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Wings Over Scotland

If only someone had said

Posted on November 20, 2015 by

The media, bless it, has finally spotted the elephant.


Every paper is awash in shock headlines at the revelation that the House Of Lords want the Scotland Bill held up because nobody has the faintest idea how the “fiscal framework” can actually be constructed in such a way as to avoid Scotland being left worse off by the changes to devolved powers.


It’s a problem nobody could possibly have seen coming. Unless, of course, they’d actually looked at the very first press release from the Smith Commission 13 months ago and immediately deduced the incredibly bleeding obvious:

“The only way to ensure that none of the UK’s constituent parts gain or lose financially is to change nothing. The minute you make Scotland raise some or all of its own income tax, say, you massively alter the financial balance (because of the differential levels of spending in different parts of the UK, because – for example – Scotland’s landscape and more widely spread population make it more expensive to provide public services).

The only way you can restore the balance is to hand over extra cash from the Treasury. And if you do that, of course, you’ve blown the entire point of the exercise – Holyrood ISN’T any more accountable or (in reality) any more devolved, because whatever it does Westminster will fill in the financial gaps.

(The alternative – forcing the Scottish Government to impose higher taxes or extra cuts on the people of Scotland to make good the difference – is plainly a detriment and a financial loss to Scotland, and therefore contrary to the Commission’s goals.)

And if you DON’T do it, then you can’t say that there’s no detriment or financial loss to anyone, because there will be. That’s why the Barnett Formula exists.

The stated principles of the Smith Commission, then, are so staggeringly obviously impossible to realise, from day one, as an empirical arithmetical fact, that sane people will find themselves struggling to understand why they’re being reported in the press with a straight face.

One of only two things must be true: it’s either an utterly pointless exercise (because by its own claims it’ll change nothing), or it cannot possibly uphold its aims, because any changes WILL, inescapably, be to SOMEONE’S detriment.

It makes slightly less intellectual sense, and bears less relation to reality, than the story of Jack And The Beanstalk. Are we really the only people who can see that?

The “fiscal framework” cannot possibly achieve its aim. We’ve been pointing that fact out for more than a year now. It’s basically a paradox, like this:

probability paradox

There is no formula that can guarantee Scotland won’t be left worse off even if it keeps all the tax rates that will be controlled by Holyrood the same as the rest of the UK. That’s precisely why the current funding arrangement was devised in the first place. As we said in October 2014, the key goal of the Smith Commission cannot ever be fulfilled by its stated method.

(The only way its condition could be met is if the UK government either throws extra money at Scotland – or claws some back – on an ad hoc basis every year, which makes a mockery of the entire concept.)

We suppose we should congratulate the press on catching up eventually, even if it took them 13 months. But as they try to analyse the intriguing events that’ll unfold in the coming weeks and months, bear in mind that you can’t trust a word they say.

Not just because they’re often inclined to lie on purpose, but simply because even when they’re trying to tell the truth they’re a bunch of gormless clowns who can’t see the simplest facts when they’re staring them in the face.

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224 to “If only someone had said”

  1. antmcg says:

    Well, the saying goes “better late than never” 🙂

    Thanks again Rev. Stu for pointing out the blindingly obvious yet again.

    Shame the “journalists” don’t just lift their copy directly from you 🙂

  2. Macart says:

    Ta Dah! 🙂

    So which way do they jump next?

    Answers on a postcard.

    Take a wild guess at why the indy bashing has been ramped up of recent weeks? Its not just that Westminster’s parliamentarians would not deliver, but in fact could not deliver. They needed the Scottish electorate back in their shortbread tin and a negligible SNP presence to pull any stroke.

    They got neither and are now faced with delivering something with weight, maybe deliver nothing at all, or risk having the whole shemozzle chucked back in their faces. But will they? Whatever they do, they should be aware that they are being watched and listened to very carefully these days.

    As for the media? If the now engaged public and some first class citizen journalists could see this coming down the tracks, just where were they?

    Again, answers on a postcard… etc.

  3. George Richardson says:

    Doug, now show your calculation 🙂

  4. Clootie says:

    o% which is exactly the same odds of Scotland getting a fair deal

  5. George S Gordon says:

    The very fact that Smith encapsulated the fiscal framework in just two words (No Detriment) proved its fiscal illiteracy beyond doubt.

    The other (linked) elephant in the fiscal room is how the Scottish Government is supposed to pay for reserved services that will actually benefit Scotland, as opposed to paying for London infrastructure etc.

  6. Scots Wa Hey says:

    Ian Murray says he has been working hard for what’s best for Scotland and blames SNP and even managed a straight face surely a bafta winning performance

    On a serious note a civic commission should analyse and Scrutinise the Scotland bill if SNP reject which they should they will be crucifixed by media but if a independent body says its a pup it will help Scotland reject it with confidence

  7. gordoz says:

    160 % Sir ! ; No wait D ; sorry all of the above Sir ! 🙂

  8. gordoz says:

    Sir, Sir, ….Kevin Hague Sir !!!

  9. schrodingers cat says:

    none of the above

    answer is 75%

    this bill was camerons last chance to save the union.
    oh dear, how sad, never mind

    when do we officially launch the yes2 campaign?

  10. mealer says:

    And in the meantime,whilst London decides how they’ll sort out “the Scottish problem”,we get the message out in every workplace,pub,club,cafe that only the SNP will stand up for Scotland.Every time.

  11. galamcennalath says:

    While Stu would say this was inevitable, others do seem to have drifted along oblivious to the actual fiscal workings.

    However, the inevitable may have begun to surface a good few months ago among the more savvy players. My understanding is that SG and Treasury negotiations started to get bogged weeks ago.

    The SNP have been unusually upbeat, perhaps because they could see the legislation collapse on the horizon – pleased that someone else had to pull the plug, maybe!

    We all thought the way the Scotland Bill was rushed through with few amendments and little debate, was a disgrace. Perhaps if it were destined to die anyway, time spent was time wasted!

    Also, all the anti SNP/SG political and media attacks seemed a bit early for the May elections. Could that be related too? WM realising that when the Scotland Act dies, so does the Vow and No winning promises?

    No promise delivery = IndyRef1 outcome open to challenge

  12. gerry says:

    Just give us 100% of the oil revenue and we can decide how much of that we want going down south once we’ve paid the bills – sorted.
    I will get back to yas re the multiple choice – I have sent for the ready reckoner and slide rule.

  13. schrodingers cat says:

    shouldn’t someone ask Gordon if the he still thinks the vow has been delivered?

    don’t hold yer breath folks

  14. Bob Mack says:

    Suppose it’s the difference between notbeing able to see the truth ,and actually ignoring it completely on purpose.
    Well done Rev for having skill and integrity.

    Ps Is the answer 25% ? Should be a prize for whoever composes a question to fit your answers.

  15. manandboy says:

    The UK. Like being on a bus with a three year old driving.

  16. David McCann says:

    So where does that leave all those unionists who constantly told the SG that dear old Westminster was giving Scotland ‘the most powerful devolved parliament in the world’- if not the universe?

    Aye. The Trojan horse has been rumbled, and by the Lords no less!

  17. Dubbieside says:

    Well done again Rev, this article and chiels that ding show just how much we need your imput.

    See the Herald MD at the awards was last night criticising the new social media, maybe if his newspaper got its act together we would not have to rely so heavily on you.

  18. David McCann says:


    I see Sarah Smith has been named as Scotland Editor of BBC News.

    No mention of her famous father.

  19. Macart says:

    Perhaps some of those supposedly politically savvy souls who have spent the past couple of weeks telling us just how awful independence would have been (based on zero evidence, since we aren’t in fact independent…. YET), would kindly now explain just why Westminster has delivered precisely nothing but austerity policy misery, racist abuse, job losses, and a sidelined piss poor excuse for a devolution settlement? A settlement any halfwit could see was deliberately intended to cause harm to the public with the express aim of damaging the Scottish parliament.

    Y’know, seein’ as how that’s all basically fact and on public record.

    Just where is all the better togetherness that was promised to Scotland’s electorate?

    May cannot come round soon enough to get rid.

  20. Neil Cook says:

    I laugh at all the looniests who keep on going that SNP should raise taxes, raise council taxes etc yet when it comes home to hit them that they would pay more than the RUK it would be SNP bad !! Councils have been mismanaged for years and a Public sector job is no more important than a private sector. If all these bleeding hearts want change to taxation they can always donate money freely to the Government and Councils if they are that bothered. Why should the rest who cant afford the increase have to pay more because they want too ?

  21. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    There are two logical solutions to Scotland’s constitutional question

    The status quo (which would be more sensibly served with no Scottish Parliament at all)

    Independence which removes all complications

  22. msean says:

    Never thought devo anything would be delivered at all,this was always meant to fail.Now it is getting bogged down in the long grass and will never be produced,just like it was intended to end up.

    The whole idea was to wait and wait, and Scots will drift off back to their boxes leaving all of Scotland back in their hands.Progress is deliberately slow,to eat up time,to divert us to arguing over minor powers and how they are to be worked out instead of talking about independence. Things that were supposed to be delivered ages ago have still not been delivered years later.It seems to take 2 or 3 governments to pass anything.

  23. manandboy says:

    Lord Smith of Burntisland.

  24. Aufie says:

    Another excellent article, Rev. It’s absurd it has taken them so long to pick this up. That’s why we all come here.

    Surely there isn’t a solution, it being a paradox. It’s a multiple choice with 4 options, so you would normally expect a 25% chance of getting it right by random selection.

    But there are 2 answers of 25%, so there is now a 50% chance of getting the answer right. However if that is the case then c) 50% is actually the correct answer. There’s a 25% chance of selecting this answer randomly so therefore. . . and round and round it goes.

  25. Linda McFarlane says:


    Any random choice will be correct – the choice needs only be random.

  26. One_Scot says:

    ‘Not just because they’re often inclined to lie on purpose, but simply because even when they’re trying to tell the truth they’re a bunch of gormless clowns who can’t see the simplest facts when they’re staring them in the face.’

    What chance has Scotland got when these people control our country, information and knowledge.

    May 2016 cannot come soon enough. SNP x 2.

  27. muttley79 says:

    Uncertainty, uncertainty, how can we manage to cope with all this uncertainty after the No vote last year! 😀 😀

  28. Here’s another blindingly obvious fact that Unionists refuse to admit …

    100% of our oil at $45/barrel is worth over FOUR times more than an 8.4% share of $120/barrel.

  29. Auld Rock says:

    Gerry, when I was in school my maths teacher always referred to the slide-rule as the ‘fiddle-stick’, in current situation ‘fiddle’ seems quite appropriate.

    I said from the outset that we must watch out for Westminster’s devious tricks, seems I along with many others wasn’t wrong.

    Auld Rock

  30. galamcennalath says:

    Graham Harris Graham says:

    “100% of our oil at $45/barrel is worth over FOUR times more than an 8.4% share of $120/barrel.”

    … and that money would go a lot further if we weren’t paying for WMDs, illegal wars and UK debt servicing.

    Always better, not together.

  31. Bob Mack says:

    What a red face for all the Scottish media. Having pushed the line that the settlement was great for Scotland on whatever basis they gained that knowledge, the House of Lords say it is utter incomprehensible pish ,and always has been.
    How can these characters in the media churn out their rubbish or stick by that line after this..
    You could not give them a red neck with a blow torch.

    The media is locked into macabre dance of death with Labour . They destroy each other. Everything you expect from professional news organisations has been sacrificed in order to destroy one Party the SNP.

    One day they will reflect on just how they managed only to damage themselves irrevocably.

  32. Lanarkist says:

    Dear Stu, please don’t bite me, but, after the paradox puzzle you state that as we explained in October 2013?

    Did you mean October 2014, after the referendum and the introduction of the Smith Commission and 13 months ago?

    Cowering in the corner, whimpering ” I claim my fiver”.

    I wouldn’t like to see a mistake slip past in your marvellous article.

    What a week eh!

  33. Lanarkist says:

    Will the Record be claiming that the Vow has been redirected now?

    Please pick up from your nearest HoL, bring receipt and please leave two hours for return of goods to HQ.

  34. Onwards says:

    My view is that the SNP should accept the limited Scotland bill, making VERY clear it is a stop-gap measure, and needs upgraded. Even if accepting it makes Scotland slightly worse off in the short term.

    Income tax devolution is completely unstable.
    The Tories know this too – but they are hoping the SNP will get the blame for further cuts if Scotland goes into a relative decline. I think we should call their bluff. In reality, the Tories will get the blame for weak devolution.

    (I think this is why the Lords are against it – many of the Tory peers such as Michael Forsyth are smart enough to see past short term advantage – they know it doesn’t end here.)

    People will soon understand that we need job creating powers and competitive taxes. Or they will do when the SNP makes that clear at every opportunity.

    The point is that once we already have income tax devolution, then it makes sense that the other taxes follow. This will only go one way.

    People will get used to paying their taxes to Scotland, and that will be seen as NORMAL.
    The recent Wings poll showed that people wanted cuts to fall on council budgets – the area they saw as having least influence on their lives.

    – the UK Government: 57%
    – the Scottish Government: 30%
    – local government (councils): 8%

    Paying income taxes to Holyrood will inevitably increase its importance and relevance. IMO, resentment will build at the amount of taxes retained at Westminster.

