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Fighting in the War Room

Posted on November 09, 2015 by

Last Friday’s article on the limitations of GERS caused quite a stir among the stout defenders of the Union, as social-media users may have noticed over the weekend.

Amidst the wildly-flailing fury-storm of shouty, abusive responses which pathologically evaded addressing the article’s point, the one vaguely factual argument raised was the notion that an independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to make significant savings on its current (notional) £3bn defence budget because NATO supposedly requires all member states to spend 2% of their GDP on defence.

warroom

So we thought we’d see if it was true.

Below is a table of the 28 NATO member countries and their GDP-% defence spend. There are lots of interesting details, but one thing you can see clearly straight away is that most member states don’t come anywhere close to a 2% GDP spend on defence (we’ve highlighted the countries and years they did in blue).

natospend

Of the 28, fewer than half (11) have ever met the 2% target, only seven did so last year, and since 2006 (when the target was set) only six have consistently met it.

When an unelected military alliance, rather than a national government, starts deciding how much to spend on that nation’s defences, people are going to notice. Because at that point you’re not running a country, you’re the villain in a Bond movie.

The 2% is a requested target, and as it turns out, something of a disputed one. Few countries seem to be paying much attention to it, other than those who have a strong interest in other countries buying their weapons.

While we’re here, it’s worth pointing out that only eight of the NATO member countries have access to nuclear weapons. Of those only three are actually what are termed Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) – the other five have a “sharing” arrangement by which the US “lends” them nukes and trains them in their use.

(Super-alert readers may also have noted that despite its long-standing and ongoing economic problems, Greece has consistently exceeded the target spend. This may seem like madness, but the reasons for it are laid out quite succinctly here.)

If you portray the data as a graph (for the benefit of certain people who seem incapable of understanding anything else), one nation in particular leaps out at you.

natograph

Iceland spends just 0.1% of its GDP on defence. Despite having no standing army, and their defence force consisting of a few coastguard vessels and a Crisis Response Unit reminiscent of Dad’s Army, Iceland is a key and founding member of NATO.

Indeed, it arguably has a greater historical role in the alliance than the UK, despite not having nukes. Older readers may recall the 1986 Reykjavík summit, which eventually resulted in a new US/USSR nuclear treaty and the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The country regularly also hosts NATO conferences and joint military exercises.

Why? Well, look at a map. Specifically this one:

giuk

If you happen to live in any northern European country, then to get to the Atlantic you have a choice of three routes; between Iceland and Greenland, between Iceland and the UK, or through the English Channel.

The Channel is one of the busiest commercial sea lanes in the world, and is so narrow that anything larger than a rowing boat would be spotted and reported to Whitehall within minutes. That leaves the two other routes, commonly and collectively referred to as the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK for short) Gap – a naval choke point of enormous strategic importance.

During the Cold War, this was one of the most heavily patrolled areas of sea anywhere in the world. Soviet nuclear subs had to cross it to reach the Atlantic in order to put their missiles within range of targets in the United States, and conversely, any allied naval force had to pass it in order to position themselves to attack either the Soviet Northern Fleet, or its Baltic Fleet.

The US and Britain spent millions laying an underwater sonar network (called SOSUS) to detect anything louder than a shrimp passing through these waters, and likewise the Soviets commited substantial air and sea resources to make sure that we weren’t launching a sneak attack.

“But surely the Cold War is over, the bombers have gone, and the cloaks and daggers have been put away?”, you may cry. SOSUS is indeed but a shadow of its former self, with funding cut and its operations significantly downgraded. NATO aircraft no longer regularly patrol from Iceland, and the Russians now own our football clubs and most of London’s high-end real estate. It’s all history, right?

Yes and no. True, the Soviet Union is no more and the Cold War is but a distant memory, but whilst political boundaries move on the whims of nations, geographical ones don’t. We can now airlift men and machines halfway around the globe, but to mobilise really big resources, the sea is still unbeatable. So the GIUK gap will never really go away, and thus Scottish waters will always be of global strategic importance.

And that’s why Scotland’s acceptance into NATO was never, and will never be, an issue. NATO may not like the idea of Scottish independence (Lord Robertson infamously describing the notion as “cataclysmic”), but like Iceland, Scotland is in just the right place on the globe to make it really important in naval matters.

So from the current financial and historical data, we can see that a modest defence spend is certainly no barrier to NATO entry.

The White Paper did lay out a rather high defence spend of £2.5bn, but the reasons were probably political rather than military, with the SNP likely trying to reassure NATO that an independent Scotland would be a positive and participating member, and also to address domestic concerns about military jobs in Scotland.

But as we’ve already said, politics are transient. The truth is that there would be no barrier preventing an independent Scotland from finding substantial savings from its bloated military budget should it need/choose to do so. The pretence otherwise is just one more weapon in the Unionists’ war of lies.

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    225 to “Fighting in the War Room”

    1. Grouse Beater says:

      Excellent article, save but for the assertion the cold war is a distant memory. There’s enough table thumping from the west to suggest we want another.

    2. Cuilean says:

      For the end results of military spending visit the Flemish website showing banned pictures of the great war. Warning : graphic & disturbing scenes.

      Click on each picture to see the next picture.

      http://www.greatwar.nl/frames/default-picnic.html

    3. BLMac says:

      Even if we did have a high defence spend, it would all be local and not spent killing foreigners in their own homes.

      Thus each £1 spent would be recirculated within our country and there would be much more employment created as a result.

    4. Colin Dunn says:

      2nd last para typo . .

      Scotland would be a a positive

    5. David says:

      OH MY again!!! You Rev, are just too sensible and well informed / able to find the facts, to be real.

      Surprisingly you are still ‘only’ running WoS and not leading some thunk tank – But that could be dangerous as wee ruthie might sit on your weapon 😉 Just for a photo opp of course, not to encourage you to fire your weapon at the bad guys 🙁

      OK I will get my coat now, even if it is a horrible day here on Bonnie Scotland and exit stage left.

    6. Doug Daniel says:

      Not only is it a “requested” target – the fact is, it’s simply a “target”, rather than a “requirement”. It’s a bit like the issue with joining the EU and joining the Euro – new members are supposed to aim to meet the Eurozone entry requirements, but there’s nothing actually forcing them to do so, as the Swedes and Czechs have so ably demonstrated.

      So you have NATO saying “okay folks, we want you all to spend 2% GDP on defence”, and 22 member states going “err, yeah, we’re, like, TOTALLY going to do that… Oops, we didn’t manage this year. We’ll totally make it our number one priority next year, though. Honest.”

    7. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Unionists lying?….I’m astonished.

    8. Lollysmum says:

      Good article Lindsay.

      Knocking down the myths in an easy to read & understand manner.

      Get this message out there folks. Wingers do your thing 🙂

    9. K1 says:

      Lindsay has written this article not the Rev.

      Excellent Lindsay, this is actually beginning to feel like the referendum campaign again. What you are pointing out is what the Yes side already knew during the campaign.

      Hopefully this serves as ‘eye opening’ for those who weren’t so switched on at that time.

      As for the barking yoonies, well, is there really any hope fur them?

      Nah…

    10. Dr Ew says:

      Superb article.

    11. heedtracker says:

      So from the current financial and historical data, we can see that a modest defence spend is certainly no barrier to NATO entry.

      The same principals apply to Scotland, the EU and Brexit. No doubt everyone in Scottish fishing agriculture and industries that voted NO, are really looking forward to our chums in the south deciding Scotland’s EU economic destiny for them, once again.

    12. Macart says:

      Another superb post Lindsay.

      Many thanks.

    13. mealer says:

      NATO will defend the GIUK Gap whether or not Scotland is a member.

    14. Calum McKay says:

      uk government can make asertions like the 2%, bbc will not question or conducta any level of due dillignece to verify what they are saying is true.

      Thanks goodness Wings is around to check the facts and inform the public.

      As for Grouse Beaters point, couldn’t agree more. the west are always looking for bogeymen to demonise and then mobilise public opinion to the wests way of thinkng, Putin is the latest example.

      I had to laugh at fallon’s latest attempt to gain support to bomb Syria by saying were are being left out, this kind of buffon would have had the uk fighting in Vietnam using the same argument.

      Its been stated many times, those displaying the greatest respect for those that have died in wars appear to be the greatest advocates for increasing the number of war dead!

    15. Craig Murray says:

      But why on earth would we want to join NATO anyway? It is deeply implicated in the disastrous neo-con policy of repeated military intervention in Muslim countries.

      Russia has no plans to invade Scotland, and never has. It is a ridiculous bogey.

    16. BenInsular says:

      Good analysis.

      Iceland also managed to repeatedly see off the mighty nuclear-armed Royal Navy during the Cod Wars between 1958 and 1976.

      Other than the strategic importance outlined in the article, an independent Scotland would need a capacity to patrol and police its fishing grounds, let alone defend its territorial waters rich in petrochemical installations.

      In particular, if barred from EU membership, it would need to be able to fend off Spanish etc. trawlers, unless an accommodation could be reached!

    17. galamcennalath says:

      Excellent article. Facts are facts, and Unionist hate them.

      Yes, now I always read who the author is before plunging into the articles.

    18. tinderbox says:

      Wow! Sh1t! A moment of clarity. Now I understand completely why Scottish independence is such a threat to the British State and why Obama/EU et al spoke out against. Thank you for this article!

    19. Brotyboy says:

      To echo Lindsay’s point about the £2.5B spend proposed by the White Paper being rather high, this would relate to GDP of £125B if the 2% figure were applied.

      I believe Scotland’s share of the UK defence budget is £3B – £3.5B at the moment. There is scope for ample saving in an Independent Scotland.

    20. Craig P says:

      With the continuing melting of Arctic ice, this area of sea is only going to become *more* strategic as freighters will be able to go between China and Europe through the Bering Straight and past the Faroes and Shetland.

    21. jimnarlene says:

      Well written and easily understood, nice.

    22. Black Joan says:

      Reply to Cuilean @12.10: Perhaps the Cenotaph should be equipped with a screen displaying those banned photographs, plus others showing more recent results of arms-dealing and warfare.

    23. Valerie says:

      Great readable piece. I knew bits, but this brings all the salient points and evidence together to show up the drivel spewed in corporate media.

      Reminds me also of a recent documentary about the very tough Scottish men that crewed the ice breakers around this area.

    24. Dan Huil says:

      Excellent article but don’t these nasty nats realize that if “we” don’t bomb Syria it will be a gross insult to all those who were conscripted and massacred in WWI?! God save the queen! Jocks: know your place!

    25. Grouse Beater says:

      Craig Murray: Why would we want to join NATO anyway? It is deeply implicated in the disastrous neo-con policy of repeated military intervention in Muslim countries.

      Seconded.
      A misstep to appease American foreign policy in the run-up to the Referendum, a naïve blunder promoted by one SNP MP, though little good it did when Obama said what we expected him to say, better Anglo UK than Scotia OK.

    26. Dr Jim says:

      Excellent article and clear as a bell

      Many thanks

    27. Dcanmore says:

      Scotland’s £3bn annual expense for the RUK to keep a military presence, to ‘defend’ Scotland is ludicrous. The world has changed yet the powers-at-be still want to play the Cold War game to keep the military industrial complex satisfied.

