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Better ourselves

Posted on June 16, 2014 by

In the course of debunking some No-camp myths about “high taxes” and the cost of living in Scandinavian countries, we’ve often mentioned that in addition to average real incomes being far higher in places like Norway and Denmark (even after adjusting for the cost of living), that average is itself misleading, because the poor distribution of wealth in the UK means that it’s artificially inflated by the incomes of the super-rich.

spiritlevel

Now it’s possible to actually put figures on that.

“The poorest households in the UK are closer to the poorest in former Eastern bloc countries Slovenia and the Czech Republic than in Western Europe. This is despite the fact that the OECD estimates average incomes in the UK ($25,828) are similar to Denmark ($25,172) and the Netherlands ($25,697).

The UK’s average is inflated by the incomes of the top 20% of households  – at around $54,000, the third highest in the EU. In Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, the top 20% make between $44,000 and $49,000.

If the UK’s total income of around £1 trillion was divided in the same way as total incomes in Denmark or the Netherlands, 99% of UK households would be better off by around £2,700 per year.

We highly recommend reading the entire article – it’s not very long. The point is that for all the dire warnings put out by all three UK parties – not just about Scotland but also to justify public service cuts in the whole UK – there IS in fact plenty of wealth to go around, if there’s a political will to make that happen.

In the UK, there simply isn’t. The Conservatives and Lib Dems are committed to permanent austerity, and with UKIP the biggest rising force in the country, Labour has no alternative but to tack constantly to the right to have any hope of keeping up with the others, with any real commitment to redistribution seen as electoral suicide.

Scotland, where the Tories haven’t won an election in 60 years, has possibilities open to it that are beyond the dreams of the UK left. Without generating a penny of extra revenue, full control of its own economy would give the Scottish Parliament the ability, should the electorate wish it, to build a country where the fruits of labour were more equally shared among the people who actually did the labour.

It remains, of course, to be seen whether voters will accept that power.

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    225 to “Better ourselves”

    1. Marc Schmidt says:

      Nice to see Norway there. Always said that if we get a no vote, totally moving.

    2. desimond says:

      I think/hope/pray it may be more like this….

      (Scots) will build a country where the fruits of labour were more equally shared among the people who actually did the labour party in, as a political force north of the border.

    3. David Briggs says:

      I have a couple of ‘better ourselves’ stickers on the Mondeo and it intrigues passers by.

      No one’s vandalised it ….yet.

    4. Walking on Sunshine says:

      Milliband has no chance of becoming PM.
      Even warmonger Blair is more popular among Labour voters.

      And with the Tories and UKIP ganging up against Labour in key marginals, it looks like a sharp turn to the right south of the border.

      Which means years more austeriy, stringent anti-immigration laws and a swift exit from Europe.

      Scotland has only one chance to escape and that is through independence.

      Vote NO at your peril.

    5. No no no...Yes says:

      I read the High Pay Centre article and watched the video ‘Income Equality in the UK.’ None of Westminster parties have any intention to do anything about situation.
      The Tories will win in 2015, and they will continue to feather their own nests, Labour have a leader that is unelectable and the Lib Dems are history. UKIP will hold the balance of power and Scotland will get done over if there is a NO vote.

      In any given NO scenario post general election 2015, Scotland will continue to suffer from “pooling and sharing”, we will be “poorer by sharing.”

      Every undecided needs to be made aware of this.

    6. Morag says:

      Nice to see Norway there. Always said that if we get a no vote, totally moving.

      Well, my retirement income might stretch to a cup of tea in Norwegian kroner, so maybe not. It’s not just that though. I understand that in Norway it is absolutely Not Done to speak to strangers at the bus stop, in the supermarket queue or when casually encountering them in the street.

      I’d go mad.

    7. Herbert says:

      Hi RevStu,
      I am interested by your comment that the Tories have not “won” an election in Scotland for 60 years.

      I presume you are referring to the 1950s where Scotland was the ONLY place in the UK EVER to record an absolute majority of 50.1% for the Tories(or similar)?

      Surely that’s a tad misleading as even the SNPs impressive landslide of 2011 only recorded around 45%.

    8. Dcanmore says:

      ‘You don’t want to give the poor any more money, they’ll just spend it!’

      USA is just about off the scale, exactly where Britain is heading of course with austerity measures. But that is the point, all the Westminster parties are hell-bent in following what America does in corrosive neo-liberal capitalism.

      ‘The poorest households in the UK are closer to the poorest in former Eastern-Bloc countries’ … this reminds me of an episode of the classic 1970s spy series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (currently available free on YouTube), where the producers were looking for a suitable filming location to mimic a downtrodden eastern-bloc Stalinist housing estate, they found it in Glasgow! No doubt it’s still there, still downtrodden with a population of shocking low life expectancy and a continuing sitting Labour MP.

      The wealth of the UK never went away, it got robbed and the thieves are still robbing it. A new deal awaits the people of Scotland after a YES vote.

    9. Kenny Ritchie says:

      Norway was 8 very good years of my life. If an indy Scotland could offer a fraction of what Norge has to offer; I’d grab it with both hands.

    10. Flooplepoop says:

      How can we have equal society when we still have the Remembrancer sitting in westminster and HoL, he keeps all the MPs in check.
      His profile should be raised and shown to the general public, that would put the fox amongst the chickens.
      His roll is to make sure the rich stay rich and become richer.
      https://archive.today/DUuxr

    11. galamcennalath says:

      If everyone in Scotland knew what we all seem to know, who would be daft enough to vote No?

      Well, rich kids like JKR for one!

      Mission. Make as many ordinary people was possible aware of what is possible with Yes, and what is probable with No!

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      Morag: “I understand that in Norway it is absolutely Not Done to speak to strangers at the bus stop, in the supermarket queue or when casually encountering them in the street.

      I’d go mad.”

      Wow, I must be Norwegian or something…

    13. Mary Bruce says:

      See that graph up there? See the USA? That’s where they want to take the UK. It’s what Scottish Labour are asking you to vote for. Bonkers, isn’t it?

    14. Capella says:

      @ Morag Norway is a beautiful country and the people are lovely, friendly and down to earth. A great place to go to for a holiday and find out about how a small, indpendent country manages its affairs.

    15. Peter says:

      He continued: “The union may have merged parliaments, but it never did merge Scotland into England.

      Mad Ali Darling flat out contradicting his own published papers on Scotland being under English ownership. Scum then, now and forever.

    16. MajorBloodnok says:

      Morag: “I understand that in Norway it is absolutely Not Done to speak to strangers at the bus stop, in the supermarket queue or when casually encountering them in the street.

      Yeah, people did that to me too. Perhaps the flesh-coloured body suit with the small Swedish flag embroidered on the crotch was a mistake.

    17. Ravelin says:

      Interesting to see where the USA lies on the scale. I worked on Orlando for nearly 3 years and the disparity was something that struck me. You could drive along some streets and it was … huge house … huge house .. shack … huge house … shack … huge house, and you can bet there were more people living in the shack at times than the huge house next door. The number of trailer parks was telling too, although most of the time they weren’t obvious as they were hidden behind a screen of trees. It’s a very, very unequal society when it comes to the haves/have nots.

    18. TheItalianJob says:

      @Kenny Ritchie

      I’d support your statement. I lived and worked there for 6 years in there 80’s and the standard of living then was very high.

      Since then it’s gone through the roof as we all know. It so annoys me that Scotland could have been just as wealthy.

      Anyway if we go Independent we can catch up with Norway. It’s not just the oil but things like whisky revenues, produce etc, etc that will make it a reality.

    19. Morag says:

      Norway is a beautiful country and the people are lovely, friendly and down to earth. A great place to go to for a holiday and find out about how a small, indpendent country manages its affairs.

      That’s exactly where I went last year. I’m wearing my Svalbard t-shirt – the one with the aurora on it, not the one with the polar bear. Some people around here are nearly as literal-minded as I am, sheesh.

    20. galamcennalath says:

      Getting to the left side of the graph doesn’t seem insurmountable, you just have to do things differently from London and Washington! Those on the left aren’t exactly hotbeds of raving communism!

      More people in work through economic growth. A living wage instead of a minimum wage. Make it easy for women to get back to work. Those three mean less benefits being paid out and more tax coming in. Combined that with some fairer tax on the super rich. And, then you have extra dosh to spend on good services, free educations and national infrastructure.

      Realised after I typed that it sounded like something John Swinney might say! Probably is SNP policy, though I reckon a consensus of SNP, Greens and trusted-Labour after Independence will follow a don’t scare the business horses path like that.

    21. TheItalianJob says:

      The Norwegians are lovely people but in the main very reserved unlike the outgoing Scots.