    What happens if the bill is rejected?
    We are back to square one, with the last 5 years having achieved nothing in the way of more powers.
    In a situation where the unionists can say – more powers were rejected because Scotland needs to be subsidised, and the SNP prefer hand-outs. We will never hear the end of it.
    Yes, we might have a more stable situation, but at what price?

    Tactically, I would rather have an unstable situation with pressure to move forwards, not backwards.
    IMO, it makes independence a far more likely outcome.

  35. Dave McEwan Hill @11.43am.
    Absolutely spot on Dave, but of course the flaw is in the use of logic. This is Westminster we’re talking about, and that phrase will not be allowed to enter their limited brain function. Although I’m sure they would love to abolish the Scottish Parliament, now that the “nasty” S.N.P are in charge, something they thought couldn’t happen.

  36. manandboy says:

    When even Jack McConnell, at the time, described ‘Smith’ as ‘a shambles’, what were the rest doing, apart from not paying attention.

    Its an even bigger shambles now.

  37. Bob Mack says:


    I understand where you are coming from,but the first consideration for any politician should be like the Doctors Hypocractic oath—–First do no harm.

    Suffering and deprivation are here already, with more scheduled.Let us not add to it.

  38. Dorothy Devine says:

    OT but I just had a wee thought , by making Joanne Lamont Debater of the year last year and wee Willie Rennie the Debater this year , is the Herald by implication trying to demote the status of Politician of the Year because it is Nicola and has been Alex?

    By giving two no hopers the Debater award does that not sew the seed of ” well it’s all piffle anyway” in the minds of the public?

  39. Foonurt says:

    Again and again, Franz Ferdinand Sparks.

  40. Jimbo says:

    The Scotland Bill is a complete and utter dog’s dinner?

    Wow, who knew (apart from just about every supporter independence)?

  41. mogabee says:

    This is going to be the best thriller I will have ever read the end of…

    What! It’s real life?

    Stu. how many editions of this farce can you write before the “kiddie on” journalists start reporting facts? 😀

  42. Proud Cybernat says:

    I know the answer but what’s the question?

  43. arthurfaeleith says:

    “As we said in October 2013”

    Wow, I knew you were good, but…

  44. gordoz says:

    Well said Dave McEwan Hil;

    (but surely you’ve missed the third way, the true way of the righteous, the Gordo – Labour / Daily Record & Herald way of FederoDevoBollox ?)

  45. Fred says:

    This bill, so crucial to us all, was hijacked in the Commons by English backwoods MP’s talking shite. Nothing new there.

    Will the Scottish Government merely be replacing its dog-lead with an elastic one, is the question. Other imponderables are, will New Zealand ditch the butchers apron & was Jackie Baillie at the head of the queue for the Sarwar Beanfeast.

  46. Sinky says:

    Wingers need to do more rational letters to MSM explaining to the dependency voters that Scotland needs far more powers than the Scotland Bill provides if we are to attract companies, grow and restructure our economy and pay decent welfare to those most in need.

    If Tories increase Income Tax allowance then the Scottish government’s income reduces without having control over the range of taxes a normal government would have to compensate for this.

    From article by Prof Nicola McEwan in Edinburgh Evening News.

    Remind them that Labour is still opposed to devolving National Insurance Contributions, Corporation Tax, Excise Duties, Wealth Tax, Oil and Gas revenues, Inheritance tax, Capital Gains Tax or 100% of VAT and as recently as 4th November Labour MSPs voted against a motion calling for tax credits, employment rights and the minimum wage to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

  47. Luigi says:

    Oh Dear! The tories’ cunning plan to rush through the tax raising powers in time for May 2016, so they could pin the SNP campaign down in a difficult situation, seems to have hit the buffers. Or should I say “duffers” (HoL). 🙂

    It’s all falling apart, and what’s worse, they cannot blame the SNP this time (for sure they will try)!

  48. Stoker says:

    What say you Brown Vowers, eh? Pish Commission, eh!

    If it wasn’t so blinking serious i’d laugh my flippin head off.

    Thanks, No voters, thanks a bunch!

    PS: Congrats to the corrupted unionist media for finally catching up!
    Makes a mockery of the old adage better late than never, doesn’t it!

  49. Valerie says:


    After weeks,nay months, of ‘shut up jocks, we are delivering the most powerful, devolved parliament in the world’????

    The Lord’s actions are a nice little cherry on top of a steaming pile o keech.

    Remember a couple of weeks ago, screaming at the debate in HoC, and wishing the SNP cohort would stand up and walk?

    I want to wish the 56 a very good weekend.

  50. Luigi says:

    Any chance we could examine and debunk this silly “most powerful devolved parliament in the world” guff? Where was it first used and where is the supporting evidence? It’s being repeated ad nausea by unionist politicians and it’s all getting rather tiresome.

  51. Dave P says:

    (C-B)+A or D

  52. gordoz says:

    How now Brown Vow ????

    Sorry couldn’t resist 🙂

  53. Hameldeame says:

    Given the Tory preference for ” the long game ” ,the longer that they can string out anything is their natural ,normal.
    They have long played this way , if you postpone anything long enough ,it will work in your favour .
    It is not beyond belief that The flawed Scotland bill is such a game .
    Or are the rwally just thick ?

  54. That’s always been the problem for the unionists,
    Because no matter how much they spout about creating the most powerful devolved parliament in the World.

    They cannot possibly devolve more powers to Scotland without disadvantaging England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    And even if it were possible (I know its not) to do so under the fiscal framework of the UK, to be able to implement a formula which didn’t leave Scotland worse off.

    Does anyone seriously believe for one single moment that if they could, the unionists would actually bring forward any meaningful powers that would not leave Scotland worse off?

  55. Onwards says:

    Bob Mack says:
    20 November, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I understand where you are coming from,but the first consideration for any politician should be like the Doctors Hypocractic oath—–First do no harm.

    Suffering and deprivation are here already, with more scheduled.Let us not add to it.

    My ambition is for independence for this country, because of the MEDIUM to LONG TERM benefits. By rejecting progress towards that we are doing longer term damage.

    If unstable devolution helps to get us to independence, then so be it. If it needs to be DEMONSTRATED that more powers are needed then that’s fine by me.

    Do we really want to get ourselves in a situation with no change, because people are effectively arguing for hand-outs ?
    That’s what it will look like.

    If we were independent we would have to live within our means.
    Do we really want to end up like Wales ?

    I have a feeling the Tories WANT the Scottish parliament to reject the Scotland bill. They are using the current low oil price to their advantage to try and kill off further devolution once and for all.

    If we let ourselves get into a situation where it can be spun that the Scottish Government rejected devolution in favour of hand-outs, then we might as well just give up.
    Make no mistake, they will never let up about it.

    Give me the short term hardship, where the Tories take the blame for insufficient powers.

  56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Surely there isn’t a solution, it being a paradox.”

    Yes, of course.

  57. Marie Clark says:

    Who knew, besides us demented cybernats, that the Scotland bill was utter bollocks.

    We have been derided, bated, called every name under the sun, and the wee troll from Bath has been proved right once again.

    Well done Rev Stu, if they had only listened to you in the first place, eh!

    Will be interesting to see what the corp media do now after proclaiming that the VOW had been delivered, and that we have been given the most powers of all the devolved countries in the world.

    Interesting that it took the HoL to point out that it’s utter pish.

  58. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Did you mean October 2014”


  59. heedtracker says:

    Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins 1h1 hour ago
    Clear sense from the Council leader’s speech at #soce2015 that the SNP’s indy neverendum is holding Glasgow’s growth back.
    2 retweets 1 like
    Reply Retweet 2
    Like 1

    STILL nothing from main? Smith Commision author, Professor Smirky.

    He is online and he is applying usual red/blue unionist zealot diverts but he did write Smith Commission shyste and is a Holyrood blue toryboy MSP list candidate, so has a clear obligation to comment on the noble Lords and the Scotland bill.

    No doubt BBC vote SLab Scotland are interviewing the good Prof right now, all the way over there in Ljubljana.

  60. People Carrier says:


  61. mealer says:

    Graham Harris Graham 11.58,
    Very well said indeed.

  62. Morgatron says:

    I think the answer is Jackie Baillie , shes eaten all the percentages again.

  63. galamcennalath says:

    So … when do we get to nail the coffin lid down on more devolution?

    At best WM don’t want to actually devolve more than they can get away with, which isn’t much.

    At worst WM see devolution as a means to damage any notions of self determination by delivering a poisoned chalice.

    The decision on status quo versus independence is now no clearer than it was three years ago when that was the proposition which was supposed to be put before the Scottish people.

    However, the time hasn’t been completely wasted farting around with devolution improvements. We now appear to be sitting at 50:50.

    However, that 50:50 is probably still dependent on more devolution among many No voters. What will it be when the coffin lid is finally nailed down?

  64. Andrew Haddow says:

    “Why should the rest who cant afford the increase have to pay more because they want too ?”

    I propose we introduce a new tax band for everyone who has ever suggested the Scottish Government raise income tax.

  65. IAB says:

    Can’t believe I’m thankful for the House of Lords for the second time this year…

  66. Proud Cybernat says:

    It strikes me that this is a stunt because what does it do; what is the effect of this latest Scotland Bill HoL hurdle?

    It gets all of us ‘sweaties’ huffing and puffing that ‘The Vow’ has not been delivered, that Westminster won’t ever give Scotland any further powers etc, etc.

    And then, like a magician yanking a rabbit from a hat, the Scotland Bill will get pushed (somehow) through the HoL. And then everything is seen as hunkey-dorey. The Tories will yess, “Told you so! Told you we would deliver ‘The Vow’.”

    When, in TRUTH, the Scotland Bill is but a pale shadow of the Smith Commission and the Smith Commission, in turn, is a but a much watered down promise that was implied during IndyRef#1 i.e. Devo-Max/Federalism.

    This is, imo, nothing more than a charade, a pretence. It is intended to get us all screaming and yelling that ‘The Vow’ has hit the buffers when in fact, ‘The Vow’ was never even on the track. We are all supposed to be silenced when the big “TA-DAAAA” moment comes.

    It most certainly won’t silence me.

    PS – If we are ‘sweaties’ (Sweaty socks, Jocks) does that make our southern cousins ‘Stinkies’ (stink bombs, poms)? Just asking, like.

  67. Andrew McLean says:

    Morgatron says:12:50

    If the answer is indeed Jackie Baillie I shudder to ask what is the question?
    Answers on a post card!

  68. Luigi says:

    Sorry Onwards, I don’t buy the argument that it is better to accept a damaging, watered-down Scotland bill, on the possibility that the tories may get the blame. Not if the corporate media have their way! If the bill is harmful to the people of Scotland in any way whatsoever, it should not be signed off by Holyrood. Bottom line.

    The people will support a stance. Only 9% of scots believe the Vow has been met. Under those circumstances, there is nothing whatsoever to gain, and possibly much to lose, by accepting WM legislation clearly detrimental to Scotland. Nothing has been agreed yet and who knows they may find a workable compromise (don’t hold your breath).

    Besides, it may all be academic, since it looks like Holyrood may not get the chance to sign anything off for quite a while anyway, thanks to our Lords’ and Ladies’ deliberations.

  69. crisiscult says:

    I asked Jackie Baillie the answer to the ‘paradox’ and she said the SNP are denying me an option e), which if Labour are in power, they’ll offer although they’ll probably need to remove option b) to pay for option e).

  70. Angry Weegie says:

    The Lords also said that the Barnett formula should be replaced by a needs based formula, which, in reality, is just WM-speak for a cut and that a maximum should be established for SCOTTISH debt which unlike uk debt, should obviously not be able to grow unchecked.

  71. Onwards says:

    @IAB, @Luigi

    The reason these Lords are against the Scotland bill is right there in the newspaper headline above.

    They fear it “could put the union at risk.”

    Of course it will.

  72. Training Day says:

    This can’t be true. We were told by the Editor in Chief of the Herald last night that all we had to do was rely on the ‘boring old professionals’ to exercise their critical faculties, and we could safely ignore citizen journalists.

    To paraphrase Warren Clarke’s character in Blackadder 3, ‘I’d sooner put my John Thomas in the hands of a lunatic with a pair of scissors than trust the boring old professionals’.

  73. mealer says:

    Kezia Dugdale said recently that this is the culmination of the devolution process.So,it has culminated in a boorach in the House of Lords.London rule is no good for Scotland.

  74. Jimbo says:

    We shouldn’t forget Labour’s contribution to the ramshackle Scotland Bill. They did their utmost to ensure Scotland got as few and as little new powers as possible.

    While they were smugly voting every SNP proposal down they little realised that they were contributing to the Bill falling on it’s useless arse.

  75. ArtyHetty says:


    That all makes a good case as well. The thing is the no voting unionists in Scotland already blame the Scotgov when it comes to people being poor, homeless, and having to use foodbanks. They just do not put that responsibility with wastemonster. A no voting friend, very well off and sort of lefty, angry at Scotgov for not ‘raising the council tax’. They blame any shortfall in services on the SNP not on the fact that we cannot mitigate every single nasty, cruel cut via Westmonsters austerity programme.

    If we reject the bill, hopefully it will show it up for what it is, a con. But of course with a right wing SNP baaad biased media pulling the strings, the less enlightned will still blame the Scotgov.
    Anyone required to pay more tax, with no perks for them, the well offs, will just jump ship, because they can.


