stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland


Fear cuts deeper than swords

Posted on November 12, 2013 by

Last month saw a return of one of the No camp’s favourite scare stories – that an independent Scotland would be unable to defend itself against terrorists. (As usual, no consideration was given to the notion that a Scotland with a non-aggressive foreign policy would be far less likely to be the target of terrorism in the first place.)

fearcuts

An unusually balanced and thoughtful piece in today’s Scotsman trashes the UK government report’s findings on purely practical and technical grounds. But there are rather more inspiring and positive reasons for doing so too.

Gergely Polner, former Hungarian diplomat and Eurocrat, blogs for the Huffington Post. In August, he posted a piece called The New Golden Age of Diplomacy, in which he quotes American political scientist Joseph Nye:

“Diplomacy in the digital age is about storytelling… In the information age, it’s not just whose army wins but whose story wins.

If you read the Foreign Affairs Committee report Foreign policy considerations for the UK and Scotland in the event of Scotland becoming an independent country, you quickly learn that the Westminster government has no desire to come up with a better story than the one it is already telling.

The evidence given to the committee by the Foreign Office sums up the stance:

“It is for the Scottish Government to set out how it would go about developing a new network of bilateral relationships, and setting up and financing the diplomatic network it would presumably need to service them.

It is difficult to see how those relationships would be more productive for Scotland than those privileged relationships the UK currently enjoys with the rest of the world, and particularly the other major international powers, including the emerging economies.”

Here’s the Foreign Office minister David Lidington, refusing to think ahead:

Sir John Stanley: …is it the policy of the present UK Government that there should be a continuing strategic nuclear deterrent and that, therefore, the existing deterrent would have to be located elsewhere in the United Kingdom?

Mr Lidington: It is the policy of the UK Government that there should continue to be a strategic nuclear deterrent. We are not making plans in this respect or any other as to what should happen in the event of a vote for independence in Scotland. Clearly, if there were to be a vote in favour of independence, from that point on negotiations would have to take place.

Sir John Stanley: I am not referring to negotiations. Is it the policy of the present British Government that in those circumstances the strategic nuclear deterrent would be transferred elsewhere in the United Kingdom?

Mr Lidington: The strategic nuclear deterrent would be maintained and we would take whatever measures we felt were necessary in order to do that.

There’s a lot more along the same lines. On the question of succession, EU membership, Schengen, the global reach of rUK and the influence of an independent Scotland, the majority of the evidence given to the committee is that the position of the Scottish government is hopelessly unrealistic, over-ambitious, or just plain wrong. Meanwhile the rUK would sail on, almost undisturbed.

This allows the committee to come to a satisfyingly patronising conclusion (para 138).

Scotland’s foreign policy may differ in style but, based on current information, it will in many respects ape the UK, albeit on a smaller scale.

That’s us told, then. Reduced to small-scale, unintelligent mimicry. We might as well give up now. But if you dig into the evidence, there’s one witness who’s thinking differently, thinking about the story that should be being told, and who regards the referendum not as threat but a diplomatic opportunity.

Catarina Tully was Strategy Project Director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Here she is considering what the referendum is actually about:

“This is not just about Scotland and the UK; it is about global trends in the wider world.

Our concept of the single sovereign state is being deconstructed, power is going up and down, and identity is becoming more important for citizens with multiple identities, and they are becoming more frustrated with the ineffectiveness of nation states in addressing some of the problems facing them.

This is a broad context, so when we are looking at what is happening here, it is not just about the UK and Scotland; it is also about what is happening in Spain and Germany. Perhaps we need to re-evaluate what being an independent state and having statecraft in an interdependent 21st century is all about.”

No doubt the committee considered this well outside their remit (if they considered it at all), but Tully had some more practical ideas too:

“Personal anecdotal evidence from across North America and Europe indicates that other countries are finding it difficult to assess their own response to independence, since they are not getting much response from Whitehall. They are uncertain about what the Scottish referendum means and what Scottish independence might mean.

Herein lies an opportunity for the UK and Scotland both to engage and reassure partners’ concerns while balancing their own quite separate respective agendas and build their respective soft power credibilities – whatever the outcome of the referendum.”

