The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Fiddling the figures

Posted on October 21, 2015 by

At the weekend this site noted that on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, presenter Andrew Neil claimed that the Scottish Government’s budget had not been reduced in real terms in “the last five or six years”, and that therefore Scotland has not faced cuts.


But as we pointed out, the Scottish Government budget HAS been cut, year-on-year, since the Tories took office. The independent Fiscal Affairs Scotland assessed the cumulative reduction at a hefty 10%, or a little over £3bn a year.

And then things got interesting.

Unusually, Neil actually responded to our clarification request, haughtily insisting we were wrong to focus on the “DEL” (Departmental Expenditure Limit) figures and that the “TME” budget (Total Managed Expenditure) was unchanged or slightly increased.


He linked to a graphic on the Scottish Government website as evidence:


Gleeful Unionists immediately seized on the exchange, writing hasty, poorly-informed blogs crowing about Neil’s majestic refutation of the “error”. Yet the claim rests on a deliberate distortion of what the graph above represents.

The sum depicted in the graph as the “total” budget comes in two chunks. The larger of the two is the Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL), as we noted, which accounts for roughly 85% of the total. DEL is allocated by the Barnett Formula, and the Scottish Government can choose to spend it however it wants.

AME is the rest, covering spending funded directly by Westminster (eg public-sector pensions) and spending by councils financed from council tax or business rates.

In short, DEL is all the money the Scottish Government controls and has any say over spending, and reductions to that are therefore what the likes of Fiscal Affairs Scotland mean when they say the Scottish budget has been cut.


AME is not controlled by the Scottish Government, and is not allocated by Barnett. The Scottish Government cannot move money from AME to, say, fund the NHS – any policy decisions Holyrood makes have to be funded wholly from the DEL.

Basically AME is money that Holyrood has to administrate but can’t choose what to do with, like someone handing you a coupon for a tin of beans at Sainsbury’s instead of some of your wages. You’re the one who has to go to the shop, fill out the back of the coupon and hand it over, but you get no say in what you buy or where from – it’s got to be beans and it’s got to be Sainsbury’s. You’re basically an errand boy.

The UK government’s “How to understand public sector spending” website notes:


In other words, AME is a facet of UK government policy, because it relates to things that are reserved to Westminster like welfare and tax credits. So if the cost of those goes up (eg from a rise in unemployment, or more people needing tax credits because of low pay or zero-hours contracts) the UK government picks up the tab, and if the costs go down (eg because benefits have been cut) it allocates less money to them.

The breakdown of what’s in AME (in terms of those aspects devolved to the Scottish Government for disbursement – see below) can be found in Annex E Table 2:


We can see that AME for 2015-16 comes to a little over £7bn, and that it’s increased by around £1.3bn from the previous year, almost all of it accounted for by a £1.2bn bump in “Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth”. And if we dig into the figures a little further we can find out where that comes from:


The sum allocated to the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) has increased by £1.2bn (from £2.7bn last year to £3.9bn for 2015-16). A large part of the reason for this is that from 2015, the SPPA will administer the pensions of police and firefighters, in addition to its previous responsibilities for teachers and NHS staff.

Andrew Neil is telling us that’s extra cash for the Scottish Government to spend, to counter the DEL cuts. But really it’s just money which used to be paid by the DWP, but has now been given to the SPPA to pay out instead. Not a single extra penny will come into Scotland. All that’s changed is the postmark on the envelope.

But that one-off paper transfer of responsibility for police and firefighter pensions would be enough to conceal a real-terms cut of £1.2bn in the amount of spendable money that the Scottish Government has in its coffers.

The same is true of the rest of the AME part of the budget. As we said all along, the true size of the “Scottish Government budget” – that is, the money Holyrood controls and allocates and makes decisions about – is that which is listed in the DEL figures, and it’s been savagely cut since the Tories came to power in 2010.

Audit Scotland concurred in its 2014 report on public spending (our highlighting):


Neil is presenting a totally dishonest interpretation of the reality by including what is in every meaningful and practical sense UK government money in the total. And we can reasonably surmise he’s doing that on purpose, because in order to avoid exactly this sort of confusion the Scottish Government very sensibly puts the DEL statistics right up front on page 1 of chapter 1 of the budget.

Neil, or his researchers, would have to read past and ignore the proper figures to find the misleading ones he used to attack an ill-prepared Angus Robertson.

As ever, readers can draw their own conclusions as to why.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 21 10 15 16:30

    Fiddling the figures | Politics Scotland | Sco...

  2. 21 10 15 17:43

    Fiddling the figures | Speymouth

  3. 18 12 16 14:14

    Andrew Neil: £140,000+ for “Scum of Scotland” reporting –

186 to “Fiddling the figures”

  1. Lesley-Anne says:

    Well Well Well!

    Wee Andy Neil spreading LIES and DECEIT about Scotland’s finances … and NOT for the first time either I’d wager.

    Neil is doing what his bosses tell him to do, his bosses being the pig fancier and the Daily Mail. He’ll do anything to run S******d down.

    I wonder if he has seen any squirrels recently. 😀

  2. UncleBob says:

    I am not an economist or anyone connected with government and even I can see the difference. Obviously this is just another attempt to hide the truth.

    Mr Neil needs to admit he was wrong, like that will happen!!

  3. Nei McAdam says:

    I assume we are also waiting for a petulant email response from Neil?

  4. Dcanmore says:

    Great research. Neil has the weight of the BBC and more behind him yet…

    the ex-Rupert Murdoch sock-puppet only reads what fits his agenda, and hopes nobody knows any better, that is trading on populism. Telling that he said ‘I’m using YOUR government’s figures’ (meaning Scotgov) despite already acknowledging Stuart is in Bath.

  5. K1 says:

    Does it seem to be the case in light of what you have outlined above, that the SNP are not truly understanding that this is the devious and calculated intent of the political pundits/journalists, in this case Neil, to undermine them and that they will stop at nothing to ‘get that message’ out by the most blatant and yet insidious means possible?

    The end is justifying the means.

    If as you point out the DEL information is clear on the SG government’s own budget on page 1 of chapter 1. Then it can only be a deliberate attempt to ‘confuse’. In the very real hope that the audience is ‘taken in’.

    Would Neil have done this if Labour were the incumbents at Holyrood?

    Well done Stu, another excellent incisive piece showing up the ‘reality’ of the deliberate ‘manufacturing of consent’.

  6. Jim Mitchell says:

    Yes he should admit that he’s either a lier or doesn’t know what he is talking about………or both!

  7. scotspine says:

    My conclusion?

    Neil appears to be an example of the kind of obnoxious, arrogant, self important prick, who eagerly goes out of his way to assist the UK Establishment in supressing Scottish democracy.

    The sad thing is that there are a large number of dimwits in this Country (Scotland) who are happy to swallow the falsehoods the likes of this shiny suited, fake tanned, dyed hair, vanity centred, snake oil salesman pump out.

    I note in one of orange puss’s twitter replies to Stu, his comment “your Government”, which utterly reeks of snideness and condescension towards Scotland and the voters residing there.

    Neil….Fuck off you dick.

  8. Susan says:

    Rev, Thank you for this as I was really confused watching the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

  9. Proud Cybernat says:

    Stonking analysis, Rev. Neil–yer a dunderheid.

    (I’ll update my wee vid with the new info here–hope that’s okay).

  10. Onwards says:

    So Andrew Neil is either being deliberately disingenuous, or advised by someone who is being deliberately disingenuous or simply ignorant.

    Either way, it doesn’t say much for his professional reputation.

    It actually seems pretty ridiculous to even think that the Scottish budget wouldn’t have suffered half way through the harsh Tory austerity cuts.

  11. Taranaich says:

    See, here’s the thing about all this: Andrew Neil is trying to say that there have been no cuts to the Scottish Budget. How can this square with George Osborne’s much-publicised and criticised cuts to public services throughout the UK?

