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If it hits you in the eye

Posted on March 24, 2017 by

There’s a new hot buzz-phrase in the Yoonstream: “GERS deniers”.

It’s actually been around for quite a few months – coincidentally since this site started exposing the true nature of the figures – but has become a constant mantra recently, in particular since the intervention of an actual proper expert who doesn’t sell cat litter for a living, Professor Richard Murphy.

Ever since he set tongues and tails wagging by writing a series of hard-hitting articles for his widely-renowned Tax Research UK blog last week, rubbishing the quality of the data, Unionists have been in an increasingly shrill flap about it.

And it’s not hard to see why.

The phenomenon has culminated in a column in today’s Daily Record from social media’s favourite loss-making Whiskas-shifter, who barks out a string of personal insults as he angrily hounds Professor Murphy in order to cover up the fact that the brittle amateur blogger and would-be economist who’s pinned his entire credibility on GERS can’t get out of the increasingly-accepted fact that it’s meaningless bunk.

It’s worth taking a few moments to examine the case. Referring to SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, who’d cited Prof. Murphy in respect of GERS, the rant begins:

This isn’t actually true, however. GERS is indeed compiled and published by Scottish Government statisticians, but they do so on a very tight leash – just as McAlpine had stated, the basis of the figures used in GERS is data supplied by the UK Treasury, something which GERS makes very clear in its own preface.

Our pedigree chump continues:

Having concluded that what dastardly Nats would want him to do would be spend time attacking Professor Murphy, he decides to give them a treat:

But his evidence from two “exceptionally well qualified economics professors” isn’t quite the scoop that he’d have readers believe.

One of them absolutely does NOT proclaim the GERS figures to be “trustworthy”. All he actually says – despite being someone with a known propensity towards extremely doom-laden predictions for an independent Scotland’s economy – is that the figures are guesswork but there aren’t any better ones available:

And readers might feel a little bit squirrelly about the second expert too.

Firstly, the UK Statistics Authority is a UK government entity, notionally “independent” in the same way that the Office for Budget Responsibility is but ultimately caged in by Westminster. And secondly, the owlish Dr. Armstrong (we can find no reference to him anywhere as a Professor) is a former head of analysis for… HM Treasury.

Not to mention a House Of Lords special adviser on Scottish independence.

Unlike Professor Murphy, who as far as anyone can tell has no dog in the Scottish constitutional fight, it seems fair to assume that Dr Armstrong, while undoubtedly a learned and competent professional, might not be entirely neutral on the subject.

Especially as he also attempted to run as a candidate for Scottish Labour in 2015.

Despite having haughtily announced “End of discussion”, our unhappy Chappie retailer in fact rambles on for another 350 words after that, parroting out the traditional tired old boilerplate about an independent Scotland’s “£15bn deficit” and how it would mean vast tax increases or public spending cuts, even though we know from a whole raft of genuinely independent experts that that’s nonsense because GERS is (a) unlikely to be anywhere close to accurate, and (b) refers in any event to a devolved rather than an independent Scotland. That fact isn’t even a bone of contention:

Yet startlingly, and somewhat ironically in the circumstances, the article entirely fails to address the gigantic elephant in the room.

Continuing to doggedly measure a future independent Scotland’s finances against a “status quo” UK which effectively ceased to exist on 24 June 2016, to be replaced by a far more uncertain and – by pretty universal expert consensus – bleaker future is an extraordinary feat of dishonesty. Or to use a kinder and more pertinent word, denial.

And if you insist, even after being collared, on making arguments that are dependent on turning a blind eye to one half of the equation, you’re not going to win a lot.

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  1. 24 03 17 13:57

    If it hits you in the eye | speymouth

  2. 24 03 17 18:08

    Indyref2 – The subtle signs of ‘impartiality’ – Towards Indyref2…

299 to “If it hits you in the eye”

  1. Merkin Scot says:

    Had to happen!

  2. TheStrach says:

    Very amusing. GERS is indeed a dog’s breakfast.

  3. heedtracker says:

    Good old Kevrage, another tory unionist who built his UKOK house on sand.

    Rain’s coming Kevin.

  4. Dr Jim says:

    I think actual economists use the phrase

    Garbage in garbage out!

  5. Dr Jim says:

    Or, think of a number, any number!

  6. Scott Borthwick says:

    ‘…you’re not going to win a lot.’ Quality.

    Terrific analysis and plenty of humour thrown in for good measure. You really are spoiling us today, Rev.

  7. Regiburgers says:

    They’re making it too easy for you Stu.

    Pedigree chump. Lolz.

  8. The Proctor Lewis says:

    In business if three separate accounting units totalling 16% of the business are responsible for 59% of the overspend then you have a problem, if you then find that one of the accounting units contributes massively to your profitability you sack the accountants.
    If the UKPLC tried to have their accounts verified, only the shadiest of accountancy firms would do so based on GERS.

  9. Bob Mack says:

    The whole argument hinges on one main question which is ;

    Would the Treasury deliberately distort the figures to give a false impression ?

    Evidence from the past suggests that they would indeed. I cite the McCrone Report and the subsequent repression of oil revenue totals removed from the N Sea.

    There is absolutely no way at present to gauge true revenues raised by Scotland. Only in a few areas are there conclusive paper or electronic means of verifying how much is raised in revenues for that area. It is amazing what accountants can do with figures .

    So there we have it. The Unionists are relying on these being accepted as accurate.
    It is akin to the shop next door to your own doing your books based on the number of customers they have seen going into your shop and putting down a guess of what that customer buys.

    Also worth pointing out that Scotlands deficit allocation is way beyond what a reasonable person would consider accurate in terms of her population, whilst that attributed to England is significantly lower. Thought we pooled and shared?
    If true they are claiming that providing Scotland with financial stability is causing them to go over their income by some £16 billion per year. I think I am going to look into the history of that particular ruse.

  10. Strontium Dug says:

    Dr Armstrong also stood as the Labour candidate in Alistair Darling’s vacated seat at the last general election (he was Darling’s right hand man during his chancellorship).

    Prof MacDonald has a long history of bitter attacks on the concept of Scottish independence.

  11. K1 says:

    Why are papers like the DR giving this guy oxygen? He’s clearly out of his depth. By allowing him to lie and insult the intelligence of people by giving him any kind of platform regarding the financial viability of an independent Scotland, the media too are wilfully ‘turning a blind eye’ to the real issue here regarding the source figures of GERS.

    They are in fact complicit in spreading this fake ‘expert’s’ lies about Scotland’s financial health post independence. But what else can we expect?

    Richard Murphy should be given a right of reply and the same column inches to refute the entire basis of his slanderous attack on his expertise.

  12. Dr Jim says:

    But he is on the BBC, he said so, and that’s important coz actual professors aren’t and he’s too Catty about that
    The man just wont leave it alone, he’s like a dog with a bone
    he just Kibbles and Kibbles about anything and then cries over spilt milk when he doesn’t get a pat on the head

    Too many animal references? Nah!!!

  13. Truth says:

    Even if what he says were true, there’s no reason that it needs to continue as such.

    After all his business is loss making. Presumably he is aiming at some stage for this to become profitable through improved stewardship etc. Why can that too not be the case for a country?

  14. Murray McCallum says:

    I saw Prof Murphy likened GERS being used as the basis for Scotland’s fiscal position to the European Union using its consolidated figures to determine the national accounts for one of its members.

    That’s obviously a daft thing to do and use as a serious basis to project the future.

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, Richard Murphy (Professor Murphy) wrote an article in The National, the only Independence supporting newspaper in Scotland, the whole world, solar system in fact the entire known universe of multi-dimensional multiverses which only sells 8,500 copies a day despite there being 130,000 SNP members and ‘000s of others,

    imagine that, an Independence supporting daily newspaper such as we didn’t have in 2012,13,14 while being assailed by Unionist junk written by the likes of Mr Average and so few people buy it in case they support the Herald by buying the only Independence supporting newspaper in Scotland which supports YES YES YES

    That article by Richard Murphy.

    No I don’t own The National, I don’t work for it, I don’t receive one single penny, not one brown cent.

  16. Proud Cybernat says:

    K***N H***e – ‘Brexit Denier’.

  17. Athanasius says:

    So, as one of those beastly foreigners England voted to get away from last June, am I correct in thinking that you will search in vain for any single, trustworthy source which will show you EXACTLY what Scotland puts into the UK and what it takes out?

  18. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent vision of reality on GERS, again.

    A very big room, what with all these elephant milling around in the background!

    Here’s another elephantine component to iScotland’s economy. If we managed and taxed our oil in the same ways as Norway does, we could wipe out any deficit implied by GERS, even in a bad oil price year.

  19. Gregory Beekman says:

    And given how shitty Scotland is (apparently), that means most of that £66 billion will be lost from Scotland.

    Using a GERS-style estimate, I’ll say £50 billion will be Scotland’s share, bringing our deficit to £65 billion.

    OMG! Post-Brexit, we’ll all be so bust we’ll starve to death!! This is the end for us all!!!

  20. Mike says:


    Small correction to your excellent work above.

    “GERS is indeed compiled and published by Scottish Government statisticians,”

    These are in fact Statisticians employed NOT by the Scottish Government but by the Scottish Parliament via the Civil Service which is in turn employed by the Scotland Office.

    To state these are Scottish Government statisticians implies that everything they produce is directly from the Scottish Government and not from sources attached to the Scottish Parliament or sources outwith the Scottish Parliament.
    Even though you have pointed out they derive their data from the UK Government.

    Its an important point Ive argued for a while and gets right into the very heart of the argument that GERS is NOT Scottish Government but UK Government derived.

  21. Cuilean says:

    Yer some ‘Pal’, Stu.

    ‘Purina’ gold analysis.

    Ah ‘Canidae’ ony better masel.

    ‘Bonio’ the noo.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “These are in fact Statisticians employed NOT by the Scottish Government but by the Scottish Parliament via the Civil Service which is in turn employed by the Scotland Office.”

    Here’s what GERS itself says in its preface:

    “Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

  23. Johnny says:

    I’ve no idea how telling us ‘why Murphy is wrong’ would stop anyone telling us ‘what the figures tell us’.

    In fact, surely the latter would be the only way of asserting whether the figures are robust enough to prove ‘why Murphy is wrong’.

    But I guess Kevin doesn’t do logic.

  24. Mike says:

    “Here’s what GERS itself says in its preface:
    “Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

    Does the Scotland Office not proclaim itself to be the official Scottish Government?

  25. JaceF says:

    In GERS: (Chart 2.1)
    Why do the figures for the UK differ from:

    Seems odd.

    GERS UK UK Diff
    1998-99 2,511 2,452 59
    1999-00 2,564 2,510 54
    2000-01 4,455 4,399 56
    2001-02 5,426 5,373 53
    2002-03 5,097 5,054 43
    2003-04 4,284 4,223 61
    2004-05 5,183 5,115 68
    2005-06 9,384 9,323 61
    2006-07 8,924 8,864 60
    2007-08 7,474 7,408 66
    2008-09 12,456 12,393 63
    2009-10 5,990 5,921 69
    2010-11 8,402 8,322 80
    2011-12 10,957 10,872 85
    2012-13 6,234 6,149 85
    2013-14 4,764 4,674 90
    2014-15 2,252 2,150 102

    I could just be reading it wrong.

  26. Stoker says:

    So, in a nutshell, another trendy stack of lies
    from the McCrone mufflers. No change there then!

  27. rookiescot says:

    If the GERS figures were real then Westminster would be giving us the elbow.
    No question about it.

  28. Brian Powell says:

    I went to a talk on economics by a lecturer at St Andrews University and he pointed out that the reason the Treasury puts out revised figures for economic growth for a period ahead is that the reality of the economy made their guesses for the last set of forecasts nonsense.

    So for example they say ‘growth will be 2% over the next 12months’ then put a revised figure saying it will be 1.2%. They guessed wrong.

    He then showed the long formulae they use that made the forecasts look impressive but then said it is still guesswork, nobody knows.

  29. heedtracker says:

    “Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

    Is it produced with Scots gov stats, or UK gov/Treasury?

  30. Garry Henderson says:

    ‘win a lot’ – like it…

  31. Macbeda says:

    @Rev Stu 12:48

    ALL government (devolved and national) statisticians are members of the Goverment Statistical Service (GSS)

    The Government Statistician Group (GSG) is a professional community for civil servants who are recognised members of the statistics profession. To become a member of the GSG you must complete the GSG entry process, and meet professional standards which are set by the GSS Professional Support Team. These standards cover recruitment, qualifications, competence and training.

    Members of the GSG have unique continuous professional development opportunities and guidance open to them through the GSS Professional Support Team. They allow statisticians to develop both specific statistical skills and operational skills.

    Each government department has a Head of Profession (HoP) for statistics, who is responsible for professional statistical matters and statistical staff working in their departments. HoPs are professionally accountable to the National Statistician.

    The National Statistician is a government appointment.

  32. Mike says:

    Here’s what GERS itself says in its preface:
    “Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

    Wont these same statisticians still be employed within the Scottish Parliament if another Government is elected?

  33. ” you’re not going to win a lot.”

    Did you mean that?

  34. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Last week I copied and pasted to my records a link from a Wings post:

    This is Niall Aslen’s forensic filleting of GERS, written in August 2008. Obviously, the 2017 picture is somewhat different, but, not, I would suggest, greatly different – but, it does show that it has been well-known, for some years, that GERS is a load of pish.

    And, that’s before you throw in Ian Lang’s admission that the figures are meant to confuse.

  35. Clootie says:

    The Tory manipulation (Thanks to Ian Lang) and embraced by the Unionists every since to push the ” …too poor” pillar of their campaign.

    I cannot understand why Scottish ministers ACCEPT it. The NO voters I speak to often quote our own ministers accepting or remaining silent on the reports.

    Can someone explain why we do not have a firm rejection of this rigged guess work in which every range of values is tilted against our nation – WHY the SILENCE?

  36. Macart says:

    Greatest GERS denier of all is apparently Mr. H…E.

    A work of fiction defended as irrefutable fact when pretty much those who compile the document data admit the data is essentially guesstimates. A document based on estimates which provide a snapshot of an economy under ‘devolved government’.

    So, to be clear. Those who actually control the economy of the union (and whom you’d think would have accurate figures rather than estimates), yearly issue flawed data on the economic performance of a devolved nation within the union which has precisely ZERO control of the levers of that economy.

    The statisticians of the devolved legislature take these figures and create said yearly document to be released by SG and this is declared a cast iron case of ‘the Scottish Government’s own figures’. A case against independence when they’re shite and a case for the union when they’re not. Heads I win, tails you lose kinda thing.

    Oh Jeez!

    A book of full accurate accounting it’s not. Who in their right mind considers this accurate data on which to build the model for an independent Scotland’s finances? How do they know what an independent Scottish Government would do with all relevant economic levers, all revenue streams and what it would prioritise?

    Utterly ridiculous… on any level.

    ROFLMAO! 😀

  37. Mike says:


    Thank you and I should also point out that ALL Civil Service appointments in Scotland are employed DIRECTLY by the Scotland Office not the Scottish Government or indeed the Scottish Parliament itself as the Civil Service is NOT DEVOLVED.

  38. One_Scot says:

    The next time BBC Scotland and Douglas Fraser try to use GERS figures to discredit Scotland they should be called out for it.

    And for them to try and use these figure just blatantly shows them for what they are, a unionist propaganda outlet happy to mislead Scotland for their own end. #Shameful.

  39. Artyhetty says:

    Excellent. That guy must think he’s the cats whiskas. 🙂

    Is it only Scotland which has these pseudo financial figures published every year?

    They do make a song and dance about it don’t they. I have a sneaky feeling if these were a true reflection of Scotland’s economic worth the unionists that do a yearly fancy jig around the cooked books, going nah ni nah ni nah nahhhh, might just not be jumping up and down when they are ‘published’, year in year out. In fact, they wouldn’t be ‘published’ at all.

    They would be hidden away in a vault, just like the McCrone report was secreted away for 30 years. People are seeing through the yoons’ lies. Scotland has been tricked, and conned, but a trickster is always revealed as just that, sooner or later.


  40. OT can someone please tell me was the ref.,2 bill passed in the Scottish parliament yesterday?

  41. Auld Rock says:

    Hi Dr Jim. Just to confirm that the acronym ‘GIGO’, ‘GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT’ first appeared in a Midland Bank, training film for new computer staff and the film was quickly used throughout industries that had or were in the process of setting-up computer billing systems, Gas, Electricity, Telecoms, BOAC/BEA etc. As the term was adopted throughout industry to answer the many computer howlers that were happening at that time, especially with the various Gas Boards as I experienced myself with the old Eastern Gas, in the East of England.

    Auld Rock

  42. Mike says:

    I’m starting to feel that some argument I have been making for years and have fallen on deaf ears are finally getting through.

    Hopefully it will be significant and will get a wider audience.

  43. Will you prepare us some serious pricing on renewables and indy, been asking for some years now, as we saw on a facebook post of yours lately, Paul Wheelhouse wasn’t up for the challenge.

