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Chiels that ding

Posted on November 19, 2015 by

The Unionist media has leapt on former SNP adviser Alex Bell’s blog post about the economic case for independence this week like a starving dog thrown a sausage.

It’s been wringing articles out of it for days, the latest being Torcuil Crichton’s column in today’s Daily Record, in which the unembarrassable hack (last seen trumpeting an entirely imaginary £20bn increase in Holyrood’s budget from the Smith Commission proposals) rather audaciously takes someone else to task over an economic “lie”.

tcbs

Bell’s article is such self-evidently weak sauce that we haven’t bothered with it until now. But as it seems clear that the papers are going to talk about nothing else for the forseeable future, we may as well point out the obvious.

It starts with a lengthy anecdote expressing his surprise that in a TV debate Nicola Sturgeon invited an audience member who didn’t believe in independence to join the SNP. Bell seems perplexed by the idea that the best way to try to win someone over to your view might be to surround them with friendly believers, or that there could possibly be any other merit in having more people in your political party.

But then he gets to the meat of his argument.

“Cut Nicola and no doubt she still bleeds independence, but what she means by that is far less clear than before the referendum. The doubt arises because the campaign towards the 2014 vote, and the economic information since, has kicked the old model to death. The idea that you could have a Scotland with high public spending, low taxes, a stable economy and reasonable government debt was wishful a year ago – now it is deluded.”

None of those terms are defined. What is “high” public spending? What are “low” taxes? What is “reasonable” government debt? We’re not told. Setting the tone for the rest of the article, Bell makes vague assertions not backed up with any sort of evidence or sources and simply demands the reader accept them on his say-so.

“2014 was an economic sweetspot for two reasons. It was a good year for oil, and it came after thirty good years. “

We’ll be generous here and assume Bell is just a bad writer, rather than a liar.

You could make a fair case for saying Scotland had enjoyed “a good thirty years” of oil revenue, ie taking the period as an overall whole. “Thirty good years”, on the other hand, is a very different proposition. For roughly twenty of those years, oil was in fact around HALF the price in real terms that it is now.

oilprices

That’s significant, of course, because it illustrates something nobody has ever disputed – oil revenues are volatile. The current price of $45 a barrel is roughly half what it was 18 months ago, and as we endlessly point out, nobody has the remotest idea of where it’ll be 18 months from now. It could have halved again, or it could have doubled, or more, or less, or anywhere in between.

Bell has, in other words, taken a momentary snapshot of Scotland’s economy and treated it as an eternal tablet of stone. It’s an intellectual laziness that as we’ll see is repeated all the way through the post.

“Thus the Scottish economy looked healthy and was able to boast that it had chipped in more to the UK treasury than it had got back over recent times.

That is not the same as being able to say the Scottish economy could afford British levels of spending, which was a significant plank of the Yes promise. That debatable point could be obscured by lots of noise, and the SNP is accomplished at shouting.

But Nicola Sturgeon knows the SNP is good at misdirection.”

The other recurring theme is bitterness at the SNP, as seen here. Bell left the party (at least as an employee) under something of a cloud in July 2013, in circumstances that neither side has ever discussed. Ever since then he’s been a regular fixture in the Unionist press, savaging the leadership for one thing or another.

He started quickly, appearing in the Guardian in September of the same year:

bellwhinge

And in August 2014, the Daily Mail reported:

bellmail

As recently as October he was bashing the Nats in the Daily Record. Bell is also often cited by the SNP’s opponents as saying “the first rule of the SNP is don’t talk policy. There’s a silent pact”, and that the party “talks left and acts right”, though we’ve never been able to locate a first-hand source for either quote.

It seems safe to say there’s something of a grudge at play, and filter accordingly.

“It may work in public to rubbish claims by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that there is a gap between what Scots pay into government and what they get out in services, but only fools believe their own propaganda.

The fact is a gap exists – Scotland does not earn enough to pay for its current level of spending.”

We’re not sure the SNP ever has “rubbished” such claims. Almost every decent-sized country on Earth runs a deficit, with the notable exception of a certain oil-rich nation of five million people bordering the North Sea which ISN’T Scotland. It’s the normal way of doing things. Countries simply don’t operate like people or households – it’s very hard to generate growth without a deficit unless you’re as hyper-wealthy as Norway.

“Once you accept that, you acknowledge that the SNP’s model is broken.”

So the line above is complete drivel. A deficit is not proof that a country is unviable, unless pretty much the entire population of the planet – including, of course, Scotland as part of the UK – is living in an unviable nation.

“That model, as expressed in the White Paper and numerous speeches, is that it was possible to move from the UK to an independent Scotland and keep services at the same level, without either borrowing a lot more or raising taxes. It isn’t.

As sure as death and taxes, there will be an economic jolt in the road to independence. Scotland will have to pay to either increase borrowing, raise taxes or cut services to bridge the gap between revenue and spending.”

Proof? Evidence? Statistics? Even a passing acknowledgement that an independent Scotland could make different spending choices to the UK? Nah, we won’t be needing any of that – Alex Bell has decreed it, so it must be true.

(Bell was, it may be worth noting, a policy adviser to the SNP, not an economist.)

“That’s not the only bump. The second shock to the system will be the cost of borrowing. A new state will inevitably attract higher borrowing costs. Thus the price of the debt we inherit from the UK will go up on independence day.”

The unsupported assertions are coming thick and fast now. Nobody knows how much of the UK’s debt an independent Scotland would accept in negotiations. Nobody knows how much borrowing it would need. Nobody knows what that borrowing would cost. (Lenders charge interest rates based on how secure they think a loan is, not how new the country is, though Scotland is hardly an unknown quantity anyway.)

But what we do know is that:

(1) An independent Scotland would be in a strong negotiating position.

“MoD insiders believe that, after an independence vote, ministers in London would have no choice but to strike a deal with Scottish leaders allowing the Navy to go on using Coulport and Faslane until an alternative was ready.

That would give Scotland’s new government bargaining power over other issues like their share of the UK national debt and other financial liabilities.

‘Maintaining the deterrent is the first priority for any UK government, so ministers in London would have to pay Salmond any price to ensure we kept access to [the Clyde bases],’ said a source. ‘It would be an unbelievable nightmare.”

(2) A huge percentage of Scotland’s current deficit – somewhere in the vicinity of £5bn a year – is accounted for by repayments on UK debt. A favourable deal on debt inheritance could almost wipe that out, transforming both the balance sheet and the country’s credit rating/costs for any borrowing it DID need.

credrating

Bell continues:

“The appeal of the SNP is that it resists austerity. It promised to reduce budgets by (fractionally) less during the 2015 election. In other words, it would borrow more. So on top of the higher cost of borrowing, you would have more borrowing to pay for. It doesn’t end there.”

Yet more assumptions unsupported by a shred of evidence. Again, the whole point of independence is to be able to make different choices, so you can spend more money on some things by saving money on others, without needing more money overall.

“SNP fine print makes it crystal clear that it will not reverse the dastardly Tory cuts on independence. It will not reverse the privatisations or the anti-union legislation of Thatcher and nor will it repair the cuts of Cameron and Osborne.”

Um, can someone direct us to this “SNP fine print”, please? The party HAS pledged to reverse the privatisation of the Royal Mail, to name but one. It HAS repaired cuts like the bedroom tax. It opposes the Trade Union Bill. We’re not aware of any document supporting a word of Bell’s allegations.

“Its central message in Westminster is that the state need not be dismantled. It is therefore reasonable to expect, voters certainly will, that spending goes up on independence. Which will add even further to borrowing.

However, Scotland may not be allowed to borrow that much. A currency Union, either Sterling or the Euro, would come with limits. A brand new currency may not be trusted by lenders. So taxes would have to go up to meet the spending gap and the extra money it takes to ‘repair’ the state.”

 Repetition of previous assertions doesn’t make them any more true.

“But there is of course one more bump to overcome – the cost of transferring to an independent state in the first place. Recall all the problems associated with merging eight police forces into one and multiply this by a hundred. What price the transfer to sovereignty? £1 billion, maybe £2 billion.

Thus an economy which couldn’t afford existing spending will be hit by several significant new demands on the Treasury. Without a thorough, independent understanding of those additional charges, you can make no promises on what independence will be like.”

That’s okay, we’ve got one of those handy. Professor Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics, who as far as we know has no political axe to grind with regard to Scotland, puts the net cost of transition at “less than £650 million”, spread across a decade – £65m a year, which is pocket change to a government.

And that paragraph marks the end of Bell’s “destruction” of the economic case for independence. The next chunk of the post is taken up by a dodgy tale about “a paper somewhere in the civil service” (we’re not told if that’s the Scottish or UK one) from 2012, a “single-sheet document” which allegedly managed to comprehensively prove that Scotland was healthier in the UK but which has now conveniently vanished.

(Shame. You’d have thought the No campaign would have been all over it.)

chamberlain

The last 900 or so words of Bell’s article are a rambling diatribe against the SNP and its members and supporters that for the sake of brevity we’ll omit here, as it’s already been addressed by Lallands Peat Worrier [EDIT: and Derek Bateman].

His actual “case against independence”, then, occupies just 631 words of the 2,128 in the blog post (less than 30%). And what it amounts to can be summed up in far fewer:

“An independent Scotland would have a deficit, like almost every country on Earth, so it’d be economically unviable and it’d have to cut everything or raise taxes or borrow money to pay for spending and the borrowing would be too expensive and it wouldn’t be able to get any anyway.”

At a push we could probably get it down to nine, in a football chant:

“Too wee!/Too poor!/I’m not important any more!”

The article doesn’t cite a single piece of evidence, a single statistic or a single source in support of what barely even passes for an argument, which could have been lifted from any Alistair Darling speech of 2013-14. It’s an insult to every newspaper reader in Scotland that it’s been taken even remotely seriously, and an indication of how desperately terrified the Unionist side is that they’ve blared it across their headlines.

(As far as we know Bell still claims to be pro-independence, providing the media with a notional justification for giving his fact-free ramblings any weight. But we’re not sure why, as going by what he’s written the problems are fundamental and insurmountable except by destroying the very fabric of society with debt and/or cuts.)

Frankly, readers, we apologise to you for even feeling the need to spell out just what a watery dribble of nothing it is. Alex Bell is launching a website after a couple of years of no fixed employment and wants attention, and the most certain way of getting lots of column inches in Scottish newspapers is to attack the SNP.

We resent giving him any more. But it’s a slow news day.

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    1. 19 11 15 15:20

      Chiels that ding | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    250 to “Chiels that ding”

    1. Sweep says:

      It may be worth noting that Mr Bell’s CV appears to show a long period of ’employment downturn’ since parting company with the SNP.

    2. manandboy says:

      Well done, Stu. A few straight jabs, a couple of uppercuts and Bell’s on the floor, out cold. Good job.

    3. Macart says:

      Well, whatever the reasons for Mr Bell’s hissy fit, his tone alone ensures a great many folks will be instantly turned off and tuned out from further contributions.

      I had little idea who the man was before this intervention of his and absolutely no intention of following anything he has to say in future on the back of it.

      I prefer folks that can actually cite sources, provide helpful information and then invite people to make up their own minds after examining same for themselves personally.

    4. Bob Mack says:

      But,but ,but, he’s a former special advisor.

      Poor advice I would imagine courtesy of security services.

    5. Brian Powell says:

      There’s a touch of the Ross Greer and Aiden Kerr about him.

      He’s just been left behind.

    6. heedtracker says:

      Does it matters that far right tory unionists with twitter accounts were overjoyed at Bell’s vote NO stuff ?

      Kevin Hague ?@kevverage Nov 16
      This is a brilliant, measured summary of where the SNP now stand – worth reading in full

      > http://rattle.scot/snp-independence-is-dead-start-again-or-shut-up
      63 retweets 59 likes
      Reply Retweet 63
      Like 59

      BetterTogether Slovenia branch also very very excited, RT’d just to give it that UKOK gravitas n shit.

      Kevin Hague Retweeted
      Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins Mar 8 Glasgow, Scotland
      The best No voting blogger post-indyref has been @kevverage. However you voted, and whatever your politics, do follow him.

    7. Capella says:

      I’d never heard of Alex Bell before this stooshie. And I certainly will continue to treat him with the ignoral he so richly deserves. Good to see what the fuss is all about though.

    8. RogueCoder says:

      What irritates me is is the so-called “economics” which Bell and others cite. What they mean is actually an Excel graph drawn up by over-excited unionist trolls who are masturbating themselves into a frenzy over the low oil price. That is NOT economics.

      Economics is the study of cash flow through a society, and how changes – often subtle – can affect the flow and increase (or decrease) productivity and GDP. Yes, oil price has an effect, but so do a thousand other factors; interest rates, inflation, QE, exports, corporation tax, VAT, energy costs, public spending, the time of year, and – yes – even the weather.

      The same voices trumpeting the “economic case” have absolutely no idea how economics work. They think that waggling the giant levers of income tax and supplementary charge will trundle the machine out of the mud. This is a child’s understanding of economies. Modern economies are complex, organic constructs where 100 small adjustments can gain far larger rewards than one or two major tax changes. The subtlety and nuance is lost on these people because, quite frankly, they are uninformed idiots.

      But this is the narrative these people follow. They nod sagely every time Osborne trots out “long-term economic plan” (which, frankly, every actual economist knows is total horseshit). The lie that is being peddled here is even bigger than “The War on Terror” – and yet people accept it, unquestioning.

      Bell is a disgruntled ex-employee, a political lightweight that the SNP found wanting and thus replaced. He has no more understanding of where Scotland is politically or economically than a dung beatle has of astrophysics.

    9. Alan McHarg says:

      As you said Rev, that could have been any one of the better together campaigns speeches on an Independent Scotland’s economy. Could he be one of the many MI5 undercover agents that have infiltrated the SNP? If he was basing his advice on that Westminster centric thinking you can understand why he was sacked! Batting for the wrong side me thinks!

    10. Andrew McLean says:

      From a purely business perspective moving into a dying market isn’t a good Idea, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgHlAdSpn7Y But you ave got to admit if its payback or rewards for tractoring for whatever perceived slight, slagging off the SNP is like shooting fish in a barrel.
      Just glad all we have is second rate flops to contend with!
      Now this is how you stab someone in the front! http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2015/oct/10/geoffrey-howe-resignation-speech-margaret-thatcher-downfall-video

    11. Auld Rock says:

      Despite all that various people write I keep coming back to the same old question, “Why should an Independent Scotland with all its natural resources end-up as an economic basket case”? There is of course a possible answer given Jackie Baillie’s revelation yesterday about the poor state of her maths ability, could this extend accross the whole of SLAB?

    12. Lollysmum says:

      At a guess-Bell’s legal advisor negotiated an agreement re no publicity by SNP of reason for leaving in return for immediate departure. That is often the case & explains why this diatribe just smacks of a bruised ego & rejection.

      No links to back up his assertions (without links that’s all they can ever be)ergo sour grapes writ large.

      Won’t be bothering to read his work again if that’s the standard he aspires to.

    13. Big Jock says:

      The last time I checked the Inland Revenue/ Tax offices were all centralising and losing Scottish staff. The Longannet power station is closing, the last steel operation is being wound down, benefits are being cut, the renewables grant has been taken away! We are only 1 year into this post referendum period!

      If this is what it is like being better together. Then I am all for the single batchelor life. At least I would know where my taxes were going.

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Could he be one of the many MI5 undercover agents that have infiltrated the SNP?”

      Can people PLEASE stop talking about MI5 undercover agents infiltrating the SNP? Seriously. Even if it was true, all you achieve is to make yourself sound mental.

      Quite apart from anything else, it’d be a pretty shit agent who got himself publicly hoofed and then spent his whole time slagging them off in the media.

    15. ClanDonald says:

      The unionists just can’t seem to grasp that making the choice between social democracy and neo-liberalism is a political decision, not an economic one.

