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And now for the truth

Posted on November 27, 2014 by

It’ll be a brave Yes voter who buys a newspaper (other than The National) or switches on their TV or radio today, because Scotland is already enduring an outpouring of concentrated spin and outright deception that perhaps even exceeds that seen in the last few weeks before the independence referendum.

pishlies

Blood pressures will be soaring across the land as people are told things about the final report of the Smith Commission that are flatly at odds with the reality, by journalists and broadcasters who either know perfectly well that what they’re saying is false or haven’t bothered to try to find out.

Below, you’ll find the facts.

——————————————————————————————————-

1. Firstly, the Commission’s recommendations are just that – recommendations. They are not law, and are not binding on any government or party.

The Commission, for example, recommends the devolution of Air Passenger Duty and the Aggregates Levy. But devolution of Air Passenger Duty and the Aggregates Levy were also recommended by the Calman Commission in 2009 (paragraph 27), yet NOT devolved by the subsequent Scotland Act.

As happened in 2010, it’s perfectly possible than the incoming UK government could simply reject the recommendations once elected. Scottish Labour decided against the devolution of Air Passenger Duty in its devolution proposals earlier this year and has made no subsequent statement revising that view.

[EDIT 6pm: Indeed, the party has now released a statement demanding that the UK government take measures to prevent English airports being disadvantaged, which in practice means abandoning the whole plan.]

By way of example of the Smith report’s non-binding nature, it also states that “MPs representing constituencies across the whole of the UK will continue to decide the UK’s Budget, including Income Tax” – a sop to Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling’s complaints that Scottish MPs would become “second-class” if income tax was fully devolved (which it hasn’t been in any event).

Yet within minutes David Cameron had announced his intention to press ahead with legislation for “English votes for English laws” in the next few weeks, saying the case for EVEL was now “unanswerable”.

cameronevel

Labour even helpfully insisted on the Smith Commission saying its recommendations would “not be conditional on the conclusion of other political negotiations elsewhere in the UK” (page 9). Cameron can therefore legitimately claim that EVEL is a completely separate issue to Smith, and does not breach it.

Labour’s only comfort in terms of their Scottish MPs becoming inferior representatives unable to help a Labour government get UK budgets through Parliament must be that on current polling, they’re not going to have any anyway.

——————————————————————————————————-

2. Despite the hysterical front page of today’s Daily Record, the “Scottish Government budget” will NOT be “almost doubled” by the recommendations, even if they were implemented in full. The Smith Commission report is extremely clear on the subject:

“the Scottish and UK Governments’ budgets should be no larger or smaller simply as a result of the initial transfer of tax and/or spending powers, before considering how these are used. 

(a) This means that the initial devolution and assignment of tax receipts should be accompanied by a reduction in the block grant equivalent to the revenue forgone by the UK Government.” (page 25, paragraph 95)

(All emphases in this post are ours.)

It’s hard to see how that statement could be any less ambiguous: no more cash.

——————————————————————————————————-

3. The Record also claims, breathless with excitement, that “Scotland will be allocated £5 billion of VAT receipts, 50 per cent of the VAT take in the country”. But the Smith report makes abundantly plain that this too will NOT result in any extra money for the Scottish Government’s budget:

“The receipts raised in Scotland by the first 10 percentage points of the standard rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) will be assigned to the Scottish Government’s budget. 

These receipts should be calculated on a verified basis, to be agreed between the UK and Scottish Governments, with a corresponding adjustment to the block grant received from the UK Government in line with the principles set out in paragraph 95.”

Paragraph 95 is the section we’ve quoted in point (2) above, which explicitly says that any changes should not result in an increase or decrease to the Scottish Government budget, directly at odds with the Record’s spin.

What that means is that any “extra” money assigned in VAT will be immediately clawed back from the block grant – in other words, the amount of money in Holyrood’s budget will be exactly the same, but some of it will be labelled differently.

Westminster, to all practical intents and purposes, will hand Scotland a tenner with one hand and take back two fivers with the other hand.

——————————————————————————————————-

4. Almost all welfare powers will remain reserved to Westminster:

smithwelfare

Housing benefit will NOT be extricated from Universal Credit, as Labour’s devolution proposals had claimed would be possible (without ever explaining how). Holyrood’s power over it will extend only in being able to choose to pay housing benefits weekly or fortnightly instead of monthly. Fetch the bunting and cancel police leave.

Paragraph 45 merely reiterates what is the current position – Holyrood can mitigate the effects of the bedroom tax by paying it out of its own budget. It will NOT be able to “abolish” the tax. The only change recommended by Smith is that Holyrood will now be able to do so for other benefits without requiring Westminster’s permission first.

——————————————————————————————————-

5. As we’ve previously discussed, the changes to control of income tax are in any practical effect non-existent, and were almost all provided for already by the Scotland Act 2012 and due to be implemented by 2015/16 anyway.

But even the limited new proposals in Smith are all but meaningless. As noted by the BBC’s Douglas Fraser today, it is in practice close to impossible to effectively vary income tax rates inside the borders of a unitary state:

“within a united Britain, it looks like being very easy for high earners to move their tax address to other parts of the UK, avoiding the highest rate of tax, and depriving the Scottish finance minister of a lot of cash.”

Smith also does NOT propose devolution of revenue from income tax on savings and dividends – something else which WAS recommended by the Calman Commission report (paragraph 32) but not implemented. This further reduces any possible powers of wealth redistribution, as does Westminster’s retention of personal allowances.

——————————————————————————————————-

It would be churlish to claim that the Smith Commission report doesn’t recommend ANY new powers at all. For example, there’s this:

roadsigns

Sarcasm aside, allowing the public sector to bid for rail franchises, the devolution of some limited powers relating to the Crown Estates and fracking, some incapacity benefits, and the ability to give 16/17-year-olds the vote in Holyrood elections, are to be welcomed (if actually implemented). It wasn’t plausible for the Commission not to throw Scotland SOME crumbs, and crumbs are better than nothing.

Nevertheless, the Smith report represents the absolute bare minimum the Unionist parties thought they could possibly manage to get away with. In terms of devolving to Holyrood the ability to create jobs, grow the economy or improve social justice, it offers nothing whatsoever. It won’t rescue a single family from a single foodbank.

(Although at least it’ll be possible to put up road signs showing them where it is.)

The partial “devolution” of VAT receipts is simply the relabelling of one part of the money that Holyrood already gets. Expressly and explicitly, as a fundamental guiding principle of its work, the Commission’s recommendations will NOT add a single penny to the Scottish Government’s budget.

reservedpowers

The “new” tax powers, meanwhile, are cosmetic and almost entirely unusable – Tax Research UK this morning called them “the worst possible solution for everyone”. The best that Scotland can hope for is that if the Scottish Parliament doesn’t exercise them they will do no damage.

The Scottish and UK media, for its own varying and sometimes contradictory reasons, will spend today and much of the next few months attempting to massively exaggerate the actuality and the ramifications of Lord Smith’s conclusions. Readers should trust them even less than usual, if such a thing is possible.

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    288 to “And now for the truth”

    1. Alastair says:

      Smoke and mirrors. We’re aw stupit up here, apparently!

    2. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Excellent article Stuart

    3. Donald MacKenzie says:

      What we need to be doing is using every means at our disposal to counter the, “outpouring of concentrated spin and outright deception”, to which you correctly refer. It sticks in the craw to think that people will absorb and believe this.

      Fine, say, “This is what is being recommended. We think it’s a good enough deal.” But the Record et al obviously know it’s nowhere near what’s required and are trying to cover that that in bluff, bluster and lies. A sad day for democracy.

    4. Rod Robertson says:

      Surprise ,surprise ,Record are not allowing comments on their pack of lies

    5. Andy Howie says:

      The sum of that report is we get to drive faster and stop fracking. Thats it. I hope the no voters are pleased with themselves

    6. balaaargh says:

      Look! There! The record has the vow on their front page! See, it really does exist…

    7. Macart says:

      I’ve only given the thing the once over this morning and its already way too late on the blood pressure front.

      No wonder those two heroes of BT are standing down as MPs for the May elections. They’ve sold us into this bullshit nothing deal on a bed of lies. I hope they choke on their after dinner earnings. They’ve earned every single penny of their thirty pieces of silver.

    8. My take on today and yesterday and where we go from here.

      Labour hasn’t given Scotland what it wants, but it’s given many of its own MP’s exactly what it didn’t want.

      What a shambles they are 🙂

      http://www.commentisntfree.com/every-loser-wins/

    9. tartanfever says:

      I have no idea why the SNP decided to participate in the Smith Commission in the first place. All they have done is allow the UK establishment to use the argument that these talks are ‘cross party’ and show the ‘agreement on powers of all of Scotland’, which will undoubtedly be the spin emanating from Westminster and the UK media.

      The vow was a unionist pledge, they should have been left to decide it for themselves.

      As we have seen, the corrupt OBR and other dodgy government institutions on whom we rely on to give us economic breakdown’s and ‘official figures’ will undoubtedly fiddle yet more reports to ‘prove’ that Scotland will be better off when actually we won’t.

      This is the perfect vehicle for Westminster to admonish yet more responsibility and to further con the Scottish people out of more of our taxes whilst being able to lay blame at the door of Holyrood.

    10. Ken500 says:

      Just a complete waste of time and money. Scotland needs control over spending to make any difference.

      Vote SNP/Alliance 7/5/15

    11. Rosemary Champion says:

      Great article; depressing content. I feel almost as depressed as I did on 19th September. I didn’t expect much but I hoped; and my expectations were met and my hopes dashed.

      Oh well, we know what to do now.

      On the plus side, “The National” was sold out in our local newsagent this morning 🙂

    12. Lollysmum says:

      Good article laying out the results in lay terms. Column in tomorrow’s National using this??????

      Voters aren’t going to find a clearer explanation anywhere else are they?

    13. wingman 2020 says:

      Its a great shame that the SNP didn’t walk-out of the Smith Commission the moment the farce was confirmed.

      It is time for an additional political organisation in Scotland.

    14. Jimbo says:

      The Smith Commission is turning out exactly as I expected. Scotland voted NO – Now we’re getting our reward – We’re getting stitched-up by the Westminster establishment.

    15. Colin Church says:

      It is not only delivering on VOW according to Begg in WM “Scotland get back in your box” talking shop just now it is the VOW MAX. Alistair agrees!

    16. Quentin Quale says:

      I thought the msm had hit a high point of lies, deception and rubbish in the weeks leading up to the referendum. Seems I was way off the mark. This is as black a day for Scotland as the outcome of the referendum. The commission many thought would deliver nothing has done exactly that. A pointless exercise for the people of Scotland – job done for those in Unionist parties. They think.

    17. desimond says:

      “within a united Britain, it looks like being very easy for high earners to move their tax address to other parts of the UK, avoiding the highest rate of tax, and depriving the Scottish finance minister of a lot of cash.”

      FLIP!

      The words “kicked into long grass” have already been uttered by an English MP in reply to Mr Carmichaels House of Commons announcement.

    18. Karmanaut says:

      Now begins the information war.

      To keep the Scots suppressed, the Britnats are going to have to maintain their lies for a year through their media.

      But if people learn the truth, we can win real powers for Scotland, and ultimately independence.

      A shame they didn’t recoomend letting 16-17 y/o vote in the UK elections as well as the Scottish ones, as this would have forced equivalent changes in the rUK. Young voters are more inclined to use social media, which is less prone to manipulation by the propaganda the Britnats so rely on.

    19. Tamson says:

      Good summary. It’s astonishing how little substantive power is on offer here.

      If anything, the SNP and Greens risk criticism for playing along. I can see why some Labour types were rumouring an SNP walkout, as these proposals look like they were designed to provoke one.

    20. wingman 2020 says:

      Does the National have the balls to call-out the other media? If not, then it too is not worth supporting.

      Scotland needs a truly independent media with teeth. A newspaper who is not afraid to attacking other media falsehoods.

      Do we have that?

    21. author_al says:

      Anas Sanwar, Cameron, Carmichael, Darling etc all acting as if home rule has been delivered. Murphy crows that the job is done, move on. I feel sick. The Smith Commission is mutton dressed as mutton for a night out at the slaughterhouse. As Nicola sturgeon says, the majority of tax raised in scotland will still be Westminsters to keep. All we have is relabelling, nothing new. A watered down offer that will evaporate by the time it gets through the Lords or wherever they pour such indigestible slop. Effing annoyed.

    22. Betty Boop says:

      @ Alastair, 11:22am

      Smoke and mirrors. We’re aw stupit up here, apparently!

      If we go by the referendum, apparently more than a few are fairly close.

      Regarding the report, I am reading it and being thoroughly underwhelmed. The closest to federalism in the UK (paraphrase) – aye right…

    23. Doug Daniel says:

      Yet again, Scotland offered limited devolution to shut us up for a bit. Just like the Scotland Act 2012, it’ll be years before we see any of these “powers” (we’re still waiting for most of the Scotland Act 2012 to be put into practice), and in that time, we’ll get told by Labour that we need to wait and see how those powers perform before we get to ask for more.

      Fuck it. The SNP should just put plans for another referendum in their 2016 manifesto, without any caveats about the EU referendum or whatever. I don’t want to have to wait until my 40s before we get another go.

    24. desimond says:

      So, anyone who gave it “I for now shall keep an open mind and await the outcome of the Smith Commission with optimism” still feeling so charitable?

      I await the sight of unelected Ruth Davidson telling me just how much good she has done for my nation.

    25. G H Graham says:

      There were over 10,000 submissions to the Smith Commission in less than 8 weeks. Anyone who believes that even a fraction of these were even considered, never mind read is fooling themselves.

      And the proof is all over the final report; a miserable menu of stale crumbs.

      So what to do? Well, how about booting out every single Labour, Liberal & Conservative MP next May?

      No, it wont change the content of the Smith Commission but what it will do is keep the pressure up on Westminster to at least deliver what’s on the lousy menu.

    26. Ananurhing says:

      Both Ming and Carmichael stating that Smith falls short of their ideal of a federated UK.

      Game on for Devo Max referendum.