    These two letters are vital

  44. The Proctor Lewis says:

    I think we are not framing the debate correctly,
    If the result of the westminster mismanagement of our economy is that, and with all the natural and economic resources at our disposal, we are such a burden that England has to support or poor 8% of the population then its long past time for a management buy-out.

    Westminster you’re fired!

  45. Bob Mack says:


    The silence is because there is no way officially to contradict GERS. Any politician doing so would look as bad as Kevin Hague. Facts facts facts.

    We as the public are entitled to draw any inference we see fit but politicians need evidence to present their case. ( unless they are Tories or Kezia)

    That lack of facts is what they rely on.

  46. Artyhetty says:

    I suppose we should credit the yoons that conjured this mechanism though. Make up some numbers, ‘ publish’ them yearly, ensure that it looks like the Scottish government itself is responsible, win win. Clever trickery indeed. These gravy train troughers have been good at one thing, conning the people of Scotland.

    Is that what they learn to do in their posh schools and colleges? Trickery, what’s yours is mine.

  47. yesindyref2 says:

    This: “GERS is compiled by statisticians and economists in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician takes responsibility for this publication.

    and this (Keith Brown and Paul Wheelhouse, both SNP MSPs)

    but this “Liz has worked in the public sector for more than 25 years. … Liz has served as the UK Government’s Department for International Development Director of Policy

    So it seems to be a mix of SG and civil service.

  48. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    I don’t have much faith in the GERS figures, but let’s take them at face value. It’s the share of the overall UK deficit that is allocated (by fair means or foul) to Scotland.

    Just think about that for a second or two. In terms that even Tories should be able to understand. If you were manager of a subsidiary of a company whose head office year upon year produces crap results and allocates a share of it to you, irrespective of how well you are doing, wouldn’t you be eager for a management buyout? And wouldn’t the shareholders be right there along with you..?

  49. Artyhetty says:


    It has been postponed until Tuesday of next week Blair.

  50. Mike says:

    Bob Mack

    The Scottish Government could do a hell of a lot more to contradict GERS. They could make a good start by NOT endorsing it and by openly stating the data and publication is NOT by them.

  51. dcomerf says:

    Worth also noting that Angus Armstrong unsuccessfully ran for selection to be the labour candidate in Edinburgh South West in 2015.

  52. Tam Jardine says:

    For the £15 billion black hole to be real you’d have to rely on GERS being an accurate reflection of the notional “Scottish economy”. Also rely on indy Scotland spending an identical amount and revenue being identical.

    Think about that- overnight spending on umpteen UK government departments ends and services with costs formerly allocated to Scotland are either simply cancelled (House of Commons), or consolidated within existing SG departments (there is a plenty of duplication out there). Or new departments set up.

    You’d have to believe this would happen without implications for expenditure or revenue.

    You’d also have to believe we’d continue to pay the bank of England for UK debt despite being refused a currency union. And that we’d just forget about all the currency reserves and assorted assets built up in part from the toil of Scottish people.

    And of course, we’d continue to have one of the highest defence spends in Europe (2nd highest per capita I believe).

    We are one of the only countries in EU with the option of bringing vast amount of spending within our borders. I can see this (and setup costs) as being a massive economic stimulus- the likes of which we have never enjoyed.

    You’d also, as Stu says need to ignore Brexit and the possibility of avoiding huge economic pain, and ignore possible boost from companies and people relocating, even just holidaying in greater numbers than before.

    Finally- if you believe as Kezia does all this doesn’t matter and £15 billion of cuts it is, you’d need to believe we alone would abide by some kind of hairshirt economics by operating without a deficit and just ‘living within our means’.

    The whole thing is bollocks but it’s good we are deconstructing it now as it is a figure we will be hearing ad nauseum.

  53. Mike says:


    The source of that declaration is the same source that is promoting the questionable data as official statistics.

    The Office of the chief economic advisor to the Scottish Government is a Scottish parliament post.

    The Office exists to serve whichever Government is elected.

    And as Ive said before the Scotland Office officially designates itself as the Scottish Government so when you read Scottish Government you may or may not be reading a reference to the Scotland Office rather than the Devolved Scottish Government.

    It is NOT a Scottish GOVERNMENT POST.

    It is another Civil Service appointment post.

  54. dakk says:

    Hardcore Yoons like Kevin Hague would deny the earth was round if they thought it would help keep Scotland under London rule.

    Hell, they are even in denial that they are imperial nationalists.

    One nation Britain is paramount to Hague.

    Not quality animal feed,not profit,not truth.

    It’s Britain First with Kevin Hague in his rabid anti Scottish propaganda diatribes.

    His stock should be checked for Rabies and Creutzfeldt Jakob with all the foaming he is doing.

  55. Democratic Deficit says:

    Economics pah. This is not about economics. this is about the DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT.

    Our future decided by us, not for us.

    Let’s be a better country.

    These people such at that concept. They want us to fail. Happy for us to fail.

  56. orri says:

    GERS figures are challenging by design. Things like VAT, customs and excise, corporation tax and so on all have massive scope for being attributed to a companies HQ rather than where they should be. Add to that the joy of bonded warehouses being used to delay paying taxes until the last minute and you’ve great scope for moving revenue that should be attributed to Scotland to ports outwith. Even more so when goods are imported and taxed at the point of entry. Makes you wonder if the excuse for low wages outwith London isn’t just based on housing but also on a lower level of spending exaggerated by improper accounting of where money is spent.

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    The civil service is nothing to do with the Scotland Office, the Scotland Office is just one Ministry that uses civil servants.

    It’s the Prime Minister of the UK that has responsibility for the Civil Service, how its top appointments are made I don’t know. The civil servants that provide – services – to the Scottish Government are part of the Civil Service nothing to do with the Scotland Office.

    No, Mundell does not control the civil servantes of the Scottish Government. In fact if you look at that page, it’s Ketih Brown and Paul Wheelhouse – both SNP MSPs and both part of the Scottish Government, that oversee that office in Scotland.

  58. yesindyref2 says:

    @Mike “the Scotland Office officially designates itself as the Scottish Government

    No it doesn’t.

  59. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Proud Cybernat @ 12:41:

    Brexit Denier

    Oh, that’s a keeper.

    We’re arguing about some overspill from the unfriendly neighbour’s garden pond while he’s busy demolishing the sea wall that’s keeping the ocean out!

  60. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It’s not even the dog’s bollocks.
    It’s just bollocks.

  61. Roboscot says:

    Theresa May has said she wants Scottish voters to be fully informed before voting in a referendum, so she’ll be keen to let the Scottish Government see the Treasury’s source data.

  62. Mike says:

    “@Mike “the Scotland Office officially designates itself as the Scottish Government ”

    No it doesn’t.

    Really? Then who was the Scottish Government who published GERS between 1992 and 2007 when we didn’t have a Devolved Government?

  63. Marcia says:

    ‘Our predicted chump’. ?

  64. GERS in the Daily Rekkie?
    Will Barry get the Assistant Manager’s job?
    Tesco’s, Asda, Morrison’s, B$Q, M£S, to name but a few of the thousands of UK based firms who do not provide figures to input into GERS, nor are guesstimates made of their notional tax revenue for their premises, staff, and profits in Scotland, as a percentage of their overall UK returns.
    GERS was invented by Ian Lang for Maggie Thatcher’s Government and is what it is; fiction designed to show Scotland as a dependency of England.
    This idiot whom the Record employs to produce SNP BAD/Scotland the Basket Case headlines has as much knowledge of Scotland’s finances as Gordon Strachan has of goal scoring centre forwards.
    The Record knows that its readership only want to talk about one Gers, Ra Peepil,who seem to be in as creative a financial muddle as the UK Propaganda Wing of HM Treasury.
    It matters not that their readership would never read the pish this man trots out. It’s the headlines that matter.
    ‘Scotland is Shite.’
    It’s amazing that all the usual Right Wing Enemies of the Scottish People use the same GERS Deniers phrase when tweeting: it’s almost as though they are all speaking from the same SNP BAD ‘line to take’ sheet produced by Roden or MacTernan.
    I gather this man sells pet food badly.
    He’s not going to Winalot of Yes to No converts spouting gleefully that Scotland is too poor, is he?

  65. Marcia says:

    Predicted = predigree ?

  66. Incidentally, MacDougall, the third person singular possessive of the impersonal pronoun is ‘its’, not ‘it’s.’

    ‘It’s’ is an abbreviation of the third person singular impersonal present tense of the verb ‘to be’, ‘it is.’
    Ho hum.

  67. HandandShrimp says:

    Wrote a piece in the previous thread about GERS and to be honest I don’t think the subject merits a second. GERS will not be the sword on which Indyrefnew falls or succeeds.

    I appreciate that poor Kev feels his nose is out of joint. He seems to have validation issues. We are all human and have frailties, it all part of the rich tapestry of life.

  68. Thomas Valentine says:

    I thought the point of using GERS was it came from the UK government. It was there statement and they were tied to the figures. You could then argue if your intended changes would make these figures better or worse.
    But strident claims by the unionist that they are both accurate and unquestionable are wrong both economically and morally. As is trying to imply any one who points out these figures are estimates and likely very inaccurate, can be compared to Holocaust and climate change deniers.
    Pointing out that Scotland with a higher percapita GDP, higher per head tax income, public spending a bit hgher but not really dramatically; can not possibly account for a quarter of UK deficit with only a twelfth of the population, is fair and reasonable.

  69. Doug`s dad says:

    So one of Kevin`s unbiased economic experts has been debunked as an previous Labour candidate , and looking at Labour hame it`s interesting to see whose name crops up in a piece claiming the economic case for independence is dead.

    At a `Just say Naw` meeting in 2014 Professor Ronald MacDonald

    ` gave a withering critique of every aspect of the Yes campaign’s economic case for independence, including its impact on currency choice, deficit and debt`

    The same Ronald MacDonald in Kevin`s `fact check` ? oh yes!

    Now I wasn`t privy to this meeting , however it does raise questions about how unbiased Kevin`s experts actually are ? I`m sure he didn`t just ask some old chums to say what he wanted ?

    I`m sure with a bit more digging more interesting connections will appear

  70. Geejay says:

    I don’t think it matters whose civil servants they are. The major point is the flawed methodology. John S Warren deconstructed and trashed the methodology in an article last August on Bella entitled: GERS: or, A Wayward Exercise in the Capricious. It’s worth a read and complements Murphy’s analysis with a forensic examination and convicts successive UK Governments for allowing Scotland to be denied “the adequate collection of economic data to allow for the prudent, wise and progressive government of the country”.

    Of course, GERS was set up by Lang to subvert the SNP and anyone else advocating devolution or independence.

  71. Doug`s dad says:

    link for the article, sorry don`t know how to archive

  72. crazycat says:

    @ Doug’s dad:

    (archived 2 weeks ago, not by me)

  73. Robert Peffers says:

    @yesindyref2 says: 24 March, 2017 at 12:38 pm:

    ” … No I don’t own The National, I don’t work for it, I don’t receive one single penny, not one brown cent.”

    Perhaps not, yesindyref2, but you fail to make the very best argument there is in defence of, “The National”.

    On attempting to buy a copy of that paper you have to get up early and be off your mark quickly or you will fail to find a copy on sale. The National is usually out of stock while there remain in the shop rather large bundles of every other paper in the entire United Kingdom..

    Now there may be very good reasons for this shortage of copies for sale but I’m unable to figure out what it is. If there is an unfulfilled niche in the market for an independence supporting newspaper then the newsagents are certainly missing a great sales improver by not ordering more copies. If the paper’s producers are not printing enough copies as to meet the demand then they are either not sincere or are missing out on an opportunity to increase sales.

    Whatever the truth the fact is that quite early in the day it is almost impossible to obtain a copy throughout all areas of Scotland. So really, what is the point of berating Yessers to buy a newspaper that seems to NOT be meeting the demands of the public?
    So, if any Winger can explain why it is hard to get a copy, I for one would be pleased to get an explanation.

  74. Mike says:


    “The civil service is nothing to do with the Scotland Office, the Scotland Office is just one Ministry that uses civil servants.
    It’s the Prime Minister of the UK that has responsibility for the Civil Service, how its top appointments are made I don’t know. The civil servants that provide – services – to the Scottish Government are part of the Civil Service nothing to do with the Scotland Office.”

    Except the FACT that every single Civil service post within Scotland is SUBORDINATED directly to the Scotland Office not the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliament because it is a RESERVED INSTITUTION not a DEVOLVED INSTITUTION.

    The Civil Service in Scotland is funded by the UK Government not the Scottish Government.
    That funding is administered from the SCOTLAND OFFICE not directly from the office of the PM.

    Jesus Christ.

  75. Steffano says:

    If Scotland had Norway’s oil revenues it would have run a surplus in the last financial year.Two things hear, Norway’s oil sector is largely state owned and unlike Scotland they actually tax the resource at an appropriate level unlike Westminster who just love to give Scotland’s resources away to their private profiteers mates in the big oil industry.

    I’m no expert but this looks like their happy to give Scotland’s oil and gas away for next to nothing as the oil price is same for Norway as is is for Scotland.Then to add insult to injury they drum up this 15b deficit to try and make Scotland look poor. In conclusion a neoliberal idilogically driven westminster establishment is very relaxed about not having to take the resource onto their books and then have to account for it not making its way back to the people of Scotland,when they can shout oh look we gave it away and your to poor now.FFS!

  76. Pictish Freak says:

    Related to this, I saw this:

    Any idea if this is real and what evidence is available to back it up?

  77. Bob Mack says:

    There are basic facts you cannot ignore

    1. Scotland runs it’s public services with less than half of our contribution to the Treasury.

    2. The Treasury via Westminster spend the rest on what they feel is appropriate for Scotland.

    It is evidenttherefore that any financial error of judgement or bad decision making is not therefore coming from Holyrood. It is financial malpractice at the Westminster end that is creating any “deficit” attributable to Scotland.

    There is no getting away from that fact.

  78. HandandShrimp says:

    Trouble is that unless Kev can keep GERS afloat as some sort of predictor of a future Scottish economy, just about every graph he has ever churned out will be left to float in some backwater without a paddle. I suspect GERS and cold dead hands would be the most appropriate metaphor here.

    Throw the guy a bone 🙂

  79. Free Scotland says:

    It really is quite laughable when someone like Blair McDougall tries to pass himself off as intelligent, and then demonstrates his ignorance of the difference between “its” and “it’s.”

  80. Ian McCubbin says:

    This should be the final chapter with your point that we are better as Independent Scotland and so can develop our own fiscal picture and GDP without the too wee too poor phrase backè by WM civil servants estimates.

  81. Legerwood says:

    Free Scotland says:
    24 March, 2017 at 2:33 pm
    It really is quite laughable when someone like Blair McDougall tries to pass himself off as intelligent, and then demonstrates his ignorance of the difference between “its” and “it’s.”””

    Does that also apply to Bob Mack @ 2.22 pm who has made the same mistake with it’s and its?

  82. Thepnr says:

    Here’s What Alex Salmond had to say on GERS more than 10 years ago before the SNP even had power. It’s all there, black holes, nae oil, deficits ect. ect. This is from the Herald:

    Gers was conceived as a political exercise
    19 Dec 2006

    I MUST be ever-present in Wendy Alexander’s thoughts (December 16) these days, having been mentioned by name no fewer than seven times in the same letter! Let me see if I can return the compliment and in so doing cast some light into Labour’s “black holes”.

    Ms Alexander accuses the SNP of traducing civil servants by attacking the basis of the Government Expenditure and Revenue for Scotland (Gers) analysis. Unlike her, I have been a civil servant (ie, a real one, not a special adviser) and know full well the parameters in which they work.

    Gers was conceived as a political, not as a statistical, exercise. We know this because the original correspondence from the then Secretary of State, Ian Lang, was leaked some years ago – he wanted it to “undermine the other parties”, saying “this initiative could score against all of them”.

    The civil servants involved have several times tried to pull it back from its more blatant political exploitation by Tory and Labour politicians. The economist in charge, Dr Andrew Goudie, has noted that “Gers tells us nothing about the situation under independence”. So why do Ms Alexander and her even less numerate friends misuse it as the basis of their anti-independence attack?

    The problems with Gers are twofold and very obvious. It publishes a non-oil headline figure and takes no account of UK borrowing. Thus, it is used by the Tories to talk of subsidies or Labour of black holes. The first is as ludicrous as taking the financial sector out of London finances while the second places the debate in an artificial context. The UK has a budget deficit this year of GBP34bn, a non-oil deficit of GBP45bn, and accumulated debt of GBP500bn.

    In Wendy’s looking-glass world, this UK black hole should be immediately filled by swingeing tax rises, or does her brand of logic only apply to Scotland?

    Gers is also two years out of date, and merely by adjusting for this year’s oil revenues, which have doubled to more than GBP10bn, and allowing for the UK deficit, the “subsidy” flows in 2007 from north to south. That is before making any other corrections – for example, the clear counting of English-only departmental expenditure as part of the Scottish total.