      PS They tend to lose being reserved after a few drinks or two.

    22. Morag says:

      OT, but I just spent a wee while reading whole chunks of the gamer forum thread where Stu made the 9/11 remark. I now see the full context of the thing. The thread is strangely compelling, though not as much fun as the ones on the fanfic forums when JKR announced that Harry and Hermione were never going to be a couple….

      To cut an extremely long and complicated story short, Stu joined the forum to take some kids to task over an ignorant critique of an article he had written, posted by someone who clearly didn’t understand what the article was supposed to be about. He weighed in with the sort of invective anyone who folows his twitter stream will be familiar with.

      Some little time later the editor who commissioned the piece joins in and praises Stu very highly indeed as a meticulous researcher with an opinionated, sarky style. Sounds familiar?

      The whole thing goes round in circles for about 20 pages, until the “Steve” character remarks that Stu seems to have camled down a bit, taking this as evidence that he actually realises he was in the wrong. At this point Stu posted the most outrageously un-calm stuff he could dream up, in order to demonstrate that he had not calmed down and thus could not be interpreted as conceding a single inch.

      That’s it. We should all vote No now.

    23. handclapping says:

      Wow, I never realised how poor our poor are. It wouldn’t take much to uprate their incomes and set off a torrent of demand.

      Henery the First was right, pay your workers such that they also can aspire to a Model T. The other bosses loathed him but he was right. All we need to do is make sure we make plenty of what will be demanded so people can heat and eat.

    24. Clootie says:

      Morag
      Am tellin’ you called Stu sarky

    25. TJenny says:

      Clootie + Morag – Stu, sarky? Shurely shome mishtake. 🙂

    26. Clootie says:

      What an outstanding graphic to display inequality.

      Look at that tight little group with a narrow gap between rich and poor and low health issues – who could argue.

      I’ fortunate as an offshore worker to be at the better end of the pay scale so it is not envy that wants to reduce the gap it’s fairness. I should pay more tax but not for nukes and H2S or Lords etc.
      I would welcome change to get rid of food banks and pay day loans.

      What I cannot grasp is that the majority would benefit under a society designed to move us down and to the left on this graph.

      The MAJORITY – what’s up with you?

    27. Helena Brown says:

      Stopped off in Olso August 2012, felt very at home, they had Haar there too. So an Edinburgh couple felt they had just moved to a nicer part of Scotland. Had a great day, husband kept muttering about all the naked people statues in the park, but when the Haar lifted it was really lovely.
      I would take any of the countries, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, or Norway over the UK and they do not care to “Punch above their weight”
      Russia Today announce the Scottish Independence Referendum was neck and neck. They let the pro Indy speak without interference and the rather large anti do so as well but he only used that phrase that I remember.

    28. Murray McCallum says:

      When we look at the graph we should remember that the UK model, and what seems to be UK’s constant vision, is to be increasingly like the USA.

    29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Surely that’s a tad misleading as even the SNPs impressive landslide of 2011 only recorded around 45%.”

      “Winning” an election means getting more seats than anyone else.

    30. galamcennalath says:

      Re SNP’s percent in 2011. It was more than Blair or Thatcher got at Westminster in their day. And Holyrood is more of a competition than London.

      Westminster’s first past the post allows big majorities with lower voter percentages. Another undemocratic aspect to consider.

    31. Arabs for Independence says:

      Been living in Norway for nearly a year but retain my hoose in Scotland to get the vote. If it’s No then I will take the plunge and move officially to Norway. If it’s Yes then I have some negotiating to do with the missus.

      Norway is a great place with much to admire.

    32. Ken500 says:

      Parties regularly, win in Westminster with 27% of the vote.

    33. goldenayr says:

      Sorry guys OT.

      I can confirm Bay Rok is the troll known as Doris and recently Indy Now on the Scotsman.He just,inadvertently,admitted it to me.

      Bay Rok

      June 16, 2014 • 16:39

      ” You are still trying to defend the indefensible.”

      Now considering I kept missing him on here and just registered on Bella today.How can he claim to know me apart from my accusation to him that he posts on the Scotsman?

    34. BuckieBraes says:

      If Norwegians don’t go in for speaking to strangers in public places, I find it hard to account for the individual who accosted me in the old quarter of Stavanger over 20 years ago.

      He was quite an old man who only spoke a little English. Every time I said the word ‘yes’, he broke into a cackling laugh and ran round flapping his arms and squawking like a seagull.

      He had a look of the Alistair Darling about him.

    35. john king says:

      “The Norwegians are lovely people but in the main very reserved unlike the outgoing Scots.”

      Clearly not from Fife then?

    36. Andy-B says:

      Good article Rev, one of your shorter pieces, but, it illustrates exactly whats wrong with being part of the UK. As you so rightly point out, there just isn’t a political will at Westminster, to find a way to distribute the wealth, across the UK.

      More worryingly is the stance that been adopted by all the major parties at Westminster, and that’s one of many years of austerity. We really do have a chance to not only control our own affairs, but set out a plan to, make Scotland a fairer more prosperous place to live, in the future.

      Finally I’m not really surprised at the level of deprivation, and poverty across Scotland, you just have to take a look at some of the big housing schemes in our biggest cities to know this.

    37. bookie from hell says:

      cybernat is nothing compared to https://mobile.twitter.com/BritNatAbuseBot/tweets

      MSM avoid to mention

    38. galamcennalath says:

      @goldenayr

      Stu will have the IP address of everyone posting hidden away in log files. An analysis of where some of the odder people are might be interesting!

    39. goldenayr says:

      bookie

      Your link says won’t display on mobile.I’m on the laptop just now.

      galamcennalath

      It would be very enlightening.I’m sure that I’ve seen a couple of dodgy visitors who write in a manner not dissimilar to the likes of FiFi,Horrid etc.The dark arts bunch at britnat HQ stick out like a sore thumb when they post.

    40. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ galamcennalath

      I am buggered.

    41. handclapping says:

      @john king
      It may be that round your way they are not lovely people but Lang Toonies are bril 🙂

    42. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      handclapping and john king

      Freuchieites are awe richt?

    43. handclapping says:

      @B(tP)
      Freuchie! They’re furriners!

      Awa ta Freuchie where the Froggies gang.

      You’re French!

    44. Paula Rose says:

      For your information dears, Bay Rok is a very committed activist on various green and community issues. Personally I think it a shame that as a green party supporter he thinks we’re “better together”. Please leave him be.

    45. RogueCoder says:

      @ Herbert @RevStu

      “Surely that’s a tad misleading as even the SNPs impressive landslide of 2011 only recorded around 45%.”

      I have all of the 2011 election data mapped and graphed for both constituencies and regions. If you take a summary of the popular vote it comes out at 45%, but if you drill into the constituency data the results are staggering – the SNP thumped the opposition in all but a few seats. There’s only a couple of safe Labour seats left and pretty much anything else the SNP didn’t win is a marginal constituency – including Johann Lamont’s.

    46. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      handclappin

      Awa tae Freuchie and eat mice!

      My mate owns the auld jail in Freuchie, now sealed off.

    47. goldenayr says:

      Paula Rose

      I have no doubt that he “might” be a green activist,however,his views on indy are not conducive with ours and he tries to create division by appearing to be on side.His writing style and arguments are exactly the same as the unionit trolls I mention.

      And how do you explain his admission?

    48. Andy-B says:

      O/T.

      The SNP to ask Scots what they want put in a Scottish written Constitution.

      http://news.stv.tv/politics/279317-nicola-sturgeon-launches-consultation-on-draft-constitution-bill/

    49. TheItalianJob says:

      @John King and @Handclapping

      We Fifers are not just canny but funny also. As for a good Langtonian, I speak for all of us. 🙂

    50. msean says:

      We can change it if we run our own country,and when RUK voters see it in action in Scotland,questions will be asked in the south like “why are they so much better off,and why are we still poor?”

      Answer is,they run their Scotland better,and actually run it for the betterment of its people.

    51. goldenayr says:

      On the subject of guid Fifers.

      Whaurs SlyFifer?

    52. Paula Rose says:

      @ goldenayr – I assume he read the threads, and would therefore be well aware of each of us. Unfortunately the Green Party has several people including ex MSP Robin Harper who are active in their support for the UK, sad but true.

    53. Dcanmore says:

      O/T … good news for the YES campaign!

      Sir Malcolm Rifkind (MP for Kensington) has announced plans to head north on a tour to persuade Scotland to vote NO. In tonight’s London Evening Standard he was given the ‘big greet’ page blabbering on about the union, 300 years, better together, we are all British by jove blah blah, but the last paragraph is a hoot…

      ‘I shall be addressing public meetings throughout Scotland in the weeks to come. Dr Johnson may have said the noblest prospect for a Scotsman is the road to England, I, as the MP for Kensington, will be doing the exact opposite in August and September – and for a noble cause.’