    27. onelessday says:

      Will we have to compensate the queen for loss of income from the crown estates? Serious question

    28. wingman 2020 says:

      @Doug Daniels

      “Fuck it. The SNP should just put plans for another referendum in their 2016 manifesto, without any caveats about the EU referendum or whatever. I don’t want to have to wait until my 40s before we get another go.”

      I agree. It should never leave their manifesto. Let people come over to the SNP for what it is.

    29. unclebob says:

      Doug Daniel said:
      “I don’t want to have to wait until my 40s before we get another go.”

      A lot of us are well past their 40’s.
      We want it now!!!
      Sick of all this shite.

    30. the great elbe says:

      It should be renamed THE CON. That in effect is what is aided and abetted by the Britnat unionist mouthpieces in the media. A pox on all of those liars and spin merchants.

    31. Luigi says:

      We’ve now done our bit.
      We accepted the result.
      We acknowledged the vow.
      We listened.
      We sat back and waited.
      We gave them a chance to deliver.
      We have been perfectly reasonable.
      We have been let down.

      Now the gloves are off. Are we ready for round two?

    32. Nana Smith says:

      @unclebob

      Damn right!

    33. charlie says:

      As noted by the BBC’s Douglas Fraser today, it is in practice close to impossible to effectively vary income tax rates inside the borders of a unitary state:

      well I must disagree as they do so in Switzerland with I guess what you would call a federal income tax and a local income tax that is set my the local municipality

    34. crisiscult says:

      well in some ways we can be glad, those of us who want independence at least. These meagre offerings can be used as a rallying call to keep the momentum of Yes groups going. Things had gone a little quiet recently and some people may have drifted off.

      Do you think UK still following the Canada/Quebec blueprint?

      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/09/19/what_ominous_lessons_britain_can_learn_from_postreferendum_quebec.html

      So frightened by the near-death experience, prime minister Chrétien said in the final days of the campaign that he too favoured recognizing Quebec as a distinct society and giving Quebecers additional constitutional powers, though little of substance ever materialized.

      What did appear were conspicuous Canadian flags on buildings throughout the province, at festivals, competitions and other events held in the province of Quebec. All part of a plan, it was later revealed, to boost the presence and image of Ottawa in Quebec.

      The move was funded through the federal sponsorship program, which is better known now as the sponsorship scandal after the public learned that millions of dollars in federal contracts for little or no work were awarded to advertising firms in Quebec that had ties to Chrétien’s Liberal party.

      Or is it more likely UK Gov just wants to make the Scottish Gov less popular?

    35. Lollysmum says:

      Don’t blame SNP-thats what WM parties want you to do. If SNP had walked out of Smith then they would have been accused of scuppering the negotiations. They did right by staying to the bitter end as it leaves their reputation intact-press has nothing they can blame SNP for.

      What Smith did do was confirm that Scotland will get nothing unless it goes for independence. Now it’s a case of influencing NOes with the truth. Westminster has no intention of passing any meaningful powers over to Holyrood EVER.

      Need to get cracking now on unseating all SLABBERS in Scotland. Use your votes wisely folks -the future of your country depends on it.

    36. Chris says:

      It wouldn’t be tenable to increase the top rate of tax above that in other parts of the UK, but if I’m not mistaken it could be lowered to take advantage of tax competition.

      To illustrate, some quick sums (may be wrong!) on 2010/11 income tax liabilities from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130403014411/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/tax-statistics/liabilities.pdf. It show that top earners made ~£57bn in earnings above £150k. If you tempt some of those to redomicile to Scotland by having a lower rate than in England you get a big injection of cash into the Scottish coffers.

      For example a 30p top rate of tax, tempting only 10% of big earners to redomicile to take advantage of huge savings, the Treasury would lose £2.5bn (@45p) but the Scottish coffers would gain £1.7bn (an extra 15% of total income tax revenue on top of the £11bn collected in Scotland that year).

      Would take a pretty brave Scottish Government though – it would be difficult to sell tax cuts for the rich to the average voter, despite it somewhat shafting the Treasury and bringing additional cash to Scotland. Though by moving around the thresholds it may be possible to lower income tax for everyone and still increase Scottish revenues.

      This makes me think that this recommendation will be watered down as it passes through Commons/Lords.

    37. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “well I must disagree as they do so in Switzerland with I guess what you would call a federal income tax and a local income tax that is set my the local municipality”

      Local income tax is a completely separate issue, the equivalent of council tax here.

    38. Jim Mitchell says:

      Well what were we expecting, mind you if the vow, as some claim, has been shown to have been kept, then there is no need for any further reticence over it and all those in anyway responsible can now come forward and admit it with pride, can’t they?

    39. Marcia says:

      Lollysmum

      Agree with you there. The SNP got no end of stick for their representatives pulling out from the Constitutional Convention when the terms of reference did not suit their aims.

    40. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Devo-Max” my earse. “As near to federalism” my earse.

      Time now for the SNP to get in their GE2015 manifesto:

      “If elected the SNP will hold a referendum in Scotland on Devo-Max (that is ALL powers to Hollyrood with the exception of Defense, Foreign Affairs & Macro Economic powers).”

    41. ronnie anderson says:

      New chair for Jackie Baillie a ELECTRIC WAN, I’ll buy the power card.

    42. John grant says:

      I expected this shite , but I still am totally deflated

    43. wingman 2020 says:

      @Lollysmum

      Thats one way to look at it… Another way is that their exit would have highlighted and publicised the failure of the commission. Look at it now. The Unionists are spinning it as a raging success. How many people in Scotland will be fooled? Quite a percentage I wager.

      As I posted overleaf already

      The only question I have.

      1. How many people are like us, and understand that this is, as expected, a farce?

      2. How many people are going to be fooled by Labour volte-face and spin?

      3. How many NO voters are going to be angry at this outcome?

      4. What is the best graphical representation (easily grasped explanation) of what has happened?

      5. How can we confirm 1, reduce 2 and increase number 3… and draw up a variety of our own outcomes for number 4?

      That’s all.

      This is all the strategy thats needed before May

    44. desimond says:

      @luigi

      To quote Rocky 3

      “He’s getting killed out there!”
      “No, no, no! He ain’t gettin’ killed; he’s gettin’ mad!!”

    45. tactile vision says:

      As a youth, like everyone else in Scotland, I received my National Insurance number from tax Centre 1, East Kilbride. A couple of years later I joined the RAF and my tax account was transferred to Cardiff. This is standard procedure for security reasons and I imagine also applies to army and Navy recruits. Can other ex-service personnel confirm this?

      Even after leaving the RAF and spending 12 years working offshore, my tax has been paid to Cardiff, not in Scotland, so I must have been invisible to any calculations of Scottish income tax take.

      Looking at the wider picture, there are many Scots who have had to move to other parts of the UK to find employment, as well as people from other parts of the UK now domiciled in Scotland.

      It seems apparent that,in order to determine which income tax receipts should be apportioned to Scotland, there has to be a cross border rebalancing of the tax system to determine who pays on either side of that border. Is this one of the reasons that Smith believes that the SG should compensate HMRC for any costs incurred?

      I think we are about to be stuffed and stitched up like a de-boned turkey.

    46. A.N.Surgent says:

      Well said Stu. A pig wearing lipstick is still a pig. In this case it`s wearing eye-liner and false eyelashes as well.

      Devo- Zero is what it amounts to.

    47. desimond says:

      @wingman

      4. What is the best graphical representation (easily grasped explanation) of what has happened?

      To put it in I.T terms

      Shite In, Shite Out.

    48. McDuff says:

      You have told it as it really is Rev.
      Despite signing up to this meaningless rubbish I hope the Scottish government will publicly expose the true reality of these“ toy town“ powers as concisely as you have done. I also hope the National will give us some critical headlines as I for one am fed up with the velvet glove approach.

    49. Ali says:

      While the moving of some tax powers doesn’t change the actual amounts raised it does make a transition easier to an independent country. If you are already handling your income tax and VAT receipts it’s one less barrier when the tie is cut. The cost and trouble of setting up a new Scotland will have been reduced by that much.

    50. Nana Smith says:

      STUC on Smith Commission Proposals

      November 27th 2014

      Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union congress (STUC) General Secretary said: “Whilst there are certainly positive elements in these proposals, we are underwhelmed by the package as a whole which does not meet our aspirations.

      “STUC continues to believe that control over employment law, equalities and minimum wages is a necessity if inequality is to be effectively challenged. We will continue to press for this.

      “The no detriment clause and retention of the Barnett Formula is to be welcomed but the proposals for further fiscal devolution do not go far enough. Without the key powers over inheritance and capital gains taxes meaningful tax and land reform will be more difficult.

      “The power to create additional welfare provision is certainly to be welcomed as is the devolution of the work program. However, in sum total, there is not enough to empower the Scottish Parliament to tackle inequality in Scotland.

      “As Lord Smith made clear, this is an agreement between political parties and has yet to be tested against the opinions and aspirations of the Scottish people. The STUC reaffirms its call for a citizen led process in the coming months to establish whether the vow has been fulfilled.”

    51. Calgacus says:

      I am stunned at their stupidity in thinking they can get away with this devo nothing.

      If they had come out with something approaching FFA or Devo Max then perhaps a compromise could have been reached.

      As it stands, this bowl of cereal should be rejected and our own referendum on Devo Max held after GE 7/5/15.

    52. McDuff says:

      You have told it like it is Rev.
      Although the Scottish government has signed up to this meaningless rubbish I hope they publically denounce it as concisely as you have done. I also hope the National gives us some critical headlines and points out in detail the con that this “commission“ really is.
      I for one have had enough of the velvet glove approach.

    53. scotsbob says:

      Between now and the election Labour and their friends in the press are going to hype this up as a great deal for Scotland.
      We have to use the ballot box to get rid of as many red/blue Tories as we possibly can.

    54. Time Warner says:

      The overall aggressive conduct of the British State – collectively Brown’s Vow signed by the cheerleaders, “Lord” Smith’s “chairmanship” and the anti-patriot blanket media – needs to be seen for what it is.

      The “Vow/Smith-commission/blanket-unionist-media” trick to divert Scottish independence and then suppress Scottish will is an aggressive abuse of Scottish trust and democracy that justifies an immediate referendum on DevoMax (including FFA, restoration of Scotland’s sovreign marine economic zone and an opt in/opt out authority for Scots regiments’ involvement overseas).

    55. muttley79 says:

      @Wingman

      The National deserves the support of all independence supporters, and people who feel let down by the promises. Would you rather there was no independence supporting newspapers again?

    56. farrochie says:

      William Hague has just announced a command paper on “options for England” before Xmas.

      Tories asking for a debate and a vote in House of Commons.

    57. faolie says:

      @chris: …the Treasury would lose £2.5bn (@45p) but the Scottish coffers would gain £1.7bn… Sounds good, but then surely this clause then takes effect, does it not?

      (a) This means that the initial devolution and assignment of tax receipts should be accompanied by a reduction in the block grant equivalent to the revenue forgone by the UK Government.”

      Net effect 0?

    58. HandandShrimp says:

      The Smith Commission is less bold than I had tentatively hoped it would be. Obviously the more Holyrood controls the smaller the step to full independence but this is but only a half step closer I fear.

      Nevertheless the outpouring of griping and moaning and Cameron’s EVEL may serve us better than Smith did.

    59. Marcia says:

      Alex Massie lectures the right that the Yes campaigners won’t go away.

      https://archive.today/PWmoW

    60. Les Wilson says:

      I think a referendum to accept or reject.

    61. R-type Grunt says:

      UDI is, and always has been, the only real answer for Scotland. Independence is taken & not given.

    62. ronnie anderson says:

      Kin anybody recommend ah Brain Transplant Surgeon,ah need tae look at these recommendations with a differant mind, maybe the UK gov will devolve free Labotomys to the Scottish People & solve all they’re problems.

    63. Grizzle McPuss says:

      I have been earnestly reading all the articles on WoS for the past few days and have digested the many comments. For once I wanted to listen and assess; break free a little from my political naivety.

      Today I am devoid of wit and/or sarcasm.

      Instead, today I weep for Scotland, its peoples, my children…the future.

      OTT?

      Not in my humble view.

      It’s hard to accept the 300 plus years of being part of a nation that’s been held in such contempt by not only the English establishment, but also the many ‘myopic within’; some of my own fellow country-folk.

      Yet again, through power, corruption and a political game that has been developed to represent no more than a money making club, the less fortunate of our society are again thrown nothing as the me-me-me culture pervades from on high.

      Roll on GE2015…SE2016…

    64. Les Wilson says:

      Sorry O/T
      Is this the future of renewable energy in Scotland?
      http://albatern.co.uk/wavenet/wavenet/

    65. Morgan Laurie says:

      Murphy is spot on with his statement that we need to move on, directly to stage 2 as they continue to ignore the majority of the Scottish public who real powers to ensure that we live in the fair and just society that Scotland. If we produced crap work then our employers would be justified in sacking us. So as the employers of these so called politicians in west minister who continue to hold us back let’s sack them in the GE.

    66. Sinky says:

      ” Assigned revenues” is just a con as Barnett funding will be reduced according and it means a half baked fiscal system that gives the Scottish responsibilities without power to take major decisions.

      The Unionists don’t trust Scots to take grown up decisions over abortion, broadcasting, excise duties, oil revenues and all the normal powers that would come with a “near” federal system as promised in the Vow.

      If the London parties don’t trust Scots to be adults why should we vote for London parties.

    67. muttley79 says:

      @R-Type Grunt

      UDI is, and always has been, the only real answer for Scotland. Independence is taken & not given.

      Oh please not this nonsense again. How about trying to think up ways to convince more people in Scotland to support independence in the near future, rather than this suicidal tactic.

    68. muttley79 says:

      @Macart

      I would not trust that journalist as far as I could throw him. He is a Westminster insider, do not trust what he says.

    69. One_Scot says:

      If The National wants to show the Scottish public what it’s made of, it has the perfect opportunity tomorrow.