    Wendy should stop claiming that “oil revenues are falling”, since the pre-budget report shows them rising from just more than GBP10bn to almost GBP12bn over the next five years. Nor should she pretend that it is running out – Labour’s internal policy documents suggest more than 30 years of supply.

    Of course, there is nothing new about the Labour Party systematically and cynically underestimating Scotland’s oil wealth. The secret papers, recently published from the 1970s, show that this is a long established Labour tradition.

    In these papers was the private economic advice that an independent Scotland would be richer than Switzerland. In public, Labour politicians were comparing our economic prospects to those of Bangladesh.

    Ms Alexander doesn’t go that far, but she does seem to have great trouble in coping with the notion that Scotland could be a normal independent successful country like our near neighbours, Norway, Ireland and Iceland.

    All three have lessons to teach us if we are open-minded enough to learn. One of these lessons is to use the strength of Scotland’s current budget position to improve our competitive advantage and generate growth and revenue for the long term.

    They pursue three very different social and taxation models but all three are among the top six economies in the world in terms of wealth per head.

    They also happen to be three of a handful of western countries running an absolute budget surplus. That has happened because they are economically successful.

    I have used up my seven mentions of Ms Alexander so let me close on this note. In a world of dodgy dossiers on Iraq and loans for Lords, the black hole she should really worry about is the one where Labour credibility used to be.
    Alex Salmond, MP, 17 Maiden Street, Peterhead.

    Somethings never change eh! Salmond was right then and he’s right now. Labour still using the same crap that was debunked more than 10 years ago.

    GERS is a work of fiction that Unionist are still deploying as as a tool to try and prevent Independence. Ignore arseholes like Hague, listen instead to the sensible debunking of GERS by the likes of Prof. Murphy and our own Rev Stu. Well done Rev.

  83. Dr Jim says:

    At the last referendum when the Better Together camp were flooding the BBC and radio with their “economic experts” the Yes camp only had our politicians and the odd expert who were immediately surrounded like Custer at the last stand and underwent barrages of bunk in order to convince anybody listening our side must be definitely wrong or lying in everything they said

    Isn’t it a nice change that this time all our politicians have been proved to have been not only right but also not to have lied about any of it and are now supported by right thinking independent experts who are really putting the wind up all the Unionist liars who are being found out all over the place, it must really make the BT crowd very cross indeed

    UKIP,are those just not the most awful people on the planet
    everybody knows they lie about everything and yet the media still put them on the Telly to spout their hate speech and then laugh at them as if it’s all OK they’re just cartoon people
    It’s not OK though there are not very bright folk out there who think they’re real and vote for them
    The media wouldn’t allow a foreign hate preacher on the Telly so why allow the home grown idiots

    That really includes the Tories as well I suppose,Oh, and Labour, well, Liberal Democrats too although they are a comedy organisation so less harmful I suppose

  84. Scott says:

    TM we are not afraid..

    Just so it is not lost

  85. ScottishPsyche says:

    All H**** needs to do is recognise the limitations of GERS but because he has built his reputation on their infallibility he cannot ever give any leeway. It is desperate stuff and would be quite pitiful were he not so obnoxious.

    GERS seems designed to do whatever the UK wants them to – look good when there is no threat and bad when we want to leave.

  86. Thepnr says:

    Not everyone reading will know this so I should have mentioned it.

    Alex Salmond is an actual bona fide Economist formally with the Bank of Scotland. He is not involved in the pet food business.

  87. Iain R says:

    The guy is a lightweight and any sensible person can see that, from whatever side of the debate you are on, the evidence is clear.

    The problem is this guy is presented as ‘competent’ by a mainstream media orqan and as such, like it or not, his views shall be taken on board and believed by people in the general population.

    As usual we all struggle from a lack of exposure and even when the counter viewpoint is presented it is shouted down and manipulated by the same said media.

  88. Arbroath1320 says:

    Funnily enough they only ever talk about Scotland and its GERS “deficit.” I can hardly wait for the Welsh and Northern Irish to be told the same shite we are currently being told when they finally decide enough is enough and want to leave xenophobic broken Britain. I found this great wee graphic on Twitter yesterday. I think it says just about everything that needs to be said about GERS and deficits in my view.

    Oh and here is one especially for whatshisname! 😉

  89. Brotyboy says:

    I think Prof. Andrew Hughes Hallett also made the point, I think again in a letter to the National/Herald/Scotsman, that the GERS figures comply with no known national or international accounting standard.

  90. Iain R says:

    … and I should have added that it is time the SNP / Scot Government were more proactive and stood their ground against these GERS figures. I do not understand why they meekly accept them and as such allow Unionists to crow about them and point the finger, it is weak and undermines the case that Scotland is not an economic basket case.

  91. Bob Mack says:


    Predicatext at its or it’s finest so it is.

  92. Ian Foulds says:

    Does this mean these people are Truth-Deniers?

  93. galamcennalath says:


    Table 3.6 2015-16

    Some things I understand ….
    Defence £3.0Billion
    Agriculture, forestry and fisheries £0.8B
    Health £12.2B
    Education £8.8B
    Social protection £23.6B
    …. and many other areas.

    However, what do we get for these massive payments …
    Accounting adjustments £3.8B
    Public order and safety £2.8B
    Public and common services £1.4B
    International services £0.8B
    … almost £9billion lumped onto Scotland’s ‘balance sheet’, just like that?

    Whatever these figures are, I suspect the iScotland figures will be lower than a population share of the way the UK spends money. In the case of defence above, that should certainly be true.

  94. John Gibson says:

    I don’t trust GERS simply because, for me, it boils down to this – the UK governing elite has always exploited every territory in its possession for either material and/or strategic gain.

    Except Scotland, which receives kindly donations given out of generosity.

    Yeah, that sounds right.

  95. manandboy says:


    It remains a millstone around Scotland’s neck, that so many living here carry such an extreme and bitter hatred for the cause of Independence and all who support it.

    Every nation on earth defends its Independence with all its might. But here in Scotland, such an idea is counted by many as a personal insult.

    Then there’s the neighbour, who believes that what’s his is his and what’s ours is his as well.

    Until Scotland regains its Independence, we might consider ‘ca’ canny’ a worthwhile motto.

  96. TYRAN says:

    No one outside Twitter honestly knows who this guy is. Some crazy Twitter-types clambered mad for this guy and Daily Record oddly went mainstream with him like some unknown actor chosen for Celebrity Big Brother. He’s been badly exposed. Was only a matter of time.

  97. jfngw says:

    There is little point getting bogged down in GERS, that’s what the unionists want as it allows them to go down the Scotland is not viable route again and add confusion to the debate. Accurate figures are never going to be supplied by WM.

    The most interesting recent chart has been the two pie charts showing population against deficit attribution, it’s simple to understand and just needs the caption ‘is this believable’.

    The argument can be won by presenting facts that are both simple to understand and easily presented. Probably just putting ‘GERS – Fake Data’ on a side of a bus would work better than asking people to understand it.

  98. Song42 says:

    Live interview with John Curtice in George square now. Independence Live.

  99. Free Scotland says:

    Hey, John. Straight to the point. If it’s worth saying once, it’s worth saying twice.

    John Gibson says:

    “I don’t trust GERS simply because, for me, it boils down to this – the UK governing elite has always exploited every territory in its possession for either material and/or strategic gain.

    Except Scotland, which receives kindly donations given out of generosity.

    Yeah, that sounds right.”

  100. Breeks says:

    Silly question, but why have a dogs breakfast like GERS at all? Open the UK’s books and audit them independently.

    These figures aren’t subjective notions, they are accounts, and there will be a formal money in / money out ledger of actual figures. If not, why not? Isn’t rather important that there should be. Isn’t it??

    There will of course be a degree of flexibility apportioning cross border trade where there is currently no border demarcation; as in what percentage trade a U.K. wide business does in Scotland as opposed to England, but that too is surely a discernible figure, and that kind of detail is meat and drink to a professional but ordinary everyday accountant.

    So why estimate? Why extrapolate and interpret figures rather than audit the actual figures in front of you and show us the actual figures so we can do likewise?

    Open the books Treasury. We’re not taking your word for things anymore. Show me the money.

  101. yesindyref2 says:

    @Mike: “Then who was the Scottish Government who published GERS between 1992 and 2007 when we didn’t have a Devolved Government?“.

    I’m not going to bother with this, I don’t think it would be of any use to describe such as “Executive”, “reconvened” to us in Scotland who vote here and know the actual history. You have a lot to learn. Perhaps Robert Peffers can help you out.

    The Civil Service is not under the control of the Scotland Office – try “Crown”, hence why it’s described as “Her Majesty’s Civil Service”. I’m in a kind mood (though not for any longer as my impatience is taking over), so try reading this and progress from there:

    For example:

    Civil servants support the Government in power but they are employees of the Crown and not the Parliament although the latter may call them on account.

  102. Capella says:

    @ Thepnr – great letter from Alex Salmond. Shows that it’s a long established fact that GERS is useless as an indicator of Scotland’s revenue and expenditure. Is there no way that the Scottish Government can rectify this glaring insult?

    What other country would be content to function on this basis?
    Kevin Hague’s numbers are pure kibble and the Tories and Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves for seeking to preserve this state of affairs.

  103. manandboy says:


    With a highly developed and unopposed State propaganda machine at her exclusive disposal up till now, how will Theresa May cope with what will surely be a near constant stream of unbiased reporting from Europe on the Brexit negotiations.

    A lengthy period of such negotiations will therefore be unlikely to suit her, and will carry a lot of risk that Scotland will be influenced by what they hear from Europe and move to Yes in significant numbers as a result.

    Keep in mind that Scotland is a bigger prize than Europe in the eyes of Westminster.

    So what then is likely to happen? Logically, there can be only one decision if England is to achieve its ambitions. Terminate the negotiations quickly, turn their back on Europe, and concentrate on securing Scotland as England’s Cash Cow Colony.

    Let’s hope Westminster retains its tendency to pomposity and fails to heed this advice. Then, the Divorce will surely go through, and the worst political union the world has ever seen, will be at an end.

  104. CameronB Brodie says:

    IMHO, this twat is either bewilderingly ignorant of the subject he professes expertise in, or he’s simply a malicious wank.

    Economies are shaped by cultures, not the other way around. The purpose of becoming independent is to overcome the democratic deficit Scotland suffers, thereby providing ourselves with the levers of power needed to affect the necessary change in our economy, and subsequently unlock the potential to develop Scottish culture. You should also be aware by now that local connectivity improves the quality of decision making processes.

    Not heard of Schumpeter’s gale?

    Please educate yourself.

    Economics and Culture

    2 Economics and Culture
    The introductory textbooks also universally make the standard distinction between the study of the micro behaviour of individual units in the economy – consumers and firms – and the macro behaviour of the economy itself. In so doing, these texts lay the foundation for the reification of the economy, a process which has had profound effects on popular perceptions of economics and on the construction of public policy in the present generation.

    The increasing dominance of macro-economics as the foundation stone of national and international public policy over recent decades has led to perceptions of the economy as having an identity of its own which seems to transcend its constituent elements. Ironically this view could be seen to parallel the concept of the state as having an independent existence, a concept eschewed by the model of libertarian individualism which is central to modern economics.

  105. heedtracker says:

    Kevin Hague’s numbers are pure kibble and the Tories and Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves for seeking to preserve this state of affairs.”

    I’m encouraged by the fact that he’s is all the mighty BBC tories etc have to back up their NO not EVER economics, Kevin I mean. He’s a trier but its not like he’s any cred, governmental, academic, er other stuff what makes people take what you say as read.

    More importantly, the more yoon culture freaks out GERS debunkers, the more people get interested and all the more try to understand state finances.

    Sunshine is the best.

    So if you’re out the Kevin, and we know you are, you really are the dogs bollocks.

  106. Les Wilson says:

    Yes,the GER figures appear to exist to enable the transfer of English derived debt on to the devolved nations.
    The debt appropriated to these through Gers is enormous while the English debt is very low. Absolute bunk.

    It seems obvious to anyone with a clear head that this is impossible given the disparity in population size between the devolved nations and that of England, it is not possible in the real world.

    I have said for a very long time that the UK treasury is one of our worst enemies. Gers proves it, England debt is appropriated across the devolved nations to show us how bad we all are and England is so good, they are stealing our money.

    Logically, it is a type of theft, draining the devolved nations to keep England afloat. That is why they produce these figures or guesstimates you may call them. It is also why the do not publish broken down data to prove the case,it why the data is allegedly not gathered.

    So how long do we let this theft go on?
    Well now is the time to get the real answers.The treasury will know closely what they are, despite the claim of no real data being available. These will be hidden, never to see the light of day.

    The ongoing mugging of Scotland goes on,until we stop it.

  107. Joemcg says:

    The unfortunate nature of the U.K. Is that so many businesses and departments are so intertwined with cross border goods going backwards and forwards plus major companies taxes going straight to HM treasury that it’s impossible to get an actual figure for ANY part of the U.K., can’t be done. The key and all important word here is estimate which confirms its made up on the hoof. GERS is complete pish basically yet yoons make out its carved in stone. Absolute joke.

  108. heedtracker says:

    Kevin’s twitter friends are not very very amused. You’re not allowed to query your imperial masters, on anything. Its not British. Quite like being a horde though. Its fun watching Scottish tory’s trying to be all English tory, they just don’t got the chops for it.

    Fraser Whyte? @FraserWhyte81 3h3 hours ago
    Great, another day of rabid GERS denial from the horde

  109. Legerwood says:

    Bob Mack says:
    24 March, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Predicatext at its or it’s finest so it is””


    Don’t I know it. Took about 5 attempts before I could get it to accept its in my post above. It kept inserting the grocer’s apostrophe, as someone once called it.

  110. arty jettiethank you for taking the time to answer me much appreciated

  111. @BoatyJames says:

    What GERS deniers are really saying is that Scottish tax revenues now or in some future state are/will be significantly higher than is stated in GERS. No one is seriously questioning the spending figures or indeed the size of the Barnett dictated block grant.

    In 2016 those revenue figures are very close to the UK average per capita so why is that likely to be wrong and why will it be different in the future? Oil revenues clearly have the potential to be differentially higher but other than those why should we believe that Scotland’s revenue potential is higher than the UK average?

    Average earnings are about the same so not income tax. Housing is a bit cheaper so maybe higher disposable incomes might lead to a higher VAT take?

    Any ideas?

  112. Proud Cybernat says:

    Gerry says…

  113. James Barr Gardner says:

    The exact figures for accounts/profits/losses will never be known even after Scotland becomes independent. These figures would then belong to the English state who would never release them, repercussions of criminality, vindictiveness, take your pick.

    Cover ups,whitewashing,misplacing,lose it’a a westminster thing, they have had lots of practice and thats why they’re so good at it. Pure corruption at the highest levels.

    For the future Scotland and it’s People will prosper,flourish and thrive and make it’s own honest accounts as 27th member of the EU.

  114. Iain says:

    Why does KH do it?

    You can understand that someone might genuinely believe that Scotland should stay in the Union, either because they doubt that an independent Scotland could prosper, or because they can’t see the point because they don’t feel a strong personal attachment and commitment to the country.

    In KH’s case, I would reckon it’s the latter. But there’s something more: an obsessive need to be right, to prove himself – based, I suspect, on personal unhappiness and an inferiority complex. Why else would someone with no education in economics venture into that field to try to back up his political opinion? He’s got to be right! – he must win this one! – otherwise the dementors will gnaw at him again.

  115. drygrangebull says:

    I know…. o/t but just found this….

    wow!! The map of Scotland made me laugh

  116. yesindyref2 says:

    @BoatyJames: “No one is seriously questioning the spending figures“.

    Not of the Scottish Government itself out of the block grant, but the other 50% that is spent by the UK Government “on behalf of Scotland”, yes indeedy, that is also created from estimates, often on a per capita basis, of UK spending on reserved matters, and yes indeed, that is seriously questioned.

  117. CameronB Brodie says:

    Do you think it ethical to employ your partial and subjective understanding of how economies work, in order to urge Scots not to seek access to their inalienable human rights? I don’t!

    On the relationship between Ethics and Economics

    New Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory have given rise to a group of problems which lie on the frontier between Economic Theory and Ethics. The attempts to deal with these problems have generated a literature known as «on Ethics and Economics». The analytical developments of concepts like utility, preferences or well-being and notions like meta-preferences, agency or commitment (Sen) all connect directly to the ethical dimension that any Theory of Value presupposes. In relation with the Theory of Choice, concepts like rationality, consistent election and self-interest impede the accommodation of behaviors like altruism or others whose consequences do not affect directly to the acting agent. The perceived difficulty to link ethical aspects of actions with standard Economic Theory allows us to qualify the relationship between Economics and Ethics as one of mere juxtaposition.

    Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

    Our shared principles and commitments

    10. The new Agenda is guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for international law. It is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. It is informed by other instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development.