      An independent Scotland does not need to be in NATO, however because of its geographical position Scotland could make a tidy sum renting ports and bases to NATO. Scotland itself can have a very useful conventional military which can be based around patrol and surveillance, using high-end technology rather than the amount of bombs it has.

      As an island nation future Scottish navy and airforce are the key proponents to surveillance and patrol while a small highly specialised professional army (which can be backed up by Territorials when required) can fulfill national as well as UN peace-keeping and disaster relief requirements.

      For building up a cost-effective professional Navy, airforce and army, Scotland has time on its side, we are in peace time Europe and the country has the luxury of taking 10 years or so to carefully manage and grow its armed forces until it reaches peak expenditure that would be deemed acceptable, say £1.8bn annually at peak, or whatever the amount is at 1.6% of GDP, with the dividend that you can project savings compared to the current £3bn per annum now and possible future income from NATO.

    28. Clootie says:

      …ever felt that you have been through an arguement before 😀

    29. katherine hamilton says:

      Older readers? I can’t get much older! Brilliant synopsis. For younger readers badly educated under the SNP, synopsis is a big, hard word.

    30. RogueCoder says:

      @Craig Murray
      Personally, I’m pretty ambiguous to NATO, I don’t really see what we get out of it. It’s supposedly a peacekeeping organisation now, although it seems pretty ineffectual at that. I’m just saying that Scotland could join very easily, if it wanted to.

    31. Helena Brown says:

      Read your tweet and understood it then but much clearer now on the whole thing.

    32. Scott Campbell says:

      A lot of the 2.5 billion would presumably be needed in the first few years to set up the Scottish equivalents of Whitehall and GCHQ, and integrating our independent defence forces. I imagine we could end up closer to the Irish 0.5% of GDP over time.

    33. Angra Mainyu says:

      Craig Murray says: “But why on earth would we want to join NATO anyway?”

      Not only should we not be joining, but NATO ought to have been disbanded in 1990.

      When you look into the true purpose of NATO, though, it was always more about containing Germany rather than Russians, and maybe that’s why it remains.

      But the Russian view that NATO presents a threat to them and others, is predatory and potentially destabilising, is hard to argue with now.

      Many of us once hoped that the EU would move to replace NATO with something else, something that didn’t allow the US to pull our strings on defence matters, but that seems less likely now than it ever did.

      If Scotland was independent and we threatened not to join NATO, they’d be queuing up to beg us to join. That’s for sure.

    34. Macart says:

      @Clootie

      Deja Vu all over again. 🙂

    35. Kennedy says:

      The corp media present Russia as the bad guys. This is to scare us so we are easier to manipulate.

      If you think about it USA and UK have a far worse record regarding war mongering and sabre rattling. We along with USA are actually the bad guys.

      If we are not invading or bombing foreign lands we sell arms to them so they can kill themselves and save us the bus frare. When the land is destabilised we then invade to save them from themselves.

      WE ARE THE BAD GUYS.

      But on a positive note think of the jobs, eh? JaBa?

    36. Hamish100 says:

      Come the next Indy ref2 Scotlands position should be
      1 NATO — if you want us in NATO make it worth our while eg purchase naval ships. Of course no Nukes allowed.
      Ps we will remain neutral otherwise. Like RoI.

      2. EU— if you want us in the EU make it worth our while ……………
      Ps we will remain friends etc but the oil, gas and marine resources are ours!

      Next?

    37. Roland Smith says:

      Ireland spends a billion euros a year on Defençe and have not been invaded since being Independent for almost a hundred years. Plenty countries are not in NATO, Austria, Finland, Ireland all being good examples.

    38. Taranaich says:

      Whether Scotland is a part of NATO or not is a moot point until we’re in a position where we can decide for ourselves.

      I will say, the number of – let’s be charitable – misconceptions among anti-independence supporters are particularly baffling when it comes to NATO. “NATO is a nuclear alliance, you won’t get in without them” – even though only 2 of the 27 other countries actually have nuclear weapons. “NATO wouldn’t want an independent Scotland” – even though experts from diplomats and ambassadors to generals and advisers have said the opposite. And now “NATO members HAVE to spend 2% of GDP on defence” – even though we see this cannot be the case.

      Then again, the military case for independence has always been completely open and shut for me ever since the HMS York had to scramble up from Portsmouth to shadow the Russian carrier. No government or military who left one of the longest coastlines in Europe so utterly defenceless can possibly lecture about the “dangers” of independence after that.

      (For the record, I would happily get out of NATO myself: Sweden and Ireland are doing alright, and they’re right on the North Atlantic, or near enough in Sweden’s case.)

    39. chossy says:

      Do nations contribute to NATO budget : / if such a thing exists…. So as an organisation does NATO say ok you don;t spend 2% on your own defence force but you must make up the shortfall with contributions to NATO… that’s literally the only thing I can think of which would be remotely like the 2% we all have top pay apparently… So if Iceland for example only pay 1% to keep their army going then they pay the other 1% to NATO… I know it’s bollocks but there you go.

    40. gerry parker says:

      @ Hamish100.

      3. Here are our currency plans, deal with it.

      Printing this using the print PDF button.

    41. galamcennalath says:

      @Taranaich

      Yes, NATO membership or neutrality is the kind of decision an independent Scottish government will make. Independence first, debates about membership of NATO etc afterwards.

      Unionists will clearly now clutch at any straw.

    42. Vambomarbeleye says:

      I was rescently in the Deutcher Panser Museum. Well worth a visit.
      Any way I happened to be by a section of wall when the guide arrived with a man and a woman. The guide asked the question which side was East and which was West. I replied that side pointing to the side with the graffiti. Yes! But how do you know he exclaimed. Because that’s the side I see through the sight of my Chieften tank. End of discussion.
      For some of us the Cold War got warm at times and is not that long ago. Don’t take my word for it ask The man in the jar.

    43. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Taranaich As you say in or out of Nato is a moot point,as is in or out of EU . Independence then WE decide whitch clubs WE join IF any.

      @ Lindsay Bruce Many thanks Lindsay good piece.

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      O/T

      Catalonia seems to have ruffled a feather or two

      🙂

    45. Bill Steele says:

      Why would independent Scotland want to be in Nato?

    46. call me dave says:

      @handshrimp

      Catalonia:
      https://archive.is/o6IrQ

      I’m with all those who say independence 1st and then let folk decide. It’ll still be there if we want to.

    47. crisiscult says:

      good article and illustrates just why you don’t become a biologist by reading some stuff on the internet about biology, or a lawyer by reading some statutes and cases, or indeed an economist by doing some accounts for your pet shop. You have to understand your discipline and the nature of truth within that discipline. The same unionist numpties who think you can’t be in NATO if you don’t spend X are the ones who say ‘you’ll be kicked out of the EU and have to wait in the queue to get back in as per Article 49, and anyway, Spain will block you’

    48. K1 says:

      It’s no the point right now whether we would want/not want to be part of Nato.

      It’s the point that it would be our choice when we are Independent.

    49. HandandShrimp says:

      Dave

      I agree. According to the doomsayers NATO wouldn’t want us. I say let’s put that to the test.

      I can see benefits to not being a member so I can’t say I much care one way or another.

    50. Stoker says:

      Thank you Lindsay for an excellent article.

      @ Grouse Beater (1pm): Couldn’t have put it better myself!
      (And very well said Craig Murray @ 12.40pm)

    51. yesindyref2 says:

      Excellent article Lindsay. I’m with Grouse plus the Cold War never really ended, just morphed into an economic war, and going back again to a Cold War – as grousebeater says, largely at the insistence of the West. But hey, that would be paranoid of nats, we’d be only joining some senior miltary people of let’s say an older demeanour.

      One thing worth a mention in addition for GIUK is the forthcoming emergence of the north-west passage round Canada who are already laying some claims and taking measures. That too would give the UK, but particularly Scotland, strategic positioning both military and economic (e.g. super-hyper-container ship hub).

      From previous reading Iceland wasn’t just one of the founding members of NATO but, along with Belgium, one of those that pushed for it. Can’t remember where I read that though, it was a couple of years ago.

    52. yesindyref2 says:

      @Lindsay Bruce
      Oh, one addition to the defence spend of the UK being 2.1%, which would need researching to confirm.

      I believe that actual military engagements such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria don;t come out of the Defence budget and so aren’t part of that 2.1%. They come out of some other budget, perhaps Treasury contingency.

      So actual spending on “defence” could be considerably higher than 2.1% for the UK.

    53. Bob Mack says:

      So, if Russian paratroopers land in Scotland, ( which they wont), then NATO would just say how unfortunate, and leave it at that.
      No consideration at all of the strategic importance of our little country.
      No. I don’t think so either.

    54. yesindyref2 says:

      @Lindsay Bruce
      While it’s in my mind, there are other questions on expenditure both coming under extra spending on defence, and tangential costs to the UK’s involvement. These might have to be Parliamentary questions, done by the SNP MPs, though some might have been done by Angus Robertson previously. So:

      1). What is the total defence budget? Years 1999 to 2015?
      2). Is the total cost of military actions in Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, and even because of Ukraine, included in the overall defence budget? What are the cost of these actions, if in addition to the detence budget?
      3). Is the cost of cleanup such as unexploded ordinance, (spillages?), withdrawal of forces and military assets included in 1 and 2? If not, how much?
      4). Is the cost of civil expenditure such as rebuilding of bridges, schools, hospitals or whatever in these war zones included in the costs so far, if not, how much?
      5). (any other previously unspecified warlike expenditure)

      These would have to be compared to equivalent spending of the likes of Denmark and Germany, France even, which only act under UN resolutions, sometimes like Iraq not until the peacekeeping force goes in and rebuilding starts.

      Seems to me the true cost of defence is likely to be considerably more than 2.1% for the UK, in total.

    55. yesindyref2 says:

      @Bob Mack
      In a discussion in the Herald with an apparent NATO bod poster, about the UK QRA North, he reckoned if Scotland had zero air defences, the rUK would overfly Scotland’s airspace to perform the QRA function anyway. I agree.

    56. I’m surprised our notorious Establishment dissident, Rev Stu Campbell hasn’t died in a bizarre gardening accident involving a fish pond, secret gay lover, sleeping pills, an electric toaster & a trail of Maynard’s midget gems leading to the tool shed.

      Why is MI5 so ineffectual these days?

    57. Iain More says:

      Interesting that poor wee stupid Norway doesn’t come close to the 2% yet it is poor wee stupid Norway that is essentially covering the GIUK Gap and not the big beefy UKOK muscle heid, which according to that table is spending over the 2%. I guess the UKUOK Tory manifesto commitment to spend 2% of whatever is an actual commitment to cut UKOK defence spending – ho hum!

    58. galamcennalath says:

      OT Carmichael. Perverse how the media keep confusing two issues ie. the leaking of a false story, and the fact that he covered up and lied about his guilt until after the general election.

      He is NOT in court for leaking, he is on trial for LYING about it doing it.

      He is not even denying the lying. The case is about motivation and alleged benefit during an election.

      Is the media dumb, or do they just think their readers are dumb?

    59. Iain More says:

      On the photo. Where is Dr Strangelove?

    60. I Clark says:

      I wish people would stop talking about NATO in terms of defence. It is an offensive organisation; both militarily and morally.

      Being invaded is not something I worry about or believe I should be worried about. But when I have occasionally reflected on threats to the stability of Scotland (and other countries), my major concern is with that warlike country to the west of us. And I don’t mean Ireland.

