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Game Of Cron(i)es

Posted on June 17, 2013 by

The producers of Game Of Thrones, a complex fantasy drama filled with sex and violence (and quite coincidentally also one of the most popular shows currently on TV), considered shooting the hit series in Scotland but were unable to do so because of a lack of quality studio space, the Scotsman reveals today.


The show ended up being shot in Northern Ireland (at the Titanic Studios in Belfast) instead, bringing benefits of an estimated £60m to the region’s economy with around £160m more expected over several years of production.

According to the report a high-profile film source said:

“When contemplating where to shoot Game of Thrones, HBO first thought of Scotland. The settings were a natural fit: hills and glens and rugged castles. However, the lack of a studio meant the production logistics, control and cost made no sense to production planners.”

But there’s an interesting undercurrent to this tale of woe.

In 1998, before the existence of the Scottish Parliament, Sir Sean Connery teamed up with Sony (which owned Columbia Pictures), former Rangers boss David Murray, financier Sir Angus Grossart and other leading Scottish businessmen to develop proposals for a multi-million-pound film studio at Hermiston, just outside Edinburgh.

Sony was attracted by Edinburgh’s reputation as a cultural centre with a major international festival, and if given the go-ahead the studio would have been completed and operational in 2001, bringing hundreds of jobs to the city – from security and catering to film technicians and actors – and in the process securing the future of Scottish film-making as well as attracting projects from overseas.

The project was never approved, however, as it became clear that Connery’s political affiliation was seen as a problem by the UK Labour government of the day, led by Tony Blair. In a 2007 interview with The Times, the actor noted:

“I told him I wanted to build a studio outside Edinburgh, to be the top point of a triangle with Shepperton and Pinewood, so that they could all be interconnected.

“It was never exactly spelt out, but it became clear that anything associated with myself was not going to be accepted. They would have been perfectly happy if I joined Labour… There was no way that I would consider going back to Labour, and so the thing just petered out.”

The ambitious plan was bizarrely castigated by Unionists at the time as nothing more than “political revenge” by Sir Sean for Donald Dewar vetoing the award of a knighthood to the star because of his financial backing for the SNP. (The honour was eventually bestowed on Connery in 2000.)

In a speech to the Directors Guild of Great Britain, the English director Alan Parker talked out against the proposal for building a studio in Scotland, out of fears it wouldn’t work and would set back the industry in Scotland through its failure, noting at the time:

“If he comes back to England and stops living in Spain, he’ll raise somebody’s hopes.”

(Something’s wrong with that sentence, but we can’t quite put our finger on it.)

For some reason, though, the Scottish media’s reporting of the Game Of Thrones story fails to mention that the absence of quality studio facilities in Scotland was a direct result of Labour blocking proposals to build exactly such a thing 15 years ago, in case it was seen as an indirect PR boost for the SNP.

In 2010 the SNP government launched Creative Scotland to help boost the country’s creative arts and ensure that such opportunities are not missed in the future. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop set up an industry panel to establish the best economic case for a major studio in Glasgow, and Creative Scotland is now putting aside £1m for the purpose. A Creative Scotland spokeswoman told the Herald:

“There is no doubt that Scotland would be able to compete at a much higher level with a fully-equipped studio… A studio facility would most certainly lead to an increase in film and television productions coming to film in Scotland.”

We suppose we should at least be grateful for small mercies in that the Scotsman didn’t run with an “SNP accused of failure to back Scottish film industry” headline. We’ll be keeping our eye out for the inevitable rewrite.

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37 to “Game Of Cron(i)es”

  1. Roddy Macdonald

    The only Game of Thrones Labour ever played was on a big white porcelain throne, and taking Scotland down the pan with them.

  2. Thomas Dunlop

    Can no anybody create a huge elephant trapped based on unionists knee-jerk reaction to anything the SNP does or say so that they walk straight into it and be shown for the bare face liars they all are. Its get frustrating to read all this shite spewing forth from BT and the unionists, and all the YES side keep doing is reacting to it.

  3. An Duine Gruamach

    How much cultural development in Scotland has been stymied by Labour’s fear of nationalism?

  4. Desimond

    Braveheart….oh look the Irish Army…say no more

  5. Vronsky

    I’ve never seen the TV series (we don’t/won’t take Sky) but given all the brouhaha about it, and a very favourable mention in the London Review of Books, I bought the first volume.  I haven’t seen such semi-literate crap since the last time I read a leaflet from the New Labour Party.  Exemplis gratis:  ‘He had wispy hair and ears which he had grown long like a woman’s’. 