    70. Helena Brown says:

      Les Wilson says:
      27 November, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I think a referendum to accept or reject. I agree

      R-type Grunt says:
      27 November, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      UDI is, and always has been, the only real answer for Scotland. Independence is taken & not given, Strangely I also agree.
      I think it is time that the SNP realise they are actually just doing the bidding of the Establishment. I remember during the Referendum reading a very interesting article by Lesley Riddoch in which she said that it was time the SNP realised that they were not actually in Government, that they were in many ways simply and executive where they could mitigate the worst of the effects of Westminster but had no other powers.
      We need to realise we are the people likely to Break up Britain, we are Rebels to these people and we need to become Guerrillas rather than Patsys.

    71. indigo says:

      Devo max referendum on the cards.

      I think the SNP are playing this well, co-operative, giving other parties the benefit of the doubt, respecting the result of the refereundum and quietly let the other parties damage each other. Then, in the run up to the GE, they’ll pounce and propose devo max referendum in order to reflect the majority view of the Scottish people because Smith hasn’t delivered enough. Game on.

    72. Devereux says:

      @tartanfever

      I wonder if the SNP and Greens are not being rather clever. Walking out of Smith would have been satisfying but this has always been a long game.

      Pushing radical new reforms at home – and ‘nobly’ and reluctantly coming to the table for the sake of Scotland at UK level will play well with No voters inclined to vote SNP, Green or SSP in the general election. This is vital if we are going to try to make inroads into Labour constituencies.

      Also, for No voters and people in rUK the announcement gives a sense of change, that there is more power coming to Scotland. We know it is a sham but it solidifies expectations of autonomy as being normal. Which is what we ultimately want. It reinforces the principle of the Scottish parliament and further reduces the idea of a ‘pretendy parliament’ with no relevance. The STUC, for example, are already complaining that the Commission has not gone far enough – and who would imagine that a decade ago. A few years more and the majority will understand it is not nearly enough.

      One of the reasons the polls are so surprising after the referendum is that underneath the media hype the message is slowly getting through. Even people down south are starting to understand the constitutional mess that is the UK. That is why Labour bleat that the losers appear to be setting the agenda.

      In a sense, the SNP, Greens and SSP can play politics knowing that us, the engaged, informed, 1.6m will drive the message home. We can be negative. We can shout to the rooftops that it is a pig in a poke and a Tory trap.

      There are terrible dangers ahead. Huge threats with nothing guaranteed. But we are an army with two fronts now. Cracks are in the ceiling and water is pouring through. And no-one wins without some blood on the table.

      The SNP know damn well what the Tories are up to (as do a desperate Labour Party).

      English votes for English laws is the biggie. Are they really mad enough to do it? Because the day they introduce that, champagne will pop at Bute House. It will be the end of the union.

    73. Jim McIntosh says:

      Tomorrow is put-up-or-shut up-day for the National. If it doesn’t dedicate at least 3-4 pages ripping the Smith report apart it is probably a lost cause.

      The strapline of the paper is ‘The Newspaper that supports an independent Scotland’ so I hope that stated intention goes as far as championing events and people that lead towards that goal and criticising events and people that don’t.

    74. Stoker says:

      unclebob says:
      27 November, 2014 at 11:55 am
      Doug Daniel said:
      “I don’t want to have to wait until my 40s before we get another go.”

      A lot of us are well past their 40’s.
      We want it now!!!
      Sick of all this shite.
      _______________________

      Exactly!

      We need to become far more active and demonstrative.

      I think its time this Yes Movement was pulled together and massive rallies organised – one a month leading up to and including May15.

      Demos on the scale of the anti poll tax protests.
      No, on second thoughts, much bigger and better than that.

      Let people get the festive season over with then start in January.

      Someone needs to grab the bull by the horns and organise this.
      We just can’t sit back and continue to let them sh!te on us.

      Organise our own roadshow with a massive demo say:

      Glasgow – Outside the BBC – Jan.
      Edinburgh – Outside the Scottish parliament – Feb.
      Aberdeen – ? – Mar.
      Inverness – ? – Apr.
      Individual locally organised demos – May(1st-7th).

      If someone organised something along those lines i’m sure the vast majority of us would support it. After-all, this is our families futures these b@st@rds are playing with here.

      Yes voters – No voters – We are all being sh@t on by these self-serving Unionist politicians and their propaganda machine.

    75. Dr Jim says:

      We’re on our way, we’re on our way to Independance Ah Ha, Ah Ha,Ah Ha,Ah Ha,Ah Ha…Can’t stop laughing…

    76. Macart says:

      @ muttley79

      Hell, I trust none of the buggers at all in the meeja, but I reckon his garnered quotes might be the real deal. I suspect there is a real air of desperation amongst parliamentary Labour ranks. They know this deal is bullshit and that its only a matter of time before their usual spin organs fail completely.

    77. AndrewB says:

      You folks are naive if you think us No voters were fooled.
      We votes No because we don’t want Scotland to be independent, we like being part of the union and value our English, Welsh & Northern Irish cousins as much as ourselves.

      All the spin and speeches beforehand were insignificant.

      Time you dealt with it.

    78. muttley79 says:

      Are some people seriously arguing for the declaration of a UDI, and putting needless and pointless pressure on the only independence supporting daily newspaper in Scotland (which is only just started a trial this week)? This is absolute madness.

    79. muttley79 says:

      @Macart

      Sorry, Macart but many people in the MSM are engaged in on-going disinformation in regards to Scottish politics. They are panicking because of the closeness of the independence result, and the growth in pro-independence parties’ membership since then. This is about power politics. You cannot trust these Westminster based journalists any more than you can trust the Daily Record and the BBC.

    80. muttley79 says:

      @Stoker

      It cannot be independence rallies, it would need to be rallies for real home Rule. We need to careful in the use of tactics. It would just be presented by the MSM as people not accepting the result of the independence referendum. We would be presented as anti democratic. Box clever.

    81. Chris Warren says:

      @aolie: I think “initial devolution and assignment of tax receipts” means that at the point of switch over, the block grant will be adjusted to take into account income tax collected at that point in time. It only applies to the “initial” point – any changes after that, raising or lowering, will not affect the block grant. Fuzzy wording though, so Commons/Lords may interpret it differently.

    82. Luigi says:

      Calm down folks – this is indeed a horrible, frustrating day, as expected, but an MSM Vowfest was always on the cards. It won’t last very long. Let them crow. For now, we just have to hang in there and see this mess through to the end.

      Our time will come – sooner than you think.

    83. dakk says:

      Only positive sentiment I have is it takes us about half way to financial independence and reduces psychologocical barriers for the cringers come next indyref.

      APD reduction could be useful in practice to grow tourirsm and travel industry even if Scot Govt does not get net financial gain from that.At least we could get cheaper flights out of it.

      Not sure if Inc Tax would be paid direct to Scot Exchequer.If that is the case,at least it would be symbolic.If not then its probably pointless.

    84. Chitterinlicht says:

      What a crock.

      You warned us Wings

      Maybe Johann Lamont was correct about our genetic programming

      Everyone join and vote SNP its about all we can really do politically and try and ecncourage other to do so.(nicely)

      What really gets me is the Westminster shackled MSPs creaming in their salaries but refusing to big up and actually wanting to run a country properly for the benefit of its people.

      And Ruth Davidson has cheek to call Holyrood a ‘pocket money parliament’ – well what does that say about her and her ambition? Head Tea Lady ?

    85. MajorBloodnok says:

      Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg apparently hailed the Smith Commission’s recommendations as “The Vow Max”. Interesting to see what his email contact with the Daily Record was.

    86. david says:

      Too many recommendations that will achieve nought. So just looking at one here.

      Scotland to be paid some vat revenues directly and the equivalent amount to be removed from the block grant. So at that level nothing more than a costly and unnecessary extra administration process.

      Question, can scotland increase vat? – I think the answer is no so opening a new channel of revenue and cancelling it out by reducing the block grant is plain stupid.

      Question, if we can increase vat and Scotland chose to do so would any extra revenue gained from that increase also be removed from the block grant or would it achieve additional revenue for Scotland?

    87. Another Union Dividend says:

      Only those who believe in Santa Claus think that the Vow has been delivered.

      Heard Ruthie at FMQs saying Scotland now had more devolved powers than Norway, Denmark etc. Doh. Are they not independent and have 100% powers.

      My challenge to wingers complete an A to Z of powers reserved to London the one with the most examples wins a copy of the Vow.

      Starting with

      Abortion
      Broadcasting,
      Corporation Tax, Crown Estates, Capital Gains Tax,
      DWP, Defence,
      Energy regulation,
      Fuel Duty and so on.
      powerrsarowi

    88. Christian Schmidt says:

      “Readers should trust them even less than usual, if such a thing is possible.”

      Stuart, surely that sentence must be added to pretty much any and every of their statements?

    89. De Valera says:

      It makes me sick reading this and this is just the beginning of the MSM/Unionist propaganda blitz leading up to May 2015.

      O/T I haven’t been able to get a copy of the National here in Britnat Central (Dumfries). Do I need to get up at silly o’clock? Anyone else here had success?

    90. muttley79 says:

      @Jim McIntosh

      Tomorrow is put-up-or-shut up-day for the National. If it doesn’t dedicate at least 3-4 pages ripping the Smith report apart it is probably a lost cause.

      The strapline of the paper is ‘The Newspaper that supports an independent Scotland’ so I hope that stated intention goes as far as championing events and people that lead towards that goal and criticising events and people that don’t.

      This is getting absolutely ridiculous. The National deserves the support of independence supporters and voters. Do you know how long we have waited for a pro-independence supporting daily newspaper in Scotland? Why are some people only prepared to give it less than a week? We have waited decades upon decades for this development, and rather than it being supported and nurtured, people are already giving it ultimatums?

    91. gillie says:

      All the Smith Commission has done is stoke the already lit fires.

      With resentment growing in England and further disappointment in Scotland another independence referendum is now definitely on the cards.

    92. Kid Spotlight says:

      A very sharp critique, Rev, and very welcome. There’s nothing here for anyone. The only way is for newly elected independence minded Scottish MPs vote it down with extreme prejudice when it is introduced as a formal bill after May 2015 – and press on for another independence referendum.

      But my guess is that it has been deliberately presented in this meagre, emaciated state so the can SNP thump the token table & have a few more bits (already pre-agreed) added. The SNP will then claim some sort of Pyrrhic victory – and hope their adoring 100,000 paid up members (as well as a large part of the 45%) won’t notice it still falls well short of delivering any meaningful definition of ‘change’, let alone devo-max.

      And the terrifying thing is most won’t notice if Nicola smiles nicely….

    93. Stoker says:

      ronnie anderson says:
      27 November, 2014 at 12:09 pm
      “New chair for Jackie Baillie a ELECTRIC WAN, I’ll buy the power card.”

      And i’ll get someone to rig the wiring.
      😉

      Mind you, the stench of crispy burnt bacon can be quite nauseating.
      🙂

    94. David Allan says:

      Hi Stu

      Please there needs to be a leaflet which we can deliver to all communities outlining the facts of this proposal. Also to include the Daily Record role in ”creating” the VOW. I and the YES activists in may area will certainly deliver and use the opportunity to engage with those NO Voters who were influenced in that last week of the Ref Campaign. WE need to stir up the masses with the facts.

      I for one can’t see the SNP considering such an action.

      If a crowdfund required I’M in.WE CAN’T just sit back and let this drivel go on unchallenged.

    95. No no no...Yes says:

      I recommend wingers watch FMQ’s as soon as they can. Alex Salmond was right, just wait till Nicola gets her feet under the desk. She tore strips of all three Unionist leaders and make JBaillie look even more ridiculous than usual. It was wise for her to quote what Scottish Organisations said about Smith rather than the SNP’s views.

      Nicola focussed on the STUC statement of disappointment:

      http://www.stuc.org.uk/news/1119/stuc-on-smith-commission-proposals

      “Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union congress (STUC) General Secretary said: “Whilst there are certainly positive elements in these proposals, we are underwhelmed by the package as a whole which does not meet our aspirations.”

      She said the Labour Party is now on the wrong side of the argument and that the people of Scotland will decide if this FIRST offer is good enough..with an eye to the GE in 2015. Powerful stuff.

      The SNP knew Smith would fail to deliver the Vow and it sets up the GE2015 campaign very well.

    96. muttley79 says:

      Kid Spotlight, the troll, is back.

    97. Marie clark says:

      @Luigi 1.13. Fully agree, calm down. It really aint worth getting upset or depressed about. This was always going to happen and we knew that even when the commission was announced. As I said in another post, I can’t even get angry about it.

      Leave them to their lies and spin, it’s all they’ve got, and all they know.

      Luigi is right. Our time will come, and probably a lot sooner than they think.

      Chin up folks, don’t let the buggers grind you down. This will pass in a day or two.

    98. Another Union Dividend says:

      When the Smith Powers goes wrong for the Scottish Parliament’s finances I will quote Stanley Odd and say “Son I voted Yes”

    99. Mosstrooper says:

      @ kid Spotlight !.25

      If what you wrote is your considered political critique then your spotlight is as dim as a tupenny candle.

    100. Albaman says:

      It would have been so much easier if we had won the referendum, issue by issue the “divie” would have been easier than the dogs breakfast that’s developing just now, as Rev points out, they are only recommendations, but suppose Labour win the U.K. election, and E Miliband is turfed out on his ear, the new leader could choose to ignore those recommendations, same alpine to a Con/UKIP
      alliance, (even more so!)
      No, itwould have been far better had we “won” the vote, but all is not lost, I think the next referendum will be in the foreseeable future.

    101. muttley79 says:

      @Marie Clark

      For me, this is probably worse than the 19th September. It is the final realisation that we pointlessly throw away the chance to run our own affairs in their entirety. Plus, I had not managed to get a good night’s sleep for at least 3 days before the referendum vote…

    102. Marie clark says:

      Troll alert. don’t feed the troll.

    103. Clootie says:

      Jimbo says:
      27 November, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Sadly you are correct

    104. Alan Findlay says:

      ‘The Smith commission is merely a recommendation.’ Why don’t we other non elected Scots recommend we nationalize our land(just for starters)

    105. Jack Murphy says:

      First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Questions TODAY.
      Response to the Smith Commission and more.
      V interesting.
      30 minutes.
      VIDEO—Scottish Parliament site.
      http://www.scottishparliament.tv/category.aspx?sort=date&vid=0_ktx2aleh

    106. Marie clark says:

      Aye Muttley, I know how you feel. The 19th September was a hellish day for all of us. But I can’t and won’t let myself go back to that dark place.