She goes on to add:

“It is sensible to manage proactively the risk inherent in the very different policy-making cultures between the Scottish government and the UK government. The FCO is both responsive and excellent at delivery, yet operates in a highly tactical and last-minute mode.

The SNP government comparatively is more strategic, focused on the longer-term, with a coherent logical framework- (and domestic policy-) shaped experience…. could a small team from the FCO be seconded during the campaign to the Scottish government to support and build capability and knowledge of the Whitehall apparatus on foreign policy. Again, regardless of the referendum outcome, this exchange would be a positive move.”

That’s the framework of a different, imaginative story being laid down there. It would be a story of how the UK and Scottish governments were working together to show the world how you can remodel a nation state through a democratic consensus, and how – whether that nation state ultimately remained intact or not – its influence abroad could be maintained or strengthened.

Would not that be a more appropriate story for the ‘Mother Of Parliaments’ to be taking to the world rather than this bitter tale of diminishing reputation, homeless submarines, and pesky separatists?

In Gergely Polner’s blog, there’s a link to a speech by Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans, who uses ‘Game of Thrones’ as a metaphor for how he sees European society. He asks, “When winter is coming, how do you respond to the challenge?”

It seems Westminster has already blocked its ears with snow.

Print Friendly

    81 to “Fear cuts deeper than swords”

    1. a supporter says:

      “Sir John Stanley: I am not referring to negotiations. Is it the policy of the present British Government that in those circumstances the strategic nuclear deterrent would be transferred elsewhere in the United Kingdom?
      Mr Lidington: The strategic nuclear deterrent would be maintained and we would take whatever measures we felt were necessary in order to do that.

      A long winded YES then.

    2. JasonF says:

      “It is for the Scottish Government to set out how it would go about…” 
       
      This is a great thing: for Scotland to have the chance to do what it wants. This should fill people with excitement, not fear. 

    3. Robert McDonald says:

      Wow, that last quote from Catarina Tully is quite the eye opener!

    4. Illy says:

      This seems to me to be emphisising that Westminster doesn’t really believe that we’ll vote Yes next year.
      They are claiming publicly that they will be caught with their pants down if Scotland votes Yes.
      Why they’re doing that I have no idea.  Maybe they’re planning to invade another country or something?

    5. Jiggsbro says:

      A long winded YES then
       
      Or a long-winded way of avoiding saying “We’ll annex Faslane if we have to”.

    6. Illy says:

      “Or a long-winded way of avoiding saying “We’ll annex Faslane if we have to”.”
      Good luck to them with that plan.  Doesn’t Scotland “punch above it’s weight” in the UK military?
      I would expect serious trouble if they even mentioned trying that.

    7. john king says:

      Im not convinced I want my government to take foreign policy advice from Westminster

    8. Tris says:

      The seem to have made no plans for a Yes vote.
       
      Hammond point blank refused to even contemplate it in an interview with Channel Four News.
       
      Surely this is politics.  I know the Uk is arrogant, but they cannot be stupid enough to have not planned for anything at all.
       
      Can they?
       
      As for what it would cost, are they unaware that we pay our share of what it costs to run a ridiculously oversized and overstuffed foreign office for the UK. We would save that upon independence.
       
      How do Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Ireland managed?

    9. Macart says:

      Ms Tully seems to have the right idea. Clearly she should never have been invited to give her opinion. 😉

    10. G H Graham says:

      The Two Faces of the British Establishment
       
      1. Overarching objective in Iraq & Afghanistan (or indeed any other foreign nation where influence is to believed to be achievable) is to establish a balanced democracy favouring Western alliances with public support through the acquisition of hearts & minds. Even if it means having to shoot some of the natives.
       
      2. Overarching objective in the UK is to extract as much value from Scotland’s resources to prop up an overextended public borrowing program while blocking any chance of sovereign independence through the propogation of fear, uncertainty & lies. 

    11. chalks says:

      They are clueless, it isn’t just in policies they severely lack common sense and decency, but also in their opinions of the wider electorate.
       