      He really is a sanctimonious prick! In his piece he claims that the NO vote will comfortably reach over 60%, well Sir Malc there’ll be no panic then! LOL!

    54. Paula Rose says:

      Would that be the NO to the UK vote?

    55. scottish_skier says:

      Just to clarify, the Tories have never ever ever won an election in Scotland. Never, not once. Zero times. Zip ziltch.

      The Unionist Party (Scotland) did win back in the 1950’s; it was a fairly liberal, modestly right of centre independent and quite nationalistic* Scottish party.

      Already in decline as the empire declined, its demise really began when it merged with the English Tories (Conservatives) in 1965. It became an English party from that moment on and it this in part killed it. Thatcher only managed 31% in 1979; she just finished off what was already dying.

      *”I believe every Scotsman should be a Scottish nationalist.”

      John Buchan, Scottish Unionist MP

      They wanted Scotland to have a strong voice in the Empire and were rather favourable towards home rule, far more so than the Labour party at the time. Until they became English and the oil appeared that is…

    56. galamcennalath says:

      “he claims that the NO vote will comfortably reach over 60%”

      That will be the no to London, no to WMD, no to getting ripped off, no to Etonian politicians, no to illegal wars, type no then? The one where you put a cross against yes. 😉

    57. goldenayr says:

      Paula Rose

      I’ve never mentioned him on here,kept missing him.And the Harper thing is why I don’t believe he isn’t the unionit poster.

      We already have the likes of Daniel Rober on The Scotsman.The Welsh Green voting unionit who after being outed as not having a vote claimed to have moved to Scotland.

      Call me cynical,call me paranoid but if I smell shite,I’ll hunt it down.

      This is not an attack on the Green party or it’s supporters.Once the refs won they,ll be my number 2 vote.I like my MSP too much not to give him my first vote.

    58. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

      Iraq is imploding yet again in bloody carnage. A U.S. Aircraft Carrier is steaming towards the area. Blair and more than few current westmisnter MPs are agitating for war and beating the drums to get boots on the ground sooner or later.

      Nicola Sturgeon wants the removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil to be enshrined in the post-independence constitution.

      Matters of life and death that could not BE more serious.

      Yet meanwhile Reporting Scotland leads on speculation about a handful of anonymous rude internet tweets from complete nobodies towards Gordon Brown’s close friend J.K. Rowling.

      The unionist media quite clearly do not care about bias in the slightest and will do everything in their power to lie, misrepresent and ignore the important issues around scottish Independence. This is only the beginning. They can and will go to any lengths to demonise Independence supporters and spout the unionist propaganda of their political masters.

    59. Churm Rincewind says:

      There has to be something wrong with these figures. According to the sources you cite, 20% of the population of the UK live on around £5500 a year, i.e. £458 a month.

      This cannot be right, though at the moment I can’t identify where the error arises.

    60. TheItalianJob says:

      Is that the same Malcolm Rifkind that lost his Edinburgh seat along with all the other Tories in Scotland in the 1997 GE that made Scotland a Tory free zone of the UK.

      I’m sure he predicted then the Tories would win some seats in Scotland and they were wiped out. I don’t hold much hope for his prediction of a 60% No vote in the Indy referendum. If anything his intervention will push the Yes vote up.

    61. rab_the_doubter says:

      RE Malky Rifkind. My abidig memory of him is the day after the 1997 Election. Saw him sirring on a bench in Waverley Station reading the Herald Jobs page. Still makes me smile when I think about it.

    62. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’m sure bigger brains than mine, have questioned whether the financial bottom line is an overly simplistic metric to measure progress with.

      1999 Greening of Industry Network Conference
      Best Practice Proceedings

      MEASURING PROGRESS TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY
      PRINCIPLES, PROCESS, AND BEST PRACTICES

      Joseph Fiksel
      Jeff McDaniel
      Catherine Mendenhall

      Battelle Memorial Institute
      Life Cycle Management Group

      LEADING AND LAGGING INDICATORS

      The fourth principle of sustainability measurement is that evaluations should combine both leading and lagging indicators of performance. Lagging indicators (also referred to as outcome indicators) are measures of the results or outcomes (e.g.,reduction in material intensity) that are attributable to improvements in a company’s business processes. Most companies use lagging indicators to report results, and they are preferred by the general public and regulators because they are meaningful and easy to understand. However, lagging indicators represent a retrospective view of performance, and do not provide managers with foresight about future performance expectations.

      A more proactive approach, increasingly common among innovative firms, is to augment lagging indicators with leading indicators (also referred to as business process indicators), which measure internal practices or efforts that are expected to improve future performance (e.g., use of lifecycle design tools which help improve material efficiency). In other words, these indicators help managers monitor their progress toward achieving their sustainability objectives.

      http://www.eco-nomics.com/images/Sustainability%20Measurement%20GIN.pdf

    63. rab_the_doubter says:

      Damn phone – abiding, sitting.

    64. goldenayr says:

      Malcolm Rifkind coming up August to September.

      That’ll be for the grouse season and the fishing then.

      Probably be ensconced in the Aberfeldy area as is his want.

    65. BuckieBraes says:

      @rab_the_doubter
      ‘Sirring’ on a bench would have been appropriate mind you, as Malky got ready for his imminent knighthood!

    66. rab_the_doubter says:

      Buckiebraes – you canny beat the irony of an unintended typo.

    67. Calum Craig says:

      Hmm, food for thought, been thinking about going back to Japan if it’s a no…

    68. Paula Rose says:

      @ goldenayr – he really isn’t worth the effort, he’s not one of the naughty ones, just misguided and a bit naive, anyway shhh we don’t want him turning up again.

    69. Edulis says:

      #Scottish_Skier

      You also have to remember that a lot of the Unionist votes came from the Protestant working class. The dynamics of Scottish patriotism in the early fifties took some strange turns. That General Election was just after the National Covenant was signed with its 3 million signatures!

    70. eezy says:

      I reckon we’ll take the power.
      I think we’re winning….

      http://eezypeezylemonsqeezy.com/

    71. heedtracker says:

      “The Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts that, as the economy recovers, the increase in inequality will resume. The IFS say that income inequality will be ‘about the same’ as pre-recession levels by 2015-16” is pretty hard to read.

      I keep picturing the ConDem front bench when they announced their first tax cut for millionaires or some old farts in the Lords moaning about the quality of luncheon in the Lords restaurants. That scam on the Mount today completely sums up the whole teamGB creep show in action.

    72. john king says:

      “It may be that round your way they are not lovely people but Lang ”

      If I had to ask a neighbour for the use of their phone to call the fire brigade because my house was on fire, they would want me to anti up 50p for the call first, and If I pointed out a 999 call was free they would say an Ulster carpet isn’t free, and I’m charging for the wear.

      NO JOKE.

    73. Ian Kirkwood says:

      Back in sunny Malmö after a wee day business trip to Oslo. Those Norwegians seem to be doing ok despite all that oil money, independence and a funny wee currency.
      Their biggest problem is the level of unemployment – it’s too low! Difficult to find good people for all the highly paid jobs.
      No wonder they don’t talk to strangers at bus stops! It’s the same in Sweden btw…..

    74. Bill McLean says:

      O/T Heard today that there are posters in Rosyth Dockyard urging workers to vote NO. Can anyone confirm?

    75. Adrian B says:

      Gordon Brown today undermines unionist plans for deco powers by suggesting that Westminster to handle education:

      https://archive.today/b3Lkz

      FORMER Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appeared to question the devolution of education in extracts of a speech on independence.
      In a speech at Edinburgh University, Mr Brown cited surveys which show more than 50 per cent of 14 to 17-year-olds in Scotland want a UK-wide education system with common UK exams and qualifications.

      The speech challenges the separation of education for Scotland which has been guaranteed for more than 300 years since the Act of Union.

    76. punklin says:

      Well, despite what BBC and others lead on, it has been a good news day with a clear difference between the constitution (both interim and full-on) presented by Nicola Sturgeon and, on the other hand, the usual don’t-write-it-down-in-case-you-get-caught-out ‘commitment’ for some kind of undefined powers by the can’t stand-each-other unionist parties, on the other.

      Which would you back?

      I may be sad but the very idea of living in a country with a proper written constitution gets me high!

    77. Rock says:

      “to build a country where the fruits of labour were more equally shared among the people who actually did the labour.”

      Isn’t that the reason Scots used to vote for Labour all these years?