      I need to look forward. I know at the minute we are fed up with all the crap, especially MSM and EBC, but it will pass.

      I agree with you about the National. We have waited too long for this newspaper and folk should give it every chance not knock it straight away. Baby steps first.

      Come oan son, chin up.

    107. tartanfever says:

      BBC news major spin at lunchtime. (UK wide news, not the regional branch in Glasgow)

      Lorna Gordon uses the phrases ‘ ‘consensus’ and ‘agreement’ and ‘shared platform’ to describe the outcome of the Smith commission. Well done SNP for getting that completely wrong by agreeing to participate in this farce.

      Vox Pops in Cardiff. English accent guy says ‘devolution should be discussed through all of the UK, not just for the Jocks.’ Lovely bit of typical BBC casual racism.

      Robert Peston then asked about the difficulties that could arise out of tax calculations and how much the block grant should be cut. According to Peston, miscalculation could only disadvantage the rest of the UK – he never considers that it could also work out the other way round and actually disadvantage Scotland. This continues Peston’s personal agenda that Scotland relies on heavy subsidies from England to survive.

      Iain Watson (Scottish accented BBC Westminster journalist ) tells us about EVEL once again, repeating the Tory backbench agenda that Scots MP’s should not be allowed to vote on English only issues. Never in the history of BBC news reporting is is stated that the SNP do not vote on English only issues, they abstain.

      He leaves us with the a question, ‘Will this leave the UK with a bright federalist future or the breakup of the UK ?’

      The real answer as we know is that these powers are meaningless and will have no effect whatsoever.

      The BBC spin is relentless. It’s report states numerous times that ‘we are getting these powers’ or ‘Scotland’s new powers’ as if they are guaranteed. As we know, they are far from that.

      Fed up with this shit. If you are a licence fee payer, you are supporting this – stop paying. In the meantime SNP, sack your PR people, grow some proverbials and start taking the fight to the BBC instead of cow-towing to their agenda – you have absolutely nothing to lose.

    108. Macart says:

      @ muttley

      Heh, don’t be sorry muttley. The media is involved in the game of misinforming and misdirecting the public. All we can do is pick up what we hope lies between the lines of their copy. In this instance I followed the direction of Stewart Hosie’s link to this fella. I reckon Stewart may be onto something, others may not, but I do think parliamentary Labour is holding its breath over the May elections and at the moment aren’t looking forward to this GE at all.

      I’d just like to see us fulfil their worst fears. 😉

    109. Dr Ew says:

      First off, thanks Stu for yet again for producing excellent dissection, summary and analysis on a crucial topic so quickly and so clearly. Your attention to detail is amazing and your work so tremendously important over the last two years, I only hope you realise how much it is appreciated y all. (OK, not all, not by the Daily Record or Jim Murphy but, hey, you can’t please everyone).

      The main point I want to emphasise, however, is the subtext implicit in media presentation of this as an epic win for “The Nationalists”:
      1) It would be an act of supreme arrogance by “The Nationalists” to reject or seek to extend these proposals;
      2) This has all been signed, sealed and approved by “The Nationalists” and the Greens (as opposed to a compromise on the barest minimum);
      3) The magnanimous and munificent UK Government has bent over backwards to accommodate the most extreme demands of the defeated Jocks – therefore thus far and no further.
      4) EVEL is now wholly justifiable and inevitable
      5) Jock MPs should be excluded from voting on the Budget
      5) English MPs, Scottish Labour MPs and of course the entire House of Lords are perfectly entitled to kick the shit out of this when it is tossed onto the floors of Parliament.

      An uprising by disgruntled MPs to kill the Smith recommendations may, in reality, be the best thing that could happen to the continuing cause for Scottish Independence.

    110. desimond says:

      @david

      VAT rates within member states has certain EU constraints I believe so no differences will be allowed in rate between Scotland and rUK. Its basically a collection exercise rather than any actual control. No surprise there

    111. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Stoker, ah hiv the Electrician do you think ah go aff half cocked, an he can rig meters tae,free lecy whits no tae like ha ha,dey U fancy some pork scratchings makes ah change fae popcorn.

    112. David Doherty says:

      The proposals seem un-imaginative. Clearly Scottish Labour has been pushing for a lot to remain reserved because they don’t like the idea of having to think for themselves and separate off as an independent party and interact like the CDU and CSU in Germany for example.

      With inheritance tax etc, not devolved this benefits the Tories. The fudging any meaningful land reform benefits the landowners and lobby groups. With no real devolution of welfare this means there is still a reason to send Labour MPs to Westminster.

      The whole thing stinks of political self-interest and a disregard for the fact Scotland came close to voting to become an independent country. I myself am a devo-max supporter rather than independence, but this whole thing seems to be a dog’s dinner.

    113. Hamish says:

      Didn’t expect anything else from Smith an apologist for The pro union. As Chairman of Weirs anti scotland company did he not have to say sorry when the company was caught out doing some dodgy deals abroad. But everything is ok he is a knight of the realm.

      Does FM Sturgeon really want to work colloboratively with labour! They will stab anyone anywhere to grab power.
      Just listen to their spokesperson – that’s it folks– no more anytime.

      It is also clear that Murphy was leaked the income tax issue so he could turn 360*. I wonder who?

    114. Croompenstein says:

      They are f*cking parasites sucking the wealth and resources from Scotland and 55% of the host think they are doing us a favour… Absolute shite..

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasitism

    115. Stoker says:

      Muttley,

      I agree but obviously didn’t make myself clear enough.

      What i should have stated was – rallies to make it clear that this Smiffy outcome is utterly unacceptable and urging people to vote the LibLabCons out of Scotland.

      Getting absolutely everyone involved.

      Ordinary folk, political parties, trade unions, teenagers, pensioners, the disabled, WOS, NNS, WGD, Bella, poverty groups and every other organisation we can think of.

      It would take some doing but think of the power behind it.

      I see some people urging the SNP to put full devo into their next manifesto. Aye, fair enough, i can understand that logic but for me thats a watering down of what they stand for and i’m not sure if i could stomach and support that.

      People are struggling, shivering and starving in this country of ours, we don’t have time to be playing the gradualist game.

      Something considerable needs to be done about this.

    116. desimond says:

      @tartanfever

      I would suggest Robert peston may not have a personal agenda against Scotland, I would suggest he has an entirely Profesional Agenda against Scotland and is happy to report in a fashion welcomed by his masters at both the BBC and Westminster.

      Anyone glancing at Private Eye over the last few years will have seen many slights on Pestons cosy ‘mouthpiece for hire’ role for his story-giving friends in Westminster

    117. Robert Kerr says:

      O/T and subsequent to my email to The National that I posted on the previous thread I have received a response which implies that the decision to continue with the pilot has not yet been made.

      “As you are a subscriber you will receive an email notification informing you as to the next steps you can take if the decision is made to continue this publication.”

      So thanks all you negative posters (sarcasm!)

      Good news is that you can subscribe to the Sunday Herald only

      “The other subscription to the Sunday Herald is through Page Suite, same format as The National, I’ve attached a link for you to subscribe to this if this is how you’d like to receive the Sunday Herald.

      http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?PBID=20d7b386-b2cf-4fb0-b6a8-224e212cb58a

      Let’s pray that The National continues.

    118. ronnie anderson says:

      Noo am really no gone Menthol, the ither week it wiz a Snake in ma toilet. Last night & today what I thought was a Rat in ma heating cupboard turns out it was a Hamster from upstairs in ma ceiling & pipe ducting.

    119. Christian Schmidt says:

      A bread crumb may be better than nothing. But it is not a loaf, never mind control of the bakery…

    120. staypos+ve says:

      Now I’m mad , we cannot meekly accept this expected betrayal , I believe the public now need a leaflet delivery – spelling out the facts of the VOW the Smith Commission Recommendations spelling out their failure to deliver any meaningful additional spending powers. Outlining the crucial clauses that confirm that no advantage can be gained. The SNP are too nice to put their name to such an initiative. Many of us are angry Isn’t it about time we fought harder to win our aims. I’m sick and tired of the platitudes of our Politicians . They need to condemn this Smith rubbish quickly and deceisively. i

    121. Fred says:

      Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disapointed.

    122. Now's the Hour says:

      Don’t get mad. Get even.
      7th May 2015.
      tick tock

    123. Grant says:

      The Unionist media all reporting Radical new powers, the VowPlus. The gullible 55 will believe it.
      Too wee, too poor and yes too stupid.

    124. desimond says:

      @ronnie anderson
      Youre lucky, poor Revs got a rat in the kitchen!
      What is he gonna do?

      Hes gonna feed that rat!!

    125. Lesley-Anne says:

      Can someone please pass me the microscope. I need it to try and locate all this “ahem” additional money that Holyrood will be receiving as a result of the Smith Farce, oops sorry 😉 , Smith Commission. 😛

    126. fred blogger says:

      fmq’s today; i really despair, the labour govt were dragged kicking and screaming to set up the scotparl. http://www.electricscotland.com/independence/story.pdf
      what has been offered is not home rule ie everything apart from defence and foreign affairs.
      in fact it’s a retrograde step as tax base shrinks, as has been doing for some time.
      where are the job’s creations powers, how is the power of WM and the city of ldn mitigated/reigned in, it isn’t.

    127. ronnie anderson says:

      @Robert Kerr, Let’s pray that The National continues.

      I went into the Herald & picked up a box of advertizment leaflets. I would ask everybody to contact then & ask them to post leaflets out for you/ us to distrabute.

      Sales Team Gary McNulty 0141 302 6261. its up to us to make sure this paper continue,s & this is one way to do it.

    128. Jim Thomson says:

      Is this the first “honest” headline from the BBC?

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30223083

      Haven’t fully read the article by Douglas Fraser yet, but it seems more balance than the usual BBC shite.

    129. Dan Huil says:

      The only good thing to come out of this farce is that these proposals will upset MPs at Westminster and the public in England who will think Scots are getting something for nothing at England’s expense. Another wedge will be driven between Scotland and England.

    130. KOF says:

      Here’s a link to an upcoming discussion from Holyrood Magazine about the Smith commission at the National Library of Scotland. May be of interest to some. It’s the first of four that are planned.

      http://briefings.holyrood.com/read-more-future-tax

    131. One_Scot says:

      I really hope they follow through on their promise to devolve Road Signs. I’ll always dreamed of having a Giveway Sign at the end of the road.

    132. desimond says:

      @Robert Kerr

      The National.
      While its nice to see a paper saying “We support an independent Scotland”, some of us simply asked “Is that it? What else are you going to do bar that statement?”

      Do they view their role as news reporters or is the intention to be like Stu and disect all unionist Party lies and deceipt while championing how an independent Scotland could act differently if we stood alone?

      Is it wrong for us to ask what is their stance on current party politics within Scotland expecially given they come from a stable that includes The Herald. Will they tear The Smith Commission to threads or chase up on The Vow Emails?

      It might seem we’re asking for ice cream with our cake but its questions worth asking IMHO.

    133. sam says:

      If you believe that one of the greatest challenges facing Scotland is health inequalities (early deaths) then what Smith says is meaningless.

      The fundamental drivers of health inequalities, according to excellent Scottish research, are inequalities of power, income and wealth. Unless these factors are addressed it does not matter what other policies you adopt – for example, Early Years – or how effectively such policies are implemented, it will not change health inequalities.

      A minimum wage for healthy living is needed. The welfare system should provide enough income for healthy living and should be free of stigma – universal provision in proportion to need. Progressive individual and corporation tax and active labour market policies are also proposed.

      Changes are needed to the social, economic and physical environment. Housing quality standards need to be addressed and a wide range of quality standards introduced affecting neighbourhoods, water, air, food, transport and so on.Employment and education policies will need to change too.

      None of this is likely to be achievable without much more control of economic and welfare policies.

      I would guess that most No voters know little about the causes of Scotland’s low life expectancies, particularly in West Central Scotland. Is this not an issue where Yes supporters should be campaigning?

    134. Chris Warren says:

      @faolie: I think “initial devolution and assignment of tax receipts” means that at the point of switch over, the block grant will be adjusted to take into account income tax collected at that point in time. It only applies to the “initial” point – any changes after that, raising or lowering, will not affect the block grant. Fuzzy wording though, so Commons/Lords may interpret it differently.

    135. John says:

      Just a thought.

      Can anyone @SNP provide a reality check and help put all the media fluff and crap into context with an update on the latest SNP membership figure for today. (It was 92,127 only 5 days ago – a long time in politics)

      It would also help if they could give a view on whether or not they expect to be revising their 100k target figure to 150k.

      Now that’s what I would call a headline for tomorrow in The National!

    136. Stoker says:

      @ Ronnie (1.46pm)
      :))
      _________________

      Does anyone have the Financial Times’ take on the Smivvy Compishon?

    137. Proud Cybernat says:

      Agree with others.

      The Scottish Govt should hold a two-question referendum:

      Do you accept the Smith Commission Devolution Proposal YES/NO?

      Should Scotland have ALL powers except defense and foreign affairs YES/NO?

    138. Des001 says:

      The Smith Commission :
      “These rules will ensure that neither the Scottish nor UK Governments will lose or gain financially from the act of transferring a power”

      Sarah Boyack:
      “Scoltand must never be better off”. (Scotland Tonight 25 Nov 2014)

      Doesn’t that say it all!

      Also Mr Murphy and Boyack knew the outcome of the Smith Commission before sitting on Scotland Tonight of the 25th November 2014. That was obvious to the journalist as well as the audience. As for Findlay, he seemed to be genuinely miffed.

    139. DervalDam says:

      Can someone clarify something for us in our office – we read
      “Onshore Oil and Gas Extraction
      69. The licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction underlying Scotland will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The licensing of offshore oil and gas extraction will remain reserved.”

      to mean that fracking licenses were included in “licensing of on shore oil and gas extracting” being devolved – is it not? Just spotted a post on Cif that suggests its not. Was probably the only cheer that went up in our office as we read the report too premature?

    140. Kid Spotlight says:

      OK Mutt, got it, troll = supporting independence but not supporting the glorious SNP. How open minded of you!

