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Lie and truth of the week

Posted on January 17, 2014 by

Alistair Darling double-teamed Scotland’s current affairs shows last night, appearing at length on both Scotland Tonight and Newsnight Scotland in order to blink furiously in turn at first Bernard Ponsonby and then Gordon Brewer.

alistairdarlingblinky

The STV man largely wasted his opportunity, spending the bulk of the interview talking about live debates, but Brewer did a much better job of putting Darling on the spot in several areas. Indeed, with the “Better Together” chairman’s very first words onscreen, the BBC interviewer drew from him a huge and fundamental lie that sits at the very heart of the independence debate. Stand back, because here it comes.

“When you’re voting this September, if you think Scotland’s better off independent you’ve got to ask yourself, do you honestly believe that, you know, not just for five years but, you know, forever.

Uh, if you don’t like the Tory-Liberal government at the moment, there’s a general election happening next year and, you know, you can vote them out.”

But that’s the thing, isn’t it, Alistair? We CAN’T. Scotland has tried to vote out the Tories at every single UK election since 1955, and has failed most of the time. By the next election the Tories will have been in power for 32 of those 60 years, without once winning the election in Scotland.

The last time Scotland voted for the Tories – or more accurately, by the tiniest of margins for a centre-right party called the Scottish Unionists, which would a decade later merge with the Conservatives – Alistair Darling was just EIGHTEEN MONTHS old, yet he’s spent more than half his life under Tory governments.

sams2

The truth is that the only people who can vote the Tories out are the English. It doesn’t matter what Scotland does: we get the government England votes for every time, it’s just that sometimes – less than half of the time – our vote happens to coincide with theirs and we feel as if we played a part when actually we didn’t.

But Darling went on to let something else slip. For years, Labour politicians and activists have dodged the killer question – “Which would you prefer, a Tory UK government or an independent Scottish one?” – but last night, albeit in a waffly, evasive and roundabout way, Darling finally gave us their answer.

BREWER: If you’re a Labour voter in Scotland, why shouldn’t you think, “Look, it seems likely, at least in the short term, perhaps the medium term, that the Conservatives would not run an independent Scotland. The two parties which are most likely to, Labour and the SNP, both claim to be social democratic parties. I understand that it’s permanent if I vote for independence, but I quite like the idea of having an independent country with a Labour government or an SNP government and NOT having to have a Tory government”?

DARLING: Nobody knows the colour of governments, you know, in Scotland or the UK. I mean, Scotland, a majority of Scots, voted for the Tories in the 1950s. But I think independence, and the vote on independence, is different from a general election where basically you are voting to decide –

BREWER: But my point is, people don’t necessarily see it that way.

DARLING: My argument, though, with somebody who might take that view is, you’re not just voting for the government for the next five years where if you don’t like them you can kick them out.

But there’s a bigger argument too, I think. You know, if you look at a Labour voter’s point of view, if you want to ensure that you’ve got the wealth, the income you need to be able to have a fairer society, to ensure that you can look after people, uh, you know, elderly people, decent education and so on, that depends on the jobs, and the wealth, the taxes you can generate because of that. And my argument is, if you are out of the UK you are less well able to do that.

[some blah about the terrible burden of oil]

So my argument is an economic one as well as a political one, and that is, do not throw away the opportunities and the security that can come from being part of something that is bigger, and take on a whole bunch of risks which you don’t want, you don’t need to take on, and which some of these risks, frankly, are pretty much unmanageable.

So that seems pretty unequivocal. For Alistair Darling, being in the Union trumps the downsides of regular Conservative governments. Even from a Labour voter’s point of view, he says, it’s better to be in a big country because otherwise we’ll be too wee and too poor to afford to take care of the old and educate the young.

Now, never mind that that argument is rubbish. Never mind that according to the European Commission it’s small countries who are the most wealth-producing in terms of GDP per capita, with the UK trailing behind the likes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and even Ireland. Never mind that all those small countries, and others, are also rated by the UN as happier societies than the UK. Never mind that they all have less poverty than the UK.

Regardless of those facts, Alistair Darling values quantity above quality. He wants Scots to stay in a big, indebted, unhappy, unequal nation, even if it’s under the Conservatives, rather than taking the statistically-likely chance that we could do better for ourselves. (Scotland, of course, being considerably more blessed with resources than most of the nations we’ve mentioned.)

Darling desperately tries to bury his answer in bluster, but there’s no mistaking it. The context of Brewer’s question couldn’t have been plainer, and the reply is equally clear: Labour would rather Scotland was governed by Tories than Scots.