    And he can’t write sex to save himself. Google Suhayl Saadi: actually sexy, Scottish, Asian and weird.

  6. Marcia

    Interesting snippit in the P & J re Thursday’s by-election:

  7. Liz Quinn

    Labour have spent decades undermining Scotland in their fear and paranoia.
    Jack McConnell ( when he was Education Minister I think) wrote to Education Authorities telling them to discourage the teaching of Scottish history as it only fed into the Nationalist cause.
    In their fear of the SNP they have never missed an opportunity to do us down even at the loss of business.

  8. ronald alexander mcdonald

    They have and will continue to sell Scotland down the river.

  9. Westie7

    also in the P&J how the labour cooncil have been joined by the single Tory and independents to block the SNP and Libs, to accelerate the start of Haudagain Roundabout..Before the bypass has started and.. Before there is any sign of a third don bridge
    consigning Aberdeen to traffic misery just to try to get one over on the SNP

  10. Taranaich

    This is one of the things which really, really gets me about all this. If you think Scotland should remain part of the Union, that’s one thing, but to actively hinder Scotland’s cultural development for seemingly no better reason than because you don’t want the other side to claim credit… that’s psychopathic.  I’ve mentioned before how the anti-sectarian group I work for came under fire from Labour politicians over completely spurious “concerns” about its funding (happily we’ve been given funding for 2 more years despite their poisonous sour grapes), so it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they’re so obsessed with beating their political opponents they will quite happily flush the country down the sink rather than see it – and themselves – prosper because of others.
    This has been their modus operandi for a long time: anything which puts Scotland in a positive light in a manner separate from the UK itself is portrayed as nationalist lunacy or pathetic delusion, which just ends up making the Scotland they apparently love look worthless in the long run. It’s so ridiculously self-destructive for no better reason than pure spite, like shooting out the floor of an SNP lifeboat because the Labour lifeboat is sinking, dooming everyone to drown – but at least they didn’t let the SNP win, right?

  11. liz

    Funnily enough I’ve just been on the Herald web site with the very comment about Sean Connery’s involvement. I was not aware. however about Sony which would have given it even more credibility. There are as usual several sarcastic replies to my comment.
    I remember being very disappointed at the time when it didn’t go ahead. This is the very information which could involve more of the’ cant be bothered with politics lot’ who think that it has no effect on their lives

  12. Bugger (the Panda)

    This has been their modus operandi for a long time: anything which puts Scotland in a positive light in a manner separate from the UK itself is portrayed as nationalist lunacy or pathetic delusion, which just ends up making the Scotland they apparently love look worthless in the long run.
    This has been going of fekin centuries..
    Remember Mad Cow’s Disease, Creuzfeld Jakob’s disease?
    Europe banned the transport of British beef into Europe but offered to permit high quality Scotch Beef to be exempted because of traceability and the fact that thew beef was fed on grass.
    Thatcher wouldn’t allow it, because she dogmatically refused to accept that crap beef fed on offal could in any way be the cause.
    Thus the Scotch beef industry was damn near sacrificed on the altar of Thatcher’s contempt for Scotland and the idea that Scotland should be better than things English.
    I wonder if Morag to fill us in better on this?
    Then there was the SDA which was too successful in attracting inward investment and had to be dismantled. The Irisd Development Agent could not believe their luck.
    Labour, with the Bain doctrine is following a well worn anti Scottish path. We must be sacrificed for the greater good of the Union and its political handmaidens.

  13. EphemeralDeception

    Rule number 1: The UK never invests in anything in Scotland unless there is a financial or strategic benefit to the South.
    Rule 2: If in doubt read rule 2 again
    Rule 3: If UK actually is investing in Scotland, check what is ‘in it’ for the UK or South East. Re-check.
    Rule 4: No matter the State of the UK economy or economic gearing the South East must take priority.
    Rule 5: If Scotland has a major strength where the South cannot compete or has lack of resources ensure policies are implemented that distributes benefits to the South or penalises the North.  Exception to Rule 5 – Rule 5 is Ofgem golden rule No. 1.
    If still in doubt read UK infrastructure strategy (any year): – eg.

  14. Dramfineday

    Scotland’s bane – Labour and their negative Bain doctrine.