    If any of you get to see the RSA Open exhibition in Edinburgh, starts Sat,28th, look out for my print, ‘Occupied Territory’. The head in it is from an imagined ancestor and he is not happy. :))

  76. joe macfarlane says:

    after the DR front pages of the vow delivered, the vow not delivered , the vow delivered etc. will they now have the front page THE VOW UNDELIVERABLE !! will be holding my breath in anticipation NOT.

  77. Another Union Dividend says:

    Another day of impartiality from our State Broadcaster.

    On Radio Scotland Big Debate Gordon Brewer referred to block grant “subsidy” during discussion on Scotland Bill fiscal framework.

    Then at end of programme Gordon Brewer said that “it seems that most of the audience thinks that Aberdeen gets a raw deal from Central Government” but didn’t allow SNP rep to respond .. no doubt with the fact that the SNP government gave local Council more funding by ending the Labour / Lib Dem executive council funding mechanism drawn up by the then Labour dominated COSLA which meant that Aberdeen and Edinburgh received less cash per head of population from the Scottish Government than any other council in Scotland.

  78. Stoker says:

    C’mon folks, lets reject, eject and elect:

    Reject all unionist offers.

    Eject every unionist politician and councillor.

    Elect the SNP all the way to independence.

  79. Foonurt says:

    Onward – “share and share alike”. Whit’s wrang wae yoan?

    Stoap soonin lik ah selfish arse.

  80. Dr Jim says:

    But, But, But, Vow Delivered, Galaxy Powers, Universe ,World and other places synonymous with Bigness

    Ironic though, isn’t it that it’s the House of Lords that we all want rid of that comes up with the obvious answer

    It looks like the UK might be stuck between the Vow and a hard place now (All or nothing) which will they choose do we think Hmm?

    How will all the deliverers of Scotlands magic beans talk themselves out of this
    We should award prizes for the biggest load of crap talked

  81. call me dave says:

    The HoL has only rescued Scotland from a doing so that they can reduce and water down the Scotland Bill further.

    Make no mistake we have few friends in that place, they really want to give us a doing too, but in spades!

    However let’s enjoy the postponement of their wrath for a wee while and get the Scottish elections sorted. 🙂

    Merry Christmas Scotland.. but…but Dave, I thought we were getting a HS2 train set… 🙁

    There is a solution starting with.
    SNP x 2 everyone!

  82. gus1940 says:

    Excellent article and comments demolishing the ‘most powerful devolved parliament in the known universe’ nonsense.

    However, unfortunately with Wings we are all talking to the converted. The problem is how do we get the truth over to thosew ho get their news from the broadcast and print media and meekly and gullibly accept the lies that are excreted over them.

    As far as the broadcast media is concerned there is little chance of getting the message over via news bulletins such as Reporting SNPbad. Something might be achieved in the political programs but given the low viewing figures reported here a few days ago and the biased make-up of the panels on said programs I don’t think they are the answer.

    That leaves us with the print media. We can hope that The SH and National will publish articles portraying the truth but as far as the rest of them are concerned any letters to the editor portraying the truth are almost certian going to be binned and not published.

    The only option as far as the print media is concerned is therefore to hold our noses and join the battle for the truth by going into the fray against the idiots who currently hold the fort (to a lesser extent in The Herald)in the comments sections of the on-line papers.

    Apart from that we are left with WBBmk2, canvassing and personal converstaions with the unconverted.

  83. MJack says:

    Your basic problem Rev is that if you say it before them they can’t bring themselves to agree with you! The truth will out.

  84. Ken500 says:

    The HoL wants to stop the Bill. Thry want to stop Scotland getting any more powers. Scotland will lose £Millions but gains £Billions, with new tax powers.

    The Scottish Bill will change nothing, it is irrelevant, but Scotland will be able to set up a new Tax system which Scotland needs to bring in revenues. It is only through having tax system that Scotland will get better off. HMRC is not fit for purpose. It is a shambles, it loses £Bilions in revenues. It causes firms/people to go bankrupt, and doesn’t enforce the tax Laws in the UK. The woman who was censored by Westminster Committees (Hodge) is still in charge. Lim ? She is totally incompetent. Westminster/Unionist MP and their associates evade £Billions of tax. They defraud and embezzle £Billions from the public purse.

    The HoL held up the Home Rule Bill in Ireland and caused the Troubles. It was passsed in the Commons April 1914 but the Lords held it up until September 1916. That is why the trouble in Ireland kicked off. 1WW 1914-18 delayed the Bill.

  85. yesindyref2 says:

    With Scotland in the UK there are two states of stability and fairness, one is the Devo settlement of 1998 + the mostly worthless 2012 Scotland Act, the other is FFA with Scotland deciding how much to hand over for defence and IR and currency. The other state of stability of course is Independence, where Scotland stands as a State in its own right.

    It was indeed fairly obvious that there was no solution in-between the status quo and FFA for anyone who’d spent a bit of time thinking about it, even to reap the benefits of APD just on its own would require control over all revenues to pay for the loss of APD by increased revenues throughout the whole range of revenues, but “we” had to give them a chance after the Vow, to find one.

    Well, Smith and Westminster have all but failed. The SNP did their best, put forward an amendment for FFA – twice – rejected – twice – and still gave them every chance but they failed.

    Next. And indeed, what will be next? Either Westminster in a last minute show of common sense moves to FFA, or Scotland goes Indy within 5 years.

  86. Haggis Hunter says:

    As a relatively unknown branch leader of north Britland once said, we don’t need to know the problem(on the blackboard) we just need a solution to it, cant you cybernats see that?

  87. Robert Peffers says:

    @Macart says: 20 November, 2015 at 11:01 am:

    ” … Again, answers on a postcard… etc.”


    Mair blidy Postcairds! Div yease think wis seek an tuckie Auld yins kin afford postcairds? Times ir afu hard ye ken. If aa buy ony mair o yon postcairds the wee dug winna get ony denner. Mind ye! The wee bitch is muckle ower wecht onyhoo.

  88. ScottishLass says:

    But..but…I thought the Daily Record said “Vow Delivered” in great big letters??

  89. Ken500 says:

    Scotland will have increasing control of taxes and increasingly control of spending. Really important. Gordon Brewer is incompetent. He is not up to the task just the rest of the BBC. Totally incompetent. They just what to keep on their massive salaries and expenses. Thry couldn’t read a spread sheet.

  90. Kennedy says:

    This is Ireland all over again.

    War in the Middle East next? Preceded by terrorist attacks on UK soil?

    Also gets them out of an EU referendum.

  91. Colin says:

    So, after reading all the headlines, can the Daily Record and the Branch Office advise if The Vow has still been delivered?

  92. HandandShrimp says:

    The abaci don’t lie 😉

    Lord Smith despite saying the bill met his Commission said last week that unless there was a fiscal framework this would fail and he couldn’t see anything that looked like a workable fiscal framework.

    Why oh why did they put Mundell in charge? (Answers on a postcard to that paradox too)

  93. Steuart says:

    “If you were to go out there and tell the truth, it would be…morally repugnant” – Malcolm Tucker

    – Or possibly advice given to Gordon Brown on ‘THE VOW’.

  94. John Walsh says:

    ” A settlement any halfwit could see was deliberately intended to cause harm to the public with the express aim of damaging the Scottish parliament.”
    The fly in the ointment is the the WM Tory Strategist did not foresee 56 SNP MP’s who will scrutinise the bill. They had hoped that the usual financially enept SLAB & unionist Scottish MP’s would endorse the thing that would punish th SNP administration at Holyrood .
    Now with a more aware electorate north of the border they will fall back on the Quebec playbook.
    Talk the thing to death and deliver nothing whilst the complient Union MSM will keep telling us it has been delivered More times than a DFS sofa.

    The answer is 60% I am 25% sure.

  95. Robert Peffers says:

    @Scots Wa Hey says: 20 November, 2015 at 11:07 am:

    “Ian Murray says he has been working hard for what’s best for Scotland and blames SNP and even managed a straight face surely a bafta winning performance”

    No BAFTA for Murray, you give BAFTAs for brilliant acting performances. Murray’s performance doesn’t qualify as the silly bugger actually believes the stuff he blethers.

    “On a serious note a civic commission should analyse and Scrutinise the Scotland bill if SNP reject which they should they will be crucifixed by media but if a independent body says its a pup it will help Scotland reject it with confidence”

    Nah! That’s out as well. the SNP will get crucified anyway, no matter how they react. It’s what the Unionists, MSM and Broadcasters do.

    (I’m in a cynical mood today).

  96. heedtracker says:

    Another hard core unionist blue torboy in action, also ducks away from Lords. You want to give tory unionists the benefit of democratic opposition doubt, unlike the Lords say, but its pretty difficult most of the time.

    Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 52m52 minutes ago
    /@Radgecase @jegteg
    Only if you’ve completely failed to grasp that the “black hole” is how much *bigger* than UK’s an FFA Scot’s deficit is
    4 retweets 5 likes

    Roddy McHardy ?@Radgecase 27m27 minutes ago
    @kevverage @jegteg Wow, the Tories management of the Scots economy is so bad our deficit is worse than the UK’s? We’d better leave then, eh?
    2 retweets 0 likes
    Kevin Hague ?@kevverage
    The pooling & sharing of resources allows us to spend more on public services than we could otherwise afford – get it?

    etc, rule britannia…

    So red/blue toryboy unionists in Scotland with their usual too poor, small, stupid, debt ridden, vote NO, leave it all to UK unionists to keep you scroungers and bums but back over the border

  97. bookie from hell says:

    smith–gone full circle–house of lords

    u couldn’t make it up

  98. Macart says:

    @Robert Peffers

    Aye, we’re goin’ through a fair dose of those cards at this point Robert. 😀


    Pretty much ‘it’ in a nutshell dads. From Westminster’s POV there are only two workable solutions and only one of those will extend the lifetime of the union.

    They’re in a pickle of their own making right enough, however if they think we’re about to lose interest and take our eyes off them for a second, they’re in for a disappointment. 😉

  99. chris G says:

    Under the stated condition the answer is b) 50% but its a 1 in 4 chance of randomnly selecting so the answer is either a) or d) 25%

  100. Onwards says:

    Foonurt says:
    20 November, 2015 at 1:23 pm
    Onward – “share and share alike”. Whit’s wrang wae yoan?


    Pooling and sharing right?
    Better together?

    Isn’t it funny that as soon as the oil price takes a turn for the worse, the very principles of self-government go out the window for many ?

    If the SNP rejects this limited devolution bill, does anyone seriously think the Tories are going to come back with a better offer?

    Will leaving things just as they are increase or decrease the pressure for independence ?

    The SNP doesn’t have to embrace it – they make it clear it is only a first step, possible with another referendum to follow.

    If the Scotland bill is rejected by Holyrood, it hands a huge propaganda victory to the Tories. They will claim the SNP agree that Scotland needs subsidised at this moment in time, and we don’t believe in self-reliance after all. They will claim we are embracing the union and that independence is dead.

    It is a huge risk to assume that Scots will see it as a victory and we will all rush towards independence because the devolved powers offered were too weak. It needs to be shown they are too weak.

    Maybe hobbled devolution is the best chance for independence we will ever get.

    Remember that just as many unionists are against devolving income tax because of the instability it will cause. It is insufficient, but they were FORCED to do it because of the referendum.
    Many will be very very happy with no change.

  101. The troughers at The Lords are not doing this in any way for the benefit of Scotland,they are doing it because they want to be sure that this bill will not in any way be detrimental to Gods green and pleasant land ,England.

    Scotland has no friends in The Lords

  102. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This can’t be true. We were told by the Editor in Chief of the Herald last night that all we had to do was rely on the ‘boring old professionals’ to exercise their critical faculties, and we could safely ignore citizen journalists.”

    Where did this happen?

  103. Macart says:

    @John Walsh

    Pretty much what I said in a minor rant at the tail end of the last thread John. They were counting on certain things falling into place as outcomes of the referendum. They didn’t and from that moment on their ‘settlement’ was ontae plums and project fear 2 was born as the fall back.

    Their current problem is that after four years of project fear, it simply fails to impress. At this point those who sold this bill of goods to the Scottish electorate now have a fair bit of explaining to do.

    I’d wish them luck with that, but …

  104. Proud Cybernat says:

    The answer, the ONLY answer, is surely 50% +1.

  105. asklair says:

    So the “losing side” followed the game plan manipulated by the “winning side” and the out come is a total mess with our elections in 6 months time. Will there be an early Blue Tory leadership election, porky David will not want the end of the British Empire on his CV.

  106. Petra says:

    @ Onwards says at 12:09 pm

    ”My view is that the SNP should accept the limited Scotland bill, making VERY clear it is a stop-gap measure, and needs upgraded. Even if accepting it makes Scotland slightly worse off in the short term.”

    Onwards this is not a ‘limited’ Scotland Bill at all. It’s a poisoned chalice. If we accept this economic and social ‘debacle’ Scotland will be brought to its knees and will Westminster ever get round to ‘upgrading’ anything at all? I think we can forget about that because the former is (has been) their main aim.

    ”Income tax devolution is completely unstable. The Tories know this too – but they are hoping the SNP will get the blame for further cuts if Scotland goes into a relative decline. I think we should call their bluff. In reality, the Tories will get the blame for weak devolution.”

    No I think the SNP WILL get the blame because we’ll be back to CorpMedia telling everyone that the SNP had the powers to do something constructive in Scotland, and didn’t.