      Independence will give us the unique opportunity to create a fair and just society – something that will never, ever happen under the corrupt Westminster system.

      I look forward to the day when Scotland is like a Scandinavian / Nordic country.

    78. Liquid Lenny says:

      RogueCoder
      @ Herbert @RevStu

      One of my mates totalled up the constituency votes for pro independence parties in the 2011 Elections.

      He reckoned it was just over the 50% mark.

      Had to use the constituency votes as a lot of the smaller pro-indy parties were not standing in the first past the post bit.

    79. cynicalHighlander says:

      @CameronB Brodie

      Sustainability has been exploited as a political buzz word to get the masses on board because of its appeal without addressing the fundamental fact that humans are a parasitic entity exploiting the environment purely for its so called economic gain.

    80. Liquid Lenny says:

      Did I say Constituancy, I meant the Regional vote

    81. Clootie says:

      Cynical Highlander

      Not all humans – only the “civilised” ones

    82. Thomas Valentine says:

      About all the Conservatives haven’t done yet is introduce privatised areas of the Inland Revenue. Look up Tax Farming.

    83. muttley79 says:

      @Adrian B

      Dear o dear 😀 😀 The great clunking fist is the gift that keeps on giving. 😀 He wants to hand the education system in Scotland to Westminster and Michael Gove? WTF!!..Seriously what the fuck is Brown on, or doing? Surely he must know that Scotland has had its own education system for over 300 years? It is the most basic of facts that Scotland kept education, church, and its own legal system after 1707.

    84. muttley79 says:

      Following on from my last post, how the fuck did Gordon Brown become Chancellor, and PM of Britain? The guy is all over the place.

    85. Votadini Jeannie says:

      Getting back to the subject of (in)equality, anyone who hasn’t seen Richard Wilkinson’s talk on the subject should watch the video of it at:

      http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson#t-49764

      I first came across it a couple of years ago and its arguments are most compelling. Scotland needs the opportunity to reverse the effects of inequality and this video provides a pretty decent route map to what we aspire to be.

    86. Cyborg-nat says:

      Better ourselves? Sinn fein?

    87. muttley79 says:

      More powers guaranteed says Ruth Davidson, Stairheid Lamont, and wee Willie Rennie today up on Calton hill. At the same time at Edinburgh Uni, the former PM of Britain and self declared “Proud Scot”, Gordon Brown, more than hints we should hand our education system to Westminster and Michael Gove! 😀 What an absolute shambles the No campaign is. Seriously we better get a Yes vote after all these fiascos from No…

    88. HandandShrimp says:

      He wants to hand the education system in Scotland to Westminster and Michael Gove? WTF!!.

      :O

      http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130721035329/degrassi/images/e/ec/No-wai-001.jpg

    89. muttley79 says:

      @HandandShrimp

      Yes way! It is the Scotsman, which would not exactly be pleased to report this thunderous brain fart from Brown. Brown must really, really hate Darling with a passion and/or want to get his place in the House of Troughs so badly that he has completely lost the place. Is this deliberate on the part of Brown, or is he just a political field mouse?

    90. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Clootie

      I often equate humans being added to a bottle garden as aphids with no predators, is that being humansogynistic!(new word)

    91. muttley79 says:

      This is from the Scotsman report (thanks for the link Adrian B:)

      In a speech at Edinburgh University, Mr Brown cited surveys which show more than 50 per cent of 14 to 17-year-olds in Scotland want a UK-wide education system with common UK exams and qualifications.

      The speech challenges the separation of education for Scotland which has been guaranteed for more than 300 years since the Act of Union.

      Mr Brown cited “astonishing new surveys of young people” carried out one year apart which found that around half of Scottish 14 to 17-year-olds “do not want to be part of an exclusively Scottish education system but want a UK system where the curriculum and exams are the same for everyone in the UK”.

      Mr Brown went on: “Scottish young people’s support for the same educational curriculum and exams across the UK is stronger than any poll would report for any group of adults, showing that young people are not the newly enfranchised ‘nationalist generation’ of the independence movement’s dreams but a newly enfranchised and also newly empowered ‘networked generation’ – happy to be seen as Scottish first but suspicious of being seen as exclusively Scottish.”

      He added: “As I argue in My Scotland, Our Britain, breaking all links with the UK makes no sense – in this case for our young people and for their education.”

      More powers after a No vote? You have got to be joking! 😀 😀

    92. Paula Rose says:

      Which surveys were these?

    93. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Big hello to the charming ‘lurker’ I met at Ayr street stall this afternoon. You know who you are, and you clearly know your onions when it comes to this whole referendum business – won’t you consider the occasional comment? You speak much sense, and do it in a way which cuts to the heart of many folks’ worries. I hope you’ll give it a go, especially in relation to your work experience.

      Was a real pleasure talking to you, and such a difference from the frothing barker who greeted us just as we were setting-up:

      ‘You’re all mad! Scotland could never ever survive alone. If we leave the United Kingdom we’re finished. Scotland will be finished!’

    94. TJenny says:

      Anyone got a link to these astonishing new surveys? No, thought not.

    95. twenty14 says:

      Guess what the leading story is in RS tonight – again . There must be a full bus load of journalists at pacific quay sitting drumming there pencils on their desks with new stories – but nope ” we’ll be running with the JK story again this evening guys “

    96. TheItalianJob says:

      On Sky news now. Labour MPs, distancing themselves from Iraq war. This includes Brown, who originally voted for the war.

      So you’re right Muttley. Brown is indeed all over the place.

    97. muttley79 says:

      @twenty14

      Exact same pattern as the Salmond comments over Putin. BBC Scotland are taking the absolute piss. They have lost so much credibility. They never mention the abuse, assaults of independence figures. Today we had Nicola Sturgeon talking about the interim constitution, the shambles of the No campaign, and yet they are stuck on cybernats?

    98. Adrian B says:

      @TJenny,

      Anyone got a link to these astonishing new surveys? No, thought not.

      There are no links to these surveys – but with some of the latest surveys that have been conducted for ‘Scotland – No Thanks’, the questions have been long, leading and contorted so that it is difficult to arrive at an answer other than what ‘Scotland No Thanks’ want.

    99. CameronB Brodie says:

      cynicalHighlander
      Ouch. 🙂

      I agree the word sustainability is kicked around like a political football, and there are some benefiting undeservedly and significantly as a result. However, I don’t believe the earth and all that it supports and contains, is ours for the taking. Particularly without thought of future generations. However, I am generally pro development (improvement), but feel far more needs to be done in broadening the consideration of policy outcomes. I think attributing a financial value to environmental and social assets is a likely development, though I’m not sure if I would welcome it. The Major might have a view.

      P.S. I’d perhaps qualify your description of humans as “a parasitic entity exploiting the environment purely for its so called economic gain”, with the prefix of ‘a tiny economic elite’. They are the ones that control the capital. They are the ones that exploit. It’s the British way, don’t yah know? 😉

      P.P.S. Us digitally enabled untermenschen (cybernats), must be the toughest parasites about, ’cause we’re a virus. Must be true ’cause Joanna Lamont said so. Not sure if I’ll have the patience to evolve genetically, in order to make political decisions. 🙂

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBH55ZeZU4w

    100. HandandShrimp says:

      Looks like the Better Together Broadcasting Corporation have their orders and are only doing Nasty Cybergnat stories.

      I am not convinced that Better Together have a clue though. I haven’t had a single discussion with an undecided who has raised this issue, they want to talk about economics, Europe, what is best for Scotland and so on.

    101. Grouse Beater says:

      On radio – wonderful remark from inebriated Scot in street:

      (Gravel voice, broken but defiant) How’ell Ah vote? Ah’ll tell yi how’ell Ah’ll vote. Ah’ll vote YES! Know why? Coz aw’ them bas-starts are too feart tae vote yes!”

    102. muttley79 says:

      BBC Scotland’s broken record on cybernats zzzzzzzzzzzz. Who the fuck is picking your topics to cover? MI5?

    103. cearc says:

      I’ve just seen this pic of our hard-working MPs at Westminster discussing Work Capability Assessments.

      How many of the 650 of them were there?

      t.co/oQnqAfC065

      Shouldn’t take you too long to count.

    104. muttley79 says:

      Just had a look at WOS Twitter, people are openly saying Salmond should, and will get murdered. Is this being mentioned in the MSM? Is it fuck. They are corrupt, simple as.

    105. Ken500 says:

      In the UK 5 people own more than 20% (1/5) of the population.

      That’s rich.

      Gordon Brown is now campaigning against the Scottish educational system, from which he benefitted with free passage, Hypocrite. Pity he didn’t learn how to count.

