more than they take in, year after year.

      UK taxation is all over the place with the most richest and most powerful paying virtually no tax or as little as they possibly can. So what’s a boy like Burnham or Milliband to do? ATOS, insane middle eat war, WMD’s, no social housing, massive tax evasion, low wage economy teamGB faces some hard choices and Scotland is going to pay for them.

      If you do read Dobson’s Graun interview, it’s Tony Blair that takes the blame but there’s a coupe of elephants in the room as the other culprits getting a free pass. And it’s all because Crash Gordon and the Flipper have to save teamGB, like Jim Murphy, on tour fighting for a bankrupted union and bankrupted by…

    36. It makes you want to retch when SLAB scum and EngLAB mutants suddenly discover socialist values – AFTER – losing Govt power.?

      AFTER participating in the Privatisation process these new labour hucksters expect the elecrorate to believe them ONE MORE TIME.

      NHS in england and Wales may have had a better future if only Super SLAB scabs – BROWN and Darling had been “Prudent” – instead of leaving a National Debt of £1.46 Trillion only 4 years ago.

      Remember Prudence ?

      Prudence was fine until Crash and Stash got their grubby SLAB scab mitts on her.

      Burnham could replace Mibbeland. OMG.

    37. TD says:

      Quentin Quale

      That is my experience exactly. Confirmed No voters have misplaced loyalty to Labour or the Tories (even a few to the Lib Dems). They will not engage in any meaningful way. I have had several conversations where they have agreed with every individual point I have made, but then ended the conversation with “But I’m still voting No!”.

      I think these people must be targets for us. We should not settle for just winning over the DKs. Some of the Nos are ripe for plucking – we will just have to work a bit harder on them.

    38. Ken500 says:

      Support education/NHS vote YES

    39. geeo says:

      Had some Yes guys doing the street with leaflets yesterday.
      Simple thumbs up from the front window from me resulted in a broad smile from the young chap who posted it.

      While not able to help much due to ill health/long term injury, it is important to let those on the street know that their efforts are appreciated.

    40. Graeme Doig says:

      Completely OT. Sorry Stu.

      Speaking to a guy who lives locally recently. He works for Advance security. Told me they have all received a letter stating that if there is a yes vote they will all be out of work or have to move south.
      He is sitting on the fence understandably with such a threat to his livelyhood, but he is extremely annoyed. Letter is currently in the hands of his lawyer. Haven’t seen letter yet but he’s going to show me a copy.
      I had a quick look at Advance on line. Seem to do a fair bit of work in Scotland including contract from City of Edinburgh council in 2009.

    41. Quentin Quale says:

      O/T Shell announce billions of dollars to be invested with ‘no najor concerns’ about independence. Probably just rushing in before it runs out in 2016, eh, Darling?
      Bit sketchy on details so expect a full in-depth analysis on the evening news. Hardy har-har.

    42. turnbull drier says:

      @ Graeme Doig

      If you get a copy of it and want to pass it to Stu, use the contact page as the Rev rarely reads all the posts nowadays.. To many myths to debunk 🙂

    43. desimond says:

      @Graeme Doig

      Advance – part of Cordant Group where a recent Adecco MD appointed as a CEO. Its got fear of lost outsourcing contracts written all over it. Theyre probably awaiting promises for the dreaded PFI to return to Scotland after a NO vote.

    44. Macandroid says:

      Maybe Advance should be touting for work with Shell instead of being wimps/bullies.

    45. desimond says:

      @Graeme Doig

      The Cordant Group and social conscience….

    46. Edward says:

      Sunday Post running a poll on the Commonwealth Games and possible affect on the referendum

    47. heedtracker says:

      From the land of the free and the home of the brave. American is the greatest country in the world, bit like a giant Scotland, but/and definitely not run by their neighbours:D

      Sean’s looking great.

    48. heedtracker says:

      America is, oops and its Scottish actor Sean Connery waves in 2008 photo and never heard of the but probably because the result doesnt match the endless No winning polls, plus the secret half million quid poll that held but didnt release the reuslts of.