    ”The point is that once we already have income tax devolution, then it makes sense that the other taxes follow. This will only go one way.”

    You seem to have great faith in Westminster, Onwards. If they wont give us these powers now why should we expect to get them at a later date?

    ”People will get used to paying their taxes to Scotland, and that will be seen as NORMAL.”

    And some will not see it as being normal, especially the better off, and jigger off to England (or tax base England). People will also get p*ssed off if they find that they are paying additional taxes and are no better off, probably a lot worse off overall, due to Holyrood constantly having to cover Westminster’s never-ending cuts.

    ”IMO, resentment will build at the amount of taxes retained at Westminster.”

    So many people seem to have no idea of what’s actually going on right now. Should we expect them to in the future? Their focus would also be on SNP ‘failures’ with resentment building against them, imo.

    ”What happens if the bill is rejected? We are back to square one, with the last 5 years having achieved nothing in the way of more powers.”

    If the Bill is rejected because it’s not fit for purpose I would say that’s a good thing. It will generate more Media attention, as is now, and people will become aware of what’s actually going on to a greater extent: Also realise who has been lying to them. May also hasten Indy2.

    ”In a situation where the unionists can say – more powers were rejected because Scotland needs to be subsidised, and the SNP prefer hand-outs. We will never hear the end of it.”

    What about the ‘more powers’ were rejected because they weren’t valid powers at all ….. no real economic levers to grow our economy, create jobs and so on. It may also become apparent, to many, that Scotland is not being subsidised but rather can’t continue to thrive / survive by being deprived of our resources / revenue ….. Relying on pocket money. I reckon the the HoLs has intervened because they can see that what’s on offer right now will put paid to their beloved Union.

    ”Tactically, I would rather have an unstable situation with pressure to move forwards, not backwards. IMO, it makes independence a far more likely outcome.”

    I don’t see it Onwards. If we accept this can of worms we will not only be moving backwards but backwards over a cliff edge.

  107. Petra says:

    @ Onwards 12:09pm

    Onwards take a look at these links for example Anton Muscatelli’s views.

    Professor Muscatelli:

    ” …. That is just one example of situations that could emerge. Let me give another example of how partial devolution of income tax and national insurance could lead to conflict ….

    …. ”That will have knock-on effects because, although national insurance is sometimes seen as a separate thing, it is part of the whole income tax structure. Not devolving national insurance creates potential for conflict and it will impact on the Scottish tax base.

    That is one of the reasons why I would have preferred to see a cleaner allocation of all income tax and employment income powers to Scotland, because it would have avoided that sort of clash.”

    ”that is what the no-detriment principle implies. We cannot have a situation in which the rest of the UK decides to change its taxation and that erodes the Scottish income tax base, as that would go against the no-detriment principle. How that gets implemented is critical.”

    …. ”In my view, given that there now seems to be a strong appetite in Scotland for greater fiscal autonomy, the cleanest solution would have been to have a package that would have involved not only complete income tax devolution, including the personal allowance, but national insurance contributions, which would have perhaps allowed some flexibility around employers’ national insurance contributions to try to affect employment, since that issue seems to be of concern to Scotland.”

    ”I also suggested that, in the light of European rules, areas such as VAT could be subject to assignation and that some flexibility could be introduced around corporate taxation to avoid administrative complexity and to link in more with employment decisions, when companies decide where to locate in the UK.”

  108. Ken500 says:

    UK OIL & GAS TAXATION – Westminster

    Google (or whatever) UK Gov (Official) Site. – OIl & Gas Taxation

    Search – Income tax receipts Ststistics


    “The tax regime which applies to exploration for, and production of, oil and gas in the UK and on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) currently comprises the following three elements, described briefly in turn below:

    * Ring Fence Corporation Tax
    * Supplementary Charge
    * Petroleum Revenue Tax

    * Ring fence Corporation Tax

    This is calculated in the same way as the standard corporation tax applicable to all companies but with the addition of a ‘ring fence’ and the availability of 100% first year allowances for virtually all capital expenditure. The ring fence prevents taxable profits from oil and gas extraction in the UK and UKCS being reduced by losses from other activities or by excessive interest payments. The current main rate of tax on ring fence profits, which is set separately from the rate of mainstream corporation tax, is 30%.

    * Supplementary Charge

    This is an additional charge on a company’s ring fence profits (but with no deduction for finance costs). With effect from 1 Janary 2015 the rate is 20%. From 1 April 2015, the change to supplemrntary charge may be reduced to zero on a slice of production income by the investment allowance, cluster area allowance or onshore allowance.

    * Petroleum Revenues Tax

    This is a field-based tax charged on profits arising from oil and gas production from individual OO, fields which were given development consent before 16 March 1993. The current rate of PRT is 50%, this will fall to 35% from 1 January 2016. PRT is deductible as an expense in computing profits chargeable to ring fence corporation tax and supplementary charge.


    The marginal tax rate is 75% (67.5% from January 2016) on income from fields paying PRT and 50% for other fields.

    Ring Fence Expenditure Supplement

    The RFES assists companies that do not yet have sufficient taxable income for ring fence corporation tax purpose against which fully to set their exploration, appraisal and development costs. The RFES currently increases the value of losses carried forward fro one accounting period to the next by a compound 10% a year for a maximum of 10 years, not necessarily consecutively.”

  109. heedtracker says:

    The dude that says he saved the union, Swinney bad, SNP bad, use new powers, shut up, despite the all stop by Lords, although when reality does happen for red and blue tories, its probably like trying to stop the good ship UKOK vote NO or else super tanker-

    Blair McDougallVerified account
    But he should stop talking about walking away from open ended negotiation, do his job to get good deal for Scotland so we can use new powers

  110. gordoz says:

    Rev –
    @ the Herald politician of the year awards herald editor via twitter

  111. Valerie says:

    This piece is particularly gratifying learning today that the rich towel folder Gideon, is making a complete pigs ear on reducing the deficit – who knew he was incompetent?

    I’m sorry for everyone that will be hit in next weeks Autumn statement. Except, it is all working for the Bullingdon boys, and nothing short of rioting in the streets will change anything.

  112. Ken500 says:

    Lose £Millions to gain £Billions. Cut the clothe to suit the purse.

    VAT and Corp tax are relatively the same in all European countries. Slight margins. VAT Directive is to standardise for trade and exports.

  113. Lollysmum says:

    Don’t you just love it when a plan devised by Lord Smith( eminent businessman who couldn’t or wouldn’t see the flaw in his own report) & HoC is demolished by UK HoL?

    Yup- that’s another year of oil & tax revenues salted away in UK Treasury coffers whilst the plan went through all it’s stages to demolition. So what’s the next plan to waste away even more time whilst WM gathers even more of Scots money into the Treasury?

    At what point does everyone say-that’s it, we’re not waiting any longer- indyref2 asap?

    I’m not even Scottish but I am bl**dy angry on your behalf & I can’t see the end of these time wasting bluffing exercises for years to come.

  114. Ken500 says:

    @ ‘OO’ – Oil

    predictive text.

  115. heedtracker says:

    Why do red and blue tory unionists love war?

    Blair McDougall ?@blairmcdougall 14h14 hours ago
    Blair McDougall Retweeted BBC This Week
    Go Andrew! Blair McDougall added,

    Kevin Hague Retweeted
    Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins 14h14 hours ago
    My moment of the week was what @afneil just said. Amen to all that.
    14 retweets 43 likes
    Reply Retweet 14

    Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 15h15 hours ago
    Kevin Hague Retweeted BBC This Week
    Chapeau Kevin Hague added,
    Embedded image permalink
    BBC This Week @bbcthisweek
    A message for the Paris attackers from @afneil as he opens the show… #bbctw

    Maybe UKOK tory unionism in Scotland or anywhere really, is a kind of group rule britannia sociopathic cabal.

    Maybe it’s just, my UKOK right or wrong, no matter who suffers, any lie is moral, any act is beyond reproach, its all UKOK for sociopaths.

    And then the BBC etc enables them.

  116. Dr Jim says:

    It must be difficult getting those argumentative Jocks fighting with themselves when they’re all voting the same way

    There must be a way found to divide and rule Jockistan like before, but how to do it?

    Cameron might have to hold another secret meeting of Newspapers, TV, Businesses, and others in his control to find ways of making Scotland angry with itself enough to tear its people apart (let confusion reign)

  117. Alastair says:

    No No No No your wrong its all been delivered. In full
    Stop tying to confuse me

  118. Ken500 says:

    Osbourne has been reducing the Defict in the rest of the UK but increasing the Debt. Osbourne has cut taxes to a level that not enough tax is being raised in the rest of the UK for essential services and ‘white elephant’ Projects, which waste public money. Hickley Nuclear, HS2, Heathrow expansion, Trident renewal. All with a bad business case and a total waste of taxpayers money. Osbourne is embezzling and misappropriating from the public purse, fees and consultancies for his associates. Against the majority wishes and the public interest.

  119. caz-m says:

    John Swinney speaking on Good Morning Scotland this morning about the Scotland Bill,

    Starts 1.09.38,

  120. DerekM says:

    ohh that is going to make a certain group of elitist Tories very unhappy.

    not once but now twice the Lords have stepped in though i have a feeling this time its to hide away a horrible disgraceful bill made out of spite,kicked into the long grass it will get the full Lords committee and buried for as long as they can with lashings of team GB whitewash.

    The question is what happens now no bill no new powers,isnt this meant to be the great manifesto better together vow vote for us we love you pledge to the no voting Scottish people this is what we will do if you vote no or were they just taking the piss ,me i knew it was all a crock of shit couldnt win without devo maxlies being thrown in the ring.

  121. Macart says:

    Soooo looking forward to seeing the response of Scotland’s Chumpion to this bump in their narrative of vow delivered, now its no, now it is, now its no, now its in limbo. 😀

  122. caz-m says:

    Ian Murray Labour MP, speaking on Good Morning Scotland this morning about the Scotland Bill.

    Starts 1.37.05,

  123. Robert Peffers says:

    @Graham Harris Graham says: 20 November, 2015 at 11:58 am:

    “100% of our oil at $45/barrel is worth over FOUR times more than an 8.4% share of $120/barrel”.

    Sheesh! When is the truth going to dawn on the people os Scotland?

    We do not get a single penny of the Oil & gas revenues – that’s zilch, zero, nil, nothing whatsoever.

    It is all, every last ha’penny, accounted for as being extracted from, “Extra-Regio-Territory”, which is classed by the UK government as 100% United Kingdom territory and thus UK income.

    The bogus, 8.4% (per capita percentage population), is NOT used to give Scotland a share of the actual money. It is used only to derive other bogus statistics for the treasury’s economic statistical calculations.

    It is used to work out, for example, Figures like the Scottish per capita GDP. It is only a fudge to cook the books with.

    Scotland’s ONLY income is from the Scottish Block Grant.

    This is calculated by first taking the whole sum provided for the entire United Kingdom Ministries.

    Then using the Barnett Formula to calculate the funding sums devolved from those UK administration’s for the powers devolved from these UK Ministries.

    In essence that means the UK Ministries are the providers for all England minus the powers and funds taken away for each devolved country’s devolved functions.

    Which is the origins of Barnett Consequentials. That is – if the Treasury cuts funds for the UK Ministry – then English funding decreases as they have no devolved functions and that gives negative Barnett Consequentials for any devolved administration who has that particular function and funding devolved from the UK ministry.

    If the Treasury gives the UK Ministry extra funds then the Barnett Consequentials and positive and, as each devolved administration has different levels of devolved functions they all get different per capita funding in relation to both each other and from England.

    This is why all those political numpties and MSM hacks complaining that Scotland gets extra per capita funding are talking piffle.

    Basically the base figure for the Barnett Formula is the per capita figure of funding for England. That base figure is the starting point used to calculate the per capita funding for, (in this order), N.I, Scotland and Wales.

    So by definition the per capita funding for England must be the start point for the rest of the UK countries as the English get all their functions directly from the UK Ministries.

    N.I. has most devolved functions, so they have the highest Per Capita funding, next comes Scotland with less devolved functions and then Wales with the fewest devolved functions.

    Now you would be forgiven for thinking that Scotland was the only UK country to get extra per capita funds but consider this. If anyone claims this extra per capita funding is unfair then they quite obviously do not understand how the UK is funded.

    Another wee fact. As the Welsh were claiming they were hard done by and should get the same per capita funding as Scotland it is obvious they did not understand the system either as they have fewer devolved functions to fund from their block grant.

    The irony is that if the Establishment had done the job properly and devolved the English Parliament – thus creating a proper Federal system – then all four UK countries would have had identical powers and the only function required of the Barnett Formula would be to calculate needs due to geographic location and population density.

    Some people think that the Barnett Formula is Needs Based – It isn’t – but it should be.

  124. Ken500 says:

    Andrew Neil was pished . Andrew Neil is an alcoholic, Alcoholics make poor decisions. Abdrew Neil will explode if he doesn’t stop drinking. He will have been warned by medical advice.

    Apart from being a lying Tory, will poor research skills, who can’t read a balance sheet. Thatcher’s henchman. The BBC needs drink/drug test for the employees. The BBC is breaking Health & Safety Laws and employees protection rights, having pished employees in the Studio. Over indulgence in hospitality. Clarkson is getting sued. It will be taxpayers that will be picking up the damages expenses bill.