We congratulate Gordon Brewer sincerely on managing to do something many interviewers before have tried and failed to achieve – getting a straight answer not just out of Alistair Darling, but the Labour Party as a whole. Finally we have it from the horse’s mouth: better the Tories than independence. We hope Scots bear that in mind when it comes time to make their choice.

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    97 to “Lie and truth of the week”

    1. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Oh, that’s good. I might have the nerve to watch the recording of Newsnicht from last night now. Over elevenses, I think. I may have a biscuit nearby just in case I need it.

    2. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Watched it last night and i thought Brewer did well. He kept pressing the point, and Darling was squirming as he couldnt get away from answering. Has brewer changed his tack?

    3. DougtheDug says:

      Actually Labour MP Owen Smith the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales said it more explicitly in a blog post on the Fabian Society site last month on 22/12/2013.

      “… even the existence of a hard-line right wing government in Westminster should not shake our faith that we are always better together.”

      http://www.fabians.org.uk/2014-labours-year-of-devolution/

    4. Ken500 says:

      Pure and simple millionaire Alistair Darling, is an accomplish liar, and had done very well out of it. Wasted £Billions of public money and killed and maimed, millions of innocent people the world over. Anyone who listens to him deserves all they get, nothing but slavery and strife the world over.

      If Darling is as good as it gets. Get out.

      When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Get lazy, greedy, lying Darling out.

    5. steviecosmic says:

      But we all know that Darling and the rest of his cronies don’t really believe that at all. At the heart of all of this is their desire to remain at Westminster ‘representing’ Scottish constituencies because it’s far more lucrative for them personally. Salaries and perks at Holyrood are pocket change compared to the lifestyle afforded them at Westminster.

      The truth, is that it doesn’t matter to them which Westminster party governs Scotland so long as they have a seat there and all the perks that come with that.

      They are a truly despicable lot. To deny the democratic rights of an entire nation so that they can fill their pockets, putting their own bank balances ahead of the millions of people they purportedly represent, is stomach churning. This is the stuff of dictatorships, a word they are ironically only to happy to band around when it comes to the elected government of Scotland.

      There are literally no words to describe the contempt I have for these people.

    6. Clootie says:

      “If you vote for Independence it will be forever – it is not like a general election” – It’s scary outside children!!!

      A variation on your too poor,stupid…

    7. MochaChoca says:

      I’m afraid I didn’t see the Brewer interview, wish I had though because the Ponsonby one was a bit tame, although Darling still looked close to imploding at times.

      Set me wondering, could it tip him over the edge if, during one of these interviews, he was asked why should we trust a serial house flipper or the chancellor who presided over the worst financial crisis in recent history?

    8. MochaChoca says:

      Or indeed ask what he personally stands to loss in the event of a YES vote.

    9. Papadocx says:

      Watch Blair Jenkins and William Hague interviews on bbc breakfast this morning 8:40

      SUBLIME, BLAIR 100% Hague 0%

      BBC 90% think it was ignorance rather than enlightenment.

    10. Macart says:

      Is it just me or was that a load of garbled bollox from Mr Darling?

      In an independent Scotland, you can still vote to change governments every four or five years, this will not change. The difference being that in an indy Scotland you will get government which reflects the will of the Scottish electorate at any given period in time. A government which represents a very different political culture and ideology from that which it currently struggles under.

    11. SquareHaggis says:

      It’s pretty obvious now, Darling has to go.

      He’s lost the plot, lost the argument and he stubbornly refuses to accept what everyone has been saying all along he’s a loser.

      Replace him with a Tory and done with it.

    12. ayemachrihanish says:

      Rev, nicely put –

      British Nationalist Alistair Darling – better the Tories than independence.

      “Never, ever underestimate the high deviousness and low cunning of the British State”

      Alistair Darling speaks for that British State – his lies,low cunning and deviousness are the hallmark.

    13. yerkitbreeks says:

      ” but if you want to ensure that you’ve got the wealth, the income you need to have a fairer society ” Evidence please.

    14. gordoz says:

      Brewer will be back to normal service soon guys settle down.

      One phonecall from Labour Central(Paul Sinclair) and Boothman will get Brewer ‘back on the sauce’ like the compare from Father Ted. Union message will resume today via Haig easy time ‘Up North’ have no fear. Just watch

    15. Albert Herring says:

      Would someone tell Darling that “voting for the government for the next five years where if you don’t like them you can kick them out” can only happen with independence.