      “Snazzin, razzin remockracy…”

    141. gillie says:

      Any thoughts on new road signs?

      You can have lots of fun with this.

    142. DougtheDug says:

      What did anyone expect?

      Devolution follows 3 principles.

      Scotland will get no more public funding than any other region of the UK except funds raised by the extra taxation of Scots. (Fiscal Equality)

      Scotland will not be allowed to control tax revenues without losing an equivalent sum from its block grant except for funds raised by the extra taxation of Scots. (Fiscal Equality again)

      Welfare in the UK is universal (Parity Principle)

      Once you’ve applied these you realise that Scotland is already at Devo Max, the maximum amount of power that Westminster will give to Scotland.

      The Smith Commission report has simply followed the three principles.

    143. muttley79 says:

      @desimond

      You and others seem intent on writing off the only pro-independence daily newspaper in Scotland. This is madness, utterly self destructive to our cause. I have absolutely no idea what you and others are trying to achieve here. The National’s first edition was on Monday, so it has been running for only four days. We have waited decades upon decades for this development. The National has already had columns from Patrick Harvie, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Lesley Riddoch, Michael Gray, Caroline Leckie, and that is just who I am aware of. Do you and others on here, that are being negative about The National, want to go back to the situation we found ourselves in during the independence referendum?

    144. Stoker says:

      @ ronnie,

      And there’s a few trolls with bats in their belfrys.

    145. Robert Kerr says:

      @desimond

      I suppose the function of a Newspaper is to report news.

      This certainly is in doubt with the usual suspects.

      All I can suggest is that you read the editorial in the first edition of The National.

      “The raison d’etre of the National is to redress the balance and cogently to argue the case for independence. This does not mean, however, that we are a mouthpiece of the Scottish National Party and the government it leads. That would not be a healthy course to follow. We will be critical where appropriate and complimentary when merited. Governments come and go, as do those running them. Their time in power is transient. Independence is not.”

      That’s good enough for me.

      This site is not a newspaper.

    146. Macandroid says:

      O/T

      Small victory – Tesco at Holy Corner have large pile of the National thanks to Mrs Macandroid. If you want to spread the word that would be great.

      Go get ’em!

    147. Graeme Doig says:

      Thanks for the clarification Stu.

      Looks like we have eff all as expected. What a joke of a country this is.

      I commented yesterday about the SNP staying out of the blame game. I now fully expect, no demand, that they stand up and let the Scottish people know what a sham this is.

      They cannot play along with this one.

    148. Stoker says:

      ronnie anderson says:
      27 November, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      “I went into the Herald & picked up a box of advertisement leaflets. I would ask everybody to contact then and ask them to post leaflets out for you to distribute.

      Sales Team Gary McNulty 0141 302 6261. It’s up to us to make sure this paper continues and this is one way to do it.”
      ___________________

      Cheers, Ronnie.
      I kept the details when you first posted them and will wait
      to see if they are going to continue beyond the pilot week.

      If so, i will contact him and do my part.

    149. Jim Mitchell says:

      There is nothing about this let down that wasn’t predictable, what matters now is how we respond, I do wish those who go on about UDI would give us chapter and verse of how they think it’s going could be achieved, especially as we have just had a referendum that showed that the majority of folk in Scotland,(whether they were conned or not) didn’t favour anything like it, we have to convince the majority of our ain folk first, before we take it to the outside world.

      As for the SNP non-cooperation with the Smith Commission, this to is a fallacy, at least they can now say, once again we tried it your way and look how little we got and even that was down to us, then they/we can direct the public to look at other options.

      We have to play our part in convincing the public that what the media and the unionist parties are saying about this is once again lies, the increased membership of favorable political parties should help here, because the SNP etc now have something of a captured audience, who they can preach to direct!

      The Smith Commision always had two main aims 1) To supply the ammunition for the unionist lot at least for the opening salvo of the next General Election.

      2) To provide a stick with which to beat an SNP controlled Holyrood with, simply by repeating their claims and saying the SNP government should be able to do a lot more with the increased finance that Westminster has given it, backed up by their friends in the media of course!

      looked at broadly it’s the same old fight, the same old arguments, the next really interesting part will arise when we see what powers are proposed for England and the reaction down south, which I believe we will be able to use to our advantage.

    150. Graeme Doig says:

      Ronnie

      Gary contacted and message left.

      Keep up all the good work people. It’s a fight to the death. We’ll get to run them through 21st century style yet.

    151. Lollysmum says:

      Hamish says:
      27 November, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Somebody leaked the income tax-I wonder who?

      Shouldn’t be too difficult to work out given the small number of people around the Smith table 🙂

    152. HandandShrimp says:

      The Smith Commission is light…particularly in respect of taxation and all the Barnett adjusting looks highly susceptible to fiddling. However, it isn’t without some glimmers of light. The proposals to make Holyrood free from being subject to Westminster’s whim for its existence is good. Making the BBC lay reports and answer to Holyrood committees is good. Extending the franchise is good. The range of welfare, housing, DLA/PIP, carers allowances, motability and so on is useful and gives Holyrood the power to take an area Ian Duncan Smith uses to blight the lives of the less fortunate.

      There are areas in there that Holyrood can really build on.

      Pity about the taxation though, they really didn’t grasp that nettle…although it looks like Cameron thinks enough has been offered to stitch up Ed.

      We will be here again because it isn’t a rounded enough package.

    153. bugsbunny says:

      AndyHowie@11.31

      Most No voters couldn’t give a flying f@@k about Scotland. They are either old and thick, or young, smug and arrogant. And for all that they won the Referendum, they are the biggest bunch of miserable Bastards I have ever met I’m my entire life.in Reincarnation of John Know, who forbade the reading of the Bible at family funerals, in case it excited the mourners.
      Stephen.

    154. Robert Louis says:

      Dear Scotland, Here’s your diddy ‘new’ ‘powers’.

      The Smith Commission Report in a nutshell: Patronising, insulting pish.

    155. towerman says:

      Speaking as a pro-Union, No-supporting Scot living in London (perhaps not a typical commenter here I acknowledge!), I agree that there are shortcomings in today’s proposals (if one takes the view that more powers = a good thing), however surely there is still some very significant stuff here.

      For example, unless I’m misunderstanding this, there will be nothing to stop the SNP raising income tax rates substantially (i.e. maybe up higher rate from 40% to say 50% and the 45% band to say 60%, while cutting basic rate by 5-10% for lower earners). That would be pretty radical and a statement of intent for the more socialist society/policies that the SNP seem to advocate these days. It would also be an interesting experiment to see if the Scottish people really do support the ‘more equal’ rhetoric coming from the Yes side.

      Surely the approach should be (from the SNP/Yes) perspective: let’s start using these powers for the benefit of Scotland while continuing the fight for more powers/full independence. It seems a bit churlish and obviously tactical to talk down what is being outlined today as insignificant.

    156. G H Graham says:

      The window to submit proposals to the Smith Commission ran from 19th September to 31st October.

      That’s 31 work days (including holidays), during which it received 14,000 emails and letters from the general public as well as more than 250 submissions from institutions.

      Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29857267

      Is Lord Smith really wanting me to believe that he and his team sifted through, analyzed, abridged, amended & consolidated into his final report over 450 submission per day, every day for 31 days? And that doesn’t include the proposals from the people actually in the team either.

      FFS, really?

    157. Lesley-Anne says:

      I’ll bet there are more than a few high heid yin’s at Pacific Quay celebrating the release of the Smith Fudge, sorry Commission Report, today. Despite numerous calls for broadcasting to be devolved it appears not to have happened, unless I have overlooked this part and need an electron microscope to find this detail 😉 . Well what else would we expect I mean an ex BBC man running a soft centred sweetie factory expected to give broadcasting control to Holyrood? After the way the BBC etc behaved over the referendum? That would have been more than his job’s worth to do such a thing!

    158. Dr Ew says:

      Regarding the negative comments about The National – FFS give it a chance! No newspaper, TV programme or indeed commentary site jumps out fully formed. It’s clearly still working to find its feet, as evidenced by the continued problems with subbing – e.g. the caption under a photograph of Murphoid on today’s letters page reads “caption”. That’s about the fourth or fifth time that’s happened this week.

      The National could not and should not try to emulate Wings. It exists on an entirely different platform and performs an entirely different function, plus it is aimed, ultimately, at a broader readership. If it can build a strong daily readership with an easily digestible diet of Scottish focused stories from a left(ish), green(ish), pro-independence viewpoint then it will go a long, long way to rebalance public debate in this country. That alone is worth supporting.

      Regarding the BBC coverage – I stopped my licence fee last month so will no longer fund this particular appendage of the British State. However, I retain the right to be outraged at the nakedly propagandist tone of so much of its news & current affairs coverage – and not just that concerning Scottish independence.

    159. Nana Smith says:

      Chapelcross nuclear site: Submarine waste role assessed

      An MSP has warned a Scottish site could become a “nuclear graveyard” if it is chosen to store radioactive waste from redundant Royal Navy submarines

      Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five possible locations across the UK.

      https://archive.today/W3Hzv

    160. west_lothian_questioner says:

      Read the report… first thought… DING DING! 2nd and final round!

    161. unhappy says:

      This is ridiculous. I wish they would just scrap Holyrood all together, forget further devolution, and then we might have a chance of moving past this divisiveness. I knew devolution was a bad idea back in 1999…

    162. Lollymum says:

      O/T Sort of

      Rev have you seen letters page in todays National? Two letters about people not asking Murphy the right questions on upping the higher rate tax for those earning £150,000+

      Good letters but if you read 2nd one WoS gets a mention as the writer asks if a small outfit like WoS can dissect false claims quickly then surely it shouldn’t be beyond the ability of the National to do it. (paraphrasing here but you get my drift)

      Probably a bit early to be challenging the National to do this as it needs to find it’s feet first but it confirms to me that people have longed for this paper for so long that they could lumber it with such high expectations that it could be the cause of it’s eventual demise.

      We need caution here. Do we want it to report the truth in the news or to be a stick to beat the anti-independence goups/people/MSM/BBC et al with? I doubt that it’s owners would allow it to be the latter.

    163. Ann says:

      What use is this

      “The Commission has also outlined the transfer of the Crown Estate to the Scottish Parliament, giving Holyrood control over government land and the sea-bed, however it excludes any land of ‘special interest’ to the UK – land or sea-bed which contains oil or gas reserves”

      Only so long as it suits Westminster,

      Also how can Holyrood have complete control of income tax rates and bands, yet, “MPs representing constituencies across the whole of the UK will continue to decide the UK’s budget, including income tax.”

    164. R-type Grunt says:

      @ Muttley79

      I’ve been thinking up ways for 40 years mate, nothing seems to work. I gave up my job 7 months ago so I could throw myself into the campaign, chapping doors, delivering leaflets & attending meetings all over the shop. It didn’t work. Please try not to be so condescending in future.

    165. Lesley-Anne says:

      Nana Smith says:

      Chapelcross nuclear site: Submarine waste role assessed

      An MSP has warned a Scottish site could become a “nuclear graveyard” if it is chosen to store radioactive waste from redundant Royal Navy submarines

      Chapelcross, near Annan, is one of five possible locations across the UK.

      https://archive.today/W3Hzv

      Woo Hoo!

      I remember when I lived in Rosyth we did not have a single street light, everyone and every thing glowed in the dark. It was fantastic. We all walked around like it was Summer in the Bahamas. 😛

      Now I live in the South of Scotland around 5 miles from Chapelcross. I get to re-live my past life in Rosyth all over again! 😀

      No street lights

      Everyone glowing with a lovely green aura around them.

      Everything glowing

      NO heating bills

      NO electric bills

      Everyone walking around like it is the middle of Summer in the Bahamas!

      What is there NOT to love about the idea of using Chapelcross to store nuclear waste from Faslane? 😉

    166. No no no...Yes says:

      GH Graham 3:05pm
      Smith Commission 14,000 emails and 250 submissions. Did Smith read them?

      I agree that it is most unlikely that Smith and the invited representatives saw them. What may have happened is that the “Secretariat” support went through them and provided the group with summaries of updates. This begs a couple of questions:

      Will all minutes of the Smith Commission meetings be made public?
      How were the external communications processed and presented to the Commission at their meetings?

    167. Valerie says:

      I know everyone is fecked off with Smith, but can I also ask that people continue to support the National, and stop the negativity.

      They are doing a damn fine job under difficult circumstances, and have placed themselves on the line, and their faith in US. They a ploughing a very hard furrow. Should we just go back to having one Sunday?

      Grow up,and stop throwing a strop at journalists that are setting themselves apart from the sheep.

    168. jackie g says:

      Dr Ew,

      I retain the right to be outraged at the nakedly propagandist tone of so much of its news & current affairs coverage – and not just that concerning Scottish independence.

      absolutely spot on,

      I try not to look at the BBC website but work collegue showed me their coverage of the riots in America it was a disgrace.

      Not only that it was shown as the first headline? something which is specific to America was at the top of the BBC news.

    169. jackie g says:

      Valerie,

      Hear Hear.

    170. John Boyes says:

      “It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and myths that surround it” – John Pilger

      Sadly Stu, you appear to be one of the very few who seem willing and able to act as JP says. What a joke when we continue to be lied to at every turn. I really despair.

    171. Nana Smith says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Thank goodness you are still here and not lost your sense of humour!

      @Valerie

      Well said.

    172. Grouse Beater says:

      The Myth Commission

      Remember – better fooling and scaring.

      Myths: we create ’em, you swallow ’em.

      Scotland – Better tethered.

    173. Brian says:

      A fine, fine piece of early analysis.
      The Smith Comm’s Recommendations are the mothers of all empty promises, and the Retard and the Mail’s headlines are the mothers of all lies.
      I couldn’t get to a tv until 12.30 today, just in time for news on BBC News channel. One line of Smith Commission recomendations summary, then switch to Ian Watson at Westminster for a discussion on how this affects England. I really, really despair.
      ps still can’t get The National in Tesco’s.

    174. muttley79 says:

      @R-type Grunt

      I was not intending to be condescending. I just think calling for UDI is a suicidal tactic.

      @Valerie

      Great post.