      Big slice of rancid ConDem lies there with future Lord Fossie Carmicheal, saying its against the rules or another bloater leans back his heed and lies at Scotland.

    49. desimond says:

      Have a nice warm feeling for a moment…

    50. Giving Goose says:

      Labour want a pause to catch up with the Gravy Train, it is a simple and as a cynical as that.
      Phrase it any way you prefer;
      A slice of the pie
      Personal profit

      Labour see the opportunity for personal gain slipping away and they are not pleased.

      The New Labour project placed great emphasis on Labour Politicians creaming in the money via Directorships, payments, consultancy, shares, speaking engagements etc.

      With the Tories and LibDems accelerating privatisation of the NHS, Labour are being left behind in the gold rush.

      Scottish Labour want a No vote, so that the NHS in Scotland is privatised so that they, Scottish Labour can join in the gold rush.

      Mark my words, in the event of a No vote you will see Scottish Labour politicians becoming very wealthy indeed on the back of the NHS privatisation.

    51. desimond says:

      @Giving Goose

      How fair is it on the very poor when people in work can pay their way for items like prescriptions – J Lamont ( ad infinitum)

      The clues have been in front of us for so long. Heaven help us if we dont remember them come September.

    52. Betty Boop says:

      A colleague of mine many years ago, once said to me that what the Labour party had to do was tell people what they wanted to hear, then when they were voted in they could do what they liked. Guess what they do? Just like the Cons and their lapdogs, the Libdems. UKIP just doesn’t care because they have the Tories so scared, that their policies will be promoted anyway.

      The NHS is not sacrosanct as far as Westminster parties are concerned despite what the public think or want. Nothing seems to matter except the retention of power and keeping alive the possibility of a wee bit of ermine, a directorship or some other bonus from grateful corporations.

      No point pleading to the better nature of those elected “to serve” the public, there are grander prizes than representing those interests and those who would exercise their conscience are soon sidelined.

      How much better to have our politicians sitting in Edinburgh where they are accessible and, if we do this properly, accountable? How much better to have politicians who are at least prepared to set us off on a political journey which has a fairer society as its aim? Who is talking the language of the majority of people these days? I know it isn’t Westminster, so it is up to us to push politics in a better direction.

      We had Jim Murphy roll into town today with his not so merry band of no hopers/UKOK. Take is as read that the Murph was in good form, indeed, what we have come to expect, spouting the usual “ye cannae” tripe. The older male “volunteers” accompanying, when asked, couldn’t give a reason why they were voting no except the usual “300 years of union”, “if it isn’t broken, etc.” and one actually admitted he couldn’t argue with what I was saying because he didn’t have information. They just walked off when they couldn’t counter points made.

      I guess they weren’t too happy setting up their expensive UKOK banners to find our local Yes stall setting up just yards away. Jim didn’t seem to want a balloon – guess he didn’t need it. Happy days.

    53. Nana Smith says:

      Of course privatising the NHS will not benefit any mps or lords will it???

    54. Jim Thomson says:

      Dammit Rev, why aren’t you precognitive (or should that be prescient?)? Anyway, as Betty remarks above we had Seamus Murphy on our patch today and he absolutely guaranteed that there would be no NHS sell off (apparently that involves selling shares to people).

      If we had Andy Burnham’s epistle to hand we could have waved that in his face.

      You need to change time zones, or borrow a vanishing police box thingy. #JustSaying

    55. wingman 2020 says:

      @Quentin Quale

      We should all keep our badges on until the UK GE whatever the result of the referendum.

    56. Helena Brown says:

      I think a wee investigation is in order to see who all the guilty privatisers are. I know I did this about a year ago and found a considerable amount of our legislators in both the House of Commons and in the House of Lords. Now whether they simply intend making money after the NHS in England is privatised or whether, heaven forfend they intend taking an active part in ensuring it does, who would care to hazard a guess?

    57. Giving Goose says:

      Jim Thomson

      Even if you could have quoted from Andy Burnham’s epistle, Jim Murphy would have still looked you in the face and lied to you.