    61. call me dave says:

      Carmichael update in Guardian:

      “I can’t find anybody that wasn’t shocked,” she told Jonathan Mitchell, QC, on Monday. “That was just the general feeling in the islands; disbelief really, that he had been so involved and he had basically lied about this memo, about leaking it.”

      https://archive.is/vfCDC

    62. Blind Squirrel says:

      I love this article. 🙂

    63. Les Wilson says:

      As an Independent state we should be friendly with as many states as our ethics allow.Home defence should be our priority, we would need good equipment and state of the art technology.

      We need ships in our waters and strong, very professional if smallish army.I would advocate that any invader should pay a heavy price. We stop short of participating in the invasion of other countries.

      As far as Nato is concerned, we will decide that after Independence, then deciding what use it is too us.

    64. Sinky says:

      In the world of real politic pro Indy Scots should support being a non nuclear participant in NATO until such time as an Independent Scottish Parliament can come to a rational decision. If we say we are coming out who knows what dirty tricks will be played by our “Allies” in Washington.

      O/T In fighting the media war against self determination there is a cracking piece to-day from Derek Bateman on The Vow etc

      http://derekbateman.co.uk/2015/11/09/the-end-is-nigh/

    65. Ken500 says:

      How much do the illegal wars cost. Are they included in the 2% or off the balance sheet.

      The majority in Catalona are not voting for Independence. 2million out of 5.5million electorate. (4.4 million voted). ‘Foreign’ EU citizens do not get to vote. 7.5 million pop.

    66. Paul Beck says:

      Another very clear exposition (infuriatingly clear from the Unionist perspective), for which I’m very grateful. Yes, some of us below the line have found ourselves congratulating the wrong author, but that’s because the writing style is almost identical to the Rev’s. It clears up the media’s misconception and misinformation with the ruthlessness of a colonic irrigation.

      Have Lindsay and the Rev ever been seen in the same room at the same time?

    67. Les Wilson says:

      Carmichael, I just wish the whole thing could have been televised. I sooo wanted to see him squirm.

    68. Capella says:

      Eisenhower said “Beware the military/Industrial complex.” Or NATO as it’s now called.

      When Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems sponsor the Poppy Appeal, and BAE Chair is Vice Chair of BBC, and weapons are the perfect product, constantly being destroyed and upgraded; then we are urged to spend vast sums propping up the arms industry.

      Let’s decide that after independence, free from corrupt Establishment lobbying.

      The Festival of Remembrance: It’s time to save it from the warmongers https://www.rt.com/op-edge/321223-remembrance-day-uk-ww1/

    69. Tam Jardine says:

      Re the Carmichael case- you don’t have to dig too deep in that rotten old rag’s website piece on today’s court to find the SNP baaad angle. It is almost boring to point out, so predictable is it that Sev would find a way to minimise Carmichael’s offence, muddy the waters and attack the SNP.

      “Carmichael’s denial of involvement was very similar to Alex Salmond’s dishonesty in a BBC interview in 2012 about his government’s non-existent legal advice on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU. The then first minister knew that membership was a major political question for voters.”

      Mind boggling how the Guardian’s treatment of all Scottish stories, (and others besides) is find the anti-SNP angle, even in a case where the SNP is the wronged party!

      They could probably develop a computer program to write these pieces. Maybe Severin Carrell is really just Sev

    70. Tam Jardine says:

      … last comment screwed up a bit at the end… you get the idea. See for yourself

      https://archive.is/vfCDC

    71. yesindyref2 says:

      @Iain More
      Not just Norway but Denmark, Netherlands and Germany.

    72. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Les Wilson (2.59) –

      Correspondent on Beattie’s show mentioned that it will be broadcast on Wed/Thu for the summing-up(s) but didn’t say whether or not Carmichael will be present.

      Yeah, t’would would be sweet to hear a judge saying ‘Take him down!’ but it ain’t gonna happen. Not this time anyway. 🙁

    73. sensibledave says:

      I Clark 2:50 pm

      You wrote “I wish people would stop talking about NATO in terms of defence. It is an offensive organisation; both militarily and morally.”

      …. could you give me a list of all the NATO countries that have been invaded by a foreign power over the last 50 years (shouldn’t take long) – together with a list of all the non-NATO countries that have been invaded by a foreign power (will take a bit longer).

    74. yesindyref2 says:

      Full members of NATO, the 28 members, enjoy Article 5, the so-called “One for all, all for one”, mutual defence protection. Partners for Peace enjoy Article 4, which is a weaker version where NATO might consider helping out, eventually.

      However, as others would point out, I really really really can’t see NATO standing by if Scotland was threatened, the thought of having what could become a hostile controlled armed country on one side of that Gap, and so close to the airspace of many of the other NATO members, would mean Scotland would certainly have Article 5 protection, even if not a full NATO member.

      Which means, to be blunt about it, if NATO said “get to the back of the Queue”, Scotland could say “thanks very much, we’ll spend that £ billion on other things”.

      That, by the way, would be a further saving on a 1.6% of GDP spend, or even like Denmark / Germany, 1.3%. I’m not saying we should, but we could, put two fingers up. Right up.

      And that’s from someone who’s always been interested in defence stuff. The previous NATO secretary-general, and even the then current one, angered the sh*t out of me.

    75. Nana says:

      O/T

      For anyone interested in the Carmichael evidence this fellow is tweeting.
      I thought this was not allowed inside the court so he must be popping outside every few minutes.

      https://twitter.com/kkabdn

    76. Petra says:

      @ I Clark says at 2:50 pm ”I wish people would stop talking about NATO in terms of defence. It is an offensive organisation; both militarily and morally. Being invaded is not something I worry about or believe I should be worried about. But when I have occasionally reflected on threats to the stability of Scotland (and other countries), my major concern is with that warlike country to the west of us. And I don’t mean Ireland.”

      Yes I Clark I totally agree with you and would add the warmongering country (invaded over 80% of countries on the planet) located to the South that has technically invaded us. Get rid of them and we may get ourselves out of the clutches of the warmonger to the West (US).

    77. yesindyref2 says:

      @I Clark
      The SG / SNP were very clear about how Scotland would be a member of NATO, and that’s only with UN sanction.

      It’s one of the earliest articles of NATO, that nothing that NATO asks of members should interfere with their membership of the UN, so any NATO member can refuse to join in with any NATO activity, such as Germany did in Iraq – though perhaps as a result, that wasn’t actually a NATO action.

      I didn’t put that very clearly but you get the drift!

    78. Robert Peffers says:

      @BenInsular says: 9 November, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      ” … Other than the strategic importance outlined in the article, an independent Scotland would need a capacity to patrol and police its fishing grounds, let alone defend its territorial waters rich in petrochemical installations.”

      Believe me, BenInsular, there’s a lot more down there than just oil & gas. For example, “Fire Ice”, A.K.A. Methane Hydrates. There are large deposits in Scottish waters, estimated enough to last at least 300 years.

      I highlighted, right here on Wings, both the Atlantic Gap strategic situation and the surplus of present fuels and other not so well known riches that Scotland is sitting upon during the referendum campaign.

    79. dakk says:

      Sensibledave 3.16

      ‘a list of all the non NATO countries that have been invaded’

      That list will be much longer because NATO itself does most of the invading.

    80. INDEPENDENT says:

      @Ian More:-

      My friend and I were just discussing Dr Strangelove last Friday evening.
      When Peter Sellars comes out with the classic line.

      ” You can’t fight in here this is THE WAR ROOM!! ”

      50 years on an nothing has changed with Top Big Brass. A shower of eejit’s.

    81. heedtracker says:

      sensibledave says:
      9 November, 2015 at 3:16 pm
      I Clark 2:50 pm

      Trident 2 is a UKOK red and blue toryboy penis extension sensibledave, with a poppy on the end.

      To be a fair you lot dont need it.

    82. Nana says:

      O/T Almost time for the Scotland Bill debate expected to start at 4.15pm

      Watch the farce here…

      http://goo.gl/bKqsOV

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0048/amend/pbc0480911m.1-7.html

    83. Angra Mainyu says:

      As I said, the primary purpose of NATO in the beginning was to contain Germany. Without NATO, Germany might have had its own independent military and, as you can imagine, that would worry a few people…

      NATO turned a corner when it intervened in Serbia and Afghanistan, moving from what was arguably a strategic defence alliance to something quite different.

      I don’t know what it represents now, something along the lines of “mess with us and we’ll kick your teeth in…”

      That said, they don’t really need it even for kicking teeth in; as Blair and the gang showed, you can always create an ad hoc Coalition of the Willing.

    84. Bob Mack says:

      @sensibledave,

      Perhaps rephrase your question to ” How many countries who are members of NATO have invaded countries over the last x years” ?

    85. yesindyref2 says:

      Ah right, it’s NATO Artcle 1 – quite high up!

      Article 1

      The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

    86. Valerie says:

      @Nana
      Thanks for that link to the guy who is tweeting from the Carmichael trial.

      That big buffoon is creating comedy gold with his responses.

      Except its not funny, as I think we are footing the Bill for this joke.

    87. K1 says:

      The very Article that of course they immediately considered first and foremost in their decision to invade Iraq, right there yesindyref2…smashing being part of this big peaceful world innit?

    88. Macart says:

      @Nana

      I’d love to watch it Nana, but I’m doing my hair.

      Honestly. 🙂

    89. K1 says:

      Lol Macart 🙂 Whit ye dain tae it?

    90. Nana says:

      @Macart

      I’m about to give the dog a bath!

      Actually it gets more insulting by the minute. Meant to start at 4.15 suddenly there was a very urgent question from the greasy Vaz and now it looks like they are going to talk for as long as possible in order to prevent debating the amendments.

      Ach who cares what they do we have a better country to build.

    91. Nana says:

      @Valerie

      You are welcome. That buffoon has already cost taxpayers through his lies and pretend enquiry. As you say not in the least bit funny and I just hope the Orkney 4 have enough funds

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-people-versus-carmichael#/funders

    92. yesindyref2 says:

      @K1
      Indeed. However that was the UK and the US primarily, as Iraq definitely wasn’t a NATO operation to start with:

      http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_51977.htm

      Germany and others only took part as part of the UN Peacekeeping force, NATO members to train the IRAQ armed forces after the overthrow, and withdrew in 2011 when “agreement could not be reached on the legal status of NATO troops operating in the country.”

      Any member of NATO who is also a member of the UN is bound by the UN first, NATO second. The UK chooses to take a different path, in its relations with the US. I would very much think Scotland would do the same as other NATO members like Germany, Denmark, Holland.

    93. Sinky says:

      Democracy Westminster style backed by Labour

      Some 100 amendments to flawed Scotland Bill to be discussed in SIX hours equals 3.6 minutes per amendment. Some debate.

    94. nodrog says:

      I did this for myself to try to understand the global market and economy but I thought I might share it with you.

      Our Global Challenges Simplified

      Definitions
      Z = Finite amount of capital available on any one day
      Y = Capital invested in financial instruments on same day
      X = Capital invested in employment creating sources on same day
      Z = Y + X

      Total State Control of Capital and Cooperation

      There are many examples from the past and present where this method has failed for the populations of those countries where it has been practiced and those where it is still being practised and enforced. Absolute Monarchies, Dictatorships, Communism, one party beliefs, etc., perhaps they will diminish as people become better informed and as the use of the internet spreads. A truthfully well informed population make better choices when allowed to vote for a democratically elected government.