    16. Gizzit says:

      Ever since the Labour party sold off their principles, they have become indistinguishable from the Tories.

      In the quest for electability, they perform minute analysis of key marginal seats (exclusively English) and craft policy to seduce and capture the “swing” voters.

      They have taken the Scottish electorate for granted, and they are furious that an increasing number of voters in Scotland no longer regard them as an automatic choice.

    17. Training Day says:

      ‘So my argument is an economic one as well as a political one, and that is, do not throw away the opportunities and the security that can come from being part of something that is bigger.’

      Fine. Take that argument to the Norwegians and urge them to become a German lander to afford them greater opportunity and security and see how far you get.

    18. Graeme Purves says:

      Well Brewer did better with Darling that Jim Naughtie did with Wee Willie Hague. It was a big soft Better Together bosie on Good Morning Scotland this morning.

    19. Indy_Scot says:

      Alistair Darling was described on Scotland Tonight as a safe pair of hands, someone who can be trusted.

      Yeah, right, if your looking to bankrupt a counrty or make the most of your housing expenses allowance he probably is.

    20. gordoz says:

      @Indy_Scot – agree

      You know how it goes … say it enough and all that guff

    21. Ken says:

      I’ve said to family and friends, time after time, that a five year Westminster government then becomes ten, then fifteen, then twenty, ad infinitum. Government after government. Wasted generation after wasted generation.

      This IS for ever, unless we break the cycle. Freud defined lunacy as repeating the same act and expecting a different result.

      It’s time this particular madness came to an end.

    22. Mealer says:

      Is it any surprise that a wealthy,right wing politician like Mr Darling would prefer a right wing Tory government in London to be calling the shots rather than a social democratic Scottish Government?

    23. William Duguid says:

      Alistair Darling isn’t even a safe pair of eyelids.

    24. The Man in the Jar says:

      The Labour Party are hardly a political party anymore they are just a gang.

      A gang where the greediest rise to the top of the hierarchy and its minions are supposed to be content with the scraps from the top table as they tug their forelocks in gratitude.

      How anyone votes for them anymore is totally beyond me.

    25. Chic McGregor says:

      Love the way you crafted that post Rev. That’a a 10/10

    26. isleofskye says:

      gordoz says:
      17 January, 2014 at 10:28 am
      Brewer will be back to normal service soon guys settle down.

      Or could it be they know he’s a liability and are conspiring to get him out? Going by last night’s performance, he’s done us more favours than Johann ‘ne’er to be seen’ Lamont.

    27. uilleam_beag says:

      Thi is going to be key to the debate in the coming months, as the ordinary voter (as opposed to us political anoraks) starts to pay more attention to the real issues. That has begun already and the sands are definitely shifting – even in the tone of {some} media reports over the past week or two – but this one in particular is going to come back to bite neoLabourites right on the rump.

      But back to the core argument, that Scotland “out of the UK [would be] less well able to” afford good welfare and education. It’s demonstrably utter nonsense. Per capita, the fiscal deficit in the UK is a whole 30% higher than the figure for Scotland alone (on most recent figs), while for rUK it’s 33% higher. The bill for servicing the UK’s massive debt bill (43b) is the equivalent of over a third of the total deficit; Scotland’s per capita share of that (3.6b) is almost *half* our unusually high current deficit of 7.6b. Talk about a millstone.

    28. isleofskye says:

      Cite tag – sorry!! First comment in a while…

    29. Chic McGregor says:

      William

      LOL

    30. Jeannie says:

      I agree that Gordon Brewer was much more professional last night in his interview with Darling. He’s deadly when he adopts a quiet posture rather than bullying and snarling.

      Darling tied himself in knots over the currency question. He stated that when economies are similar and have mutual trading relationships, sharing a currency is the best option for both parties. Although that will remain the case with independence, he then stated, unaccountably, that if we vote Yes a currency union just won’t be allowed to happen. That’s a nonsensical and contradictory position.

      My hypothetical question for Darling would be this: If Scotland votes Yes and a UK Labour government is elected in May of next year, and say, Darling is re-elected and made chancellor again, he will play a lead role in negotiating the currency question. As a Scottish MP who has been elected to represent Scottish constituents, will he look out for their best interests and support a currency union or will he do what he is currently implying and refuse it, even if it would benefit his constituents? Somebody should ask him.

    31. CameronB says:

      I don’t know what Owen Smith MP has been smoking.