    12. desimond says:

      Seems to be a bit of “Wait!, What?, No!!” going on with spokesfolk from the recent rUK ( much prefer the Former United Kingdom acronym). Its understandable though, they just found out their Englishmans castle is nothing but a house of cards.

      They have tried 2 massive scare stories in Grangemouth and Govan and all its done is awake those outside Scotland to whats lurking over the horizon.

      Imagine telling someone in the Defence Commitee…”See that 200bn in possible oil revenue bonuses, well thats not going to your arms dealers”. No wonder theyre sounding all confused despite the attempts at sounding confident and blasé. To be fair, none of us sound good when we have just woken up. 

    13. Illy says:

      “but they cannot be stupid enough to have not planned for anything at all.”Well, they certainly want us to believe that they’re that stupid.  Because they’re telling us that they’re that stupid.
      Why they think “Westminster is too daft to make plans for both possible outcomes of the referendum next year” is a good image to be projecting does confuse me.The only good explination I can come up with is that they *really* believe that they’ve got the vote won.Which just shows how disconnected from reality they are.

    14. WND says:

      Everything emanating from Westminster in the last few weeks suggests that they aren’t seriously entertaining the possibility of a YES vote.
       
      This may indeed be arrogance or denial  –  but I wouldn’t put it past them to have some “August surprise” lined up by the dirty tricks department.

    15. desimond says:

      Heard William Hague rattling on about how he had been to a meeting about Irans nuclear program. Im sure everyone here hopes that Scots choosing a different road, a peaceful social justice lined avenue of opportunity, openness and fairness doesnt affect his wee junkets and those comfy seats at the big table!

    16. G H Graham says:

      Even if the vote is YES, I expect the British government to obfuscate, block, alter terms, delay blah blah blah with the objective of turning the vote around at another referendum so that they can put to bed any idea of Scots aspiring for independence.
       
      Anyone who thinks that a YES vote next year will initiate a gentle transition towards full sovereign independence is probably mistaken. The divorce will be so ugly that it may end up that the two countries remain under the same roof except that they will be sleeping in separate beds.

    17. chalks says:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/12/david-cameron-austerity_n_4258733.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
       
      Might be this they have up their sleeve….oh wait.
      The more I think about it, the more I think they are just disengaged English politicians saying these things, I KNOW the Scottish MP’s know they are in a battle to save their jobs.

    18. Dcanmore says:

      I think Westminster are keeping their cards (albeit bluffing with jokers) close to their chests. This is a staring competition where Westminster will glare and glare saying to the country that they’re unflinching pro-UK for the benefit of Daily Mail readers. What is actually happening behind closed doors is a formation of negotiation teams with all-case scenarios being pegged out. Trident is a worry and is the achilles heel for them to play tough on a newly independent Scotland. If anything Westminster has a battle on two fronts, Scotland where it is willing to negotiate terms of separation, and a rebellious Labour (loss of 41 seats) who would want the referendum nullified by any means, but they are hampered by a particularly weak leadership.
       
      We are still in the phoney war for another couple of weeks at least. After the launch of the White Paper then we’ll see if the Tories are still playing it cool and start to nudge Labour out in the cold.

    19. Illy says:

      @G H Graham:
      Your No. 1 is the excuse they gave.  It wasn’t their real objective.  Their real objective was to rape, loot and pillage.
      You can tell because they propped up those same dictators they later attacked right up until they started standing up for themselves and stopped giving the UK/USA good deals on the locals.
      Saddam Hussain was a “trusted friend” of the White House 30 years ago.  Shook hands with the president in front of the cameras and everything.  I’m sure we could find pics of him with UK Prime Ministers as well if we tried.

    20. Craig P says:

      The idea behind not contemplating independence is to avoid normalising it. I am sure that behind the scenes, there are negotiations. Or maybe they really are that poor at planning, would explain a number of other things!

    21. Training Day says:

      @Craig P
       
      “The idea behind not contemplating independence is to avoid normalising it.”
       
      This.  A strategy slavishly followed by the ‘Scottish’ media.

