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Wings Over Scotland

Don’t say you weren’t warned

Posted on May 09, 2013 by

Extracts from a piece last year on the highly influential Conservative Home:

“Drawn up more than three decades ago by now Lord Barnett the [Barnett] formula distributes taxpayers’ money across the UK. Even Lord Barnett now describes the formula as “unfair”. On both the Left (IPPR) and Right (TaxPayers’ Alliance) there is agreement that the formula is well past its sell-by date. Scotland and Northern Ireland receive a much greater share of UK taxpayers’ money than need in either country would require. The biggest losers are the poorer English regions and Wales.

This seems one of the great no-brainers of British politics. England is losing up to £4.5 billion every year because a Conservative-led government is sending that money to parts of the UK that stubbornly refuse to vote Conservative. So let a [2015] Conservative Prime Minister call for the phased ending of the Barnett formula.”

“Vote No, Get Nothing” is starting to look a little optimistic.

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146 to “Don’t say you weren’t warned”

  1. Malcolm says:

    a Conservative-led government is sending that money to parts of the UK that stubbornly refuse to vote Conservative”
    The nerve of us.

  2. pmcrek says:

    “highly influential Conservative Home”
    lol 10/10

  3. orkers says:

    I expect to see this splashed across the front pages of the Unionist press in Scotland and trumpeted by Pacific Quay.
    Ah well ……….. in a perfect world perhaps I would.

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “lol 10/10”

    It really is, though. In Tory circles, I mean.

  5. pictishbeastie says:

    Vote No, Get F*&%ed, mair like! 

  6. The Man in the Jar says:

    The bit that caught my eye;
    “Scotland and Northern Ireland receive a much greater share of UK taxpayers’ money than need in either country would require. The biggest losers are the poorer English regions and Wales.”
    “Need” or “Require” for what exactly? Require to exist. Need to keep ourselves in poverty while filling their trough?
    Well worth bringing this back to peoples attention. Vote no and get absolutely screwed!

  7. Braco says:

    Rev Stu,
    this really is an excellent site and resource. Thank you so much!

  8. SCED300 says:

    I wonder if any of the Labour Leadership in Scotland have commented on this or has their need to  get back power made then entirely careless of the interests of even their own voters? Actually didn’t need to put the question mark.

  9. Bigheed says:

    This is the issue that I have been putting out there for the last year when speaking to the undecided.
    If we are lucky – austerity with little growth until 2016/17, then if miracles happen and the UK economy starts to sort itself out our grant will then be reduced. WTF!!!!!!!!
    If NO’bodies win next year, I’m out of the country I love as we will then deserve everything we get from the Con/UKIP government and yes we will be a region of London which didn’t die on 1707 but on 2014!!!!! :((((((

  10. uilleambeag says:

    How very dare we?!?

  11. pmcrek says:

    “It really is, though. In Tory circles, I mean.”
    Ahh right, I forgot it was being read by the Tory top brass.

  12. Chic McGregor says:

    Vote No and get Devo minus.
    Vote No and get Trident.
    Vote No and get Nuclear reactors.
    Vote No and lose free care for the elderly, free bus passes.
    Vote No for hyperthermia.
    Vote No for a privatised health service.
    Vote No for electoral reform
    Vote No for even less regulation of lemming capitalism.
    Vote No to be the most despised northern county in Greater England.
    Vote No and lose the Scotland team.
    Vote No and make your kids economic exiles or cannon fodder.
    Vote No and lose your state pension (which is the lowest in Europe by miles).
    Vote No and destroy national self-esteem.
    Vote No for London rule – reasserted with venom.
    Vote No and get international ridicule.

  13. Tattie-boggle says:

    Yes those uppity Jocks get more than they need I mean how much is a bowl of Porridge !
    canny make it up pffffff

  14. Yesitis says:

    Holy Sally Magnusson! That`s heavy stuff. Nice Find, Rev Stu.
    Scary stuff too, Chic McGregor. Scary, but spot on.

  15. Malcolm says:

    After all they’ve done for us too.

  16. Dramfineday says:

    a Conservative-led government is sending that money to parts of the UK that stubbornly refuse to vote Conservative.
    Not so, quite a few of my countrymen and women vote labour – same thing isn’t it?

  17. Jiggsbro says:

    “Scotland and Northern Ireland receive a much greater share of UK taxpayers’ money than need in either country would require”
    Well, that’s clearly nonsense and is contradicted by “parts of the UK that stubbornly refuse to vote Conservative”. Obviously, they need to give us more money to persuade us to vote Conservative. That is how Westminster politics works, isn’t it?

  18. Iain says:

    I hope we get a few more ’eminent’ Labour bloggers reminding us of all the things that a 100 years of Tories are better than.

  19. reginald says:

    testing ,testing

  20. scottish_skier says:

    Apropos of nothing….

    The irony of Toryism (in the capitalism sense, not small c sense) is that ultimately a Tory’s worse enemy is another Tory.

    As I’ve said to Tories often enough, it’s them that want your money.

    Benefits cheats are Tories
    Thieves are Tories
    Fraudsters are Tories
    Muggers are Tories
    People who murder for money are Tories

    The above are all acts of capitalism / neo-liberalism (if committed solely for personal gain, not absolute necessity). The individual concerned is placing personal gain ahead of society. Someone murdering for money is committing the ultimate act of capitalism.

    What confuses me is that they’re surprised the above lot tend to grow in number when you’ve Tories in charge. Erm, quelle surprise.

  21. Daniel says:

    I think there was a post on here about the Barnett formula that explains that the bare figures aren’t enough to go on, but I can’t find it. Can anyone link me / explain how to justify that apparently we do get more than our fair share of money using the formula? I’m not particularly happy to bluff through it if questioned on it but it’s hard to pick out the details about Scotland from Wikipedia etc since it’s a UK-wide thing so they take the holistic approach.

  22. macdoc says:

    Its about time my countrymen started to learn the facts because if we vote NO and throw away this tremendous opportunity, then we deserve to absolutely everything the Westminster government throws at us. 

  23. James Morton says:

    This is what 16 years of being shit on the heel of Scotlands shoes gets you. Blowing smoke up your own backsides as you try to explain away why you are not terribly popular there. It’s inevitable that this will lead you to proclaiming how you should punish those benefit junkies for not voting for you. I mean it’s insulting, we pay for everything these Jocks get while our children starve..and what do we get Scotlands thumb in our eye.

    But seriously, its not satire. They truly believe this nonsense. Thats Why Ruth Davidson felt entirely correct in slagging off 80% of Scots as scroungers to an English audience. Its the sort of bile they like to feast on – they’re in their comfort zone at this stage. The problem for Davidson is that you are a hostage to fortune when you let a brainfart like that go off.