  125. Ken500 says:

    Wales is underfunded £1Billion+ a year by Westminster

  126. Alastair says:

    Devo Max or better all delivered quicker than independence. That was the vow.

    I hope the SNP put a drop dead timeline on the delivery so we are not pissed around for too long.
    A reasonable date set and if a complete the final offer is not delivered then it becomes a Scottish Parliamentary rejection of Smith and any confidence in the UK Government ever to deliver.
    Maybe Fuffy is too busy visiting foodbanks and reflecting.
    He does a lot of reflecting. He’s is like a bloody mirror – of the truth.

  127. Ianmak says:

    I think that WM is working a flanker here. If SG accepts Scotland Bill then tries to do the best it can with it, and can in some way be implemented in some how failing the people of Scotland, by causing some contrived loss due to some kind of mismanagement of the new powers they accepted. Then WM would take great delight in letting the people of Scotland know that it was all the fault of the SG (SNP).
    On the other hand if the SH rejects the Scotland Bill for what it is, a pile of nonsense, then WM will try to imply that the SG ( SNP ) were somehow scared of the responsibility. IE: too wee, too stupid. Which would , in the eyes of the unionists, be proof that we not capable.

  128. Bob Mack says:

    Wonder if Prof Tomkins would praise Neils French flag waving last night if he did a bit of research on France.
    History of colonialism all over the world. Beheaded around 40,000 of their own population.
    Napoleon– millions dead all over Europe.
    Algeria— speaks for itself.
    South America.
    Historians reckon around 20,000,000 have died due to Frances’ global adventures. They are as bad as the UK in terms of conquest and rewriting history to be the bringers of freedom and culture

  129. Iain More says:

    Oh I think anybody with a half a brain knows exactly what is going on with this Bill, its sole reason for existence is to screw and beggar Scotland.

    I will say it again, the SNP should vote this Bill down and go into next Holyrood Election saying “We are giving Westmidden one year to legislate for full to the Devo Max or Scotland goes UDI!”

    Westmidden has no intention and never had any intention of delivering Full Devo Max, lets call their bluff and lies on it!

  130. yesindyref2 says:

    Herald article – Video: Nicola Sturgeon overtakes Alex Salmond to win The Herald Politician of the Year award for record fourth time

  131. heedtracker says:

    Andrew Neil was pished .

    But he has real power though. and the UKOK goon show online love him for it. His twice daily politics show, lunchtime and late night, both completely ignored EVEL and did the same with that appalling Westminster display with their Scotland Bill shyste. No wonder the Lords have kicked all of it into touch. I think Ligger even did a film review instead of giving the Scotland bill a mention.

    Fact is, a new and exciting BBC generation of red and blue toryboys and girls are now running the show, Nick Robinson, Laura Keunsberg, Sarah Smith etc, all of them are going annihilate Scottish democracy, the Ligger will be one of the old guard, a demented old fart with weird hair dye choices, ranting manically on creepy as fcuk BBC tv, for more and more UKOK war.

    Or, what’s the chances of Ligger do his Vive La France thing for Mali, Mondays Daily Politics, with the usual pack of toryboy unionists like mad old Professor Tomkins or spreadsheet obsessive Unionist Kevarage cheering him on?

  132. galamcennalath says:


    Yes, agree. Ultimatum (possibly in the 2016 manifesto) to deliver something based on the winning promises, or we hold IndyRef2. And no poison chalices will be accepted!

    WM will deliver nothing that isn’t a poison chalice.

    I thought we would end up with a straight choice of DevoSmithMinus versus Indy.

    Looks like we might end up rolling clock back three years where it is Status Quo versus Indy.

  133. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s people saying “why aren’t the SNP doing something”, but Sturgeon has said it’s for the people to decide. And that’s just what people are doing. By taking it out of the political arena, more people are coming forward, like Muscatelli and Cuthbert, but also the SCVO – and my favourite, the STUC.

    There’s not just people who wanted more powers, perhaps devo-max, there’s powerful organisations wanted various powers to do stuff for Scotland.

    They’re all going to be disappointed, and they have the nous to know that it’s not the SNP that have let them down, the blame lies fair and square at Westminster’s door.

    Westminster was given its chance, and it blew it.

  134. Lollysmum says:

    Message from Nicola on 1st anniversary

  135. galamcennalath says:

    yesindyref2 says:

    “Westminster was given its chance, and it blew it.”

    Weekend of the 5-8th Sept 2014, Cameron was told he was going to lose. An established plan was then activated. Promises appeared frae aw the airts. It was suspected by savvy Yessers that the promises were basically lies. Beginning in the 19th that was obvious!

    What I have never ever got my head round was – why, when it was such a close run thing, did Cameron et al not appreciate that this was WM’s last chance and they had to get it right?

    Why did he think it was all going to go away if he offered a pack of false, never to be delivered, promises? And worse, try to slip through a few crumbs tied up in a fiscal poisoned chalice?

    Did he really believe the ‘too stupid’ bit?

  136. bugsbunny says:

    Andrew McLean@1.00,

    You ask, “If the answer is indeed Jackie Ballie, i shudder to ask what is the question?”

    The Question, Andrew is of course, “Who ate all the pies?, who ate the pies?”

    The answer is usually, “You fat bastard, you fat bastard, you ate all the pies”. Substitute Jackie Ballie for you fat bastard. You now have both the question of the month, and the answer as well.


  137. ClanDonald says:

    So the House of Lords thinks the Scotland Bill, as it stands, is putting the union at risk, their solution is to put forward recommendations, one of which is abolishing Barnett?

    Abolishing Barnett isn’t going to put the union at greater risk, then?

    I’m so looking forward to AverageKev doing some real creative pictorial pirouetting with his graphs to “prove” that Scotland will be even better off in the union once Barnett is gone, can’t wait!

  138. Andrew McLean says:

    Lollysmum 3:38

    HI did you notice the wings award on the shelf behind Nicola, OK Rev spill what did Nicola do to deserve that!

  139. Capella says:

    Ah the Vow, or now the Void. RIP. Indyref2 has officially started.

    O/T In other news, the BBC sadly announce the death of Jim Slater, asset stripper extraordinaire and well known to everyone around in the 70s.

    For those too young to know who he was, there’s an excellent Adam Curtis 3 parter called “The Mayfair Set”. There are so many parallels to what is going on today it makes for fascinating viewing.

    Includes archive footage of the set up of the SAS, the British upper crust, right wing toffs looking for danger and money, Saudi arms dealing, control of Middle East oil, African gold and diamonds, Yemen and so on. So far as I know, none of them ended up in prison.

  140. Andrew McLean says:

    Hi Stephen
    I was going to suggest who is Holywood’s toughest wank?

  141. bugsbunny says:

    Hi Andrew,

    You’re not nominating nominating Jackie Baillie again? lol.

    What about Ruth Davidson?


    P.S. Is toughest wank the same as toughest to wank off too?

  142. bugsbunny says:

    Andrew, I just noticed you said Hollywood. Did you mean Hollywood or Holyrood?


  143. Andrew McLean says:

    Holyrood ! Spellchecker grr

  144. North Chiel says:

    If the Scotland bill “falls short” of “Smith” which in turn
    “fell short” of ” the vow” why would “Holyrood ” accept this?
    Is it not possible for the Scottish government to stipulate in the
    election manifesto precisely what powers it requires to be “devolved”( FFA was requested
    by amendment at Westminster), and ASK THE PEOPLE OF
    SCOTLAND in May if they will endorse this . Thereafter set
    Westminster a time limit for FULL IMPLEMENTATION .Failure
    to meet this requirement would result in 2nd referendum.
    Further, a manifesto commitment on the NON LOCATION in Scotland of
    a “Westminster renewal” of trident should also be included.
    Let us see the Tories deny the “sovereign will” of the people of
    Scotland .

  145. Andrew McLean says:

    Steven I was tying to not be obviously crude, 😉

    As for Ruth the part time tank driver look, and the fact she is absolutely not looking out for burly men rules her out, actually she is ruled out on every conceivable level known to science.

  146. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ galamcennalath

    “What I have never ever got my head round was – why, when it was such a close run thing, did Cameron et al not appreciate that this was WM’s last chance and they had to get it right?”

    It’s the ‘we’ll worry about the promises we made to get the result we want later’ mentality. They got the result they wanted/needed. Crisis over.

    I think they really think they can get away with giving Scotland precisely hee-haw and that time will kill the desire for and drive towards indy. And they think also they can stop us having another IndyRef (chuckles). And when they realise they can’t stop that they’ll then offer us ‘The Vow2 – We Really, Really Mean It This Time – Honest’ and hope that enough of us fall for their lies all over again.

    And, sad to say, many probably WILL fall for their lies all over again.

  147. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ve thought about it too and I don’t know. Perhaps the Conservatives really do want rid of us, but I think they thought the SNP would sump away, be riven by internal disputes and bitter wrangling over who’s fault it was YES didn’t succeed, and after 40 years or more for some of us, we’d all give up and tend to the cabbage patch we belong in.

    But it didn’t happen quite like that.

    Someone posted a great poem about “Scotland Bill” but I can’t find it even though I scoured through old threads. I think “Scotland Bill” could be a great character for Indy Ref 2. It’s what ways we or the YES campaign could use him. It’d need the female equivalent. “Alba Mater” is all I can think of off the top of my head, bit too esoteric though.

  148. Del says:

    The House of Lords – normally a bastion of conservatism with or without a capital C – seems to lack respect for Cameron, his financial and political policies. WHo’d ha thot it?

    If the Lords want to put the bill on hold, and at the same time dispense with Barnett, then everything that’s happened since the Referendum is effectively null and void.

    The only real question is whether Holyrood should tell Cameron to Foff now, or wait until the two Westminster houses resolve their issues. The problem with the latter is could interfere with campaigning for the Holyrood elections next year. The ‘worst’ scenario is we have those elections with no clear idea how Westminster will jump.

    Worst for whom? Probably Conservatives and Labour north of the border.

  149. call me dave says:

    Big Brian sounds a bit perplexed on Radio Shortbread. Finding the words hard to find to put a good UKOK spin on it. Much talk of having the correct structural framework. ‘The new word of the week’

    Nothing heard from Ruthie or Kezia or Ian Murray and Rennie… he’s at home making a ‘wooden’ framework for his new award.

    Only Swinney mentioned. Brian says he’s “standing up for Scotland and it’s no deal if it’s against Scotland’s interests”.

  150. schrodingers cat says:

    Westminster cant stop indyref2, agreed

    but they can refuse to take part and ask the unionists in Scotland to boycott it.

    Madrid dismissed a 80% yes vote in catalunia for exactly this reason,

    we need yes at 62%, eg 2.25 million yes votes

    this is 50% of the entire electorate

  151. schrodingers cat says:

    re- I think “Scotland Bill” could be a great character for Indy Ref 2

    we could just recycle clyde fae the games, save us a fortune in re branding

  152. ian says:

    They could refuse to take part and ask the unionists to support a boycott but we could hold the referendum and then declare UDI,as long as the vote was positive.

  153. yesindyref2 says:

    I think we can take our lead from the Scottish Government on that one. From the WOS favourite source of impartial and competent information:

    A Scottish Government team led by Deputy First Minister John Swinney have been in talks with the UK Treasury for weeks.

    But the sides are at loggerheads over how Scotland’s block grant from the UK will be calculated each year after income tax rates and bands are fully devolved.

    A Scottish Government source said last night: “Both sides are still far apart.

    The SNP will work hard and straight, and continuously, to get a fair deal out of the fiscal framework, but it won’t be their fault if one isn’t on the table.

    What happens afterwards is just that, but it can’t happen until all avenues are exhausted to get the Scotland Bill out with the right fiscal framework – within the Timetable set by Broon for delivery.

    It’s up to Westminster – do they want to save the Union, or not?

    I’m happy with that, delirious in fact.

  154. John Campbell says:

    We are being offered a rotten carrot , on the end of a telescopic stick. The Scotland Bill , as it is , could cost Scotland , and her tax payers , a huge fortune in lost return from all the other taxes that we pay to WM . We would need to grow our receipts from income taxes by 14% , annually , just to maintain the current mean levelof funding of Scottish Government money ,for use in Scotland , which currently comes from the Block Grant . This 14% is very unlikely to be achieved . We will not have any control of any other tax raised in Scotland . Effectively, we will be increasing our subsidy to WM .

    We need out of this very one-sided union.

  155. orri says:

    The mistake is in assuming that devolution of some functions of government control must necessarily benefit either part of the UK at the expense of the other. Given that one of the central planks of the No campaign was in economy of scale there should be little wonder that they want to ensure that any transfer of financial control doesn’t disprove that thesis.

    However the fun part is that the unionists in Scotland have a problem when it comes to the integration of the police force. That’s one area where done properly you’d expect some savings. It’s also, perhaps, where the push towards micro devolution at a city or subregional level is on the agenda in order to cut Holyrood out of the equation. Or at least it will be untill the wrong party (ie SNP) gets control of the assumed unionist strongholds.

  156. Jimbo says:

    @ call me dave:

    Nothing heard from Ruthie or Kezia or Ian Murray and Rennie

    Caz-m put up a link 2.52 pm to Murray on GMS.

    Apparently Kezia has worked out and costed the fantasy Tax Credits Labour intend to dole out.