      Students in Scotland with straight ‘A’ can’t afford to go to University because loans are means tested on household income. Many do not get a full loan or household support.

    106. Ken500 says:

      The Scottish education system is one of the best in the world. Look at all the inventions (TV, telephone led on to telecommunications, the Internet). Scotland has one of the highly educated population in the world (40%+). The first country to have free tertiary education in the world. Scottish teachers are more qualified than the rest of the UK and are paid 10% more.

      Blair/Brown are mad.

    107. TJenny says:

      Ken500 – ‘Students in Scotland with straight ‘A’ can’t afford to go to University because loans are means tested on household income. Many do not get a full loan or household support.’

      Are you saying they can’t afford the fees in Scotland as I thought they didn’t pay any, or they can afford the education (free) but not enough to live on (allowance/loan). Could the living allowance/loan or household support (is it the same as EWNI) maybe more benefits related which is not devolved?

    108. Grouse Beater says:

      HaPless Gordon said: Half of 14 – 17 year olds don’t want to be part of an exclusive Scottish education system but want a UK system where the curriculum and exams are the same for everyone in the UK”.

      14 to 17 year-olds? And what would they know?

      I spent some time on the Council For National Academic Awards I can state with certainty that the English higher system in vastly inferior. They consider and institute two year courses as enough for a degree rendering many of their degrees worthless.

      Whereas Scottish higher education begins with 4 year courses and moves steady upwards for medical students.

    109. crazycat says:

      @T Jenny
      It’s the living allowance that’s means-tested; my daughter got a bursary (which doesn’t have to be paid back), topped up with a loan, until her final year when she only got a loan because I’d had a salary increase. No fees for under-graduates.

    110. Robert Louis says:

      O/T,

      You know how the chronic liars in anti independence campaign are constantly telling us how worthless our Scottish oil is, and how it will run out tomorrow – see:

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-27809841

      QUOTE from Westminster: “The Catcher area development shows that there continues to be an extraordinary level of interest in North Sea oil and gas, which is excellent news for industry and for the whole of the UK.

      “The project represents over £1bn of investment..”

      Press release from Premier oil:

      “Premier Oil plc (Premier) is pleased to announce that it has received approval of its Catcher area Field Development Plan (FDP) from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

      The Premier-operated Catcher area, located in the UK Central North Sea, is expected to produce 96 million barrels of oil equivalent with a peak production rate of around 50,000 barrels of oil per day.

      The project will entail the drilling of 22 subsea wells (14 producers and 8 water injectors) on the Catcher, Varadero and Burgman fields which will be tied back to a leased FPSO. The oil will be offloaded by tankers while the gas will be exported through the SEGAL facilities.

      All major service contracts have been awarded and the project is now in the execution phase. First oil is targeted for mid-2017. ”

      Source : http://www.premier-oil.com/premieroil/media/press/uk-government-approval-of-catcher

      N.B The ‘UK central North sea‘ mentioned in the press release is of course in Scotland, just off the coast of Aberdeen

      Anybody who thinks Scotland could not survive as an independent nation needs to wise up to unionist lies.

    111. Grouse Beater says:

      Ian: You’re all mad! Scotland could never ever survive alone. If we leave the United Kingdom we’re finished. Scotland will be finished!’

      Sure he didn’t shout, “We’re aw’ doomed!”?

    112. TJenny says:

      crazycat – thanks for that. I was just wondering whether, although education has always been separate in Scotland, the living allowance was a part of the benefits system which we had to adhere to. This of course could/should change after indy.

    113. crazycat says:

      @ Grouse Beater

      One of the reasons for the different degree lengths in Scotland and England is that, traditionally, Scottish students could go to university at 17, after a one-year Higher course post-Standard-grade, whereas English students did a 2-year ‘A’ level course (in fewer subjects) and were therefore usually 18.

      When I was an under-graduate (many, many moons ago!), Scottish students at English universities often had to do an extra Foundation year, bringing the total up to 4 years. Conversely, some English students gained access to the second year of Scottish degree courses.

      This difference has been blurred now that so many stay on till 18 and do Advanced Highers (formerly Sixth Year Studies).

      Medical degrees in both countries have always been 5 years.

    114. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Am I going bonkers, or did someone comment earlier saying that Malcolm Rifkind is coming to Scotland to give us a stern talking-to?

      I can’t locate it.

      What is it with these people? Blair, Brown, Rifkind, Reid, Robertson etc etc ad fucking nauseum? Don’t they EVER take the hint?

      FFS, the whole lot of ye’s, just gie’s peace, eh?!

    115. crazycat says:

      @ T Jenny

      The bursaries/loans are administered by the Students Awards Agency for Scotland, which is an agency of the Scottish Government (and one of the most irritating official bodies I have ever had the misfortune to deal with).

    116. Gordon E says:

      £720 million is an awful lot of money for a glossy booklet of No Better Together Thanks information to be sent to every Scottish household.
      As at least half of the electorate in Scotland is going to be throwing this straight in the bin, could we not have a competition to see who can make the best use of it?
      Paper mache sculpture? Recycled into Yes campain material?

      As we already know exactly what is going to be in it, a spoof version should be pretty easy to do.

      Actually, if Wings set up an “I don’t want this propaganda booklet” website, then the money saved should go to charity. £360 million would benefit a lot of people.
      Second thoughts…giving your name, address and voting intentions to the Government might not be a good idea!!

    117. Ken500 says:

      Student Loans are means tested on household income on a sliding scales from £21,000 to £42,000. From loans at £3000 to £1000, all students get £1000. Student res accommodation is approx £100 a week. Flat share is cheaper. Two parents on £21,000 each = £42,000 or one parents on £32,000 the other on £10,000 = £42,000

      Grant £3000 for student household of less than £21,000, non repayable. Plus loan of £3000 (repayable).

      Scottish taxpayers still support one University of the wealthy, from elsewhere (15%).

    118. TYRAN says:

      – “Just had a look at WOS Twitter, people are openly saying Salmond should, and will get murdered. Is this being mentioned in the MSM?”

      ^ Hopefully WOS will reproduce as an article on here for widest audience. Far more readership here than Twitter.

    119. Ken500 says:

      Send the booklet back – free post. Blythewood Square? Glasgow

      They should not be sending them out, unless people ask for them. People had to apply, pay or download ‘The Scottish Future’ document.

    120. Grouse Beater says:

      Crazycat said: This difference has been blurred

      Content, Crazycat, and quality of teaching!

      As I keep saying about Scotland regaining its autonomy – it’s all about standards.

      Outside Cambridge University – and I’ve been inside it too – the quality of English ‘university’ courses can run from truly awful to totally crap.

    121. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Grouse Beater –

      It was a female in her early-to-mid sixties, and she really was quivering with indignation. It was like listening to a Reader’s Digest version of the last three years’ Daily Mail/Express headlines.

      ‘You mark my words! That Salmond is a dictator and he’s only in it for him. And don’t even get me started on that Nicola Sturgeon. Just don’t!’

      ‘Aye, okay missus. What-evs.’

      And off she wobbled, in an angry style…

    122. TJenny says:

      Ian – d’you think she was maybe Jackie Baillie’s mum? (Oh, michty, what have I said?)

    123. Grouse Beater says:

      Ian said: It was a female in her early-to-mid sixties

      See my post at 10.29pm.

    124. heedtracker says:

      “This is important because income inequality does not happen by chance, but results from political, social and cultural choices in areas like taxation, public spending, industrial relations and public tolerance of high and low pay”

      End no tax private school charity status dodge. Lets start at the roots of inequality, social exclusion and division.

    125. Ken500 says:

      Rifkind will go down the same way as Rees Mogg.

      Irrelevant and insignificant.

      The Churches should practice what they preach. Instead of trying to create division by telling lies. It is unChristian to tell lies.

    126. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Gordon E and Ken 500 –

      Aye, just send it back. If they’re still doing the Freepost thing, it’s:

      Better Together
      FREEPOST RTAU – 2CRB – TELS
      Glasgow G2 4AD

      So, they’ll have spent all that dosh on producing the thing, sending it, then have to cover the postage costs of it being sent back PLUS the skip hire to take it all away along with the assorted shite they’re getting every day.

      JK Rowling will be delighted to see how her donation’s being spent. No doubt Better Together HQ is also receiving many copies of her wonderful books. (And we all know how much they weigh, right?)

    127. goldenayr says:

      Robert Louis

      What happened to Camerons visit to Orkney today where he was announcing that the islands would get control of the crown estate from the foreshore if they vote no?

      Now that’s what I call snidey bribery.