    Either there have been cuts to reserved areas which the Scottish government has no control over, or there haven’t. It doesn’t make sense for Mr Neil to suggest there have been no cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget when it is a matter of record that there have been millions of pounds’ worth of cuts.

    Why doesn’t Mr Neil challenge George Osborne, or anyone in the UK government, to explain why there have been no cuts to the Scottish budget despite all the media talking about cuts to public services across the UK?

  12. yesindyref2 says:

    Well done Rev. I researched as far as the TME split into DEL and AME and posted it on the thread, but didn’t discover that that AME had increased for the reasons you’ve explained.

    I daresay Andrew Neil will be on next week with a correction …

  13. Pablo Miller says:

    Has the good doctor (Scott) not responded to your analysis? He was so proud of his blog aswell.

  14. scribblerdubious says:

    the constant mentions of your locale by unionist types is quietly, in a wood-for-trees type of way, really pretty unacceptable.

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    I checked Andrew Neil’s twitter thing at the time and he was making a big song and dance about how the Rev was confusing DEL with TME. Which means Andrew Neil, by mentioning TME and DEL, has been hung, drawn and quartered by – himself.

  16. Andrew says:

    this was not the first time THIS month that Andrew Neil has launched an attack on the SNP using figures that were wrong. In the Hosie Interview Fri16th I believe, Neil stated that North Sea oil was under $48 per barrel. A cursory glance at the BBC/UK/Business/Market Data pages shows that Brent Crude (North Sea Oil) was over $50 per barrel and had been for 3 weeks due to demand growth for it.
    Neil then went on to claim first of all that the NHS waiting time target was 98%, where the Scot Gov clearly lists it as 95% with ‘Boards working towards achieving 98%’. Then he claimed the Scottish NHS was achieving a mere 77% by using. Single location within a single board within the Scottish NHS as an example to tar the whole of th NHS and the Scottish Govt.
    He is a liar, he is a bully and he is an establishment propagandist who is determined to undermine the SNP.

  17. Stoker says:

    As i read through that article i couldn’t help but have a wee gloat to myself and think how nobody can even touch the Rev when he’s on form.

    Then i went on to thinking again, of a recurring thought i have, how brilliant it would be to see the Rev live on tv in a one-on-one debate with unionist gobshites such as Andrew Neil.

    But then again, these people never do anything unless it’s on their terms and under the control and protection of the BBC mothership.

    Snivelling lying deceitful cowards!

  18. INDEPENDENT says:

    Great piece of analysis, magnificent outing of the blowhard.

    Can you pay for a full page in say the Sun, with the full text just as above, probably best on a Saturday thus exposing Neil for what he is to the masses.
    A Chris Cairns cartoon as an addition of the brillo topped balloon, fully inflated, then being burst by Stu and when deflated shown as the King with no clothes.
    As Danny Kaye famously depicted.
    I know ???? giving money to the press sticks in the craw but sometimes I feel your great work deserves a bigger Joe Public Stage.

  19. Training Day says:

    Neil chides the Rev for being ‘a long way from Scotland’.

    I hadn’t realised that Neil had started broadcasting the Daily/Sunday Politics and This week from Pacific Quay.

    Fine and clear analysis, Rev.

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    Andrew Neil, by mentioning both TME and DEL on his twitter thing is analogically similar to the suspect in a stabbing saying he used to have a serrated bladed knife but lost it 2 years, and the police say “we never released details that the knife used had a serrated blade”.

    ‘fess up Andrew Neil on your next program, are you a decent human being, or a scurrilous skunk?

  21. Genghis D'Midgies says:

    Who prepared that Scottish Government webpage which was used so easily to deceive and just in time for the SNP Conference?

  22. Bob Mack says:

    Hats off to you Rev for another brilliant dissection of the facts.

    Distortion of the facts appear to be the weapon of choice for the media.

    You have cleared very muddy waters and explained forensically, something we all knew to be true
    My personal thanks.

  23. galamcennalath says:

    Good stuff, Rev.

    Even a pillock like Andrew Neil should be able to understand now.

    I note the Rev Stu hasn’t used the F word despite considerable provocation!

    So, who should Neil address his grovelling apology to?

    Angus Robertson, for starters. That crock of shite would throw anyone. AR presumably had no tables, no graphs, only twisted statements and stupid questions in his ear.

    Then there is everyone else where his show is broadcast! A firm explanation of the mistake and apology this Sunday?

  24. Paul says:

    The truth hurts. Keep up the good work!

  25. gordoz says:

    Jeez your meticulous man :

    Andrew Neil’s pants will be exceptionally warm after such a spanking. Def been caught out.

    I’m sure he will say he ran his figures by Kevin Hague.

    Take it you control the Kitty on nights out ? 🙂

  26. gordoz says:

    @Training Day

    Good Point about A Neil’s location.

    Backfired big style.

  27. Big Jock says:

    Glad you went through all that, my eyes were glazing over! The beans token analogy explained it though. As always you have to sift through the deliberate lies to get to the truth with these buggers. No one else in the press or blogosphere does what you can do Stu.

    Another deceipt exposed!

  28. Arabs for Independence says:

    Really excellent work Stu and clearly written and explained.

    A real pus shutter for Brillo

  29. Andrew McLean says:

    So this administration of the police pension, is it related to the recent survey done with the police, who state they were dissatisfied?
    Was that not due to the Scottish Government being refused to allow enhanced pension payments, that was spun by the BNP, (british nationalist press) into a SNP bad story? Now being spun into a SNP bad story? Andrew Neil for shame, never took you for a A, fool, B patsy, C, or liar, and before you blow off, a lie by omission is still a lie!
    You earn a living holding hear today, gone tomorrow politicians and governments to account, but if we can no longer believe what you say, then of what use are you! You do realise you have backed the wrong horse on this one, you will be thought better of if you clarify, like you didn’t with the question to Alex on legal advice from the referendum. You got away with that, Just, no second chances this time!

  30. Nuada says:

    So, the money which Holyrood administers for Westminster but has no control over has been growing year on year, while the money Holyrood itself controls has been cut year on year. This has three effects:

    1 – it gives the (unwarranted) impression that Westminster is looking out for Scotland, but more insidiously

    2 – if it continues on this course, we’ll end up with a situation where Holyrood becomes an expensive irrelevance, which will mean

    3 – a prudent and responsible Westminster will abolish it.

    Or is that just paranoia?

  31. Lesley-Anne says:

    Sorry for O/T here.

    Suggestion being made that we should look at getting these put back up in and around Motherwell.

    I’m not sure we could put the exact poster back up but I’m sure we use the poster within a new poster of our own.

  32. Dan Huil says:

    Great work, Rev. Neil is just another Scot who travelled to London and made his way by sucking up to the Westminster establishment, London-centric media and BritNat eejits. He specializes in the Scottish Cringe. He’s an utter disgrace.

  33. Matt says:

    “I’m using your Governments official figures.”
    Strange choice of words for a man from Paisley.

  34. K1 says:


    “I’m using the SNPBAD Government’s official figures”

    Fixed that for you. 🙂

  35. galamcennalath says:


    Change the …

    “We are BetterTogether in the UK”

    … into …

    “Still think we are BetterTogether in the UK?”

  36. Marie Clark says:

    Well Done Rev. I don’t know how you do this day in and day out.

    This odious toad is a bullying arrogant anal appeture.

    I hate the way when challenged by anyone, how he tries to belittle the person as stupid. I am always right, and you are just something to be scraped off my shoe.


  37. Ian Grant says:

    Excellent explanation. At first sight, I’d have thought Neil was just ignorant, but clearly he was being deliberately dishonest in misrepresenting the true situation of SG’s finances over last few years.

  38. Andrew McLean says:

    Lesley-Anne says
    yes if your intention is to offend the Yes voters, or alienate the no voters, so a lose lose position,
    a more conciliatory approach like, Who do you believe will fight for your future Nicola Sturgeon, or Jeremy Corbyn?