    My fear of a no vote is that the Unionist side will feel empowered to do the very things they boast of. Aided and abetted by a labour party that seems to chasing far right votes in England. I think Scots Thrawn will manifest itself and the SNP will win big again in Holyrood – as will the Greens. Its then we will have a real constitutional crisis…similar to the one that led to Devolution in the first place.

    I think that win or lose…the Union is going to end. How messy it is will depend on the vote in 2014.

  24. Chic McGregor says:

    Think I posted here before on the soon to be future status of the  phrase “We told you so.” 
    In the 2014 aftermath, it will either be:
    Following a Yes win, a joyous rebuke to those who voted No.
    Following a No win, a despairing rebuke to those who voted No.
    Either way, the conned No voters will have a reddy.
    At the moment, it is kind of the McSchrodinger’s Cat of phrases.

  25. Macart says:

    Soooooo considering the fact that we actually already receive less in return than we send down, what this little cherub is proposing is that we receive even less of our own contribution.
    In their dreams. I’d rather form a rather large pile with the cash, pour petrol on it and light a match. Let’s face it, the way Westminster manages our contribution, it amounts to the same thing.

  26. muttley79 says:

    I hope if there is a Yes vote we can allow those who are disappointed time to come to terms with the change.  If there is a No vote the struggle goes on…

  27. tornface says:

    Just twigged, ‘a supporter’ is ‘yeah one’ or something like that from the Scotsman. Please don’t feed it

  28. Adrian B says:

    Quoting Rev Stu,
    “It really is, though. In Tory circles, I mean.”

    Page/Section        Unique Visitors per Month


    Homepage             250,000


    ToryDiary             100,000


    Columnists                40,000


    Comment        70,000


    Tory MP’s        40,000


    Think Tank Central        40,000


    Local Government        60,000

    Those figures will not be all that encouraging – so who is advertising?
    ConHome is a fantastic resource for all of us in the European Parliament. It keeps all of us in close touch with opinion in Westminster and throughout the party grassroots.
    Martin Callanan, Leader of Tory MEPs
    Martin’s positionlikely to be extinct shortly after Cameron’s in/out referendum on the EU at about the same time as Scotland becomes an Independent country within the EU.

  29. muttley79 says:

    I know Rev Stu is clamping down on O/Ts, but I read this article in the Guardian that I think will strike a chord with many on here. 


  30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I know Rev Stu is clamping down on O/Ts”

    I’m not! I just don’t like them in the first couple of comments.

  31. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    I’m not! I just don’t like them in the first couple of comments.
    So I am not in trouble then! 😀

  32. Famous15 says:

    I am a cyberpat….my dada is Irish!

  33. Thomas Dunlop says:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– 
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist……………
    ………..Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me

    Martin Niemöller
    Add in the attacks on the sick, the poor, the minorities, the non british nationalist national identifies, we can see where they are going with this. British Fascism is on the rise. I predict there is going to be civil war on the island of Britain within a generation, unless somebody make a stand in the dark against it.

  34. Famous15 says:

    My wife is a cybercat…….her name is Catriona!
    Do we continue with this?

  35. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    We don’t need or want your handouts.Even as an independent country,we will contribute to shared responsibilities which are in our interests.

  36. Kipper says:

    So if you don’t vote for them they will quite literally punish you or your area for it? Pretty shocking stuff, really.
    “Vote for us or we’ll drain you dry and pump your tax money into areas loyal to our party!”
    There’s no real need to read between lines with that article. It’s pretty clear what they are saying and suggesting as suitable behavior for a government or party in power.

  37. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Chic McGregor
    McSchrodinger’s Scot:
    There is a Scot trapped in a “box” called the UK.
    His state of mind is a superposition of Hope and Fear.
    On Sep. 18th there will be an experiment which looks into the box to measure the emotional state of the Scot.
    Will we find either

    A Hopeful Scot leaping out of the box


    A Timerous, Cowering Scot hiding within?

  38. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @ Thomas Dunlop
    The UK government has already put in an extensive order for water cannons to be used on the streets of UKplc in Summer 2013; courtesy Theresa May!

  39. Nkosi says:

    The labour leader is at the moment trying to rubbish the SNP and the Scottish NHS, two organisations that are actually working pretty well. She has apparently published figure that show waiting times have trebled at A&E units under the SNP. If I recall however it was the Labour/LibDem pact in Holyrood that closed many A&E units.

  40. Barontorc says:

    So to keep it is focus. GERS tells us that we are sending 9.6% of dosh down to the Treasury and we get back 9.3% under Barnett, yet some Twiddle-dumb or Twiddle-Dee is actually writing that the Barnett hand-back is too generous to us?
    OK, so let’s change that; for starters we’ll just keep the 9.6% here until 2016 and then we’ll keep the whole 100% of our dosh from then on, just to avoid any hard sums getting stuck on either Twiddle’s coffee table. You see, we do care up here!
    Oh, I forgot about the oil too. And let’s not forget also about all of the business taxes that are currently going through London HQs, that will be staying put here in Skintland when these HQs re-locate to where they should be. 
    Crivvens and help ma boab!

  41. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Boris Johnson is quoted in the Telegraph
    as saying
    “The public would welcome a British exit because people would feel they had won back control over their own lives from Brussels, the Mayor claimed.”

    I suggest we adopt that wording for our own purposes:

    “The public would welcome a Scottish exit because people would feel they had won back control over their own lives from Westminster, Alex Salmond claimed.”

    A’h, the latter sounds so right. As for the former, well, that’s up to them!

  42. Chic McGregor says:

    Nkosi says:
    9 May, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    The labour leader is at the moment trying to rubbish the SNP and the Scottish NHS, two organisations that are actually working pretty well. She has apparently published figure that show waiting times have trebled at A&E units under the SNP. If I recall however it was the Labour/LibDem pact in Holyrood that closed many A&E units.
    Meanwhile, on the rUK News this evening we have a story that A&E there is swamped, nurses leaving in tears after their shifts and patients waiting all night to be seen.

  43. The Man in the Jar says:

    Imagine how apoplectic with rage that lot will be come say 2020something? With a blossoming independent Scotland on their border. All us “subsidy junkies” doing rather nicely and affording universal benefits no problem thanks! And isn’t it good to hear our own voices being heard at home and abroad for a change.
    I wonder what the English electorate will be making of it all? I hope that we can show them a better way. I don’t fancy a far right isolationist country on my border thanks.