    175. Andy-B says:

      So they’re offering Holyrood the bare minimum, and depending who’s on government at the time, we may not even get that. combine that will the useless tax powers, that will see cash taken from the block grant to match the tax income, and the whole scenario appears to be one big ruse.

      Finally give it maximum coverage in the unionist press as a “Good Thing” for Scotland and the job of deception is complete.

      If the Tories and Cameron are re-elected, an added bonus for them is the EVEL, which would rub salt into the wounds of Scottish MP’s.

    176. Onwards says:

      @Robert Kerr
      “O/T and subsequent to my email to The National that I posted on the previous thread I have received a response which implies that the decision to continue with the pilot has not yet been made.

      “As you are a subscriber you will receive an email notification informing you as to the next steps you can take if the decision is made to continue this publication.”

      This is why it is important to buy the hard copy of the National if we want it to succeed.
      The last thing we want is for them to continue – but as an online subscription only, where YES supporters can talk to themselves.
      There are already plenty of good pro-indy sites.

      If they end up with 10,000 digital subscribers, and 20,000 real copies, the temptation will be to move it to a cheap digital platform only.

      To make a difference, it needs to be out there on the newstands, especially for the next year.

    177. Graeme Doig says:

      Nana

      Initially angry and depressed with that link then i looked at the comments 🙂

      Grouse Beater

      ‘The Myth Commission

      Remember – better fooling and scaring.

      Myths: we create ‘em, you swallow ‘em.

      Scotland – Better tethered.’

      Very clever and so true.

    178. Macart says:

      @ Nana

      Delivered eh?

      And just what did this commission deliver?

      Last I checked, a recommendation. Oh and a recommendation that falls somewhat short of ‘home rule’ or a near federal arrangement.

      That’s just Labour all over though – falls somewhat short.

    179. Onwards says:

      The powers are limited, but it is a further step.

      And it does prove one point.
      Scotland only gets more powers when the SNP does well.

      That sends a clear message to Scottish voters for next year.

    180. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I think what we are being offered by Smith is the square root of F. A.

      Laughable it weren’t so deliberate.

    181. Graeme Doig says:

      By the way. Can everyone please just buy the National. None of this electronic nonsense.
      We need hard copies of this out on sale for as long as possible and we need big sales to change the culture.
      If we want to change the print media culture we can’t complain if we don’t support this paper.

    182. Dormant says:

      Devolution only worked within the UK when no-one in England really cared about it. Now that they do care, there is nothing short of full federalisation of the UK that will create a fair system of government. Any other system will always throw up new West Lothian questions.

    183. Democracy Reborn says:

      David Cameron is quoted as being “delighted” with the Smith Report.

      That tells us all we need to know…

      @gillie

      ‘Any thoughts on devolution of road signs?’

      Yep. Someone tweeted “turn right for foodbank”.

    184. Nana Smith says:

      @Graeme Doig

      I meant to say look at the comments. Tired and brain fried this afternoon.

      @Macart

      Labour the empty party.

    185. gillie says:

      Nana Smith says: https://twitter.com/scottishlabour/status/537896146979418112

      This is without doubt Scottish Labour’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.

    186. unclebob says:

      Re-road signs
      I am sick of seeing all of our road signs down here in southern Scotland showing “Carlisle”as a destination.
      They don’t mention the next wee Scottish place, no, but loads of “Carlisle”. (I like Carlisle by the way, nice folk too)

      I recommend that we change all English destinations to either
      “The South” or, my preference, “Abroad”.

    187. Lesley-Anne says:

      Nana Smith says:

      @Lesley-Anne

      Thank goodness you are still here and not lost your sense of humour!

      If, by chance, you come across me Nana and I have lost my sense of humour then you’ll have confirmation of the rumours … that I’m dead! 😛

    188. @Nana Smith

      I just copied url and popped it into archive.

      https://archive.today/URjFJ

    189. Dan Huil says:

      EVEL will be a bigger step towards independence.

    190. Calgacus says:

      @ R-type Grunt I feel very much the same emotion as you with ref to UDI as I have been on this road for a very long time and have really had it up to here with all the Unionist guff, however I think that one last democratic push will see us over the line.

    191. boris says:

      Westminster and the Tory party is buying time so that they will be able to introduce legislation designed to ensure an early introduction of English MP votes for English legislation, (note this aspect of change is not linked to anything related to the Scottish question) so it will be activated regardless of the wishes of Scottish MP’s.

      Scotland have been presented, (through the Smith report) with a really beautiful chalice, much as was gifted to Cleopatra who grasped it to her chest thinking that Caesar had indeed forgiven her for her transgressions. To late she realised there would be no forgiveness. But Scotland would be wise to reject, “Greeks bearing gifts”. The trojan horse is about to be dumped in the grounds of Holywood. Best reject it before delivery.

    192. George Kerr says:

      I note this phrase ” the INITIAL devolution and assignment of tax receipts should be accompanied by a reduction in the block grant equivalent to the revenue forgone by the UK ” does this mean that future additional revenue raised via tax changes will or will not be accompanied by matching clawback in the block grant”?

    193. Nana Smith says:

      @cynicalHighlander

      Thank you for that!

    194. yerkitbreeks says:

      as suspected – window-dressing. The next chance we Scots have to be taken notice of is at the ballot box next May.

    195. Stoker says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      27 November, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      The Myth Commission

      Scotland – Better tethered.
      ________

      Clever, i likey!
      🙂

    196. Valerie says:

      Again, for those shouting UDI. You need to keep up with what the FM says, she is not in any way supporting UDI, and she’s a solicitor, so we are where we are.

      It’s horrible watching all the bloody spin going on, you would think we had been given our independence!

      Interesting that the Tories have been beavering on EVEL plans, that they can bring them forward before Xmas!

      Given they are devolving so little, it will be hard to justify excluding Scottish MPs.

    197. manandboy says:

      I couldn’t resist!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30223348

      @Ugly Betsy on BBC Comments No 1254

      Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are holding back England’s true potential. Hopefully this is the first step to independence for those up north and the rest of the celtic microstates so they can stop hindering the English people. Without them we’d be a global superpower like the US and China.

    198. Nana Smith says:

      The Spectator
      Politician of the Year is the former First Minister of Scotland,

      However the campaigner of the year award goes to murph. This man wouldn’t reply to a lady during his ‘tour’ so how on earth can he be given an award.

      Personally I would give him an egg custard pie.

    199. Lesley-Anne says:

      I with you 100% there UncleBob. 😛

      Living 5 miles from the M74 it is rather crushing to be driving down the M74 and NOT see our wee village sign posted. After all any village that has NO street lights, heating bills, electric bills and everyone and everything glow in the dark must surely be a MASSIVE tourist attraction. Yet despite this there is absolutely NO mention of Eastriggs on the M74. WE are not amused. (I don’t care if what’s her names ancestor said it first, WE are claiming that statement now! 😉 )

    200. Dr Ew says:

      @gillie
      This is without doubt Scottish Labour’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.

      – Oooffft! Good Call!

    201. ScroogeMcDuck says:

      Staunch orangeman, ‘I mean really staunch.’ Now talking about voting SNP!
      If he can see what’s going…

    202. manandboy says:

      You don’t need a PhD in Soothsaying to know that every day, the Westminster neo-Liberal dark arts dept.(The Treasury) are planning their next crime against the taxpayer.

      They do the crime – we do the time.

    203. Capella says:

      @ onelessday 11.51
      Will we have to compensate the queen for loss of income from the crown estates?
      No. The Queen and the Westminster govt will have to compensate us for 300 years of lost revenue and assorted thieving. The invoice is being drawn up.
      Those lying entities who enabled the latest round of thieving will be charged with aiding and abetting a crime. Which one to choose? Fraud? Theft? Extortion? False accounting? Demanding with menaces?

    204. No no no...Yes says:

      This is doing my head in. Just back in having listened to Iain Gray on BBC Newsdrive in the car. I just about went off the road. He is deluded, Labour are deluded . Their line seems to be the Vow has been delivered and we HAVE a powerhouse parliament.

      We have to make sure the electorate do not fall for this guff.

      Bill Whiteford asked both Iain Gray and Linda Fabiani why there was reference to the BBC in the report. Fabiani said both SNP and Labour had agreed, and said it was about local accountability. Ouch!

      Methinks BBC are concerned at this development, which is on page 17

      Broadcasting
      36. There will be a formal consultative role for the Scottish Government and the
      Scottish Parliament in the process of reviewing the BBC’s Charter. The BBC will lay
      its annual report and accounts before the Scottish Parliament and submit reports
      to, and appear before, committees of the Scottish Parliament in relation to matters
      relating to Scotland in the same way as it does in the UK Parliament.

      Full report here: https://www.smith-commission.scot/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The_Smith_Commission_Report-1.pdf

    205. Vronsky says:

      I suppose it depends how the same ‘news’ is reported in England, but the lies could be double-edged. What are the folk in the Home Counties going to say when they hear that those idle Jocks have had their benefit payments doubled? I mean, just how much does it cost to deep-fry a Mars bar?

    206. ronnie anderson says:

      I think we need a change of name from Scotland

      to the Land of the Never Disappointed People

      NDP for short sorry if that sounds like we hiv a Virus.

    207. unclebob says:

      Lesley-Anne, it’s fair sickenin!!!

      I’ve lived in loads of wee places in the south east and the south west and every single one of them tells you how to get to Carlisle. Like it’s maybe the promised land? Eastriggs is on the way to Dumfries? My great auntie Allie used to live there.

      If you travel from “Abroad” up towards Scotland all you see are signs for “The North”. Then as you get past Carlisle they do start to mention Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s a real thrill as you leave Newcastle to see signs for Jedburgh.

      I know this is not important in the wider scheme of things but, it fair rankills me.

    208. Nana Smith says:

      O/T but…

      Breaking News: Sutton MP Andrew Mitchell loses ‘Plebgate’ libel case. Judge rules he did call police officer a ‘pleb’

    209. boris says:

      For Nana Smith. Your Chapelcross post above refers. There is a huge amount of depleted uranium already stored there. Sufficient to add to the tips of just about all of the ordnance of NATO. It is there for the long term so you will all be radiated over a long period of time as will the artillery ranges and waters in and off the South West of Scotland, (around Kirkcubright) My earlier post may be of some interest. The ghosts of the great McNeils of Barra must be concerned at the thought the waters off their dearly loved island will possibly be used a a long term nuclear waste dump for Western Europe.

      http://caltonjock.com/2014/11/24/decommissioning-defuelling-and-dismantling-nuclear-submarines-and-other-matters-of-concern/

    210. galamcennalath says:

      A momentous day! The commission resulting from the Vow has clarified the situation! The Vow and all associated referendum winning promises have been cast aside, it’s official now. The referendum result can now be considered null and void because it was not won by fair and square means.

      DevoWeeBitMore is what the Unionists are actually now proposing. They lied and deceived.

      Three quarters of Scots want DevoMax, half want to step further to full independence. The Unionists have quite frankly boarded the wrong train.

      WM 2015 GE can now be fought on a ‘deliver DevoMax now, or else’ ticket. The ‘else’ should be IndyRef2 after Holyrood 2016.

    211. Jim McIntosh says:

      @muttley

      “putting needless and pointless pressure on the only independence supporting daily newspaper in Scotland (which is only just started a trial this week)? This is absolute madness.”

      We’re spending our money on this paper, if they don’t deliver I’ll stop buying it, it’s simple. It may say on the tin that it supports independence, but actions speak louder than words. It makes no difference that it’s in a trial period, in fact more reason for it to be supportive of our aims. You might think that madness to me it’s common sense.

    212. Valerie says:

      Manandboy- That is absolutely standard fare on the news threads, I’ve stopped going on, as I can’t stomach that deluded crap every day

    213. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Anyone in or near Irvine who wants to hear the SSP’s take on Smiff recommendations – public meeting this evening in Vineburgh Community Centre, Quarry Rd, Irvine, kick-off 7.30.

      Speakers: Richie Venton, Robin McElhone, Jim McGinn.

    214. Lesley-Anne says:

      manandboy says:

      I couldn’t resist!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30223348

      @Ugly Betsy on BBC Comments No 1254

      Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are holding back England’s true potential. Hopefully this is the first step to independence for those up north and the rest of the celtic microstates so they can stop hindering the English people. Without them we’d be a global superpower like the US and China.

      Whoa there Betty.

      RIGHT meds … WRONG dose! 😛

    215. James123 says:

      The reason the Smith Commission recommend “full powers” over income tax is because it sounds good but actually it means fuck all. They’re hoping that Scots will hear the words “full powers” and think that’s good enough. I’m not sure the Scottish people are clever enough to see through this bullshit, after they fell for the vow and voted no.

    216. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “For example, unless I’m misunderstanding this, there will be nothing to stop the SNP raising income tax rates substantially (i.e. maybe up higher rate from 40% to say 50% and the 45% band to say 60%, while cutting basic rate by 5-10% for lower earners).”

      Apart from the fact, as noted by Douglas Fraser, that top-rate payers would simply up sticks and sod off, since all they’d need to do would be move their main address a hundred miles south.

    217. TYRAN says:

      Urban Myths, Legends and Hoaxes.

    218. Jim McIntosh says:

      @muttley

      “I just think calling for UDI is a suicidal tactic.”

      I don’t – so as we’ve cancelled each other out maybe you can stop talking down to everyone who doesn’t agree with you.

    219. Brian Fleming says:

      Grizzle McPuss:
      “Roll on GE2015…SE2016…”

      Grizzle, good post. But your last line raises a point I’d like to air. Talk about the ‘general election’ and the ‘Scottish election’ is to use the language of the oppressor. We should all start using other terms to refer to these elections. There are doubtless numerous alternatives. But how about the ‘general election’ (i.e. Scotland’s election) and the ‘Westminster general election’ or ‘UK general election’. So, next year is the UK general election (UKGE2015) and the following year is the general election (GE2016). Or something like that to subvert the UK dominance of our political discourse. Scotland is our country (even though I live over 1,000 miles away). Our language should reflect that.

    220. liz says:

      To all those criticising The National, don’t buy it, no-one is forcing you.