    “The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.” (Article 1.1, Declaration on the Right to Development)

    “The human right to development also implies the full realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, which includes, subject to the relevant provisions of both International Covenants on Human Rights, the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources.” (Article 1.2)

  118. yesindyref2 says:

    A tweet from average “a comment that I moderated and published – so people can judge for themselves if it’s a “shredding” or an ill-informed rant”

    Months ago I commented 2 or 3 times on one blog article (“fiscal transfers”), and got replies. Then I put together a comment quoting the parts of those replies which contradicted each other – my comment never appeared. Still got my comment somewhere 🙂

    Anyway I’m off, things to do.

  119. @BoatyJames says:


    Fair enough.

    But the block grant, which is irrefutable, is the one area where we know that Scotland gets a much higher spend per capita than the UK average (about 20% higher) and hence is the key driver of the deficit.

    The other 50% of spending is close to a UK per capita allocation and hence subject to the same argument of why should it be much different from that average now or in the future.

  120. t42 says:

    “I’m no expert but this looks like their happy to give Scotland’s oil and gas away for next to nothing as the oil price is same for Norway as is is for Scotland.Then to add insult to injury they drum up this 15b deficit to try and make Scotland look poor. In conclusion a neoliberal idilogically driven westminster establishment is very relaxed about not having to take the resource onto their books and then have to account for it not making its way back to the people of Scotland,when they can shout oh look we gave it away and your to poor now.FFS!”


  121. yesindyref2 says:

    @James Boatman
    We don’t know any such thing, that’s the point of this article, and many others. What we do know is that it comes from “estimates”. And the estimates are made according to “methodology”.

    There is for instance no GERE, so we don’t know what the “estimates” would be for England’s revenues and expenditure. So therefore we don’t know if GERS + GERW (university of Cardiff) + GERNI (not really existent) + GERE = GERUK.

    Well we do, it wouldn’t. And probably nowhere near equal.

  122. Brian Powell says:


    You left out the other side of the equation: how much is contributed.

  123. Luigi says:

    Oh Dear. One gets the impression that the yoons have put all their economic eggs in the GERS basket:


  124. Bob Mack says:

    @Boaty James,

    Scotland cannot get extra from the block grant unless the population figures are reduced or indeed wrong. All calculations are based on per capita percentages of population which are currently 8%.

    Here is another little nugget to think about .During 2010 the Westminster Government allocated Scotland a budget deficit of around £17 billion pounds because of financial crisis etc. That same year oil and gas revenues were over £19 billion., and yet they still hit us with a deficit. Poor us eh ?

  125. Dan Huil says:

    Good to see the britnats squirm. Nothing frightens them more than the truth.

  126. galamcennalath says:

    @BoatyJames says:

    The other 50% of spending is close to a UK per capita allocation and hence subject to the same argument of why should it be much different from that average now or in the future.

    Why should it be so much? £1billion will be trimmed off defence for a start.

    Debt repayments? Since Scotland has been a net contributor over most of the last 100years, and there are no obligations for new states to inherit debt, this will also be lower.

    As per my comment at 3pm .. what do we get for …
    Accounting adjustments £3.8B
    Public order and safety £2.8B
    Public and common services £1.4B
    International services £0.8B

    I would expect iScotland to have expenditure like a small Northern European country rather than a post imperial state with delusions of global grandeur.

    Also, why is Norway earning £17billion oil tax in a bad year in total contrast to our half of the Shelf?

    IMO the real debate is not about the accuracy of GERS regarding the current situation, but that iScotland will be quite different.

  127. @BoatyJames says:


    I think we know that the Block Grant is paid and that it is calculated in accordance with the Barnett Formula?

    If not we are saying that HMG lie in their own budget.

  128. yesindyref2 says:

    @Boaty James
    The root of the problem is that the UK is just not geared up at all to gather statistics at the level of regions. The HMRC make an attempt “disaggregated” being the buzzword, but it’s still an estimate. The big problem with this is where the activity takes place, and where it’s recorded. But for instance most companies don’t break down sales by “region” within the UK, there’s no need.

    The EU with whatever it is 300 odd regions of 28 member states wants this break down and more accurate national accounting, and ESA2010 is a step in that direction – the UK’s target is to have it implemented this year. I hope it will make GERS 2016-17 more accurate, but again getting back to the likes of me submitting my accounts, I still don’t break down my statistics by Scotland, England, Wales or NI. Or even properly by exports. I pay the VAT and tax on profits and totally lose interest.

    Over the years efforts have been made slowly to make GERS more accurate but at most they’re a snapshot, and one with a smudgy unfocussed lens as well.

  129. Mike says:


    The Scotland Office is the UK Governments AUTHORATIVE representation within Scotland. It runs employs and oversees the Civil Service in Scotland within that capacity.

    To deny it is to deny the actual authority of the Scotland Office within Scotland and the post of Secretary of State for Scotland.

    No wonder you wont take the time to reply to my queries. You cant. You just keep denying without offering anything to back up your reasons for denial.

  130. CameronB Brodie says:

    Without statehood, efforts to protect Scotland from the likely ravages of a neo-liberal Brexit Britain, dominated by a an English nationalist political and media Establishment, will eventually fail. Does your ideological British/English nationalism welcome that?

    Without statehood, Scotland has no way of preventing her wealth being misappropriated by others, namely HMG, which Scots have no influence over, frankly.

    Part I The Concept of Statehood in International Law, Ch.1 Statehood and Recognition

    Chapter 1 Statehood and Recognition

    Every Nation which governs itself, under whatever form, and which does not depend on any other Nation, is a sovereign State. Its rights are, in the natural order, the same as those of every other State. Such is the character of the moral persons who live together (p. 8) in a society established by nature and subject to the law of Nations. To give a Nation the right to a definite position in this great society, it need only be truly sovereign and independent; it must govern itself by its own authority and its own laws.24

  131. Mike says:

    The Barnett formula ensures that whatever the distribution of expenditure is throughout the constituent parts of the UK it ensures it is ALWAYS population proportional.
    The Barnett formula is a population proportional mathematical calculation which can ONLY produce as an output a population proportional sum to its input.

    So we have to wonder why the deficit being attributed to the constituent parts of the UK ends up being disproportionate to population by such a massive margin.

    To me the answer is clear. We being deliberately lied to with regards to our deficit.

  132. @BoatyJames says:


    I’m not arguing that GERS revenue figures aren’t a bad estimate, I just don’t see why they should be that different from the UK average.
    It is the size of the Block Grant that causes the higher deficit is Scotland

  133. Proud Cybernat says:

    Anyone got a light…

  134. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Something niggling me………..

    A company making a loss for 9 years?

    Does this have the potential to be a tax dodge mechanism?

    HMRC should maybe look at Oor Pedigree Chums books methinks.

  135. Mike says:

    “Fair enough.
    But the block grant, which is irrefutable, is the one area where we know that Scotland gets a much higher spend per capita than the UK”

    Eh no the Block grant actually refutes that claim

    The claim that Scotland gets more per capita is based on the so called Scottish deficit and worked backwards from there.

    The block grant as I posted earlier is a population proportional mathematical calculation which can ONLY produce a population proportional output relative to its input.

    It CAN NEVER produce a disproportionate output relative to its input.

    Come on people think it through don’t take figures stats and assertions put out without actual derivation at face value.

  136. Bob Mack says:


    Prior to the latest appointment of Ms Evans the current head of the Scottish Civil Service ,who was I might add chosen by Ms Sturgeon herself from a shortlist, the Head of the Scottish Civil Service was usually a former Whitehall employee(.it was I believe Sir Peter Heywood( last time) ?

    You can determine for yourself their allegiance in the top job.

    I think it is fair to say that there are a mixture of nationalities within the Scottish Civil Service, but they do tend to work well for the Scottish Government.

    It was undoubtedly a shoe in from Westminster before but is improving now.

  137. Chick McGregor says:

    Here is some basic arithmetic.

    In London and the SE the average monthly mortgage payment you could expect to make on a new average house is around £2135 pm.

    In Scotland the average monthly mortgage payment you could expect to make on a new average house is around £895 pm.

    The average weekly wage in the SE & L is around £620 or about £2690 pcm.

    The average weekly wage in the Scotland is around £530 or about £2300 pcm.

    Of course, there is on average more than one earner per household so there is a multiplier. It seems to be about 1.25 give or take.

    So that gives a household monthly wage income of about £3360 for the SE and London and about £2875 for Scotland.

    The monthly difference in average household wage is therefore around £485 but the average difference in mortgage payments is around £1240.

    So on a wage – mortgage basis, Scots households have on average, about £755 pcm more disposable income.

    Now I know why items nearly always get less than expected when auction houses in the SE are used on Antiques Roadshow.

  138. Muscleguy says:

    @James Barr Gardner

    There will be no figures to hide because the simple fact is the political decision to stop collecting them on the now Devolutionary parts of the UK.

    There are no more accurate figures to be had. Post independence it may take some time to know them as Scotgov will have its work cut out identifying Scottish due taxes AND making companies pay them. I strongly suspect it will have to put some CEO’s or Financial officers in Barlinnie or wherever the Women’s prison is at the time pour encourage les autres.

    It will also take time to reform the setup wrt oil revenues and the companies will doubtless take Scotgov to court etc. Though hopefully we will have the help and clout of the Commission on our side with all this, doubling down on international corporates to identify and pay their due Scottish taxes.

    I think we should be taxing international companies according to a formula about their sales/activities in this country to avoid transfer pricing and the like.

    Also with rUK and the malign city out of the EU it should be possible to get the Robin Hood Financial tax going again.

  139. Mike says:


    Its mathematically impossible for the block grant to be anything other than population proportional to English expenditure allocation because of the Barnett formula.

    Scotland doesn’t get more per capita that’s another bare faced lie derived from the deficit figure and calculated backwards.

  140. @BoatyJames says:


    Where do you get that idea from on Barnett? Think you should read it.

    The population proportional part is only on increased spending and actually can lead to higher per capita spending in qualifying areas.

    For example if in 2015-20 England’s population rises by 5% and Scotland’s by 0% but austerity continues and England’s budget is not increased. The result would be that Scotland gets the same block grant as in 2015, so the same per capita spend, whereas England’s per capita spend would have dropped by 5%.

  141. john young says:

    Somebody/anybody anywhere anyhoo ask Davidson/Dugdale straight to their faces straight to the cameras to tell the Scottish people why we are too poor too small and unable to look after our own affairs,cut all the waffle about economics because it,s obvious very few if any have a fcuking clue,if they are so expert why is GB 1.3trillion in debt,nobody not Sturgeon no one to my knowledge ask these idiots to face the cameras and tell it straight to the public that they are not capable of looking after themselves,face them down let them away with nothing.

  142. Mike says:

    Bob Mack

    Is Nicola Sturgeon paying her salary? or is it her employer?

  143. yesindyref2 says:

    The block grant is just one part of GERS, and relates to the expenditure the Scottish Government is responsible for itself. There are then additions – or even subtractions – next year for “Barnett consequentials”, to reflect extra spending on England only during the budget year.

    But as I say, the root problem is that there are no national accounts of any sort, for England, otherwise England too would have its block grant, calculated according to a Barnett formula. And in theory there’d then be no need for Barnett consequentials.

    What happens is the UK Government – Fallon – makes his budget for all expenditure, including that for the UK as a whole (e.g. defence, embassies), and including England only expenditure.

    Many problems with that. First there are things like transport that aren’t completely devolved – cross-border rail for instance, sleeper trains. But one UK ministry, even if there’s a minister for transport in Scotland, and the usual support civil servants and even quangos (Transport Scotland).

    Then there’s the likes of SDI which rents space in embassies. But Scotland is charged a proportion of embassies anyway. Does GERS now allow for that? No idea, but even if it does it would be an estimate. How much does use of SDI by Scotland reduce our use of those UK embassies?

    So though we may know the amount of the block grant (surprisingly hard to find) and the Barnett consequentials (also hard to find), we still are no further forward in finding how much that reflects the spendng in England. Or Wales and NI for that matter.

    “OUR” side is absolutely correct about the accuracy of GERS. The only dispute between the two sides is the scale of that inaccuracy.

  144. Mike says:


    You cannot calculate English expenditure via Barnett because its English expenditure which gives the Barnett formula its input parameter.

  145. T.roz says:

    Great article by gordon McIntyre kemp in national today. Explains west minsters tax breaks compared to other countries. And how they blame the drop in tax revenue as a big hole in Scotland’s economy.

  146. yesindyref2 says:

    You have made several assertions with not one single piece of evidence, not one single official Government URL to back them up.

    I on the other hand have backed up ALL my comments with URLs – from official Government sources, both Governments, plus the Civil Service Commission itself.

    And that’s, the end, of that. I don’t do baseless assertions.

  147. yesindyref2 says:

    @ Mike: “You cannot calculate English expenditure via Barnett because its English expenditure which gives the Barnett formula its input parameter.

    Jings read and understand what I wrote.

    There are no accounts for England. None.

  148. @BoatyJames says:


    Hear what you say but it is still denial to pretend that the Barnett formula does not take the UK health budget, multiply it by about 1.2, and then give it to the Scottish Government. Likewise on education etc.

  149. Mike says:

    I posted all these facts during the 2014 Indyref campaign and no bugger listened.

    The No campaign got away with stating that Scotland had a massive deficit and couldn’t economically support itself.

    I hope some bugger is listening now.

  150. Mike says:


    “Hear what you say but it is still denial to pretend that the Barnett formula does not take the UK health budget, multiply it by about 1.2, and then give it to the Scottish Government. Likewise on education etc.”

    If that’s true then its not the Barnett formula its another formula NOT BARNETT.
    Is that what the UK Government is doing? NOT using Barnett but some other formula?

  151. Mike says:


    Strange Indyref 2 supporter who not only uses UK Government sources but promotes them as reliable.

    I did explain that the UK Government declarations from your linked sources are the same sources that give us the dodgy data. And yet you’re still plugging them as reliable.

    Very very Yoonish.

  152. Dr Jim says:

    The question over Treasury figures shouldn’t be how much they’re wrong or right

    It should be why aren’t they properly accounted for at all and have to be guesstimated, it’s ridiculous and not even Amazon would get away wth the non production of some kind of reasonable set of accounts, the accountants would be sacked, so how come the English government can just make stuff up and call it a fact and because it’s the English government we’ve all to tug our forelocks and say yes sur thank e sur

    Why can’t the devolved governments demand an audit of the Treasury it’s our faffing money not Englands, send in the experts (not Duff and Phelps obviously)
    There’s just no way any normal country on earth isn’t allowed to be questioned on their business

    Once again the word Dictatorship springs from my gub really really loudly
    The Scottish government have to account for every single penny and I’m sure the Welsh and Norn Irish do too so why not the bloody thieving English, we don’t know the truth

    And they can’t handle the truth (wee Tom Cruise reference there)

    As one of their own said on QT last night Theresa May and her government are not British Nationalists but English Nationalists (Hugo Rifkind) and they don’t come any more Unionist than him

  153. Nana says:


    The article you refer to is also on Business for Scotland website

  154. Robert Peffers says:

    @Socrates MacSporran says: 24 March, 2017 at 12:59 pm:
    Last week I copied and pasted to my records a link from a

    This is Niall Aslen’s forensic filleting of GERS, written in August 2008.

    It may just be my memory playing games, Socrates but I seem to recall that Niall Aslen’s first crack at the GERS figures was around 2005 or 6 and first was titled, “The Big Lie”. Within a few days there were several new sites popping up all over the net but all dealing with some other big lie or other.

    I remember thinking at the time this was a deliberate ploy to hide the Aslen big lie.

  155. Mike says:


    The Barnett formula doesn’t take any UK budget as an input calculation it ONLY takes the value of the English expenditure allocation as its input.

    Its output is ALWAYS and ONLY the population proportional derivative of that input.

    There is no 1.2 anything.

  156. yesindyref2 says:

    Nice try, but all your comments can be read above, as can my replies. Here’s the theme of your ridiculous assertions “Mike” : “I should also point out that ALL Civil Service appointments in Scotland are employed DIRECTLY by the Scotland Office

    And as I proved to you, they are Crown employees.

    When can we expect to see “Pete” arrive …

  157. jfngw says:


    The UK spending on health (2015) was £147Bn, by your calculation Scotland should have received £176bn. What the heck happened to it all. You should call the police as someone has made off with £165bn of Scotlands money.

    Has anyone seen a post that displays more lack of Barnett understanding than this?

  158. Thepnr says:

    Let’s all get this much straight. GERS mean absolutely nothing as to how an Independent Scotland’s finances would look.

    I believe they are bogus as it is but even so what does that tell us of a future with Scotland in the EU and rUK out. It tells us absolutely nothing.

    The figures, never mind if they are more lies and fiction would bear no resemblance to the figures of an iScotland in the EU with rUK out.

    Scotland stands to benefit enormously from companies transferring here so as to continue their trade with the rUK’s biggest market tariff free.

    When these businesses come we will need more new housing, more schools, more doctors, more hospitals, more nurses, more teachers.