      “Not how will he maintain membership of the European Union, nor why a sterling currency zone might include an independent state, nor even how the Queen might relate his new fiefdom – crucial though those questions are,…”

      Will rUK have no debt? Do we not have the resources?

      Didn’t we agree to share monarch 101 years before the Treaty to share parliaments?

      “So, as much as our task in 2014 will be to win the hearts and minds of the Scottish people for the cause of the union – to ask them to insist on their rightful place as equals alongside their neighbours”

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/as-it-was-is-and-shall-be/

      Why is it that the Fabians just make me think of Ingsoc?

    32. Scott Douglas says:

      ‘Is there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind just to save his own expense account?’

      Apologies to Bob Marley.

    33. SquareHaggis says:

      Flipping houses

      Flipping eyelids

      Flipping ‘ell

    34. Paul says:

      What will the history books say about Darling, Lamont and all those other proud Scots that are part of the so called better together.Their Grand children will wonder why they helped allow their country to be trapped in poverty while they let another waste the resources that nature blessed us by and I am positive that they will be red Labour with shame.

    35. Chic McGregor says:

      So much appropriate symbolism in this funny vid. Maybe we should have a ‘Tartan Mushroom’ award for the liar of the week? Mushrooms, you know, ‘kept in the dark with u-propaganda shovelled on them’.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIyixC9NsLI

    36. Calum says:

      I found it interesting how Darling said that when he implemented the Banker’s Bonus Tax, he was told “it would be the end of the world”.

      He then said it turned out just fine.

      Hmm now where else have I heard that Mr Darling?

    37. Kev says:

      At times I thought Darling was going to burst out the telly last night, he was twitching and gesturing uncontrollably throughout. He seems a very nervous, agitated, frightened and irrational man these days, proof that he has as much faith in the polls as we do…

    38. Doug Daniel says:

      The only time Darling didn’t seem to be twitching was when he was talking about how the result would be closer than a lot of people think, how they can’t be complacent etc. That’s because it was the one time he was actually telling the truth. He seemed like a normal human being for a minute.

      Then he went back into Malfunctioning Android mode.

    39. CameronB says:

      @ Chic McGregor
      You’re weird. 🙂

      My favorite by the same artist is Independent Woman. What a surprise.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSQDR1yF3uQ

    40. Horacesaysyes says:

      Did we really expect any different answer from Darling? A Tory government doesn’t bother him, apart from the fact that it denies him a ministerial post.

      But as far as policies are concerned, you can’t fit a cigarette paper between them. So clearly, he’d be more concerned with the prospect of an actual left-ish government having a change of getting in, rather than another right-wing government who just happen to wear different coloured ties.

    41. CameronB says:

      Doesn’t have quite the same political resonance a badger, badger, badger, badger, badger, badger…..

    42. dmw42 says:

      Jeannie “He (Darling) stated that when economies are similar and have mutual trading relationships, sharing a currency is the best option for both parties… he then stated, unaccountably, that if we vote Yes a currency union just won’t be allowed to happen”.

      My take on this is that if Scotland / rUK economies are similar we should share currency, if the economies are not similar, we most definitely need independence.

    43. heedtracker says:

      The Labour Party are looking at colossal change after Indy and they will lose a huge power base up here permanently, just like what Flipper keeps saying.

    44. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      O/T

      For some unfathomable reason Richard Mowbray, variously a LibDem, a Tory and a Labour candidate in a long history of unsuccessful political campaigns gets half the letters page today in the Herald to proclaim UKIP. From an arch (if incoherent) unionist this must indicate distress.

      It may however also indicate that the powers that be are in a panic as their Better Together campaign implodes and we are about to be inundated with pro UKIP propaganda in an effort to derail a growing YES vote, probably on the metropolitan misunderstanding that some Scottish “separatists” may be vulnerable to the attractions of UKIP.

      One of the benefits the YES campaign has is that London understands so little about us (especially if they imagine anybody pays any attention to anything Richard Mowbray says)

    45. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I should add that polls in England are now showing UKIP ahead of the Tories and closing in on Labour and some of the media will be actively canvassing for a UKIP victory in England at the Euro election. The continued support for UKIP at various levels in England indicates strongly that there is more than media mischief involved here

    46. CameronB says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell
      Sorry to be a pain rev. but I shouldn’t have posted that vid. It’s not particularly relevant and Chic’s has a message.

      SNAKE!

    47. Iain says:

      Off topic, a piece in The Economist about Scottish Independence with all the standard metropolitan bollox, including the obligatory ‘Braveheart’ reference.