    128. Flower of Scotland says:

      Do you think Gordon Brown is really trying to get folk to vote Yes, and then he thinks can stand for the leadership of a new Labour Party in an Independent Scotland? In his mind he could become our First Prime Minister! Is that not a nightmare scenario!!!

    129. crazycat says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Ok, blurred wasn’t the best word – I intended to refer only to the lengths of the courses; my observation of my daughter’s generation, with Advanced Highers, is that the first year of a Scottish degree course doesn’t add much academically. It is an opportunity for them to experience university life though, so it does have value.

      I have no idea what the standard of English degrees is these days. When I was a student there were fewer universities with fewer students; I suspect they have changed so much that they aren’t really comparable.

    130. heedtracker says:

      “Analysis of how income inequality shapes living standards
      in ostensibly similar countries enhances our understanding of
      whether the choices we are making as a country are the right ones”

      UK super rich elite send their children to PM Cameron’s old school Eton. The notice board in the entrance hallway of Eton College has application forms for Oxford and Cambridge pinned to it. How many comps in Scotland do the same?

    131. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’m currently working on a nest of hard-core Naws, in the knowledge that others more open to persuasion will be listening. All you need to do is choose your boozer and wear a big Yes badge. Nature does the rest. 🙂

      Myself last Friday, boiling it down to basics – Is Scotland a country and should countries be responsible for governing themselves?

      Unionist – Naw! Though tbh, I’m not sure if he was in deep disguise and just testing me out. 🙂

    132. Grouse Beater says:

      Crazycat said: there were fewer universities with fewer

      Too many calling themselves universities are no better than colleges, or in the worst case, jumped up technical campuses. The shame is, young people accepted for them don’t realise their degrees have little recognition in the adult world.

    133. Hood says:

      goldenayre

      Was it maybe the Scottish Government you were thinking about?
      http://www.yesscotland.net/news/making-our-island-wealth-work-better-our-island-communities

    134. cynicalHighlander says:

      @CameronB Brodie

      I take a parasite as being an organism which is a detriment to its host by exploitation of its resources i.e the planet. The US has destroyed 96% of its natural ancient woodlands in what under 2 centuries over what took millenia to create.

      If there is an afterlife I hope to come back as a cockroach as they can at least survive in a nuclear contaminated environment.

      The world is changing no matter what we do but at least we have a liferaft being offered in Sept capable of sustaining us in the short term at least.

      http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-five-stages-of-collapse.html

    135. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @TJenny – This character was nowhere near as attractive as oor JaBa.

    136. TJenny says:

      Ian – crivvens!

    137. Grouse Beater says:

      The problem for the police – announcing they’ll investigate the worst online abuse – is simple, they must prove an individual’s intent to follow through with their rant – physically. Expressing aggression can be merely a release, or it can be constructive harrassment.

      We start wading through peat bogs: what do we do about politicians rattling sabres to get us involved in illegal wars? Or rap artists composing and singing lyrics about revenge – such as those by Eminem?

    138. goldenayr says:

      Hood

      Nope,knew about that and there’s a world of difference between the SG proposals for the islands in an indy Scotland.And the out and out bribery proposed by Westminster.Considering it’s not theirs to give and they have no mandate to give it.

      It was announced on GMS and it was definitely Cameron they were talking about.

    139. CameronB Brodie says:

      cynicalHighlander
      Changing times indeed, though I don’t see the Westminster approach as being conducive to sustainability. Environmentally, socially or economically.

    140. crazycat says:

      @ Grouse Beater

      “Too many calling themselves universities are no better than colleges, or in the worst case, jumped up technical campuses. The shame is, young people accepted for them don’t realise their degrees have little recognition in the adult world.”

      I can certainly agree with that; unfortunately I can think of at least one example of such an institution in Scotland!

      Something to work on.

    141. Hood says:

      goldenayr
      Ah ok hadn’t heard of Cameron going up there, then again don’t listen to or watch BBC propaganda.

    142. Grouse Beater says:

      Following on from 11.50pm:

      Is McTernan’s compulsion to collect and republish abusive posts, allegedly aimed at the No campaign, tantamount to provoking retaliation and disorder?

    143. goldenayr says:

      Hood

      I think it’s been put on hold because of the Iraq debacle.

      Not checked the trougheaters site yet though.

    144. TheItalianJob says:

      @goldenayr

      Trougheaters site.

      Brilliant had me in stitches.

    145. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Grouse Beater –

      re McTernan,

      Whatever his motivation, he’s onto plums.

      If everyone who does Yes-related street-stall work of any kind was to catalogue/record each and every incident of verbal and borderline physical abuse, we’d have no time to talk to people who aren’t numpties. And that’s why we don’t bother.

      McTernan has no positive message to offer. He, and his ilk, cannot present themselves to the Scottish electorate on any Main Street in any city, town or village in this country because they have nothing to say to us. Nothing at all. And that’s why they’re onto a total hiding.

    146. Grouse Beater says:

      Ian said: McTernan has no positive message to offer.

      I tell you one thing he does have – a boozer’s face, the kind that gets immediate service from the barman in a crowded pub.

    147. TheItalianJob says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Ref McTernen – boozer’s face. When I found out at the weekend he’s 4 years younger than me, I was shocked. He looks a lot older than me if I don’t mind saying.

    148. Rock says:

      Gordon E

      “£720 million is an awful lot of money for a glossy booklet of No Better Together Thanks information to be sent to every Scottish household.”

      UKIP TV and the MSM will question them about that, like they were questioning the SNP about the cost of the White Paper.

    149. Grouse Beater says:

      A skinned plum dropped from a great height – which about sums up his career.

      (I regard the description fine creative writing.)

    150. Grouse Beater says:

      Gordon said:
      “£720 million is an awful lot of money for a glossy Better Together booklet.

      To keep control of Scotland another 100 years? – cheap at double the price.

    151. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Reality check people – the £720 million quote cannot be right. Seriously…

    152. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Just made the mistake of turning on the radio to check the Scottish ‘News’ at 1.00 a.m.

      Oops!

      Totally forgot – we don’t ‘have’ any news during the night. Radio Scotland turns into Radio Five Live.

    153. kestral says:

      2·5 million households in Scotland 30pence per booklet I believe it is 75 million however that does not include postage unless ‘recently privatised rm is posting for nothing??

    154. kestral says:

      Sorry 720,000 god I need to stop looking at UK debt my zero,s have gone insane people should not have to deal with that many zeros

      However that does not include postage costs

    155. manandboy says:

      muttley79 says f**k regularly.

      I’ve surfed the web for quite a few years.

      I’ve never come across a blog that was improved or which became more effective through the inclusion of any ‘swearing’.

      In speech, the f word has become commonplace
      but in a blog like this which is trying to
      get No’s to change to Yes
      it really doesn’t help.

      Losing isn’t worth it.

    156. Mary Bruce says:

      Is it not £750,000? 30p per household isn’t unrealistic, Royal Mail will do those commercial huge bulk junk-mail drops for as low as about 10p an item, the rest will likely be design and printing.

      It’s still a lot of money tho, compared to, say, having an army of volunteers to deliver the yes papers 🙂

    157. manandboy says:

      Uk Gov book £720,000

      They do seem to have money to burn.

    158. manandboy says:

      Just heard that Anas Sarwar will not be supporting JoLa next time round. They’ve had a fa’ oot.

      Any confirmation ?

    159. kestral says:

      Why don’t we set up an address to have them all posted back to like ma wee house, then I can deliver them all back to Westminster ie dump them on the doorstep

      Could always do a flyer on wings or a cross campaign to collect the garbage back.
      , maybe they are worth some money to a recycle charity

    160. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Regardless of what the publishing/printing costs for this ‘booklet’ are, they are DOUBLED if everyone sends them back via Freepost.

      Remember what happened with the UKIP Freepost? –

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ukip-cancels-freepost-address-after-the-party-is-sent-blood-and-faeces-9323590.html

    161. CameronB Brodie says:

      This may seem like a silly question, but why is Whitehall publishing Better Together propaganda, sorry sales bumf?

      My brain is melting.

      http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/plaid-accuses-uk-government-wasting-7267617

    162. kestral says:

      Can we send these booklets back Freepost?

      If not can a charity recycle for cash if so we can start a campaign to make an utter mockery of the booklet

      maybe we could give cash raised to an Iraqi charity

    163. kestral says:

      Whitehall can and is publishing and just like the Scottish government is not constrained yet by spending limits

      This has been agreed spending limits don’t hit governments ie both for another few weeks

      Yip I was surprised as well

    164. Mary Bruce says:

      Manandboy: Sarwar/Lamont fall out was in the Sunday Post yesterday. But apparently they have all got the knives out for her.

      http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views/politics/holyrood/labour-chaos-as-leaders-past-and-present-fall-out-1.423481

    165. Bruce the Luce says:

      Saw in the local rag today about how a new Yes group was offering IT social media sessions. Has anyone attended one near them?