      What they’re desperately to do is persuade us that a future that’s a a carbon copy of right-wing Americanism with low taxes (for big business) and low public spending (ie. no welfare state or NHS for us) is in our best interests and no alternative is available.

      They never point out that we could do things differently. Of course you can’t have low tax and high spending. But maybe if governments started forcing big multi nationals to start paying their fair share of taxes then maybe pensions, welfare and health services can be affordable.

      But that doesn’t fit in with big business running the world so you can’t have it, Scotland, shut up.

    16. bunter says:

      Was waitin for this. What kept ye ????????

    17. Lesley-Anne says:

      2014 was an economic sweetspot for two reasons. It was a good year for oil, and it came after thirty good years.

      So, according to the lovely Mr. Bell oil selling at a price of between $15 – $25 for the first TWENTY years of Mr. Bell’s “Thirty good years” is totally acceptable then. In that case why is every unionist under the sun trying, and failing, to make anything out of the oil price sitting at around $45then? 😉

      That is not the same as being able to say the Scottish economy could afford British levels of spending, which was a significant plank of the Yes promise

      Erm … excuse my ignorance here but in an independent S******d we would NOT need the same level of spending as the U.K. currently has. We would only need the current level of spending the S******h government has or slightly higher, wouldn’t we? 😉

      A currency Union, either Sterling or the Euro, would come with limits.

      Erm … didn’t he get the memo last year?

      Does he NOT understand that wee Gordy Broon, Ozzy Osborne and co. will not allow a currency union so why is he rabbiting on about something that all his bestest unionist friends will never agree to? 😉

      I’m guessing he has no idea about how countries join the Euro here. If memory serves me right it usually takes countries around 5 years, give or take a couple of years, to join the Euro. So my question to dear old Mr. Bell is exactly what currency is he suggesting an independent S******d use between independence and joining the Euro? 😉

    18. Surely the unionists must understand that the argument Alex Bell uses against Scottish independence.

      Must also mean that the UK is no longer viable either as an independent state due to its huge deficit it cannot afford the funding to maintain the current level of
      public services and pensions.

      Which is why its having to make devastating cuts to those public services and is raising the retirement age first to 66 and then 70.

    19. Bill Fraser says:

      The man is a hack and a very poor and misguided one at that He was unemployed for 22 years and suddenly gets column space in Scotland’s grubbiest newspaper which I wouldn’t even recommend for use in the smallest room in the house. He obviously has an axe to grind and uses it at every opportunity.S.N.P.is well shot of people like him.

    20. Marie Clark says:

      My, my, someone’s been nursing his wrath tae keep it waarm.

      What a bitter spiteful excuse of a human being. Notice me PLEASE,a need a joab, and naebdy will gie me yin. Oh diddums, pair wee Alex.

      I can’t take any of his witterings seriously. If there is one thing, above all else, that the Rev has taught us on this eventful journey, it’s sources. Where are the sources of his assertions, eh! Naewhaur tae be seen.

      That says it all really, just a spiteful rant, not worth anyone’s time at all.

    21. Bell: “Thus the price of the debt we inherit from the UK will go up on independence day.”

      We know that the price of the inherited debt will not change relative to the UK price because the Treasury admitted during the indyref that the debt will remain with the UK Treasury.

      It’ll not cost us a penny more to contribute to our share of servicing it, though it may cost considerably less depending on the negotiations and how much we agree to service.

    22. manandboy says:

      Roguecoder says:
      ” He has no more understanding of where Scotland is politically or economically than a dung beatle has of astrophysics.”

      On the other hand, is there a creature, including humans, which knows as much about dung as the dung beatle? Dung beatles ought not to be scoffed at. They probably all have the equivalent of a PhD in dung – albeit in a way that only dung beatles know about.

      African dung beatles in particular are not to be messed with; they’ll roll you up into a ball and then shove you down a hole. No one knows what happens after that. It wasn’t in the film.

      I should probably lie down now.

    23. Chitterinlicht says:

      I read it when it came out.

      Thought it was all over the place. . “Turgid” was my adjective on twitter

      Google “coutries with a defecit” and most countries have one. They borrow on their assests and ability to repay. Interests rates vary accordingly.

      Most countries would kill for Scotlands food and drink, tourist and energy wealth to borrow against.

      Good article Reverend.

      Hope mouth and rats are ok.

    24. Andrew McLean says:

      Rev @ 3.25

      Calm the Hammers, I am not saying anything but that isn’t the worst case of MI5 publicly hoofing! if he was and I am not saying he was but this is funny, http://www.books.google.co.uk/books?id=SXLGAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA370&lpg=PA370&dq=mi5+agent+caught
      Glad in this war of terror a “Campaign of abuse” is so proffesional

    25. Xaracen says:

      I have immeasureable respect for Mr Bell, based on his many inestimable qualities, his intellectual prowess not least among them.

    26. ahundredthidiot says:

      HOL for Mr Bell?

      Lord Bell of End

    27. manandboy says:

      Among his omissions, Alex Bell, former special advisor to Alex Salmond, failed to tell us all about the ‘elephant in the room’, viz. that rUK is only afloat because of the lifebelt which is Scotlands’ mineral assets.

      Take Scotland out of the Union, and rUK will immediately drown in a sea of debt.

    28. Dr Jim says:

      If that article had been a Football Chant it would have been about Barcelona v Bognor

      Of course Mr Bell of Bognor FC would complain he was robbed
      after losing about Ten nil

    29. Training Day says:

      Glad you addressed this, Rev. Bell knew that, no matter how vapid his arguments were, the corporate MSM would be all over his witterings without subjecting them to any critical analysis whatsoever.

      That lets us add contempt for his character to derision at his blatherings.

    30. Craig P says:

      It’s funny how former Labour advisors that now advocate independence, such as Jeane Freeman, get nothing like the publicity in the corporate media that Alex Bell does. Wonder why.

    31. handclapping says:

      @Xaracen
      Whereas you have many estimable qualities, your use of Xarcaxm amongst them 🙂

    32. Lollysmum says:

      @Chitterinlicht at 3.43pm

      Spot on there

      “They borrow on their assests and ability to repay.”

      Those assets are Scotland’s oil- without it UK is sunk & they know it but can’t admit it. Wells don’t have to be currently producing oil to count-it’s the fact that they are there & accessible that matters. Ho hum 😉

      Onwards & upwards guys & gals 🙂

    33. Onwards says:

      Auld Rock says:
      19 November, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      I keep coming back to the same old question, “Why should an Independent Scotland with all its natural resources end-up as an economic basket case”?

      This is it in a nutshell.
      We have advantages over many similar countries in Europe that have higher GDP’s and better living standards than us.

      A country with huge natural resources and a relatively low population should be far better off than we actually are.
      So much money is syphoned out of here, while we are powerless to keep more profits in Scotland. Look at whisky for example.

      I actually agree with him in the sense that more economic studies are important. The problem is that there are many different courses and variables that an independent Scotland could face, depending on who was elected.

      But comparisons with similar countries are a very broad and simple comparison that prove we aren’t living up to our true potential in general terms.

      It just seems silly to reduce the argument for independence to a question of: “Would we be better off in the short term, assuming nothing would change?”

      If people based their opinion only on that, there is an incentive for unionist parties to deliberately stifle Scotland’s economy, and prevent us from competing effectively with London and the South.

      Personally I think that is a deliberate policy to an extent.
      Look how limited the Scotland Bill is.
      Look how our oil potential was covered up in the first place, and no oil fund was started.
      They actually want a future where many Scots feel that hand-outs are needed – to encourage a culture of dependency.

    34. scav says:

      OK, he lost the plot at:

      The idea that you could have a Scotland with high public spending, low taxes,…

      That was never the plan. Look at Norway, look at Denmark, look at Finland. They have high taxes, and high public spending, and the reason they are up there in the top 5 happy countries of the world and have well-functioning economies and not £1.5T national debts is because those high taxes are spent on things that grow the economy, and services that benefit the entire population.

      This is not academically controversial: social democracy has a superb track record of actually fucking working.

    35. Scott Borthwick says:

      “That is not the same as being able to say the Scottish economy could afford British levels of spending…”

      I’ve seen very little evidence recently to suggest that the UK can afford ‘British’ levels of spending.

    36. According to the Gruniad’s esteamyable Polly Tonybee the SNP now has members sitting in the House of Lords and they voted to extend the EU vote franchise to sixteen year olds …. anyone know when that happened?

      Will we SNPers be getting a retraction of that Gruniad lie in the foreseeable future?

      Then there is the claim that Ms Sturgeon will listen to the case for bombing Syria with the clear presumption on the BBC web site, Gruniad pages and elsewhere in the Unionist media, after Dave has wowed her with an offer of a flight in A320 UK presidential aircraft, a girl is bound to say … Oh Yes! Dave baby …

      I find it immeasurably ironic how many of the Unionist media lie stories have a life only within the self justifying tissue of lies they tell themselves, on a daily basis, on the SNP baaad meme

    37. galamcennalath says:

      Opinions without facts or evidence to support them should be totally irrelevant.

      ‘Empty vessels make the most noise’ as they say.

      Who is the fool, the one making the wild assertions or those who take them seriously?

    38. Ian Brotherhood says:

      On WOS twitter feed right now, old mucker Hothersall is having a go at Neil Mackay.

      I would love – LOVE – to see him ever dare do it to his face.

      Mackay wrote ‘The War on Truth’ – perhaps the definitive account of the behaviour of Bush/Blair & Co in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He ‘broke’ the ‘Stakeknife’ story in the SH, years ago (2003). He’s met most of the main players in NI politics and been in situations which would reduce most of us to heaps of quivering nerves-ends.

      Journalism in general may be in a pretty sorry state, but there are still some fine, brave, ‘real’ journalists around. Rev’s one of them, and so is Neil Mackay.

      I didn’t think it was possible for Duncan Hothersall to fall any further in my estimation, but he’s managed it with this cheap, needless attempt at ‘humour’. BTUKOKers must be so proud to have him, eh?

    39. George S Gordon says:

      What RogueCoder said – perfect addendum to excellent WoS analysis!

    40. manandboy says:

      “What happened in September last year was that Scotland was asked to consider the price of independence, but not to consider its value.”(Wee Ginger Dug)

      Like being told ‘ye cannae afford tae hiv this wean’.

      or BT saying: ‘Ye cannae afford tae be yourself’

      In Indy2 we need to know ‘We cannae afford no tae be Independent.’

      Just keep voting SNP/SNP and BE YOURSELF SCOTLAND!

    41. Onwards says:

      “Nobody knows how much of the UK’s debt an independent Scotland would accept in negotiations”

      Exactly. This question alone makes any detailed forecasts impossible without making huge assumptions, which could have prejudiced negotiations in the first place.

      – Would dent negotiates include ‘compensation’ for the fact that Scotland wouldn’t have built up such debt in the first place, had we been independent when oil prices were higher.

      – What about the state pension obligations from the UK, based on years of national insurance credits – could that be subtracted from the debt, allowing huge savings on interest payments ?

      So much depends on negotiations, where the Scottish government would have a strong hand as debt officially remains with the UK.
      Common sense suggests that the negotiations would have resulted in an outcome where the startup economics is much the same.

      In any case, looking at simply the short term approach is simply short-sighted. If we were better off right away, it wouldn’t be by much, and vice versa.

      Independence is all democracy, and about more control over Scotland’s economy and policies. The referendum poster summed it up perfectly:
      “Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”

    42. mealer says:

      Mr Bell obviously doesn’t have confidence in the abilities of the Scottish people.I do.

    43. Xaracen says:

      “Xarcaxm” Hah, I missed a trick, there. 😀

    44. galamcennalath says:

      manandboy says:

      “Scotland was asked to consider the price of independence, but not to consider its value.”

      A good way of looking at it.

      YES supports were considering the value, NO supporters the price.

      Personally I’d prefer to be poorer in an independent fair and just Scotland, than allegedly be better off in pariah state UK-Lets-Bomb-Them-OK.

      I’d also take the gamble I might actually end up financially better off with Indy! But, that isn’t my motivation.

      For me, it’s a moral decision to back Indy.

    45. caz-m says:

      Alex Bell joins a number of Scots who seem to have sold their soul so they can have a chair with their name on it at the studios of BBC Scotland, the likes of

      Ian McWhirter
      Kevin McKenna
      Gordon Wilson

      and so on…

      Your actions will NEVER be forgiven.

    46. Kennedy says:

      Maybe he’s been sanctioned. Had his dole cut. Or just spat his dummy out.

      Wonder what the establishment have offered him???

      30 pieces of silver???

      Wonder if he was a plant all along??? Inside man???

      Who cares lets ignore him.

    47. msean says:

      Surely it would have been up to whatever party won the first Scottish general election whether to continue with pre independence spending levels and spending choices,or to reverse trade union legislation or whatever,and that party might not have been the SNP.

      We would be independent and able to make changes and choices ourselves.

    48. Clive Scott says:

      I first saw Bell’s article on his Rattle blog and posted a comment that can be summarised as follows:
      1. He is talking tosh.
      2. The whole point of Indy is to do things differently, not follow a pro-rata carbon copy of UK spend.
      3. His concern over transition costs from UK to Indy is akin to someone sitting in a filthy house too depressed and indolent to get off his backside to clean it.
      4. He is looking for crowd funding support for his blog of £60,000 and the article is simply a media grab for attention.
      I have not checked if the post cleared moderation.

    49. AndyH says:

      Sacked man says bad stuff about people who sacked him…

      go figure!

    50. Proud Cybernat says:

      “That is not the same as being able to say the Scottish economy could afford British levels of spending…”

      Well, Duh!

      Scotland will be well able to afford Scottish levels of spending precisely because Scotland won’t be following British levels of spending and Scotland won’t follow the disastrous British ‘model’ because Britain can barely afford it. Over and above which, it is a ‘model’ designed solely to enrich the rich and impoverish the rest of us.

      Bell obviously didn’t attend the ding-dong college of knowledge.

    51. Les Wilson says:

      What they never consider is the amount of money that will no longer go to Westminster, they NEVER talk about that.
      Ie paying big sums for London infrastructure and many other things ofthe same ilk.

      They have honed the way to bleed us dry for 300 years, many ways obvious, many others sneaky.
      I doubt the extent of all this would ever come to light within the “Union”, but will be evident after Independence.

      However, we can call this an Indy bonus, for our small country, not being bled like this it will be transformational.

    52. Proud Cybernat says:

      Clearly Bell has chucked his rattle oot the pram.

    53. Dan Huil says:

      WeeGingerDug sums up the Bell situation perfectly in today’s National.

    54. Famous15 says:

      Calling Esmeralda! The Bells rings for Alex Quasimodo!

      Seriously,when I first read the criticism i felt dread thinking the Mr Bell was Ian or even Peter so big sigh of relief when it turned out to be poor little Alex Bell. I will not make the same mistake as Ken Livingstone and comment on his mental health.

    55. msean says:

      Sounds like the same criticism that came from bettertogether. We have all heard the canny dae it stuff re Scotland,what I never heard enough of is how the gap in spending would be dealt with in an independent ruk.

      The loss of revenue would have to be countered and probably taxes would have to had risen and deep cuts made to the house of lords wine list and plans for personal aircraft cut amongst other things.

    56. Clootie says:

      Alex Bell demonstrates the age old hizzy fit of the rejected.I never thought he was a supporter of Independence. He thought the arguments/debate would leverage more power for Holyrood. That summed up his ambition.

      It was merely a political game to him. He had no belief in the nation state of Scotland nor it’s ability to prosper in a different way.

      His article is his “way back”. He hopes doors will now open to him for his damascian conversion.

      He only believes in Alex Bell. One more soul bought with English gold.

      As he Rev says a few meaningless phrases strung together without any foundation and the CorpMedia feast on “the facts” as proof.

    57. galamcennalath says:

      Regarding share of debt, it is worth considering that there are shared assets – military hardware, real estate in capitals and major cities all over the world, gold reserves etc etc. One estimate I read put a value of £900B.