  15. Doug Daniel

    Hey but don’t forget guys – if we weren’t in the union, we probably wouldn’t have benefited from the BBC deciding to make a bunch of non-Scottish programmes in Pacific Quay just to meet some remit or other. Union dividend, guys!!!!

  16. JLT

    I have said this many times to friends and colleagues, that this is one key area, that we are truly missing out on in Scotland.
    In my opinion, I would build the studios somewhere outside Perth or Stirling; build a huge state of the art complex. By having it almost in the center of Scotland, it is close to 5 major cities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Stirling and even Dundee). It is an hour or two away from Inverness and the Highlands, and that of the Scottish Borders.
    I would have schools and universities pushing for the teaching of fields of study such as computing, computer graphics, art, photography, filmography and scripting (hey! good for learning English properly). I mean, who wouldn’t want a career in the film industry, and with so many positions to go for too!
    It is an absolute no-brainer to have something like this in Scotland. Sod Labour, and those who say that it can’t be done – Of course it can be done! All you have to do is …do it! Plain and simple! If you don’t buy the ticket, then you can never expect to win a prize!
    On a totally different note, if I remember rightly, did Jackie Stewart not want to expand Ingliston race course (its a Formula 3 race course by Edinburgh airport). He wanted to expand it and build a modern Formula 1 track in Scotland, and have it on the main annual F1 circuit, but ….once again, some councillors (I wonder who?) said ‘Naw!’
    Seriously, with the money and prestige around F1, you have to wonder how much money Scotland has lost from that possible adventure. I’m sure Jackie Stewart was talking about huge expansion of Edinburgh Airport, the expansion of the Business Park (ironically, at the Gyle and Hermiston Gate as mentioned in Scott’s piece above), new hotels, expansion and introduction of new businesses, entertainment expansion …and vitally …new jobs for the local population!  It was a multi-billion adventure. The generation of capital would be through the roof! How could it fail?
    But someone …somewhere …said …’Naw, we dinnae want that! That might cheer the nation up, and give them hope…’
    Seriously, you wonder about the mentality of some folk in this nation. It’s almost seems as if they just want the people of Scotland to suffer for all time…

  17. Angus

    I am sure Jack McConnell said this studio would be “an advertisement for the SNP…….” it was so kneejerkin an uproar by the unionist lablibtories and as a comment above stated I recall the disappointment at a massively missed opportunity for Scotland.

  18. HandandShrimp

    One gets the feeling that there is no baby that they would not sacrifice to the Ba’al that is opposition to anything that might make Scotland prosper and believe in the possible.

  19. HenBroon

    The cultural genocide of Scotland has been taking place for a long time. You only have to look at the shite served up by BBC Scotland to see that.
    Someone very near to me worked for BBC Scotland in the crafts section behind the scenes.
    Over the years BBC Scotland made a number of well known and much loved radio and television programmes both for the BBC networks and for transmission in Scotland only. In television these were known within the BBC as “opt out” programmes.
    At teatime in the beginning there was A Quick Look Round with Leonard Maguire. Then, as well as the flagship evening news programme Reporting Scotland presented by Mary Marquis and Douglas Kynoch with contributions from Renton Laidlaw in Edinburgh and Donny B MacLeod in Aberdeen, there were popular current affairs series like Compass, Checkpoint with Esmond Wright and Magnus Magnusson, Person to Person with Mary Marquis, Current Account, Public Account and Agenda.
    Alongside Sportscene there were opt out versions of Songs of Praise and the schools quiz Top of the Form and, of course, a raft of Scottish entertainment programmes from the White Heather Club through Para Handy to the annual Hogmanay shows.
    Over the years many important television dramas came out of Scotland under the leadership of Pharic MacLaren – including Sunset Song and popular series such as Sutherland’s Law with Iain Cuthbertson.
    Hector Alastair Hetherington, (1975-1978) Former Editor of the Guardian Newspaper, was the last controller of BBC Scotland who tried to gain a bigger slice of the pie for the “region”. He was very quickly disposed of to Inverness where he finished his career, in a very non descript job shorn of all responsibility. After that it was the reign of the Yes men and down hill all the way. Chalmers the pig farmer and then John McCormick who both presided over the hollowing out of BBC Scotland as it was destroyed with Birts “internal market” and any thing that did not have an office and a secretary was sold and got rid of. Managers were parachuted in from England as enforcers. A massive department was given birth to handle the internal market, along with a huge IT department.  Bonuses to these Yes men flowed like the Niagra falls, the money and perks earned by these people was and is an obscenity.
    Birts staff car got ticketed every day he arrived at TV centre as he insisted his driver carried his briefcase all the way up to his office, leaving the Jag parked on double yellows. To use the official car park would mean he would not be seen entering through the front door, he had an ego to match his salary and perks. Birt along with many other executives in the Civil Service and BBC, has his own of shore company in to which his pension and salary was paid, and so avoided most UK taxes.
    Now if you want to stage a multi camera out side broadcast like the cup final or a Six Nations match from Murrayfield you are obliged to hire your trucks and equipment from London or Birmingham as they now do not exist in Scotland. At one time BBC Scotland had 3 of these OB units, and all the support infrastructure.
    BBC Scotland used to have it’s own religious department that would produce live broadcasting from churches all over Scotland and our islands every week, then it was closed down and moved to Manchester the UK center of religious excellence?
    BBC Scotland had a light entertainment department that also produced events every week, often live from various places in Scotland. That to was closed, and or privatised. From it spawned the Comedy Unit that gave us such wonderful epics as RC Nesbitt, that was what the Metropolitan luvvies wanted from Scotland, plenty of low brow crude shite. The drunken tramps stereotype was confirmed, oh how they howled and slapped their thighs in leafy Surrey.
    From The Sunday Times
    February 8, 2009
    London hijacks our BBC