    22. desimond says:

      2064..Edinburgh

      Natalie Sturgeon MacDonald, newly elected leader of Scottish Government, smiles as she hands the scissors to her grandmother Nicola, the former First Minister and recently  a General Secretary of the UN, who steps up to cut the ribbon on the 50th Anniversary statue ( Alec Salmond with cone on his head). Applauding in attendance are delegates from over 100 countries who are all proud and thankful to be present.

      …meanwhile, 400 miles away..

      The City State of London continues to beg banks to bail them out and even offers to change its name to New Singapore for appropriate compensation from possible Eastern sponsors.

    23. Vincent McDee says:

      Somewhere else, this is happening
      http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/council-5-on-rich-list-of-public-servants-123964n.21041802
       
      Five employees at Glasgow City Council and its subsidiary companies make the top 10 for the largest remuneration packages, in the whole of UK.

    24. Doug Daniel says:

      “50th Anniversary statue ( Alec Salmond with cone on his head)”
       
      This needs to happen.

      The next Wings fundraiser?

    25. Stuart Black says:

      Saddam Hussain was a “trusted friend” of the White House 30 years ago.  Shook hands with the president in front of the cameras and everything.  I’m sure we could find pics of him with UK Prime Ministers as well if we tried.
       
      You’ll certainly find pictures of him with George “Just say naw” Galloway. 😉

    26. Papadocx says:

      Should the state feel threatened at loss of its control then all options are on the table as far as they are concerned. The shortfall in MOD personnel in Scotland could be resolved very quickly.
       
      Nobody will be allowed to endanger the state without consequences. As I constantly say this mob is capable of anything and when you endanger their power or wealth then watch this space and be surprised at NOTHING!
       
      Loosing the oil threatens their wealth, very dangerous!
       
      loosing trident, loose their permanent seat at UN security council. Very very dangerous (America) will not be pleased and HMG will be raging!
       
      we just want to run or ain we country. THEY HAVE BIGGER FISH TAE FRY (let’s hope it’s naw us) all the lies they tell us are meant to cower and frighten us. What they don’t say sometimes speaks louder. 

    27. Stuart Black says:

      “The idea behind not contemplating independence is to avoid normalising it.”
       
      Spot on Craig, the thinking is that they cannot afford to be seen taking this seriously, as it would normalise the debate. Not a very enlightened way to conduct yourself though, is it?

    28. Stuart Black says:

      Too much loose talk here… 😉

    29. Tinyzeitgeist says:

      George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian;
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/11/business-rules-lobbying-corporate-interests
      This is the direction of travel for Westminster, and that includes the labour party. And they wonder why we want out! Independence cannot come soon enough.

    30. Alex Grant says:

      If you want to know how the discussions will go post a Yes Adam Ingram has opened the ‘can of worms’ IMHO and Derek Bateman’s analysis is spot on ie
      http://drderekbateman.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/yes-ernoerwait/
      Remember the bastards in Westminster will have a vote. If you think they are bad now just wait!

    31. Sandy Milne says:

      Just a casual observation here, after seeing the antics of this new so called Secretary of State for Scotland over the last few weeks it makes you wonder why the previous incumbent was fired. Michael Moore may privately be a more principled man than some give him credit for. It certainly appears now that he was unwilling to embark on this escalation of Project Fear and got himself out of it.
       
      That begs the question is he holding the smoking gun and may well have a tale to tell in the coming months? 

    32. GP Walrus says:

      Thanks for that really interesting glimpse of some of the more intelligent thinking at the FCO. It’s good to know there are thoughtful positive people with constructive insightful ideas beyond the political Punch and Judy show.

    33. Alex Grant says:

      Interestingly I spoke to Paul Henderson Scott recently and asked in his many years with the FCO did his colleagues ‘get it’. He told me surprisingly that many did.
      It would seem few show it but should we be surprised?

    34. Robert Louis says:

      The pretend intransigence of the UK government towards the possibility of Scottish independence, is just that, pretend.  In reality, I do not doubt they will be making plans at many levels regarding how to handle the YES vote in 2014.  This will include the way in which they will negotiate with the Scottish Government regarding assets, and potential defense and security.
       
      Without doubt Westminster is planning to use Trident as a major leverage instrument in those discussions.  In my opinion, the current UK Government has no intention of retaining Trident, nor of replacing it.  All the press releases and statements to the contrary are mere fluff. 
       