  39. Clootie says:

    Andrew Neil only repeats the propaganda being fed to his lug by the back shop boys. He doesn’t care about the accuracy of the information. He is paid to deliver false/misleading information as fact.

    He has all the skill required to ask questions on topics researched by his team. It is like comparing a quizmaster to a contestant. I wonder how he would perform as the interviewee.

    He is well rewarded for his loyalty to the union.

  40. Andrew Neil is about the only political presenter I can watch,he gives all parties/politicians a tough time.

    I hope he is honourable enough to either apologise or at least admit he unknowingly misrepresented the facts.

  41. John D aka Ecosse-Nkosi says:

    I called him a person who is economic with the truth on twitter regarding this and told him right out to sue me if I was wrong. Needless to say he has not answered or sent his lawyers around.

  42. jimnarlene says:

    Simply, excellent.

  43. stonefree says:

    Well Neil is from Paisley home of Unionist Trumpet Terry Kelly,In regard to distance you are closer to Scotland than Neil was running the Scotsman (into the ground), maybe some one will point out on Twitter that the figures have been published here for all to see,
    If he sees them another way, Put up or Shut up

  44. gordoz says:


    What no SNP members in the commons tonight ??

    This will be the headline in the Scotsman if Big Blair gets on the Bat phone.

    (England only issues being discussed of course – an honorable absence)

    That’s the first time I haven’t seen any snp members in chamber for some time.

  45. ClanDonald says:

    The Brit Nat zoomers don’t give a toss that Westminster is cutting the Scottish budget or that the people of Scotland will suffer as a result. As long as they can twist the truth to attack the SNP they aren’t interested if our public services are cut or if people lose their jobs.

    Andrew Neil’s lies are just another typical example, all he’s done is prove he doesn’t give two hoots for public spending levels in Scotland as long as he gets one over on the SNP.

    Just like Professor Pish boasting that the new Scotland bill settlement (that he helped produce) will cause difficult choices for spending in Scotland, it appears that the more the Scottish public suffer economically, the more delighted they are s they think somehow it works in their favour.

  46. paulTgeist says:

    Lesley-Anne says on 21 October, 2015 at 5:00 pm – Sorry for O/T here.

    So thats how this works, youve had your comment on this threads topic so its ok to go off topic and derail the subject? Gotcha!

  47. Justin Kenrick says:

    Wings doing what Wings does best

  48. donald anderson says:

    Old Brillo Pad is just doing his job: lying for the EBC.

  49. yesindyref2 says:

    “He linked to a graphic on the Scottish Government website as evidence:”

    “Scottish Parliament website” which, as far as I know, isn’t directly under the control of ScotGov.

  50. Rock says:

    Neil and the likes of him are lying knowingly and deliberately.

    It is high time the SNP stood up to them and call them liars publicly.

    Or the smears continue until next year and the SNP lose their majority.

  51. scotsbob says:

    Excellent article.

    Isn’t this kind of research that the media journalists should be doing? If not, why not?

  52. Lesley-Anne says:

    To be honest galamcennalath,Andrew McLean I would not think we would be allowed to put that particular poster up in any case.

    What I DID think of though was using a picture of the poster inside a new poster along the lines of:

    Last year the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour told you this:

    *picture of poster*

    Who do you really believe stands up for the people of S******d?

    David Cameron
    Jeremy Corbyn
    Nicola Sturgeon

    It is more than a bit messy but I hope the idea gets through. 😉

  53. Karmanaut says:

    Good job. I’ll admit that the two sets of figures confounded me. Now I see what’s happened.

  54. Wilhelm says:

    Very strange and defensive exchange from Paisley’s greatest mealy-mouth..

    He seems morbidly obsessed about you Stu living in England, as though that somehow excludes you – or indeed any Scot living outside of Scotland – from commenting on their home nation.

    When were such strictures enacted? Must have missed that one.

    Out of interest, does the BBC’s great Scotia-arbiter-general Mr Neil live in Scotland himself?

  55. Albaman says:

    I thought Jeane Freeman had A Neil by the short and curlies, and in fact by the end of that particular interview, also had a grip of his testicals !.
    Looks like you’ve finished the job, not only pulling out the “short an curlies” , but at the same time castrated him !.

  56. Camz says:

    “Establishment-paid Scotsman tells Scots that everything is fine.”

    He won’t be the last.

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    @Strichen Eck
    Hi John Macintyre OBE from Woking, long time no hear!

  58. Truth says:

    Incredible piece of work Stu. We are blessed to have you on our side.

    Having read this I’m now left wondering is Neil lying, or misinformed? Neither is a good look.

  59. Albaman says:

    P.S. Regarding Mr A Neil,
    He has always been anti Scottish, remember him when he ran The Scotsman, he’s a very bitter man.

  60. Ken500 says:

    Thanks again Rev Stu

    Why didn’t people vote YES to end this farce.

    Scotland could raise and spend it’s own revenues as it wants. Not dictated to by a hostile, lying, corrupt government miles away. Westmnster has illegally and secretly cheated Scotland out of it’s wealth.

    The SNP should put Alex Salmond up against the EBC, he is good with facts and figures.

  61. DerekM says:

    Angus you owe the Rev a beer.

    Nice job Stu, Neil was doing his best to be sarcastic but it just showed him up for the clown he his.

  62. Lesley-Anne says:

    paulTgeist says:
    21 October, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Lesley-Anne says on 21 October, 2015 at 5:00 pm – Sorry for O/T here.

    So thats how this works, youve had your comment on this threads topic so its ok to go off topic and derail the subject? Gotcha!


    I dunno whit yer oan here but I politely suggest that it is right meds … WRONG dose!


    If I have something more to say on the … ahem … topic of this thread then I will say it otherwise I will put up O/T posts if I think others may be interested.

    Taxi for paulTgeist!!!

  63. gordoz says:

    OK I woz wrong REV;

    A Neil seems to have run the figures by Dr Scotty not Kevin Hague.

    So they must be right then.

  64. Gid yin says:

    Hook , line and ……????

  65. Stephen McKenzie says:

    It was a very good piece of analysis and well done to the Rev for his work on this.

    We should have some recognition by us Wingers for outstanding “put downs” of these arrogant assholes.

    Not quite the “Order of Lenin” or “Blue Peter Badge”, but maybe a “I made a fanny out of a Brillo pad” award?

  66. gordoz says:


    Hes not bitter; he’s just very, very establishment.

  67. No no no...Yes says:

    Great rebuttal, I’m sure Mr Robertson will be delighted you’re on the case. Mr Swinney will be delighted too.

    This level of investigation and analyis exposes the MSM as shallow and clueless. No wonder they are in terminal decline.

  68. Lesley-Anne says:

    No doubt many will remember the day after Lindsay Jarrett did her wee *ahem* bit for independence. Poor wee Andy and his *cough* crew were struggling to film their BBC horror show without also showing Lindsay’s *cough* night work. 😀

  69. weetroot says:

    What very few people know about Andra, no not a misprint, he went to Paisley Grammar School, not a school reknowned for its clever pupils especially in economics.
    This the school you went to when you were well connected.

  70. Effijy says:

    What an absolute Creep Brillo Heid is.

    His 30 pieces of Silver for doing his rich Tory Friends dirty work will ensure his £millionaire life style endures, possibly a wee decoration from Betty?
    CBE- Corrupt B*****d’s Endeavours award.

    He even has the nerve to suggest he was exited to see Scotland doing well at rugby.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if he just gave a damn about our general wellbeing.

    In his exchanges with the Rev he tries to slag him off for being a Scot In Bath, and later he suggests the corrupt figures are from the Rev’s Government.

    He is further afield from Scotland and know a lot less about this country than the Rev.

  71. yesindyref2 says:

    I wonder if Andrew Neil and the BBC operated within the Scottish Parliament Open Licence?