      Jim murphy didn’t reach his position in Labour by being honest.

    58. Brian Powell says:

      Andy Burnham is appealing to what I call the Grangemouth personality among Labour voters.

      The Grangemouth personality is a mixture of misplaced bravado and blind faith in a now defunct Labour strength.

      The union there, for its own reasons, said they could sort out the management at Grangemouth and called a strike. Labour politicians, who didn’t need to worry about their salaries, said they would stand with the workers, and they shouldn’t put up with any nonsense from the management.

      The office staff had accepted the management offer and their jobs were OK; the management closed the half of the plant where the workers were striking and then the workers lost their jobs. We had scenes of confused workers, tears streaming down their faces, slowly realising their futures had gone. Feeble Labour politicians with nothing to offer and no power to do anything, blustered about backing the workers.

      The Scottish Government had said go back to negotiation with no preconditions. The workers got their jobs back and the plant reopened. Had they not listened so readily to the self interested union officials they would have simply been negotiating about a no strike deal, as it was pay and pension changes were included, but at least they had jobs that nearly went to Norway.

      Burnham is acting in the same way about the safety of the Scottish NHS. “Don’t worry, believe me, it is separate, it can’t be touched. Vote for us.” But he and Labour have utterly failed to protect the English NHS from privatisation.

      When they were asked to, they didn’t stop the privatisation. So, having failed in England, with no power to secure the future, remember they can’t stop future Conservative Governments (or themselves), Labour is saying give up control of your own future, and trust us.

    59. Andy-B says:

      Sorry to go off topic Rev, but this really annoyed me, today at the Commonwealth Games, BBC cameras zoomed in to look at HMS Duncan moored across from the CG, HMS Duncan is flying three English flags. I think we get the picture now , we (Scots) build them, and help to pay for them, through taxes but really they belong to England.

    60. Andy-B says:

      I do feel a bit sorry for all those people who joined Labour, for the right reasons equality, social justice, fair pay etc, only to have their dreams shattered by the ruthless, leaders who are hell bent on destroying everything Labour once stood for, the crashing of the NHS just being the latest knife in the heart of socialism.

      On the upside those disillusioned Labour supporters will surely feel compelled to vote yes,if not for Labour then for the people of Scotland, and the advancement of social justice.

    61. thedogphilosopher says:

      @Papadox 1.06
      “Are the no voters deaf and blind or just mentally challenged?”

      Many appear to be either unaware or unengaged, generally apathetic. One naysayer (who is by no means ‘well-off’) said to me: “uch they’re all the same, disnae matter who ye vote for.” (File under: Ignorance is Strength)

      Many also dislike Alex Salmond due to the demonising campaign run by MSM, who of course favour such intellectual giants as Lamont, Davidson, Rennie, Carmichael etc

      @T222Deracha 1.16
      If anyone qualifies for the title King of the Quislings it has to be Murphy. Post-Independence he’ll have to find himself a safe seat somewhere close to London, but, alas, far away from the fluttering Republican flags of his favourite team. I can see him in the near future, wrapped in Chelsea Blue, at last among his ain folk!

    62. Defo says:

      Those new alcohol detecting ankle bracelets.
      Is it a standard model, or can you go delux ?
      Lords Foo & Watson deserve to know.

    63. Churm Rincewind says:

      There’s a distinction to be made between competition (Labour policy) and privatisation (Tory policy). Unfortunately the two often get confused.

      The evidence is that competition within the NHS improves patient outcomes. For anyone interested, see, for example,

      As for private sector involvement in the NHS, I for one am indifferent as to who does the laundry. In Scotland, only the NHS is allowed to wash the sheets. That seems to me an arguable proposition.

    64. Quentin Quale says:

      And if a privatised NHS Scotland chooses the lowest laundry bid for Raigmore hospital and they are based in,say, Taunton?

    65. Morag says:

      It’s not where they’re based that worries me, it’s the choosing of the lowest bid thus encouraging cutting corners, sloppy standards and underpaid staff.