      Uncontrolled Global Freedom of Movement for Capital

      In this situation capital will accumulate to the most profitable areas of the Global economy. Most of Y will move to the financial centres and X to Independent Countries where labour costs are cheapest or where high value high demand luxury goods are made. Some capital rich Independent Countries will also receive some of X for large expansive infrastructure developments. Even financial centres, like London, will receive a very high proportion of X to develop their infrastructure simply because of who lives and “works” there. When this happens, where very high amounts of Z are funnelled into Y and capital rich Independent Countries spend high amounts of X on their own areas, then the remaining Countries suffer from depression and austerity whether or not they are developed or under developed countries. This condition is evident today due to the uncontrolled global freedom of movement of capital practised by right wing leaning governments and some global institutions including globally operating super companies.

      Independent Democratic Countries with Centre Left Policies

      The countries that have successfully controlled participation in the Global Market are continuously at the top of the list when “Quality of life” is measured and compared by Global Institutions. It is achieved when the governments of those countries decide, that first they look after their own inhabitants, then cooperate with the rest of the world in the Global Economy and participate in Global Cooperation. They do this in a way to benefit themselves and then others in need of help in other parts of the World. This is a balance between Capitalism and Cooperation and it occurs in mainly democratic centre left politically minded countries. In these countries almost all inhabitants have a good standard of living, some have a very high standard of living and most are in between. It may be that the price to pay is high personal taxation but the rewards are the best quality of life per capita in the world. Perhaps Scotland could join them?

    95. YerketbreeksDavidDavid says:

      And don’t forget we could reinstate the Shetland Bus

    96. ScottieDog says:

      @ Craig Murray
      Completely agree about NATO. I want no part in it…
      Relevant article…
      http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/95218/making-world-more-dangerous-place

      Breszinski’s Grand Chessboard written in the 90s describes how the Middle East events were pre-meditated.

    97. call me dave says:

      It’s well into the radio Scotland news drive and we’ve had the EU and a length discussion on Athletics with drugs, NHS no smoking areas and the Catalonian independence situation but no Carmichael update.

      He got a brief mention (about a sentence at 16:00hrs) but the summary of the news at 16:30hrs failed to mention anything.

      PS
      Pete Wishart hard at it lambasting the procedures on how it does it’s business (amendments Scotland) 100’s now on the paper he says and only 5 hrs to dicuss them.

      🙂 What did he expect…respect! Aye right.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcparliament

    98. yesindyref2 says:

      OT
      What’s quite amusing about the Carmichael case is the number of anti-SNP posters and politicians rushing to Carmichael’s defence with the line “politicians lie, big deal”.

      Hence showing that the anti-SNP and Unionist mob agree that lying is OK.

      I hope that leaves the right impression with the non-activist Scottish People.

    99. Colin Rippey says:

      Yep, I’ve said all along that the first expenditure that an iScotland could easily cut is defence spending.

      And like most of the other contributors I don’t see why an iScotland NOT being part of NATO is a big problem.

      But just to be absolutely clear about what you’re saying, that an iScotland could easily save huge sums from defence spending, but how much could it save and what is the impact of not spending that money?

      The White Paper did lay out a rather high defence spend of £2.5bn,

      This is not really that high, it’s about 1.64% of GDP, only slightly above the average 1.55% for Europe (from your table above) and inline with the total average. Granted still less than the £3bn that would be 2% of GDP.

      Let’s say expenditure can be reduced from the GERS numbers if an iScotland chose to only spend around 1% of GDP and save £1.5 billion (as a rough comparison to Ireland, similar enough population and economy).

      It’s NOT the case that a reduction of £1.5 billion is going to be “spent elsewhere”, it’s a reduction of the total expenditure. There’s no magical money tree that cuts a branch from defence spending and it suddenly grows onto the expenditure branch for education or health.

      (or are you implying otherwise, that any reduction in defence spending can be re-allocated to other areas?)

      This £1.5 billion is currently “apportioned” to some sort of expenditure, and some of that expenditure is on the salaries of soldiers. Have you worked out (here comes the pejorative bit) “how many soldiers you’d need to make redundant to save £1.5 billion?”

      (difficult political choice to embrace for politicians, making soldiers redundant won’t really affect that many people but it is a “poisoned chalice” decision that political enemies can use to attack, so politicians just don’t like doing it)

      Job losses, impact on families, impact of communities. The Rev did have a plan to just give the residents of Helensburgh “a ton of cash” for the job losses if Trident were cut. You got a similar plan? Make a one-off payment to these communities who oh so rely on the defence spending to prop up their local economies?

      Every cut to expenditure, however theoretical, has consequences, and in this case real ones not Barnett ones.

      So if an iScotland were to reduce it’s defence spending to a level similar to Ireland then it would allow the GERS deficit gap to be reduced by £1.5 billion (again, very rough numbers but a good enough indication of what could be saved).

      What’s next? What else can an iScotland cut from GERS apportioned spend to bring the perceived deficit down? We’ve still got quite a few £bn to go but we’re making progress.

      (debt interest, say debt interest)

    100. bookie from hell says:

      David Mundell reading out all the amendments Scotland Bill

      it’s like the small print in a microsoft product

    101. The Man in the Jar says:

      A fine piece of unionist handwringing there from Mr. Rippy. We are too wee, too poor and too stupid argument again. Gie us peace!

    102. call me dave says:

      “FFA is not in the interests of the Scottish people”

      says Mr Mundell. He’s giving way….

      MP G Allan Labour England…2nd interuption in half an hour, (intentional) introducing English not getting the same devolution no wonder Mundell gave way! Looks like a plan wasting time.

    103. Patrick Roden says:

      I hope Rev or anyone else on Wings isn’t hinting for just one minute, that should an independent Scotland start getting friendly with Russia, the United States would see that as a very worrying development and start throwing Billions of dollars of investment at Scottish industries,

      just to keep us on side like!

      I also hope that we wouldn’t use out strategic importance to NATO or to give it its truthful name America on Tour, in order to insist that a lot of big lovely Nato vesels get serviced (or even built) in Scotland, just cos this would create loads of jobs and money?

      hmmm!

    104. Dan Huil says:

      Mundell is the Tories’ useful Scottish eejit. They are sniggering behind his back.

    105. sensibledave says:

      Bob Mack

      … no Bob, I am happy to do that as a separate discussion if you wish – but I was responding to the specific issue that, apparently, NATO has no defence benefits. No NATO country has been invaded Bob. I think that is quite a good record for a defence organisation. More pointedly, and quite topically, Ukraine has been annexed (non-NATO) whilst the likes of Latvia (NATO) hasn’t.

      More broadly, given the general theme about NATO, why would an independent Scottish government firstly, not want to be part of, and secondly contribute to, an organisation that it supports – and then benefits from? I follow the argument that Scotland could probably get away with not doing – but why would you want to? Why leave it to tax payers in other countries?

      I note that there is a great deal of support above for Ireland and Sweden’s positions on neutrality. Is that a position that you believe an Independent Scotland should take?

    106. sinky says:

      Labour filibusting to stop snp Scotland Bill amendments being discussed

    107. john king says:

      Blind Squirrel
      “I love this article. ”

      Its full of nuts? 🙂

    108. call me dave says:

      MP G. Allan MP England still on his feet (wasting time) since my last post. It’s a plan…the Scots people will be told in the Daily Record in the morning about this travesty. Aye right!

    109. Sinky says:

      Are Labour MPs filibustering to prevent Scotland Bill amendments from SNP being reached?

    110. gus1940 says:

      While I have no objection to the SNP policy whereby iScotland would be a member of NATO I would be much happier if The US were to be told to pack their bags and get out taking all their troops and hardware back home.

      Ever since it was formed NATO has been a tool of US Foreign Policy with the defence of W.Europe a secondary issue.

      With the exception of The UK (mostly but not always) and France latterly The NATO countries have been tame markets for the US Military Industrial Complex in particular their aircraft industry.

      Right from its inception most NATO Air Forces were almost exclusively equipped with US aircraft such as F84s, F86s, F100s, F104s, F4s and up to the present day F16s. With the exception of Fiat G91s the European Aircraft Industry was effectively locked out not always by fair means.

      There has never in the life of NATO been a Supreme Commander who has not been an American.

      Who can forget all the terrible scare stories we were subjected to which were subsequently shown to be nonsense.

      We had:-
      The Submarine Gap.
      The Bomber Gap.
      The Tank Gap
      The Missile Gap.
      The SS20 threat.
      The Backfire Bomber threat.

      Does anybody believe that the Eastward Expansion Of Nato into the former Warsaw Pact Countries was at the behest of the W. European members? For that matter also the eastward expansion of The EU. Look where thathas got us.

      Also, who is behind all the current anti-Russian sabre rattling and scare stories that Putin is about to invade the Baltic republics and Poland?

    111. yesindyref2 says:

      @sensibledave
      I don’t think anyone was arguing “leave it to tax payers in other countries”. That would be being a full member of NATO with a 0% GDP spend on defence.

      My argument is caused by the totally absurd position of the two NATO SecGens, and countless Unionist politicans who postured that Independent Scotland would not remain (quick vote + membership approved) as a member of NATO, but would have to “join the back of the queue”.

      That was a laughable claim, but if it did happen, my answer if I was the neogotiator would be “well, bog off then”.

      As a general; data point, from my last look at an answer to a PQ 2 or 3 years back, the UK’s membership of NATO cost £180 million a year. Pro rata, Scotland’s would be about £15 million, call it £20 million now as it reflects not GDP, but “National Income”.

    112. scotspine says:

      I’ve started watching this sham of democracy at Westminster and have given up already in anger.

      The time is set aside to debate The Scotland Bill and from the outset, its been hijacked by some utter dick talking about devolution for England and Nottingham.

      After EVEL, why are we having MPs representing English constituency’s tabling amendments to OUR Scottish Bil?

      The “Westminster” parties and let’s be clear here, MPs representing England and the Establishment (Mundell included – he is not “fluffy”, he is an enemy of Scotland) will continue to take a giant piss all over this Bill and Scotland.

      We need out of this Union double quick.

    113. call me dave says:

      MP Allan still wasting time…If he was on ‘Just a minute’ Nic Parsons would hook him for deviation. Disgraceful.

      The snipers are out and there will be no meaningful business the business of the house is being disrupted intentionally!

      Could you see the Marwick putting up with this??

    114. Capella says:

      Infinite tedium listening to Mr Graham Allen MP (Nottingham North, Labour) droning on to take up as much time as possible on banalities and the need for devolution to England. Anti SNP interventions too. This has taken up 20 mins so far (he started at 17.02.35)

      The sooner the 56 abandon Westminster the better. What a corrupt anti-democratic establishment it is.

      I think I’ll go and listen to a door squeak for relief.

    115. Geoff Huijer says:

      Excellent article which further emphasises what was being said to counter the No Thanks/UKOK nonsense around NATO & Defence that was being spouted during the Referendum.

    116. Les Wilson says:

      Westminster an ffing joke, Unionist Mp’s taking up all the time. Labour MP is bringing 4 bills to be discussed, only to waste time. Obvious they want to choke debate by Scots.Democracy not for Scotland.

      We sooo need to get out of there.