    “You can use the following statement to attribute the source of the material you are using:

    Contains information licenced under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence V2

  72. peter meikle says:

    Excellent explanation. Like yesindyref2 above I had gone as far as the split in TME into DEL and AME. But I was then stuck. Your
    explanation (the increase in AME) is the answer. Thanks very much.

  73. Chitterinlicht says:

    Excellent journalism Mr Campbell.

    This is why we need you.


  74. Achnababan says:

    Excellent work Rev. As nice and complete a demolition of the rug man and his lackeys as you will ever see!

    Still not really sure what AN’s problem is …. does Viagra have side effects that affect the left side of the brain?

  75. Mike Fenwick says:

    Gives me the heebie jeebies to think of the interview if Angus Robertson had been prepared and he and Andrew Neil had been trading insults over DELs and AMEs/TMEs! Switch off time!

    Any chance we could just use “Wur Dosh” and “Not Wur Dosh”?


  76. Jim Thomson says:

    @paulTgeist 5:25pm

    Stuart has posting rules that can be found here:

    He’s very clear about when O/T is allowed.

    Please have a read.


  77. YerketbreeksDavid says:

    No point in me saying “wonderful analysis” since this is head stuff, and I’m a heart person.

    However, am I glad people like Stuart are calling the bluffs of MSM pundits.

    Great work indeed

  78. Ruby says:

    Taranaich: I totally agree with what you say.

    Andrew Neil is saying Osborne has made cuts everywhere in the UK except in Scotland.

    If I were Andrew Neil I would be asking ‘his’ government why Scotland has been protected from any cuts.

  79. Genghis D'Midgies says:

    The Scottish Government:

    The Scottish Parliament

    Somebody at the latter should be sacked.

  80. john king says:

    What say we crowd this twat out on his twitter page?
    I’ve fired off a few tweets.

  81. Clydebuilt says:

    Neil will make folk embarrassed to say they come from Paisley…….. An embarrassment to Renfrewshire.

    Is it me or has Neil been muckin around with his Brillo Pad.

    Talking about Pads has anyone noticed the size of the shoulder Pads in Neil’s Jaikets.

  82. EphemeralDeception says:

    Nothing surprising from A. Neil (kneeling to Westminster).

    After all, he is on record stating that Scotland was bankrupt when joining the Union and was bailed out by England.

    He is one of the many Brit hacks, to overstate the anglo Uk financial position and understate or obfuscate Scotlands in any comparison. The classic is focusing on what we ‘receive’ per capita from London while avoiding what London receives from us.

    It is typical of a toadying Scot hack to argue with a Scottish politician over how many crumbs Scotland gets from the masters table.

  83. Fran says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong

    Neil says that the IFS are wrong with their assessment of Scotland’s budget because it paints a poor light on funding from WM.

    But, when the IFS assessments puts SG spending and budgeting, especially when it comes to Scotland’s independence, in a poor light, then Neil agrees with them.

    I wonder how he can sleep at night;)

    Thanks Stu & Team, another piece of info to lay down to the we’re too poor brigade.

  84. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s FAS (Fiscal Affairs Scotland), and that’s actually worse for Andrew Neil. IFS data is usually sound, but their interpretation of their own data tends to be quite anti-Indy. FAS (used to be CPPR at Gla Uni) on the other hand are quite strongly anti-indy, so if their report shows the “Scottish Budget” as in DEL going down in real terms by 10%, you can bet your bottom dollar or scots pound, that it has.

    It would be handy if we could get FAS (Jo Armstrong or John McLaren) head to head with Andrew Neil, somehow, as I can’t see them taking any prisoners.

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    When a BBC journalist, or executive, tossing neutrality to the wind, refers sarcastically to your nearest university for enlightenment, you can take it he’s a jerk laughing at how little you are in comparison to him.

    Neil is such a man.

  86. Angra Mainyu says:

    Yes, all good, but isn’t it painful to think those bastards can control our drip-feed and cut our funding by 10% or whatever… That’s the real story.

    Meanwhile our industrial base is being decimated. It’s no coincidence that oil, steel, and renewables are all under pressure. I’d be willing to bet they start hammering at other stuff too like the games industry.

    That’s all standard procedure for controlling colonies: destroy the economy and force them into dependency. They did it with Ireland, then India, and then rolled it out across the world.

    When they’re done with us in 10 years anyone that wants Scottish independence will be technically certifiable and the poor will look back fondly to the days when they had food banks.

  87. Thepnr says:

    But that one-off paper transfer of responsibility for police and firefighter pensions is enough to conceal a real-terms cut of £1.2bn in the amount of spendable money that the Scottish Government has in its coffers.

    Well done for digging so deep. However your last graphic states that DEL has fallen from £31.9B in 2009/10 to £28.9B in 2014/15. A £3B fall in relative terms and although inflation has been very low the last 5 years deflation hasn’t really factored.

    So you have accounted for £1.2B in the pensions, any idea where the additional £1.8B comes from? I can’t find it despite following all your inks.

  88. john king says:

    The Lords defeated the Tories plan to remove subsidies from renewables a year early
    well fuck me sideways! 🙂

  89. Dave Hansell says:

    Yet another example of a trading entity deliberately falling below trading standards by misleading it’s users.

    It would seem reasonable for interested parties to submit their complaints to the trading standards agency (at the same time as the complaint about the Scottish Sunday Express).

  90. Fran says:

    @ yesindyref2

    Cheers yes.

  91. john king says:


  92. Free Scotland says:

    Love it! When you hover the cursor over Neil’s pic, you get: “Hang on, I’ve had this stuck in my eye.”

    Neil needs to learn the biblical lesson that it’s hypocritical to attempt to remove a splinter from someone else’s eye when you yourself are hampered by a plank of wood in your own eye.

  93. Valerie says:

    Off topic

    Huffpo carrying story of how Express smear on Arkless is false

    Express told them – no comment

  94. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you for that Stu.

    SNP reps are apparently in need of more training in how to deal with a hostile media. Jeane Freeman should be employed to provide it.

  95. john king says:

    Why dont we start a rumour the Cameron fancies the arse off Mone (who effin doesnt) and when he was fucking that pig he had his eyes shut thinking of the Mayfair centerfold girl

    what would I not give to watch that fuckers underwear getting chucked out of the second floor windows of number 10!


  96. paulTgeist says:

    Lesley-Anne says on 21 October, 2015 at 5:38 pm – “If I have something more to say on the … ahem … topic of this thread then I will say it otherwise I will put up O/T posts if I think others may be interested.”

    And so you should, thats the very reason Stu has provided us with the O/T section. Some of us want to learn from the pieces produced on this site and that includes the subsequent comments btl. We are hardly going to do that if you repeatedly use these threads as your personal playground and routinely hijack and derail topics. And what’s wrong with posting at the end of a previous dead thread? Anyway i have made my point. Tara Chuck!

    PS: Please refrain from the petty antagonistic insults regarding my medicine dosage because its at the correct level love.

  97. Flower of Scotland says:

    Really great work Rev!

    THEY will have read it.

  98. Swami Backverandah says:


    I did think nicola had joined nanny state status telling us to rein in the potty, but Cook of the Beeb’s just joined her in totally wiping potty Maggie’s bum.

    Kudos for the integrity James – keep it up.

    (unless they’re both parodies, of course)

  99. Grendel says:

    Thanks Rev. Outstandinhg work.

  100. Phil Robertson says:

    Thanks for the reference to the Audit Scotland report.

    You, no doubt, noticed that when Labour was in power at Westminster the DEL figures grew between 2000 and 2008 by an average of 5% per annum.

  101. Lollysmum says:

    Mike Fenwick @ 5.57pm

    That’s not a bad idea 🙂 Wonder if John Swinney will adopt it?