  44. The Man in the Jar says:

    What! Lamont has come out with her weekly dose of pish? One thing that you can’t criticise them for is inconsistency.

  45. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Douglas McLellan is dismantling Bitter Together’s 500 questions here.

  46. Braco says:

    Famous 15,
    I am a Cyberclat, as I live in a hot Country but hate to shower! (pooo!)

  47. Jeannie says:

    Is Grahamski a cyberprat?

  48. the rough bounds says:

    Aye, y’ken…Joanna Lumley…ah think that’s her name…yon wee fat ugly wummin that bides up oor close. If she smiled her face wid snap. Ma dug creeps past her wi’ his tail between his legs; ah dinnae think he likes her smell.
    Ye can hear her a mile away, naggin at this yin an’ that yin. Moaned at the postie that he wis late oan Monday when it wis snawin’. Puir sowel. Jist stood there shiverin’ when she went on wi her rant. She moaned at oor bairn fur playin wi a wee cahoochy ba’ on the pavement. She said the stottin’ wis too noisy, an her wi’ a voice that wid cut concrete.
    Yon wummin makes ma big puddens eat ma wee puddens. Ah wish her an’ her pals wid move awa’ an’ gie us aw peace.

  49. old mikey says:

    Bit o/t but I hope relevant in general sense. Bookmakers odds on referendum result 2014.
    10th April, 10/3 on yes vote
    Today 10th May 11/4 on yes vote.
    That’s a big movement in only one month. Something happening here, it’s definitely an upper for the yes side.

  50. HandandShrimp says:

    Ian Smart said “better 100 years Tory rule” so Grahamski is probably lapping up Conservative Home stuff like it is ambrosia.

  51. sneddon says:

    I’m a rotund chap does that make me a  (wait for it)  Cyberfat!  ta dah!

  52. Cyborg-nat says:

    Cyborg-nat. Part man and part machine.
    PS. Sneddon you”re OK as long as there isn’t an R in the month!

  53. Barontorc says:

    You don’t just need to look at the bookies to spot a new attitude forming in Scotland and more to the point, its bang center in Westminster where the penny’s dropped that their milch cow’s going over the hill to pastures new.
    Even though it grates in their unionist throat, ‘separation’ is now ‘independence’. The facts are being closely examined, not the rumors as they become ever more desperate to see flaws and weakness. The Queen’s Speech, written by her UK Government’s ministers could do nothing but focus on immigration worries for England, with the merest by-line that  Queen Elizabeth the 2nd hoped to see the UK, remaining as the intact UK. This wasn’t a vision for the whole UK. They all know it’s finished, but we the people need to know there is a future.
    I wonder what Queen Elizabeth the 1st of Scotland will read out when her Scottish Government’s ministers get putting their ideals to their people in their newly formed independent country? I’d bet there’s a fresh breeze ablowin away all the cobwebs of ineptitude, cronyism, corruption and damn spiteful selfishness.

  54. Caroline Corfield says:

    If I were to drink some virtual coffee beverage would I be a cyberlat te sorry…. I’ll get my coat

  55. Patrick Roden says:

    Am I a Cyberpat?

  56. Morag says:

    Old Mikey said:
    Bit o/t but I hope relevant in general sense. Bookmakers odds on referendum result 2014.
    10th April, 10/3 on yes vote
    Today 10th May 11/4 on yes vote.
    That’s a big movement in only one month. Something happening here, it’s definitely an upper for the yes side.
    I’m virtually innumerate on betting odds.  Care to explain?

  57. Braco says:

    The jist of the argument is really quite simple.
    1. What Scotland receives for expenditure via the Barnett Formula is totally unconnected to the Scots Yearly tax take sent currently to Westminster.
    2. What Scotland receives for expenditure via the Barnett Formula is totally reliant on the expenditure that England’s various Governmental Ministries via their Cabinet Ministers yearly negotiate with the UK exchequer and it’s Chancellor.
    3.What Scotland currently receives under the Barnett Formula works out as 9.3% of UK spending (or 11.76% of UK tax take) but we send away 9.6% of UK spending (or 12.14% of UK tax take)

    The hidden cost of the Union

    4. That is a surplus from Scotland to rUK of 0.3% of total spending (or 0.38% of total UK tax take). Again the Scots Government and Civil service have published documentary evidence that this flow has left Scotland to varying degrees every year for the last thirty. Reliable records prior to this are hard to come by.
    5. To reduce the Barnett Formula or it’s future version in order to reduce Scotland’s budget will only further enhance the status of Scots and their Country as simply a Westminster resource and cash cow for more expenditures considered more important to Westminster. I am sure you can come up with plenty of those discrepancies in National priorities.
    6. The current and all possible future proposals that I have read posited by the unionist parties (short of complete federalisation of the four Nations of the UK, which is not on offer) in the event of a NO vote will only exacerbate this unfair situation. (again this aspect can be easily researched or is probably known by yourself already)
    Hope this helps min. Meant it to be shorter but ‘what can ye do?’ Just type in Barnett or any other key words that take your fancy on the Holiest Rev’s search facility in the box at the top of the page. Read the articles obviously….. but spend time on the post’s too because they are the Rev’s Kinder Surprise’s. Free when you buy the Chocolate Egg! (stickybrowngrin)

  58. Lewis says:

    “I’m virtually innumerate on betting odds.  Care to explain?”

    This means that for each 3 pound you bet, you would get 10 plus your stake. I prefer the decimal system, in which the first number would turn into 4.33, and the later 3.75 (indeed a reasonable movement for a month when nothing seem to have happened). In this, you just multiply your stake for this number to get how much you would win. Obviously, the lower this number, the more likely to happen, at least according to what the bookie thinks.
    This has virtually nothing do with the post, but, i know this depends on several factors since Scotland will be a democracy, but has SNP already voiced if they would prefer to retain the current additional member voting system or they would like to implement the full proportional system like in most of european countries in an independent Scotland? Was thinking how much of this policy of putting one part of the country against another (like in this lovely Conservative Home post) was product of the FPTP.

  59. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m virtually innumerate on betting odds. Care to explain?”

    10/3 is three-and-a-bit to one. Bet a tenner, get £43.33 back.

    11/4 is less than three to one. Bet a tenner, get £37.50 back.

    That’s a significant narrowing in a short period, for something so far away. Might just mean someone’s bet a lot on Yes, or might mean the bookies are seeing patterns we’re not.

  60. Morag says:

    Oh.  Thanks.  I think….

  61. cynicalHighlander says:

    Morag roughly for Yes.
    3.3/1  33%
    2.75/1 36%

  62. BillyBigbaws says:

    @ barontorc,
    I’m sure the percentages are even more eye-opening now.  Didn’t the most recent GERS show we contributed 9.9% of UK taxation last year, but still receive 9.3% of spending in return? 