    The Largs-born actress says the corporation has
    switched her on to independence

    Daniela Nardini is backing Scottish independence

    Stuart Macdonald

    Daniela Nardini has said she is in favour of Scottish independence, after witnessing BBC Scotland’s lack of control over its own affairs.
    The Largs-born actress, 40, says she has been astonished by the level of interference by bureaucrats in London. She claimed BBC Scotland had far greater autonomy in the 1990s, when she played Anna Forbes, a lawyer in the BBC2 drama series This Life.
    Nardini, who moved back to Scotland in 2007 after 10 years in England, said: “Everything has to go through the head office in London,” she said. “Why call it BBC Scotland? I don’t know how it’s changed over the past 10 years, but I’m sure they used to have more clout. We could do our own stuff without it all having to be agreed upon.”
    Nardini recently filmed New Town, a one-off BBC4 drama shot in Edinburgh, but she said interference from London cost her a job. “I was up for another part recently, and I more or less had an offer, then apparently the person in London thought, ‘she’s not quite right for that role.’ So they are getting involved with casting.”

    Related Links

    The BBC has turned me on to Salmond

    “It’s difficult as an actor; I’m sure it’s really difficult for producers. It does make me want to have an independent Scotland.”
    BBC Scotland said: “We enjoy a strong working relationship with network drama colleagues, and our partners in the independent sector, and believe this collaborative approach results in the delivery of high-quality drama.”
    Campbell Martin _____________________________________________
    I should declare my position before we go any further. I would rather watch paint dry than a cricket match.

    Given the minority status of cricket in Scotland, I suspect many Scots share my view that the game is simply Morris Dancers playing Rounders. It is just so boring.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the point of cricket is to throw a ball relatively close to someone holding a bat, but with the intention that the batter (should that be batsman, I’m not sure) doesn’t hit the ball and it bounces or trundles safely into the hands of a guy standing behind the batter/batsman. That, apparently, is success. If nothing happens, if no-one scores, if barely anyone has to move, then that is success in cricket.

    Now, our English friends have a very different view on the game: to them it seems to be a matter of life or death. How else can we explain cricket being the lead item on the UK ‘national’ news?

    It’s bad enough when the lead item about cricket relates to an actual game, but over the past week we’ve had to suffer the first ten minutes of thirty-minute news programmes taken up by allegations about a betting scandal involving three members of the Pakistan cricket team, which is apparently playing England at the moment.

    The allegation, as far as I can see, involves bets having been placed that correctly predicted ‘no ball’ decisions. This, apparently, is an infringement involving the guy throwing the ball (is that a bowler – isn’t that a hat?) and relates to him stepping over a line while throwing. In other words, people are betting on nothing happening, but in this case nothing happening illegally – and that has been taking up the bulk of so-called ‘national’ news programmes broadcast into Scottish homes every night.