  102. Capella says:

    Great analysis as ever. Thanks for trawling through those figures to find the truth. We can’t expect hacks like Brillo to do that. He lives in London which is a very remote place ruled over by a cruel tyrant who must be obeyed:

  103. Angus Robertson says:

    OK I’ve reached my conclusion on this story. Angus Robertson should resign. And I’ll have no excuses about it not being his brief. No offence Rev Stu, I’m assuming you aren’t an economist, and if you can get your head around this in a matter of days how come a leading light of the SNP can’t? He’s a professional politician FFS, this stuff is his bread and butter.

    More widely, how come the SNP aren’t making more of these cuts? WTF do they do with their time and how difficult would it be for one of them to pump out videos on stuff like this on a weekly basis?

    Meanwhile Nicola is chastising people for swearing. Good to know our guys have their fucking priorities right.

    Close to giving up on this glory hole of a country.

  104. Jimbo says:

    Thanks for the breakdown on DEL and AME, Stu – and Neil was so smug and smart-arsed in his ignorance of the fact that you would check his figures. Slow learners these Unionist deceivers are.

  105. HandandShrimp says:

    Looks like John Lamont MSP (Tory)was suckered into jumping on the smear bus.

    Trigger happy or just very, very desperate to smear the SNP?

    Either way the Express has left him looking like a twit.

  106. Normski says:

    Andrew Neil is crap at figures. He is also crap at logical reasoning, problem solving skills and his visual spacial skills suck too.

    WTF am I on about, I here you ask?

    Well you see, away back in 2002 on “Test the Nation’s IQ”, Andrew Neil took part. Also taking part was Dane Bowers [drunken brawler, Celbrity Big Brother, talent shows, boy bands, ex of “Jordan” – including lost viral sex tapes, someone not adversed to giving women a hard slap if they give him lip (he’s been convicted of it) – I could go on, but you get the picture] – suffice to say that Bowers outperformed Andrew Neil.

    IIRC, Andrew Neil scored something like 106 [you won’t find it by googling – you’ll get a “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.”].

    So, to get back to what I was originally talking about: you would have to assume that given his job, Andrew Neil did pretty well on the verbal part of the IQ test – which means that in order to get a just above average score [average on IQ tests is 100], then he must have done really crap on everything else.

  107. Lollysmum says:

    John King @6.49pm

    The Lords defeated it because it is they who will lose their subsidies for power generation on their own estates. Quelle suprise?

  108. john king says:


  109. Lollysmum says:

    Just you carry on-ignore the #everydaysexism whilst you’re at it.

  110. dakk says:

    Nice ambush Stuart.

  111. heedtracker says:

    WoS 1-Ligger 0.

    Its shame that ALL of these guys are so condescending and snide. Must be a big part of BBC journalist school. The Graun one with the silly facial hair was equally ghastly. Do any of them have any common decency whatsoever?

  112. Lollysmum says:

    Hand&Shrimp at 7.27pm

    Yes very, very desperate to smear SNP. Been ramped up considerably in the last 3 weeks but none of it sticking. Don’t you go feeling sorry for them though 🙂

  113. Anagach says:

    So Neil is correct in one way, that the Scottish Government has been handed a multi-billion additional pension responsibility but was given none of the cash for it…ergo a cut to all other budgets.

    Its a very slanted and obtuse view to make “the budget has not been cut in real terms” as your soundbite of choice.

  114. galamcennalath says:

    After independence, when Andrew Neil is asked, “You’re Scottish, aren’t you?”

    How will he reply?

  115. Swami Backverandah says:

    Has my recent previous gone into the spammage?

    That’s what I get for giving BBC Cook kudos for wiping potty maggie’s bum. 🙂

    Wake up Maggie, James Cook’s got something to say to you …

  116. Ronnie Boyd says:

    Campbell has badly missed the point with Andrew Neil in this article. He’s way off target.

    Rather, he should be focussing on running a weekly competition on WoS:

    “Guess what colour Andrew Neil’s fake hair will be THIS week!”

    I tell you, that’s a tough call, such are the myriad of colours the fat vanity-ridden fellow uses to colour in the top of his head.

    Each weeks winner gets to keep Neil’s wig.

  117. Big Jock says:

    Aye but!

  118. john young says:

    We deserve all we get we are effin clueless and have no bottle to stand up to this lot,all we do is snivel/whimper ffs,why can,t we take them on in every issue instead of e-mailing and twittering,they just lap us up and spit us out.

  119. Robert Kerr says:


    He must be Scottish.

    Look at the interview clip. Cringe personified!

  120. john young says:

    Stop pussyfooting and stand up to these fcukers,we need to get right in about them everytime/everything.

  121. AQTB says:

    Taking a closer look at that interactive graph from the Scottish Government website, I notice there is a large jump in the Justice figure from £1.43bn in 2012-2013 to £2.66bn in 2013-2014.

    Anyone know what caused this? I can’t help but wonder whether a similar shell game was played back then.

  122. Legerwood says:

    O/T. Apologies for going off topic but I hope someone has recorded Reporting Scotland tonight specifically the item about the nurse recovering in the Royal Free Hospital.

    Part of the report included a clip from the Press Conference by her medical team today. In it, unless my ears deceived me, the doctors said in effect that she had received good treatment in Glasgow before heading south.

    The report on-line does not mention this but repeats the ‘diabolical’ treatment and the clip on the site does not include the doctor’s comment about her treatment in Glasgow.

    Given the BBC’s creative approach to editing it would not put it past them to edit it out of anything they make available on iPlayer.

    On topic. Congratulations on the figures. Now why are the SNP’s MPs keeping themselves, or being kept up to date, about what the Scottish Government’ message/actions/policies up here?

    Even before their number increased they seemed to be somewhat disconnected from what was happening up here. Someone on a previous thread suggested a weekly factsheet for the MPs. Seems like a good idea.

  123. Free Scotland says:

    Uncle Comb-over will no doubt be expecting an invitation to address the students of economics at the University of Bath.

  124. Andy-B says:

    Does anyone really take Andrew Neil seriously?

    We saw his true colours during the indyref, so everything he now says has to be double checked.

  125. heedtracker says:

    Probably end of the line soon for Fozzie but here goes

    It is a really nasty toryboy world out there, C4 news had toryboy MP explaining tax credit cuts to low paid were all being taken up by massive hikes in UKOK minimum wage, petrol prices low, low inflation, low social rents, then both nice c4 lady and the toryboy turn on SNP MP telling her that with the Scotland bill shyste, Scotland can now hike taxes if SNP want stop damage to worst off… or. the whole toryboy MP’s schtick was more just UKOK shite then.

    Ofcourse nice C4 news lady left it at that but you can see what’s coming UKOK BBC hard from now on

  126. HandandShrimp says:

    Is Andrew really saying that Osborne has failed to cut spending? Perhaps he is and he needs to take that up with the next Tory he has on the show.

  127. Jdm01 says:

    Well thought out and explained for the layman! Thanks Rev – one for sharing methinks!

  128. robertknight says:

    Said before, shall say again…

    What does one expect from a pig, if not a grunt?

    Don’t know why the SNP still deals with the likes of Neil and his smoke and mirrors bullshit.

    Another example of a British establishment pet-Jock on the make.

  129. Garrion says:

    Lies, and the lying liars who lie them.

    With a healthy dose of sneering disrespect thrown in too. What a grandiloquent old fart.

  130. yesindyref2 says:

    From the “please read this page first for commenting rules:

    Comment threads go off-topic. That’s okay. But posting about a completely different subject in the first few comments on an article is just mind-bogglingly rude.

    If you have something totally unrelated that you really really have to say, either post it in an older thread or just bite your tongue for the four or five minutes it’ll take for there to be half-a-dozen on-topic comments. Break this rule and you’ll either get timestamp-shifted to two hours into the future or deleted, depending how cranky a mood we’re in.”

  131. Standard BBC 2 + 2 = 5 on anything to do with Scotland or the SNP in particular.

  132. asklair says:

    Many thanks, this is exactly why I value this site and enjoy the easy part of donating money while Wings dig deep in the stench of lies seeping from the cesspit of Westminster.