    This scenario is as near to 100% certain as you can get, Scotland will be booming like never before. We can throw the GERS figures out the window when you look at the prospects.

    Independent Scotland absolutely booming. Scotland in UK? Dead.

  159. Mike says:


    Oh dear 5th column alert.

    Another very very yoonish response.

    So the Civil Service is employed by the Crown?

    Do their salaries come directly from the Queen or the Crown estates?

  160. galamcennalath says:

    @BoatyJames says:

    I just don’t see why they should be that different from the UK average.

    The problem is that idiots take GERS figures and somehow think that has any relevance to iScotland’s overall finances.

    GERS is a poor quality appraisal of Scotland in Union. It should not be used for purposes beyond that.

    Whether GERS does or doesn’t give an accurate picture of the near past isn’t the headline issue. What is important is we have numpties pushing the idea that it offers predictions.

    We know accurately what the block grant is and how it is spent. Most Scots would expect similar health and education expenditure in iScotland.

    It’s the other components of GERS, those which are more or less UK average. iScotland will have quite different priorities from the UK. It is that component of government expenditure which will be trimmed back. It will and should be less than average UK. That too is what most Scots will expect.

  161. Iain More says:

    Totally Off Topic

    In Edinbra for a few days. What are the Yes Friendly Pubs in Edinbra. In need of some relaxing GERS Denial after the Yoonism I have had to suffer in the last two days after that abysmal Scotland performance on Wednesday night.

  162. Ken500 says:

    The pet salesman is doing it for the money. He can’t count or read a balance sheet. That is why his business is nearly bankrupt. He can’t make a living selling dog poo. So he goes on the internet with ridiculous, meaningless graphs and propaganda etc he just makes up. Like the Emperor new clothes some folk are taken it and give him money.

    Ill research economically ignorant MSM are fooled and taken in to give him money to write a ridiculous column. The lies lose even more readers. The paper will end be bankrupt. The Editor can’t count or read a balance sheet. They can’t even do a bit of research on the internet. It takes 10 mins in the UK and Scottish Accounts. Fraudulent in any case. Designer to take as much out of Scotland and try and hide it. £Billions. Or keep it hidden under the Official Secrets Act.

    No publicity is bad publicity. Rev Stu gets even more donations and publicity for Independence for calling his out. The dog poo ends up in the grass surrounded by the dirt.

  163. yesindyref2 says:

    It can hardly be “denial” to neither agree nor disagree to something for which no proof has been given such as your block grant assertions – and this is about GERS, not the block grant (which goes into the consolidated fund). The phrase being bandied about is “GERS denier”, and it’s very cleary totally correct to say GERS is not accurate – it states in itself very clearly it’s made up from estimates so self-evidently isn’t 100% accurate. In fact the probablility of the final deficit figure given being correct is probably about 10 to the power of 16 against, if you include the pence.

    I did spend quite a bit of time with GERS with the idea of coming to some definitive conclusions myself, but gave up after a few days or weeks. It’s a project for a team, computers, communications, and a lot of letters and access to other data – big data at that.

    Hence why nobody – nobody – can just read a few paragraphs of it and become a self-appointed expert, as apparently the first-named in a tweet has done. The Cuthberts were at it for a long time, and Deloitte with all their resources said it was inaccurate. Sweet dreams are made of that, who am I to disagree?

    Anyway, time to earn a crust or two. That’ll be attirbuted to Scotland, but much of it is for England. Wonder where I’ll account for that revenue?

  164. Mike says:

    If you want to know who your employer is find out who is paying your salary.

  165. yesindyref2 says:

    Good grief, you don’t even understand the difference between “Crown” and “Queen”. You have a lot of reading to do young grasshopper.

  166. Clootie says:

    Gordon McIntyre-Kemp article – Exactly. Oil companies and countries around the World on see a drop of 45 percent in profits yet the UK sector fall 99 percent.

    Shell pays 2.8 Billion pounds in tax yet Shell UK gets a refund of 80 Million pound. The only country in the World in which Shell paid no tax.

    The Shell tax payment fron one company in Norway was 62 times the tax take by the UK from the entire North Sea.

    Ps Shell paid record dividends to share holders.

    How did N/Sea revenue fall 99 percent in the UK? You would think a Referendum was coming up.
    Oil price predicted to rise due to a Million.barrel demand.

  167. Phronesis says:

    Away from the domain of the super- rational homo economicus are the real life consequences of UK govt economic policy. An impoverished nation harking back to Dickensian values.’s-top-bosses-paid-386-times-national-living-wage

    Over two thirds (67%) of FTSE 100 CEOs are paid more than 100 times the average UK salary. Ninety per cent of FTSE 100 CEOs are paid at least 100 times more than the National Living Wage.

    “The people who educate our children, look after our grandparents, and keep our families safe have seen their pay frozen, while fat cat CEOs continue to gorge themselves on obscene and undeserved rewards. They’re also stretching far away from their own employees. Being a top company CEO in the UK is like being a lottery winner – every year – guaranteed.

    “Healthcare remains in crisis, and there are huge and growing health inequalities between the richest and poorest. The Government’s current sticking plaster approach simply won’t work.

    “Inequality is expected to widen to record levels, and a wealth of evidence shows the damaging effects this has on our health, education and our economy. We need a far more ambitious approach from Government to support those who are ‘just about managing.’ That means a radical overhaul of our tax system so that the burden is shifted from the poorest families, with a social security system that allows them to keep more of the money they earn. This Budget, sadly, fails to deliver this.”

    ‘Today’s release also reveals that the number of children living in relative low income households before housing costs has increased from 2.5 million to 2.7 million, the highest figure since 2008/9 and a worrying regression. Once housing costs are taken into account, we are left with the disgraceful figure of four million children in poverty, a number which the IFS recently predicted will soon rise to 5 million thanks entirely to impending cuts to social security…

    It’s worth thinking about what an inadequate household income really means for family life. Not only does it affect how much parents can plan for the future, with well over half unable to afford to save even £10 a month, but it has an impact on the daily needs that many of us take for granted. Seventeen per cent of parents in the poorest fifth can’t always afford to keep the house warm, and 5 per cent can’t provide fresh fruit and vegetables every day for their children. It’s depressing to have to mention, every single year, the scandal that in this rich country there is even one child who goes without a warm winter coat’

  168. Clootie says:

    The 2.8 Billion pound payment in tax by Shell was for their Norwegian interests

  169. Sandy says:

    Re the “GERS” so-called deficit. One can immediately subtract the £4b annual interest Scotland is paying to service Engerland’s loans, loans which are being used to the benefit of Engerland only.
    That’s the “deficit” down to £11b already.
    There must be other ways to reduce this hypothetical deficit. Don’t ask that “economist” Kevin what’s-his-name. He is already making an ass of his own business. Another Jackson Carlaw. Will he make the back door to Holyrood?
    Perish the thought.

  170. Proud Cybernat says:


  171. Mike says:


    “Good grief, you don’t even understand the difference between “Crown” and “Queen”. You have a lot of reading to do young grasshopper.”

    I know a troll when I encounter one though. You really are a fraud aren’t you?

  172. Thepnr says:


    You do make some good points but try not to make the mistakes I did when first coming on Wings. You can come across as quite hostile and believe me through experience that is not the best way to win an argument on Wings.

    So I’m asking nicely can you tone it down a bit and get your point across without being aggressive to regular posters please. Ta.

  173. Robert Peffers says:

    @Mike says: 24 March, 2017 at 5:06 pm:

    “You cannot calculate English expenditure via Barnett because its English expenditure which gives the Barnett formula its input parameter.”

    Well, actually, no one can calculate, “English Expenditure”, because English expenditure doesn’t exist. England is directly funded with Treasury money as the “United Kingdom”, but United Kingdom expenditure includes things like UK Transport that may not even be incurred in only England.

    It includes the so called, “National Treasures”, such as the National Art Galleries, The several National Museums, National Ballet, National Opera and even the London Olympics all classed as of benefit to the, Nation that Westminster classes as the whole United Kingdom. What benefit such things provide, for example, to the Orcadians is somewhat moot.

    It is, and always has been a stitch-up of creative accounting for the benefit of mainly London.

    This is of course the basis for the Yoon claims that it is English Money that furnishes the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland block grants. Where these total idiots, including many MPs, imagine that only Englanders are contributing to the treasury and confusing England as the United Kingdom.

    There is no such thing as English funding and there are no figures for English only raised revenues, because all revenues are United Kingdom revenues. To the idiots the terms England & United Kingdom are synonymous.

    Face any yoon making such claims with the truth and they become very confused in attempting to justify their idiocy. I’ve had such claims as, “But there are more English tax payers so it stands to reason we pay more in”.

    To which the reply is, “Err! No! There are two sides to book keeping on one side are the assets and on the other there are the debits and as there are more Englanders to be supported by the Englander tax payer the calculations must be done on a per capita basis. What’s more the Scottish per capita GDP is usually higher than that of England.

    Makes not a bit of difference. Next time they make the daft claim you will have to go through the very same demolition of their claim that you made the first time.

  174. Mike says:


    How can I possibly respond to that with anything other than humility?

    I apologise if Ive offended anybody I didn’t intend to offend.

    Its that I cant respond to frauds fakes trolls and assorted dickheads with compassionate understanding. If I did I get the impression they would take the piss.

  175. Ken500 says:

    The Scottish Gov has their own civil service. They employ civil service. UK Civil servant. Defence are employed in London. London economy gets the benefit off all good civil service jobs in London. The Mall massive Offices. Scotland pays pro rata share if the Defence Bill from taxes raised in Scotland. Pro rata share goes to London but receives no benefit from the jobs or the funding because the civil servants are employed in London and all over the world.

    Scottish taxes – Defence share pays for illegal wars. The majority in Scotland did not support it, but Scottish Unionist MP in Westminster voted for it. A total waste of money taking funds from Scotland. Taking £Billions in taxes out of Scotland for Trident etc. All the Oil revenues were taken by Thacher. The equivalent of £20Billion a year for ten years. £200Billion. Plus the rest. Thatcher illegal cut the Block Grant and all the manufacture facilities in Scotland. There was high unemployment. 12%+ Many people had to migrate to find a job. Go overseas, Depopulating Scotland and splitting up families.

    Thatcher started a civil war with the miners. It cost a fortune and lost a fuel source. There is coal all over the UK. Scotland is the best place for CCS, The NS. The Tories cut the promised investment in CCS. The Tories lack of decision blocked Scotland’s access to EU renewable Grants and investment.

    Scotland has to make £Billions of repayments on loans borrowed and spent in London S/E and not spent in Scotland. Illegal spent on Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow and Trident. A waste of Billions which could be better spent in Scotland. There are cheaper more credible, greener alternative. Scotland has to make loan repayment on the money borrowed illegally. £500Billion. £Billions are taken out of Scotland which should be invested in the Scottish economy. Railways social houses etc,

  176. Mike says:

    Robert Peffers

    English expenditure budget allocation has to exist in order for it to be introduced into the Barnett expenditure budget allocation formula as its input parameter.

    Without a known English expenditure budget allocation figure there is no way to use the Barnett formula to calculate the budget expenditure allocation budgets for the rUK.

  177. galamcennalath says:

    Barnett and the block grant is best and simplest described as a mechanism where Scotland gets A PROPORTION of her tax back from the treasury to spend.

  178. Mike says:


    “There are no accounts for England. None.”

    Except the English expenditure budget allocation account which is used to provide the Barnett formula with its input parameter which is used to derive the population proportional expenditure budget allocation figure to the other constituent parts of the UK.

    It seems.

    Are you done being wrong?

  179. liz says:

    @Boaty James – you’re mixing it up again.

    Scotland raised £53bn and spent £55bn in 2015/15
    It’s on record if you want to look for it. AG Specialist Partners have already produced these figs.

    Invoking Barnett is nonsense as it is our pop % share of taxes for devolved depts.

    Wales & NI also get ‘Barnett’ based on their own figs

  180. Steffano says:

    As I said up thread looks like their giving it away! 1.01 how to rob a nation of its wealth while their looking the the other way. Oh look a squirrel and its name is GERS.

  181. Mike says:

    “The Scottish Gov has their own civil service.”

    Eh NO categorically NO absolutely NO Indisputably NO!

    They really really don’t!

    The Civil Service in Scotland is nothing but an extension of the UK Civil Service and is absolutely indisputably a RESERVED institution.

  182. Gary45% says:

    Will any of the “readers?!?” of the Daily Scrote notice this, I thought they only bought it for the sports pages and “celebrity??” guff.
    Is Moan Gurney still the agony aunt??

  183. Bob Mack says:

    Why are we all arguing over what is the right way to calculate Scotlands or indeed England’s income ? I would suggest the only dept to know the full truth is the Treasury. We are just rationalising Anybody got any friends that work there?

  184. Ken500 says:

    What will happen to the A50 Brexit letter?

    Teresa May. Home Secretary responsible for security.

  185. G H Graham says:

    In 2010, the budget deficit of the entire UK was £103 billion.

    So why did catnip distributor & economics guru K**** H**** not declare then that the UK wasn’t financially capable of remaining as an independent state?

  186. arthur thomson says:

    Obviously the GERS figures are simply a form of attack. Perhaps one day we will have some positive reports from our friends in Europe making it clear that Scotland is perfectly capable of surviving as an independent country. That would be helpful.

    Of course, the BIG scandal, is the billions that are and have been spent on ‘UK projects’ that don’t benefit and often actually marginalise Scotland.

    Call me naïve but I am confident that the Scottish Government are working patiently and deliberately to correct what is happening. But they have limited power and have to fight our corner in a highly complex and toxic political context.

    Of course I get impatient and angry like everyone else.

    But WE are winning and GERS will soon be understood far and wide to be the crap they undoubtedly are – thanks to the efforts of Wings and real economists.

  187. Arabs for Independence says:

    thepnr & 2:44

    “Alex Salmond is an actual bona fide Economist formally with the Bank of Scotland. He is not involved in the pet food business”

    You mean he has pedigree- chum? 🙂

  188. Thepnr says:

    Back on topic, here’s another example of how long this GERS shit has been going on. Question from Alex Salmond Hansard 2003.

    13 Jan 2003 : Column 415W—continued
    Government Documents

    Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what documents comparable to Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland are published for regions of the UK. [89427]

    Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

    Letter from John Pullinger to Alex Salmond dated 13 January 2003:

    The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on what documents comparable to Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (GERS) are published for regions of the UK. I am replying in his absence.

    GERS is unique, and there are no directly comparable publications for the English regions, or for Wales and Northern Ireland. Comparable information on Wales used to be published by the Welsh Office, but this was last published in 1996 and related to the financial year 1993/94.

    There is, however, information published by the office for National Statistics (ONS) and other Government departments on Government expenditure and revenue within the regions of the UK that can provide a partial comparison on some aspects of the data for Scotland presented in GERS, as described below.

    HM Treasury published a comprehensive account of regional (NJTS1) Government expenditure in its annual publication Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (HM Treasury (2002)) or PESA.

    The estimates show identifiable Government expenditure by function of government for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the nine Government Office Regions of England. The PESA estimates do not cover Government revenue.

    On 31 October 2002, the ONS published experimental sub-national estimates of Government accounts for the calendar year 1998. The estimates show by region (NUTS1) where General Government output is produced, which regions and sub-regions have contributed to Government revenue and which regions and sub-regions have received Government expenditure.

    The ONS work, however, is not intended to give a complete picture of Government finances and certain aspects of revenue and expenditure are excluded from the analyses and hence the estimates are not directly comparable with GERS.

    Finally, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has commissioned a project to identify the flow of Public expenditure (UK and European) into the English regions (NUTS1) and the allocative mechanisms that underpin those flows.

    The project has close links with the PESA estimates and with the ONS Government accounts work, but is not looking at Government revenue. The project is expected to be completed by the middle of 2003.

    Open your eyes! It’s all a pile of utter mince.

  189. heedtracker says:

    Anybody got any friends that work there?

    Cant mind Treasury wonks going after Leave campaign’s £350 million a week to the evil EU battle bus. Although Cameron did blow £9 million tax payers dosh on Remain, much the same vote NO Treasury monstering Scotland got, 2014. Kev was a tory Remain I think but Brexit is just one more planet toryboy catastrofuck, that they get away with, because BBC is so corrupt now.

    Happy Birthday when it comes European Union, minus the Scots, for no good reason…

    Guy Verhofstadt
    2 hrs ·
    Tomorrow will mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

    Since it was signed, European countries have worked successfully to fight the return of rampant nationalism after WW2 and to ensure Europeans a peaceful, free and prosperous continent.

    We should certainly celebrate these achievements, yet it’s also the perfect moment to think about our future. Threats will be more global, populists will continue to try to divide us, youngsters will still ask for a better future.

    I believe the only viable answer is European unity. Let’s once again overcome our national differences. Let’s preserve and further develop our free and democratic societies. Let’s give hope to our 500 million citizens.”

  190. arthur thomson says:

    @ Ken500 6.14

    As usual you are spot on.