    Since the block grant is set to be reduced year on year till 2017 (at the earliest) the disparity between what we put in and what we get back will only widen, especially if Scotland stays on it’s current economic track of modest but enviable growth while the rest of UK plc keeps it’s head stuck firmly doon the lavvy pan.

    The prospect of losing this referendum, and then having to fund a Tory/UKIP slash-and-burn rampage… it’s just intolerable.  Please, Scotland, wake up.

  63. Patrick Roden says:

    @ old Mikey, That is amazing, why would the bookies shorten the odds for a Yes victory, just as a poll is showing an increase in support for No !
    @ morag….10/3 for yes means that the bookies thing there is a ‘one in three and a third’  chance that Scotland will become independant.
    They have since changed these odds to ‘one in two and two three quarters’ chance for Independence.
    Not a huge shift, but the Bookies, who will only change odds based on hard mathematical calculations, that are a result of some hard evidence, are thinking that independence is now more likely. If the odds keeps shortening like this it means they are getting data that is indicating that the Yes campaign is doing better than we think.

  64. Iain says:

    Re. betting odds, below is a link to history of odds movements for a Yes vote over the last couple of years. This far out I’d guess they’re almost entirely down to relatively small amounts of money (12th April of this year seemed very busy for William Hills for some reason). 7/4 is the shortest price from Oct. last year, so any current variations aren’t hugely significant imho.

  65. macdoc says:

    Just to correct you on one point. The most recent years show that Scotland contributed 9.9% of all UK revenue, it was 9.6% the previous year.
    Secondly 9.3% is what is said to be spent in Scotland. Infact due to the nature of unidentifiable expenditure this is almost certainly an overestimate. Highlighted in Scotland’s defence budget which is assigned a per capita share and labelled as unidentifiable but if looked at correctly there is a massive underspend in defence. Another issue is every single year Scotland has been in a better fiscal position than that of the UK but is assigned a per capita share of interest on UK debt. This definitely make the 9.3% figure somewhat hazy. 14% of Scotlands puiblic expenditure is assigned as non-idenifiable. 

  66. Bill C says:

    I don’t bet because I have never met a poor bookie. If they are shortening the odds on independence, it could mean a couple of things:
    a) they are taking more money on a YES vote
    b) they are privy to information we are not getting, e.g. private polling, focus groups etc.
    I think it could well be (b) as it is unlikely that folk will bet on something when the polls are suggesting it will lose.
    Personally I think the polls are not reflecting the mood in living rooms across the country. Or is that just me trying to be optimistic?

  67. Faltdubh says:

    How can the  bookies be receiving information that is not in the public eye? I doubt they know anything more than the Yes, BT or the press know.
    People will be putting optimistic punts on a Yes vote and that will be what’s shifting the odds a little.

  68. Jiggsbro says:

    I think it could well be (b) as it is unlikely that folk will bet on something when the polls are suggesting it will lose.
    If that were the case, you’d never have met a rich bookie either.

  69. Richard Lucas says:

    Bookies analyse information impartially, unlike the rest of us.  They are right far more often than n  ot.  The ones who get it wrong go out of business.

  70. Bill C says:

    @Jiggsbro – My point is that people do not bet on a sure fire loser. This is not a steeplechase or a football match. If the polls are saying NO will be the winner then punters will not lay money on YES.  I said I don’t bet, I didn’t say I never betted!  Bookies only take calculated risks and by shortening the odds they are saying we are reducing our risk factor.

  71. CameronB says:

    What they are saying is that the screws will be tightened even further up here. The assessment of need is associated largely with the indicators of poverty. I think it is correct to say that there is more poverty in London than Scotland, so we don’t need as much support. The long-term UK plan is to develop the HS2 link on the back of another property bubble. The effect of this will be to further concentrate the population and subsequent poverty in the south east. Simples.
    Of course, the long-term implication of this is that Scotland will continue to be milked to support benefits in the south east (there are claimants down there too, lots of them in fact).
    Vote Yes, for a brighter future.

  72. Jiggsbro says:

    My point is that people do not bet on a sure fire loser.
    My point is that they do, which is why you’ve never met a poor bookie, and that the polls are about an accurate a prediction as a team’s or horse’s form. Not that your point is relevant, because current polls do not make ‘Yes’ a sure fire loser, unless they moved the referendum to tomorrow without telling us.
    Bookies only take calculated risks
    Yes. Which is why your a) is the correct answer, not your b). I understand why you stopped betting, though.

  73. Jiggsbro says:

    Bookies analyse information impartially, unlike the rest of us. 
    Yes. And the single most important piece of information they analyse is who’s betting how much on what.  They change the odds because the spread of money’s changed, not because they have secret information on what might happen in 15 months.

  74. Daniel says:


    Yer a champ man, cheers for that. The main thing I was missing was that we pay 9.6% odds and get back 9.3% odds, which is at odds with the IPPR statement to a large degree. I’m going out for a wee bit of campaigning this weekend so I wanted to be ready for that question, I detest the subsidy junkie li(n)e.

    The tone of this… charming post is actually really quite similar to the feeling I generally get from BT: you need us, don’t you dare spit your dummy out the pram! This is much less masked in the horrific façade of dual-national patriotism and actually getting anything back, but I think it could be helpful as an example in trying to tear off the sugar of some of the BT lines and looking at the shite underneath. At the very least “BT means supporting the party that will do this” is going to be good for something.

  75. Braco says:

    Thanks min. I certainly am no statistician!

    It was just that Daniel had asked for help and I waited for the usual suspects to sort it out, but tonight they must have been elsewhere. So I gave it a go!
    Thanks again for your updates on the facts. Saved me some embarrassment in the future I am sure.

    I feel like my mobile phone looks. Well out of date, with very limited social media functions (text?). But what a torch!

  76. Braco says:

    thanks min, but forget what I said and read macdoc’s post cause he really knows the up to date figures in case you come up against one of those rare anoraks on the door step (……me!)

    macdoc says:
    9 May, 2013 at 11:19 pm

  77. Braco says:

    To understand our bookies is very similar to understanding our UK politics. Just follow the money.

    Someone bets money one way, the bookies move the odds to cover the risk. No research, just reaction.
    They try to make their money at the last minute when it’s obvious who will win…..when the bets are all in. That’s why they often close a book early, everybody thinks they have taken an enormous loss but they haven’t.
    They have taken a small loss because they have been balancing the book as best they can, until the point they feel they can confidently predict the result is a certain win/lose, when that result is against the betting they can’t make a profit. When it’s not they can. Simple! Add scale into the mix and you have a licence to print money.
    Well Governments, politicians, the law, the donations, the making of bets and the calling of results……. you can join the dots to form the analogy I am sure.