      Buy the Daily Mail instead if that’s what you want, most of the rest of us will continue to support it.

      As for Smiffy, I sent in a submission asking for EVERYTHING, I knew it wouldn’t happen but I didn’t want them saying no-one bothered.

      We will have to say this is unacceptable and it’s good that so many other organisations are saying the same.

      It leaves Lab as usual in bed with the tories – so hell mend them.

    221. ClanDonald says:

      The majority of Scots (ie. at least two thirds) want powers to protect us from Westminster’s excesses. This means protection from austerity, food banks, hardship inflicted on the vulnerable and disabled, an education system exclusively for the elite, stealth privatisation of our NHS, increases in inequality.

      The Smith commission offers no protection from any of this apart from opportunities to blame Holyrood for these policies instead of Westminster. Scotland will never escape neo-liberalism to become a social democracy under these proposals.

      We live in a system so devious, dishonest and corrupt. Shame on the Labour Party and media for supporting this sham. Shame on the Labour Party for forcing us into a neo-liberal future. I will never forgive them.

    222. gus1940 says:

      According to Brillo Eck will be on tonight’s This Week or Tomorrow’s Daily Politics – I can’t remember which.

      Of course if The BBC watched today’s FMQs or read any of the on-line comments re Smith they might chicken out of giving him air time.

    223. archieologist says:

      The recommendations of the Smith Commission come nowhere near fulfilling the Daily Record/ Better Together Vow of devo max and something close to federalism. The SNP will support more powers for Holyrood but as Nicola Sturgeon has said today these proposals are disappointing. The Smith Commission was never going to offer devo max.
      Despite the spin of the unionist press,the devolution of income tax is not worth a row of beans. Holyrood already has the power to raise the basic rate of income tax but has never used it. Barring tinkering with the top 45p tax rate, changes to income tax by Holyrood can only really be effective if other non direct taxes are devolved to Holyrood. If the Scottish Government were to lower income tax they don’t have control over taxes such as oil and gas revenues, corporation tax and income from the Crown Estates to balance the books. If they raised taxes higher than the rUK there would be an outcry from the unionists.

      The SNP is the party of Independence and while they may accept the devolution of further powers to Holyrood they must make it clear that the Smith recommendations fall far short of the promises made in the Vow despite the spin of the Daily Record, Jim Murphy et al. and the unionist press.

    224. Jamie Arriere says:

      For all those advocating UDI and losing patience with the National after four days in print, just climb into a bath of cold water and boil yourselves up a vat of tea.

      This is going to be a long haul.

    225. towerman says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell

      I don’t follow your argument: if you think raising taxes would scare higher earners away from Scotland, then what’s the point in arguing for even MORE powers of taxation as you do here (and as the SNP are arguing)? Unless, that is, you think the SNP should LOWER taxes in Scotland – but that’s surely not in keeping with the policies and politics of the SNP/Yes campaign.

      It seems clear to me that the SNP are going to decline to fully use the new powers that are to be devolved, as it is much easier (and obviously beneficial to the independence movement) to argue that what is being delivered is a con, insufficent etc. in order to agitate for a second referendum.

    226. Lesley-Anne says:

      UncleBob every time I cross the border to go to ASDA’s or ARGOS, a very RARE occurrence I can tell you, I always feel extremely uneasy. I retain that feeling of uneasyness until I return back across the border and see the big “Fàilte gu Caesar!” sign on the M74 just before I take the turn off for the A75. That Fàilte sign fair gets the hairs standing up on the back of my neck I can tell you. Oh I also give the sign a wee salute as we pass as well. 😉

    227. Dave Robb says:

      Instant reaction is not always the best response. Scotland is no worse off today than it was 2 months ago. It certainly won’t be much better off in future with the Smith Proposals, even if passed as they stand. However, it’s not just about Smith, and what we wanted instead.

      It’s important to remember what else we already have the power to do – and I don’t mean airgun control. The SNP’s plans for land reform not only attack power and privelege – they offer alternative income to the Scottish Government and from them to local councils. With the other items on this agenda, Scotland will be changed.

      The Smith Commission was never likely to give us our own “key to the door” in the UK family. However, the mechanisms needed for a final split are being built up – the beginnings of a separate tax system, welfare system, decisions over trivial things like road signs. It is another brick FROM the wall.

      It is always worth looking at this from the other side – both Labour and Tory MPs are hopping mad and frustrated. We don’t need to do much to watch them destroy Smith, betray the so-called “vow”, and build the case for referendum 2. An enlarged block of incentivised SNP at Westminster, plus a demoralised Labour Party, and a Tory split on Europe and diminished by UKIP means it ain’t over yet. And the loss of grouse moors to come, with no easy way for Westminster to stop it!

      Let’s give England independence from the UK – that solves everybody’s problem.

    228. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Neil Mackay has just tweeted that the National will be continuing next week.

    229. Alex Clark says:

      @towerman

      Lets say the the Smith Commission recommended devolving Corporation Tax to the SG. An SNP government would then more than likely go ahead with their proposal to cut it.

      If the rUK failed to follow suit it is possible that this cutting of CT would make Scotland a more attractive area of the UK where Multi-Nationals would like to do business and gain access to EU markets.

      Inward investment would increase Income tax in Scotland due to the new jobs created (just as in Ireland), new jobs result in lower welfare costs. This of course takes away inward investment from other areas of the UK and possibly Europe.

      This is one argument as to why Corporation Tax was not on the table as a devolved tax.

    230. John Ross says:

      It’s not the BBC we should be demonstrating outside but the offices of that pish of a paper “The Daily Rubbish”

    231. Democracy Reborn says:

      @towerman

      I think you misunderstand the argument. Being independent means having full control over ALL tax revenues. That is what’s meant by “more powers of taxation”. Nobody is calling for extra tax powers in order to increase the tax rate, apart from Labour who want to increase the top rate to recover a relatively insignificant amount. Scotland pays more in tax revenues than it receives back in expenditure. See any of the Rev’s articles linked above for details.

      Having full control of tax revenues enables you to meaningfully tackle social & economic inequality. See the STUC response to Smith posted above : the proposals are underwhelming & unlikely to seriously address the country’s needs. Even IF the Smith proposals are implemented, WM will retain control of about 70% tax & 85% welfare. It’s no coincidence that Nat Insurance, Corporation Tax, half of VAT & all of North Sea oil revenues will remain reserved.

      The inference from your post is that despite Scotland paying more in revenue than it receives in expenditure, we should nevertheless increase taxes if we want further spending? Is that ‘pooling & sharing’ means?

    232. nevermind says:

      This is the moment were the Smith commission is trying to split the campaign for Independence with their maybe’s and could, should, would rhetoric. Its is inevitable that you will be Independent, just go steady and don’t let Westminster tear you apart with their hasty innuendos. All these concessions and proposals are just that, wailing wind!

    233. towerman says:

      @Democracy Reborn @Alex Clark

      Interesting points, though I have to say I’m surprised that a lower-tax environment is envisaged for an independent Scotland. That doesn’t tally with the stuff coming from the RIC-side of the Yes campaign, which seems to advocate classic ‘Left’ish tax-and-spend, increased welfare, anti-cuts type policies.

      Even without corporation tax control and national insurance (I note that income tax is a far ‘bigger’ tax than corporation tax), once these new powers are in place, Scotland could surely cut income tax levels, if that’s what the SNP want to do.

      If the SNP do that, I’ll look forward to seeing how a lower-tax regime works out in Scotland (I’m generally pro-lowering taxes, so if Scotland can pull it off it’ll be very interesting).

      Btw, I hope you’ll excuse me if I don’t debate the whole who-pays-more argument as there’s so much disagreement on the issue (though I note what is happening to the oil price recently surely can’t be good for indy Scotland’s prospects – the current price is way below the lowest of the SNP’s estimates in the White Paper).

    234. ian says:

      History repeats its self

      From Braveheart – If you leave this battlefield King Edward promises you lands and titles in England.
      Westminsters modern attempt to buy the troublesome Scots off with worthless promises.
      or
      The Smith Commission has reshuffled the deck chairs on the Titanic

    235. Frann Leach says:

      Any chance of producing artwork for a leaflet explaining all this? Like you did for The Wee Blue Book?

      We desperately need to counter the misinformation that is/will be promulgated by the Unionist media.

    236. wingman 2020 says:

      @Jim McIntosh
      @muttley


      “putting needless and pointless pressure on the only independence supporting daily newspaper in Scotland (which is only just started a trial this week)? This is absolute madness.”

      We’re spending our money on this paper, if they don’t deliver I’ll stop buying it, it’s simple. It may say on the tin that it supports independence, but actions speak louder than words. It makes no difference that it’s in a trial period, in fact more reason for it to be supportive of our aims. You might think that madness to me it’s common sense.

      This is my take entirely. Patience my ass. Either the paper has the teeth and the motivation to challenge the corrupt media cabal in Scotland, or it doesn’t.

      It’s either a voice of the people against the Westminster propaganda, and therefore great journalism that does not allow falsehoods to be disseminated to the electorate without challenge… or it isn’t.

      There is no ‘halfway house’. There is no opportunity to evolve slowly. The situation is wrong today, it is unjust today and it is critical today.

      If the National is able to take some of the information that is easily available (Wings, Bella, National Collective, SNP, YES, and many many more) and challenge the unchallenged Daily Record, Scotsman, Scottish Daily mail and others… then I will take a years subscription. But I will not subscribe to something if its just ‘dipping its toe into the water’.

      There is a massive fountain / pool of passion, knowledge, argument, ideas and intellect in the YES camp(s) …. either you tap into it with a fire hydrant or don’t bother.

    237. unclebob says:

      Lesley Ann
      We are the same in this hoose.
      We’re currently nearer Berwick than Carlisle but I hold my breath when we cross the border and on the way back burst into grateful song to be back home. Usually there are cheers too and comments on how much better the sheep look on this side of the border. Pretty infantile I know, but we do it every time.
      The quickest way to visit my in-laws in Dumfries involves a border crossing (and back), so we go out of our way to go the long way round to stay on the better side of the border.

    238. Alex Clark says:

      @towerman

      It’s interesting that if Scotland decided to scrap the highest rate of 45% rather than raise it to 50%. It could result in a net increase in Income tax raise rather than a decrease!

      I base this on the fact that it is reported that these top tax-payers are responsible for around 30% of all Income tax raised in the UK.

      https://archive.today/HCvYs

      What is their to stop a significant number of these individuals (wealthy Scottish bankers) making their main domicile for tax purposes as Scotland and then contributing ALL their Income tax to a Scottish Government? Possibly resulting in a significant increase in revenue.

      Haha, that would set the cat amongst the Westminster pigeons. One thing is for sure though, control of all tax would give the maximum flexibility to do what is right for Scotland and the people who live here.

    239. kininvie says:

      To all those having a go The National:

      The whole outfit’s running on a shoestring. They won’t have either the money, nor the staff to do their own in-depth analysis of Smith. They are buying in maybe 60% of their copy (no doubt using The Herald’s existing contract with the wire agencies). I imagine their columnists – Lesley et al. – have been paid little of nothing. Their editorial budget will be close to zero. All their money will be going into production and distribution.

      Plainly, they also have no advertising budget. They rely on us to do that for them. Also, they are relying on a few dedicated independentistas to take out ads -Step forward the Yesbar and Sandy Adams of Springfield and a few others.

      I worked for Newsquest on a newly-launched magazine. It took eight years, in which we barely covered our costs, before they accepted we could be profitable and put some money into it.

      Even if The National breaks even – and at present they won’t be coming near it – they have 3 weeks of start-up costs to defer for a start – Newsquest will keep them operating on next to nothing for at least the next six months until they see whether this is just a flash in the pan. Newsquest is ruthless when it comes to the bottom line, and I suspect the only reason The Scotsman still exists is because it would be more expensive to close it than keep it staggering along in the hope of a deluded buyer.

      So cut some slack. It’s what we’ve been crying out for. It’s not going to turn into a fully-rounded, properly resourced product overnight. And for what it is – I think it’s a remarkably good read.

    240. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Any chance of producing artwork for a leaflet explaining all this? Like you did for The Wee Blue Book?”

      I’ve been pondering. Issue is getting it concise enough – even 1000 words, which is roughly what this piece is, is WAY too long for a leaflet.

    241. Graeme Doig says:

      Towerman

      You’ll be familiar with the phrase ‘fuck off”. You’ll have been told it often enough.

      Really not in the mood for arses today.

    242. arthur thomson says:

      The Vow was a con – which we always knew. But EVEL is good news for Scotland and we should all support it. It undermines SLAB, underwrites the fact that Scotland and England are different countries and gives us scope to start scrutinising the monies that are being allocated to English matters. It then provides the opportunity for people in Scotland and England to question where the rest of the money is going and why UK wide responsibilities eat up so much of the taxes paid. With regard to Income Tax, I expect the SNP to refuse to raise any rate of tax in Scotland where any money actually raised would simply be offset by a reduction in the block grant. I would expect them to make their reasoning public.

    243. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Towerman If your were up to World politics you would note the Oil market has been rigged by America/britain/Eu for the next 2 years,the reason being to fuck up the Russian Oil revenue,S Arabia has increased productivity.

    244. ann says:

      De Valera,

      Here in deepest darkest West Fife, I managed to get a copy of the National on Monday and none since.

      Nothing in any of the local shops and a real struggle in many places in Dunfermline.

    245. Chris says:

      @Alex Clark: yep, exactly the point I made above (with some rough calculations). http://wingsoverscotland.com/and-now-for-the-truth/comment-page-1/#comment-1930556

      If used carefully to entice tax-payers to redomicile could transfer considerable chunks of treasury income to Scotland (and yes, block grant adjustment seems to be at the initial point of handover of powers and won’t vary in the future if Scotland raises more/less via changing rates).

    246. Paula Rose says:

      re a wee explanation of the smiff commission, come on folks lets do this and let the Rev get on with his job – all attempts can be posted on off topic.

    247. call me dave says:

      Thanks Ronnie, you are correct about oil.

      Smith just handed over more responsibility to the SG, no new powers at all really, now they are collecting taxes for Westminster Government, any monies accrued will be deducted from block grant.

      Nothing but rearranging the deck chairs.