    166. Zorbathejock says:

      I would have thought that the Scottish govt. would have to agree to an amalgamation of the education systems otherwise it is a breach of the Treaty of Union.Mind you, if the Treaty was broken it would mean immediate independence.

    167. CameronB Brodie says:

      I posted this on the previous thread, but think it’s worth a re-post. Project Fear springs to mind. 🙁

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass-civil-breakdown

    168. john king says:

      AdrianB says
      “Gordon Brown today undermines unionist plans for deco powers by suggesting that Westminster to handle education:”

      In other words (tell the no folks) vote no and get Birmingham free schools?
      anyone for a Madrassa?

      What would Miss Jean Brodie say about her creme de la creme
      or in current parlance should that not be creme fraich de la creme fraich?

      I dont mean to piss on your parade Punklin,
      but America has a constitution. 🙁

      Muttley says
      “Surely he must know that Scotland has had its own education system for over 300 years? It is the most basic of facts that Scotland kept education, church, and its own legal system after 1707.”

      See above,
      And lo from on high the great Lord Gordon showers us with Manna and Ambrosia (I thinks its ambrosia? 😉 )
      over to you Chris Cairns
      poster anyone?

      Cygorg nat says
      “Better ourselves? Sinn fein?”

      Fancy elaborating on that pal?

      Ian Brotherhood says
      ‘You’re all mad! Scotland could never ever survive alone. If we leave the United Kingdom we’re finished. Scotland will be finished!’
      To paraphrase a famous quote from Sain Margaret
      Where there is cognitive dissonance ,
      let there be cognitive sonnance. 🙂

      Grouse Beater says
      “Sure he didn’t shout, “We’re aw’ doomed!”?”
      What? like this you mean?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7RIgs3eygo

      Muttley says
      “Just had a look at WOS Twitter, people are openly saying Salmond should, and will get murdered.”

      Media frenzy expected right about —–?

      FoS says
      “Do you think Gordon Brown is really trying to get folk to vote Yes, and then he thinks can stand for the leadership of a new Labour Party in an Independent Scotland?”

      Now take of Greg Moodie’s glasses and step away and no one gets hurt. 🙂

      Ian Brotherhood says
      “Reality check people – the £720 million quote cannot be right. Seriously…”

      £720.000 not 720.000.000
      reality checked!

    169. Haggis Hunter says:

      I worked in Norway, Sweden and Finland, it was a real eye opener to see how much more advanced they were, and their lifestyles were way beyond our imagination.
      Each village and town had its own communal recreation land, with forrests and lakes, they would go cannoaeing and camping at the weekends, the council even provided them with firewood!

    170. caz-m says:

      BBC Scotland, GMS, are telling us this morning some of the results of the latest British Social Attitudes Study.

      Majority of Scots want to keep Trident.

      Majority of Scots want to keep the BBC.

      Majority of Scots want to keep the Queen.

      What BBC Scotland don’t tell you is that this is a UK survey that was carried out last year between June and September 2013.

      Why should a UK survey that is a year old, have any relevance in June 2014.

      Ref. British Attitude Survey,

      http://www.bsa-31.natcen.ac.uk/read-the-report/technical-details/questionnaire-versions.aspx

      The good auld Beeb, they really do have their fingers on the pulse of the nation.

    171. bunter says:

      Have to say I am outraged at Broons threat to our education system. BT should be challenged to distance themselves from this loon (nice split in naw campaign) and the Scottish Gov should respond strongly regards these fewer powers as should our education institutions.

      Note to Church of Scotland and our lawmakers. What price a NO vote noo!!

    172. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Re Broon the Loon

      I think he is off his meds or he has finally flipped.

      London running our education system!

      Nuts.

    173. caz-m says:

      mr thms
      “Only 8 % of the sample were Scots”.

      So here we have a survey that is a year old, that asked only 8% of Scots and yet BBC Scotland think that this is “news headlines” on 17th June 2014.

      BBC Scotland, you really are pathetic.

    174. Fergus Green says:

      Nobody I know wants to keep Trident. Am i out of touch with the majority of Scots?

    175. Another Union Dividend says:

      Caz M

      And it seems that only 240 Scottish residents took part so it is a useless meaningless poll so far as Scottish attitudes is concerned.

      But that deosn’t stop BBC and Herald bigging it up…

    176. gavin lessells says:

      Presumably they, Herald and Beeb have dragged it up to rubbish draft Constitution?

      Note Gary Robertson has reappeared on GMS. What happened?

    177. manandboy says:

      http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2014/jun/sarwar-refuses-back-johann-lamonts-leadership

      Anas Sarwar gets left behind

      as Labour Leaders

      position themselves for life after IndyRef

    178. Another Union Dividend says:

      Louise White on BBC Morning Call discussing this flawed unrepresentative poll on Trident.

      Call 0500 92 95 00. Text 80295.
      Email morningcallscotland [at] bbc [dot] co [dot] uk

    179. Fergus Green says:

      Outbreak of unity in the City of Discovery:

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/two-teams-one-city-one-goal

      Some things are bigger than football!

    180. scottish_skier says:

      The British Social attitudes survey only has a small Scots sub-sample not demographically weighted to Scotland. Results are therefore largely meaningless.

      It’s why we have a Scottish Social Attitudes Survey and a Northern Ireland SAS. Still puzzles me why Scotland and NI are included in the British one.

      Would make more sense to have an England + Wales Social Attitudes survey, or even one for both.

      Attitudes towards Britain’s possession of nuclear weapons in Scotland (Table 2.1).

      37% In favour
      16% neither for nor against
      46% Against

      Most popular option was strongly against at 28%.

      That’s actually in the BSAS (as SSAS data) report so the media is contradicting the report’s findings.

    181. caz-m says:

      manandboy
      “Anas Sarwar gets left behind”.

      Do you think that this is a bad move by Scottish labour?

      Anas Sarwar carries a lot of weight with the Scottish Pakistani vote. They might take it as a slur against them and turn their vote to a YES.

    182. Training Day says:

      You want to keep Trident. You just don’t know it yet. Allow Auntie to show you the way.

      The BBC’s chirrupy newsreader also informed us that ‘Scots’ want to keep the BBC after independence.

      So that’s at least two points upon which there can be no compromise during negotiations. No Trident. No state propagandist.

    183. goldenayr says:

      Another Union Dividend

      I was just about to suggest that maybe someone more eloquent than I might like to ask Louise about the figures.

      3000 were polled across the UK.Now if we have population share of that figure then we’re talking about 265-270 opinions.

      Is that enough to get an accurate reflection?

    184. caz-m says:

      Scottish_skier

      It’s not really the survey that bothers me SS, it’s the dates of the survey that bother me.

      The survey was started a year ago, so what the hell have those results got to do with Scottish attitudes in Scotland on June 2014?

      That question was directed at BBC Scotland.

    185. scottish_skier says:

      BSAS not only not weighted to Scotland and only a couple of hundred sample, but this too:

      “in Scotland all sectors north of the Caledonian Canal were excluded (because of the prohibitive costs of interviewing there).”

      http://www.bsa-31.natcen.ac.uk/media/38202/bsa31_full_report.pdf

      Aye, if you live north of the caledonian canal, you’re not British. Just sheep and heather up there.

    186. caz-m says:

      The Herald, March 2013

      By Robbie Dinwoodie

      “SCOTS are overwhelmingly opposed to replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system, with opposition running at 75% even among those planning to vote No in next year’s independence referendum”.

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/even-pro-uk-voters-reject-trident-move.20481478

      This was published just before the British Attitudes Survey was carried out. So someone is lying.

    187. galamcennalath says:

      Back to the grand debate over the BBC. Is it conspiracy to mislead, or is it just incompetence by not checking stories due to understaffing? It has to be conspiracy with a veneer of incompetence.

      This morning’s phone in should sort the record straight!

    188. Another Union Dividend says:

      You need at least 1000 responses to place any statistical credence on the figures.

      Now John Curtice is claiming results based on two polls so confusion reigns.

    189. Robert Kerr says:

      SS

      Last redoubt of the Picts!

    190. manandboy says:

      I wonder how long Anas has to be on the battle bus before he is put into Lost Property.

    191. manandboy says:

      Or maybe into lost cause.

    192. caz-m says:

      More jobs will be created if we can get rid of the subs and start developing the oil and gas fields that are in the Clyde Estuary/Firth of Clyde.