  78. clochoderic says:

    Time to lighten up – enjoy this alternative Queen’s speech:

  79. Laura says:

    Imagine how I feel, I used to vote for these b*****ds.
    A fine example of what a NO vote means.
    Wake up Scotland.

  80. Tattie-boggle says:

    O/T New UKIP video with Nigel Farrage

  81. john king says:

    “If I were to drink some virtual coffee beverage would I be a cyberlat te sorry…. I’ll get my coat”
    George Foulkes cybertwat?

  82. Seasick Dave says:

    On a lighter note on this beautiful May morning…

    This is what we all need to hear.

  83. pa_broon74 says:

    The Tories are a right shower, (literally…)
    I agree with what they’re saying though, although not for the same reasons. They talk about where money is spent without looking at where its raised or what they spend it on.
    Of course  more deprived areas of England should get more cash (social democracy and all that,) what they’re claiming is, the reason they don’t is because it goes to NI and Scotland – which is bilge – its because they spend so much of it on shoring up their ailing empire and pissing money up walls in dusty places across the globe.
    The only way ‘Britain’ can survive is if it winds it’s neck in in a big way. Even after 2014 and a Yes vote, the rUK are going to have to do some serious prioritising.
    (I’m just a cyberpa by the way…)

  84. kininvie says:

    @kalmsivi started an interesting discussion on Twitter last night, pointing out that if you work for an organisation headquartered south of the border, your tax is counted as belonging there, rather than counting as part of the Scottish contribution. The suggestion is that this makes complete nonsense of GERS figures, and that our contribution is far higher than stated.
    I’ve no idea whether this is an accurate picture, but it certainly got a few folk wondering.

  85. Robert Kerr says:

    I have never had any dealings with Centre One, always my tax affairs were dealt with in England. Even when I worked via agencies the paying companies were in England.
    Even when I worked in Libya I was payrolled in London.
    Following on from that here are two Oil and Gas stories from “Rigzone”
    Enjoy the volatility !

  86. The Man in the Jar says:

    I have just realised that acording to Pa Broon 74. I am a “cyberman”?
    A note to all unionists; “You will be assimilated!

  87. CameronB says:

    @ The Man in the Jar
    Sorry to be a pedant so early in the day, but I think that should be “upgraded”, to install a modicum of rationality no doubt. 🙂

  88. MajorBloodnok says:

    @ The Man in the Jar said “You will be assimilated!”
    I’m Borg with this now, to misquote Borag.

  89. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Seasick Dane
    At 8:04am.
    That Herald article is good. I like the reference to ” the Pomp and Poverty Britain”

  90. Laura says:

    on a similar point, I often wondered about some Scottish Exports and whether they could be attributed to UK exports as many will go to England for exportation. (ie not exported directly from Scotland)
    The treasury is well known for it’s dodgy accounting, hopefully one day we will get to know the true facts (preferably before the referendum). We also have to remember that if Scotland was such a basket case, why are they playing so dirty to keep hold of us?
    I think if the truth be known, there will be a huge ‘ker-ching’ factor in Scotlands favour

  91. Doug Daniel says:

    Rab McNeil’s article in the Herald today is a guid ‘een:
    I think this Common Weal idea that’s been going about the past few days needs to be pushed hard, so that we can draw a simple comparison between voting Yes (Common Weal) and voting No (austerity and UKIP-inspired neo-Thatcherism). If people can just be convinced that austerity ISN’T our only choice, then it’s our referendum to win.

  92. MajorBloodnok says:

    I liked the phrase “Ministers and other clots”.  I think I’ll use it more in general conversation.  Excellent article.

  93. Doug Daniel says:

    Oh, someone already linked to McNeil’s article! Never mind…

  94. The Man in the Jar says:

    Oops looks like I got my adversaries mixed up. Something that is very easily done these days!

  95. Dee says:

    Glad to see the Herald picked up on something I have noticed about bbc Scotland for months. See if you notice how they put the words ” Warning “and ” Independence ” into the first sentence when we are getting our daily dose of what we Scots are incapable of…They really are value for our money are’nt they..balanced and impartial. Bless their  little soles, they are so misunderstood.. My Arse,, 

  96. Training Day says:

    McNeil’s article in the Herald is good except for this:
    “I don’t accept the personalised critiques of BBC figures by Nationalists so incensed at the overwhelming torrent of negativity that they see bias whenever any Yes or SNP spokesman is questioned rigorously.”
    Rab, not one supporter of self-determination that I know objects to rigorous questioning of Yes or SNP spokespersons.  It’s the near complete absence of rigorous questioning in the other direction which irks (David Miller’s recent interview with Lamont being an honourable exception).  But I suspect you knew that and this was just an inevitable nod to your employers that you’re not a swivel-eyed, foaming-mouthed racist like the rest of us, eh? 😉 

  97. MajorBloodnok says:

    Regarding the bit about the BBC penchant for putting “Warning” and “Independence” in the same sentence – Rab McNeill is referring, I think, to Craig Murray’s blog (or ‘online monitor’ which means blogs like us).  Particularly this:

    Despite what some people here might think of Craig he’s a very interesting chap.

  98. The Man in the Jar says:

    Regarding the Herald article. I think that it is likely that the BBC will get even worse. Surely they must realise that they have burned their bridges as far as an Independent Scotland is concerned. There must be real anger within SNP / Yes, just that they can’t afford to show it right now. Come a Yes vote their BBC arses are out the windae! Pacific quay won’t be a pretty site.

  99. Dee says:

    Does it matter who started the debate regarding bbc Scotland and their links to  “WARNING GATE ” The point is that we are talking about it, and it should be highlighted throughout the Internet.  Be a true CyberNat and spread the word.

  100. John Lyons says:

    4.5 billion a year.
    Wow! That’s a lot.
    How much did the olympics cost?
    How much is High Speed rail costing?
    How much were those sewer upgrades in London?
    How much of that was paid for by Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland even though they’re all in England?

  101. Albalha says:

    In the spirit of irritating superfluous comment, you’ve just redefined ‘CyberNat’ for me, I’m not one after all.

  102. MajorBloodnok says:

    @Dee, re first sentence – no, not really.  I wasn’t making a point about the cleverness of prior knowledge or whatever.  I just thought it was telling that McNeill didn’t explicitly reference where he’d lifted some of his ideas from.
    However, as the Rev knows, these ‘professional’ journalists are not above using other people’s material if they think they can get away with it.
    All that said, it is a very welcome article and I was glad to see that the Herald can do uplifting as well as dour.  Spring is in the air and the sap must be rising.  Matron!  The screens!