    And the reason they voted against devolving Tax Credits to Holyrood? Was because they were allowed to. FFS, you couldn’t make it up with this mob.

    You can hear the dissembling toad here:

  157. Ken500 says:

    Scotland raises more taxes (pro rata) than The rest of the UK – £54Billion. The UK raises £515Billion (up). Take £54Billion from £515Billion = £461Billlion Divide by 11 = £42Billion

    Scotland gets back £46Billion. £30 Block Grant £16Billion (UK) Pension/benefits. Pays £4Billion debt repayments on monies borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK and £4Billion for Defence. £54Billion

    The rest of the UK raises £461Billion in tax and borrows and spends £70Billion = £531Billion.

    Scotland gets £9Billion a % added to its accounts for money borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK. What is this spent on. Where are the Accounts for this expenditure.

    Scotland can cut Trident/illegal wars, put a tax on ‘loss leading’ alcohol, develop the Oil on the West, build supply boats and liners in Scotland, contain decommissioning in Scotland, pay less debt payment , get CCS and renewable Grants from the EU, the increased CAP payments. Cut ADT. Scotland can raise £Billions.

    Accept the Scottish Bill establish a tax system. This will open the doors for growth and prosperity
    in Scotland. Or is Scotland too wee, too poor, too stupid and too feart. Do it. Go for it. It will lead to Independence.

  158. Gary45% says:

    Anyone else surprised this has happened.
    The YES campaign peaked 1 week too early, had the poles not put us in the lead, we would be discussing our rightful future.
    This bill will NEVER be passed, the establishment giving Scotchshire more powers?
    “Aye that will be shining”.
    One saving grace that we can take from this is, the Naysayers who were cheated into believing their lies, are slowly coming to terms that they SOLD A NATION down the river for a cheap headline in a gutter news!!paper.

    The mighty SNP want to abolish the House of Troughers, so it comes as no surprise they will shaft Scotland.
    Vote SNP x2, and then another Referendum, if the zombies still fall for the UKOK lies then FU*K THEM.

  159. call me dave says:

    I’m glad that the guy on radio shortbread is defending Police Scotland and condemning those politicians who are making it a political football.

    Also pointing out that armed police officers on the street that were ridiculed a few months ago maybe should / maybe could become a common sight in view of the present situation.

    Les Bain or (Bayne) ex Police Scotland.

    So that’s YOUR News ; Weather; Sport!

    No it’s not it’s the BBC version, the news where you are!

  160. schrodingers cat says:

    we can declare udi all we want, but unless we can demonstrate that a majority in Scotland want indy, the rest of the world will ignore us, so will the unionists in Scotland/

    wm will not agree to another ref, or participate in one, that they believe they will lose.

  161. frogesque says:

    The answer to the question is . . .


    Smith is a pile of doggy poo. However you polish it, it will still stink.

  162. yesindyref2 says:

    My reason for “Scotland Bill” is because it’s a constant reminder to the Devo-maxers, and others even, that Scotland has been shafted over the “Vow”, and even Smith itself.

    For me it would have been better if the polls had shown a 50% back in July, as there would then ahve been the “bandwagon” effect, where people would have wanted to be able to tell their kids, present or future “that’s me, I voted YES”. Not forgetting politicians needing to preserve themselves by switching over to the winning side. That didn’t happen.

    I think either YES were putting a brave face on not having achieved that “we peaked too soon”, or their strategy was wrong on that. I suspect the former.

  163. schrodingers cat @ 4.30 PM

    If the unionists don’t vote that would be up to them. It would be the ultimate in cheek for them to try to dismiss the vote in those circumstances.

    What was the turn-out for the GE ? How many didn’t vote there.

    Anyhow I have read a very interesting article from Graig Murray. Another referendum might not be needed.

  164. K1 says:

    Independence transcends the paradox.

  165. Ken500 says:

    Catalonia did not vote YES 80%. That is a lie. Lost in translation.

    2Million voted YES in Catalonia. 4.4Million voted (80%) out of an electorate of 5,5Million. 7.5Million population. ‘Foreign’ EU citizens resident in Catalonia (Spain) do not get a vote. EU citizens resident in Catalonia (1 million) are disenfranchised. EU citizens should have equal rights. EU citizen’s resident in Catalonia (Spain?) are not allowed to vote in Regional/National elections. They can only vote in local and EU elections. 2Million of 6Million? Is not 80%. It is 30%
    More voters supported Independence in Scotland.

    Catalonia (Spanish) politicians are corrupt and the Spanish economic crisis was caused by unregulated pozzi house building schemes in Catalonia (Spain) and the Costas. They fleeced people out of their funds. They are corrupt. The Spanish economy is corrupt.

  166. schrodingers cat says:

    It would be the ultimate in cheek for them to try to dismiss the vote in those circumstances.

    hasn’t stopped them before.

    I think 2.25m (62%) is achievable james

    the result would be undeniable

  167. galamcennalath says:

    yesindyref2 says:

    “it would have been better if the polls had shown a 50% back in July”

    When I look back, I see we were destined to be out manoeuvred.

    I was told in early summer, by someone who moves in the right London circles, that Cameron would offer DevoMax is it gets too close. That was guaranteed to defeat Indy, was the thinking.

    I remember thinking – well, it’s not what I want but it would be a good consolation prize.

    At the time I didn’t appreciate it would simply be a false promise that they would give. By the time we we ten days out from the vote, it was obvious to many that it was almost certainly a big con and they would weasel out of it.

    My point, in response to peaking, is that if we have passed 50% earlier, the Vow etc could have been made earlier, possibly. I say possibly, because to work convincingly the con would have to be played as close to voting as possible. Too early, and there would have been time to question and scrutinise the offers.

    Even if we were over 50% earlier in polls, the plan to con us would have been out probably a week or so earlier than they did.

    DevoMax offers were always going to win, IMO.

    Next time, it will be DevoFA versus Indy. No cons of promises will be believed.

  168. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    If the VOW has been delivered, it is stillborn.

  169. KenC says:

    I note the good Lords are concerned the proposals may harm the union. We can’t have that.

    There is no doubt our awareness of their chicanery is the only thing holding them back from introducing whatever policy they deign to dump on us.

    September 19, 2014 wasn’t back to business as usual.

    Plaudits to this, and other sites, for making it so.

  170. schrodingers cat says:

    Catalan government indicated that 2,305,290 votes were cast overall,[8] but did not provide a turnout percentage figure. Turnout estimates published by media outlets range between 37.0% [9][10][11] and 41.6%.[12] 80.8% of the cast votes supported the Yes-Yes option, 10.1% the Yes-No, 4.5% the No option.

    Madrid still ignored the result.

    validity of any referendum depends on the result

    2.25m(62%) is unequivocal, I also think it is achievable

    the unionists have shot whatever bolt they had. yes is winning the argument. the direction is oneway

  171. Petra says:

    @ JamesCaithness says at 5:02: ”Anyhow I have read a very interesting article from Craig Murray. Another referendum might not be needed.”

    Always interested in that James!

  172. heedtracker says:

    “Seven problems

    The Economic Affairs Committee set out its concerns in a report on the legislation, which hands a raft of new powers to Holyrood.
    It identified seven problems with the bill, stating the future of the UK “could well be at risk” if they are not solved.”

    Dis reports BBC vote NO Scotland. It would have been nice to be told what the seven problems are but maybe its like a magical mystery tour of teamGBness.

    All that’s freaked out the Lords is, Scotland having its very own Scottish HMRC.

    Once Scotland sets up its own HMRC, how the fcuk do they close it all down and even worse, developing into an independent countries taxation system, one that will undoubtedly start taxing super rich tax dodgers and closing all the great UKOK tax loopholes?


  173. yesindyref2 says:


    From Craig Murray’s blog:

    “In the event that Scotland votes Remain and the UK votes Leave, the SNP government which I hope and expect again to see at Holyrood should immediately make a Declaration of Independence to maintain the individual citizenry rights of Scots to EU citizenship.”

    I’m not a fan of CM, he has his notions and goes off on them, but it doesn’t mean he’s not right sometimes. I’m against UDI, it’s not something readily accepted internationally, they’d prefer it for us if it was agreed to by the UK. And having accepted the first referendum, the clear way through is a second one – done democratically.

    But I think he has a point here, for the ScotGov to make such a delcaration to protect our EU membership, as long as they make it clear that it isn’t the full UDI, but a provisional one, that whatever Scotland does next would need to be put to the People, whether another Indy Ref, or protracted negotiations with the EU and UK, to see if some middle way could be found where Scotland’s EU rights could be protected, but within the EU-leaving UK. Unlikely, but it would I think be expected internationally.

    But yes, such a circumstance would justify strong action, as it creates a complete constitutional crisis in Scotland, and the UK as a whole.

  174. heedtracker says:

    If you;ve got a fractious region of vile seps in your country, who you gonna call?


    UKOK propaganda ground war grinds on, or why are they wheeling out Gideon Osborne’s IFS now? why not last year or 6 months or when the Smith Commission shyste ended last year?

  175. Cadogan Enright says:

    It has often puzzled observers in Ireland why supporters of Scottish Independence don’t focus on their positive balance of payments, but spend all their time looking at Comparative Government deficits.

    Once you establish a country can pay its way in the world, it’s up to the Government elected by the people if they want to run a surplus or a deficit.

    It would put the irrelevance if the Scotland Bill in focus if the Independence movement would keep a running total of trade surplus’ for Scotland and rUK since (say) 1965

    50 years would be more than enough to make the point

    And then keep repeating “rUK is broke – Scotland is the only one with the dosh”

  176. galamcennalath says:

    yesindyref2 says:

    “I think he has a point here, for the ScotGov to make such a delcaration to protect our EU membership”

    … perhaps something along the lines of declaring that the Scottish people are sovereign and masters of their own destiny, as opposed to the English monarchy being sovereign through parliament nonsense.

    People often talk on here that this is already the situation. If so, the SG should make a big deal of it. I think it highly unlikely that internationally people are fully aware of the constitutional differences we in Scotland probably benefit from.

  177. Tony Little says:

    Interestingly the Executive Summary of the HoL report “A Fractured Union?” opens with this famous quotation:

    “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it.”

    Seems to sum up their position extremely well!

  178. mike cassidy says:

    Some of us suggested a few threads ago

    that the SNP should simply put rejection of the Scotland Bill in its manifesto for next year — and let the voters decide.

    This might just be a clever way of preventing the SNP being handed such political gold.

  179. galamcennalath says:

    OT Foulkes implying that a judge who is a Scottish nationalist can’t do their job properly and impartially.

    That is incredibly offensive.

    And, what I find offensive, hilariously offensive, is that he seems to be saying only Unionists can be impartial. That is so funny! 🙂

  180. Tony Little says:

    From the exec summary. Apologies, it’s rather long extract but hits the main seven points.

    The process by which powers are devolved should be clear and transparent, to experts and the public alike. Any solution should be logical, intended for the long-term and based on principle. The Scotland Bill and accompanying negotiations on the fiscal framework reflect none of these ideals. This is not unique to current events: it is characteristic of the way evolution has always progressed in the United Kingdom. This is regrettable.

    This report draws attention to certain problems we have identified that the UK Government and devolved administrations need to address.

    Problem 1: The Absence of the Fiscal Framework

    Problem 2: Funding of Devolved Administrations in the UK

    Problem 3: Adjustment of the block grant for Scotland to reflect devolved income tax receipts

    Problem 4: the second ‘no detriment’ principle

    Problem 5: choice of devolved taxes

    Problem 6: borrowing powers

    Problem 7: transparency and scrutiny

    These seven points seem basic and critical to any bill, but essential with a bill that will make significant and fundamental changes to the UK constitution. For once the Lords committee seems to be on the ball. Whether this is for ulterior motives I do not know, but their report can not be cast aside lightly by WM this time.

  181. schrodingers cat says:

    re- craig murray

    he possibly has a point, but the end point of any such process would still be another referendum

    in the next 24 months, up to the eu ref
    yes will increase by ?% due to the following

    continuing austerity+1%
    another war +1%
    austerity being aimed at pensioners +2%
    absence of Scotland bill and failure to deliver vow +1%

    being pulled out of eu, +5%

    oddly enough, I seem to remember a poll by stu, which showed support, in scotland, for in being only about 52%
    last poll I saw had eu support rocketing…..not sure what happened there

  182. heedtracker says:

    Whether this is for ulterior motives I do not know, but their report can not be cast aside lightly by WM this time.

    These seem like giant fcuk ups. So why were they not dealt with by Smith Commission, or in committee or even that farce Scotland Bill debate and vote a couple of weeks ago?

    Set up to fail.

    So much for ending vile separatist whining and grievance cultures.

  183. Macart says:

    @yesindyref2 3.25pm

    Again, that would be my reading. There’s going to be an awful lot of influential groups feeling more than a wee bit aggrieved at the omnishambles created by Westminster.

    Now would be a good time for the FM to make some approaches and some new friends. 🙂

  184. Capella says:

    @ Tony Little
    Thanks for link to the HoL report. A quick scan through it and it reads as if the Scotland Bill is a complete pig’s dinner (excuse the analogy). Perhaps it is just a delaying device. But the smell of fear is palpable.

    Looking forward to Stu’s analysis.