      ‘The Economist explains:

      Since 1997 extensive powers have been devolved from London to Edinburgh. English taxpayers’ money has travelled in the same direction—Scotland receives a disproportionately generous grant from the central state.’

      http://tinyurl.com/ots2fnj

    48. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Dave

      I was under the impression UKIP in Scotland had imploded in chaos over their Euro List selections ?

      I think one of the major problems all the Unionist parties (but Labour especially) have is that Scottish voters just don’t see Alex Salmond or the SNP the way they do.

      In fact they are pretty insulted to be told they’ve elected a rabid Anti English Party etc the Unionist frequently claim the SNP is.

    49. Molly says:

      Why is Alistair Darling the leader of Better Together anyway?

      if BT are serious about debating issues (rather than repeating themselves) should it not be someone who is actually in a position to make decisions or opinions from the UK Govt /Scottish opposition otherwise how can you have a debate where only one side has an answer?

      Plus he cannot be part of any Govt in Scotland, post Indy as he is an MP rather than an MSP so why is he the leader?

      Should it not be J Lamont, R Davidson, W Rennie who let’s face it have had an easy time over the last 18 months, should they not now have the spotlight turned on them to say from a political point of you , what are you offering , what have you come up with over the last 18 months to make the case that we’re better together?

      The agenda is being driven by Westminster, who speaks, whose heard, what headline it is today and sadly the majority of our media have been more than happy to comply to maintain what ?

      A country which has the worst health record in Europe, children living in poverty, food banks, illiteracy.The media in this country should be ashamed of themselves as they return home to their nice houses. If you cannot and will not stand up for the people of this country who have been completely disenfranchised stand aside and let others who will.

      As my Granny used to say, there are no pockets in a shroud, but it’s what you do here, now, that matters and it’s about time you stood up and were counted.

      One of you, just one of you ask what vision can you deliver for the people of Scotland, Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson ,Wullie Rennie, then stand back and ask yourself, will I be proud of my name being attached to that in 10 years time?

    50. Robert Louis says:

      The very first and ONLY question any interviewer should ask Hague today on his awayday return to Scotland should be this;

      Your leader, the UK Prime minister refuses to come to debate independence with the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. His justification for this refusal, is that the referendum is for Scots to debate and decide. So, Mr.Hague, why are you here??

      I find it remarkable that a UK prime minister has been allowed to behave like an out and out coward, sending his lackeys to Scotland to argue his case, yet all the while saying he can’t debate the issue as it is only for Scots to debate.

      David Cameron is a big stinking liar and coward of the very worst kind. He, and his unionist London ilk should either put up or shut up – preferably the latter.

    51. Robert Louis says:

      Molly, Darling is the leader of ‘better together’, as he was the only non-tory Scot they could find who has a Scottish accent, and is prepared to perjure hinself to the detriment of Scots day in, day out.

      with every passing day, I sense even more panic in the NO campaign. Quite entertaining, really. I mean, I know nobody who takes a word Darling who almost completely destroyed the UK economy, utters seriously anymore.

    52. Training Day says:

      @Robert Louis

      ‘Your leader, the UK Prime minister refuses to come to debate independence with the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. His justification for this refusal, is that the referendum is for Scots to debate and decide. So, Mr.Hague, why are you here??’

      Naughtie asked that very question of Hague on GMS this morning. Hague replied that it was for the leaders of the Yes and No campaigns to debate (presumably he means Salmond and Darling, although he didn’t specify).

      Naughtie, unsuprisingly, did not follow up with the question ‘are you seriously telling me that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in a context in which the future existence of the United Kingdom is in the balance, is content with the notion that he is not the leader of the No campaign’?

    53. Papadocx says:

      There is NO SLAB anymore they have morphed into TOLLY 2.

      The only TRUE Labour Party in Scotland is LABOUR FOR INDEPENDENCE

      TOLLY 1 puts up the loot calls the tune and TOLLY 2 dances.

    54. Les Wilson says:

      I think that almost anyone in the top tier SG, could and would take Darling apart in any face to face debate.
      Like most I would assume.

      Alex Salmond would make him look like a mumbling spoilt school boy, Nicola would make him completely lose the plot, even cry maybe. Many others could whack him in a debate.

      I cannot remember actually seeing him in such a scenario in a studio or similar. We is not a debater and seems to be very stuttery and nervous when thrown an unexpected question. My preference is NICOLA, so can get what he deserves.