    66. There is a right price for every job and competition is not the way to find it.

    67. Graeme Menzies says:

      Undoubtedly in these circumstances, the lowest bid always wins and with that always comes poor practice.

      The owners of these companies have only one thing in mind and that is lining their own pockets. FACT.

      Buy cheap, buy twice.

    68. geeo says:

      You cannot do anything about where you are born, and what you are born into, massive wealth, poverty, mansion or mud hut, but we in Scotland have an opportunity to do something about our future.

      How many around the world would love the opportunity we have ?

      How many have died to get the opportunity we have ?

      How many would NOT take the opportunity we have ?

      It is as simple as that for me.

      Make a difference, Vote Yes.

    69. Ken500 says:

      Did the SNP Scottish Gov not take hospital cleaning contracts back in house?

    70. BigRik says:

      Yes, we all know what a roaring success the privatisation of the railways and power companies were for the customer…i am sure everything will be alright with the NHS…. oops, sorry, forgot my medication.

    71. Ken500 says:

      Free personal care in Scotland keeps NHS costs down. It helps people to stay in their own home and is more cost effective. Residential home care £600+ a week. Hospital care £600+ a day.

    72. galamcennalath says:

      Scotland needs a Yes. Simple as that. Dump all this neo-liberal London shit once and for all.

      Just read Billy Kay on Bella. I was in the year below him at Galston High School, a long time ago.

      So, my brither and sister Scots, I appeal to you from whatever social, ethnic or religious background you come from to vote positively for Scotland come September. It is all to do with dignity. You may be comfortable in your dual Scottish and British identity, but for once in your life you have to choose which is most important to you – do you belong to a proud, ancient nation or a quaint and colourful British region? Vote No and you confirm to England and the world your provincial mentality and have to accept the provincial status Scotland will endure from then on. Vote Yes and restore Scotland to the international family of nations she will grace with her presence for evermore.

    73. caz-m says:

      Dennis Canavan: No vote threatens NHS in Scotland.

      And Jackie Baillie had the cheek to call it a scare story.

    74. Red Squirrel says:

      Apart from the fact that Landry services are very important from an infection control and operational point of view, I do care who is contracted to provide services. The most basic fact is that private companies have to make profits for shareholders – you don’t do that without cutting something.

      Yes the NHS can be seen as a lumbering supertanker sometimes but the fact is it works brilliantly because of the people who put heart and soul into it. These political troughers are only interested in their own potential gains from privatisation and bugger the rest of us.

    75. John H. says:

      Sorry to be O/t.
      We’ve just had a visit from a couple of friends who live in Jackie baillie’s constituency.He, a Yes voter.She, a No.Jackie Baillie and her pals must have been busy spreading lies all round the area.

      According to this woman if we vote yes then all the local supermarkets will move south.She’s been told that she will lose her pension, and anyway Scotland can’t afford independence.

      There was no point in trying to convince her otherwise.I even went onto the internet, showed her newspaper articles and the letter from the DWP proving that her pension is safe.Still she wouldn’t believe me.

      I tried hard to allay her fears, but in the end just had to give up.SLAB have a lot to answer for.

    76. Brian Powell says:

      I don’t know if the situation has changed but staff in the Scottish NHS seem to be, not only unconcerned, but believe the service is safe, so that’s OK and they are voting No.

    77. Jim Thomson says:

      @Giving Goose 4:40pm

      Agreed, but it also allows the on-looking punters a chance to maybe engage their stalled brains and realise that they are the target of the lies.

    78. Black Douglas says:

      @Brian Powell “NHS seem to be, not only unconcerned, but believe the service is safe, so that’s OK and they are voting NO”

      Don’t know where you got that impression from but this site and all my NHS friends are voting Yes 😀

    79. caz-m says:


    80. Dan Huil says:

      This might cheer you up: just bumped into an old former workmate of mine – a diehard Labour man. To my surprise and delight he’s going to vote Yes. He has the enthusiastic air of a man who has just experienced a Damascene conversion. He assures me his large family are all voting Yes.