    Without implicating you in any way, I would only say that the word OFFENCE should replace DEFENCE in all of our references to the workings of the British state.

    Nasty people.

  191. Mike says:

    The population proportional part is only on increased spending and actually can lead to higher per capita spending in qualifying areas.

    Eh no it isn’t. The Barnett formula is the population proportional calculation USED to calculate the ENTIRE rUK expenditure budget allocation inclusive of any and all “EXTRA” “INCREACED” allocation to the overall English allocation.

    And you know it!

  192. HandandShrimp says:

    I would suggest the only dept to know the full truth is the Treasury.

    If the Treasury have a complete grip on all the numbers it would likely be a first.

    There is an immense amount going on at ay given time and although the Treasury have made attempts to try and standardise things through COINs and the like most departments have to use a bit of interpretation to get their numbers to fit the templates. It is more of a thereabouts approach and it would be a mistake to assume that any of the numbers are absolutely nailed down, whether for Scotland or the UK as a whole.

  193. Ken500 says:

    There are Scottish civil service members advising the Scottish Gov. They work for the Scottish Gov. The Scottish Gov appoints them. They liaise with Westminster civil servants Gov officials When things are being worked out. They are the ones who do the discussing for routine business not the Ministers. They worked for Alex Salmond and now Nicola. (They said it) People have asked them. Sir? He retired recently. The Office Staff work at Holyrood? There was a discussion about him going native. During IndyRef? Supporting Indy? He works for the Scottish Gov (non biased requirement) not the SNP. MSP’s have staff. Scottish Civil servants?

    Scottish taxes pay a share pro rata for the UK Civil Service administrating in a London. Massive Mall Offices. Treasury building all around Westminster.

    The adminstration of education, NHS, Police/Fire etc (civil service?) are all based in Scotland paid from by the Block Grant. Block Grant comes from taxes raised in Scotland that are gathered in Scotland was at HMRC Centre 1 Kilbride? and sent to the UK Treasury. Then comes back.

  194. Mike says:

    I think I understand whats happening here.

    The Yoon trolls can no longer try to pretend to argue that the Barnett formula is anything other than a population proportional representation of budget allocation relative to English expenditure so they are trying to claim that the allocation has nothing to do with the Barnett formula at all but is somehow derived from a calculation which fits the claimed output but not the spirit of the Barnett ideal of population proportional representation and the input data.

    They cant get their lying figures to fit with the Barnett ideals so they try to alter the perception of the Barnett ideals to represent something that is not population proportional.

    I cant make up my mind if I want to laugh spit scream or shit.

  195. Iain says:

    European unity is the only future for Europe.
    Unity with Europe is the only future for Scotland.
    What is hard to understand.
    It’s up to you.

  196. Chick McGregor says:

    @Robert Peffers
    “Last week I copied and pasted to my records a link from a

    This is Niall Aslen’s forensic filleting of GERS, written in August 2008.

    It may just be my memory playing games, Socrates but I seem to recall that Niall Aslen’s first crack at the GERS figures was around 2005 or 6 and first was titled, “The Big Lie”. Within a few days there were several new sites popping up all over the net but all dealing with some other big lie or other.

    I remember thinking at the time this was a deliberate ploy to hide the Aslen big lie.”

    Niall was a member of a private on line think tank of which I was also a member. It had members chosen for their diversity and included a leader of a left wing group, a leader of a right wing group some in the middle (including a now current high ranking member of the Scottish government) and even one with anarchistic type beliefs (although he always denied he was an anarchist).

    The only common glue for the group was the cause of independence.

    Several initiatives came out of it.

    But I digress, back to the point.

    I wrote a critique of GERS listing many of Scotland’s economic resources and described GERS as being a mere obfuscation.

    Niall responded to that suggesting that we do a more forensic and detailed analysis.

    I held my hands up on that since my own accounting qualification ‘The Law Society of Scotland’s Certificate of Legal Accountancy’ was already by then defunct several times over, although I had read quite extensively on macro economics.

    But Niall went on to produce his seminal work on the matter.

    However, IIRCC, the very first title was ‘The Great Obfuscation’.

    There are at least two other members of that think tank who post here fairly regularly and may remember this.

  197. Croompenstein says:

    John Beattie and Richard Murphy still awaiting a response from K**** H**** to the challenge of a debate on Beatties show..

    oor kevverage be like ….

  198. Mike says:


    “There are Scottish Civil Service members advising the Scottish Government. They work for the Scottish Government.”

    No Ken they don’t work “FOR” the Scottish Government they work “WITH” the Scottish Government.

    The Scottish Government wont be paying their salaries.

    You wont find Civil service Salaries included within the GERS Scottish Devolved expenditure allocation.
    You will find them however within the RESERVED expenditure allocation.

  199. Thepnr says:

    OK last one on this shite. This for another amateur named Steven such as Kevin Hague:

    So why is it that Scotland receives this report and WHY is there no corresponding report for any other part of the UK?

    Could it be that there is, in fact, a malevolent reason of why this is the case, especially as all these reports (since their inception in 1992) have all drummed up the same conclusion: Scotland is in deficit.

    Another thing you need to know is that it has been known for quite a while now that GERS was and still is a party politically motivated document, as evidenced in the following quote from a leaked Ministerial correspondence from Ian Lang, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, in a letter to the then Prime Minister, John Major, on March 3rd 1992:

    “I am disappointed that both you and the Chancellor have reservations about publishing the booklet I have had prepared and printed, setting out the details of the government’s expenditure and revenue in Scotland. I judge that it is just what is needed at present in our campaign to maintain the initiative and undermine the other parties. This initiative could score against all of them”.

    Even though the GERS Reports were originally initiated by the Tories in 1992, New Labour, since the date of coming into power, have since embraced this tactic as a way of attacking the SNP’s economic arguments, thus, this spin is annually trotted out by them to attack the Scottish nationalists and, ergo, the self-confidence of the Scottish people as well, by basically sending the message that Scotland cannot afford to be independent.

    Just think about it: Why was the latest report brought out in such glowing terms by the Scottish Executive and why do you think that they even have the gall to gloat about the size of the figures, which would actually illustrate that Scotland‘s net borrowing position was 12% of her GDP (compared to the UK average of 3.6%)? Under such figures, this, as you must admit, is really gross mismanagement of a colossal scale!

    Pray tell, what government in the right mind and in the whole wide world, would even dare to joyously announce that they had totally mismanaged their own economy (also of which they had previously stated was actually growing!), as the GERS figures indicate, unless their true agenda is to really score a major blow against their main political enemies, the SNP, who as you know have always stated that Scotland is, and has always been, a net contributor to the UK?

    Herein, this is real reason why for the GERS Reports and why they were initiated in the very first place. The really amusing thing is that any professional economist could point out the serious flaws in the GERS authors methodology as they omit so much important data and that so much of their “estimates” are so misleading that the whole basis for their report is called into question.

    I hope Steve is still around as he had a lot more to to say on this subject than just that extract. You see people who support Independence have been thinking of this at least a whole lot longer than I have.

    We have the foundations they built to finish this building.

  200. Thepnr says:

    The above also from 2006.

  201. Lenny Hartley says:

    mike, wtf you come on here recently and call long term wingers Trolls! I can assure you yesindy2 ref is not a troll, get a grip or are you one yourself?

  202. heedtracker says:

    So instead explainerising stuff like how Scotland’s economy works, beeb gimps go for stuff like,

    “Discovery of rusty sword-like object in Orkney investigated”

    It really does look like a rusty sword like object too.

  203. Breeks says:

    Scotland has been maligned for decades as spongers because the Barnett Formula, which takes no account of taxation, (i.e. money going in to the Treasury), shows Scotland is paid more per capita than other regions except Northern Ireland. The nett balance sees Scotland putting more into the UK pot than it takes out, but that quaint little detail is typically omitted. What it takes out is public spending, such as maintaining roads and ferries, frequently in more sparsely populated areas, so naturally it is more expensive pro rata.

    Scotland has also been maligned for decades with GERS figures, and lately this fabricated £15 billion black hole in Scotland’s finances, which becomes the “benchmark” yardstick to assess Scotland’s economic performance because it is quasi-official, based upon figures from the Treasury, but yet strangely detached from the raw facts and figures from properly audited accounts.

    If Britnats don’t like the Barnett formula “lining our pockets”, and we don’t like the GERS figures because they are hung from sky hooks, then surely the obvious solution is for the Treasury to produce the raw data of documented accounts so that a true and accurate appraisal of Scotland’s economic performance versus the rest of the UK’s economic performance can be delivered, based upon actual economic data; not estimates, not guesstimates, not extrapolations, nor pro rata equivalences, but instead formal, accurate, raw data. Show us the books that we might audit them!

    How can you have any worthwhile discusssion about economic performance without such information being known? It’s a straightforward question of arithmetic, and last time I checked, correct and exacting arithmetic produces correct and exacting totals.

    Strikes me these issues are two big base drums Unionist like to thump loudly to denigrate Scotland, and a formal, damning exposé of the bullshit and factual distortion is long overdue.

  204. Mike says:


    Only calling it as I experience it. Why don’t you read through the thread and make your own mind up.

  205. Robert Peffers says:

    @Mike says: 24 March, 2017 at 6:17 pm:

    “English expenditure budget allocation has to exist in order for it to be introduced into the Barnett expenditure budget allocation formula as its input parameter.”

    I’m sorry to tell you that is not so.

    “Without a known English expenditure budget allocation figure there is no way to use the Barnett formula to calculate the budget expenditure allocation budgets for the rUK.”

    Not true In the first place there cannot be such an entity as an rUnited Kingdom in a legally bipartite United Kingdom. Whatever you imaging the lower case, “r”, stands for. Remainder? Rest of? is no matter.

    There are only two kingdoms that form the United Kingdom and only Scotland is also a country. If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom has ended for in 1706/7 the Kingdom that partnered Scotland in signing the treaty was the Kingdom of England that annexed, (Under the rule of law of, “Divine Right of Kings”, that England only slightly changed in 1688 when the English Parliament rebelled against their monarchy.

    So England annexed Wales as part of the English kingdom in 1248 by The Statute of Rhuddlan. The Kingdom of England was also granted the Crown of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1542 By the Crown of Ireland Act. In 1707 the Kingdom of England thus signed the Treaty of Union but it had two British dominions in Wales & Ireland. No such thing as an rUK is legally possible.

    However, back to the present day. Westminster has appointed itself as the de facto Parliament of England and it justifies this by falsely claiming that, ““The Treaty of Union Extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as the United Kingdom”.

    Then they illegally split the bipartite union of kingdoms along the lines of four countries and only devolved 3 of the countries retaining the Westminster Parliament as the de facto parliament of England, which has no legally elected Members.

    Thus only the MPs from England have two official hats and they block everyone else from interference in English matters by use of EVEL.

    As to the practicalities what you claim above is rubbish.

    In truth the de facto parliament of England cheats on a regular basis by funding English and London Infrastructure projects from other than DEFRA sources. I’ll quote you just a few to illustrate the point.

    Transport in England is funded as United Kingdom Transport but so are several other things like the Chunnel but so is the London Cross-Rail and the recent refurbishment of every London rail and bus terminals.

    Then we have Transport for London that now is funded by London but got a large non-repayable grant from Government reserves to get it off the ground. Then we have the funding for the new London Sewerage System that included a sizable refund to every household in the London and South East areas.

    When such non-DEFRA funding is provided it means the whole UK pays but gets no benefits.

    So in essence there is the creative accountancy where the border between The United Kingdom & England are deliberately blurred in order to divert extra UK funding to England which is, in any case funded directly with Treasury funds.

    Only the three devolved administrations get a block grant and much negative Barnett Consequentials are in fact disguised because they come from sources that bear no Barnett Consequentials. There really is no actual designated England only funding – it is all United Kingdom direct funding from the treasury.

  206. HandandShrimp says:

    I am taken by the Tweet up at the top that the UK doesn’t have a deficit but Scotland would have.

    Please let the Scotland United Yoons be the official Bitter Together campaign 🙂

  207. Jock Mcdonnell says:

    Will Murphy get a right to reply ?

  208. Ken500 says:

    Multinationals (some) pay tax all around the world. The taxes are pay according to the tax regime of that country. If Shell is contracted to work in Norway, They pay Norwegian Gov tax take, under Norwegian regime, to the Norwegian Gov. Even though they are based HQ in London. They do not pay tax in London (to UK Gov)on that commercial activity – because they would be paying tax twice on the commercial activity in a different jurisdiction)

    If they work in Nigeria they pay tax according to Nigerian tax regime on commerical activities there. They do not pay tax in the UK on activity in that juridiction. There is fraud. Shell pay (bribes) payment to Nigerian Officials for contracts They try to do it secretly through London banks and middlemen, who get a cut. They try to send it to Swiss banks but they can’t now because it is illegal. The Swiss banks have to disclose any suspicious payment – back. Or not accepts it and report it to the authorities in the country of origin. New world arrangements and agreements.

    IShell pays Norway Gov tax revenues on activities in Norway, Staoil pays UK. Gov taxes on contracts in UK. Jurisdiction. Norway produces more Oil & Gas pro rata. A longer coast line? More territorial waters? Bigger land mass.

    Shell pays taxes on activities in NS. If no activities or losses they don’t pay taxes. 6 jobs Osbourne 60% to 80% tax regime on NS production when the price had fallen 75%, shut down the BS production. If Osborne had lower the tax rates 120,000 jobs woukd not be lost. The tax rate is 40% since Jan 2016.

    Not sure if Shell pays Corp tax (April) on overall profits because the HQ is registered in London. In the yearly final A/C Shell worldwide profits have fallen £2Billion. BP lost £Billions in the Gulf of Mexico environment disaster. They were cutting corners.

  209. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi @BoatyJames at 4:59 pm.In my catching up with all the comments on here today, yours was the one I felt compelled to respond to. Now me; I only have an ‘O’ Level in Economic Organisation (1968, Kirkton High) so I am relatively ignorant.

    However, what jumped out from your comment was,

    “…whereas England’s per capita spend would have dropped by 5%.”

    As others, including yesindyref2 and Robert Peffers, have pointed out, there is NO data for England as a constituent part of the UK. The current (and for many decades) philosophy of the UK/English/Unionist establishment is that UK = England = UK. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are merely appendages to that “state” who need to be sated, to keep them passive.

    Unfortunately, indyref1 led to an awakening of us Plebs – and we’re not going back in the box. Scots, today, are probably more educated in the history and current situation of Scotland, than we have ever been before.

    The walls of unionism are crumbling and those who swear allegiance to this UK/English/Unionist establishment that has ruled the roost for 300+ years, see the writing appearing on the walls – and it’s giein’ them the $hit$!

    The time is coming when we Scots will take back control.

  210. Mike says:

    Robert Peffers


    Look Robert. This is me making a really very very difficult effort to respond here with respect.

    There HAS TO be a Scottish Welsh Irish budget allocation within an overall UK context.
    It is UNTHINKABLE and UNCONSTITUIONAL that it wouldn’t be.
    ANY perception that it isnt COULD AND WOULD result in the absolute END of the very IDEA of the UK.

    The result of this need is the idea of the Barnett formula.

    In order for this Barnett formula to work it needs an input parameter. It needs a calculated input parameter.

    We are TOLD by every cunt and his dog involved with the Barnett Formula that the input figure is the ENGLISH EXPENDITURE ALLOCATION BUDGET FIGURE.

    If this figure doesn’t exist or it is false then the budget allocation figures to the rUK in respect TO NOT ENGLAND are all wrong and there is no way to actually allocate an accurate figure.

    You did realise when I referred to “rUK” I meant the bits of the UK that were not England and not some constitutional derivative you cant accept?

  211. Ken500 says:

    The Scottish Gov does pay the Civil servants salary they appoint them. The Scottish Gov pay for Holyrood administration out of Block Grant raised by Scottish taxpayers. Scotland pays twice. Pro rata payment from Scottish taxes raised for Civil servants based in London dealing with Defence,/Foreign Office etc Westminster administration. Offices in the Mall. All these jobs are based in London. London gets the benefit of the economic activity. Westminster pays for Westminster Parliament but Scotland pays a pro rata share from taxes raised in Scotland for the expenses. Then pays for Holyrood expenses from taxes raised in Scotland – Block Grant. If Scotland was Independent it would save money, Holyrood is cheaper to run. (Not so fancy and more efficient) Westminster costs much more pro rata. All the Westminster perks and extravagance cost a lot pro rata. Westminster cost a lot more pro rata to administrate. Repairs etc. Fancy carries on. House of Lords expenses etc. Long breaks. Silly hours. Night time sittings. More travel costs.

    Scotland had to pay (pro rata) for the Olympic Ganes in London – benefit Landon from taxes raised in Scotland. £1Billion. Scotland has to pay £1/2Billion from Block Grant From taxes raised in Scotland for Commonweakth. A double rammy for Scotland.

  212. Ken500 says:

    Please Rev Stu. The troll is Lying. Ruining the thread.