    117. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey “GERS deficit gap”

      Do you mean the gap between Scotland’s deficit and the UK’s deficit, or as it would be, the rUK’s deficit?

      Who would care, the rUK would be a separate state.

      Do you care that the UK may have a deficit of 4%, while Germany ran a surplus of 0.7%? Do you?

      Do you care that while the UK has a debt to GDP ratio of 87.9%, though Independent Scotland’s would be lower, potentially a lot lower if historic debt was taken into account, Estonia’s is 10.5%?

    118. Kevin meina says:

      The SNP should just get up and walk out and tell them too stuff there Scotland bill up there arse.Graham Allen has basically talked shite for half an hour and offered whaffle and mentioned Donald Dewar 3 times.

    119. call me dave says:

      Even Mundell’s sleeping now..Oh wait MP Allan is finished, ready to hand over to another time waster no doubt… Sir Edward Leigh Tory England.

      Mundell is getting an easy time so far.

      Is it a disgrace that this won’t be mentioned in the MSM ?
      Don’t answer that 🙂

    120. heedtracker says:

      Job losses, impact on families, impact of communities. The Rev did have a plan to just give the residents of Helensburgh “a ton of cash” for the job losses if Trident were cut. You got a similar plan?

      Kevrage do we really need to go into the specifics of the blue tory campaign back in 20 oatcake and all the military investment pig fancier Cammers etc were promising?

      Instead they shut down RAF Lossiemouth and Leuchars and reneged on their “super barracks” they promised Scotland if the voted toryboy.

      Not forgetting toryboy world pulling off giant if now routine shystes like this

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/382158/Fury-as-Scots-troops-sent-to-Belfast

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/new-army-super-barracks-could-cost-163-400m-1-1776415#axzz3r168Qzvn

      Neat bit of far right UKOK fraud via these frauds.

    121. cearc says:

      Thanks for the piece Lindsay.

      Personally. I see no benefits to Scotland to being a NATO member.

      Anybody who thinks that the US would not rush to help us defend The Gap has a pretty feeble grasp of geography.

      The Gap is more important to them and is (probably) now the main item ensuring that they keep the UK sweet. That benefit would transfer to us with independence.

    122. Jock McDonnell says:

      @Colin Rippey

      Did ye, aye ?

    123. Papadox says:

      The Farce that is Westminster including the “impartial” speaker is being shown at its best.

      Any idiot who thinks they get a fair deal in Westminster is either on the make, on the take, totally thick or seriously mentally challenged.

      G Allen a nasty peace of work aided and abetted by the speaker and other English Loudmouths.

      Think the SNP MPs should leave England/Westminster ASAP and set up UDI, unless these morons want to be sincere and honest and negotiate regarding devolution.

      Let’s get out, these morons don’t want us unless we sit quiet and dae as were telt like SLAB in Westminster.

    124. cearc says:

      Macart, 4.20

      Which one?

    125. David McDowell says:

      O/T

      In today’s Guardian Severin Carrell makes the following claim: “Carmichael’s denial of involvement was very similar to Alex Salmond’s dishonesty in a BBC interview in 2012 about his government’s non-existent legal advice on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.”

      Carrell states Salmond’s “dishonesty” as fact, as if some court of law had found Salmond guility of lying. He also makes the totally unsubstantiated claim that the legal advice was “non-existent”.

      On Friday 10th, January 2013, Alex Salmond was cleared of breaching the ministerial code:
      http://www.newsnet.scot/nns-archive/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6538:salmond-cleared-of-breaking-ministerial-code-over-eu-advice&catid=1:scottish-politics&Itemid=9

      There are two points I want to make about this:

      1. Even if an inquiry hadn’t found Salmond innocent, it has nothing whatsover to do with the Carmichael court case.

      2. What is the point of taking part in political debate if people like Carrell are to be allowed to make up any alternative reality he likes and have it published as fact?

    126. Al-Stuart says:

      O/T – Scotland Bill being debated at this very point.

      Please can someone put me and many others out of our misery.

      Graham Allen MP for Droning, Durge & Filibuster is polluting the House of Commons with political halitosis and wasting valuable time with his hobby that appears to be listening to his own voice.

      Perhaps the good people of Nottingham North who have a great interest in Scotland, PLEASE ask their MP Graham Allen to go back to school and learn how to be precise, focussed erudite.

    127. john king says:

      “Mundell is getting an easy time so far.

      Is it a disgrace that this won’t be mentioned in the MSM ?
      Don’t answer that :-)”

      The filibusters that they are. 🙁

    128. yesindyref2 says:

      @Patrick Roden
      Persish the thought! (that Scotland would “court” Rissia to get investment).

      Curiously, during the Ref, there were advances made by Russia about shipbuilding in Scotland. Surely they wouldn’t …

    129. Walter Hamilton says:

      Simple leave NATO

    130. Macart says:

      @K1

      “Whit ye dain tae it?”

      Wax and polish. 🙂

      @Nana and call me dave

      I’d say that’s not only ‘vow not delivered’, but referendum result declared null and void.

      Unknown tribes in the Amazon basin could have predicted that HMG would welch on the deal, but we are where we are and maybe that’s a good thing.

      When indyref2 comes round there will be no dubiety or regrets. Westminster’s establishment parties made their own bed, now they can lie in it. They had the win in their hands and all they had to do was live up to their rhetoric for once in their miserable lives. After all its their precious union. This is what they were going to strain every fibre for.

      They lied, they intimidated, they lobbied the corporate world and called on international aid. They used the massed ranks of the UKs media and still, as predicted by many, when they had the job done their own nature proved them incapable of winning the aftermath.

      What happens now is entirely of their own disingenuous and deceitful making. As for that wet fart Mundell? I hope he’s been paid well for his part in this farce, at least a lordship if not a knighthood.

    131. msean says:

      This is why we need independence,in a nutshell.

    132. call me dave says:

      Look and learn! Mr Robertson invites us in Scotland to make our mind up about the ‘mother of parliaments’… you are so right.

      Alberto Costa MP…speaking now, being laughed out of court by the SNP party. He’s Scottish accented but moved to England 15 years ago and is thick as mince!

    133. yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, one half of Abbott and Costello on his feet.

    134. cearc says:

      yesindyref2,

      Lots of potential for investment around Inverness.

      After all The russians are quite fond of the Moray Firth.

    135. Valerie says:

      Absolutely horrible watching this farce of the Scotland Bill.

      It does seem like a deliberate filibuster, and disgusting for that lack of respect.

      The SNP look pretty peed off.

      Attacks now from the Scottish person Tory for Leicester south, a guy named Costa. EVEL in action.

    136. msean says:

      Wonder why he didn’t stand in Scotland? He wouldn’t be in parliament now. Idiot,trying to talk this out.

    137. David McDowell says:

      Alistair Carmichael thought it was “politically beneficial” to leak a memo he says he felt he could truthfully claim he “didn’t leak”? No wonder people hate politicians.

    138. K1 says:

      That Costa is a jumped up lying git. What a patronising little shit…trolling the debate wi a Scottish accent…does he write for the daily record?

      This debate is a total farce. He’s a wind up merchant of the highest order…

      Nasty minded little Tory prick.

    139. yesindyref2 says:

      Why is Eleanor Laing not warning the dishonourable member to be on topic and discuss the Scotland Act, not the emissions from his arse?

    140. K1 says:

      Now he’s using the ‘one party state’ pish.

      And the deputy speaker tells the SNP not to laugh!

      Are we fucking serious, that house and it’s braying Tories daily drown out anything anyone speaks from the SNP. Double standards all around today.

    141. Grouse Beater says:

      Shock!

      SNP MPs discover English parliament is actually the English parliament.

    142. Another Union Dividend says:

      No wonder voters are confused when Harry Smith veteran STV reporter says a few minutes ago that Scotland Bill will give Scottish Parliament ability to vary taxes.

      He didn’t say Income Tax therefore giving impression that Scotland is getting much more devolution than is the case.

    143. dakk says:

      sensibledave 5.11

      ‘why leave it to the taxpayers of other countries ?’

      For the same reason we have always loved being subsidised by England on everything you fool.

      What a stupid,stupid question.

      If we can rip the arse out of you English,why not royally screw another 27 countries while we’re at it. 🙂

      And if you don’t think that’s fair,take it up with your pal Colin Rippey.

    144. galamcennalath says:

      Feeling very angry about events in WM. The SNP and SG must not take this lying down.

      Not sure what course they should take, but perhaps they should fight the election in May on the basis of WM failing to deliver even Smith, far less the DevoFckingSuperDooper from September. An ultimatum, deliver within six months or the Scottish people deserve IndyRef2 to pass judgement of WM’s inaction.

    145. Bill McDermott says:

      Alberto Costello is a joke. He goes on a rant about the SNP, their centralising powers and their grievance propensity but says absolutely nothing about the Scotland Bill.

      The whole episode is a joke. One and a half hours to discuss and debate 220 amendments.

    146. Iain More says:

      Off topic.

      I see that Britannia TV Aberdeen gave Quizzer Scott air time to make an attempted smear on those who brought the case against Quizzer Carmichael and Britannia TV is now on full attack mode against those that brought the case against Quizzer Carmichael. STV should be renamed QTV or VTV, I will let you form your own minds what the Q or the T stands for, the V isn’t for Victory either.

      STV every bit as bad as the BBC.

      I think Tavish Quizzer knows he is goner short of electoral fraud on a massive scale next May.

    147. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Why oh why don’t they just get up en masse and walk out?

    148. call me dave says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Let’s be clear about it though, we had to do this, the SNP MPs have to display to everyone in Scotland what our UK MPs actually think about Scotland’s people.

      I am sure there are other UK folk watching this who are also horrified and getting their eyes opened. How can they fail to be impressed with any of the speakers on our side?

      Our gripe is not with the English, Irish or welsh people it’s about the way that the UK parliament is defunk.

    149. David McDowell says:

      People on here speculated Carmichael’s cunning plan if it all went wrong was to blame it all on the SPAD. Today those people were proved right:

      “Mr Carmichael told lawyer Jonathan Mitchell QC that because Mr Roddin released the document, he could have avoided telling any lies to the inquiry.” (BBC Scotland Online)

      There you have it folks. Carmichael exposed for the pond life he really is.

      He believed he could get away with saying “it wasn’t me” because it was the SPAD who originally suggested it.

      “Mr Carmichael said that he thought the government probe would not uncover the truth of how the Telegraph came into possession of the document.” (BBC Scotland Online)

      And there laid bare is the cynical belief that government inquiries are just “whitewashes” that could never uncover the truth, and the arrogance that his lie could never be exposed.

      Rotten to the core.

      All this trial is proving is just how costly and difficult it is to remove these elitist vermin who believe they are above the law.

    150. Anne says:

      Watching the so called debate on the Scottish Bill. I am no further clearer what is being debated and Labour and Conservative MPs are attacking the SNP. This is a joke. What the hell is the use of the Deputy Speaker. Isn’t her job to keep MPs on message, ie. debating the Bill.

    151. call me dave says:

      These MPs from other parts seem to know all there is to know about our Health and Educational services from afar! Amazing!

      Do you hear all this you switherers and you ‘N’ voters they trash your country and they are your friends…Ian Austin Labour putting the boot in hard.

      Scotland deserves better than this surely were not a basket case.
      I reckon that disgraceful speech alone has pushed the YES vote up another 1%.