      You see, Westminster knows that Scots will not tolerate the nuclear subs for one minute upon independence, so rather than let it be known that they are planning to scrap it anyway, instead they are playing it up, making the case for how difficult it would be to move it and the massive costs involved.  They also keep asserting just how important it is to the UK and NATO.
       
      However, the reality is somewhat different.  At present, nuclear warheads are regularly being removed from Scotland and being decommissioned in the south of England, as part of a strategy to reduce the number of available warheads to just 120 (they used to have over 300). 
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/11/uk-nuclear-weapons-dismantled-trident
       
      In addition, sources within the Obama administration have in the past been reported as suggesting that the UK should give up the costly trident system, and use the money on conventional forces instead.
       
      The notion that trident is important to global security is patent nonsense.   It is even more ridiculous for an independent Scotland of five million people.   I do not doubt that both Washington and Westminster realise this.
       
      We know that the cost of decommissioning all the warheads is in the region of £146 million
       
      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060724/text/60724w0015.htm
       
      Trident is now just a bargaining chip for Westminster.  It will never get renewed due to cost and the fact that it is actually pretty pointless, in a world where Russia has over 8500 nuclear warheads and the USA has 7700.
       
      All of what we are hearing now from Westminster, is indeed them setting their stall for asset negotiations come the YES vote in 2014.

    35. Danny says:

      Why bother with a referendum. We could just dress up in a burka and sneak away from them.

    36. John grant says:

      Ingram has most certainly opened up a can of worms , when the vote is yes as it most certainly will I will be seeing it as a victory on any level mid it is not recognised, well we don’t really want to go down that road one needs look no further than across the water and what went on for 30 years and they have a lot more to lose when we wave adios . 

    37. gerry parker says:

      When will they get it into their heads.
      We’re no feart!

    38. Morag says:

      Natalie Sturgeon MacDonald, newly elected leader of Scottish Government, smiles as she hands the scissors to her grandmother Nicola,
       
      Nice image, but Nicola Sturgeon/Murrell has no children.  She’s 43.  It’s certainly not impossible, but I somehow doubt that starting a family figures in Nicola and Peter’s plans for the rest of the decade.  Is this another sacrifice we have to thank them for?

    39. Andy-B says:

      O/T I do apologise   Just caught the tail end  of some discussion on Radio Scotland today, where  person A said it would be murerously expensive to remove trident from Scotland
       
      This person then went on to say, that the cost would be so high that Scotland would forefit its 8.8% of military hardware, as part of the price of removing trident from Scotland.
       
       
      Also Westminster making noises about chopping 600 jobs in East Kilbrides DID, Department of International Development, if independence is gained.

    40. Big Al says:

      I may be called a cynic for this, but when it comes to terrorism I fear that the Commonwealth Games will be subject to some form of terrorism scare, be it in the form of a bomb threat, the arrest of a terrorist cell or some other nefarious action. I do not trust in any way the depths to which the Establishment will go to prevent losing the Scottish cash cow and a false flag operation would be ideal in proving that indy Scotland would be unable to defend itself. Some of us will see through a devious attempt to quash our aspirations, but there could be many who don’t and that may make a game changer back to no on the basis of the big brother is better at looking after us.
      Feel free to quote me on that for posterity.

    41. MochaChoca says:

      O/T Reporting Scotland Headlines…… Hogmany Celebrations to mark start of Scotland’s BIG Year.
       
      Apparently the BIG year consists of Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup & MTV awards. Nothing else bigger than those events happening next year apparently.

    42. Dorothy Devine says:

      Big Al , we have plenty high flats on which to stick scud missiles and such – nae bother!

    43. msean says:

      I’m sure they are missing something out,can’t imagine what  though…

    44. scaredy cat. says:

      Sorry to go O/T but I’m looking for some advice. I spoke to someone recently who told me they are voting No because independence will mean that he would face having to re-apply for his job (he is a civil servant) and that he would face a drop in wages.
      This idea is based on what he said happened to some civil servants after devolution (those whose departments were devolved, e.g. SEPA).
      Does anyone know if this happened and.  what the Scottish Government’s take on this is?