  213. harry mcaye says:

    Cancelled my Sky today. Everything, tv, phone, broadband. The May poll was the final straw for me. I’ll miss the football (except the Scotland games!) and the occasional documentary but it had to be done. Got the impression I was one of many!

  214. Lenny Hartley says:

    Mike say hello to Rock when you swap shifts.

  215. Ken500 says:

    @ Troll is lying and ruining the thread. The site is successful because of lack of disruption.

    Rev Stu.

  216. K1 says:

    Any news regarding H****’s response to Beattie’s offer for Richard Murphy and him to come onto his radio programme yet?

  217. Capella says:

    Magic of UK tax policy – the disappearing oil revenues. Excellent Gordon McIntyre Kemp article in The National asking why we are so poor compared to Norway:

    “Our research published this week poses the question: If being part of the UK is such an advantage how come Norway, a comparable oil producing nation, only saw a fall in revenues of only about 40 per cent when ours fell by 99 per cent? And more to the point how come small, and independent Norway’s revenues are 411 times larger than the UK’s? Norway generated £17,684 billion from oil and gas in 2015 but the UK Government only generated £43 million in its last published tax year.”

    The UK Treasury seems to be the source of all our misfortunes. Black holes, sleight of hand accounts and barrow boy levels of deceit – no offence to barrow boys intended.

  218. scottieDog says:

    Fact is on all this
    Scotland would be running year on year trade surpluses had we been independent.

    The tories shifted their deficits to the privaye sector by deregulation the banks

    Result is now that the uk’s privaye sector debt is £5 trillion. We are at an economic standstill because there is little disposable income in the economy and too much debt.

    Meanwhile the govt advocates the purchase of 1/4 of uk soveteign debt by its central bank which can issue £s at will.

    There isn’t any solvency risk.

    All scotland news is a currency and central bank

  219. Mike says:


    There is NO Scottish Civil Service there is ONLY a UK wide Civil service.

    The UK civil service which works within Scotland is overseen by the UK Government AUTHORATITIVE representation within Scotland The Scotland Office.

    This is me still trying desperately to be respectful in spite of severe provocation in the form of all denial of reality.

    I cant understand why denial of this fact is important to pro Indy support when its clear that the Civil service in Scotland is employed by the UK State to undermine the cause of Scottish Independence and the Scottish Government itself.

  220. Ken500 says:

    Sport on BT, Eurosport or Alba.

    SKy are ripping off Sports fans.

    Tax evaders. Relative high subscription for poor service. Other packages are much less. Or free. Or get other folk to record it.

  221. Ken500 says:

    Troll you are a complete liar. Just go away. You are an ignoramous who hasn’t got a clue. You will be getting banned soon. Not before time. Clueless.

  222. Mike says:

    Ken 500

    If you’re so convinced I’m lying then provide the indisputable truth to prove it.

    Show me the convincing evidence that has you believing I’m lying.

    If you can then I will go away and never return.

    I’m assuming you’re referring to me as the lying troll BTW because you don’t seem to be in dispute with anybody else.

  223. Lenny Hartley says:

    hi Mike say hello to Rock when you swop shifts.

  224. Rock says:


    ““Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

    Is it produced with Scots gov stats, or UK gov/Treasury?”

    Do you actually read WOS articles or are you only here to post comments?

  225. HandandShrimp says:

    There is NO Scottish Civil Service there is ONLY a UK wide Civil service.

    There is a quite distinct body of 5,000 civil servants that work for SG and are answerable to Holyrood Ministers. Their salary structure, grades and terms are quite distinct and they are a better body to work for than many other large CS departments. This is a key factor in SG staff feeling a clear identity of their own.

    The Permanent Secretary has a direct plug in to the UK Civil Service Board and can be seen as having two hats, although the view amongst Yoons was that her predecessor had gone native. I think Leslie is viewed as more neutral. Nevertheless, to see the SG CS as a whole as 5th columnists is quite wrong and grossly unfair.

  226. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Aw jeez – this page is slowly sliding down the riverbank to end up under the bridge.

    Think I’ll go eat worms…

  227. caz-m says:

    harry mcaye 8.11pm

    “Cancelled my Sky today. Everything, tv, phone, broadband.”

    Well done Harry.

    You don’t need to miss out on viewing your favourite programmes.

    Some people have opted for “OpenBoxes”. It’s a set top box that you get ALL the channels on. You can look them up on Ebay or even Gumtree.

    They cost about £40 for the box, it is then your box and about £30 for a full years viewing.

    All you need is a Sky cable and an ethernet connection.


  228. FairFerfochen says:

    Anyhoo, speakin to a mate today, a brexiteer as it happens about article50 and he thinks the Uk gov will leave the EU with immediate effect as in same day. No negotiations, no deals, no nuffin’ just walk.
    Anyone know if this is possible?

  229. Legerwood says:


    Why not go away and read the House of Lords Select Committee report on the Barnett Formula within the link below and give us all some peace

    If it is too much for you to digest then read the entry on Wikipedia about the Barnett Formula. I shall assume you can Google that without me having to give you a direct link.

  230. harry mcaye says:

    caz-m – Looked into those and they seem a bit dodgy plus I believe you cannot record anything off them and I occasionally do that. Will probably sign up with BT, lesser of three evils. Couldn’t bring myself to do business with Virgin either.

  231. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    “On attempting to buy a copy of that paper you have to get up early and be off your mark quickly or you will fail to find a copy on sale. The National is usually out of stock while there remain in the shop rather large bundles of every other paper in the entire United Kingdom..

    Now there may be very good reasons for this shortage of copies for sale but I’m unable to figure out what it is.”

    In my humble opinion, the publishers of The National, who also happen to publish The Herald, only want definite Yes voters to buy it.

    They know that gullible independence supporters will search for them and buy them even if they are hidden.

    But they don’t want unionists to notice or buy them. In case they might be tempted to change from No to Yes.

  232. crazycat says:

    I’ve just looked at the government’s own description of the Barnett Formula, available at:

    The most relevant paragraphs are, I think, these:

    The Barnett Formula

    4.3 The Barnett Formula determines changes to expenditure within the assigned budgets of the devolved administrations. Under the Formula, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Executives and Welsh Assembly Government receive a population-based proportion of changes in planned spending on comparable Government services in England, England and Wales or Great Britain as appropriate. It should be noted that the Formula determines the changes to each devolved administration’s spending allocations; it does not determine the total allocation for each devolved administration.


    a) where a function is devolved to all three of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the input figure is the change in expenditure in England, which can be positive or negative

    b) where a function is devolved to only Scotland and Northern Ireland, the input figure is the change in expenditure in England and Wales , which can be positive or negative

    c) where a function is devolved to only Northern Ireland, the input figure is the change in expenditure in Great Britain, which can be positive or negative

    “Expenditure” refers to spending in UK Government departments:

    4.4 There are three factors in determining changes to each devolved administration’s spending allocation in a spending review:

    1 the quantity of the change in planned spending in United Kingdom Government departments;

    2 the extent to which the relevant United Kingdom departmental programme is comparable with the services carried out by each devolved administration; and

    3 each country’s population as a proportion of England, England and Wales or Great Britain as appropriate.


    4.5 Using these three factors, the net change to the spending allocations for each devolved administration is determined as follows:

    Change to the UK Government department’s programme X
    Comparability percentage X
    Appropriate population proportion

  233. Mike says:


    And what conclusion would you like me to reach after I read these articles?

  234. Breeks says:

    Keep the heid folks.

    This financial arrangement is a truly massive stone to overturn; decades of financial shenanigans which was murky enough to keep the McCrone Report hidden from us for decades. Play it right, and we have the Unionists and their decades of corrupt assertions on the run.

    The truth will out, or the matter will fester, and fester again. Let’s make sure it festers in the rottenTreasury, not here, and be of one voice until we break ourselves, and our economy, free of this shady encumbrance and manipulation.

    Something stinks here, really fecking reeks frankly. We’ve only just touched on it and the whole world of Unionism is in a headlong panic.

  235. Rock says:

    All that matters is GERS data comes nowhere near predicting an independent Scotland’s income and expenditure.

    It doesn’t even come anywhere near giving an account of Scotland’s true income and expenditure as part of the UK.

  236. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Only calling it as I experience it.”

    Well consider that tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of us here at WoS have, for many years now, “experienced” YESINDYREF2’s posts. He is no troll. On the other hand, you are here fairly recently. Try and see things from this side of the fence. As I far as I am concerned you have a good bit to go to convince me of YOUR credentials.

  237. Mike says:


    “It does not determine the total allocation for each devolved Administration”

    The Barnett Block grant is exclusive of Locally raised revenue.

  238. Mike says:

    Proud Cybernat

    Maybe if you direct me to where my “credentials” are in doubt?

  239. Lenny Hartley says:

    Phew two working shifts at the same time, we’re gonna bankrupt the British State at this rate! What d’ya mean it’s bankrupt already?

  240. crazycat says:

    @ Mike

    Yes, I know. I had to decide which bits to quote from a lengthy document.

    I selected the bits which I thought were pertinent to the main points of discussion, and copied them without comment to avoid any intrusion of my own opinions about the rights and wrongs of earlier contributions. (That doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion, all I will say is that I would prefer it if no-one called anyone else a troll.)

    By providing the reference, I enabled those so inclined to explore further.

  241. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Maybe if you direct me to where my “credentials” are in doubt?”


  242. Mike says:


    OK I’m getting the message that I shouldn’t refer to contributors as trolls even when they wilfully deny reality.

  243. heedtracker says:

    But they don’t want unionists to notice or buy them. In case they might be tempted to change from No to Yes.”

    So who ever it is that owns The National only wants to milk sucker YES voters but they dont want anyone else’s money Rock? Maybe.

    You’re a good laugh Rock, give you that much.

    Wiki on Newsquest, owners of The National, 28 million hits a month Rock.

    Newsquest Media Group Ltd. is the second largest publisher of regional and local newspapers in the United Kingdom with 205 brands across the UK, publishing online and in print (165 newspaper brands and 40 magazine brands). It reaches 28 million visitors a month online and 6.5 million readers a week in print. Based in London, Newsquest employs a total of more than 5,500 people across the UK. It also has a specialist arm that publishes both commercial and business-to-business (B2B) titles such as Insurance Times, The Strad, and Boxing News.

  244. crazycat says:

    @ Mike

    I said no-one and anyone. By all means exercise restraint, but please don’t feel singled out.

  245. manandboy says:

    Even if the GERS DENIERS so-called were in error, their mistake pales into insignificance compared to the OIL DENIERS – like the 3 Unionist stooges in Holyrood. According to them there is barely a cupful of oil in the N Sea, for which Westminster has just offered licences.

    The rush of applicants willing to drill for that cup of oil just proves how astute the Tories are in bringing in so much money for drilling licences when there’s only a cupful left.

    We ought to be very proud of our Government in London which is looking after our commercial interests so expertly. And you won’t catch them leaving the world’s biggest and most successful trading bloc.

  246. McDuff says:


    I and I believe others do not support the National and that is our right. My belief is that while the Herald plays a daily game of pro Unionist hard ball the National hits a fluffy soft ball and as such I will be not be indulging in any subsidising in the near future.

  247. Mike says:

    Proud Cybernat

    So what do I need to post to convince you of my undoubted credentials?

  248. Free Scotland says:

    If you’re losing track of how many times a troll has attempted to ruin a particular thread, try a little global search of the posted comments (on a Windows machine, hold down the control key and type the letter f) then type the troll’s name. At my last count, the name of the troll currently ruining this thread had appeared 60 times.

    Now, try searching for your own name, work your way through your own comments and count how many times you have engaged (or referred to) the troll. If you get a number greater than zero, you know what to do next.

  249. feel_loon says:


    i have only posted a few times but been a lurker for ages .
    i have always found wings to be informative and incisive in cutting through the bull

    but the ever regular spats is tiresome
    We have one goal and need everyone onside

    Arguing amongst ourselves about gers etc is excatly what they want .

    We need to focus on the goal ,Indy but if we can get rid o willie young on the way well thats an added bonus

    ta very much

  250. Ken500 says:

    @ 24 March 2017 at 8.21pm

    That’s really weird – ‘Alba’ TV changed to ‘Caesar’

    Predictive text.

  251. Rock says:


    “Wiki on Newsquest, owners of The National, 28 million hits a month Rock.”

    Any surprise there?

    Despite repeated advice, idiots keep on posting direct links to unionist rags on this blog.

    If even the supposedly more apt do it, obviously millions of the less apt do it without even thinking about it.

    Since you seem to have missed my earlier post, I will repeat it for your convenience:


    ““Q: Who produces GERS?
    A: GERS is produced by Scottish Government statisticians.”

    Is it produced with Scots gov stats, or UK gov/Treasury?”


    “Do you actually read WOS articles or are you only here to post comments?”

  252. HandandShrimp says:

    feel loon

    Aye the spats are a bit tedious. I will be glad when the campaign gets formally under way and the stir crazy have real windmills to tilt at. It won’t be long now.

  253. Capella says:

    Could everyone please calm down a bit.
    Re The National – I’m an online subscriber because it was very difficult to find a copy in my area so I gave up and ordered the digital copy. I wonder if the digital subscriptions are included in the readership figures? Anyone know?

    Re whether to buy the National or not – Alex Salmond recommended it and if it’s good enough for Alex, it’s good enough for me.

    Re the Scottish finances – you’re not going to sort that out here tonight. GERS is tosh. There’s no definitive source of revenue/expenditure for Scotland. We have to start from scratch.
    That, in itself, condemns the union as a useless concept, fit for the bin. It might have passed muster in 1707 but this is the 21st century. Wake up!

  254. Fireproofjim says:

    Agree entirely.
    Milke and sensibldave get far too much space with their pointless repetitive comments. Mike seems to have been a recent arrival who loves his own words a bit too much and will not accept other people’s opinions. Spoiling the discussion.
    Best ignored

  255. Marcia says:


    The National’s circulation quoted by ABC refers to their print edition only.

  256. Ken500 says:

    @ Peter Piper

    ‘It’s a picture of Cunningham asking Murdo Fraser if he wants tea or coffee’.

    Belly ache


  257. defo says:

    Fabulous pet food related punning Stu. Trill !
    Admittedly, I’ve got as many economics qualifications, and as much experience as KH, but I’ve never bought into the ‘too poor’ pish.
    But then, I’ve got eyes… and Wings to guide !
    That particular Gifford basted roaster deserves no quarter be given.

    Is accepting the realities of Sevco, tantamount to being a Gers denier ?

  258. Ian Mackay says:

    Now that the GERS figures have been shown to be essentially worthless can we get on with the bigger question?

    Just how much would rUK owe an independent Scotland for essentially p**sing our oil and gas revenues & other revenues up against a wall?

    I think we should be told.

  259. Dr Jim says:

    I don’t buy newspapers but if I did I wouldn’t be listening to some dick telling me what I should or shouldn’t buy with my own money

    We’ve got English governments for that!

    If it’s really that high up on the scale of important stuff to them they’re not getting the hang of this Independence thing at all

  260. Robert Louis says:

    Just regarding the National newspaper, I disagree that it is deliberately ‘hidden’ on the instructions of the publishers (what an exceptionally silly notion). I know several shops (one very large one) where the National is displayed very, very prominently, and it has many copies, often available until the early evening.

    The notion that the publishers, somehow tell retailers to ‘hide them’, is utterly absurd. Some retailers, it has been reported here, DO however, themselves choose to effectively hide them. For example, at Harthill services, the Marks and Spencer retail outlet, keeps them far away from the other newspapers, on a bottom shelf, upside down – effectively hidden. More to do with English owned and run Marks and Spencer, I think, than The actual publisher.

    The fact that some retailers SEEMINGLY deliberately ‘hide’ the National, is not in my opinion a good reason to not buy it. Indeed, I think it is actually a good reason to make a point and buy a copy.

    Some very good people in the pro indy camp write for the National, including wee ginger dug, among others. If it’s good enough for Paul Kavanagh, it’s good enough (and legit enough) for me. Indeed most of the main people who write or talk PRO independence have written for the NATIONAL on a regular basis.

  261. heedtracker says:

    Do you actually read WOS articles or are you only here to post comments?

    Sometimes rushed but mostly yes Rock.

    So, the question Is GERS produced with Scots gov stats, or UK gov/Treasury?

    Logically, Scots government use stats they have, on everything devolved to Holyrood in GERS and the Treasury also gives them expenditure stats on everything reserved by UK gov, also hard to work out how much and looks impossible to know if they’re accurate. More critically, are they UK gov and Treasury political, against Scots indy.

    Making it even weirder, some economists think that they are both guess work anyway, even though they get signed off each year.

    Making it even creepier, Kev’s thing in the Record about how we all now must have an open and honest Scottish economics debate, is ofcourse the exact opposite of what unionist tories, red and blue, want and its all followed through with very nasty rebuttals form likes Ruth Davidson and more importantly, Murdoch’s fav henchman the Ligger.


  262. yesindyref2 says:

    You’re a good man Ken500, glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  263. Robert Peffers says:

    @Mike says: 24 March, 2017 at 7:53 pm:

    “Look Robert. This is me making a really very very difficult effort to respond here with respect.”