      We’ll hear in the next few days what a damp squib it is when it all unravels, but not in the MSM.

      Footie link. Pick your match.

      http://www.wiziwig.tv/competition.php?part=sports&discipline=football

    248. Anne Lawrie says:

      Alex Salmond on “This Week” tonight, discussing the “new powers”. Unshackled, he’s going to be thorn in WM’s side. Should be interesting, despite being on the State Propaganda channel.

    249. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      @Alex Clark says:
      27 November, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      “It’s interesting that if Scotland decided to scrap the highest rate of 45% rather than raise it to 50%. It could result in a net increase in Income tax raise rather than a decrease!

      I base this on the fact that it is reported that these top tax-payers are responsible for around 30% of all Income tax raised in the UK.”

      This may be true but Scotland would not be 1p better off as the gain would just be removed from the Block Grant as per

      “78. The Scottish Government will receive all Income Tax paid by Scottish taxpayers on their non-savings and non-dividend income with a corresponding adjustment in the block grant received from the UK Government, in line with the funding principles set
      out in paragraph 95.”

      The only thing that would happen is that the UK would have less.
      Which might be regarded as just a nasty thing to do.

      As said before these are still just recommendations, no doubt the act passed to implement this will hamstring such a possibility.

    250. Gordon Brown’s fix up with the Daily Record on the ‘Vow’ is about to bring the UK Parliamentary Union to an abrupt end. Labour MP’s see only trouble ahead – no moonlight or dancing.

      The Smith Commission has delivered nothing but good news for the SNP who can say they negotiated in good faith, as requested by the Scottish people, as a result of the ‘No’ vote in September, and this was the best they could get from the Westminster Parties ‘Scotch’ representatives.

      The Tories will enter another round of blood letting when they discover the UK Parliament has no legitimate legal or constitutional power to alter the voting rights of members elected to the UK Parliament and such a change can only be negotiated between the sovereign parliaments of England and Scotland as original signatories to the 1707 Treaty (McCormack vs the Lord Advocate 1953).

    251. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      @kininvie says:
      27 November, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      “The whole outfit’s running on a shoestring. They won’t have either the money, nor the staff to do their own in-depth analysis of Smith. They are buying in maybe 60% of their copy (no doubt using The Herald’s existing contract with the wire agencies). I imagine their columnists – Lesley et al. – have been paid little of nothing. Their editorial budget will be close to zero. All their money will be going into production and distribution.”

      Maybe fans of this site could contribute to buying space for the Rev’s articles being placed as adverts ?

    252. thomaspotter2014 says:

      What the SNP need for their 2015 GE Manifesto is DEVOLVE ALL POWERS TO HOLYROOD-NO EXCEPTIONS.
      If you’re gonnae dae it -dae it right!!!!!

    253. AuldA says:

      For those who fear about the National, I found the today’s editorial quite refreshing. I mean, they seem to be vigilant and in no way complacent, including vis-à-vis the SNP. I would really be surprised if they don’t pan the report in the tomorrow’s edition.

      O/T
      @BtP: Sorry I didn’t answer your last message. Nice to know you’re back under milder and balmier latitudes. Enjoy TLS! By the way, did you receive your SNP member card? If yes, to what branch are you attached? Thanks!

    254. AuldA says:

      Cool. The National has tweeted it was prolonged!

    255. Indyracer2014 says:

      The queen is still purring. Nothing today upset the establishment order. Power still resides where it did.

      I may be being very dumb, but as it is clear that an increase in income tax rates in Scotland would result in a reduction in the block grant (i.e. revenue neutral position) what would happen if the proposed Income Tax powers were used to reduced all income tax to the lowest possible level. Would the block grant increase? Would this not benefit anyone domiciled in Scotland at the expense of rUK?

    256. unclebob says:

      Now there’s a thought!
      Remove all income tax and increase the block “grant”.
      Am I the only one who hates the WM language.
      Grant, what Grant?
      Benefits? no, more like Social Security
      Tax Credits?? What on earth do all these mean.
      Just used to make us feel we are getting something for nothing!!!
      Or to let everyone else think that.

    257. Paula Rose says:

      @ SqueuedPerspextive – I rather like that idea.

    258. Wee folding bike says:

      When heading north on the M6 I lean forward to touch the windscreen just before passing the sign. It gets me back to Scotland that wee bit sooner and ahead of the memsahib.

    259. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I suspect some trolls masquerading as supporters are attacking the National. One in particular always has a downside on anything YES does while pretending to be super nat.
      Be aware.The best plants always masquerade as the most committed supporters

    260. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      Regarding my earlier post (8:19pm)

      Does the following mean that it actually is possible to reduce income tax rate, resulting in (hopefully) an increase in total Scottish Income, that Scotland could benefit?

      “Economic Responsibility: the revised funding framework should result in the devolved Scottish budget benefiting in full from policy decisions by the Scottish Government that increase revenues or reduce expenditure, and the devolved Scottish budget bearing the full costs of policy decisions that reduce revenues
      or increase expenditure.”

      The important word being initially – not a subsequent change.

    261. ewen says:

      Same old pish from the unionist bams.

      I finally got my snp members pack. Well, I actually got two. One was for HQ branch as expected as living in Ireland. The other was for London branch which I found strange. The last time I was a member and living in Lithuania, I was HQ. Both cards have the same membership number. Upside is two car stickers.

    262. Ann says:

      Watching FMQ was like watching bullies picking on the smallest and weakest in the school playground, only to find out that they were wrong.

      Between Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson and Jackie Baillie it was clear to see that what was on show was a planned attack on Nicola straight from the opening question from Jackie Baillie.

      Good to see Nicola being so feisty and getting her own back and prove that she is the right person to represent the people of Scotland and not those no-hopers.

      By the way where is Jackie Baillie from? She has one weird accent.

    263. De Valera says:

      T@ Ann

      Thanks, family matters tied me up today and yesterday, but I’ll be up early tomorrow.
      Glad to hear it’s continuing for the time being at least and a friend in Kilmarnock has been able to get in no bother from Tuesday onwards.

    264. john from fife says:

      Thanks for the VOW offer but I’m sure that the SNP Scottish government will refuse the offer.

    265. Onwards says:

      It is generally recognised that lowering tax can actually increase revenues up to a point.

      But the last thing that Westminster wants is for Scotland to compete with London.
      I think they know it will be electoral suicide for the SNP to run on a ticket of lower income tax for higher earners.

      This is going to play out at the next Holyrood elections, where Labour will no doubt try to battle the SNP with the new ‘powers’.

      They will be making all sorts of promises that won’t be kept.
      But it will all be about stopping another SNP majority and the chance of another referendum.

      It’s going to be vitally important to get as many pro-Scottish MP’s as possible next year.

    266. Lollysmum says:

      @ Ann

      FMQ’s were a joy to watch. You’re right, it was a preplanned attack meant to make her look weak & hopeless. Picked the wrong person though! Must admit that my first thought was they didn’t call her nippy sturgeon for nothing.

      She tore into them one after the other & all I could do was laugh.

    267. Alastair Lang says:

      Ditto re The National comment. Must gain a set of teeth n bxws and call out these lies.

    268. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      @Onwards
      27 November, 2014 at 9:54 pm
      “It is generally recognised that lowering tax can actually increase revenues up to a point.”

      My extensive knowledge of economics (from Ferris Buellers Day Off) reminds me that this is called the Laffer curve.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

    269. Croompenstein says:

      @Ann –

      By the way where is Jackie Baillie from?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PouS6aAsD4I

    270. Morag says:

      When heading north on the M6 I lean forward to touch the windscreen just before passing the sign. It gets me back to Scotland that wee bit sooner and ahead of the memsahib.

      Never thought of that one. I just used to emit a Tarzan-like whoop of glee. Used to, as in, once upon a time getting home to Scotland was like an escape. Now, if I go to England it’s just for a holiday so coming back I just settle back in the driving seat and let that “home” feeling wash over me.

    271. ewen says:

      That feeling you get once you are back in Scotland. Nothing better. Just hearing your own people speaking your own tongue brings a smile to your face.

      I haven’t been down south for about 10 years. Luckily everywhere I’ve been has had direct transport links to Scotland. Don’t have any reason to travel to England.

    272. MJarga says:

      From Catalonia, have to laugh at Scottish Labour asking that English airports are not disadvantaged – it’s a situation well known in Spain and explains why Catalonia now only wants independence. Finally you’ve tripped on this stone so well known to us.

      It’s official autonomous government policy and it’s called “No voy a ser menos” – roughly speaking, “If he gets it, I want it”, and it’s the putting into practice of the “Café para todos” (coffee for everyone) strategy that has made the Spanish state the false federation (and failed state) it is today. One autonomous community even had it written into its Statute of autonomy (“these powers, plus the guarantee of extension if Catalonia gets more than us in the future”).

      The perfect trap – hopefully for the unionists! Just hope the Scots learn their lesson quicker than the Catalans did.

    273. Natasha says:

      @Towerman 6.09pm
      Btw, I hope you’ll excuse me if I don’t debate the whole who-pays-more argument as there’s so much disagreement on the issue . . .

      No, Towerman, the real reason you don’t want to debate the whole who-pays-more argument is that you would lose. Either because you don’t understand it, or because you do; the first would show your ignorance and the second your dishonesty.

      There’s no excuse for ignorance on this – the facts are out there in countless places, two of which are the Wee Blue Book and Business for Scotland. You can quite clearly read and write and have access to the internet, so at least have the moral courage to go and find out the truth. If you can’t be bothered to do that, then don’t make yourself look even more stupid and ignorant by trying to argue with people who, unlike you, are well-informed and have both brains and consciences.

    274. DMcD says:

      The article prompting this huge stream of comment is as bad an example of manipulating information and playing on the sensibilities of its readership as the other press it seeks to lampoon and complain about. The nationalist case has been – as amply demonstrated by the commentators here – that the referendum was won on a false prospectus and most particularly that the promises made in the latter stages of the campaign swung the vote. If that is the case (and many will argue that it didn’t account for 10%) then the analysis required of Stuart is not the gap between the aunt sally of Daily Record hyperbole and sensible description of commission proposals but the gap between those proposals and the promises made. You may be right that the promises didn’t actually amount to much but you can’t have it both ways. If commission proposals are a fair match to the promises made (and I believe they are) then you don’t have a democratic argument to make – only a criticism of some journalism. Thats hardly news and just what is the overlap between your readership and that of the Daily Record ? Very little is my guess. You are just winding up the same people who couldn’t see through your Wee Blue Book propaganda (perhaps you and they should re-read the passages on tax variation).

    275. Barbara McKenzie says:

      Has anyone read the Martin Kettle’s response in the Guardian? It’s an absolute shocker – clearly Kettle, unlike Rev Stu, made no attempt to read a word of the Smith report before commenting, nor have most of his readership.

      (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/27/snp-smith-commission-scottish-people-devolution)

      I note that the Guardian’s earlier item giving a breakdown of main points does include the fact that the Barnett formula still applies, though this is right at the bottom. ‘You can spend on this, you can spend on that, you can spend on the other (but you won’t get any more money)’.

    276. Ian MacDonald says:

      On Chris’s comment at 12.01pm on 27/11/14:

      Stu rightly says no sane Scottish Government will ever increase tax for the top earners, because they will just move their tax address south of the border.

      Chris says the flip-side of that is a Scottish Government could reduce the tax for high earners, even by 1%. Many down south would then move their tax address to Scotland. Bonanza!

      Part of me agrees with Chris that for this reason the proposals will be watered down (e.g. increase but not decrease tax ala Labour proposals?)

      But actually, I doubt a Scottish Government would do this, because Westminster would probably similarly reduce the top tax rate to prevent the exodus (blaming Scotland for the necessity), and suddenly we’re all losers.

    277. Muscleguy says:

      @Charlie

      And I met a fellow Kiwi scientist once who had worked in Geneva. He lived in France though. Lower taxes, less anal red tape. It is piss easy to cross the border around Geneva. A Swiss scientist of my acquaintance once wanted to send some mice to Paris. Big hassle, regulations etc. So he puts them in his pocket, drives to the French side of Geneva airport, gets on a French domestic flight to Paris, no problems.

      Even between two independent nations that share a border you cannot always control where people live, pay taxes, or what they take over the border each and every day. Not without getting in the way of commerce who will bleat long and loud and take you to court if you try.

    278. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “only a criticism of some journalism”

      You understand that criticism of journalism is this site’s core purpose and the reason it was created in the first place, yes?

    279. towerman says:

      @Graeme Doig

      Charming. Interesting that you resort to personal abuse so quickly.

    280. Barbara McKenzie says:

      @Towerman ‘It seems clear to me that the SNP are going to decline to fully use the new powers that are to be devolved, as it is much easier (and obviously beneficial to the independence movement) to argue that what is being delivered is a con, insufficent etc. in order to agitate for a second referendum.’

      I don’t understand this claim. Nicola Sturgeon’s immediate response was that she welcomed the recommendations for Scotland, but that the Scots wouldn’t consider that they go far enough. e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/27/nicola-sturgeon-smith-commission-fails-deliver-scotland-powerhouse-parliament

    281. Natasha says:

      @Towerman
      Have you managed to locate the Wee Blue Book or Business for Scotland yet? I’ll give you a wee clue – look at the top of this page. Even you should be able to click on a link. Don’t come back on until you have managed to read the relevant bits; then you can feel free to apologise to the rest of us.

    282. Henry says:

      Smoke and mirrors indeed.
      While everyone talks about this and other diversions they take their eye of the road.
      They write about this “report” offering “recommendations” as if it is the promised St Andrews Day “White Paper” for “Federal” or “Home Rule” level powers.
      Devo Max? Its Diversion Max.

      Kings new clothes…….when will the epiphany happen.

    283. Barbara McKenzie says:

      @ Ian MacDonald

      Surely the relevant figure is less than 6%? Yes didn’t need 55%, just 50+.

      Regardless of the influence of The Vow, Project Fear as played out by the media had a huge effect on how elderly people in particular voted, and we need people like RevStu to monitor and tackle what is being said.

      Aren’t you concerned that the Daily Record et al have claimed “Scottish Government budget to nearly double” when this is patently false?



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