  133. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    This Andra Neil thingy is just another example of what a fellow Winger dubbed “PROJECT SMEAR” a few days ago.

    I’m thinking that the establishment (of the British State) realise that they blew it last year and are now adopting ‘big boy pampers’ as a fashion necessity.

    No doubt this will be a matter for discussion at the next ‘Wings Over Scotland’ get-together at the Invergowrie Inn, on Saturday evening, 24th October, from 7pm onwards.

    (How’s that for subtlety, Paula Rose?)

  134. Rick Guthrie says:

    Excellent work Stu. REspect

  135. John says:

    Just for clarity the pensions of Police and Firefighters whilst administered by SPPA are actually paid for out of DEL spending.This means that when scheme members are forced to pay more to reduce the Treasury deficit none of the additional income actually goes to the Treasury.

    This should lead of course to the Scottish Government getting a little more income from the pensions of the scheme members. However because the schemes become less and less attractive (14.2 to 17% cost to members) and with falling numbers within the fire service the actual income is reducing and likely to fall further. The Treasury and in particular Danny Alexander when he was there knew this, knew they would get no additional income and would in fact lose money by forcing through increases in scheme membership rate. The efforts of Scottish Government to avoid this stupidity were met with the threat of withholding the equivalent of the theoretical value of the pension increase from the Barnet formula.

  136. dakk says:

    Stuart.Now that you have pointed out the’error’in Andra Neil’s analysis,I expect he will apologize with good grace.

    The same kind of grace with which he has gone bald .

  137. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Just for clarity the pensions of Police and Firefighters whilst administered by SPPA are actually paid for out of DEL spending.”

    Source? This suggests otherwise:

  138. Petra says:

    @ Wilhelm says at 5:32 pm ”Very strange and defensive exchange from Paisley’s greatest mealy-mouth..

    He seems morbidly obsessed about you Stu living in England, as though that somehow excludes you – or indeed any Scot living outside of Scotland – from commenting on their home nation.

    When were such strictures enacted? Must have missed that one.

    Out of interest, does the BBC’s great Scotia-arbiter-general Mr Neil live in Scotland himself?”

    No he doesn’t Wilhelm. He has an apartment in London (where he works from) and a house in the South of France. He could of course have a holiday home hidden away in the Highlands to ensure for example that he got a vote in the Referendum / future Referendum.

    I doubt that he ever visits Paisley either especially now that Mhairi Black is the SNP MSP for his old stomping ground …… that must stick right in his craw.

    The following is a video of one liar, Michael Gove, talking to another Andrew Neil. Michael Gove gets right up Neil’s nose with some of his retorts ….. such as ‘using wrong figures …. using figures selectively’ and so on. From around 3:50 to 6:50.

    High time some of our SNP politicians had training / held workshops on how to deal effectively with snakes like Neil without compromising their decent natures and truthful persona.

    High time Nicola got with it too when responding to ‘on-line Nat attack’ allegations. Yes she should condemn them but always mention that this applies to Union supporters too. And of course there will be hundreds if not thousands of ‘twits’ out there pretending to be Independence supporters. No doubt one of the reasons why JKR (and M Mone) has never had the Police investigate but would rather just encourage her MSM cronies to do her dirty work for her.

  139. Cadogan Enright says:

    For Andrew Neil, this is now a disciplinary matter.

    It’s one thing to ambush 2 prominent figures on live TV with phoney figures on the same weekend – as you can at least later blame faulty researchers or failure to understand what is being put in front of you.

    You can admit later verbally or by email in the BBC equivalent of the Corporate Media postage stamp on page 33.

    But it’s an entirely different matter to bring the BBC publicly into disrepute by insisting that the Scottish Government has had no decrease – or even an increase – on Social Media without having the fig leaf of genuine error.

    He is reducing the Sunday Politics show right into the gutter. And not in our eyes as we have seen and understood what has gone on in the past. But with the broader UK watching audience.

    Andrew Neil has a line manager at the BBC who is paid more than the UK Prime Minister to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen, or at least can be covered up by being classified as an error.

    Indeed, the error is so grievous that it should be really be referred to the director general.

    Anyone know the email for the Director General?

    Perhaps we need to know exactly how far us does ‘operation smear’ go?

  140. Dougal McAllister says:

    Interesting article on good old Andrew Neil!

    You’ll never see him questioning a PM on their place of residence or let alone himself!

    Every time you see the word – Bath! You know that he’s on a good thing!

  141. Macart says:

    No, at a minimum disingenuous just about covers it.

  142. Tam Jardine says:

    EphemeralDeception 6.12pm

    ‘After all, he is on record stating that Scotland was bankrupt when joining the Union and was bailed out by England.’

    I always find it strange whenever folk hark back to the Darien scheme back at the end of the 17th century. The suggestion being Scotland was too wee, too poor, too stupid- almost as if this was an event to be considered in isolation: ‘This is what independence looks like- a ridiculous costly disaster.’ And so it would be in the future. Its like a mathematical proof or a trump card they like to pull out.

    I often wonder why such students of history like Mr Neil don’t cast their forensic gaze further back. The 16th century in Scotland interests me from a Leith perspective. Henry VIII in one of the most barbarous, callous campaigns in England’s history landed at Granton and proceeded to burn everything in his path- Leith, Edinburgh then sweeping right through East Lothian and the Borders destroying villages, towns, abbeys, castles, orchards(?)- everything they could find. Presumably a fair old bodycount. And it was bookended by military defeats for the Scots at Solway Moss and Pinkie.

    Henry’s privy council issued the instructions for the campaign:

    “Put all to fire and sword, burn Edinburgh, so razed and defaced when you have sacked and gotten what ye can of it, as there may remain forever a perpetual memory of the vengeance of God lightened upon (them) for their falsehood and disloyalty.”

    Nice guy. Shades of Osborne.

    Historian William Ferguson describes the campaign:

    “English policy was simply to pulverise Scotland, to beat her either into acquiescence or out of existence, and Hertford’s campaigns resemble nothing so much as Nazi total warfare, ‘blitzkrieg’, reign of terror, extermination of all resisters, the encouragement of collaborators, and so on”

    Check out the list of places destroyed (essentially south east Scotland):

    Now it seems to me strange to consider Scotland’s finances at the start of the 17th Century without dwelling on how different Scotland’s coffers might have looked without repeated invasions, those long ‘wars of independence’ (a total misnomer if ever there was one) during the 13th and 14th century, the ‘rough wooing’ of the 16th century including the genocide mentioned above and Cromwell’s invasion in the 17th century.

    No- lets focus on our attempt to establish a trading colony for ourselves which failed (with help from the Spanish and English).

    I am no historian but I can read and do understand that looking at the circumstances leading up to the treaty of union may give the imperialists some cheer. Even one who takes a glowing, rose-tinted view of the benefits of the union would struggle to consider England as a benevolent trading partner in the preceeding 5 centuries.

    To draw the conclusion that Scotland simply mismanaged their finances is to make a very selective reading of the past. I have no idea the financial cost of repelling invasion and rebuilding let alone the human cost down the years but I would suggest it would make Darien look like a bad day at the office.

  143. Iain More says:

    “Gleeful Unionists immediately seized on the exchange, writing hasty, poorly-informed blogs crowing about Neil’s majestic refutation of the “error”. Yet the claim rests on a deliberate distortion of what the graph above represents.”

    Dont you mean Andra Neil’s sycophantic fan club?

  144. Macart says:

    Oh and before I forget.

    OOFT! 🙂

  145. Ruby says:

    Normski says:
    21 October, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Andrew Neil is crap at figures. He is also crap at logical reasoning, problem solving skills and his visual spacial skills suck too.

    WTF am I on about, I here you ask?