      Whatever the figure we are unlikely to get our share of assets we have paid for in negotiations. An example might be embassies and trade buildings. Some of these are buildings of very high value. Presumably rUK would simply want to keep those.

      There would inevitably be a trade off of inherited debt versus divvy of assets.

      Whether it’s renting out Coulport for 10years, or walking away for serious buildings in NY, Paris, HongKong etc … Scotland would end up with a fraction of a per capita share of debt.

      We save £1b in lower defence and WMD costs, and save say £3b in lower debt payments. Voila! Our deficit has been halved (I think)!

      As always, we are much better, not together!

    58. frogesque says:

      we need a true independent Scottish central bank with our own parallel currency NOW. Prove to the World we are fiscally competent and able to steer our own path even with Westminster trying to undermine us.

      Live independence, act independent and be independent.

      I am sick if the lie that we are too poor, too wee, too stupid to run ourselves efficiently. FFS just do it!

    59. Taranaich says:

      “Thus the Scottish economy looked healthy and was able to boast that it had chipped in more to the UK treasury than it had got back over recent times.

      What does Mr Bell mean by “recent times,” exactly? The records we have for the first 21 years of the 20th Century show Scotland massively “chipping in more than it got back.”

      http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/repository/GERS1921.xlsx

      That’s before oil and windfarms and hydroelectrics and all the other modern resources that make up Scotland’s embarrassment of riches. Before the formation of the SNP itself, in fact.

      It may work in public to rubbish claims by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that there is a gap between what Scots pay into government and what they get out in services, but only fools believe their own propaganda.

      You see this a lot with unionists: accuse your opponents of things you have been accused of regardless of the cosmic irony of such a thing. SNP say you’re misdirecting/deceiving/uncritical? Well you just say that about the SNP! That’ll show them. “Only fools believe their own propaganda,” indeed.

      “SNP fine print makes it crystal clear that it will not reverse the dastardly Tory cuts on independence. It will not reverse the privatisations or the anti-union legislation of Thatcher and nor will it repair the cuts of Cameron and Osborne.”

      “I know this, because I say so. Sources? Why would you want sources, isn’t my word good enough? After all, I was a special adviser to the SNP, who you are accusing of being liars and deluded and nasty, so you can definitely trust me not to lie or delude or be nasty.”

    60. David McDowell says:

      Aren’t we about due for BBC Scotland’s annual “Calls for Scottish Transport Minister to be sacked as he fails to stop Snowmageddon” story? Has anyone warned Derek Mackay to get his tin hat on?

    61. DerekM says:

      see our Bell walked into the wrong political party he was meaning to go into the labour one,but it took him years to figure out his mistake as he thought that Eck Salmond was the Labour leader ,he was mortified when he found out it was the SNP plus he was piss at making the tea so Eck sacked him.

      Seriously just what do you do as the special advisor to our Eck,nod your head and say yea your right again Eck lol

    62. jimnarlene says:

      “Too wee!/Too poor!/I’m not important any more!”

      That’s Labour in Scotland’s new letterhead, surely.

    63. ScotsCanuck says:

      there is no doubt after reading his epistle that it comes over as a “fit of pique”, and an acute case of the same I might add.
      Waffle & supposition would be flattering it, but venomous it most certainly is.

      My advice to Mr Bell would be that extreme care be taken that he not bite his own tongue, for fear of certain poisoning.

    64. Peter Sneddon says:

      Bell End!

    65. McBoxheid says:

      Alex Bell, just another member of the defecazzi, spewing their shite all over the Unionist MSM. That’s all those rags are good for, mopping up shite

    66. nb says:

      Another point that the Rev was too kind to point out is that Mr Bell’s hitherto unheard of blog is festooned with flashing clickmes for his Indiegogo campaign. This controversy will have done wonders for his site traffic…

    67. Meanwhile in other news, Scotland’ subsidy to the rest of the UK is being forcibly increased. Better together? For who’s benefit?

      Not ours…..

    68. ScotsCanuck says:

      …. I believe Mr. Bell joins the ranks of individuals who (think) they “know the price of everything, but actually ken the value of nothing…”

    69. CameronB Brodie says:

      It’s that post-modern tension between description and analysis, again. While Mr. Bell relies on unsupported and non-deductive assumptions to describe Scotland as he sees it, the Rev. provides evidence backed analyses to highlight Scotland’s latent potential.

      Based on the evidence provided, I deduce Mr. Bell is a bitter and twisted fannybaws.

      @ Mr. Bell
      If you care about Scotland that much, why not stand for election?

    70. ScottieDog says:

      “An independent Scotland would have a deficit, like almost every country on Earth, so it’d be economically unviable and it’d have to cut everything or raise taxes or borrow money to pay for spending and the borrowing would be too expensive and it wouldn’t be able to get any anyway.”

      Hard to know where to start with that neo-liberal pish.

      BUT

      The white paper was a political document, in the same way the IPCC paper being presented in Paris next month is (2 deg C is a political limit but is touted to be scientifically unsafe) Like many YESrs I found it frustrating sticking up for the plan on currency when I knew that Scotland would be far more prosperous having its own free floating sovereign currency.
      Obviously the prospect of a new currency might lose support even though it was the best option, hence currency union proposal. Yet the realities would have been strict constraints on deficit spending as per the EU and being at the mercy of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank Of England. The independence of the BoE from the UK treasury is very much exaggerated.

      Bell conforms to the neo-liberal monetarist beliefs about deficit spending. It was huge post war deficit spending that provided those jobs for life that we used to have. It is galling when a 60 something Tory supporter spouts the ‘fair pay for a days work’ crap when they enjoyed the multiplier effect of such spending. They deny their grand kids the same benefit.

      So we need to start educating people about the fact that a sovereign currency issuing govt is not akin to a household. We need to educate idiots like bell that we are no longer on a gold standard and that a country which has its own currency is limited by its resources and what it can import, not by keystroke creation of electronic fiat money.

      As for the cost of borrowing, ask bell to look at Japan. A country which has engaged in huge deficit spending (250% of GDP) yet still issues bonds at 1%..

      The UK economy is terminal with a private debt to GDP ratio of over 375%.

    71. David says:

      Tinker Bell is more believable than Alex Bell.

      And better written.

    72. Petra says:

      ”Alex Bell is launching a website after a couple of years of no fixed employment and wants attention, and the most certain way of getting lots of column inches in Scottish newspapers is to attack the SNP.”

      Well that’s it in a nutshell. The man has been lolling in the proverbial wilderness for a couple of years and doesn’t like it. He craves attention, has an axe to grind against someone in the SNP hierarchy and has found a way to accomplish, or not, both objectives. The term ‘soor grapes’ springs to mind. ‘Troublemaking ignoramus’ is another. He knows better than Stiglitz I take it?

      Strange too that the Daily Rag, pre-Referendum, didn’t at anytime interview and publish Stiglitz (in top 4 of World economists) views on the Scottish economy but always seem to find the time to trumpet the views of anyone that is ANTI-SNP. And they say that they aren’t biased at all, lol!

      Remember the double page spread in the Daily Record three days before voting? Thirteen so-called top Scottish economists listing 13 reasons why the people of Scotland would be worse off if they voted Yes. Armageddon, Doom and Gloom … coming true now under Better Together. The economists, who weren’t fit to lick Stiglitz boots, were members of a TORY Think Tank using corrupt Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse to get their manipulative points across. Good enough for the Scot duping Daily Rag right enough! It’s no wonder that their sales are plummeting.

      The CorpMedia will eventually drop the subject and most of Scotland will drop him (Bell). You Stu have dropped him in it. Well done.

    73. galamcennalath says:

      OT a difference of opinion both claiming to be backed by polls.

      The National

      “THE Prime Minister has said he will not wait for a UN resolution before launching air strikes in Syria – despite a Survation poll which found only 15% of the British public would back his action.”

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/david-cameron-says-he-would-defy-public-opinion-and-the-un-to-order-syria-air-strikes.10190

      The Mail

      “Six out of ten Britons want the RAF to bomb Islamic State following the Paris massacres, a Daily Mail poll reveals today.”

      https://archive.is/NROZR

      Undoubtedly a different question will have been asked. It also sounds like they asked a quite different sample of the public!

    74. john king says:

      Derek Bateman came up with a more beleivable story when he first posted he was “Alex Salmonds man in the BBC ”

      What?
      I beleived it. 🙁
      big riddy

    75. Another Union Dividend says:

      Last year the Financial Times calculated that an Indy Scotland would be one of Europe’s wealthiest nations – this based on our GPD WITHOUT any oil revenues added in ..

      Also last year Standard & Poor’s, a leading rating agency, concluded that Scotland’s wealth levels ‘are comparable’ to those of AAA-listed nations, and that as an independent country – even without North Sea oil – Scotland will qualify for S&P’s ‘highest economic assessment’.
      “In brief, we would expect Scotland to benefit from all the attributes of an investment-grade sovereign credit characterised by its wealthy economy (roughly the size of New Zealand’s), high-quality human capital, flexible product and labour markets, and transparent institutions,” said S&P in the report.

      OK oil prices have collapsed but that has other benefits for the economy such as lower energy costs.. at least until UK nuclear subsidies take their toll.

      The whole point of independence is to do things differently than the failed Westminster economic model based on the City of London bankers’ needs which has led to the current austerity measures and many experts are predicting a new financial crash due to the over heated London housing market.

      As Rev Stu has said previously, due to the way GERS is compiled, you simply cannot extrapolate an independent Scotland’s economy from it as it describes the position of Scotland within the UK.

    76. r esquierdo says:

      I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how Torquil Crichton and David Clegg can continue to decry the S.N.P.and Nicola Sturgeon. Do these men who speak out of their waste expulsion pipes honestly believe that the public are buying their lies when 54% of the the Scottish electorate support the S.N.P. Both of these men should be banished to Rockall when we become independent.

    77. woosie says:

      Agree with Cameron B Brodie; Alex Bell should stand for parliament.

      I should point out that I have no idea who this particular jump-the-dyke is. The fact that the daily reword are regurgitating his views says more about the readership than scotgov.

      Noticed Babe Ruth, the world’s most unelected politician, using Bell’s spiteful rant, in the same rag, to justify a no vote.

      It’s odd that this chap says the SNP are doing nothing to mitigate the cuts introduced by the UK government which he is now serving!

    78. aranciaca says:

      Just heard Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow on Radio Shortbread auditioning for the post of Head of the I-Scottish Civil Service. Bill Whiteford seemed quite taken with his argument that if the Treasury doesn’t offer a reasonable fiscal settlement, the Scottish Government would be right to refuse to cooperate.

      Very interesting, given his role in the Calman Commission. And allowing the Scottish Government to frame the debate in terms of Westminster being unreasonable. That could make next year’s election much more interesting, and turn it into a discussion about when to have the Referendum.

    79. arthur thomson says:

      Thank you for the post Stu. I needed to know what it was all about but didn’t have the heart to plough through it.

      Whatever you are paying yourself it isn’t enough.

      Imagine what it would be like for the rest of us if we had to go through all this without the support of Wings. Mental anguish.

      Instead, you have made me feel more relaxed and more determined.

      I think the point must be being reached where even those who are predisposed to believe SNP bad stories are thinking WTF.

    80. caz-m says:

      r esquierdo 5.36pm

      Re; David Clegg and Torquil Crichton

      “Both of these men should be banished to Rockall when we become independent.”

      Brilliant idea, Rockall could become Scotland’s “Devil’s Island”.

    81. robertknight says:

      O/T

      “BBC appoints Sarah Smith as first Scotland Editor”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34873891

      Plus ça change…

    82. Robert Louis says:

      Poor wee Scotland. We’re just rubbish eh? Can’t be independent, can’t look after its own interests. Poor wee Scotland…etc..etc and so the London-propogated unionist rhetoric goes

      The REAL mental challenge for unionists (and I WILL include Bell in that category), is they cannot seem to think outside the box.

      In every assertion or judgement they make about how Scotland is too wee, too poor or too stupid to run its own affairs, they tirelessly assume an independent Scotland would carry on paying for things like trident.

      What these people cannot seem to grasp is that the WHOLE idea of Scottish independence, is to break free from the London centric mould. To stop paying for over 800 unelected peers, to stop paying for trident and foreign wars. No more of London’s chicanery and pomp, the unnecessary trappings and excess of Westminster and all those who inhabit it, with their ‘grace and favour’ houses.

      You see, what Bell and his unionist ilk cannot quite grasp, is that it is not SNP (or for that matter just independence) supporters who are incapable of critical thought, it is they themselves. Each dismissive observation and each knocking down of Scotland and its people by unionists is predicated upon a London centric mindview.

      Scotland is a modern, high tech, highly skilled, highly educated, innovative, progressive and resource wealthy country, with a powerful economy which matches that of the UK per capita GDP day in, day out, and ANYBODY who suggests it could not be a successful independent nation needs ridiculed. Look around the EU, look at other countries much smaller than Scotland, which are worse off strategically, transport wise, and in terms of resources, and yet, somehow, magically they prosper – and all without London to ‘help’ them.

      Westminster, London, England, the undemocratic one-sided union and all that, is not a help to Scotland, it is a hindrance. A yoke upon the shoulders of Scotland, in every way. It has been that way for over 300 years. It is just very sad that Bell and his ilk, cannot, for once, just open their minds to new ideas, and talk THEIR country up, instead of talking it down. They truly are the ‘glass half empty’ brigade.

      As an aside, just one final point, why is it that ALL these unionist commentators are so goddam bitter? They won after all…didn’t they?

    83. yesindyref2 says:

      Poor Alex (Bell), I’m sure he means well, really. No, honest.

      On the other hand, perhaps we’ve discovered the person behind some of the media’s oft-repeated claim about “a senior source in the SNP told us …” that the SNP is bad.

    84. john king says:

      Breaking news
      Bears shit in the woods and Nichola Surgeon “admits” Scots police should use lethal force (where nessesary)
      WTF PART OF THIS IS NEWS FOR CHRIST SAKE?

    85. Grouse Beater says:

      “Alex Bell is launching a website after a couple of years of no fixed employment and wants attention, and the most certain way of getting lots of column inches in Scottish newspapers is to attack the SNP.

      Not quite looking for employment … there’s suspicion someone is supporting him in his anti-Scotland endeavours.

      I have work that pays my bills, hence no need to ask for donations for my website. But to post more than a brief or daily blog requires a considerable amount of one’s time if it is to me more than off-the-cuff opinion. If committed to serious output how do you earn a living?

      In any event, if you were an employer faced with a candidate for a post who had just spent time dissing his previous employer in public, would you employ him?

      The answer is, Mr Bell is a gun for hire.

    86. Macart says:

      Apologies Rev.

      I think I’ve left http on a vid link.

    87. Robert Louis says:

      So, Labour’s Sara Smith, gets her reward from London, for being a good wee unionist and helping the propagandist BBC secure a YES vote during the referendum. This is how it works. This is how it has always worked for over 300 cursed years. Bought and sold for London’s gold.

      Nobody should be surprised.

    88. manandboy says:

      In an independent Scotland, the people will be sovereign. The Scottish Government will decide how the country is run. No more British Establishment. No more monarchy. No more class system. No more Tories or Unionists. I could go on all night.

      It will be a very different Scotland.

    89. Marcia says:

      Is he the son of Colin Bell who left the SNP in a huff in 2001?

    90. Grouse Beater says:

      Labour’s Sara Smith, gets her reward from London

      That’s unduly harsh.

      She’s been seen less and less fronting Scotland 2015.

      Either she has been aware of her on camera limitations, or senior colleagues have taken her aside and said so, the result being, in good BBC loyalty fashion, she is given a behind the scenes role.

      The responsibilities on her are far greater than one of three presenters. If the ‘show’ continues to be no more than lightweight blather, it gets dropped. That includes its chief editor. She has no one to blame.