    152. Kevin meina says:

      Fuck I hate the Labour Party Ian Austin is the most annoying cunt yet please get up and walk out

    153. K1 says:

      This is a complete attack on Scotland’s public services, and those who have been voted to govern or country.

      The speaker is constantly shouting the SNP down. Their language is perjorative in speaking about the SNP, referring to them as ‘separatists’, aligning us as ‘nationalists’ in the ‘right wing’ meaning of that word.

      What has any of this to do with this debate on the amendments? This Labour Ian Austin is acting as if he is Kezia Dugdale in the Scottish parliament. Listing unsourced figures about our hospitals, education et al.

      Pompous point scoring. Now attacking on ‘rough sleeping’ on the streets of Edinburgh.

      I mean seriously WTF. There Has. Been. No. Debate.

      This is nasty work from both sides of that corrupt house.

      Fucking bastards.

    154. heedtracker says:

      Tune in to Scotland bill debate WM, red and blue toryboys shouting “disgrace” at SNP, red tory explains how shite Scottish NHS is, Labour dude says rough sleeping a DISGRACE in Edinburgh compared to Birmingham under separatists, breaking up Britain, stoke resentment, nat whinge etc , but clearly not going to debate Scotland bill in Scotland bill debate, back to Big Bang Theory.

    155. msean says:

      Why are these guys taking up so much time talking about Scotland,what about his own constituents? Labour undermining itself with stupidity like this,more Labour grievance hunters agreeing with the Tories.

      Probably just cost some more Scottish Labour MSPs their seats. Carry on.

    156. heedtracker says:

      Sheldon gets a new group of friends when the gang start hanging out at Raj’s more often and he realises that it’s actually Leonard who is the centre of their social group and not him.

      Seen it.

      back to Westminster, toryboy government what seaid vote NO we love and want you stay almost benches empty, apart from two Scottish toryboy’s Fluffy and some bloke called Alberto?

    157. Ian Brotherhood says:

      How many are in favour of tweeting the SNP MPs right now?

      Simple tweet, something like:

      ‘You represent us – we wouldn’t sit there and put up with this, so why should you?!’

      even simpler:

      ‘Walk Out Now!’

    158. Robert Louis says:

      So, apparently, Westminster is the IMPERIAL parliament. The parliament of the empire. I guess that does make us in Scotland a colony.

      I am absolutely fuming with anger right now, at the utter, utter, utter contempt these B****** Tory and LABOUR MP’s have for Scotland, and the people of Scotland. Their arrogant ‘we know best’ nonsense just fills me with disgust.

      This, tonight in Westminster ranks amongst the worst patronising colonial claptrap I have ever witnessed. They treat our country and our people as a joke, and openly mock us on live TV.

      No matter the outcome tonight, the Scottish Parliament should reject this tawdry excuse for a Scotland bill outright, when it comes for their approval, then stand on a mandate for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland at May 2016, or else we have an independence referendum within 6 months – WITH OR WITHOUT WESTMINSTER LIKING IT.

      ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    159. galamcennalath says:

      I am so fed up of English grievance politics as they look at Scotland in envy, but will never admit the SNP are doing a better job here than Tories of any colour could ever do in England.

    160. Nana says:

      My mp tweets

      Paul Monaghan MP ?@_PaulMonaghan · 7m7 minutes ago
      There is a handful of Tories in the chamber but restaurants & cafes nearby are bursting, all ready to rush in and vote on the Scotland Bill.

      So the usual carry on then, nothing changes at corruption house.

    161. brobb says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      Why oh why don’t they just get up en masse and walk out?

      couldn’t agree more Ian

    162. Sinky says:

      BBC Scotland TV coverage of Scotland Bill fails to point out that effect is merely to transfer 30% of fiscal powers and 17% of Welfare powers

    163. mealer says:

      Brobb,Ian Brotherhood.
      We’re not at that stage.Yet.

    164. K1 says:

      Rev, Show that Ian Austin’s input too. Labour MP revealing his true colours!

    165. Still Positive. says:

      Mealer @ 6.56

      I agree – we’re not at that stage yet!

      Our MPs are bloody saints listening to all that c*ap.

      Spread this nonsense far and wide everyone.

    166. David McDowell says:

      Carmichael told the election court: “I am not disputing the fact that I was south of the standard that would be expected of the (ministerial) code.”

      The Westminister standards commissioner must now find Carmichael guilty of a breach of the ministerial code.

      Today he admitted under oath his conduct fell below the standard required by the ministerial code.

      Voters in Orkney must now present Carmichael with a petition calling on him to push for the immediate commencement of the Recall of MPs Act 2015, the brainchild of his former pary leader Nick Clegg.

      Since the Westminster standards commissioner must now find Carmichael guilty, the time to start a campaign to have him removed using this legislation must start now.

    167. brobb says:

      mealer – despite the passionate well argued speeches from SNP mps it only to clear what will happen next as the chamber fills with mps ready to cast their votes on a bill they have refused to debate. We might as well walk out, unless enough folk in Scotland are watching and get angry about what they’re seeing and hearing – not much chance of that though if they’re relying on msm

    168. msean says:

      If you help the tories to win a referendum by giving out woolly offers to win it that turned out to be false,don’t be surprised if the voters want another one. If I buy shoddy goods,I am entitled to have it replaced or a refund.

      Seems Labour doesn’t realise there is a Scottish election soon.

    169. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2

      Do you mean the gap between Scotland’s deficit and the UK’s deficit, or as it would be, the rUK’s deficit?

      Who would care, the rUK would be a separate state.

      You’re right, let’s only focus on the deficit an iScotland is perceived to have. From the most recent GERS:

      8.1% GDP
      £12.4bn

      This article is an ongoing series debating the merits of the GERS figures, in this article the argument is that defence spending is a candidate for reducing expenditure.

      I have said if an iScotland were to only allocate 1% of its GDP to defence spending then it could reduce the deficit to £10.9bn, 7.1% GDP.

      So you’re happy that an iScotland could sustain the same level of spending by borrowing 7.1% GDP.

      Or do you have alternative suggestions? Oh wait, that’s right, you’re the guy (the only guy) who “understands” that there’s £bns of whisky tax revenue we’d get. It’s you right? But you won’t tell anyone how this mythical whisky tax revenue would be generated.

    170. msean says:

      This guy must live in a bubble 🙂 that ‘you brought down the Labour government’ stuff contributed to a loss of 40 Labour seats. Haven’t learnt a thing.

    171. Fireproofjim says:

      I am furious at the total contempt shown by the Westminster gang to the SNP.
      For a start there are never more than half a dozen Cons or Labs, who come and go and filibuster on the theme of “SNP bad”. The debate is of no interest to them, but watch when they come storming out of the bars to vote down all the amendments proposed by the SNP, although they know nothing about the debate.
      Sadly very few people can be bothered to watch Parliamenttary TV to see what is being done to Scotland and the MSM will never report it

    172. David McDowell says:

      “The Orkney and Shetland MP told an Election Court he failed to inform a cabinet office probe about how the Daily Telegraph newspaper acquired a confidential memo until May 12 2015.”

      The date the cabinet office inquiry “concluded Carmichael was to blame” was the subject of a Freedom of Information request by The Sunday Herald newspaper in July, 2015.

      The cabinet office refused to reveal the date on the grounds it “would assist a person to avoid detection in future”.

      So by revealing the date Carmichael has now “assisted a person to avoid detection in future”.

    173. Ken500 says:

      How much did the illegal wars cost?

    174. heedtracker says:

      In goodling to find how many military jobs have been lost since blue toryboy world took over from red tory world and this came up first in list

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2353394/Scottish-referendum-Troops-march-south-England-independence-goes-ahead-Scottish-army-BORING.html

      At least their ongoing Project Fear 2, is equally as awful as the first time round.

    175. Dan Huil says:

      Politicians from non-Scottish constituencies, as seen in today’s Commons’ “debate”, continue to hold Scottish constituency MPs and thus the people of Scotland in contempt. Surely one of the sickest most disgusting political phrases ever used by unionists in the so-called united kingdom is “better together”.

    176. K1 says:

      Crushed the 1st amendment.

      To just set up an independent ‘body’ to look at devolving full tax and spending powers to Scotland.

      Ayes: 191
      Noes: 342

    177. Petra says:

      O/T

      @ Iain More says at 6:24 pm ”I see that Britannia TV Aberdeen gave Quizzer Scott air time to make an attempted smear on those who brought the case against Quizzer Carmichael and Britannia TV is now on full attack mode against those that brought the case against Quizzer Carmichael. STV should be renamed QTV or VTV, I will let you form your own minds what the Q or the T stands for, the V isn’t for Victory either. STV every bit as bad as the BBC. I think Tavish Quizzer knows he is goner short of electoral fraud on a massive scale next May.”

      Iain I was absolutely raging watching STV news tonight re. the Carmichael case. Tavish Scott stated, twice, that ”the Nationalists are behind this” etc etc with no one questioning this or any rebut to his comments at all. He should watch what he’s saying or he could find himself in Court on charges of slander.

      Then they covered the Scotland Bill with Mundell and his wee pal Murray stating (LYING AGAIN) that Scotland will be the most powerfully, devolved country in the World. No mention of the fact that our Parliament isn’t permanent, over 70% of welfare and taxes will still be controlled by Westminster and broadcasting isn’t devolved etc etc. Stewart Hosie was questioned and said it wasn’t enough such as re. employment or words to that effect. I can’t understand why they don’t take the opportunity to hit them with the figures (maybe he did and they edited it out): that would be more meaningful to the ordinary viewer. A big deal was made of the number of amendments / pages to be covered. No mention of it having to be done in 5 hours or the fact that one English politician after another was determined to deliberately waste that precious time ……. and treat the SNP and the Scots with utter contempt ….. as per usual.

      STV is practically on a propaganda par with the BBC now.

      PS … From Weegingerdug … ”Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we think devo-max or federalism should mean, and these other notions don’t necessarily coincide with Gordie’s.

      Any sensible definition of federalism would have a sensible answer to the Gagauzia Question. That’s the question – how come an autonomous territory of 140,000 people in the poorest corner of Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, can have their own national tv network but Scotland can’t?

      Any sensible answer to the question why income tax can be devolved at a rate of 15% but not 50% would have to give a sensible answer to the question of why all taxes can’t be devolved. Or at least as many as those enjoyed by a small municipality in properly federal states, never mind a Swiss canton.

      And these questions would have to be answered in language everyone can grasp, without resorting to latinate phrases that have no appreciable meaning. That’s not going to happen.”

    178. Valerie says:

      Whilst nothing would give me as much joy, as to see the SNP group stand up, and walk, they really can’t do that.

      They represent the whole of Scotland, and half of the country wants them down there – being shat on ????

      Phillipa Whiteford said she has spoken to No voters, who voted No due to fear, and now regret it.

      I hope she’s right.

    179. Ken500 says:

      Whisky companies tax evade through the City of London.

      The UK raises £466Billion in tax revenues.Scotland raises £54Billion. Take £54Billion from £466Billion = £412Billion. Divide by 11 (rest of the UK 11/12) = £39Billiin. The rest of the UK borrows and spends £90Billion more.