  185. heedtracker says:

    Problem 3: Adjustment of the block grant for Scotland to reflect devolved income tax receipts

    That has a perfectly straightforward solution from the get go. Right from when Prof Smirky Tomkinski sat down next Ruth Davidson and Baroness Goldie for gawds sake.

    Its our taxation. Or as Ruth Davidson kept saying vote NO or else last year, “the money comes up from London.”

    Still zip from this conartist/hard line tory fiscal genius, shock.

  186. MorvenM says:

    Here’s the link to the Herald’s Politician of the Year article.

    Mr Llewellin added: “We reject the efforts of some to denigrate and de-legitimise the work of what they dismiss as the ‘mainstream media’ or ‘dead tree news’. Social media has its place – of course it does – but it also has its limits.
    “When I see some of the rubbish out there I recall a fellow editor who once, when asked about the reliability of citizen journalism, responded: ‘Well, would you trust your car with an untrained citizen mechanic?’ So, in 2016, us boring old professionals will continue to throw some spanners in the works and hold those who govern Scotland to account – just as we did this year.”


  187. Robert Peffers says:

    @Onwards says: 20 November, 2015 at 12:09 pm :

    ” … My view is that the SNP should accept the limited Scotland bill, making VERY clear it is a stop-gap measure, and needs upgraded. Even if accepting it makes Scotland slightly worse off in the short term.”

    Not a good idea in my opinion, Onwards. The simple reason is that the word, “Powers”, is a misnomer. What is on offer is in fact restrictions and it would not be, “Slightly”, worse of it would be fatally crippled.

    Which, of course, it was designed to be. There really was no pretence about it. Westminster set out to punish Scotland. Their scheme as laid out would have saddled Scotland with the not inconsiderable costs of setting up a new tax system.

    That would have included a new computer system, employing staff and maintaining the system but as Westminster were intending to claw back any tax gathered the Scots would gain no funding but would have the ongoing burden of gathering the tax. Only to then hand the cash over to the treasury.

    Westminster/England would benefit as they would be relieved of the burden of the costs of collecting the tax but would get all back anyway.

  188. manandboy says:

    Onwards is facing backwards, towards his Unionist friends.

  189. heedtracker says:

    OK well it looks like Smith Commision then Westminster, forgot all about inflation. And yet we have to look at likes of Prof Tomkins blether away like some kind of fiscal genius on BBC Scotland’s tv crapola.

    Unless they forgot all about inflation on purpose?

  190. Robert Peffers says:

    @Luigi says: 20 November, 2015 at 12:36 pm:

    ” … It’s all falling apart, and what’s worse, they cannot blame the SNP this time (for sure they will try)!”

    And while they are hoping we are not looking these other little news items are slipped into todays newscasts.

    English NHS trusts have overspent has risen to £1.6bn. At the half-way stage of the financial year the deficit has grown from £950m posted for the first three months.

    Public Sector Net Borrowing, (PSNB), rose £1.1bn in October compared to October last year. It now is £8.2bn and the highest level of October borrowing in 6 years. They have borrowed £54.3bn this year so far so Osborne will need to restrict borrowing to just £15 bn from now to April.

    Meanwhile English Junior Doctors are 98% I favour of a full strike and 99% I favour of action just short of a full strike.

    Looks like the Scottish independence problem is going to be the least of their problems.

    Wasn’t Ossie on TV a few days ago claiming his plan was working well?

  191. manandboy says:

    So the CEO of Next earns £4.6 million per annum and is a big donor to the Conservative & Unionist Party. This means that effectively, every item sold in Next carries a charge for VAT & a donation to the Tory Party.

    Like someone putting salt in your tea.

  192. Macart says:

    @Robert Peffers 6.26

    I agree Robert. That whole package was a bear trap of restrictions, caveats and responsibilities and the establishment parties were counting on the SNP accepting and using any powers given. Except in this instance the powers on offer were pitiful crumbs, but the responsibilities concerning tax collection especially, potentially crippling to our economy.

    This was no devolution settlement, but a punishment exercise. These ‘people’ didn’t care about the damage and hardship this would cause, they merely saw a means to an end.


  193. Iain says:

    It would be ironic, if ‘the vermin in ermine’ save Scotland from the Scotland bill. Don’t forget to vote SNP,SNP in May.

  194. Dan Huil says:

    Oh god, does this mean another lecture from Gordon Broon, presented by newly-promoted Sarah Smith? I can smell the labouring stench already.

  195. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi North Chiel & schrodingers cat.

    North Chiel – you typed,

    “ASK THE PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND in May if they will endorse this . Thereafter set Westminster a time limit for FULL IMPLEMENTATION .Failure to meet this requirement would result in 2nd referendum.”

    schrodingers cat – you typed,

    “we can declare udi all we want, but unless we can demonstrate that a majority in Scotland want indy, the rest of the world will ignore us, so will the unionists in Scotland”

    I was having a wee blether with my boss (a Yesser), this morning, after the corpmedia had eventually (reluctantly?) caught up with Rev Stu, re the HoL questioning the Scotland Bill, and put a hypothetical proposition to him. He agreed it could grow legs…

    It goes like this.
    A couple of months ago, there was much disquiet that the SNP would not say whether or not they would include a commitment to IndyRef2 in the manifesto for next year’s Holyrood election.
    There has also been much typing about UDI.

    So my proposition was along the lines of this: assuming the Scottish Parliament decline to accept the Scotland Bill, the SNP could have in their manifesto that, due to the failure of Westminster to fulfil the “Vow”, if they are in a position to form a majority government at Holyrood, as a result of the 2016 election, then they will move to repeal the Union with England Act passed in 1707.

    If the Scottish Parliament, reconvened in 1999, vote for repeal, then this will extinguish the UK – and it will have had the support of the majority of sovereign Scots – thus no need for a referendum, or UDI.

    Discuss and shoot me down in flames…

  196. Gary45% says:

    Thanks for that, I regularly shopped in Next up until the 18th September 2014.
    I have never set foot in any of their shops since then, and will never be a customer of this chain of shops again. This goes for a number of other retailers who claimed that prices would go up or they would leave Scotland.
    Like the TV licence, vote with your feet.

  197. Cadogan Enright says:

    Yea, I posted a few weeks ago that SNP should reject the Scotland Bill and put Devo Max on the Manifesto for May.

    What’s the point in accepting a poisoned chalice when you can put the second question.

    Win the election and just run the referendum – don’t need to ask Westmonster

  198. JLT says:

    Yep, LOL! They’re in a bind …caught between a rock and a hard place.

    The Lords at least, have spotted the potential disaster that awaits should the Scotland Bill, not only fails Scotland, but also at the same time, leads to most of the House of Commons sneering at Scotland in sheer contempt if things do go belly-up. After all, there is nothing really worse than ripping someone off and then openly and publicly humiliating them!

    With half of Scotland already ‘hooked’ on the idea of independence, pushing another 15 to 20% into that same bed by sneering at their homeland, would be disastrous for the Union, while bringing the First Minister all her Christmases at once.

    However …at the same time …how do they negate the potential calamity? ‘What!?! Give Scotland more tax-raising powers and proper ones at that’. Can literally see Osborne’s eye popping out his head in incredulous disbelief at such a though. ‘That’s heading down the path to f****** federalism, and we in the Establishment don’t do f****** federalism’ (…even though the British State was very happy to implement it on Germany after WW2).

    Oh, the fun we’ve had this week with British politics. First the return of Anas Sarwar …now the derailing of the Scotland Bill.

  199. Paula Rose says:

    Could we have some reasoned debate about Onwards points rather than a cursory dismissal?

  200. galamcennalath says:

    BUT that nice Labour lady, Margaret Curran, told us the Vow had been delivered almost a year ago!

    What could possibly have gone wrong!? 🙂

  201. davidb says:

    @ Robert Peffers

    Re Gideons borrowing. There will be a surplus in January from self assessment – possibly larger than last year, the banksters are laughing at us all again. 54 billion is average about 8 a month. January will probably be at least that in surplus, so he may not be far off a further 15 bn borrowing for the full year.

    Incidentally, readers may be interested in page 14 in this document.

    Actual cash receipts from hydrocarbons are higher this year. Somebody is kidding us on about financial black holes surely?

  202. Fireproofjim says:

    I agree with everything you say, but I believe the SNP should also put a clear statement in their manifesto like “we will call a referendum on Independence at a time of our choosing”.
    If they get a majority in Holyrood then they have automatically got authority to do so..

  203. Onwards says:

    manandboy says:
    20 November, 2015 at 6:46 pm
    Onwards is facing backwards, towards his Unionist friends.


    My concern is we end up with sweet FA.
    My concern is if Scots didn’t vote for independence when oil is over $100, then it doesn’t make it any easier when oil is under $50.
    Unless we change the political landscape.

    If we reject the Scotland bill, we are right back to where we started from in 2011. Even worse – because the impression will be given that it was rejected because Scots didn’t want to see a reduction in the Barnett formula, and we would prefer to be subsidy junkies.

    We take it, and people will see how useless and restrictive it is, just like the SNP said – and be more likely to vote for independence. All the pressure will be to move forwards, not backwards.

    IMO, the SNP should acccept the bill as a first step, and then hold an devo-max referendum to give a clear mandate to upgrade the powers. Then an independence referendum in 2020 when Labour lose again.

    When you have Tory Lords wanting to put a halt to it because they see it as a threat to the union, do we really want to be on the same side as them?

  204. Robert Peffers says:

    @schrodingers cat says: 20 November, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    “Madrid dismissed a 80% yes vote in catalunia for exactly this reason”

    The Spanish/Catalonia situation is quite different legally from that of the United Kingdom.

    Catalonia is legally an integral part of the country/state of Spain. That means Spain is legally sovereign.

    The United Kingdom is not, and never has been legally a country. I’ve been warning about falling into the Establishments trap of making believe it is a country for what seems like forever.

    The United Kingdom has done everything in its powers, and more, to make the World believe it is a country. Even to the extent of fostering the idea it is England. The independence referendum threw up a government funded paper by two tame so called experts that was quoted by Mundell as claiming, “The Treaty of Union extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as the United Kingdom”. It was, of course sheer gobbledegook.

    The fact is the United Kingdom is exactly what its title describes it as – a union between two equally sovereign Kingdoms – that is it is a Royal Realm. It is not a country and it only has two legal signatory Kingdoms.

    Fortunately, for Scotland, the Treaty clearly states several very precise things.

    The Scottish Legal system remains independent and is based upon the people of Scotland being sovereign. Thus neither the joint monarch nor the Westminster parliament can overrule the declared will of the people of Scotland.

    The Scottish Banks have legal right not only to the pound Sterling but legal right to print their own banknotes.

    The Monarchy cannot be head of the a Scottish Church and Scottish Education must remain independent.

    So here’s the legal truth : –

    First of all Scots should never have allowed Westminster to treat Scotland as a devolved region of THE UK.

    The reason being the UK is a legally a bipartite United Kingdom and not a quadratic union of four countries. Especially with Westminster becoming the de facto Parliament of England.

    So when the chips are down Westminster cannot legally stop a majority of the sovereign people of Scotland, (the Kingdom), from holding a referendum. Nor can they legally prevent a majority of the people of the Kingdom of Scotland discharging the Monarchy. Either to replace the monarchy or dump them. It is part of the law of Scotland.

    Nor can they stop a properly elected Scottish Government, nor the properly elected Scottish faction at Westminster, declaring that the Union is over.

    That is the key. At no time in the history of the Union have the sovereign people of Scotland given away their legal sovereignty. In fact we have made two legal Claims of Right. If we get a Scottish Government, even a cross party one, with a clear mandate to withdraw from the Union, and thus end the United Kingdom, it is perfectly legal to do so.

    Not as the Establishment would have you believe – A Scotland leaving behind a still extant United Kingdom. You cannot have a United Kingdom of one Kingdom.

    We Scots are legally sovereign and we always have been within this accursed Union. Hence Nicola’s clear statement – it is not up to the SNP or the SG but it is up to the Sovereign People of Scotland.

  205. heedtracker says:

    Did anyone vote for the Lords who say-

    The Smith Commission had to work in the shadow of the ‘Vow’ made by the leaders of the major UK political parties, which included a commitment to maintain the existing mechanism, the Barnett Formula, for funding devolved administrations.

    This was the wrong decision. The Formula is not a sustainable,
    long term solution and should be replaced. We recommend the Government considers the case for introducing a needs based approach to funding devolved administrations.

    Select Committee on Economic Affairs

    So right from the start, a Smith Commision fucked up, an unelected HoL decide Smith, an unelected Lord, made the wrong decision.

    So much for UKOK democracy, in their Scotland region.

    The Shadow of the Vow, sounds like the title of a n other JK Rowling plagiarism fest.

  206. ScottieDog says:

    Regarding Osborne’s attempt to run a surplus. The fact is he really has no control over this.
    Think of the economy as 3 sectors: Government , Private domestic, overseas

    The money in the economy has to be generated from somewhere.
    So if the govt’s income is greater than its expenditure, that ‘profit’ (surplus) they make has to come from the two remaining sectors – Private domestic or overseas.

    Most people realise that the UK imports more than it exports. So the overseas sector makes a profit from us – GB pounds leave the economy (trade deficit). That leaves one sector – private domestic.
    So we now have all of the burden on the private sector to ‘fund’ the other two sectors.