    While the BBC and ITV have devoted so much airtime to the allegations levelled against three Pakistani cricketers, and have sought-out the opinions of Pakistani Government officials regarding the matter, the same country is desperately attempting to recover from recent devastating floods that have claimed around 2,000 lives. International aid agencies have described the floods as Pakistan’s worst-ever natural disaster, with more than eight million Pakistanis, around two-thirds of whom are children, now dependent on aid. Put that in context: it’s more than one-and-a-half times the population of Scotland, now living in tented villages, starving, fearful for their lives, totally dependent on any scraps the aid agencies can provide – and British broadcasters are leading news bulletins with allegations that three men have stepped over a line during a game, and that some people might have placed bets on that happening.

    The BBC and ITV news departments in London should be ashamed of themselves. If allegations of betting and rigged cricket matches merit coverage at all, then they should have featured in the sports news. Cricket really isn’t that important. Placed alongside the devastating humanitarian disaster now unfolding in Pakistan, it is little short of obscene for British broadcasters to have sought-out Pakistani Government officials, only to then ask them for a comment about a game.

    Of course, this cricket story is also just one more example of English issues dominating news programmes broadcast into Scotland.

    Scots, by and large, do not follow cricket. Yet our so-called ‘national’ news leads with a story about the game, virtually every night for a week. The Scottish news is labelled ‘regional’, which tells us everything we need to know about the attitude of the BBC and ITV towards Scotland. They think our nation is simply a region.

    In the past week, ‘national’ news bulletins from London have also referred to stories happening in the “North-East” and the “North-West”. Of course, the stories were actually taking place, not in Aberdeen or Ullapool, but in the Newcastle area and in Cumbria. For London-based broadcasters, the ‘nation’ in ‘nation-al’ means England.

    It was not by accident that broadcasting was a power retained by the UK Westminster Parliament when devolution was introduced through the Scotland Act (1998). By keeping the power of broadcasting, and ensuring Scots continued to receive their ‘national’ news from London, British unionist politicians ensured the continuance of 300 years of indoctrination.

    The UK ‘national’ news – stories about England and from an English perspective – ensure that Scots know England is more important than Scotland. To reinforce this idea, the real national news – about the nation of Scotland and from a Scottish perspective – comes after the English news and is branded as just ‘regional’.

    Substitute European Union for British Union, and imagine the outcry in England if it was announced that news programmes would now be broadcast from Brussels, but that English news would still be covered in regional bulletins following the main news. Rightly, the people of England would not tolerate such a move, yet predominantly English politicians and broadcasters think such a situation is acceptable for Scotland.

    Think I’m going too far with this? Perhaps, then, you weren’t already aware that British Government documents, released under Freedom of Information legislation, show that when a ‘Scottish Six’ news programme was touted in the late 1990s, then prime minister Tony Blair and the then Director-General of the BBC, John Birt, actively worked together to ensure it never happened. What possible motive could a British prime minister and a British broadcaster have in preventing Scotland from having a news programme that reported Scottish national news and international stories from a Scottish perspective?

    Well, if the Scots had their own ‘national’ news and were able to interpret world events in terms of how they related to Scotland, ‘the Jocks’ might actually start to believe they were a real nation: and if that happened, who knows where it could end. They might even get the daft idea that they could govern themselves, and before long England could have to face the reality of living without the Westminster Exchequer’s two biggest contributors, revenue from North Sea oil and the Scotch Whisky industry.

    As Aleksandr the Meerkat might say, “It’s simples. ‘Regional’ Scottish news, ‘National’ (English) news from London, and lead stories about cricket keep the Scots in their subordinate place within the British Union.”

    I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  20. The Rough Bounds

    I agree completely JLT. Perth would be the ideal site because of its proximity to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling.
    We actually have in Perth a site that I believe would fit admirably as a film studio. It’s the empty B&Q building in St. Catherine’s Retail Park. It’s large and spacious.
    It certainly shouldn’t be built in Glasgow for they certainly don’t deserve it. The punters there have shown often enough their contempt for the national movement in Scotland by continually voting Labour.
    And I say that as an ex-Glaswegian.

  21. ScotFree 1320

    Off topic but the lad on Question Time who spoke out against Tony Blair claims online abuse by their activists and hits back.

  22. Rod Mac

    Scotfree thanks for the link ,it is horrifying to hear what that young lad has had to contend with.
    Unlike the alleged abuse of Ms Calman and someone calling Chris Hoy a toff  this vile abuse will never see the light of day in MSM or BBC.
    This is what we are up against, and it will get worse the closer we get to Referendum.