      Scotland raises £54Billion. Gets back £50Billion? i.e. £30Billion Block Grant,£16Billion (UK) Gov pensions/benefits. £4Billion Defence. Scotland pays £4 debt repayments on debt it doesn’t borrow or spend.

      Scotland could tax ‘loss leading’ drink, cut Trident/illegal wars, not make repayments on debt it doesn’t borrow or soend, develop Oil on the West = £10Billion. Cut tax on Oil sector to stop job losses.

      The most prosperous countries in the world are small countries with natural resources. Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden. Scotland could be the same.

    180. Rock says:

      If the Scots are “sovereign”, the SNP should start setting the rules instead of playing according to the British establishment’s rules.

      They have massive public support and the softly softly approach is no longer the way forward.

    181. Free Scotland says:

      Just watched some http://www.parliamentlive.tv The anti-scottish atmosphere is palpable, with unionists wasting time by forcing lobby divisions to destroy the opportunity for meaningful debate.

      The 56 deserve medals for working in that snakepit.

    182. Ken500 says:

      Vote all the Unionist politicians out in Scotland.

      Westminster is a disgrace

    183. K1 says:

      Clause 35:

      ‘New Clause 35 would ensure that the UK parliament can only legislate in devolved areas with the consent of the Scottish Parliament’

      Ayes: 245

      Noes: 287

      This an SNP amendment. The previous one was a Labour amendment.

    184. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey: “You’re right, let’s only focus on the deficit an iScotland is perceived to have. From the most recent GERS:

      No Kevin that’s totally the opposite of what I said, are you deliberately trying to twist the truth, or do you only see what you want to see?

      It’s austerity junkies of the Tory persuasion that concentrate on deficit deficit defict, normal people would consider deficit along with debt to GDP ratios – as I did – and also consider CHANGE of GDP, which should be upwards, something the UK seems to have no interest in.

      This article is an ongoing series debating the merits of the GERS figures

      Eh? This article is about the defence budget and NATO !!!

    185. o.t.i phoned. Into lbc yesterday they wre discussing the remembrance parades I asked them what would the lads who were fighting in the 1st war in the trenches would have thought if they had known that their great,great grand children would have to be visiting FoodBanks to live land fit for heroes? As they say you need to be a heroe to live in it ,

    186. Macart says:

      @Ian Brotherhood

      “Why oh why don’t they just get up en masse and walk out?”

      At a guess? They’re swimming in shit because we asked them to. We wouldn’t put up with that farce. In fact most of us would either walk out, or walk across the floor and put some of those patronising bastards on their arse, but they’re doing what we couldn’t and they’re doing it for us.

      Look at the keech the Rev has to churn through, simply because we ask. How many times have any number of us said, ‘I don’t don’t know how you can do that’?

      They’ll sit there and take it and tomorrow go back for more, because they have a duty and because they have a purpose and God I wish they didn’t right now.

    187. Anne Bruce says:

      I’m losing the will to live watching this abomination of a parliament.

      I guess moving with the times by having an electronic voting system would be way too advanced for the anachronistic westminster.

    188. galamcennalath says:

      Many changes could be made to WM.

      A very simple one would be … if you didn’t attend the debate, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote!

    189. K1 says:

      Clause 36:

      ‘New clause 36 allows the Scottish Parliament to remove the reservation on borrowing and public expenditure in the Scotland Act 1998’

      Ayes: 56

      Noes: 269

    190. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Rock at 8.00

      Nothing wrong with softly, softly. We have them by the balls and are steadily squeezing them.

    191. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      This as a very percipient piece by Lindsay. For exactly all the same reasons the notion that Scotland will be put out of or not allowed to join the EU is absolutely absurd.

      We are in a very powerful position geographically and consequently politically and the sooner the Scottish people can be made aware of this the better.

    192. Sorry to be back so soon but I personally do not want to be in N.A.T.O or the E.U. Or the union with England and the way most of the world leaders went on against Scottish independence I would tell them all to F.O. We don’t need any of you , you have done nothing but hold us back we have proved we have the brains but also the compassion to be up where we belong among the best in the world

    193. Grouse Beater says:

      Call Me Dave: Our gripe is not with the English, Irish or welsh people it’s about the way that the UK parliament is defunk.

      In general; terms, yes. But the English have weaknesses – they hate foreigners and are suspicious of intellectuals, a dislike that tends to drive both out of the country to live elsewhere. Britain loses too many talented people by that xenophobia.

      Also, a sad number of English I meet in my daily job, people in positions of great influence, dislike the Scots as much as voicing a question, let alone demanding ‘equal and sovereign’.

      By diplomacy we tend to avoid turning the specific into the general, tarring all English as anti-Scots, but one can say with some degree of certainty the majority don’t give much thought to the democratic omissions of people in Scotland even if they feel no ill will toward us.

      So, no, I don’t agree it is only about Westminster as a parliament.

      I believe that ugliness exists for the simple reason the House of Gothic Horrors is a microcosm of English sentiment, MPs there echoing their constituents, though it is true to assert it is certainly only in Westminster that the solution resides for Scotland’s freedoms.

    194. yesindyref2 says:

      @@Colin Rippey
      Incidentally Kevin, if you actually read my posting abour relaive deficit in relation to debt to GDP, before imagining it, talking aboout Estonia with its 1.3 million population, its £1.4 billion national debt, it could borrow £10 billion in in year, 1 month or even 1 day, and still be have a debt to GDP lower than the UK’s.

      If Scotland took no share of the UK’s debt, it would be able to borrow £130 billion and also still have a lower debt to GDP ratio than the rUK.

      Imagine that, for the austerity junkies who only talk about deficit, an 80% deficit on an annual budget, and still be better off than the rUK! With all that lovely money to spend.

      What could Scotland do with that £130 billion? Eh?

    195. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Blair paterson at 8.23
      The point is not whether we indidually want to be in or out of these organisations but the strong hand we have to play because of our powerful position

    196. Petra says:

      Chunky Mark:

      Ben and Joe British Soldiers – Veterans for Peace

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EsBVGKaazc

      Jeremy Corbyn v the Warmongers the Legions of Debt Destruction and Death

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAWBXofirk8

    197. msean says:

      All that has been learned so far is that there are more Scottish tories in English seats than there are in Scots seats.

    198. call me dave says:

      FGS! I’m supporting Mundell in putting down the patronising labour lot over abortion laws coming to Scotland. What a cheek they have, as if we weren’t competent to deal with it.

      🙁

    199. Free Scotland says:

      The smug git sitting behind Fluffy is getting on my wick, the way she keeps mouthing over to those on the opposite benches.

    200. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2

      If Scotland took no share of the UK’s debt, it would be able to borrow £130 billion and also still have a lower debt to GDP ratio than the rUK.

      Yes indeed, no currency union, no debt. That was Alex Salmond’s position last year, it remains to be seen if this is Nicola Sturgeon’s position. But let’s say it is.

      So now an iScotland would have around a deficit of around £4bn or 2.6% GDP (with the defence spending down as well).

      So now an easily manageable deficit to service, of course quite how an iScotland will be able to raise £4bn on the international debt market after “defaulting” on it perceived debt is anyone’s guess.

      But we’ve got there. We’re in a position where after cutting defence spending and defaulting on the perceived debt share an iScotland only has a 2.6% GDP deficit.

    201. heedtracker says:

      So now an easily manageable deficit to service, of course quite how an iScotland will be able to raise £4bn on the international debt market after “defaulting” on it perceived debt is anyone’s guess.

      Keverage as Ken500 says

      Scotland pays £4 debt repayments on debt it doesn’t borrow or spend.

      So Scotland has to pay for the investment England has made in England by borrowing in our name?

      Money markets would lend because they are NOT unionists or britnats. All they care about is risk.

    202. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      It’s not a default, the debt is the UK’s not Scotland’s.

      As for borrowing the worst it gets is this: ““The report states it is likely a separate Scotland would have higher borrowing rates”. Source – the Conservative Party.

    203. dakk says:

      Colin Rippey

      ‘quite how Scotland will be able to raise £4bn on the international debt market after ‘perceived’ default is anyone’s guess.’

      That would be your perception Colin since you have your agenda.

      Even at today’s oil prices,we have an asset worth a wee bit more than £4bn (approx £1 trillion) last I heard.

      Are you seriosly saying we don’t have any collateral to borrow against ?

    204. Bob Mack says:

      Interesting debacle tonight,with some rather obvious ploys going through. What did we learn?

      1. Labour and Tories ,and probably an army of Sir Humphry civil service advisors expect the SNP to sweep the Scottish elections.

      2.The trap for the SNP government has been set and baited ,in order to make it financially impossible for them to mitigate for cuts without disadvantaging everyone in Scotland.

      3. Scotland may become a popular destination for economic reasons especially by English or others who have been hit by the austerity. After all Scotland still pays tax credits.

      This is a well thought out trap. It is aimed at deliberately making a government fail, and believe me when I say they will have gone through this with a fine tooth comb looking for any way of escape for the SNP. They will have covered every eventuality. Except one.

      There is a solution,but it would require a drastic and brave action by Nicola and her Party.
      I do not intend to voice it on here,but in the words of an old friend who was a hunter in the former Rhodesia
      “You must always be careful of one thing when you set a trap”.

      They have missed the one thing.

    205. bookie from hell says:

      Labour Dictionary

      process=NO

    206. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2

      It’s not a default, the debt is the UK’s not Scotland’s.

      As for borrowing the worst it gets is this: ““The report states it is likely a separate Scotland would have higher borrowing rates”. Source – the Conservative Party.

      Perhaps some opinions from economists would be welcome:

      http://www.voxeu.org/article/debt-implications-scottish-independence

      This article is over two years’s old now but is relevant to the discussion.

      Some interesting snippets:

      If Scotland becomes independent, the existing UK assets and liabilities would have to be divided. While this is a matter for negotiation, a reasonable starting point is that assets are divided on a geographical basis (Scotland would have most of the oil and gas reserves) and liabilities are divided on a per capita basis.2 Using the Office for Budget Responsibility’s estimate of the UK’s public sector debt on a Maastricht basis in 2016/17 (when independence would take effect) implies that Scotland’s debt-to-GDP ratio would be approximately 86%, while for the continuing UK it would be 102%.3 For an independent Scotland to assume its obligations from the UK, there needs to be an agreement on a schedule of payments from Scotland based on its issuance of bonds.

      Moving on…

      Once we have an estimate of the borrowing costs that an independent Scotland is likely to face, we can assess how it would be able to converge towards a sustainable debt burden. We assume that a long-run sustainable debt burden on a Maastricht definition is a 60% debt-to-GDP ratio. To achieve this in ten years, an independent Scotland would be required to run a primary fiscal surplus of 3.1% of GDP each year. In other words, having paid the interest on its current debts, the Scottish government would have to take 3.1% of GDP more in tax revenues than it spends. This is in contrast to the 2.3% primary deficit that Scotland ran on average between 2000 and 2012, even after attributing a geographic share of oil and gas reserves.7 The fiscal tightening of 5.4% is due to the high initial debt-to-GDP ratio and the high level of debt-servicing costs. This scenario assumes an inflation rate and real economic growth rate of 2% in every year.

      Interesting thoughts.

    207. heedtracker says:

      Thats a nice link Kevarage

      The economic consequences for the continuing UK are also important. If the oil and gas reserves are divided on a geographic basis, then the UK’s debt to GDP ratio would rise by 12 percentage points. While the UK would now have a large claim on an independent Scottish government (to assume its share of existing UK debt), cross border agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce.