    45. HandandShrimp says:

      Darling is on record as saying that 50% +1 vote is all we need to win. It would be folly in the extreme to try and cancel the vote if it does not go that their way. However, there may be a last ditch federal offer to preserve some sort of Union. However, given the ill will with which Better Together have conducted their campaign I would not be for trusting anything they try to spin.
       
      Derek raises a fair point though. There are people on the Unionist side that would countenance some fairly undemocratic words and quite possibly actions if they see their gravy train under threat.

    46. Paula Rose says:

      @ scaredy cat
      Nice to know that civil servants put country before self.

    47. Edward says:

      Scaredy Cat – sheer nonsence of course. There will be a need for civil servants, actually more as we will need to set up a Department of Defence and a Foreign affairs office
      I’m not sure about the background of SEPA, but wouldn’t be surprised if changes were made due to something cooked up in London

    48. Alan Macs says:

      Hand&shrimp,
      50% – 1 though will be more than enough for any unionist. It will keep them in a job for at least another 5 years.

    49. scaredy cat. says:

      @ Paula Rose.
      Not all of us are selfish.

    50. Allan28 says:

      Scaredy Cat
       
      I would expect TUPE to apply – in other words, a straightforward transfer under the same terms. What you say about SEPA smacks more of a job re-evaluation exercise which led to a need for re-application. Many Scottish Councils have carried out activities of the latter nature over the past few years.

    51. Paula Rose says:

      @ scaredy cat
      I know, maybe a bit flippant on my part x.

    52. scaredy cat. says:

      @ Paula Rose
      It’s ok. I actually accused him of being short sighted and not thinking of the next generation. Having said that, I do understand that fear, especially for the main or only breadwinner in the family.
      That’s why I wish I knew the facts about what happened.
      I intend to vote yes, even if I risk losing out personally. To me it’s worth it for the greater good of the country. Westminster have not been kind to us anyway, but I do see why he is concerned.
      Thanks everyone for your comments.

    53. HandandShrimp says:

      scaredy cat
       
      It will actually vary. Each Government department has, in its wisdom, developed different rates of pay over the last 20 years or so (they all used to be more or less the same). The Scottish Government is somewhere around the middle, the MoD near the top and DWP and Home Office and others bringing up the rear. I don’t know what SEPA was before devolution but it is conceivable it was a quango with a higher rate of pay than the Scottish Government Civil Service and that those transferred over would have marked time or moved across to a Scottish Government grade.
       
      Of course when it is a step up in pay this presents no difficulty but there are occasions when these transfers (they occur UK wide not just with devolution) result in less attractive terms and people are less happy. There are about 35,000 UK Civil Service jobs in Scotland and the vast majority of these are in DWP, Customs and Excise, Tax and Defence. The vast majority of these jobs will not move south. What would London do with a Motherwell job centre or a Greenock customs office? Scotland will need tax offices, customs and Defence workers too. In answer to your friend’s question, depending on their department, a Yes result could see a transfer to SG rates and a pay rise not a reduction. I know people who work in UK departments desperate to transfer to SG and scan the Civil Service jobs site every week.
       
       

    54. Paula Rose says:

      @ scaredy cat
      Yes one’s own situation can be a driving force – I’m sure some of our wingers are even now posting the answers. Personally I would like to see a narrower spread of earnings – so that those on the lowest pay feel part of the system and want to contribute their ideas, rather than thinking “they are paid so much more than me, its their problem”.

    55. Paula Rose says:

      ( winky thing scaredy cat)

    56. scaredy cat. says:

      HandS
      Thanks.
      There is no doubt that our department will be needed in an independent Scotland, but we are a quango, so perhaps the same fate would apply to us. Time will tell (I hope) 🙂

    57. muttley79 says:

      @scaredy cat
       

      Sorry to go O/T but I’m looking for some advice. I spoke to someone recently who told me they are voting No because independence will mean that he would face having to re-apply for his job (he is a civil servant) and that he would face a drop in wages.
      This idea is based on what he said happened to some civil servants after devolution (those whose departments were devolved, e.g. SEPA).
      Does anyone know if this happened and.  what the Scottish Government’s take on this is?
       