    193. Grouse Beater says:

      A ‘timely’ What Is Britishness’ survey asks nothing of the people’s health.

      Interesting so many English are unable to answer, but come up with inconsistencies instead – ‘must be able to speak English.’ Protecting their own regional dialects doesn’t enter into their cultural mindset – so long as you don’t speak ‘foreign,’ whatever that is.

      I think of ex-pats in Spain snapping fingers in the tapas bar for ‘Juan’ to serve another beer, the only Spanish they can speak.

    194. manandboy says:

      Put to the test in a school IndyRef visit not long ago

      Both Anas and the SNP rep didn’t do too well.

      Neither were given a pass mark by the pupils.

      If only the politicians took education more seriously.

      They might learn something.

    195. bookie from hell says:

      I think gords comment on scottish education is a game changer for YES

      many will be shocked @t his UK wide education for students

    196. Grouse Beater says:

      Caz said: Good old BBC – pulse on the nation

      The BBc is instructed to reinforce British values and is doing its level best to achieve that by controlling thought.

    197. caz-m says:

      Someone please ask GMS phone-in, when was the survey taken?, how many Scots were asked? and do you think that the attitudes have changed in the past year?.

    198. caz-m says:

      Grouse Beater
      “The BBC is instructed to reinforce British values and is doing its level best to achieve that by controlling thought”.

      It’s BBC Scotland reminding us that “Project Fear” is alive and kickin.

    199. desimond says:

      I love John Curtices in depth analysis here, talk about say what you see!!

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27872037

    200. Grouse Beater says:

      Caz, when the BBC is happy to be a member of a right-wing political lobbying organisation, the CBI, it is surely happy to argue against Scottish hegemony in any way it thinks proper.

      If, as we argue, the BBC is an irrelevancy to Scotland, there’s no point in giving weight to its derisory attempts to mould opinion in favour of the union.

      Somewhere there is a programme in editing celebrating the union to be broadcast within days of the Referendum, one funded from the public purse. Who knows which vacuous celebrity is fronting it. Cliff Richard? Born in India.

    201. Edward says:

      Seems, listening to ‘Morning Call’ that the BBC/Better Together are not getting their own way as most callers are against keeping nuclear weapons.

      So of course Louise White is now trying to twist and persuade some callers

    202. lochside says:

      Leading news headlines: A year old social survey including Trident, apparently Scots want to keep it, based on 250 odd people; Scots want to keep Queen; Scots want to keep the BBC;Alec Salmond to apologise in private to Ukrainian community.

      Thanks Louise and Gary, it’s our BBC and it is a State Propagandist. Where is news of Gordon Brown wanting to destroy Scottish Education?; where is news of Iain Duncan Smith wanting to privatise pensions? where is news of major troll Darling calling Scottish voters Nazis and AS a dictator?

      Answer: no where. Get out on 29th to Pacific Quay and show these people that we know what they are up to, and we are not slaves.

    203. Grouse Beater says:

      Manandboy said: If only politicians took education seriously

      Politicians are the last people we want near an educational system.

    204. Albert Herring says:

      If it’s so shocking to be unthinkable that Westminster should run our education system, why do so many people think it acceptable that it should run any other aspects of our lives? I just don’t get it.

    205. caz-m says:

      lochside

      Well said there. I just wish someone would ask those questions on GMS phone-in.

      I am trying to get through to BBC Scotland phone-in, no joy yet.

    206. Grouse Beater says:

      I don’t know – fickle folk. I write a one sentence remark (The British Unionist in Epitome – grousebeater.wordpress) and get hundreds of hits. I write a well-considered essay on Rowling-Innit’s inconsistent political utterances and get only a few passing trade.

    207. Edward says:

      BBC quite disgraceful just now having an elederly gentleman who is , like everyone against nuclear weapons, then followed up by professional politician and Tory Bill Aitken spouting absolute pish (scuse language)

    208. lochside says:

      Bill Aitken on BBC defending Trident….quite apt..somebody who had to resign from his job on Justice Committee in Glasgow due to accusing a woman who was gang-raped(!) of being a prostitute!!

      Nice choice BBC!

    209. Grouse Beater says:

      My attitude to the BBC is uncomplicated.

      If I can convince only one person Scotland must regain its sovereignty I am doing better than BBC Scotland.

    210. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      “My understanding is that it is virtually impossible to have a nuclear accident”. Who is this idiot on Morning Call right now? Jesus. Patronising.

      Good on the woman from Perth spelling out, very calmly, the dangers of Trident.

    211. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      Ah, it’s Bill Aiken. And he is now saying “London has more people than Bute so it’s ok to have Trident on the Clyde” – or words to that effect.

      Ok, people of Bute, you don’t matter! Collateral damage, I think it is called.

    212. StevieMcB says:

      GMS AaaaaaaaaH, roll on independence so we can get rid of these idiots.

    213. manandboy says:

      It is plain to see that that part of the Unionist

      Establishment known as the Mass media, TV Radio & Press,

      have voted in favour of destroying

      not only democracy

      in Scotland

      but also informed debate.

      After a Yes vote I do hope that

      Holyrood governments of the future

      will realise

      that the Westminster model of doing politics –

      and almost everything else for that matter –

      will not be tolerated here in Scotland.

      Let’s hope too that the grassroots activists

      continue their training after the ballot.

      My guess is that Scotland’s people –

      especially those who have suffered most at the hands of

      Westminster –

      are going to need them.

      In both politics and business

      old habits die particularly hard.

      An attempt WILL be made to establish

      the City of London elite culture

      in which ‘greed is good’

      and ‘screw the poor’

      are the first principles

      of a society which long ago

      dumped morality, truth and ethics overboard

      and with them, so also social justice.

      May Scotland follow its instinct

      for older and better traditions

      and instead of trying to exterminate the poor –

      wealthy Unionist style –

      we will instead give them a hand up

      and help them get on their feet.

      As the graph at the top of the page illustrates so clearly,

      keeping the better off

      close to the least well off

      is the key to success.

      A final note.

      Anyone who thinks that the Pope

      favours the wealthy and supports the Union

      needs an information upgrade.

      And neither does his Boss.

      Blessed are the poor.

    214. desimond says:

      caz-m, manandboy

      Anas will look after Anas. He is a party politician but an Anas politiian first and foremost. He will either be aligning with or fighting with Mags, Jim Murphy and possibly Douglas Alexander for the top job or backing one of the likely winners while eyeing a swift exit to sunnier climes.

    215. john king says:

      tried to get on to challenge White with SS’s take on the bsas and Bill Aitkins assertion that we have an independent deterrent and the (comedian) who thinks the loss of all those high spenders would be devastating to the local population, guess what?
      NO CALL BACK
      but unless the person answering the phone is a good actress I got the distinct impression she agreed with me.

    216. X_Sticks says:

      @CameronB Brodie

      That’s a pretty scary Guardian article Cameron. What’s the betting they have modelled the Scottish independence scenario, too? I wonder what the results would be?

      I also wonder if it has some bearing on the Trident nonsense we’re getting from the bbc this morning and the general panic in the No camp.

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass-civil-breakdown

    217. manandboy says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      17 June, 2014 at 9:26 am
      Manandboy said: If only politicians took education seriously

      Politicians are the last people we want near an educational system.
      ________________________________________________________

      GB, thanks for the alert.

      If I insert the word ‘their’ I hope that will make the idea clearer.

      If only politicians took their education seriously –

      I was making a play on the phrase ‘school IndyRef visit’ as meaning they ought to have gone in with the idea of learning something as well as imparting something,
      as well as the idea of lifelong learning

    218. ronnie anderson says:

      @ John King, you must be on the same list as me

      ALERT ALERT WINGS OVER SCOTLAND READER/CONTRIBUTER

    219. Mary Bruce says:

      “Majority of Scots want to keep the BBC.

      Majority of Scots want to keep the Queen.

      What BBC Scotland don’t tell you is that this is a UK survey that was carried out last year between June and September 2013.”

      A year on and it all means nothing now. The people of Scotland have woken up.

      Last June I wouldn’t have cared whether or not we kept the BBC or the Queen. A year later and I am now of the opinion that the BBC can GTF and I’d vote for a republic if we had a referendum on it tomorrow.

    220. Gordon E says:

      Gordon E says:
      16 June, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      £720 million is an awful lot of money for a glossy booklet of No Better Together Thanks information.

      Sorry, I said million when I meant thousand.

      Oops, still a lot of money though!

    221. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      I wouldn’t stick it too hard to the No propaganda booklet. It’ll only give them ideas for when Stu’s wee blue book is available.

    222. Grouse Beater says:

      Manandboy said: If only politicians took their education seriously

      Ah. Understood.



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