      One option we discuss is a debt-for-oil swap which may be economically beneficial to both sides of the border. This would reduce Scotland’s initial debt, and therefore its borrowing costs. At the same time, transferring a volatile asset income stream might be difficult to manage.

    208. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      Kevin, my quote from the Conservative Party originated with the Deutsche Bank report.

      They’re the people who do the lending, not the economists …

    209. squewedperspective says:

      I completely agree with the principled stance against NATO. I am not a fan.

      Imagining Scotland became independent, I can’t see it so much as a choice of whether to opt to join, so much as a meeting with the gang boss.

      Option 1 : take the £Xbn (in trade and all respectable stuff of course) and pay back 50% into arms and access and such [much like the UK probably has to do at the moment].

      Option 2 : we subtly f**k you over for trade and make sure you cant be pals with our pals (and by implication will have to leave you with the ‘other’ gang).

      The problem with the above is that it a binary choice (USA/Soviet) . Although we may no longer live in that binary world the UK bought into it’s choice when it existed. Leaving a gang is a hard thing to do. All the other gang members know where your bodies are buried (cos they helped bury them). You leave – it’s gonna get nasty…”I know let’s re-new trident!”

      This is just my cynical musings. But I wonder how much the UK govt has a similar choice?

      Off even my own topic…
      Growing up in the 70s and 80s I always assumed we would all be destroyed at some point. When I hear a Labour fan boy on about multilateral – I always assume this is a pro-vote policy not pro-nuke policy. I wonder do the pro-vote ilk actually believe nukes are a real thing? Not just a political football, but a massive destructive fact of life or death? Has it just become so mundane, so remote idea, that it is reduced to a political stand-point and not an “Oh FUCK we could ALL die! Yeah, me, my kids, my Mum, fuck! EVERYBODY AND THEIR CHILDREN!! LIKE ALL FREAKIN PEOPLE EVERYWHERE”
      thought ?

    210. Colin Rippey says:

      @heedtracker
      In 2013 “oor oil” looked like it was going to be worth “pwoor hunners”. Now?

      @yesindyref2
      Keep moving on, ignore anything that “adds to the discussion”.

      The main thing I took from the article was the so called “small country” effect, that an iScotland would have borrowing costs anything between 0.7% and 1.65% over what the current UK borrowing cost is. Not an insignifact amount.

      Still, this was written in a time when a currency union “hadn’t been ruled out” so you can take the numbers with a pinch of salt.

    211. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      Kevin, all I’m doing is knocking down the skittles you keep trying to put in the way of Scotland being able to borrow money, for some reason. I’m not interested in tangents. I achieved that completely, hence why you want to “move on”.

      Here’s an interesting quote for you, from Moody’s:

      Potential risks to this assessment arise if Scotland refuses to assume a “fair and proportionate share” of its debt obligations, which would increase the UK’s net debt burden and would be considered credit negative. In addition, a potential currency union with the remainder of the UK would be credit negative if it were to materialise.“.

    212. Petra says:

      The last thing I would want is to hold onto Trident however I wonder if the wasters at Westminster have discussed that possibility? We get our Independence, the Scots vote to hold onto the nuclear base and we, Scotland, get into negotiation with the US and oust the wee, poor and stupid country south of the border. Just a thought.

    213. yesindyref2 says:

      @me
      I should have pointed out, by the way, that that quote from Moody’s was about the UK.

    214. RogueCoder says:

      As a wee anecdotal comment to this article, I once had cause to inspect one of the SOSUS sonar units. It was a decommissioned unit, about the size of a catering tin of coffee, but still contained a live explosive charge designed to wrest it from the seabed and deliver its internal data recorder to the sea’s surface. At that time it was some 20 years old, and the marine biology academic who had procured it was deeply alarmed when I hoisted it from its packing crate to look at the underside. An expert in inorganic chemistry, he later – once he’d come out from under his desk – explained that the explosive had degraded and was highly unstable. Just shaking it could set the device off. There was enough explosive power to remove limbs at close quarters.

      Shortly after, a health and safety assessment forced the academic to remove it from his office. It first went to an armourer who safely removed the explosive charge, and the hydrophone element started a new life as part of a towed sonar array recording whale song off the Bay of Biscay.

      It’s amazing the things you come across being an IT manager.

    215. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2
      Kevin, all I’m doing is knocking down the skittles you keep trying to put in the way of Scotland being able to borrow money, for some reason. I’m not interested in tangents. I achieved that completely, hence why you want to “move on”.

      (I’m not Kevin, your fetish for him is becoming disturbing)

      You achieved that completely? You are quite the intellect aren’t you?

      You achieved absolutely nothing whatsoever, you’re as much in denial as the rest.

      You make vague statements with no details of specific numbers of the situation an iScotland would be in EACH year, how much it would have to borrow EACH year, what potential interest rate it would have to have, EACH year.

      This is the reality, an iScotland would have to borrow to maintain the current spending. Or it would have to adjust the economy in different ways.

      Your position is predicated on an iScotland not taking a share of the debt, that’s your position. It says nothing about the consequences of such an action.

      As much as Alex Salmond might have said that last year there’s absolutely no way on earth that during the independence negotiations that an iScotland would have said to the rUK “we’re not taking on ANY debt”.

      You really think the rUK would have just said “oh well, at least we tried, okay let’s continue with the trade between our countries that amounts to about 30% of your GDP, we’ll forget about that debt thingy”.

      Dream on.

    216. dakk says:

      Colin Rippey 8.56

      ‘Or it would have to adjust the economy in different ways’

      Duh,that’s right Colin.

      The Scot Gov White Paper outlined some of this,as you well know.Lower CT,scrap APD,child care provision to get more women in work,and of benefits.Grow the economy.

      That’s why we want Independence,or at the very least FFA,and what the UK Gov will not allow us to aspire to.

      The one size fits all UK soviet style central command for Scotland is what we are trying to escape.

    217. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      Bit of an ignorant tirade there, with some quite weird frothy statements.

      Everything I quoted was from either official sources such as eurostats which you appear never to have heard of, Deutsche Bank who would lend the money, or Moody who set credit ratings from ratings committees.

      Whereas you on the other hand, appear to have contributed – nothing.

    218. Colin Rippey says:

      @dakk
      Duh,that’s right Colin.

      Yes, that is right. But unless there’s an understanding of “where you start from” then you’ll never know what economic situation you’d be in.

      What I find most strange from sites such as this is the attempt to muddy the argument by saying “those GERS numbers are all wrong, look, squirrel”.

      The other bloggers who report the GERS numbers only report the GERS numbers. All they ever say is “this is where we’d start from”. They don’t say anything other than that.

      The GERS numbers will change over the next few years, they won’t present such a stark outlook, they’ll start presenting a position that can be managed. And the other bloggers will only report what they say because they won’t have anything else to back up their claims.

      To alter the Scottish economy on day one of independence you’d need to have a plan to cope with how your spending is going to be financed. Like it or not from day one there will be spending challenges, and unless you have planned for those challenges you’ll end up in turmoil with no one to back you up.

      Now if you’d like to have a further discussion on “what happens next” then hey, fine. What would the plan be, what economic miracle would come to pass?

      (wonder what the impact of an iScotland would be on the financial services industry in Edinburgh, hmmmmmm)

    219. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2
      Whereas you on the other hand, appear to have contributed – nothing.

      Hardy har. So an economic paper from vox is “nothing”. A paper which projects what an iScotland’s potential interest rate would be. A paper that projects that an iScotland would have to run a surplus to get it’s debt level down – oh wait, that’s right, there’s be no debt!

      Still trying to obfuscate the argument, still trying to maintain the fantasy of no debt, still trying to “deny” that there would be any challenges.

      Maybe I’ll change my user name to @nevergonnybeanindyref2

    220. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      You seem to be losing the plot, so here’s the sequence.

      First you said “GERS deficit gap” in a posting, hence my reply to you about that. In your reply to me you said (along with some other weird stuff) “You’re right, let’s only focus on the deficit”, which was not what I’d said at all, I’d pointed out that our deficit realtive to the rUK would be irrelevant, and that debt to GDP ratio was as important, if not more.

      You also seem to think this article was ““This article is an ongoing series debating the merits of the GERS figures””, whereas it’s “fighting in the war room”.

      I pointed out to you the errors of your ways, but also said: “If Scotland took no share of the UK’s debt, it would be able to borrow £130 billion and also still have a lower debt to GDP ratio than the rUK.”

      which you seem to have taken as meaning that I don’t think Scotland will need to borrow money. Ummmm.

      Then you ignore the “If” in my statement and tell me that’s my position, rather than being what it clearly is – an “IF”. As in one possibility. There are others.

      Then you obsess about one economist’s view, and expect everyone to fall in line similarly obsessing about one economist’s view, whereas there are dozens of others.

      Oh dear. Enough is enough, this is jabberwocky land, and I’m not gyring and gimbling with you, I’m out.

    221. yesindyref2 says:

      @dakk
      The thing is we’d do what any other country does, balance deficit against investment, debt against growth, protit against social policies. It’s where the balance tips that’s the difference, the UK is austerity crazy as are most EU countries, Scotland could be anti-austerity. Both can work.

      As for debt interest rates, some, most, think they’d be higher than the UK’s by anywhere from 0.5% to 1.75%, but some postulate that interest rates could be lower within a year or two, and some even that they’d be the same from day 1. It’d need a ratings committee with full access to set the credit rating, but that’s not all of it, it’s up to lenders at the end of the day. AAA doesn’t mean the lowest interest rates, nor does B mean the highest.

      The starting point though would be the results of the post-YES negotiations between Scotland and rUK. Protracted and the rUK suffers and Scotland as part of it. Successful, amicable, and both can go our ways, and markets adjust. A key point is what proportion of the UK debt we take, if any, and if that’s agreed or unilateral.

      “Continuing UK” comes at a price, which I think is one of the main reasons Salmond went for currency union. As a unionist said to me a couple of years back, it might be worth the rUK not having a currency union, even if it meant taking all the debt. I agreed. Both parties in the UK are austerity junkies, and for them the deficit is the most important measure and driver of an economy. Taking all the debt would make very little difference to the UK’s annual deficit, and the rUK – cUK – BoE – wouldn’t have to take Scotland into account at all, whereas at 10% of the total economy in a currency union, it would have to.

    222. Colin Rippey says:

      @yesindyref2

      I didnae mean it, ah said “if”

      How pathetic an argument is that? You went on and on about debt to GDP ratios blah blah blah, but you didn’t really mean it ’cause you predicated it with “if”.

      The minute someone retreats into semantics it’s a sign they’ve nothing to say.

      Keep hiding out in here preaching to the converted, no one will find you out.

    223. yesindyref2 says:

      @Colin Rippey
      If you don’t understand the meaning of the word “if” there’s no hope for you, and no point in anyone trying to discuss anything with you.

      if (conjunction)
      1.introducing a conditional clause:”

      But by all means carry on regardless, misrepresenting what people say, and throwing a tizzy when they pull you up on it.

      but (conjunction)
      2. used to indicate the impossibility of anything other than what is being stated.

      tizzy (noun)
      a state of nervous excitement or agitation

      Your first posting, apart from the very small bit I replied to you about, was fine, by the way, well put together.



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