  103. John Lyons says:

    In answer to my own questions (LOL)
    those three alone cost 60 Billion, so if we keep the Barnett formula for another 13.333 years we’ll break even.
    But then we need to consider the royal wedding and the Jubillee costs… about another 7.2 billion. And obviously I’m not mentioning thatchers funeral as we were glad….I’ll stop there before I offend anyone… And don’t get me started on Trident!

  104. Boorach says:

    If unionists are to be assimilated does that mean they should be known as cyberass?
    then again that would make me cyberboor…. nothing if not predictable! 🙂

  105. CameronB says:

    Just noticed your wode Major, or have you gone all hardcore and gotten yourself a tat? Nice touch anyway.

  106. MajorBloodnok says:

    Thanks.  I just thought the juxtaposition was incongruous and therefore amusing (to me anyway).

  107. CameronB says:

    Exactly John Lyons. The Barnett formula is rendered almost meaningless as an indicator of public expenditure across the UK, because of the enormous extent of expenditure that is not considered when calculating Barnett. It is “off the books”. For example, Ministry of Defence and R&D expenditure, most of which is spent along the M4 corridor.

  108. The Man in the Jar says:

    I could be wrong but I think that I read somewhere on this site that HS2 wont come under the Barnet formula because “It benefits the whole country”

  109. CameronB says:

    @ The Man in the Jar

  110. Adrian B says:

    I could be wrong but I think that I read somewhere on this site that HS2 wont come under the Barnet formula because “It benefits the whole country”
    That is correct – HS2 benefits us all, just as the Olympics did. Sarcasm mode disabled.

  111. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    I agree plus with all the events going on, it is worthwhile to reflect on the following definition of Fascism, as described in Wikipedia
    Fascism (pron.: /?fæ??z?m/) is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in mid-20th century Europe. Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promotes the mass mobilization of the national community,[3][4] relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles.[5] Hostile to liberal democracysocialism, and communism, fascist movements share certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalismethnocentrism, and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation[3][6][7][8] and asserts that nations and races deemed “superior” should attain living space by displacing ones deemed “weak” or “inferior”.[9]”

  112. Clarinda says:

    As usual I cannot find the original but I did read it recently that Scottish whiskies comprise almost 25% of the total UK food and drink export tax that finds its way into Westminster coffers.  This may be old news (I stand to be corrected) to all here but I wanted to ask, just having listened to Stranger on the Shore , if I could claim ‘Clarinat’ as my individual cyber tag?

  113. Doug Daniel says:

    Why the sarcasm, Adrian? HS2 is really beneficial to all us Scots who are in the habit of travelling to Birmingham just so we can then get a slightly quicker train to London.
    Oh wait, nobody does that. As you were.

  114. Adrian B says:

    Aberdeen struggles to cope with ‘Second Oil boom” 
    I seem to remember Alex Salmond getting rubbished by the Unionists not so long ago for talking about this very occurrence. How strange – bet they will keep a low profile on this subject for some time.
    It can be hard to get a weeknight room at the youth hostel in Aberdeen – and not because of demand from young travellers hoping to enjoy the Scottish city’s sandy beach or nearby hills. Instead, the rooms are packed with workers struggling to find……
    Full story in the Financial Times – you may need to sign up for the limited free stories if you haven’t already.

  115. Jiggsbro says:

    You see? Oil. Nothing but trouble.

  116. mato21 says:

    Were they not going to use some emergency fund for the sewers in London so that they did not come under the Barnett formula as well? Where there is a will there is a way

  117. Albert Herring says:

    re. Robert McNeil’s article; I thought it ironic that a piece dealing with the ‘Common Weal’ document also took time to defend the BBC’s “impartiality” without mentioning that the BBC has not, as far as I can see, actually given said document any coverage whatsoever.
    I posted a comment pointing this out, but sadly this failed to pass moderation (as per usual).
    Surely Robert McNeil can see, like the rest of us can, that BBC Scotland will absolutely not publish anything either supportive of independence or critical or questioning of the No campaign. 

  118. Adrian B says:

    You see? Oil. Nothing but trouble.
    It would be for such a small country, with a small population how could we manage. It would be better to leave it to Westminster, after all they are so good at running legislation for the banks, they buy gold at the bottom of the market and sell it again when the price is high.
    Scotland wouldn’t be able to handle such a volatile natural resource on the world market. I am sure that those in the industry such as Scottish Skiier know this full well. Wee smiley thing.

  119. Doug Daniel says:

    Hubble, bubble, oil is trouble.

  120. Chic McGregor says:

    CameronB says:
    10 May, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Exactly John Lyons. The Barnett formula is rendered almost meaningless as an indicator of public expenditure across the UK, because of the enormous extent of expenditure that is not considered when calculating Barnett. It is “off the books”. For example, Ministry of Defence and R&D expenditure, most of which is spent along the M4 corridor.
    Another biggie is the food and drink industry.  In terms of feeding itself, England is very overpopulated.  In effect, it amounts to a negative food and drink trade balance of over 25 Billion per year.  In other word’s, that massive groceries bill has to be paid every year before the UK can even start thinking of paying for welfare, defence, health etc.
    Scotland, however is in surplus with well over twice the raw food and drink production per head of England.   Currently, most of the value added in terms of wages etc.  goes to England via processing, packaging and distribution.  Effectively, most Scottish produce is ‘exported’ South at price X, we then ‘import’ it back at price 3 or 4 X.   That situation is only tolerable because the UK is one nation state with one treasury.  After independence an increasing amount of processing, packaging and distribution will be generated in Scotland with value added being retained here, and exports of surpluses at 4X rather than X.  There may even be a ‘Scotland brand’ premium for exports generally.
    It won’t happen instantly, but ultimately it too will redress a current imbalance which will be worth even more billions.  (And consequently, billions more on rUK’s net grocery bill).

  121. Albert Herring says:

    @Doug Daniel
    HS2 is really beneficial to all us Scots who are in the habit of travelling to Birmingham just so we can then get a slightly quicker train to [go to the toilet, thus taking full advantage our lovely new sewers, in] London.”

  122. Laura says:

    Why are Thames Water being subsidized at all, they are a private company making millions in profits every year.
    I suppose the answer to that will probably be to look at the names on the board of directors and major shareholders. or was there a ‘get out’ clause when they purchased it.