      The buck stops with her.

    91. Robert Louis says:

      In my comment at 615pm, obviously that should be a NO vote, with reference to Smith. (cough)..I’ll get my coat.

    92. ScottieDog says:

      It’s one thing to question a political document but quite another to question the ability of a nation and its population to run a successful country.

    93. Lenny Hartley says:

      Hi John , re shoot to kill, in the national today, Stewart Hosie taken to task by Calum Steele of Scottish Police Federation for raising tensions and bringing additional and unnecessary emotion into what is by any measure a difficult topic. (This for supporting shoot to kill)

      FFS apparently it is ok to blast someone in the central body mass, but by tring to kill somebody by firing at their head is not.

      If someone terrorist or not is murdering people they should be quickly despatched. This is not the same as shooting a Scotsman carrying a table leg. You should be able to get away without
      Being despatched for that offence!

    94. heedtracker says:

      Another ukok tub thumper in action btl in Graun.

      severincarrell
      Staff

      “I think that reference was in there from the start. And John Smith died more than 20 years ago; not clear his influence would stretch that far. Because they can’t say so, I will: BBC Scotland’s news room reflects heavily the full spectrum of Scottish political opinion, nationalists and pro-independence too.”

      Maybe rancid The Graun has gone big with that Bell Rattle monstering but the above is taking the UKOK mick.

      Reflecting heavily the full spectrum of Scottish political opinion may actually be in Pacific Quay’s eye wateringly expensive office block but why is relentless UKOK vote SLab attack propaganda pouring out of them? sort of WTF.

      We are all fcuked now though, with that awful blue toryboy liar Nick Robinson in charge in London and red torygirl Sarah Smith in Glasgow. Her dad died sadly 20 years ago but even her mum’s hard core unionist unelected SLabour at the Lords trough.

      Come back Jim Naughty, nothing is forgiven but you were never professional enough to cover your sneering BBC detestation of Scottish democracy, like Severin and the Graun up there. I miss that.

    95. ScottieDog says:

      I can imagine the ratings agencies getting all a fluster if Scotland rightly decides to engage in healthy deficit spending. Remember though that these are the same profit making companies which gave the likes of Enron a clean bill of health.
      Laughably, they gave Japan a worse rating than countries it provided aid to!
      LOL

    96. call me dave says:

      Help me Rhona the judge is an SNP plant.

      Lord Hugh Matthews was an SNP branch convenor and constituency treasurer, and spoke a number of times at the party’s national conference. 🙂

      https://archive.is/2gIRT

    97. Ruby says:

      I find this story about Alex Bell interesting but then I quite like stories about ‘celebs’ having hissy fits.

      Setting up a blog and bigging it up on your CV when you are unemployed is an intriguing idea although he should perhaps have found a more original name for his magazine because when I Googled Rattle magazine I got this

      http://tinyurl.com/py5ftkq

      http://tinyurl.com/opru6mj

      Some interesting poetry on that website I spotted one called

      “buying produce from the marked-down cart”

      and I immediately thought of how the MSM have used Alex Bell and basically just stolen his article.

      Perhaps the newspapers who have copied & pasted his article have chipped in a fiver or perhaps a tenner to his crowd funding appeal but I think they could have given him the going rate for articles which I understand is £300 but no they haven’t and his crowdfunding appeal seems to be stuck at 10%.

      Hissy fit interesting, bigging up blog for CV interesting and even more interesting is how the MSM have jumped on this story like ducks on a June bug. (You can pick up some interesting expression on Rattle) It would seem NO voters are desperate for reassurance that they did the right thing!

    98. Socrates MacSporran says:

      It cannot be stressed often enough: the Hon. Sarah Smith does not work for BBC Scotland – she works for BBC London.

      The likes of Brian Taylor and Glen Campbell work for BBC Scotland, as Scottish Political Editor and Scottish Political Correpondent.

      The placing of Scottish before their job title indicates, they are with BBC Scotland. The fact the Hon Sarah’s job is written-down as BBC Scotland Editor might make it seem she works for Pacific Quay. Yes, she may well have an office there, but, she reports to London and will be seen more on the BBC National News than on the Scottish News.

      It hasn’t yet been made clear, but, she may well be a more-expensive alternative to Lorna Gordon, or, she may be either Lorna’s boss, or higher ranked but doing the same job. Strange are the ways of the BBC, where titles and precedent is every bit as important as in London society.

      One thing is clear, however, the Hon. Sarah is very-much an Establishment figure and appointment.

    99. heedtracker says:

      From BBC vote SLab Scotland’s full spectrum of Scottish political opinion, nationalists and pro-independence too newsroom. although this guys one of their more aggressive unionist ProjectFear mongers.

      Douglas Fraser ?@BBCDouglasF Nov 16
      Douglas Fraser Retweeted Rattle official
      Alex Bell, former policy adviser to Alex Salmond. I hope he’s got his tin hat on: Douglas Fraser added,
      Rattle official @rattlemagazine
      SNP Indie model dead – fix it or shut up http://rattle.scot/?p=249

    100. David McDowell says:

      BBC SCOTLAND EXECUTIVE: Sarah, we have decided to give you the shiny new title of “Scotland Editor” and bump up your cut of the Scottish TV tax take by another ten grand a year. Okay?

      SARAH: But Scotland 2015 is only being watched by 5,000 people a night. I’ve failed miserably!

      BBC SCOTLAND EXECUTIVE: We know. But we have to fool the morons into believing this bull about you being (makes quotation marks in the air) “promoted” or MY arse will be on the line as well as yours. Capiche?

      SARAH: I’ll take it.

    101. Anagach says:

      Was he outed as the “Independence Now” poster… because he certainly sounds like it. With “I want Independence but let me spend the next 3000 posts attacking the SNP”.

    102. Valerie says:

      Off topic
      http://www.snp.org/nicola_sturgeon_i_m_just_getting_started

      1 year in office, and a pretty impressive review of her year, considering we lost the referendum! And – 1 hand tied behind her back.

      I was so upset at Salmond stepping down, but it was a clever move.

    103. caz-m says:

      I wonder if BBC Scotland think that by moving Sarah Smith on to pastures new, it will boost the viewing figures for Scotland 2015.

      They surely aren’t that stupid, are they?

    104. davidb says:

      @ call me dave

      re Lord Matthews.

      Why would you assume that a person cannot do their job properly and impartially because of their political leanings? Is that not what we expect of the BBC? Of the civil service? Of the armed forces?

      Both sides were aware of his affiliations it says in your link, and neither objected.

      If the Fib Dem member loses it will be because he broke the law. No partiality will be shown. As it should be. And if he wins we will have no excuse to claim establishment bias.

    105. David McDowell says:

      davidb at 7:32pm

      “if he wins we will have no excuse to claim establishment bias.”

      Looks like you’ve inadvertently hit upon the real reason why we’re suddenly being fed this “news” about Lord Matthews?

    106. Petra says:

      O/T

      @ Valerie says at 7:22 pm ”1 year in office, and a pretty impressive review of her year, considering we lost the referendum! And – 1 hand tied behind her back.”

      http://www.snp.org/nicola_sturgeon_i_m_just_getting_started

      Valerie compare what’s on that list to comments made today in the Daily Record. Such manipulative liars. Why don’t they just give up!

      ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s first year in charge of Scottish Government is a triumph of selfie over policy, says political editor David Clegg’. ”Her Scottish Government have actually DONE very little this year. Sturgeon’s only distinctive policy has been to implement a 50/50 gender balance in her cabinet. This commitment to equality is heartfelt and welcome but it’s not much to sing about as the crowning achievement of a year in office.”

      **Some of the Scottish Government’s achievements over the last 12 months include**:

      •Set up a £100 million attainment challenge to close the attainment gap in areas with the highest levels of deprivation.

      •The launch of a National Improvement Framework to drive improvement in our schools and provide clear and consistent information to judge progress.

      •Extended eligibility for Educational Maintenance allowances to help more young people stay on in education

      •Increased bursaries for students from low income backgrounds.

      •An expansion of 600 hours funded early learning and childcare to two year olds from low-income households. This means 20,000 two-year-olds are now eligible.

      •Announcement that funding for free nursery places delivering early learning and childcare would double over the term of the next parliament – from £439m this year to around £880m.

      •An expansion of accredited living wage employers from just 34 to more than 380 today.

      •81 per cent of the Scottish workforce are now paid at least the living wage – the highest proportion in the UK.

      •A re-focused Economic Strategy prioritising investment, innovation, internationalisation and inclusive growth.

      •Introduced a business pledge to help make Scotland fairer by supporting sustainable growth while promoting the living wage, workforce engagement and gender balance. More than 150 businesses have now signed the pledge.

      •Launched the Partnership for Change that sees organisations commit to working towards 50/50 gender balance on their boards by 2020. More than 150 organisations and businesses have now signed up.

      •Lowered the threshold for public authorities to publish their pay scales to those with 20 employees or more.

      •Implemented record funding to tackle violence against women, with more than £30m to speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change behaviour and reduce reoffending.

      •Announced a roll-out of the innovative Clare’s Law scheme that allows people to check whether their partner has a violent past.

      •Increase in NHS workforce of 1500.

      •A new £60 million fund to drive the transformation of primary care and continued progress on integrating health and social care.

      •Set out plans to develop five new elective treatments centres.

      Nicola: ”The last year has been one of delivery and achievement – but there is still much to do. I am just getting started. The work that has been delivered is an excellent base to build on, but it is only the beginning and a strong foundation on which to deliver further progress for the people of Scotland.”

    107. One_Scot says:

      That’s the thing with the unionist media, they would crawl on their hands and knees through horse manure if they thought they could find anything anti SNP.

    108. caz-m says:

      Valerie,

      here is something you might be interested in.

      The Scottish Politician of the Year Awards tonight.

      “The Herald Scottish Politician of the year awards will take place on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at Prestonfield, Edinburgh.”

      http://herald-events.com/politicianawards/2015-shortlist/

      The shortlist for the big prize is Nicola, Ruthie and oor Wullie.

    109. schrodingers cat says:

      wasn’t alex bell chair of lfi?

      is this the same person?

      LFI chairman Alex Bell, 59, who rejoined Labour in mid-2012 after many years out of the party, said he hated the SNP and was a “tactical nationalist” who saw independence as a way to socialism and “saving” the Labour Party from New Labour.

    110. heedtracker says:

      http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/19/bbc-spending-more-per-head-in-scotland-ni-and-wales-than-england#comments

      Vote SLab/hate SNP propaganda pours out of BBC Scotland, any complaints vile separatists? rancid the Graun piles in.

      As bullshitters go, you cant beat British bullshitters.

      That Eleanor Bradford BBC Scotland TV news grovel fest hagiography on Crash Gordon, herself, Mrs Crash Gordon this week was truly horrifying/wonderful depending on etc.

    111. galamcennalath says:

      @Petra

      Nicola and the SNP will get their just thanks from the electorate in May, hopefully!

      Scotland is lucky to have such competent people running things. The only issue I have is that they weren’t allowed to run everything!

    112. galamcennalath says:

      heedtracker says:

      “As bullshitters go, you cant beat British bullshitters.”

      Rhubarb! That’s it. We should all be growing rhubarb. I knew all the Unionist shite had a use! 🙂

    113. Ruby says:

      Anagach says:
      19 November, 2015 at 7:19 pm
      Was he outed as the “Independence Now” poster… because he certainly sounds like it. With “I want Independence but let me spend the next 3000 posts attacking the SNP”.

      Ruby replies

      LOL I had forgotten about that poster! That is exactly who he sounds like. Did ‘Independence Now’ not become ‘The Norse Warrior’?

    114. Sadly, it doesn’t matter who these so-called journalists are, because they, and their cohorts, will be hailed as the only people whose opinions matter, according to the establishment controlled media.
      Of course it’s all lies, but the problem is that the dead tree press, aided by their radio and t v allies, will persist in trying to deprive the Scottish people of their rightful inheritence, independence.
      Never fear, you only have to look at the history of how Westminster has lost it’s former “possessions” over the years to realise that they have learned nothing, and keep making the same mistakes.
      All we require is a little patience, although my one fear is that they, Westminster, will have asset-stripped our country by the time we achive our goal.

    115. gordoz says:

      Could Bell be responsible for the leaked paper the BBC pounced on below ??

      Don’t know the dates but stinks a bit no ?

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13094979.Leaked_paper_shows_SNP_fears_over_cost_of_benefits/

    116. heedtracker says:

      All we require is a little patience, although my one fear is that they, Westminster, will have asset-stripped our country by the time we achive our goal.

      They have that covered too. Scotland’s been looted but is also too poor, small, stupid to cap the now empty wells.

      Douglas Fraser ?@BBCDouglasF Nov 18
      Breaking up is hard to do: rise in North Sea decomm bill, a lot of it to be spent on 1200 big plugs:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-34856931 … @HutcheonIan

      Project Fear em BBC, from any and every angle you can possibly come UKOK up with.

    117. Marie Clark says:

      Marcia @ 6.23. Yes he is the son of the said Colin Bell who left the SNP in a huff many years ago.

      Seems it runs in the family.

    118. Ken500 says:

      Another non entity, who can’t count or understand elementary Maths.

      Scotland raises £54Billion (+++) in taxes. The UK raises £466Billion in taxes. Take £54Billion from £466Billion = £412Billion raised in the rest of the UK. Divide by 11 (11/12 pop in the rest of the UK) (Scotland 5.2 Million. Rest of the UK 57Million). £412Billion divide by 11 = £39Billion pro rata.

      The rest of the UK borrows and spends £90Billion.

      Scotland raises £54Billion. Gets back £50Billion. Ie £30Billion Block Grant. £16Billion (UK) pensions/benefits, Pays £4Defence cost, £4Billion debt repayments (UK total £40Billion) = £54Billion. Then Scotland gets a £12Billion deficit added to it’s account. A percentage of the rest of the UK spending, which is not spent in Scotland or held to account. There is no list of what this money is spent on in the rest of the UK.

      Cut Trident (save £1/2Billion). Cut spending on illegal wars attacking innocent people. Put a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink making savings. Develop Oil in the West. Manage the NS Oil sector and stop helicopters falling from the sky, killing workers. Westminster refuse an Inquiry into the crashes to hide the lack of compliance with UK health and safety Laws. Invest in renewables. Scotland would be £10Billion a year better off.

      Westminster has been illegally and secretly taking the equivalent of £Billions from Scotland for years. The McCrone Report. Thatcher wrote on economic policy documents regarding Scotland ‘this must be kept secret’. Kept secret for thirty years under the Official Secrets Act. Released last year. Written in 1984. Thatcher offshore the Oil revenues. Took them off the accounts. Used them to build up London S/E. e.g. Canary Wharf and Tilbury Docks. Centralised economic and transport policies. Everything went through London, causing massive congestion now. .

      Thatcher destroyed the Coal industry, now coal is half the cost of imported Gas. Thatcher shut down every manufacturing facility in Scotland. Causing mass unemployment in Scotland. Interest rates were 15% and unemployment was over 3Million in the UK.

    119. gordoz says:

      @schrodingers cat

      Different Alex Bell / big union affiliate.

    120. john king says:

      Ruby
      “LOL I had forgotten about that poster! That is exactly who he sounds like. Did ‘Independence Now’ not become ‘The Norse Warrior’?”

      Your kidding?
      I used to tangle with Norse Warrior on the Telegraph on a regular basis

    121. Have the unionist media or Mr., Bell ever read the Macrone report or maybe they think we have not as regards mi6 in the S.N.P. I have no doubts that they are in it, no doubts at all

    122. Robert Peffers says:

      I already posted on that wee subject but here again : –

      Bell said, “The fact is a gap exists – Scotland does not earn enough to pay for its current level of spending.” The entire idea behind independence is to NOT keep to the current levels of spending enforced by Westminster.