    81. Defo says:

      “An independent Scotland holds out the promise of investing in the next generation. On 18 September, we may get the chance to see if it can deliver. Whichever way the referendum goes, the Scottish have spent the run-up to the referendum soul-searching over what kind of country they want to pass on to young people.

      The London government has neglected this question. While Westminster argues over the trade of whiskey and salmon, they are forgetting their most valuable asset: the best and brightest of the future generation.”

    82. caz-m says:


      Labour MSP for Inverclyde Dunkie McNeil has been challenged to a debate by local SNP MSP Stuart McMillan.

      Places like Inverclyde are Labour strongholds and need to be won over to help us win this Referendum.

      I would also like to see a debate between Tommy Sheridan and Labour Councillor Terry Kelly in Kelly’s Ferguslie Park constituency in Paisley. I would pay money to see that one.

    83. Juteman says:

      As an ex runner, I usually enjoy watching sporting events.
      I am so angry that I am being forced to watch the BBC London Commonwealth Games. Also, I don’t think I have ever seen a major sporting event where the host country has an invisible flag.
      I will never forgive the British State for this campaign.

    84. ticktock says:

      Black Douglas @ 6.53

      Looks like maybe Brian Powell forgot to take his meds.

    85. Indy_Scot says:

      Even although Labour are no longer Labour, I think most Labour supporters will vote Yes to prevent the Tories ever having another opportunity to destroy Scotland.

    86. heedtracker says:

      Anyone else watching C4 news take a large bettertogether running kick to BBC Commonwealth Games chugs? They probably wouldn’t take such a long hard weewee over Games in Englandshire.

    87. kestral says:

      I see Alex gets to go first and gets to give the last speech

      brill, we could not have asked for better

      The outcome of the coin toss determined that Mr Salmond would speak first in the opening statements and last in the closing statements.

    88. Hood says:

      Indy_Scot says:

      I hope you are right but from a conversation I had today I know not all will.

      When a guy found out I was voting Yes he said you will go out of business. I asked why that would be, he said because the taxes will be so high you wont be able to pay them.
      I asked what made him think that and he didn’t say much except the usual, because that is what will happen.

      I asked if he would care to come and look at some numbers to see how rich a country Scotland really is, his reply was NO, the only people he trusts are the bankers who say we cant afford Independence.

      Well I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, how the f*%! can anyone say they trust the bankers is beyond me.

    89. crisiscult says:

      maybe we should create a list of all the companies that have told their staff to vote no because in the event of a yes vote they’ll move out of Scotland. That would be really useful for all the companies that would like to take over the contracts and step into the gap; kind of give them advance notice. Friend of mine works for company that does something IT related for NHS. Can’t remember the name of the company. He was told they’d leave.

    90. Auld Sandy says:

      I live in England. My wife has several severe chronic health problems which were receiving first class treatment and / or monitoring by the NHS -until about a year ago. In the space of a few months she was ‘discharged’ by several consultants – not because she was miraculously cured – but, apparently, because there was no great change in her condition and so there was no ‘need’ to continue monitoring (she would know immediately if she got worse or died, of course). Nothing to do with saving money, they all said, just an amazing coincidence it all happened at around the same time..
      Fortunately, thanks to having a lucky postcode, we still have a good GP service, which has ensured my wife still receives treatment when required.
      As far as the NHS in Scotland goes, be very afraid of what will happen in the event of a No vote.

    91. Juan P says:

      @John H

      I think the important thing between now and the 18th is that we don’t give up trying to encourage more people to vote Yes.

      Don’t give up pointing out lies to those who say they are going to vote no. Continue to try and persuade them and point them to the evidence.

      The woman you showed the DWP letter wasn’t going to eat humble pie and thank you right there and then for showing her the truth.

      You can be sure she’s thinking about it now though and you might just have started to make her question some of the lies that Baillie and co have been spreading from day one.

    92. TD says:

      Juan P

      You are dead right – keep working on these people who say they will vote No. They are most unlikely to agree at the time, but they do go and start thinking. And we know what happens when people think – they move to Yes.