    Ruby Relies: I had to find out WTF you were on about so searched the archives and found the following:

    Shelleyvision: Not all bright on the night:
    Shelley, Jim. The Daily Mirror [London (UK)] 14 May 2002: 17.

    Over the course of what seemed like several hours (and wiping out Casualty in the process), it purported to provide an “IQ test for the nation” when it was pretty obvious that anyone with any intelligence would have gone out.

    As well as blondes, other teams included students, teachers, builders and celebrities – or C-List Celebrities as they should have been called.

    These included Jayne Middlemiss, Dane Bowers and the biggest tart of all, Andrew Neil – not even Claire Sweeney would have done it.

    ‘The only interesting aspect was finding out that Andrew Neil’s IQ is the same as Dane Bowers’

    NOTHING that any of them said convinced me why I should want to know what my IQ was. The first question the nation’s guinea pigs had to answer was: “Which word means the same as engine? Car? Power? Petrol? Or motor?” after which, with a 100 per cent record, I gave up.

    IQ test says Britons are brainiest in Europe:
    Adam Sherwin Media Reporter. The Times May 2002

    Of the ten celebrities in the audience, the triple-jumper Jonathan Edwards came top with 126. The pop star Dane Bowers and Andrew Neil, the editor-in-chief of The Business, came third, although their scores were not revealed.

  146. caz-m says:

    I don’t know if the SNP policy is not to be offensive to interviewers during TV or Radio interviews, but it sure comes across as being that.

    Since the referendum campaign started, I have not heard the SNP get aggressive with the Unionist media. Even when BBC Scotland were slaughtering us every day of the week, the SNP seemed impotent.

    Did Andrew Neil not catch out Stewart Hosie a couple of days before the Angus Robertson interview?

    I think it’s back to the classroom for our MPs. A bit more positive aggression, backed up with facts.

    The BBC don’t interview the SNP MPs, they interrogate them.

  147. Petra says:

    Common Disguises for Discrediting Attacks -…

    Media manipulation – Wikipedia, the free…

  148. skozra says:

    Excellent as usual Stu, thank you !

  149. heedtracker says:

    Tam Jardine says:
    21 October, 2015 at 9:48 pm
    EphemeralDeception 6.12pm

    ‘After all, he is on record stating that Scotland was bankrupt when joining the Union and was bailed out by England.’

    I’m not a historian but can never understand why britnats and unionists claim that without the union, the industrial revolution would some how have past Scotland by.`

    Mind you, when you look at the appalling life experience of the majority of Scots throughout the UKOK industrial revolution. would it have been so bad if it had.

  150. Davy says:

    Mibbe this all says a good lesson. I might be wrong but it could be time for the SNP to get some more competent folk doing the complicated stuff. I would have thought thow that the best people would be doing these type jobs. I guess nichola is keeping them experts in reserve for the big fight later.

  151. Tam Jardine says:


    Indeed. The enlightenment would surely have passed us by also. Blessed are the colonised.

    By the way- not sure if you have netflix but I’m wathcing Winter on Fire- Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. Well worth checking out. Not for the faint-hearted.

  152. karen says:

    Exquisitely done.

  153. ClanDonald says:

    The Scottish Government could possibly think about producing like-for-like figures each year to stop this kind of nonsense.

    Otherwise the Unionists will keep comparing apples and oranges to get the result that suits them.

  154. Ruby says:

    Andrew Neil & Dane Bowers have same IQ

    Not long after appearing on TV with Andrew Neil where it was discovered that they have the same IQ the POP hard man Dane Bowers spent the night in a police cell after a hospital brawl early yesterday morning.

    Bowers, 22, was said to have gone berserk with staff after taking his girlfriend, who was suffering from an anxiety attack, to an accident and emergency unit at 4am.

    Nurses called security guards when the couple allegedly became abusive and violent after being told they would have to wait their turn.

    Police arrested Bowers and Lucy Mortimer, 21, for breach of the peace and locked them in cells at a nearby police station.

    A witness said: “Dane and his girlfriend came in to A&E and demanded attention.

    “He was shouting for help. She was hyperventilating and panic- stricken.

    Although it was established that Andrew Neil & Dane Bowers had the same IQ their scores were not revealed.

    Do you think I could get a job as a journalist?

  155. T222Deracha says:

    The SNP should be explaining all this stuff to us, highlighting just how Westminster operates. Information like this was absent in the run up to the referendum last year.
    Kudos to the Rev but the SNP are not putting enough effort into getting this info and its meaning to the the wider public in Scotland.
    Sometimes I wonder at the lack of coherent policy from the SNP. Independence used to be the reason they came into existence, has that now changed?.

  156. Eckle Fechan says:

    Absolutely clinical. I’ll bet it was rewarding putting this piece together.

    Look forward to your guest spot on This Week putting “Andrew Neil’s Hubris” in the spotlight.

    Short-hand research or not, some body’s probably gettin their arse felt.

  157. John says:

    “Just for clarity the pensions of Police and Firefighters whilst administered by SPPA are actually paid for out of DEL spending.”

    Treasury would not even allow the internal adjustment of DEL to protect Police & FF pensions. The threat was to remove the equivalent funding from the Block Grant.

  158. Cadogan Enright says:



  159. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tam Jardine at 9.48

    Scotland was not bankrupt at the time of the Union but many in its Parliament had bust themselves in support of the Darien Scheme.
    These were the “parcel of rogues” who sold Scotland to pay off their own debts.
    The Scottish burghs in fact were doing rather well and Scotland, despite poor harvests which affected most of Europe over these years, had hugely increasing trade into the Baltic and the Low Countries to counteract to some extent a trade embargo with England initiated by “good King Billy” (who also attacked the Darien Schemme and signed the papers for the Massacre of Glencoe).

  160. Fred says:

    Personally I don’t find swearing offensive, I do find back-stabbing, lying, cheating & fucking people over offensive, but not swearing.

    Andrew Neil’s a cunt.

  161. Tam Jardine says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    You don’t mean to say that the picture of Scotland’s finances directly before the union has been painted far blacker than reality? Plus ca change… and finally we’re back on topic!

  162. BigMac says:

    dont watch BBC any more.
    Thanks for showing Andrew Neil to be a true Westminster mouthpiece and for countering his arrogant retorts with a winning argument.
    Why don’t we have someone representing the Scottish Government countering these inaccurate presentations. We have to rely on Wings to do this, and many viewers do not get the Wings explanation.
    Keep us informed about the state of donation and of the Nation.

  163. ClanDonald says:

    Ruby: I was looking online for the “Test The Nation” results the other day as I was sure I recalled that at the time Andrew Neil’s IQ was measured in the 90s but all I could find was that he refused to reveal it.

    Maybe someone can find the actual footage so we can make sure? I think it was in 2002 that the programme took place.

  164. Chic McGregor says:

    I guess Mr Neil’s stance might be described as being one of ‘implausible deniability’?

  165. Chic McGregor says:


    “Scotland was not bankrupt at the time of the Union ”

    Whereas England easily had the largest national debt on the planet by far at that time.

  166. Grouse Beater says:

    Enright: “He [Andrew Neil] is reducing the Sunday Politics show right into the gutter.”

    Sorry, I find that remark very funny. It isn’t only the odd “reducing” prefixing “gutter”, it’s the notion Neil and BBC political ‘shows’ start at a high standard.

  167. maxi says:

    The Paisley grammer boy is just an excuse for a Scot.Don’t expect anything from him in our fight for independence.He is trying to be a comedian with his little one liners and he sounds pathetic.

  168. WP says:

    Thought Revs exchanges were put across very politely, unlike that weasel Neil with his snidey wee references to Bath.

  169. Ruby says:

    ClanDonald says:
    22 October, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Ruby: I was looking online for the “Test The Nation” results the other day as I was sure I recalled that at the time Andrew Neil’s IQ was measured in the 90s but all I could find was that he refused to reveal it.