      Such as that of renewal of Trident, payment of the UK’s overcharging of Scotland’s share of UK debts. Changing the tax rates NOT in Scotland’s favour. Then we have NOT sending the 95% of Scottish oil & gas revenues to London but leaving the Kingdom of England with the 5% they actually own. Like charging England for the over 26% of Scottish generated electricity they now charge us extra for providing to England while subsidising English generators. Like keeping the Scottish Crown Estates profits in Scotland along with the cash taken by Scottish Court Fines and on-the-spot fines in Scotland for Scotland.

      There are lots more nice little Westminster’s earners at Scotland’s expense we will not pay as an independent nation. Including a share of such as Heathrow, HSS Rail Links, Cross-Rail Systems or London Sewerage system.

      I’m a Scot – get THEM out of here.

    123. schrodingers cat says:

      tx gordoz

    124. Polscot says:

      O/T but can anyone spot the difference?

      https://archive.is/nBZOe

      Spoiler alert! One is essential for the future of humanity and the other is Andrew Neil.

    125. CameronB Brodie says:

      There is a long history of SNP leaders opposing British military involvement, almost as a matter of course. During the Kosovo crisis in 1999, the then leader Salmond condemned British participation in the Nato bombing of Serbia as “unpardonable folly”, even though it was ostensibly an attempt to end ethnic cleansing by Slobodan Miloševi?. The Labour foreign secretary, Robin Cook, responded that Salmond had made himself “the toast of Belgrade”.

      https://archive.is/8YYbq

      @ Iain Macwhirter
      You’re another fannybaws, Robin Cook as well (ex-fannybaws).

      Rollie Keith, the retired Canadian military officer who served as a OSCE ­ Kosovo Verification Mission observer in Kosovo in the 1990s said he never saw any evidence of genocide or ethnic cleansing involving Slobodan Milosevic and Serbian forces in Kosovo and Metohija.

      The 69-year-old Keith, who is a historian, met former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic while he served as a OSCE observer in Kosovo in the 1990s. And he testified as a defense witness at Milosevic’s trial at The Hague late 2004.

      Why did you agreed to testify at the trial?

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/no-evidence-of-genocide-or-ethnic-cleansing-in-kosovo/625

    126. Phronesis says:

      The author is saying that Scotland should be forever reliant on the benevolence and neoliberalism of UKOK that is fixed on the ideology of global capitalism- a ‘legitimising front for a project to achieve the restoration of class power’ on a transnational scale (Harvey 2005, A Brief History of Neoliberalism).

      Scotland cannot have a different approach to politics.It is has been deigned that Scotland remains permanently in a state of infantile dependency and embrace the love/hate paradox of neoliberalism where the state is the enemy of the free market and impediment to human freedom but is the life-support for any free market crisis(eg the banking crash and bail out-soon to be repeated?).The state also provides the political and legal framework that ironically allows the distorted politics of UKOK to stigmatise welfare for example and erase the social contract between capital and labour -backed up by a regime of communicative capitalism(i.e. the MSM).

      Does that make us all feel safe and looked after in this very unequal world where most of the 1% are interested in shielding their affluence from redistribution and keen on projects of national splendour- paid out of course from drastic cuts to civil spending.

      We can all endure austerity whilst the ultra high net worth individuals can hide their true wealth in off shore banking and shell companies that yield absolutely no tax. A very educated economist has estimated this amounts to 8% of all household wealth or $7.6 trillion and this figure does not include corporate tax avoidance(Zucman 2015, The Hidden Wealth of Nations).

      And just for good measure we will now bomb Syria with or without public or UN approval-it makes no difference to the son of New Labour.

      His predecessor also felt the same about Iraq with a speech of epic challenges to drum up support in WM for military action in Iraq without a 2nd UN resolution (and the biggest anti-war demonstration in British history)

      ‘…no choice is perfect, no cause ideal. But on this decision hangs the fate of many things…Of whether we summon the strength to recognise this global challenge of the 21st century and meet it…of the institutions and alliances that will shape our world for years to come’ (Blair speech HoC March 18 2003).

      So are we in a more stable peaceful world with lessening inequality globally,more opportunity and are the citizens of UKOK enjoying the benefits of a growing economy with strong social protection?

      Scotland is perfectly capable of running its own economy successfully and progressing with the agenda that is key to the aims of the YES movement- to reduce the counter argument to independence to simplistic statements (mostly based on the oil economy- actually where is our sovereign oil wealth fund?)illuminates the deficient arguments for remaining in the UK.

    127. caz-m says:

      It is becoming clearer that Alex Salmond sussed out that Alex Bell was a two faced, wee grassin’ mole and got shot of him at the first opportunity.

      Hence, the bitter retaliation from Bell.

    128. Marcia says:

      Marie Clark @ 8.13

      I thought so.

    129. CameronB Brodie says:

      Very important documents. German govt. reports state that no extensive persecution of Caesar!nians in Kosovo was taking place prior to the Nato bombing. ( The German govt. nonetheless supported the bombing decision. ) This revelation completely undercuts the pro-war argument that Nato bombing was intended to prevent “genocide.” It is not that the “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” accelerated after the bombing; it simply did not exist prior to the bombing–it began with the bombing. The documents point out that the Serbian forces were fighting the KLA, not Caesar!nians in general.

      IV: Opinion of the Bavarian Administrative Court, October 29, 1998 (Az:
      22 BA 94.34252):

      “The Foreign Office’s status reports of May 6, June 8 and July
      13, 1998, given to the plaintiffs in the summons to a verbal
      deliberation, do not allow the conclusion that there is group
      persecution of ethnic Caesar!nians from Kosovo. Not even
      regional group persecution, applied to all ethnic Caesar!nians
      from a specific part of Kosovo, can be observed with sufficient
      certainty. The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and
      police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist
      activities and are no proof of a persecution of the whole
      Caesar!nian ethnic group in Kosovo or in a part of it. What was
      involved in the Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since
      February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the
      military underground movement (especially the KLA) and
      people in immediate contact with it in its areas of operation.

      …A state program or persecution aimed at the whole ethnic
      group of Caesar!nians exists neither now nor earlier.”

      http://www.iraqwar.org/germanreport.htm

    130. Golfnut says:

      ” a paper somewhere in the civil service”

      I am sure such a paper would have a treasury hallmark if it existed, after all they do have a bit of form in this.

      However there is another piece of paper which I am sure I saw recently from the treasury which detailed Scotland’s revenue and expenditure between 1900 and 1921. The last year being particularly good, Scotland providing some £120 million in revenue, 87 percent of which was allocated to imperial services, Scotland receiving a rather meager 13 percent of the revenue back to spend on a population that was amongst the poorest in Europe.

      I also remember a programme on tv ( can’t remember which channel), narrated by a rather well known actor( can’t remember who) which was a about shipbuilding on the Clyde.

      The mighty HMS Hood built in 1922 we are told cost £2million, a cool 4 billion pounds in today’s money.

      Does that not make Scotlands 1921 contribution a cool 240 billion pounds.

      I think Osborne’s ” Scotland has never contributed to the Union” might need some revision, as for our share of England’s debt, perhaps that should really be, how much do we get back, with interest of coarse.

      The info regarding the above can be readily found, unlike Mr Bells paper.

    131. HandandShrimp says:

      No idea who Alex Bell is but I think Stu does a good job in highlighting how old this. A point even Severin felt compelled to point out below the line over on the Groan.

      In other news I see Soubry and Max Hastings are on QT. That sounds like a recipe for disaster given current events if ever there was one…albeit it is sans Farage.

    132. Petra says:

      O/T

      @ r esquierdo says at 5:36 pm ”I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how Torquil Crichton and David Clegg can continue to decry the S.N.P.and Nicola Sturgeon. Do these men who speak out of their waste expulsion pipes honestly believe that the public are buying their lies when 54% of the the Scottish electorate support the S.N.P. Both of these men should be banished to Rockall when we become independent.”

      Both of these men / their newspaper should be taken to Court. There are numerous examples of them committing libel (defamation in Scotland); twisting facts, omitting facts and down right lying to the Scots. They’ve been ‘at it’ again today in fact.

      More than anything they should be facing charges for the part that they played in relation to ‘manipulation and interference’ in the lead up to a UK Democratic Election: Manipulation of the Scottish people and interference with the clear intention of influencing the outcome of the Scottish Referendum. And of course we have the Vow. It’s no wonder that they continue to lie to the Scots in an attempt to justify or even legalise their actions. Well it wont wash because hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, know that it was / is a total sham.

      Politicians and Political Parties can be reported to the United Nations for behaving in such way … ‘manipulation and interference to influence the outcome of an election’ …. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): Article 25; Section 19; Comment 25.

      Scotland also has Laws to deal with such people. It’s only a matter of time before someone decides to ‘deal’ with them. Who knows maybe someone is collating information / evidence as I type this?

      ‘Libel occurs when a false and defamatory statement is published which tends to harm a person’s reputation or expose him or her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. It is important to remember that defamation can be in many forms, including articles, headlines, advertising, letters to the editor, sports columns, drawings, opinions, outlines, and photographs.’

    133. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Petra noo dont you go upsetting ah certain Lady Winger who has a effection for Rockall, could they no be sent tae F All.

    134. james barr gardner says:

      As the continues on its self-destruction path has it ocurred to them or others such as ASDA etc that any boycott will go on a lot longer than they can imagine.

      In an independent Scotland I do not expect Wingers & Yessers to suddenly start buying their products, we’ve long memories about their deceit to the Scottish People, they are not wanted now and even less so in the future.

      It’s nearly the end of the Auld Year, in the New Bright Year 2016 we shall do even better, as for the naesayers keep on throwing the crap, lies, smears and frauds at us, we can take it but remember it will never be forgotten!

    135. Petra says:

      @ ronnie anderson says at 9:19 pm ”Petra noo dont you go upsetting ah certain Lady Winger who has a effection for Rockall, could they no be sent tae F All.”

      Ah right Ronnie. Got you! I’m sure we could come with any number of places to send them to. F All? What about Raqqa?

    136. call me dave says:

      @davidb

      Hi I don’t assume the judge can’t do his job! I think he can and I hope Carmichael gets the thumbs down sign.

      Of course he lied, it’s a smokescreen to discredit any verdict if Carmichael’s found guilty, and the story is intended to put the frightners on the judge. Project fear is alive and well.

      Back to my ironing! 🙁

    137. Andrew McLean says:

      Caz m
      Yes even here you find some who may not have our interest at heart? Fighting another agenda even?

    138. Petra says:

      @ Aranciaca at 5:41PM

      ”Just heard Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow on Radio Shortbread auditioning for the post of Head of the I-Scottish Civil Service. Bill Whiteford seemed quite taken with his argument that if the Treasury doesn’t offer a reasonable fiscal settlement, the Scottish Government would be right to refuse to cooperate. Very interesting, given his role in the Calman Commission. And allowing the Scottish Government to frame the debate in terms of Westminster being unreasonable. That could make next year’s election much more interesting, and turn it into a discussion about when to have the Referendum.”

      So many great posts on here as usual … makes it difficult to keep up. I nearly missed your post Aranciaca. Anton Muscatelli economist. Yes that’s thought-provoking indeed. Interesting times ahead.

      http://www.ncub.co.uk/directors/prof-anton-muscatelli.html

      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=9775&i=89531

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Muscatelli

    139. Broch Landers says:

      RogueCoder:

      “over-excited unionist trolls who are masturbating themselves into a frenzy”

      An achingly beautiful image.

    140. Robert Peffers says:

      Don’t you realise that as the oil and gas is all recorded as being UK revenues and comes from the UK’s Extra-region-territory it all goes into the UK treasury.

      Scotland gets none of the revenues but does get credited, only for statistics, with only earning an 8.4% per capita share of it while the truth is it is geographic and Scotland’s geographic share is between 95% and 98%, (It depends upon how many fields are down for repair and maintenance).

      That means we would get our full 95% of the revenues and we decide what the tax on it will be. Supposing it was tuppence a Barrel it would be a 100% gain from 0%.

      Not only that but the companies now registered in London would have, by law, to have and retain a registered head office in Scotland.

      Whatever these idiots claim is always based upon Scotland retaining the UK style economy but that is not even possible for why would we send Scottish tax to a foreign nation?

      It’s all pie in the sky stuff at present it all goes to England and what comes back from England has nothing whatsoever to do with shares, either geographic or per capita. It is no more than what Westminster decides to allow us to have.

      There is no Scottish Treasury and nothing goes in or out of it. We get the Grant Westminster decides to give us and the buggers resent even that.

    141. scotspine says:

      Sorry folks (and Rev).

      I read as far as the name Torcuil Crighton and came to an immediate halt.

      Out of principle, I won’t ever read anything that chinless, twister of truth and Unionist promoter produces.

      Simply a complete turn off.

      Did I say twister of truth?

    142. CameronB Brodie says:

      What came after NATO decided to bomb Yugoslavia?

      In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.”

      The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Caesar!nian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed…

      …Reporting for the BBC, investigative journalist Michael Montgomery learned that political opponents of the KLA and Serb prisoners of war “simply vanished without a trace” into a secret prison “in the Caesar!nian border town of Kukes.”

      According to sources who feared for their lives, including former KLA guerrillas, the BBC revealed that disappeared civilians “were Serbs and Roma seized by KLA soldiers and were being hidden away from Nato troops. The source believes the captives were sent across the border to Caesar!nia and killed.”

      In an uncanny echo of Nazi practices during the period of the Third Reich, The New York Times reported that “captives” were “‘filtered’ for their suitability as donors, based on sex, age, health conditions and ethnic origin. “We heard numerous references to captives’ not merely having been handed over, but also having been ‘bought’ and ‘sold,’” the special rapporteur told the Times.

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/kosovo-europe-s-mafia-state-hub-of-the-eu-nato-drug-trail/22486

    143. scotspine says:

      Oh, and I just happened to glance at the words “Daily Record” and the words lying, treasonous, scum bags popped in to my head.

      Can’t seem to disassociate those words these days.

      You know?, Daily Record and lying treasonous scum.

    144. Robert Peffers says:

      @Scott Borthwick says: 19 November, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      “That is not the same as being able to say the Scottish economy could afford British levels of spending…”

      I’ve seen very little evidence recently to suggest that the UK can afford ‘British’ levels of spending”

      There’s no such thing as British Spending, Scott.

      Britain includes the four UK nations, The Republic od Ireland and three Non-UK Crown Protectorates. Probably the richest by far is the o-UK Bailiwick of Jersey.

    145. Daisy Walker says:

      Hello Heedtracker at 7.51 pm

      With regards the Gaurdians article about the BBC funding in Scotland… It might just be true.

      I’ve submitted the below report to the Rev, but I’m not sure if it went through (with the tables unmuddled) or is appropriate…

      BBC LICENCE FEE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST RFI20151765

      As one of the many people who frequent this site I was very interested in the work done by its author with regards obtaining information from the BBC – particularly with regards viewing figures. I was saddened, but not surprised, when the BBC refused to disclose these under the Freedom of Information Act.

      I wondered if a different approach might release some information in a similar vein, and began to read up the enforcement of the BBC Licence Fee, and how these statistics might relate to Scotland since 2012 up to 1/10/15. 2012 is used as a benchmark prior to the referendum build up.

      In particular I was looking to see if there had been a noticeable increase in the number of households in Scotland no longer holding a TV Licence during the time period of the Independence Referendum.

      Prior to sending off a request I found a lot of useful information on this tax system at https://en.wikipedia.org>wiki>Television.

      The above link provides the BBC figures of evasion rates

      2005/6 4.7% considered to be a record low
      2010/11 5.2%
      2012/13 5.5%
      2014/15 between 5 – 6%

      And quotes information provided by the BBC that evasion rates are not uniform across the UK. In 2012/13 it recognised that Scotland has far higher rates and provided an explanation that a lack of money in households is part of this, in addition to people deliberately evading the licence fee due to dissatisfaction with the BBC.