      Just as an afterthought, have you ever heard of a Yes voter who, having given the matter some thought, decided to vote No? No, I haven’t either.

    93. Paula Rose says:

      @ Hood – dinnae fash, there’s plenty of folk who just need a kind word.

    94. Patrick Roden says:

      @Mr Powell I am very impressed!!!

      Imagine knowing how everyone in the Scottish NHS will vote!

      What a guy!

    95. Robert Peffers says:

      Quentin Quale says: 31 July, 2014 at 2:00 pm:

      “it’s the complete denial of Murphy and the like that gets me. Seems to be filtering down to the UKOK/BT folks on the ground.”

      Well here is item Number 5 on the leaflet of, “10 Reasons why Fife is Better Together in the UK”, that they posted through my door.


      “We make decisions here in the Scottish Parliament about our NHS but we also benefit from cost-free, hassle-free access to the lifesaving specialist treatment we need anywhere in the UK NHS.”

      Ye culdna whack thaim wi ae muckle stick.

    96. mr thms says:

      Apparently the postal votes go out on the 26th August.

      Better Together / Labour are geared up for postal votes..

      Hope Yes Scotland are ready for the mainstream media blitz

    97. Dorothy Devine says:

      The bastards have just over talked the interview with Eilidh , saying ,” that’s the local crew interviewing her but we can’t really hear her ” and then fucking blethered on right through.

      I will never forgive them either.

    98. CameronB Brodie says:

      I would have thought the public v private provision of service, is a post-indy debate. Without a Yes vote, Scotland will get whatever England decides. It is as simple as that to me, anyway.

    99. Rock says:

      Murray McCallum,

      “Why don’t NewOneNation Labour and the Conservatives just merge?

      It would be the honest thing to do.”

      They don’t do ‘honest’, they never did.

    100. Faltdubh says:

      Brian Powell, I’ve met many people like the ones you have too.

      One even said to me (knowing I’m a yes) “What will happen to the NHS?”.

      They don’t have a clue about the way things are going down south. Even Harry Burns (the Chief Medical Officer up to a few months back for the whole of Scotland) said recently on Beattie’s program that he had grave concerns about the future of the NHS in Scotland.

      Of course not everyone, but still a few weeks out from the vote. Many are uninformed, spouting nonsense and non-truths. A friend of mine I spoke of was at a function where he met delegates and many of them were stating that it’s ‘Official’ we won’t have the pound, the EU won’t take us, the NHS etc.

      Then there’s the other side of people who seem to think that “If it’s not broken” etc.

      These people are so naive. It is broken. If we vote no, I still have hope we won’t, but if we do – in 5 years it’ll be just like Blair/Labour after Iraq/their 3rd term – you’ll struggle to find folk who voted for him due to sheer embarrasment.

      I don’t think we will as a nation though. Many although unsure or small c, catious about the ”uncertainity” they’ve been drilled home about by the media will see this as a once in not just a generation, but possibly a lifetime.

      This will never happen again this referendum. We need to drill this home to people too. I’ve heard the odd “I want more devolution etc and then we’ll get indy in a few years”.

      Again, people are just coasting. If anything the phrase ‘Sleepwalking into independence’ has been banned about, but it’s the opposite.

    101. Dorothy Devine says:

      I apologise for swearing but these twats would try the patience of a saint.

      Besides , why do we need a load of overpaid commentators to tell us what we can see and here ?

      I note they are not too keen on letting us hear the crowd singing – the crowd present will come away with an entirely different impression fro those of us watching the bloody ,biased corporation.

    102. Dorothy Devine says:


    103. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Talking of ‘familiar rings’, please pop over to the WOS Twitter feed. Looks like Ian Smart is back on the meths…

    104. John H. says:

      There’s one thing that I’ve noticed about the people I’ve met who say they will vote No.Not one of them has shown any love for the Union in any way.They are simply feart, having listened to the lies of Project Fear.

      If we can counter those lies we will win these folk over.