    So as long as the private domestic sector continues to borrow and expand the money supply, the economy can grow. But this DECISION is down to the private sector. If we no longer wish to borrow and stretch ourselves and instead pay down our debts, the money supply shrinks.

    This ‘de leveraging’ by the private sector will see money disappear from the economy and eventually result in unemployment and debt default. In order to avoid economic catastrophe we have these things called automatic stabilisers which by default cause a government deficit. It’s a safety mechanism.
    The only agencies who benefit from Osborn’s policy are the banks and the city of london.

    The private sector will decide whether Osborne runs a surplus and it’s already leveraged to the hilt. Our private sector debt to GDP ratio is around 375%. Our public debt to GDP ratio comes in around 80%..

  207. galamcennalath says:

    Macart says:

    “This was no devolution settlement, but a punishment exercise.”

    While discussion of powers was had most of the focus, the reality of what has been delivered is clearer when the actual financial implications are exposed. It has often been described as a poisoned chalice. The odd thing is, one way or another, it looks like it was never destined to be implemented. Stu would say, “told you so”. As in most things, he is right again.

    It seems to have collapsed into , “nice try Cameron, now fuck off”.

    Fair enough, it focuses minds on the real question – DevoFA or Indy?

    Shame we just can’t wind the clock back three years and skip all this more powers dead end episode!

    BetterTogether told us in the beginning of campaigning this was to be about Status Quo versus Indy. THAT may have been the last time they told the truth!

  208. Foonurt says:

    Petra – fair enough comment, bit Onward and One hundredtheidiot baith gurn aboot haun-oots tae wurr aull-folk etc. Diz yoan wans in thoan forces, no git ‘free’ claes? Diz mairrit-folk, no git ah benefit, alang wae wans wae weans? It soarts itsell oot.

    If thoan yins wid gee John Swinnie wurr richt funding, thurr wid bae mairthin anuff fur awe, wae hunnurrs tae spare.

  209. heedtracker says:

    Huge risks to the Union?

    A number of witnesses expressed concern that overlooking the problems identified above is storing up trouble for the future, even threatening the existence of the Union.

    Professor David Heald, Professor of Accountancy,
    University of Aberdeen Business School, described the political climate around these issues as “toxic … the future of the United Kingdom remains at risk.”9
    Professor John Kay, Visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, thought the Scotland would drift towards independence, “because it is the only way to resolve these problems.”10

    We agree that the proposed arrangements could lead to friction and to regular disputes. Without a complete fiscal framework underpinned by clear principles securing an enduring settlement will remain an aspiration. The rest of this report examines our concerns in detail. If they are not addressed,
    the future of the United Kingdom could well be at risk.

    Who are the “witnesses”? Unelected Lords.

    Scottish independence: Barnett formula change not planned, says Cameron
    18 December 2013

    What a bunch of tories. Pub time:D

  210. derek c says:

    We have all seen a cat play with the mouse. We love our cat but it’s overpowering confidence in managing the mouse is repellent and at the same time fascinating. Here we have the stupidest cat . Let’s show it up as the dummy we know it is.

  211. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Robert Peffers

    “We Scots are legally sovereign and we always have been within this accursed Union. Hence Nicola’s clear statement – it is not up to the SNP or the SG but it is up to the Sovereign People of Scotland.”

    True. And the Sovereign People of Scotland said last year that they wanted to remain a kingdom within the United Kingdom. We cannot simply dismiss that. It’s democracy.

    The question is–if in their 2016 manifesto, would the SNP win a mandate to negotiate Scotland’s exit from the Union? That is negotiating Scotland’s independence by any other name. The SNP’s policy presently is only to enter into such negotiations on the back of a clear referendum win where more than 50% of the poll actually vote for it. They might get away with such a position if they can achieve more than 50% of the popular vote (as opposed to seats) in 2016 but certainly not otherwise. We need the majority in a clear-cut poll to back Indy otherwise there would be hell to pay and no mistake.

  212. Petra says:

    @ heedtracker says at 6:08 pm ”That has a perfectly straightforward solution from the get go. Right from when Prof Smirky Tomkinski sat down next Ruth Davidson and Baroness Goldie for gawds sake. Still zip from this conartist/hard line tory fiscal genius, shock.

    I just think that it’s beyond belief that Tomkins has relocated to Scotland and spends the best part of his time telling US in Scotland where WE are ALL going wrong. Highlights, day in day out, statistics relating to our so-called failing NHS, Policing and Educational System, which he has probably picked up from SLab in fact. Whatever the case he seems to prefer to live here than rUK. Mmmhh!

    Now I don’t think that I live in some kind of a pin ball wizard type of Country in that I don’t think that newcomers to this country have something constructive to offer and that we shouldn’t listen to them, far from it. However down south, from whence he came, is irrevocably falling apart and totally inferior to Scotland in every way imaginable: too many examples to list on here, but we all know what they are.

    His beloved Chancellor of the Exchequer, who can’t count, hasn’t managed to balance the books since 2010 unlike Swinney OUR beloved Chancellor. In fact his economic (because History Degree 2/1 man AINT one .. isn’t that rather worrying?) advisors have informed him that the gap between state spending and revenue is the worst it has been in six years. His economic advisors (many of them) are now telling him that he will need to implement further austerity measures or miss his annual target. Cut what next? Line whose pockets?

    I would love to see that wee jumped up deluded know-all, know nought Tomkins, debate face to face with Anton Muscatelli for one and after that head home and ‘sort oot his ain place’ as it would seem that they are in dire need of him.

    @ Paula Rose says at 8:09 pm ”Could we have some reasoned debate about Onwards points rather than a cursory dismissal?”

    Paula I, for one, spent some time earlier answering Onwards posts. I have a great deal of respect for him (her?), OFTEN agree with him and GREATLY appreciate his contributions to the site. He makes a number of thought provoking comments some of which I totally agree with in fact … see the merit of in this instance …… but overall disagree with such as accepting the SB as is.

    I’m feeling more upbeat about the HoLs intervention re. the Scotland Bill because I reckon that they can see that the current offer will ultimately herald the end of the Union. Yes they will try to offer the ‘leastest’ but we have economists on our side such as Muscatelli, maybe even Stiglitz, who will not be easily duped.

    Maybe you are right in that we need a more reasoned debate in relation to a differing point of view from the majority on here. If so I would really appreciate you taking it forward. Would love to hear what you have to say about this.

    Chunky Mark: George Osborne sells people’s lives, souls, to Cerberus “the Hound of Hades”

  213. Rock says:


    “Onwards is facing backwards, towards his Unionist friends.”

    Well said.

  214. Angra Mainyu says:

    Seems to me that this discussion lacks clarity. Options and possible outcomes can be reduced to the following;

    1) the Scotland Bill fails to get through the Lords.

    2) the Scotland Bill gets through the Lords and gets passed to Holyrood for approval/ratification.

    If 1 above is the outcome then we are certainly into another referendum on the grounds that westminster failed to deliver the Vow.

    If 2 my guess is that the SNP will reject on the basis that it doesn’t go far enough and may even be detrimental to the financial standing of Scotland. This is what I expected anyway, before the Lords raised their ridiculous concerns.

    Onwards’ suggestions that we should accept it no matter what puzzles me. I believe Devo-Max is the next logical step but the Scotland Bill falls way short of that.

    The obvious step is to point out where the Scotland Bill falls short of the Vow and go to the people in May with a pledge to hold another referendum on Devo-Max — this would be justified on the basis that the Scotland Bill falls short.

    Corollary to that, we spell out exactly what Devo-Max means starting with full fiscal leverage over income tax, corporation tax, and everything outside of defence and foreign policy.

    We should also spell out that failure to meet these demands, assuming the people are supportive in the May elections and subsequent referendum, will result in an automatic move towards a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

    If we play by the rules with the will of the majority behind us, we can’t lose.

    What is absolutely imperative, what must be driven into the skulls of the SNP leadership and others who think the long game is an option, is that the enthusiasm and alacrity of the masses towards independence cannot be taken for granted. These are special times with unprecedented grass roots interest and engagement; they won’t last forever.

    Any sense that we have been let down by another bunch of self-serving politicians will result in the death of this movement and the certain death of the SNP. This sounds ominous and threatening but it needn’t; it’s a huge incentive to be bold. It’s a shot to nothing because if we don’t take the shot we get nothing anyway and the masses lose interest.

  215. Capella says:

    @ Petra
    That Chunkymark video is a classic. Ta for the link. Here it is again if anyone missed it.
    “Ride the monkey George. Ride the monkey.”

  216. Grouse Beater says:

    My attempt to make sense of Paris:

  217. Grouse Beater says:

    Grouse Beater, tired and very, very emotional:

  218. Onwards says:

    @Angra, I don’t think the SNP should accept the Scotland bill, no matter what.
    I’m assuming a compromise deal on the fiscal framework can be hammered out.
    It might not be ideal, but we then have some time to sort it out.
    The SNP would have to make very clear they are accepting it only as a first step.

    But it seems like the majority opinion on here is to reject it anyway, and hope to go straight to independence in what could be more difficult circumstances. Fair enough.
    It also seems like most folks on here are not interested in any further referendums on devolution.

    I just don’t like an all or nothing approach.
    In poker terms it seems like going ‘All In’, rather than grinding out a win.

    I see income tax devolution as a nice springboard for a second indyref.
    Mainly because of the psychological effect when voters are already paying taxes to Scotland at that point. And if it looks like we are getting a raw deal, then I think most people’s loyalty will be with Scotland, not London.

    It looks like a few of the Tory lords have cottoned on to this, and they will try their best to block it for this reason. It is an unstable solution that will cause constant grievance. Oh well. We know a simple way to solve that problem.

  219. North Chiel says:

    Interesting posts from “briandoonthetoon” at 0742pm .Additionally I agree with “cardigan enright” at 0748pm.Also the post by ” angry mainyu ” at 1142 pm is very much along the lines
    of my own thinking .

  220. North chiel says:

    I am not sure of your strategy ” onwards”.I don’t see how Holyrood rejection of the “bill” is an
    “all or nothing approach.” If the bill genuinely ” falls short” of ” Smith” ( by any degree) ,
    then why should it be accepted by Holyrood?
    Also, if the SNP thereafter ask the electorate to endorse a mandate to negotiate a specific
    “Devo max/FFA solution ” with London or re -amend the bill with the SNP “Westminster amendments” via Holyrood , if re-elected with a majority ” the sovereign will ” of the Scottish people
    will be quite clear for all to see.
    If Westminster refuses to give Holyrood the powers requested within a “reasonable timescale”
    ( months not years) then a second referendum should be held.
    Initially post “Edinburgh agreement” the referendum was Independence v the status quo
    However, by sept 18th 14 the question had been “manipulated ” to Independence v devomax/FFA.
    Consequently we already know that at a MINIMUM , the sovereign will of the electorate is
    FFA . Over the next few months the ” sovereign will” could move to “independence” .
    A majority SNP government post May 16 with perhaps over 50 percent of the popular vote,
    is ” with a specifically worded position on the constitution ” surely very close to a mandate for
    Westminster needs to be confronted if this comes to pass after May 16 , as previous posters
    have noted we cannot wait another 5 years on this issue . This advantageous position might
    not last indefinitely .We need to PRESS HOME any advantage NOW whilst the Unionists are
    In disarray .Bring matters to a head over the coming months .(It’s Westminster that wants to
    play the “long game” as usual.)

  221. Onwards says:

    North chiel says:
    21 November, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I am not sure of your strategy ” onwards”.I don’t see how Holyrood rejection of the “bill” is an
    “all or nothing approach.” If the bill genuinely ” falls short” of ” Smith” ( by any degree) ,
    then why should it be accepted by Holyrood?
    Also, if the SNP thereafter ask the electorate to endorse a mandate to negotiate a specific
    “Devo max/FFA solution ” with London or re -amend the bill with the SNP “Westminster amendments” via Holyrood , if re-elected with a majority ” the sovereign will ” of the Scottish people
    will be quite clear for all to see.

    Going straight to a second indyref is the ‘all or nothing’ approach.

    The question of an further referendum on Devo-Max came up here a few days ago.
    I would be all for that. But the majority on here want nothing to do with it. The consensus was that the SNP already had a mandate on FFA/Devo-Max by having 56 MPs elected.

    I disagree with that – MP’s were elected for all sorts of reasons including anti-austerity. It seems obvious that most people want more powers, but we don’t have a specific mandate to pin on the Tories.

    If the Scotland bill is rejected, does anyone see the Tories coming up with anything better? No – We would back to where we started from.

    So if we do have a second referendum from the same position:

    1. Are we more likely to win, when the Tories have failed to deliver Devo-Max? (They will pin the blame on the SNP for rejecting the Scotland Bill, and make the same last minute promises.)

    2. Or will it be much harder to win if oil prices stay low, and we see further North sea decline?

    It is a risky strategy IMO. Right now, I would prefer the instability of further devolution taking us another step closer, before we have a second indyref.

  222. North Chiel says:

    “Onwards” I did respond to your last post in detail.However
    as this post “disappeared” , briefly , I do agree with you on much
    of what you say , however if you want to “hedge your bets”
    as regards 2nd referendum ( with or without Westminster “permission”,)
    the question(s) asked could be either 2 or 3 options eg.
    Indy v Devo Mundell or Indy v Devo max (specifically defined)
    or Indy v devomax v status quo .The “polls” at that time would be
    a reasonable indicator of what question(s) to ask.

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