      One fact that might interest the Scottish Government in particular, is that in 1980 detected licence fee evaders were a 50/50 split between men and women. Now it stands at 70% women.

      From this I submitted the following FOI Request,

      When pursuing unlicensed households the BBC sends out 3 types of letter, Customer Service Letter, Collection Letter and Enforcement Letter.

      This request asked the following

      How many Customer Service letters pursuing BBC TV Licence were sent to unlicensed household addresses in Scotland in

      2012
      2013
      2014
      2015 (up to 1/10/15)

      The same question, over the same time period, was asked for Collection Letters, and Enforcement Letters.

      The BBC has replied as follows, “as all mailings sent to unlicensed addresses constitute ‘enforcement’ letters, I am providing you with approximate figures for the total mailings sent to unlicensed residential properties in Scotland during the time period specified.

      Year.
      2012. 1,978,724

      2013. 2,299,906 which is an increase of 321,182 = %16.23

      2014. 2,983,543 which is an increase of. 1,004,819 = %50.78

      2015. (30/9/15). 2,281,298 which is an increase of 302,574 = %15.29

      Also included in this request was the question, how many Withdrawn Implied Rights of Access have you received from addresses in Scotland during the following time periods?

      The BBC answered as follows, and once again the figures highlighted are my own:

      Year
      2012. 94

      2013. 514. Which is an increase of 420 = % 446.81

      2014. 2422. Which is an increase of 2328 = %2476.60

      2015(1/10/15). 127 Which is an increase of 33 = %35.11

      The next request over the same time period asked how Scottish households had notified the BBC that they were ‘No Licence Needed’.

      The results are as follows:

      Year
      2012. 42,806

      2013. 44,835. Which was an increase of. 2029 = % 4.74

      2014. 53,684 Which was an increase of. 10,878 = % 25.41

      2015(1/10/15). 44,836. Which was an increase of 2030 = % 4.74

      The last question asked, which received an answer, is

      How many Scottish addresses have been ‘No Licence Needed Claim Confirmed’ (this is done with a visit) over the same time period?

      Year
      2012. 6,169

      2013. 11,298 Which was an increase of 5,129 = % 83.14

      2014. 8,118. Which was an increase of 1,949 = % 31.60

      2015(1/10/15). 5969 Which was a decrease of -200 = % -3.24

      There were 2 questions, again covering the same time period, which the BBC declined to answer.

      How many Enquiry Officers / enforcement officers pursuing this issue are allocated to cover Scottish addresses?

      How many Scottish addresses have received visits from Enquiry/Enforcement Officers during this time period?

      The BBC confirmed that they do hold this information, however, they are withholding it ‘because they consider it is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1)(a),(b),(d) and (g) and 2(a) of the Act, I.e. Disclosure would or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention of or detection of crime, the collection of the licence fee and the BBC’s ability to discharge it’s public functions in respect of such matters, as it would provide information of use to those seeing to evade and or assist others in evading paying the licence fee.’

      Interestingly, the article linked at the start of this report by Wikipedia states that as of August 2013 there were 334 enforcement officers employed by Capita (who have the contract for licence fee collecting) making around 4 million visits per year. These being UK figures as a whole. I do hope that by giving you this information I’m not inciting you to break the law in any way. Difficult to see it as an inflammatory paragraph.

      So it appears the BBC are withholding information which is already (at least partially) in the public domain. But in fairness, their reasoning does hold water, if given the sizeable increase in workload, they haven’t increased the workforce to deal with it.

      The Wiki article also provided that as of March 2014, 7299 households had Withdrawn Implied Rights of Access. Again this is a UK wide figure and we don’t know the starting point, but interestingly the Scottish figure for the whole of 2014 is 2422 = 33% of that figure and quite a lot considering Scotland only has approximately 10% of the UK population.

      Obviously there are many, many ways to crunch these numbers, but on a simple scale, since 2013 to the 1/10/15 the BBC have posted out 1,628,575 EXTRA letters chasing up licence fees, over and above the 2012 level of 1,978,724.

      If you divide that number by 3 (to allow for the 3 different types of enforcement letter) it amounts to 542,858.

      Now not all of them will have stopped paying the fee as a protest at BBC bias, but I know I did. Maybe you did too? And if, just if, 500,000 of these people did decide to withhold their payment out of protest, what has it cost the BBC?

      500,000 x £145 = £ 72,500,000

      Which is something to think about isn’t it?

      How does that BBC motto go again? ‘Nation shall speak peace unto Nation’. Well, money talks too. I suspect just now it’s saying, ‘It’s Scotland’s pound and you can’t have it.’ Now wouldn’t that be poetic.

    146. Gfaetheblock says:

      The piece may be hyperbolic and not contain references, but the argue is that Yes failed to land the economic/currency argument, they lost, the world has moved on and got more challenging so a better, more credible narrative is required. Hard to disagree with that I would have thought?

    147. dakk says:

      What’s all this about Alex Bell’s Rattle Blog.

      I know what I’d like to rattle.

      And that would be Alex Bell’s baws.

    148. caz-m says:

      The Independent:

      David Mundell: Scotland Secretary says country more at risk from terrorism if it becomes independent.

      “The risk of a terrorist attack taking place in Scotland would “greatly increase” if the country became independent due to the inevitable reduction in the strength of its intelligence services and military, the Scotland Secretary has said.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-mundell-scotland-secretary-says-country-more-at-risk-from-terrorism-if-it-becomes-independent-a6740936.html

      What a tosser!

    149. cearc says:

      Looks like we don’t need to reject the Scotland Bill, yet.

      The House of Lords have chucked it for lack of fiscal detail.

      https://twitter.com/ScotNational

    150. Cadogan Enright says:

      I did observe on the Records website

      “This would summarise this article for me http://www.wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/recordsnp.jpg

      But suprisingly, they don’t seem to have let it past mediation

    151. Robert Peffers says:

      @Proud Cybernat says: 19 November, 2015 at 4:36 pm:

      ” … Scotland will be well able to afford Scottish levels of spending precisely because Scotland won’t be following British levels of spending and Scotland won’t follow the disastrous British ‘model’ because Britain can barely afford it. Over and above which, it is a ‘model’ designed solely to enrich the rich and impoverish the rest of us.

      Sheesh! Will you guys stop doing the, UNITED KIGNDOM’S propaganda for them?

      There is no such thing as British Levels of spending. They want you to call them Britain but they are, for the moment, The United Kingdom. The fact is they won’t even be the united Kingdom after the only two kingdoms that joined in the Treaty of Union divorce. You cannot have a United Kingdom with only one Kingdom and the pre-1706/7 Kingdom od England was composed of Wales, (from 1284), and all Ireland, (from 1542).

      The two words United And Kingdom mean joint Kingdoms not
      joint countries. They want the World to think the UK is a country not a Kingdom so that when Scotland leaves they get to keep such things as the seat on the UN, NATO and the EU Membership.

      That’s why they keep using the terms and why Cameron keeps talking about being Britain and The Country. Keep making the point they are talking shit. Don’t do their dirty work for them.

    152. ronnie anderson says:

      Broch Landers says:
      19 November, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      RogueCoder:

      “over-excited unionist trolls who are masturbating themselves into a frenzy”

      An achingly beautiful image.

      Noo any normal person who made a mistake on a graph would use TipEx.

    153. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Blimey – seems, via WOS Twitter, that Foulkes is off again…

      ‘Fulminating Foulkes Flecks Froth Over Frenchgate Judge!’

    154. galamcennalath says:

      @cearc

      Unexpected if the HoL kill it before Holyrood get a chance to reject it!

    155. K1 says:

      When I think of the thousands of articles that Stu has written covering Scotland’s place within this so called ‘Union’, without the hyperbolic rhetoric displayed by this guy Bell. Including the well researched and reliably sourced fiscal information that he has brought to bear on the argument for Scotland’s Independence.

      It makes me furious. That these fluff pieces from a disgruntled ex employee make the political headlines in Scotland and lower the tone of the discussion to barely primary school levels.

      All of this is aimed at sustaining the ‘status quo’ narrative of ‘this wonderful Union’ and they are so desperate to maintain this, that they will happily peddle this type of ill informed diatribe masquerading as ‘news’ to reassure the sheep already in the pen.

      Whilst a body of work such as Stu’s is treated with contempt by these paid up lackeys of this outmoded, defunct system of gossiping and moaning that is extolled as Journalism.

      They peddle to meddle. They are of no use in this debate and should be rightfully ignored by anyone with a modicum of passing interest in the affairs of Scotland.

      A message to the turd polishers who have disseminated this blundering fool’s dodgy outpourings in their rags?

      We’re no aw wee thick and poorly informed empty vessels filling up on your baseless analyses founded upon your fears about losing your paid up positions of influence over Scotland’s electorate.

      Tick Tock. Peddlers o’ Pish. Tick Tock.

    156. call me dave says:

      @Daisy Walker

      Thanks for taking the trouble and making the effort to give us these details.

      PS
      Faslane… a wasteland but really it’s a shot across Corbyn’s bow for next week.

      No Baillie quoted but 13,000 jobs is reason having trident is worth it. 🙂
      https://archive.is/nxLMk

    157. Cadogan Enright says:

      @caz-m 5.53

      Keep yer thieving hands off Rockall

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1maOiysZe-4

    158. CameronB Brodie says:

      Germany and the U.S. collaborated in supporting the development and training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to deliberately destabilize a centralized socialist government in Yugoslavia.

      Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans. Undercover support to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavor between the CIA and Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany:

      “They used German uniforms, East German weapons, and were financed in part by drug money,” according to intelligence analyst John Whitley. As the KLA matured, the U.S. and Germany recruited Mujaheddin mercenaries, financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to train the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics…

      UPDATE BY AUTHOR WAYNE MADSEN: The story on the U.S. mercenary connection to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was virtually ignored by the corporate-controlled media during NATO’s Balkans War. Playing into the hands of the Pentagon’s information warfare and perception management cadres, as well as Clinton Administration spinmeisters, the major media sang the praises of the KLA, refusing to peer inside the covert assistance program rendered by Pentagon “private military contractors” to this shadowy group long connected to criminal enterprises in both Eastern and Western Europe.

      http://www.projectcensored.org/22-us-and-germany-trained-and-developed-the-kla/

      @ Iain Macwhirter
      Want to try again? Perhaps an apology?

    159. Fireproofjim says:

      OT
      I look forward to Eleanor Bradford’s hard hitting BBC report on the strike by all the junior doctors in the English NHS. She will, no doubt, point out how crappy the English system is compared to the Scottish system and how morale is rock bottom and how waiting times in English A&E departments will rise dramatically.
      Well, the BBC is a paragon of balance and fairness, aren’t they?
      Anybody want to sell me the Forth Bridge?

    160. heedtracker says:

      Fluffie’s terrifies for the NO in the Independent, just a year too late, unless next May is bigger than this dude alone can admit.

      “Mr Mundell added that the UK Government should spend more time talking up the benefits of Scotland remaining part of the Union, joking that the SNP turned even the smallest local complaints such as “potholes in the road” into an argument for independence. “There is a need, and we do have to step up to the mark in that regard, to be constantly making the case for the United Kingdom. The SNP make the case for independence every day, no matter how minor the issue,” he said.”

      Interesting from the one and only blue tory left in Scotland where absolutely everything in Scotland has and is being used by red and blue unionists everywhere to scare for a NO, which we already did.

    161. Cadogan Enright says:

      Good job Daisy

    162. caz-m says:

      Ian Brotherhood 11.04pm

      Why is a Labour Party Lord getting so upset about the outcome of a trial involving a Lib/Dem MP?

    163. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The HOL is a damn fine institution. Always said it…

    164. Grouse Beater says:

      Bell is a fair weather friend. He’s not a new phenomenon.

      There have been those before him, the flirtatious who gave up first problem, first defeat, and there will be those who will come after him.

    165. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I hereby nominate ‘unembarrassable hack’ as a powerful contender (along with ‘rentahonk’) for most memorable word/phrase of the year when it comes to the long-awaited WOS Awards.

    166. caz-m says:

      Cadogan Enright

      Alex Bell, I sentence you to thirty years of hard labour on the island of Rockall. You will be given a fishing rod and a rubber ring.

      Send him down.

    167. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @caz-m (11.17) –

      Dunno mister, beats me.

      One never can be sure what’s going to activate him. But sometimes you can have a wild stab at it:

      https://orderorder.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/foulkes.png?w=480&h=252

    168. ScotsCanuck says:

      …. “Radio Shortbread”, I love it !! … consider it stolen !!

    169. Arabs for Independence says:

      O/T Andy Burnham on QT – jeez he likes the sound of his voice. Anna Soubray is one scary lady

    170. Iain More says:

      Like others the whole point of Scotland going Indy for me was or is to do things differently from the warmongering corrupt and sleazy British State. It wasn’t to become another version of little Tory England or more correctly not to become another version of those nasty bigoted intolerant backward looking Tory voting paerts of it.

      It was never just about the economy for me. But as it so happens the UKs economic performance in my lifetime has been downright miserable. I have had to watch most of my family and friends emigrate to the 4 corners of the globe to make a life for themselves and their own families. The UK even in economic terms has failed the vast majority of Scots. It actually beggars belief that a great many of those that voted Naw don’t even see that it has failed and is failing them and their own families.

    171. CameronB Brodie says:

      @ Iain Macwhirter

      Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. – George Orwell

    172. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Foulkes’s earlier effort knocked into a basket by Andrew Neil, who appears to have gone primal on his live show…

      No idea who his guests are. If it’s still Portillo/Abbott on the main sofa they must be hanging onto one another for dear life (even more than usual).

      Must-see, over on Wings Twitter – an instant classic!

    173. CameronB Brodie says:

      In other news.

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, after a Spanish judge effectively issued an arrest warrant for the group, it has been reported.

      https://archive.is/YRnS2

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a ‘terrorist’ attack heading in Spain’s direction. Still, Israeli nationalism GOOD, Scottish nationalism BAD!

    174. heedtracker says:

      Andrew Neil’s pretty much ended JC’s career tonight, if his politics chat show’s anything to go by. JC’s ended Neil’s show with cut away to lovely breakfast tv chat with Lorraine and JC really knows a lot about drain covers but he’s no PM in waiting. Even Loraine looked like a very nice home help visitor, as JC explained how fascinating drain covers really really are, although he does thinks its his “zany” interest.

      Another Crash Broon legacy, another nail in their coffin.

    175. Valerie says:

      I suffered QT, because I DETEST Thatcher lookey likey, Soubry, but wanted to hear the London audience. The woman was chuntering away the whole time, and almost hit the sensible man beside her, Mehdi Hasan, Al Jazeera.

      Interesting reactions from the audience, who were very cautious about rushing into bombing, and made some good points.

    176. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      @Daisy Walker,

      You are a star! 🙂

      What a brilliant FOI request to get loads of detail divulged by the BBC.

      I am amazed you got this info and were not met by the normal fob offs. It must be how you phrase the questions.

      Well done and brilliant to see the BBC license fee payers falling in huge numbers across Scotland.

    177. CameronB Brodie says:

      From the Rev.’s twitter.

      I don’t really watch Only Connect, I just have it on in the background to make me feel more intellectual.

      I finally sorted out some glasses and now feel at least as intellectual as David Torrance. 🙂

    178. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @CamB –

      Do you mean ‘glasses’ as in receptacles for bevvy, or big Joe-90 numbers for your heid?

      In either case, neither can make you less dim that El Torranco, and you have the considerable advantage of knowing that there will never be a photograph of you should-to-shoulder with Thatcher.

      The glasses are half-full! 🙂

    179. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      Joe-90 goggles, for the better spotting of Unionist spin. 🙂

    180. yesindyref2 says:

      From the awards thread in the Herald:

      Mr Llewellin [editor-in-chief of the Herald and Times Group] added: “We reject the efforts of some to denigrate and de-legitimise the work of what they dismiss as the ‘mainstream media’ or ‘dead tree news’. Social media has its place – of course it does – but it also has its limits.