    105. No no no...yes says:

      Phoned to complain 03700 100 222
      Please do likewise.

      Uforgiveable showing a recorded Interview and denying live coverage.

    106. Rock says:


      “As regards the referendum being unlawful: So was the American revolution. Casting off governments is rarely lawful, but it can be peaceful.”

      Do you think the ‘governments’ of the colonies, stolen land of other people, were ‘lawful’ in the first place?

      I would say the American revolution and the freedom movements were perfectly lawful as they were trying to overthrow the unlawful governments imposed on them.

      In the same sense, Scotland holding an independence referendum DID NOT require Westminster’s ‘approval’.

      If rUK refused to accept the YES result of a referendum held ‘without its approval’, it would become a pariah state. It was simply a face saving move by Cameron to ‘approve’ our referendum.

    107. Murray McCallum says:

      Ian Smart just reminding everyone why he is BBC Scotland’s go to news guy.

      It seems to be his way of promoting himself to the state broadcaster so he can get on their shows as the voice of reasoned argument.

    108. Free at 63! says:

      @John H 9.42.

      I was talking to a former SNP Councillor about a month ago and we both agreed that some people ‘need permission’ to vote Yes. That is: they want to vote Yes but need someone to confirm they are not ‘making a mistake’.

      Brought this up in the Yes Clydebank shop this afternoon and they agreed.

      With all the lies of MPs, MSPs, BBC and press it is no wonder they don’t know who to believe, especially if they are not politically aware.

      I’ve often wondered how I would feel if I had not been politically aware – still wondering!

    109. Rock says:


      “I see Alex gets to go first and gets to give the last speech

      brill, we could not have asked for better

      The outcome of the coin toss determined that Mr Salmond would speak first in the opening statements and last in the closing statements.”

      Fate has been on Scotland’s side ever since the SNP got an absolute majority and a referendum could finally be delivered.

      If we had a neutral media, we would be looking at an 80% Yes vote.

      Without rigging, my forecast is for 55% Yes.

    110. Robert Peffers says:

      @heedtracker says: 31 July, 2014 at 2:21 pm:

      “No voters say why change anything, it’s fine for me but is it?.

      Aye! That was exactly what one guy said to me a few weeks ago. I replied with a dead pan face, “Oh! Guid, anither YES voted”. He looked kinda angry, so I said, “Ye did say ye wantit things tae stay the same did ye no”? He spluttered,(I had to dodge the spittins), “Aye bit that means Ah want tae stay in the Union”. So I said, “But if you vote NO then ane or twa things ir gaun tae chinge”. I explained that if NO won then it was certain that prescription charges, free home care for the elderly, free Uni education and the frozen Council charge were on the way out. He said that his Labour Councillor told him they would not.

      So I said, “Did he tell you that because of Barnett Consequentials the Scottish Block Grant would have to be cut”? The answer was not what I expected – He said, “Whit’s Barnett Consequentials”? I told him to ask Alex Rowley to explain it to him and if he didn’t understand Alex to ask me to explain it.

      Next time I saw him he said he asked Alex Rowley but could I explain it again. I did and left it at that. Next time I passed his house there was a YES sign in the window and I spoke to a YES activist who works the area who told me she had converted him a day or so ago. I said, “Weel din. Keep up the guid wirk Hen”. Only thing is – I’d like to have heard that Rowley Barnett Consequentials explanation.

    111. CameronB Brodie says:

      I have just discovered replacing the “c” with a “k”, when referencing a common breakfast cereal, still gets blocked. Which makes it kind of hard to comment on the Boris Johnson’s social Darwinism analogy.

      P.S. I do not expect the British state to treat me as a flake of breakfast cereal. I will not be ground to dust so that some may rise to the top.

    112. heraldnomore says:

      Hmm, BAA looking to sell both Aberdeen and Glasgow airports. Having already sold Edinburgh because of the monopoly in Scotland what’s behind this next move? If a buyer is found BAA will have nothing outwith rUK.

      The parent company is now Spanish, which is what tends to happen when UK sells its state owned assets.