      I can’t imagine why this would be the case.  After all if there is a Yes vote there will be a Scottish treasury set up, along with a Defense department, energy, all transport powers, Welfare department etc.  There will need to be lawyers employed to look at all the No campaign’s infamous 14,000 treaties (which were whittled down to about 8,000! in the end).  In addition, there will almost certainly have to be more politicians in the parliament to cope with the increase in work at Holyrood in the event of Yes.  More politicians= more civil servants.

       

    58. Allan28 says:

      Scaredy Cat
       
      O/T but see here – http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2002/07/15111/8897
       
      I think this is what you are looking for, it dates from 2002.

    59. Brian Powell says:

      scaredy cat
      Your friends response doesn’t make sense, Devolution happened under the Union.

    60. scaredy cat. says:

      @ muttley79
      He is not afraid of losing his job as such. He claims we will have to reapply for our jobs, although, unless the SG were planning on job cuts it’s hard to see how we could be easily replaced. The job needs very specialist training.
      I think he’s more worried about losing money.

    61. scaredy cat. says:

      @ Brian Powell
      He is saying that UK civil servants, who became SG civil servants after devolution, lost out in their pay and conditions.
       

    62. HandandShrimp says:

      On pay, SG continue to honour increments whereas many, if not most, Westminster departments do not.

    63. Edward says:

      Muttley79 – Just to take that thread further. what we wold be looking at is increasing the number of MSP’s (or should that just be MP’s of the Scottish Parliament?) Do we know what the capacity is for Holyrood? . Then there is the question about an upper house or senate, I wonder if we were to have that it could be housed in the old High School (apparently its still fitted out). Coming back to the MSP’s, currently we have a mix of elected and list. I personally would like to see that end and have a completely elected house.
      I can see a bit of a mini building boom as office buildings will be needed to house the new departments.
      Anyway that’s only if the country votes Yes

    64. X_Sticks says:

      @ Andrew Leslie – excellent article.
      “a story of how the UK and Scottish governments could work together to show the world how you can remodel a nation state through a democratic consensus”
      We can but dream. And as Les Wilson says on the other thread:
      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-picture-spin-quiz/#comment-640205
      “we should be benevolent to a degree that will help others anywhere we choose.”
      I sincerely hope that the north of England and Wales would prosper if there is a successful Scotland. Redundant aircraft carrier as Scottish International Rescue vessel? SRS Robert Bruce perhaps? Mmmm..

      Vincent McDee says:
      “Five employees at Glasgow City Council and its subsidiary companies make the top 10 for the largest remuneration packages, in the whole of UK.”

      Ah, good old GCC. Never let you down. Always up there with the best.  It’s those Labour values, y’know.
       

      Danny says:
      “Why bother with a referendum. We could just dress up in a burka and sneak away from them.”
       
       
      That had me in stitches Danny!

    65. Your friend doesn’t sound like the brightest button on the planet as he/she is losing money now through real inflation of 8-10^% in this union where the only growth in the economy is increasing debt fueling this bank/Gov sponsored ponzi scheme which we are tied to.    Maybe you should ask him/her if after a no vote things will get better or worse as austerity is here for a decade and more as confirmed by Cameron’s latest speech. 
       
      Ask him/her if he worth more than a barrel of oil!
       
      http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4315

    66. scaredy cat. says:

      @Allan28
      Thanks. That looks like an explanation.

    67. muttley79 says:

      @Edward
       
      Coming back to the MSP’s, currently we have a mix of elected and list. I personally would like to see that end and have a completely elected house.
       
      But the list MSPs are there because of the PR system.  What do you mean a completely elected house?  Do you want a end to first-past-the-post or PR?

    68. The Rough Bounds says:

      According to BBC Scotland the British Government will be giving six million pounds (£6,000.000) to the relief fund in the Phillipines. The Scottish Government will be donating six hundred thousand (£600,000).
      It kind of makes us look a wee bit tight fisted in comparison, but this is one tenth of the six million that the British Government is giving and is approximately proportionate to our population base. It’s slightly more in fact.
       