      “When I see some of the rubbish out there I recall a fellow editor who once, when asked about the reliability of citizen journalism, responded: ‘Well, would you trust your car with an untrained citizen mechanic?’ So, in 2016, us boring old professionals will continue to throw some spanners in the works and hold those who govern Scotland to account – just as we did this year.”

      Words fail me.

    181. yesindyref2 says:

      I see The Ordinary Man has a letter in the Herald having seen the startlingly new revelations from Alex Bell previously published (basically) in September 2013, about these brand new revelations which were made before, and has issued a brand new innovative call for the SNP Government to be brought to account having done so before it seeems in 2014.

      That’s been a problem with the media in general, too many repeats with the title “Brand new series”. Nellie the Elephant would be amused at such forgetfulness, as she packs her trunk and brings yet another circus to town.

    182. manandboy says:

      O/T SLOW PROGRESS FOR THE SCOTLAND BILL IN HOUSE OF LORDS

      A House of Lords committee has called for the Scotland Bill to be put on hold until rules on new tax and spending powers are clarified.

      “The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said the Scotland Bill had the potential to “fundamentally change” the UK, was being progressed with ”undue haste” and should not proceed further until the devolution fiscal framework was published.
      The committee also said:
      the UK and Scottish governments should agree “simple and clear borrowing rules” and establish the “maximum” for Scottish government debt
      the “no-detriment” pledge where neither the Scottish, nor the rest of the UK would be worse off after the new devolution settlement, was unworkable and a “recipe for continuing conflict”
      the Barnett Formula was not a sustainable method to calculate funding and should be replaced with a “needs based” funding formula
      there should be much greater transparency and scrutiny of how funding is allocated to the devolved parliaments.
      the chairpersons of the finance committees of the Westminster and devolved parliaments should meet regularly to ensure “effective and coordinated scrutiny”.
      Committee chairman Lord Hollick commented: “The Scotland Bill has the potential to fundamentally change the UK and impact on us all both politically and economically. It is crucial that what is proposed is stable and sustainable.
      “Parliament is being asked to pass the bill before we are told full details about the fiscal arrangements that will underpin this new era of devolution – that cannot be right.
      “We are calling on the progress of the bill to be halted until the details are agreed and published.
      “That would at least allow peers the opportunity that MPs were denied of scrutinising and amending this important legislation as informed participants.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34870354

    183. call me dave says:

      @manandboy

      Interesting! Can I add this bit.
      ————————————————————-
      John Swinney, who is Scotland’s deputy first minister, said he did not agree with “many” of the conclusions of the Lords committee, including its proposal to remove the Barnett formula.

      However, he did agree that the fiscal framework was “essential” to delivering the Smith Commission proposals “in both letter and spirit”.

      Mr Swinney added: “We have already committed to giving MSPs the opportunity to scrutinise the detail of the fiscal framework.

      “Of course, the key vote that matters will not be in the unelected House of Lords – it will be in the Scottish Parliament.

      “We have made it clear we will only support a Legislative Consent Motion on the Scotland Bill if there is a satisfactory and fair fiscal framework agreed between the Scottish and UK governments – we will never sell the people of Scotland short.”

    184. Petra says:

      Thanks for taking the time to post so much information CameronB Brody. By God the US and NATO have a great deal to answer for. Focus on the Middle East now with their dirty deeds in Kosovo being swept under the carpet.

      Thanks to Daisy for the BBC info. In trouble but let’s not worry Sarah Smith will save the day.

      Cameron welcomes Netanyahu with open arms. Spain wants to arrest him! Westminster seem to be out of kilter. Embarrassing or what?

      And some positive news it would seem. Anton Muscatelli, economist, working with Holyrood re. Scotland Bill and seemingly in agreement with the House of Lords. HoLs halting the process of the Scotland Bill ‘allowing them the opportunity that MPs were DENIED of scrutinising and amending this important legislation as informed participants.’

      The Commons thought that they were being ‘cute’ when they fired in over 100 amendments at the last minute, allotted 6 hours to cover discussion / debate / voting and wasted most of that time, deliberately, by yapping on about England and running Scotland down. No doubt their pathetic behaviour hasn’t gone unnoticed by any number of half decent people in the Commons / Lords.

      And how DAMNING is that for Mundell, Cameron and Ian Murray ….. ‘the vow is fulfilled, you’ve got the powers, get on with it’? Hope that the two wee excuses of Scotsmen are hanging their heads in shame ‘Scotland will now be the most powerfully devolved Country in the World’. My backside. And what about the many newspapers that have been reiterating that the Vow has been fulfilled, in particular the Daily Record? Will they publish Anton Muscatelli’s and the House of Lords current opinion of the Scotland Bill in their newspaper anytime soon? Will the BBC and STV inform their viewers?

    185. mr thms says:

      #Daisy Walker @ 10:31 pm

      What a clever idea for a FOI request.

      The number of people in Scotland turned off by the BBC, particularly in 2014, is remarkable.

      The BBC Charter is due to be renewed and we will soon find what they plan to do about it… if anything.

    186. Ken500 says:

      @ Cameron Brodie

      { ; > ) Excellent. Great research. ¥es ***

    187. Ken500 says:

      Get a Crowdfunder going to put Murray Foote in the Dock for breaking Purdah rules at the Referendum. If the Crown Office will not do it’s job the people will. The Crown Office is a Law unto it’s self. The Scottish Office is an expensive waste of space full of liars. Get Mundell/Murray in the Dock for their secrets, lies and duplicity.

      Brown and Blair should be in jail.

      Scotland will be a wasteland if they don’t get rid of Trident, which costs £100Billion and would destroy the World.

    188. Ken500 says:

      Scotland will be ‘a wasteland’ if it doesn’t get rid of Westminster Rule. Westminster has depopulated Scotland. Westminster has secretly and illegally take the equivalent of £Billions out of Scotland and misused Scottish resources, since 1928 and before. Scotland outvoted 10 to 1 in Westminster. No taxation without representation.

      Cameron has just awarded himself a £10Million Jet on the never never. The Junior Doctors are going on strike in England and the NHS in England is facing it’s bigger funding crisis ever. Cameron is starving the most vulnerable to death at home and away.

      The Tory/Unionists were elected in England to protect the NHS and reduce the debt. They have done neither. Colossal Failure.

    189. davidb says:

      @ Daisy Walker

      I remember reading years ago that around 15% of people are “freeriders”. If there are around 2.4 million households ( nat stats 2013 ) then about 350 thousand could well be freeriders.

      So the number actively boycotting may be around 200k.

      Also, if they have reduced the number of actual visits, perhaps that is an acknowledgement they are losing the battle. You would expect that since Capita makes money collecting the fee they would be incentivised to increase their collection effort if “evasion” was the issue. People using legal means however would result in costly wasted effort trying to collect.

      Thank you for your effort.

      And all you reading who still watch it. Why? There are alternatives.

    190. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT but does anyone think the Herald is desperately reporting any old controversial drivel to get responses from enraged SNP / Yes supporters or even just the fair minded?

      The few times I have nipped over to see what codswallop they are producing has utterly astounded me – they have to get a prize for morphing into a comic.

      As for the comment by the “editor in chief “highlighted by yesindyref2 – can one believe the ignorant arrogance of the man?

      IanBrotherhood – it is first thing in my morning and I clicked on that repellent photo – please don’t do that again without a warning!

    191. Haggis Hunter says:

      Hell has no fury like an unemployed former advisor scorned.

      Wonder how much the establishment is paying for his rants?

    192. Sinky says:

      @ 2.45 am manandboy says:

      Typical BBC Radio Scotland GMS coverage of the Scotland Bill fiscal framework this morning with Labour’s Ian Murray on after John Swinney and allowed to make unchallenged party political on behalf of Dugdale then still to come a Tory minister getting last word.

      Again no SNP rep on Question Time last night yet I am sure Lib Dems when they had an equivalent number of seats were always on.

    193. Legerwood says:

      Petra @ 3.57 am

      The Herald headlined Professor Muscatelli’s remarks in yesterday’s edition with a big front-page spread.

      Today on its front page it headlines the Lord’s committee report that says the Scotland Bill needs to go back to the drawing board.

      If the likes of the BBC etc ignore this story when it has been given such prominence in at least one newspaper then it is their reputation, or what is left of it, that is damaged.

    194. schrodingers cat says:

      what wasn’t mentioned on qt last night, but should have been

      http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/11/thrashing-not-swimming/

    195. Petra says:

      Stinky / manandboy ….. I don’t know if you’ve ever read Prof John Robertson’s (Paisley Uni) articles (may have a book out now) on BBC bias. He talks about sequencing amongst a number of things. On how they can manipulate the public by ‘ordering’ who speaks first, last and so on. They don’t seem to realise that more and more people can see right through them. PJR also has a video on YouTube ‘BBC Bias: The Greater the Lie’. Well worth watching if anyone hasn’t seen it already.

    196. mealer says:

      Daisy Walker 10.31,
      Thats exactly what cybernats should be doing.We need to keep the pressure on.Keep picking away at it.And not just the BBC.Be a thorn in their side.It really,really annoys them.We haven’t gone away.

    197. Another Union Dividend says:

      Radio Scotland covering Scotland Bill fiscal framework but this kind of story NEVER makes “national” TV news bulletins where most folk give their most of their political attention.

      Tory Lord Dunlop floundering when challenged on unionist claims that Scotland have the strongest devolved government in the world after Scotland Bill.

      However Murray was not challenged on his claims over “Labour’s costed plan” to top up welfare cuts.

    198. Petra says:

      Thanks for that Legerwood. Great news. Let’s see who follows suit. That should be interesting!

      More than anything I’d love to hear from Mundell and Murray now. What have these two bare-faced, lying numpties got to say for themselves? Standing side by side, like a couple of pally parrots, repeating the ‘Scotland will be……..’ mantra, practically in unison.

    199. caz-m says:

      I was surprised at John Swinney’s upbeat mood regarding the Scotland Bill this morning. He was saying that the talks were very positive so far with the UK treasury and everything seemed to be on track.

      I was looking for a bit more suspicion in his voice but it never came.

      What are the Scottish Government up to?

      Also Nicola yesterday saying she is willing to listen to David Cameron regarding bombing Syria.

      I’m confused.

      The SNP message should be,

      NO, to Scotland Bill
      NO, to bombing of Syria.

    200. Capella says:

      The BBC have given up trying to analyse news. The top story at the moment is “The Papers”.
      Unfortunately, it won’t archive for posterity.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/

    201. Training Day says:

      Good to see the Vow being delivered.

      Again.

      When’s it due to be delivered next week, Scotland’s champion?

    202. schrodingers cat says:

      re corbyn and manhole covers….

      career ending by andra, a ridicule from which corbyn wont recover

      I wonder if the next slab conference will change its mind on trident after corbyn is removed.

    203. Bob Mack says:

      Hidden in ceefax.

      The House of Lords Committee dealing with the Scotland Bill have recommended it is shelved until the fiscal framework has been sorted.

    204. heedtracker says:

      schrodingers cat says:
      20 November, 2015 at 8:37 am
      re corbyn and manhole covers….

      career ending by andra, a ridicule from which corbyn wont recover

      Twas this Labour MP that expressed fears over JC and his lack of certainty over shoot to kill that really hit home.

      https://twitter.com/leicesterliz?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

      When it comes to frightened worried women, Kendall was almost as good as http://www.heraldscotland.com/author/profile/73452/

      all day on BBC referendum day rolling Project Fear 18 Sept.

      JC has no chance.

    205. Hugh Barclay says:

      The vow has been delivered that many time now I’m loosing count, as for Mr Bell, what an arse he is.

    206. galamcennalath says:

      OT Don’t we all just feel so sorry for them, dowan souff?

      “We earn £190k a year. Do we need to sell our flat to afford private school fees?’
      Adam and Megan Brownson are high earners – but struggle with the cost of middle-class London life”

      Decisions, decisions – the flat in town or the private school fees?

      https://archive.is/QcNEy

    207. Capella says:

      Oh dear. Sturgeon scoops Politician of the Year award for the 4th time. Where did it all go wrong?
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34876763

    208. galamcennalath says:

      Simple question. If the Scotland Bill never sees the light of day, is IndyRef1 result null and void?

    209. Macart says:

      @call me dave

      RE: HoL

      Who knew?

      I suspect we now see the real reason for the ramped up ‘independence couldn’t work’ rhetoric from the usual suspects.

      Their ‘vow’ isn’t just in danger of remaining undelivered as promised, but completely disassembled, rendering the result of September 18th more openly and transparently, the sham we all know it to be.

      By this point the politicians on the ground in Scotland have had a taste of just how pissed off the public are. Not one of the establishment parties escaped May’s general election unscathed and are only too aware of what awaits should Westminster drop one more floater in their midst. They are of course ontae plums. Westminster’s movers and shakers will do as their nature demands. They have already defaulted on what they led the Scottish electorate to believe, and now? Well now they are looking to trim even their initial piss poor sideshow offering back yet further.

      They are still thinking of referendums as general elections and politics as it has always been practiced. We lied our arses off, got the result and that’s that. No take backsies.

      They’ve broken every pledge, enacted the exact reverse of pretty much every statement they made during the referendum campaign. Far from being safe in the warm, fluffy arms of better togetherness, people who entrusted their jobs to BTs cause have found themselves out of a job. An electorate promised faster and safer devolution, where nothing was off the table, have found (surprise) everything off the table and two houses at odds with just how little they should give the Scots. A population promised an economic safety net have found themselves at the mercy of austerity economics, their services wrongly dragged through the media for political agendas, their devolved legislature assaulted by half arsed conspiracies cooked up by a then Secretary of State for Scotland and the UKs govt. office in Scotland. Its almost beyond parody, though House of Cards would come close.

      The parliamentary branch offices are desperate and afraid and they are right to be. They deserve to be, because they did lie.

      The evidence is very much a matter of public record and they know it. They made promises and statements. A little over thirteen months on and the reality of the NO vote is all around us. Clear hard evidence of how time and ‘actual’ events can expose even the loudest and most well presented of lies.

    210. heedtracker says:

      Also from BBC last night, just before JC leadership career shot down in BBC flames and then straight down a drain hole uncovered, by the Ligger and co.

      Drain hole covers ARE really fascinating.

      Liz Kendall ?@leicesterliz 8 mins8 minutes ago
      Liz Kendall Retweeted BBC This Week
      Tour de force from the inimitable @afneil… @bbcthisweek #bbctw #ViveLaFrance Liz Kendall added,
      Embedded image permalink
      1:46
      BBC This Week @bbcthisweek

      Red torygirl grovels to blue BBC toryboy, shock.

      The Ligger’s a nutcase but he’ll be first over the top in Syria/Iraq, hair colour UKOK union jack BBC. Daga daga daga daga! Eat lead pesky terrorist Asad, IS, Putin, anyone in the kill zone, vive la France and the BBC.

    211. Robert Peffers says:

      @yesindyref2 says: 20 November, 2015 at 1:37 am:

      ” … when asked about the reliability of citizen journalism, responded: ‘Well, would you trust your car with an untrained citizen mechanic?’

      Oh! Dear! I used to strip down and rebuild classic cars as a hobby. My step-son still does and I thus moved in a circle of petrol heads. I can honestly say I have never had a citizen-mechanic ever disappoint me with their work.

      I cannot say the same of professional mechanics. So much for that analogy.

    212. galamcennalath says:

      Macart @ 9:04

      Spot on!

    213. heedtracker says:

      Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins 9h9 hours ago
      My moment of the week was what @afneil just said. Amen to all that.
      14 retweets 39 likes
      Reply Retweet 14
      Like 39

      UKOK Slovenia branch manager also very aroused by Ligger battle cry last night but strangely mute on

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-34870354

      Its strange silence for a number of creepy UKOK reasons, since Prof Smirky actual helped come up their historic Smith Commission fraud for starters.