    If it’s that much effort for you then just scroll on by my posts. It certainly won’t bother me one bit.

    “There HAS TO be a Scottish Welsh Irish budget allocation within an overall UK context.”

    Nope! Not true. It’s utter claptrap.

    The Scots, Welsh and N. Irish get a block Grant dependent upon what Westminster, (the unelected as such de facto parliament of England), has arbitrarily chosen to make itself but retains the title of. “The Parliament of the United Kingdom”.

    The plain fact is that when that de facto parliament of the country of England decides what useless powers it will, in its great munificence, gift to what the de facto parliament of England has decided are its dominions in Britain, it must obviously also devolve the funding that previously was funded from the de facto parliament of England’s UK Ministries that originally controlled that particular devolved function.

    They cannot transfer the powers from the UK/England Ministry without the funding to run the devolved power. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

    The problems begin as each devolved administration has different levels of devolved powers and hence their block grant calculations will also be different.

    Now, going by the hoo! Ha! the Yoons kick up you would imagine that only Scotland gets a Block Grant and, going by the level of abuse thrown Scotland’s way, you would think that Scotland was in receipt of the largest per capita share of what the Yoons seem intent upon calling English Taxpayers money at Scotland.

    However, that is not the case for N.I. has more devolved powers and thus a larger per capita share of that, “English Funding”, that they give us out of the goodness of their great big hearts. Wales has less.

    So before going any further the Barnett Formula as applied is thus different for each of the English Parliament’s devolved United Kingdom dominions.

    That also means that Barnett Consequentials are different for each English Dominion. Now ask yourself why the system was not set up to treat England as a devolved administration with a block Grant like everyone else? By doing so, even with different devolved functions, the calculations would be crystal clear and avoid any doubts.

    Things, though, are not even as uncomplicated as that because of how funding, for England only, still remains in the hands of the, nominally, still United Kingdom Ministries.

    That means the funding for England comes from the former United Kingdom Ministries but which still retain what Westminster, (the de facto parliament of England), still also retains some actual United Kingdom functions. It does not lead to clarity.

    Mind you we are not even talking about such matters as, for example, Defence. We are talking about what Westminster, the de facto parliament of England), decides is things that benefit, “The Nation”, but the United Kingdom is four nations, four countries but only legally two kingdoms.

    So here are a few facts for you. The Chunnel was classed as of national benefit and perhaps it was to some extent. The bit they do not make so clear is that every bit of the extra infrastructure, road, rail and the water, gas, electricity, bridges etc. were paid for as United Kingdom assets that all four countries also had to pay for.

    Yet the SG had the Forth Road Bridge Mk I built and every bit of infrastructure on both sides had to be met out of SG and local authority budgets. The Skye Bridge was also classed as Scottish and built with Scots funds. The New Forth Crossing and its supporting infrastructure is charged as Scottish

    The London Cross-Rail is National asset and not charged to England alone. The New London Sewerage System is National and we all pay for it. The new HS rail links – National too. The London rail and bus terminals were also classed as National assets for refurbishment and again we all pay.

    The London Olympics were National but the Glasgow games were paid for by Glasgow and the SG.

    Now consider the other side of the accounts book. All Scots products that leave the United Kingdom through English ports and airports are accounted as English Exports.

    I could go on but enough for any sane person to grasp the fact that Westminster is ripping off Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is indeed the de facto parliament of England. If they had been private companies they would all be serving prison terms right now.

    Now tell me, if you can, where I am exaggerating or telling lies?

    If you do attempt to defend Westminster’s crooked ways I can trot out a few more scams that they have in place.

    Check out that nice little Westminster earner of National Grid Connection Charges increased by distance from London and the Scottish Crown Estate profits. Need I go on?

  264. feel_loon says:

    The constructive stuff on here does work , I’ve always been the political guy at work , often ridiculed but definitely converting the non believers slowly .
    Had the usual too wee too poor stuff ,but armed with good rebuffs garnished from here like ” don’t you find it strange that 8% of the uk is responsible for 22%of the deficit”
    “the gers figures are only guesstimates”
    “why would you want to follow policy that produce such deficits and debt ‘
    ” i always thought you were a strong and decisive person why are you happy to let someone else make decisions for you ”
    Ask them to compare norways revenue to the uk
    stuff like this does work

    the only sad thing is the folk that shrug and say they don’t care either way ,,drives me mental

    keep it positive

  265. Capella says:

    @ Marcia – thanks for that. In that case the circulation might be much higher because it is so difficult to get in newsagents and supermarkets that a lot of people might have taken out a digital subscription. Hope so. Some fantastic writers contribute to it,such as Rev Stu!

  266. Legerwood says:


    The conclusion you reach after you read the articles is entirely up to you and your ability to assimilate and process the information therein.

  267. Flower of Scotland says:

    The beautiful thing about Wings is that everyone can comment.

    If like me you notice comments from someone that creates division just ignore them.

    I do that on every online post. I do that in the National where Unionists are very aggressive.

    If you ignore them they get fed up and leave. People just don’t seem to comprehend that the worst thing you can do is keep arguing with them.

  268. K1 says:

    This may be of some assistance in understanding the role of the civil service within the context of devolution. I found this PDF: Lessons for Civil Service Impartiality from the Scottish independence referendum.

    Just as a quick aside on the subject of MacPherson’s intervention, this report states in its introduction:

    ‘We further conclude that Sir Nicholas Macpherson’s advice should not have been published. Its publication compromised the perceived impartiality of one of the UK’s most senior civil servants.’

    Also says parts of white paper shouldn’t have been written by civil servants. Ye can read for yersel’s the rest.

    More saliently:

    ’14. In Scotland and Wales the Civil Service remains a UK matter in law. In practice, however, the Scottish Government and Welsh Government have autonomy over staffing, promotions and grading, and pay settlements. The single UK framework tends only to apply to the highest reaches of the Home Civil Service–the Senior Civil Service.

    15. Civil servants in the Scottish and Welsh Governments are accountable to ministers in their respective Governments in the same way Civil Servants in UK departments are accountable to their respective ministers. The Scottish Government’s 2013 written evidence to us for our earlier inquiry on the future of the Civil Service cited its two-fold responsibilities:

    To deliver the policies of the elected Government of Scotland, which includes delivering the current Scottish Government’s purpose of creating a more successful country by increasing sustainable economic growth with an opportunity for all of Scotland to flourish; and to act with integrity, impartiality, objectivity and honesty.

    16. A Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and devolved administrations sets out the expectations for interactions between the administrations as well as situations where information may not be shared.

    Is the Civil Service still unified?

    17. Professor James Mitchell, Professor of Public Policy and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, suggested that there had never been a unified civil service:
    We can overstate the extent to which devolution has affected things. That said, yes, I think things have progressed further and, informally, there is a distinct Scottish Civil Service. There always has been, but it is more distinct now than it was in the past.

    18. Akash Paun, Fellow at the Institute for Government, told us that:

    There was a reasonable rationale for maintaining the unified Home Civil Service at the outset of devolution […] The perception was that it facilitated a more informal form of intergovernmental relations that enabled differences to be resolved without escalating to more formal dispute mechanisms. […] Over time, however, what we have seen is, first of all, that political diversion since 2007 has pulled things apart and, also, the gradual evolutionary change of Civil Services in the respective capitals becoming more systems unto themselves.

    19. The Rt Hon Peter Riddell, Director of the Institute for Government, suggested that the traditional model of the Civil Service had adapted to address different governments with different views and said “it is evident already that, in practice, Scotland and Wales are at least more distinct Civil Services” that have, for example, different pay scales.Of the Scottish Government’s Civil Service he said:

    Scotland has its own reform plan; it is not the same as the one that applies here. The Civil Service has changed an awful lot in Scotland. It is much more outcome-directed. There have been a lot of reforms. They, of course, have an integrated rather than departmental Government structure in Scotland. It has changed a lot, but not in the same ways as in England.

    20. Akash Paun argued that it was “more and more of a constitutional fiction that there is a single unified Civil Service anymore”. Professor Jim Gallagher pointed out that in practice, the operation, administration, and pay and rations of the Civil Service in the devolved administration were a matter of devolved responsibility. “The only things that are required to be the same are the code and values, and the peer and grading structure of the most senior staff.”

    Also anyone else note the name (Prof) Jim Gallagher popping up in this report? Well we all knew he was an ‘ex’ civil servant but we all know he is not a ‘Professor’. Maybe this report needs someone to inform the parliament that this guy isn’t ‘what’ his ‘title’ claims to be…perhaps Eric Joyce would be interested in informing the body that did this report of that fact? ( 😉 )

  269. Robert Louis says:

    Regarding my comment above about The National newspaper, and as if to make my point for me, tomorrow’s edition (and on the front page) has, Pat Kane, Mhairi Black and the wee ginger dug.

    Anyway, you can make your own minds up, but for my part, I think it is well worth buying or subscribing to.

    Tomorrow’s front page

  270. Swami Backverandah says:

    I really do think Kev’s plan is to go into the fake tan business and get himself a knighthood.

  271. Artyhetty says:

    Well said Capella@10.41. It can seem like we and even the SNP exasperatingly try to justify the position on GERS, when as you say, it is tosh. In fact, all the people need to know is that it is tosh, made up numbers, unrealistic unionist fantasy.

    I do buy the National, been more tricky trying to get it lately, when we asked the counter staff in our local Scotmid why we suddenly can’t get it there, they got very defensive. They said it is on supply and demand basis, (!) and that ‘Menzies’ decides how many they get. Hmm, not so with the Graun, and other tory rags it seems, you can’t move for them, even later in the day.

    I find the National a bit lightweight, misses out some hugely important facts, like in an article on N.Sturgeon’s constituency, and how awful and poverty stricken it is, they happened to forgot to mention that it is a rabidly Labour run council. Things like that are misleading. I won’t continue to buy it, if that doesn’t improve, but the jury’s still out because it does have some good articles, by some very good writers.

    We reckon some yoons buy it and dispose of it anyway, after all, it’s only 70p. A small price to pay to save your union, and to keep your nice gravy train running smoothly.

  272. heedtracker says:

    Rock says:
    24 March, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Dont think you ever said anything even remotely positive about the SNP, in Holyrood or Westminster, what you think they’re doing, how well they’re performing, not just generally but even how your SNP MP or MSP might be doing, despite being asked over and over, just your endless dull rants about a newspaper.

    Fair enough, whatever it is you’re up to, it seems to be effective in punching through any on topic discussion btl and that’s what its all about.

  273. Habib Steele says:

    Surely the Scottish Government needs to do its own GERS collection of data and analysis, do it accurately, have it verified by independent statisticians and accountants, and present it to the Scottish people. Can it be done in the time before the referendum is held?

  274. stu mac says:

    @Les Wilson says:
    24 March, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I suspect this happens to a lesser extent with the furthermost regions of England as well with resources heading south and a lesser sum coming back out of “generosity”.

  275. BJ says:

    Walked into Tesco today and was met with a sea of Nationals (5 to be exact) ? in the newspaper stand. Someone had put a National over the DR, Mail, Express, Guardian and one other?

    At least Tesco put them in the main stand, the Coop hide them in the Magazine shelf.

  276. Lenny Hartley says:

    Habib Steele And how do you propose the Scottish Government gets hold of the data?

    There is no Data! I suggest you read the article by Professor Richard Murphy in Tuesday’s National

  277. Liz g says:

    Ian Mackay @ 11.10
    I suspect we will have to keep going over how useless the GERs figures really are for a wee while yet Ian….Sigh!!
    Also the danger of the National….Yawn!!!
    But your right there are a ton of other figures that need lookin at as well.
    And I can pretty much guarantee that we will Never “be told” about them.
    We will have quite a job on to go huntin for Scotland’s wealth, I mean for example how many Embassy’s have been bought since 1707??
    On the positive side…..At least we have a definite date to work back from.

  278. cynicalHighlander says:

    GERS is like clean water going into to the treasury at one end and coming as pish at tother.

  279. CameronB Brodie says:

    Yesindyref2 said:

    I did spend quite a bit of time with GERS with the idea of coming to some definitive conclusions myself, but gave up after a few days or weeks. It’s a project for a team, computers, communications, and a lot of letters and access to other data – big data at that.

    Hence why nobody – nobody – can just read a few paragraphs of it and become a self-appointed expert, as apparently the first-named in a tweet has done. The Cuthberts were at it for a long time, and Deloitte with all their resources said it was inaccurate. Sweet dreams are made of that, who am I to disagree?

    I spent a short time working in the Central Research Unit of the old Scottish Office, trying to figure out the cost-effectiveness of local government Grant Aid Expenditure. The results produced were used in calculating Scotland’s overall allowance from HM Treasury and was as described above.

    Anyone who thinks GERS an accurate reflection of Scotland’s potential should check for buttons down the back of their head, frankly.

  280. Robert Peffers says:

    @Habib Steele says: 24 March, 2017 at 11:49 pm:

    ” … Can it be done in the time before the referendum is held.

    Quite simply it cannot be done even with the best will in the World. There are many reasons but the main two are that it is the United Kingdom Customs & Excise that collect the revenues from Scotland and from Scottish people and business.
    Here’s just one or two examples for you.

    The main taxation is now indirect taxation and not direct taxation. That is indirect is levied upon goods & services while direct is levied upon individual person’s earnings, profits and wealth.

    The main indirect tax is VAT and that is collected on behalf of the Treasury by the business’ throughout Scotland.

    However, big business like for example ASDA have their head office in England and they do not pay the VAT they gather in their Scottish retail outlets as being from Scotland but only the overall sum via their English Head Office.

    Now here’s another fact and again using ASDA as the example. ASDA also has a Road Fuel forecourt and besides the VAT on every litre of fuel they sell there is VAT also levied and collected by ASDA for the Customs & Excise and paid from ASDAs English Head Office.

    Another example is that the company tax and shareholders tax on their profits from UK wide Business are paid via mainly London Head Offices. What of, for example the UK wide companies like BT who provide, among other things internet ISP services and both Phone & fibre lines to consumers all over the UK but again pay their taxes and the VAT they collect via London Head Offices.

    Then we have a really big rip-of as Westminster accounts as English exports any Scottish goods exported via England as English Exports and that includes most of the Scotch Whisky and the 72% of the UK’s Gin exports that are made in Scotland but leave the UK from England.

    There are more, many more, but we will not find out the figures until after we are independent.

  281. Stoker says:

    Traveller girl…..smooookin’

    GREEN DAY””’Ha Ha Your’re Dead (my dedication to Unionists)
    (fuck, i miss Ardrissan, it’s where i met the misses and was right into my weight-training, Linda Lusardi and The QUO….

    Aaaahhhhhh…..the good old days! BTW, where’s Big Chib?

  282. Lenny Hartley says:

    habib Steele I posted this before but it’s disappeared into the either, re Gers as Robert pointed out above no data avail to Scots Gov. The UK give does not have accurate data either.
    Suggest you read this !

  283. geeo says:

    Saw this on facebook…interesting piece on polling numbers.

  284. Stoker says:

    I know he likes this one, this is for the PainiNtheaRse…. 😀

    The Quo – Down The Dustpipe

  285. Stoker says:

    And now my fave all time Quo tune….

    The Quo – Paper Plane (I dedicate this to Hazel Cransten X )

  286. Grouse Beater says:

    Don’t come to Scotland:

  287. Stoker says:

    And now for one of THE best songs ever written.

    Listen! Goodnight, Troops! Love you all……..

    UB40 – One In Ten*

  288. Stoker says:

    Sorry, i’m pissed and in the wrong place, look out OT here i come.

  289. Smallaxe says:

    Tonight was like a fight to see whose turn it was to pipe clay the close.

    Peace Always People

  290. Mike says:


    “The conclusion you reach after you read the articles is entirely up to you and your ability to assimilate and process the information therein.”

    So its perfectly feasible to expect them to support the conclusions ive already reached?

    You’re not telling me they will be debunked.

  291. stu mac says:

    @Bob Mack

    Why are we arguing? May I suggest because two trolls/paid shills have been infesting the blog with constant deliberate (?) misinformation – and when they are called out over this they accuse well established reliable posters on here (not me btw) of being trolls/shills. Seems very obvious behaviour to me and I commend others on here for not losing the rag with them, which they’d probably like.

  292. Legerwood says:

    Mike @ 9.10 am

    “”So its perfectly feasible to expect them to support the conclusions ive already reached?””


  293. Robert Peffers says:

    @Smallaxe says: 25 March, 2017 at 1:48 am:

    “Tonight was like a fight to see whose turn it was to pipe clay the close.”

    Would that be a, “Wally Close”, perchance, Smallaxe?

  294. Smallaxe says:

    Robert Peffers:

    Exactly that, Mr Peffers.

    Peace Always to You Sir

  295. Rock says:


    “Dont think you ever said anything even remotely positive about the SNP”

    Except this, many, many times:

    “Vote SNP+SNP+SNP until after independence.”

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