  123. Barontorc says:

    Craig Murray has already made the point of using external monitors – why the hell are some of us here willing to stick with the ‘cheats’ system – you know you’ll get filleted like a kipper – why keep ‘hoping’ for fair play? Some hope.
    “…It astonishes me that even the use of the most obvious and blatant state propaganda techniques by the BBC do not result in any serious reaction from the political establishment. I repeat my call on Alex Salmond to request the intervention of theOffice of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE to monitor the referendum and in particular to start immediately Phase 1 media monitoring. I am writing to Alex Salmond and to Chris Patten – both of whom at different times have been guests in my home -to seek a meeting on this issue of BBC bias.”

  124. Morag says:

    I really need to stop doing this.  Looking at the Sealand Gazette, that is.  I am now profoundly depressed.
    When I was a teenager we were bombarded by stories of overpopulation.  Nobody explained that Scotland’s population was static and actually less than it should be.  Overpopulation was the buzz word and it was irresponsible to have children.  At the same time we were told that we weren’t like these backward third world countries where poeple knew they had to have big families so that they would have someone to look after them in their old age, we had the welfare state so we didn’t need to have children for that reason.  And again at the same time education and a career were emphasised.  That was the way to go, not sitting at home bringing up a couple of kids and wasting your intellectual capacity.
    So I did all that.  Got the education, got the career, didn’t try at all to find a husband.  Now, whaddaya know?  My private pension fund, which would be just peachy if interest rates were say 6%, is projecting scarily low returns.  My savings ditto – looks quite good on paper but if I have to live on that without any interest it won’t last very long.  And it’s being eroded by inflation.
    I should have been getting my state pension this year.  No such luck.  I have to wait till 2018.  Well, at least I already had the complete set of NI contributions to entitle me to a full state pension (which once I scarcely thought I would really need!).  Oh no, they moved that goal post too, and thanks to spending rather more years than usual in higher education I find I won’t have completed the new requirement until the beginning of 2017.
    I had my elderly mother to live with me and looked after her till she died in 2011.  Because of that there was never any question of her needing to go into care.  She was in her own home with her own stuff and her own daughter caring for her.  I’ve got nobody lined up to do that for me, so I panic that I need the pension I thought I was going to get, but now it’s beginning to look like a pittance despite the amount I put away over the years.
    And I’m not badly off.  I have a nice house, and I still have a decent job they won’t throw me out of, even if I had hoped to retire and no longer can.  And I have a pension pot and some savings.  How can I complain?  I’m so much better off than the people being screwed over by the benefits system I’m on a different planet.
    But I feel miserably precarious.  I feel that retirement is way too big a gamble.  I look at cousins who retired 10 and 15 years ago, who have had a real life and nice holidays and no worries about being able to keep up their homes on their pensions, and I wonder what happened to me.  Retiring, heat the house all day in the winter (I know what that cost when Mum was alive!) and pay the council tax and keep up the maintenance and maybe it would be nice to have a holiday now and again, that was what I had hoped for.
    I don’t know, now.  Will I stay in this job till I’m 70, and deprive a younger colleague of the position?  I have the faith and the confidence that independence is a better bet than this warped Westminster mess, but can people who are genuinely worried, much more so than my middle-class whining, be persuaded?

  125. handclapping says:

    @Clarinda 11:50
    Isn’t that an ill wind that nobody blows good? 🙂

  126. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I am a blackandwhitenat, as opposed to Jess
    I am still celebrating my birthday, third day so far.

  127. John Lyons says:

    Chic McGregor,
    thanks for that. I wasn’t aware England had a shortfall there. I think they have similar problems with thier power supply, but I’m not an expert. I did think the UK was ok as Scotland has a surplus, but I’ve heard folk predicting an energy gap and a shortage that will have to be plugged.
    Sounds like Scotlands got it made with 25% of Europes potential renewable energy, but until it’s real actual energy it’s pretty useless.

  128. John Lyons says:

    Albert herring,
    I supose to get full value it’d have to be the Queens toilet. Hopefully with Team GB paper.

  129. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The UK has been using the UK infrastructure leger de main for decades to hide all sorts of subsidies for the London area. M25, Crossrail, Olympics, Sewers, Elecrical Interconnector with France and of course the pay-in tarif to the national Grid. Power stations nearer Landon receive a subsidy per kwh so the Queen pays less per unit that a frozen pensioner in the North of Scotland.
    All loads lead to Rome and render unto Caesar etc.
    We are taken for MUGS

  130. Yesitis says:

    I`m expecting new poll results to show support for unionist parties up from 36% to 90%, support for trident and a nuclear deterrent, up from 33% to 89% and support for a eight metre tall statue of Margaret Thatcher to be erected in the middle of George Square, Glasgow is up from 4% to 92%.
    Support for Scotland voting itself out of existence up from 16% to 98%.
    Support for independence has fallen from 64% down to just 2% (including the Jack Russell in Kirkcaldy).

  131. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    Max Kaiser has spent considerable time explaining how bankrupt UKplc’s Quantative Easing, to maintain low interest rates, is robbing savers and retirees. It goes something like this. Annual money saved on UK mortgages because of low interest rates is approximately £100 Billion. Money lost by savers and pensioners through sale of “gilts” to the money men is approximately £300 billion. You see, somebody is winning here, and its not those who played by the rules there entire lives. It turns out to be the bankers and the traders who are gourging at the trough; who happily feed some of there proceeds back to the cheap-to-buy political system called the UK parliament.
    SCOTLAND can and will do better for her people than this.

  132. Doug Daniel says:

    Let’s not forget how easy it is for pollsters to get the results they want…

  133. AmadeusMinkowski says:

    @Thomas William Dunlop
    Thanks for that. Your noting the definition of fascism is timely.
    I was particularly struck by the element
     “a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalismethnocentrism, and militarism.”
    It also places the recent concerted effort to deify Thatcher in a new light, for me at least, to say nothing of the rise of UKIP south of the border.

  134. The Man in the Jar says:

    Sorry I am just catching up as I have been out with “the dug”
    Going back to the HS2 “benefiting the whole country” It is my understanding that HS2 will have its own dedicated lines and stations. So to use this “benefit” we will have to travel to Manchester (I think that it will be the nearest to Scotland) by conventional train where we can transfer to a HS2 station to catch a HS2 train to London. Wow what a benefit, haud me back!
    Rev. Stu I dislike making suggestions but perhaps a wee article regarding what and what isn’t Barnetised would be helpful.

  135. Morag says:

    I know what’s going on.  I don’t really want to hear about Max Kaiser, quite honestly.