    Ruby replies: It seems BBC have decided Andrew Neil’s IQ is Top Secret. I think you’ll just have to make a guess.

    Rifkind, Hugo. The Times

    For Test the Nation last Saturday, the BBC measured the IQs of assembled celebrities, from intellectuals such as Andrew Neil to the pop star Michelle Heaton. Neil’s score was not among the top three in the studio. After three days of calls, the BBC will tell us only that he came below DJ Spooney, who scored 107, and that the average butcher has an IQ of 105.


    So who wants to watch a OUESTIONNAIRE?
    Brown, Annie. Daily Record [Glasgow (UK)] 13 May 2002

    But TV presenter and Scots newspaper executive Andrew Neil put in a disappointing performance and refused to disclose his score. Despite being used to the pressure of the TV cameras, he still came only joint third with pop star Dane Bowers, ex-boyfriendof the less- than-intellectual model Jordan.

  170. Breeks says:

    It’s good to read this, and major hats off to you Rev, but where does this take us?

    We need to get a much more coordinated so that your demolitions of propaganda and say, just for example, professor John Robertson’s analysis of BBC bias, and of course the staples of Indytalk like the McCrone Report etc are not allowed to fade from memory, but remain fixed and foremost in our agenda.

    Until we get a Scottish News service to defend our interests on TV, maybe your Wee Blue Book should become an annual, with an appendix for the dossier of nonsense preached to us from the Unionist media.

    The bigger that dossier becomes, the bigger the horseshoe you are putting into the boxing gloves of those who are fighting for genuine Scottish broadcasting to supplant the Unionist propaganda.

  171. Ruby says:

    T222Deracha says:
    21 October, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    The SNP should be explaining all this stuff to us, highlighting just how Westminster operates.

    Ruby replies:

    It’s the BBC who should be explaining this stuff to us not the government.

    I do believe that very slowly people will realise that there is a problem but until they do nothing is going to change.

    It’s a bit like addicts/alcoholics having to recognise that they have a problem before they can be cured.

    This is one where the population have to start thinking and not rely on others making the decisions for them.

  172. AndyH says:

    Beware ye the fake tan and hair dyed/syrup worshipers of Beelzebub..

  173. Ghillie says:

    Tam Jardine @ 9.48pm: Well laid out. Thank you =)

    Andrew Neil shows himself to be a nasty wee liar.
    Business as usual.

    But what I REALLY resent is that he thinks he can insist that the folk of Scotland are too stupid too see through him.

    What a sad wee fellow.

  174. Robert Louis says:

    Just take a cursory glance at the daily politics, and you can see why this kind of thing happens. The regular female presenter, who sits alongside Neil, will often be seen pulling faces, when the SNP/Salmond/Sturgeon are mentioned, or if a guest happens to say something positive about Scotland, she invariably interjects with a snarky ‘quite’, then changes the conversation track. She does it all the time, and doesn’t seem to care about being so partisan and anti Scottish. Sometimes I think people at the BBC in London forget we in Scotland actually do see these things.

    In a way, it would be nice if Neil accepted his ‘error’ (I’m being generous), but then again this is the imperialist BBC, and Neil is a rampant unionist, so really not too surprised.

    I agree with others above, the SNP MP’s and MSP’s need to get with the programme, and get clued up properly on FACTS before accepting invitations to interview. I hate to say it, but it is happening too often now. Strikes of complacency at the highest level.

    If anything what all of this makes clear is that the BBC propagandists will try every trick in the dirty colonialist handbook to undermine Scotland and our Scottish Parliament.

  175. tombee says:

    The reason I think he is deliberately misleading is.
    Because he is a devious servant of a Westminster Establishment. In the pockets of the Unionist Cabal. A willing puppet to spin their propoganda. Who hopes to reap his reward, of a knighthood, at some future bauble presenting ceremony.

  176. gus1940 says:


    ‘Test The Nation’ – now that was quality television in the days wheen The BBC still produced some good programming.

    Instead of that kind of program the nation is forced to pay for mindless lowest comeon denominato pap.

  177. T222Deracha says:

    @Ruby 9:52am

    If the SNP do not counter the lies of Westminster, they are just as bad as them.
    The information is buried in statistics, so the SNP, should be explaining how Westminster is being devious now, to get the message across. Not sitting being made to look like dumplings every time they are interviewed on T.V., which did happen during the referendum and is still happening.
    All well and good 56 MP’s in Westminster but the possibility exists that Westminster could bin Holyrood. Too expensive, they could claim, what then!. I think caution will cost the SNP and the independence movement dearly, a case of too little, too late.
    The current crop in control of Westminster have only just began to show how ruthless and uncaring they are.
    I waited decades for the chance of Scottish Independence and saw it lost due to the lack of any challenge to the lies and smears that were flung at the YES movement.

  178. Carntyne says:

    scotspine says:

    I must vehemently disagree with your claim Mr. Neil’s hair is dyed.

    It’s his Syrup that’s been highlighted.

  179. Ken500 says:

    Tory Andrew Neil is a complete liar. Gets paid £1/2Million a year for an average of 2.30 hours a week peddling Westminster lies and propaganda. He got an absolutely free Scottish education. Now expects others to pay. Hypocrite. A multimillionaire funded by public money. Thatcher’s henchman. He was peddling lies in the 1980’s, rejoicing in poverty in Scotland when Thatcher was illegally and secretly taking the equivalent of £Billions out of Scotland. Offshoring it and spending it building Canary Wharf and Tilsbury Docks, Deregulation banking, funding the Bankers who were funding the Tory Party. Selling off public services and utilities. Corruption and chaos. The illegal wars banking fraud and tax evasion.

    Andrew Neil is a disgrace.

    That liar Osbourne and the sycophantic liar Marr on the disgraceful BBC. They are a disgrace. The liar Liam Fox. The Tories are a disgrace.

    The man with mental health issues was going to be thrown out of his home of thirty years.

    Scotland is the highest taxed part of the UK by Westminster and ends off worse off. Scotland raises £54Billion. The UK raises £515Billion. The rest of the UK raises £44Billion pro rata and borrows and spends £100Billion more. Scotland has to pay off loan repayments on rest of the UK debt.

    The Union costs Scotland £20Billion a year in Westminster mismanagement.

  180. Ken500 says:

    It’s the SNP’s fault that a Westminster and the British Press are a bunch of malicious liars. The MSM is owned by tax evading Non Dom. Nothing to do with the SNP. A majority of people in Scotland voted NO. The SNP gave them the opportunity of a Referendum. They will give them the opportunity for another one. Will a majority vote YES. Even the Holyrood system was mucked up by Unionists. Stop voting for them. The SNP Alex Salmond etc have been telling it for years and get discredited by Westminster and M15. Stop blaming the SNP. Helping the Unionists. Self harming.

  181. Ken500 says:

    The SNP. Alex Salmond have been telling the truth of what is happening in the UK for years.

    It doesn’t take the SNP to google a few accounts. The MCCrone Report etc or having lived through the Thatcher years. The equivalent of £Billions of Oil being produced and Scotland getting poorer. People having to migrate to get a job, Fifty years of Labour. It is only because the SNP publishes financial Reports on a website. That is published about what is going on. The Unionists tried to keep it hidden. Google the figures on a Scottish Gov website and a UK Gov website. Look at a few tables. It takes five minutes. Take a few educational courses. The reason why the young folk are now more informed. Scotland has one of the best educational systems in the world. Unionists take delight in trying to run it down.

  182. Ken500 says:

    The Scottish Enlightenment 1750 changed the whole world. Scottish invention etc has shaped the modern world. Glasgow was the world powerhouse in the 1890’s etc. The only thing Westminster has done has been to depopulate Scotland. In 1707 the Scottish population was 1/4 of the UK. It is now a 12th. There is a 40Million disporia around the world. The US, NZ, Australia etc.scottish invention shaped the modern world. Medicine, TV, telephone, telecommunications led on to the internet,

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. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top