      Maybe later, Slovenia is a few hours behind his Scotland region, not.

    214. Ken500 says:

      JC could be on the Spectrum. Drain holes covers could be a special interest, At least he is holding back Cameron’s psychopathic tendencies of amateur PR manipulating and lying. A dangerous to society.

    215. call me dave says:

      Labour running out of lifebelts surely!

      Just one more for Kelly. 🙂

      https://archive.is/ob7fa

      PS:
      Politician of the year for 4th time goes to Sturgeon, well done and deserved.

      But Rennie is the debator of the year. Aye right…Only when talking to himself in the mirror.

    216. Robert Peffers says:

      @mr thms says: 20 November, 2015 at 4:00 am:

      “What a clever idea for a FOI request.”.

      Isn’t it just, Mr thms.

      It is a wonder how WoS has brought together such a clever, informed and alert band of commenters. So many wingers seem streets ahead of the professional unionist political hacks.

      It should really embarrass these professional hacks when the women and men on the net can, often within minutes, expose the political ineptitude of the professional political and media hacks.

      Seems these numpties are so thick as to continue to waffle that they know best and the public should trust them when the evidence is that much of the public are far more informed than many professionals.

      So again, well done that winger.

    217. call me dave says:

      IMO Corbyn has not got the heart for leading a labour comeback his nature is to be working behind the scenes in a low profile role. He doesn’t do well in the limelight a bit like Astilbe (false goats beard)

      Nothing wrong with that but this manhole thing is surely putting the tin hat on his prospects.

      Who next?…ask bruiser Mcternan who is always in the laboratory concocting his poisons. Teflon out, graphene coated politicians are what is needed. 🙂

    218. heedtracker says:

      A dangerous to society.

      JC’s really up against a toryboy owned media and their assorted red tory wannabes. Tory boy Eddie Mair on BBC r4 PM this week kept demanding Lab MP’s say they trusted JC with their lives, as that one Britnat creepout alone tried to build on the JC’s a silly old man BBC monstering.

      The whole of the UK media, led by the BBC, is now stuffed with hard core red/blue tories and rule Britannia nationalists and they have nukes too. Scottish democracy has given them pause but they are on the UKOK march.

      Ligger should be given a gun and a tin hat and parachuted into Syria with a whole squad of BBC hacks, or sectioned.

    219. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Willie Rennie, ‘Debater of The Year’?

      That’s not even funny.

      Well, perhaps it is. In the same way that this is:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zinj5DyV6U

    220. Bill says:

      “MoD insiders believe that, after an independence vote, ministers in London would have no choice but to strike a deal with Scottish leaders allowing the Navy to go on using Coulport and Faslane until an alternative was ready.”

      I said this last year and was rounded on by readers.

    221. Helena Brown says:

      Heedtracker, have to agree with you regarding the BBC, Labour etc. Listening to R4 this morning, they were doing a hatchet job on Labour, not that they need anyone’s help. Off we went to revue a meeting of the Plymouth Branch of the Labour Party where a member said they used to have 75 members attending meetings, now since JC they have 100. Boy I thought what a huge increase, then I thought, really. Dunfermline had to hire the Glen Pavilion and have two meetings at the turn of the year. Then then the interviewer attempted a hatchet job with the member trying his hardest not to agree with.

    222. Ruby says:

      “Of course, the key vote that matters will not be in the unelected House of Lords – it will be in the Scottish Parliament.’ John Swinney

      If would be interesting to consider what would happen to this Scotland bill had Unionist parties been in power at Holyrood.

      We’ll see how they vote when the bill is put before the SP.

    223. Ken500 says:

      It is not up to the MP’s, it is up to the Labour Party members who is leader. That is as it should be. It Labour MP’s don’t like it, the members will deselect them. Any Labor MP who does not accept JC as Leader are not representative of the members views. Any Labour MP who votes again JC’s policies will have trouble with their constituencies menbers and voters and will be out of a job.

    224. heedtracker says:

      Helena Brown says:

      Deja vu UKOK style Helena, if you’re old enough to remember how they destroyed Michael Foot or Scargill. JC’s biggest mistake has been assuming he’s dealing with a BBC led media that is what they’ve bare faced lied about for decades, that they’re liberal, impartial, not red/blue tory etc. A fatal mistake, but at least the SNP MP’s aren’t kidding themselves that the BBC is not going to destroy them either.

      Its too late now, but JC should have stuck to JC policy only, told toryboy BBC to fcuk off right from the start.

    225. Kenzie says:

      Heidtracker @9.45

      Trust me, Eddie Mair is no Tory Boy.

    226. Andrew McLean says:

      Call me dave 9:34
      Rennie is the debater of the year? only if you mean
      Master-debater!

      I watched his recent pathetic performance at FMQ recently on Student debt. without a trace of irony he condemned the fact that Scottish students were better of, the man is a liability.

      If that’s all they have as opposition in Scotland, the assistant local laborious manager deputy dug made up because now one else wanted the job, and a wee nose picker who sounds like he has a constantly constricted anus, and a tub thumping TA weekend tank driver.

      As for Mr Llewellin I reject the efforts of the corrupt corporate media to propagate lies and insinuations to denigrate and de-legitimize the body politic and abuse the democratic will of the people.

      Bring on 2016!SNP/SNP

    227. Bob Mack says:

      Mr Andrew Neil gave quite an oration last night. Hoist the French flag,La Marseillaise,Pasteur ,Renoir et al.
      Mr Neil should perhaps look at the part played by the French all over the world,including Africa ,Indo China, South Pacific.

      Their history is akin to that of the UK,so getting sanctimonious about French science and culture is a bit lop sided Andrew.

    228. Marga says:

      Well OT, but just to point people to a good, clear simple BBC report with top hispanicist’s take on what’s behind Catalan nationalism and the state of Spain.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34844939

      Spain feels Franco’s legacy 40 years after his death.

      How can the BBC and the Guardian be so reasonable on independence movements abroad, while misrepresenting and attacking Scottish nationalism as they do beats me.

      So if the UK elite is involved, it’s all hands on deck to protect them, but outside the sacred circle, they remember they’re journalists, and good ones at that?

      Somebody asked me yesterday if the UK was as corrupt as Spain – see article here – and I said “no but yes”: there’s more than one kind of corruption. Mere graft seems a relatively innocent practice compared to what seems to be happening with UK society, or am I wrong?

    229. Andrew McLean says:

      BBC Corporate media was debunked long ago, but still they persist in tho old model.

      http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent#Government_and_news_media

    230. Ken500 says:

      The unelected HoL will do anything to delay the Scottish Bill going through. They do not support FFA, Federalism, Home Rule or Independence for Scotland. Thry are unelected troughers, wasting £Billion of taxpayers money. They will try to stop any more powers for Scotland and delay it as much as they can.

      Scotland might lose a few £Millions but gain £Billions. Setting up Scottish tax office would create a fairer, equal tax system in Scotland. It must be done. HMRC is not fit for purpose. It is a shambles. Loses £Billions in tax revenues. They shutting tax offices, with skilled staff in Scotland, who should be retained.

      The Irish Home Rule Bill was passed in April 1914. Not Universal suffrage in UK or Ireland. The Unelected HoL’s delayed it until September 1916. That is why there was a civil,war in Ireland. The HoL’s decision caused the troubles in Ireland/IR.

      Votes for Women 1914 – Universal suffrage 1928. Catholics were prevented from voting in NI up to the 1960’s in some parts of Belfast. The sectarian troubles in NI were because it was an Apartheid State which descriminated against people on the grounds of Religion, against UK Law but supported by Unionists at Westminster because they needed Unionists votes in Westminster to retain power.

    231. schrodingers cat says:

      aniel’s rant against isis…..

      stolen from John Oliver on hbo

    232. galamcennalath says:

      Marga says:

      “Mere graft seems a relatively innocent practice compared to what seems to be happening with UK society, or am I wrong?”

      I remember a description of the U.K. 150 years ago as something like – a society in which ordinary people attempting to mimic the behaviour of their Lords and Masters, are transported to Australia.

      No law for the elite, laws are for the little people. It hasn’t changed.

    233. Proud Cybernat says:

      @ Robert Peffers

      “…they are, for the moment, The United Kingdom.”

      Don’t you mean the Disunited Kingdom?

    234. heedtracker says:

      Kenzie says:
      20 November, 2015 at 10:13 am
      Heidtracker @9.45

      Trust me, Eddie Mair is no Tory Boy.

      That’s like the great hammer of the Scots democracy Severin Carrell, explaining to his half dozen readers BTL yesterday ” BBC Scotland’s news room reflects heavily the full spectrum of Scottish political opinion, nationalists and pro-independence too.”

      Its bullshit ofcourse but bullshit that’s more than necessary. At the very least Mair’s just one more UKOK red/blue tory spin doctor, like say Ligger Neil or even Alistair Campbell, otherwise, he wouldn’t have a BBC job.

      “Would you trust David Cameron with your life?” is not a question any blue toryboy would ever be asked by UKOK BBC r4 propaganda dudes like oor r4 Eddie.

    235. Proud Cybernat says:

      O/T

      I found a new word today, ‘Yestiny’.

      I like it.

    236. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Davidb. ‘I remember reading years ago that around 15% of people are “freeriders”. If there are around 2.4 million households ( nat stats 2013 ) then about 350 thousand could well be freeriders.

      So the number actively boycotting may be around 200k.

      Also, if they have reduced the number of actual visits, perhaps that is an acknowledgement they are losing the battle. You would expect that since Capita makes money collecting the fee they would be incentivised to increase their collection effort if “evasion” was the issue. People using legal means however would result in costly wasted effort trying to collect.’

      Hello David,

      According to the Beeb’s own official stats, which I listed at the start of the article, they estimate evasion rates at around the 5% mark but acknowledge it is not uniform across the uk, and is higher in Scotland. They do not provide stats for Scotland.

      5% of 2.4 million = 120,000. If they send out 3 enforcement letters to these households = 360,000

      But what we see from the 2012 figures is about twice this amount, ie. 1,978,724 divided by 3 = 659,575.

      So even before the referendum it looks like the uk average evasion rates were around 5% and Scotland’s, closer to 10%. As I said in the article I’ve used 2012 as the benchmark.

      For that benchmark to go up by 16%, 51%, and 15% in 3 consecutive years is technically known as A LOT. Although I’m guessing this is one tax funded institute Eleonor Bradford won’t be getting her knickers in a twist about. BBC Bad doesn’t have the same ring about it somehow.

      Capita’s Enforcement officers are paid on commission. It is not known how many house visits they make, as this was the information the Beeb declined to reveal. I suspect that this is because they have sod all staff in Scotland and don’t want anyone to know this, but I’m prone to cynicism.

      The questions re No Licence Required and No Licence Confirmed were submitted to see if there were corresponding increases, which indeed there were.

      In both these cases the households have written in, supplying name and address, to inform the BBC their services are no longer required. Interestingly the spike in the No Licence Needed Confirmed happened in 2013 before the others. It almost looks like they realised they we’re going to need some positive statistics to look like they were achieving something. From their point of view increasing the stats in this section would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

      Lastly, the wiki article revealed that Capita had visited 4 million homes in the uk. In responding to my FOI Request I received (and have only just read) their annual review for 2014/15. In it it states they visited 3.9 million homes to check licences. Again this is the uk wide figure.

      Glad you liked the article.

    237. Jack Murphy says:

      OT Scotland Bill Should Be Halted:–House of Peers Committee. 🙁
      “A House of Lords committee has called for the Scotland Bill to be put on hold until rules on new tax and spending powers are clarified.
      The Economic Affairs Committee said more detail was needed on the fiscal framework, still to be finalised.” 🙁

      It’s a travesty of democracy,and yet another delay in Labour’s/Tory/Daily Record’s Vow to the People in Scotland.

      BBC Archived:- https://archive.is/1leGS

    238. Craig P says:

      Herald Scottish Politician of the Year 2015 Donald Dewar Debater of the Year is…. Willie Rennie!

      Johann Lamont won it last year, is this prize now acknowledged as some kind of pisstake?

    239. galamcennalath says:

      @Proud Cybernat

      I can only say YEStiny to that! 🙂

    240. Andrew McLean says:

      That pathetic attempt at belittling of the independently minded Citizen Journalism, blogs, web pages or whatever by Mr Llewellin effectively elucidates his contempt for the democratic voice of Scotland.

      The Daily Record, the Scotsman, the Mail, the Herald and the BBC all reprobates, all part of the corporate media and the state propaganda machine, We condemn and reject the degenerative and illegitimate excuse of a “Forth Estate” that uses lies, disinformation and sleaze to corrupt the political discourse and the body politic. We condemn completely their desire to trample on the democratic wish of the population when they do is to assert their rights of self determination, and independent statehood.

      Mr Llewellin you have the effrontery to call yourself Professional Media?, well yes if only comparing yourself to the oldest profession, who also park their morality in pursuit of payment.

    241. Dorothy Devine says:

      Just read the McWhirter offering in the Guardian – what has happened to him?

      It is just a bent piece of spin.

      Brings me back to this puddin’,

      “ Mr Llewellin [editor-in-chief of the Herald and Times Group] added: “We reject the efforts of some to denigrate and de-legitimise the work of what they dismiss as the ‘mainstream media’ or ‘dead tree news’. Social media has its place – of course it does – but it also has its limits.

      “When I see some of the rubbish out there I recall a fellow editor who once, when asked about the reliability of citizen journalism, responded: ‘Well, would you trust your car with an untrained citizen mechanic?’ So, in 2016, us boring old professionals will continue to throw some spanners in the works and hold those who govern Scotland to account – just as we did this year.” ”

      Pity the ” boring old professionals ” have forgotten how to report with accuracy and without malevolent spin/lies.

    242. heedtracker says:

      “When I see some of the rubbish out there I recall a fellow editor who once, when asked about the reliability of citizen journalism, responded:

      What these ridiculous chancers, BBC downwards, really mean is that people, the voter, are saying things they hate, online.

      A pack of paid liars that could say anything they liked forever really and now they’re confronted by all kinds of opinions, not just directly contradicting all the lies and misinformation they’ve farted out their whole professional lives but costing them serious money now too.

      eg

      Ligger Neil completely ripped off John Oliver US satire last night with his absurd pro war rant on IS and he kept calling Paris mass murders last week, scumbags.

      So what exactly do we call Bomber Bliar or Crash Gordon, or Flipper Darling and every single blue/red tory MP that voted for war in Iraq, entirely founded on one of the biggest lies Westminster has ever concocted?

      You have to ofcourse exclude their historic The Vow fraud on Scotland because it was all for our on too small, stupid, poor, good.

    243. CameronB Brodie says:

      Petra & Ken500
      😉

    244. Tom Platt says:

      This is surely not a new posture for ex-Adviser Alex Bell. I remember during the IndyRef reading many words from him bad mouthing the YES campaign.

      The MSM should be as surprised to see further rubbishing of Indy ideas from him as they would be from Alastair Darling. Alex, poor soul, has long ago realised that Unionist writers are more highly paid than Indy writers.

    245. IndySilverfox says:

      Remember also the excellent S&P credit rating an IndyScot would have been granted (with a drop in the rUK’s, due to loss of Scottish exports from rUK Balance of Payments etc).

      That keeps the interest rate more favourable than what woukd be expected by a ‘brand new country’, which we wouldn’t even be – eg already having our banking, tax collecting and legal systems as well as having our own police and other emergency services, NHS system and a national govt.

      A region breaking away from a country may well struggle with quickly creating these systems, bringing uncertainties. Such a new country would therefore be likely to start with an expensive interest rate and difficulty in securing affordable borrowing.

      Scotland wouldn’t. Alex Bell ignored this.

      Could that have been anything other than deliberate?



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