  23. Bill C

    @ScotFree 1320 – Have sent young Liam messages of support on his blog, Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for the link. Scotland could do with more of his like!

  24. Bill C

    Jackie Bird already showing her union bias on special ‘ladies’ debate on independence.

  25. Bill C

    I love Elaine C Smith! Don’t tell the wife. The wummin is brilliant. Rab would be proud!

  26. Rod Mac

    Elaine got a good kick into the MSM

  27. annie

    Elaine and Jeanne were good but I liked one or two of the audience especially the wifey at the end who was voting yes for her children and grandchildren she managed to get her point across despite Jackie Bird trying to cut her off.

  28. The Man in the Jar

    I assume that I have missed a Newsnight special. Anyone got a link?
    Ms. Bird is the daughter of a School Janitor she should know better.

  29. Kendomacaroonbar

    I just dont understand why the unionist business lady stated ” why would we want to cut ourselves off from our biggest trading partner ?” and nobody took her up on the comment… 

  30. Baheid

    I’m sure she’s the same person, (if it’s the same person her name is Morag), that gets onto call Kay (with an e) quite often, always gets her point across well.
    She was on call Kay(with an e) this morning about 49 mins in. 
    Definitely worth a listen.

  31. The Man in the Jar

    Did you not know that the morning after a Yes vote all crossborder roads between Scotland and England will be blocked by convoys of articulated trucks as Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys and Morrisons panic and remove all their stock southward to England. 😉

  32. The Man in the Jar

    at 9;31pm
    Thanks for the link to “The Targe” well worth the read. I think that I will have to look in on them in future.

  33. Marker Post

    Powerful post. Many, including myself, have taken the gradual dilution of broadcasting in Scotland for granted without realising that it is happening, or why it is happening. It would be easy to envisage a real, dynamic, national Scottish News programme, not some regional pap tagged onto the end of the “national” news from London.

  34. Dorothy Devine

    Thanks hen for reminding me of what BBBC Scotland used to be like – a trip down a good memory lane.
    A couple of years ago they had a programme about Kenneth McKellar – I complained as it was Mr Beattie droning on accompanied by Ms McKellar and never once giving the man himself voice ,a snippet  here or there but never a full song.
    Mr McKellar was of course keen on independence and perhaps the powers that be were scared of a beautiful voice singing of Scotland and her pain.

  35. bawheid bragg

    That red-haired woman on newsnight scotland! Brilliant how she did her build up, had the Unionist businesswoman nodding all along then BAM! Well done you x

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Scotfree thanks for the link ,it is horrifying to hear what that young lad has had to contend with.
    Unlike the alleged abuse of Ms Calman and someone calling Chris Hoy a toff this vile abuse will never see the light of day in MSM or BBC.
    This is what we are up against, and it will get worse the closer we get to Referendum.”

    Here’s the thing. If we’re going to mock the press for claiming that a few extremely mild insults at Chris Hoy constitued “vile abuse”, we can’t start making the same accusation for a couple of people calling someone a “ned”. It isn’t nice, but it’s not “vile abuse” (and much of it seemed directed at his appearance rather than his political views, much like Calman was mainly criticised over her mediocre comedy, not that she’s a fan of the Union).

    Similarly, while it can be found on Twitter, his article contained no actual quotes or evidence, exactly the thing we made such a fuss about over Susan Calman. We really can’t afford to be (and shouldn’t be anyway) hypocritical here.

    The real issue, of course, is that while the fairly innocuous barbs flung at young Liam were no better or worse than the ones directed at Hoy and Calman, for some reason his case didn’t get screamed across dozens of newspaper pages and TV and radio shows. That’s where the grounds for complaint lie, not with someone being called a “ned” on Twitter.

  37. Dougie

    The single tier pension start date has been brought forward to April 2016, it’s been laid before the UK Parliament.
    So don’t be beastly, Gideon is being very generous and clearly only has pensioners interests at heart.
    Though best not to mention the billions in contracted out rebates that won’t be given to Defined Benefit/Final Salary schemes in the 2016/7.  Which will no doubt help fill some of that giant hole he’s creating in the UK’s finances. 
    Or any of the people that will lose out.
    It’s not easy for him you know, it’s his first time at a work experience placement and he can barely count. 

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