  136. wullie says:

    wonder how many trains will operate on the high speed line. im in china ar the moment and took their hs  from beijing to shanghai it was stunning to say the least,by the y did i mention they have 100 of these trains each way every day and they are enormous 

  137. Chic McGregor says:

    Max Kaiser has lots of guests with interesting viewpoints, whether he agrees with them or not.  He has even had Austrian School guests on his show.  So even if you don’t agree with anything he himself says, it is useful from that perspective alone, since he asks questions of them that will not be asked on Bloomberg or CNBC or the BBC.
    I have no difficulty filtering out the hyperbola and propaganda which adornes his own output, especially in the first part of the program with his wife Stacey Herbert who seems to take delight in goading him into a frenzie.  Its a good comedy act if nothing else.
    There is also a lot of purported facts and theories which, when of interest, are easy enough to corroborate, or otherwise, elsewhere.  His off-the-wall act effectively performs a brainstorming session which is useful as long as you second source any claims.
    The generic problem he has is he is obliged to ignore the elephant in the room (or should that be two elephants a yak and llama?) re the BRIC countries, whose no-strings-attached entry into the WTO has caused so much of the imbalance in wealth creation which in turn is largely responsible for the financial crisis in the West, IMHO.

  138. handclapping says:

    I feel for you, I did the opposite having no idea where or when I would end up retired and so have too many pensions for my actual needs now.
    I don’t go by any one financial guru but struggle through the FT daily. It is an eye opener; the rich are not that happy with Osbourne but are happy the May has bought the water cannon. We should tell them it is Social Security, not welfare.

  139. Jeannie says:

    I have the faith and the confidence that independence is a better bet than this warped Westminster mess, but can people who are genuinely worried, much more so than my middle-class whining, be persuaded?
    If only we could give people that most precious of things –  peace of mind.  The peace of mind that comes with knowing you are supported, safe and secure, even though you might also, at times, be vulnerable.   Could we achieve that?  If we had a “common weal” approach, control over our own resources and the ability to make our own decisions?  I like to think so.   We don’t need to be millionaires, but we do need to be able to sleep at night. Things could be so much better in the future, not only outside our heads but inside them, too.  If we just get a Yes vote.  I’m off to read that Common Weal document again.

  140. Morag says:

    What really concerns me is the plight of people on low and even average wages.  Pensions were always predicated on getting a return for an investment.  How do you save enough to retire on, if you’re hand to mouth for your daily needs and the needs of your family?  When interest rates are about 0.5%?
    People with big mortgages squeal, oh I’ll be bankrupt if interest rates go up.  And it’s tempting to blame them for having overstretched to buy their homes.  But what can you do if you need somewhere to live and these are the prices?  The mortgage rate was 15% when I bought my first home, and I just had to pay it, but on the other hand my mortgage was only £18,000.  (I earned about £8,000.)  But now we have to hold interest rates low because of all that borrowing, and that includes the government’s borrowing, and that means that very few people will have a pension worth more than tuppence a week.  At the same time as we’re being told that we can’t expect the state pension to provide a living income and we need to make private provision.
    Too much short-termism going on.

  141. Juteman says:

    I've got a Scottish outlook on pensions, Morag.

    My 'pot' is pitifully small, so i decided to stop paying in, and stopped saving too. I now live for the day, and spend all my wages on whatever takes my fancy. I recently treated myself to a new car.

    As a smoking, manual working Scotsman, i'll be lucky to live to retirement age, so i'm enjoying myself now. 🙂

  142. john king says:


    Barontorc says:

    10 May, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    "Craig Murray has already made the point of using external monitors – why the hell are some of us here willing to stick with the ‘cheats’ system – you know you’ll get filleted like a kipper – why keep ‘hoping’ for fair play? Some hope."

    Been there done that, OHIDR will only take an interest if the UK  government ask them to,
    case closed,

    they wont help


    sent them a second email a couple of weeks ago, and nada, silence, 

  143. Barontorc says:

    John King – for me, silence on an issue does not mean the message hasn't been received. I would be surprised and extremely disappointed if european justice bodies were to ignore the approaches of the Scottish Government.


    Like Craig Murray – I see the very pragmatic point of involving external monitors – why is the SG sticking with the Electoral Commission? Is it gathering evidence to spur a move? It's a risky business leaving the security of the henhouse to Mr Fox and Co!

  144. The Water Beastie says:

    I also worry about the popular support that the change to Barnett would have down south, given the way that the referendum is being presented there.  I met two academic colleagues for the first time the other night, at a university abroad – one from Birmingham, the other from Yorkshire.  The evening was going well, then Birmingham lightly raised the question (with wry smile) of 'Alex Salmond's referendum', and made clear that as much as he thought AS was an articulate and gifted politician, that there simply was no popular interest in the question in Scotland.  When asked what way I thought the vote would go, they were absolutely astonished (and stopped smiling) when I said there was a good chance of Yes.  Yorkshire was hardcore Labour (and didn't seem to understand the term Red Tory), and was horrifed at any suggestion that Scotland had a very different political identity and priorities from elsewhere in the UK.

    These people were intelligent, and it is quite clear that the line they are being fed (if anything at all from their MSM) is that it is one man's caprice, and the only reason why anyone would vote Yes was if they were simply 'anti-English' – they just did not seem to realise that it might just be a vote of no confidence in the Westminster system.

    I worry, because (as Margo MacDonald said at last year's Rally) regardless of how the vote goes, we have to live together as neighbours afterwards.  And although she was referring to within Scotland, the backlash from an uninformed electorate down south, who are being told now that it is nothing but anti-English sentiment, is really concerning – it would give such popular strength to any postRef Westminster moves to neuter Holyrood.  Although the priority is our less-than-impartial MSM in Scotland, the MSM down south are setting the stage for some really ugly reactions, regardless of which way the vote goes.


    'Vote No – Get Nothing' does indeed seem to be a sugar-coated version of what is likely to happen….

  145. Barontorc says:

    Water Beastie – the facts really are that Scotland is in a unique position to leave the joint-union with England, for whatever reason, which in this case is because of continued unfair treatment received, now well understood by the Scottish people it affects and who will not tolerate it any more. 


    This is something that English regions are unable to do, even if they feel disadvantaged within England. The cement that helped bind all Labour supporters in the UK, has now been burst assunder by New Labour's fixation focus on London and the South of England. The unholy mire that UK politics is now in has reached past it's shelf life with these economic partitions now well set in and the reality is, those English regions who are now more and more economically sidelined, wil be looking for some better system to surface, be it federalism or whatever.


    Perhaps we should be casting ourselves as agents for such change being forced onto the English /UK political system – allies and independent friends? There's always a silver cloud and it's time the English started looking for it.

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