    113. Big Jock says:

      Gabby Logan wife of Just Say Naw Kenny Brit/Scot Logan.Tries to throw the word British into everything.They can’t bring themselves to actually say they are in Scotland.The English guy interviewing at the track keeps saying things like :”of course you have raced in Britain before”.I truly believe that the Scots view England as their country but they view Scotland as part of their country.If I was in England I would describe something as yours the English describe it as ours! That’s the fundamental difference and why we get really angry.The arrogance to claim everything as your own is the natural state of many English people.

    114. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      OK, that’s weird. Will someone explain to me why the name of Kellog’s most popular product is blocked?

    115. tartanarse says:

      corny flack

    116. tartanarse says:

      I’ve tried many other variants but corny flack is the only one getting through.

      I know it’s not altogether helpful in the context of the thread but I don’t get out much.

    117. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Does it have some other prurient meaning I’m unaware of? But why block that when actual sweary-words get through?

    118. CameronB Brodie says:

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to de-rail. 🙂

    119. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There is a big difference between the use of non-NHS organisation on the margins and the current policy of wholesale privatisation.”

      Then why isn’t he calling for it to be stopped/reversed, rather than just paused?

    120. Defo says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      “Talking of ‘familiar rings’, please pop over to the WOS Twitter feed. Looks like Ian Smart is back on the meths…”

      I thought it was going to be a piece about the strange tale of Dr Fox & Mr Werrity.


    121. Mary Bruce says:

      Hey, Morag, my husband directed our undecided brother in law here to Wings and it turns out he’s your cousin (smiley thing). He is available for conversion! Hopefully he’ll get in touch here.

    122. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      I have about 36 cousins (no kidding). Which one are we talking about?

    123. Mary Bruce says:

      Don’t want to reveal any identities… will tell him to get on here and talk to you.

    124. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Some of them have my email address but some of them don’t. Big mystery time.

    125. Mary Bruce says:

      I’ll pm you on twitter.

    126. MONKEYS 43 miles from FUKUSHIMA are testing positive for radioactive Caesium in the muscle tissue and the white blood cells are also being severely affected.

      Fukushima monkeys eat the same mushrooms and forest berries etc. as the nearby city which has a population of over one million people.

      People are not being tested for Caesium radioactivity in their muscle tissue.?

      Just watched the RT Report on “The Big Picture” fronted by Thom Hartmann.

      The shores and seabed around Dounreay have been heavily contaminated where we know “Accidents” remained hidden from the Public on many occasions. Workers waited until they had retired before becoming Whistle-blowers.

    127. How many times have we witnessed the banks that WE OWN set-aside £600million or more for PPI and/or Libor fines or repayments

      Scotland`s “Barnett Formula Consequentials” is being ROBBED only this week of £60 MILLION.

      Has anyone kept track of all these set-asides that are plundering billions from Scotland.?

      From faulty memory, I seem to calculate that so far, around £7 billions have been set-aside and LOST to Yankee fines for malfeasance, yet zero bankers are in gaol?

      Maybe the bankers have the “GOODS” on Crash and Stash (Gordon and Alisdair) so their reciprocal waltz can keep turning.

      Ten per cent of £7 billion = £700 million plundered from Scotland.

      BTW – via our taxes and Nics, once upon a time, WE were the only shareholders who paid for the NHS.

      Ludicrously, we now pay the Profits to Privatisation, Pay for NHS and Pay for that wonderful invention of Crash and Stash – their ” Private Finance Initiative ” where we pay by a factor of ELEVEN times Cost.

      Never forget PFI – a solely SLAB scab invention.

    128. Malki says:

      I think he’s afraid he won’t have anything left to sell to his mates if the Tories let their pals have it all first.

    129. Brotyboy says:

      Malcolm Chisholm insisting that this is all a lie.

    130. Davy says:

      OT – just watched the start and end of deputy dugdales speech guess what? Its SNPBAD, I couldn’t be bothered to watch the middle part life is to short.

      If labour thinks this is the way forward god help us.????

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