      Then you realise that Scotland has already paid its share of the six million as we are still at the moment in the United Kingdom.
      This means that we are in fact paying much more than should be expected on a poplulation basis.
      But of course this will all be explained in the newspapers and on Radio Scotland tomorrow. Aye right!

    69. Albert Herring says:

      There are other PR systems where members are all elected, multi-member STV for example.

    70. Paula Rose says:

      All a bit twiddling thumbs until the white paper comes out – any more ratlet pix?

    71. kininvie says:

      @ X_Sticks
      Thanks.  I asked the Rev to leave the title alone because I wanted to see where people thought the ‘fear’ lay. We are suffering from the onslaught of fear – and the report piles it on. But I’m not so sure we are the only ones. Is the UK govt’s failure to take the kind of initiative that Catriana Tully suggests not an instance of a deeper, even more fearful insecurity?
      I commend the video I linked to in the last para. It’s an enlightening piece.

    72. X_Sticks says:

      kininvie says:
      “We are suffering from the onslaught of fear”
       
      Aye, we’re suffering from the onslaught of fear stories, but I’m not so sure the stories will be believed. The Scots have long had a reputation for cocking a snoot at fear stories. Thanks to the internet the truth will out. My fear is that westminster will just cheat the referendum somehow. As someone said earlier that could have profound consequences.

    73. The Man in the Jar says:

      Sorry for going OT 
      I just watched the first of three episodes of a series of programs presented by historian Dominic Sandbrook titled Strange Days-Cold War Britain on BBC2. (Next episode Friday 9pm then Tuesday 9pm. 
       
      Got to give it a big recommendation it is very informative and gives some background to the UK post WW2 and is an insight to Westminsters attitude to being a global power. Orwell gets a good few mentions along with others. I learned a lot and I lived through some of this. Tonights episode should be on the iplayer soon I hope. 

    74. MochaChoca says:

      The Civil Service stats are interesting.
       
      Surprisingly 10% of civil servants are located in Scotland, which at first glance looks fair considering we contribute 10% of UK taxes. However between a disproportionate lack of senior (6.2%) and higher grade officers (6.6%) and the effect of London weighting of salaries, Civil servants located here are on average paid significantly less than the UK as a whole.
       
      UK wide median civil service salary is £24,380 whereas in Scotland it is £21,860. Assuming mean salary differs by a similar proportion this would suggest that Scotland losses out in terms of earnings by £114.5million per annum which equates to 5240 additional staff.
       
      I would seem likely that the other elements of Civil Service budgets (not just staff costs) would suffer at least the same degree of disparity.
       
      All based on March 2013 figures.

    75. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Can someone tell us anything more frightening than the prospect of Tories/Libs and ‘Labour’ taking turns to rule us from Westminster?
       
      Today they had a chance to show some common decency and call for abolition of the insane Bedroom Tax, but they couldn’t even do that.
       
      Keep fighting these bastards – they’re on the run, and they know we know it.

    76. Andy says:

      I don’t think Trident is London’s trump card I think it is our trump card
      If they behave and cooperate ( we build their ships) they get ten years to get them out ( their rates might go up a bit)
      If they misbehave they can get it out next week before we blockade the Clyde.

    77. ronnie anderson says:

      As posted under previous story  Better Together Public meeting  21st  NOV  CORNERSTONE  HOUSE  ESK WALK  CUMBERNAULD  G67 1EW

    78. Morag says:

      There are other PR systems where members are all elected, multi-member STV for example.
       
      Having seen STV up close and personal in the local elections, I’m really really not a fan.  Conversely, the more I see of d’Hondt, the better I like it.  Dewar or whoever it was did us a favour I think.

    79. A2 says:

      No contingency plan = pure incompetence.  Even if they have something in their back pocket they aren’t letting on about, they are telling the electorate they aren’t fit to manage.

    80. ronnie anderson says:

      And  there  we  have  it  lad’s  n  lasses  mair  INSULTS  FROM  BBC  NEWSNITE   a  quote from    JFK  SCOTLAND   THE  LAND   OF  LOST  CAUSES   fur fuck sake how do we let them get away with that  basrards



    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.




    ↑ Top