    55. G H Graham says:

      Darling will accept ANY Westminster government over a Scottish government because no matter who’s in charge, as long as he has a seat/post somewhere within it, he retains a fat salary, continues to have a generous pension plan subsidised by the tax payer & has the full scope of a long expenses sheet with which to supplement his speech engagement income.

      Any questions?

    56. Jim Lamb says:

      I’m just watching him now admit that all is to play for. He has just admitted that all these BS polls that BT release – proclaiming that the win is in the bag – is indeed a pile of mince. Watching this interview it’s clear that BT are bricking it so to speak! What a boost to the Yes campaign. Scots want to vote yes, we just need to keep plugging away with our messages of hope and BT subsequently just need to keep plugging away with their Project Fear! I can feel a seismic shift that if we play this spot on we will prevail!

    57. Elizabeth says:

      Sort off o/t

      Daily Politics with Andra Neil will discuss referendum with Willie Haig during his visit to Glasgow.

    58. Molly says:

      I hope your right Robert Louis and people are laughing at AD but 18 months ago our media should have raised the question why not JL or RD ? Obviously protect the Labour Party as they know JL would not stand up to scrutiny, as for RD she appears to believe she’s built by Tefal but we don’t know because no one ever asks them

      I assume the ‘ opposition’ will intend to stand for Holyrood if we become Independent, not having been asked any serious questions about their vision of an Independent Scotland.

    59. Graeme Purves says:

      @Training Day

      “Naughtie, unsuprisingly, did not follow up with the question…”

      In contrast to his combative interview of Nicola Sturgeon, Naughtie made little attempt to question any of Hague’s assertions, even letting the ridiculous one that Scotland’s referendum on independence is really about leaving the EU slip by without challenge.

    60. Scotimus Prime says:

      I just tried to watch the newsnight piece from my phone only to be told that ‘we don’t currently support BBC iPlayer outside the United Kingdom’

      Seems the BBC is starting to come to terms with the way things will be.

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I think that almost anyone in the top tier SG, could and would take Darling apart in any face to face debate.”

      Top tier SG? I’d fancy my chances.

    62. CameronB says:

      Better Together?

      Will Labour address the huge problem of money laundering through the City of London. We know the Tories won’t. So it looks like Britain’s balance of payments will continue to benefit from the proceeds of crime. Drugs and slaves and illegal weapons.

      http://www.theguardian.com/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claims

      Before Lord Green became a trade minister (under Gordon Brown), and member of the Treasury team deciding how to reform Britain’s banks, he was chief executive of HSBC during the years it was laundering hundreds of millions of pounds of gang money.

      “But Lord Strathclyde, Leader of the Lords, was firm in dismissing her demands. ‘Her Majesty’s Government has every confidence in Lord Green’s ability to fulfil his ministerial duties,’ he said. ‘We have had many ministers who have had previous careers. No minister needs to be accountable to Parliament for his previous career.”

      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/07/briefing-hsbc-money-laundering-and-lord-green/

    63. Les Wilson says:

      Listening to Darling with McNaughty early this morning, one could be forgiven for noticing Darling is now edging away from the currency issue. Now the main issue for him and for Scotland is the EU apparently.

      Which of course is unanswerable at this time, but so is the fact that rUK may drag us out anyway.
      With that in mind it comes down to this, do we go for an Independent Scotland with hope, or take the chance, that we are out of the EU anyway,which is not what we want. Then they will dismantle Scotland anyway.

      Where is the choice here, there is only one choice, the only one with hope ,we have and that is a massive YES.
      There really IS NO choice.

    64. Les Wilson says:

      REV, top tier, I like that it made me laugh, but the truth is you probably meant it. LOL!

    65. desimond says:

      Andrew Neill on This Week last night “London?…London isnt the centre of Investment Banking, its all New York now, London’s nothing these days”

      Tick tock Clarice….tick tock!

    66. Richard Lucas says:

      Perhaps Flipper Darling and other Unionist politicians should be asked to make statements of their direct financial interest in the continuation of the Union. Would make a fascinating read!

    67. Murray McCallum says:

      It’s quite sad that the future Lord Darling has no faith in his party’s ability to govern Scotland.

      Mind you, the more he appears on TV the less faith undecided Scots will have in him.

    68. Big Jock says:

      Darlings logic is that Scots should put up with whatever government the English elect in order to maintain the UK. Every 15 years or so Scotland gets the government it elects at Westminstr when the English decide they want the same. We get government without our consent. I have said this before career politicions are thinking of their own jobs. Yes vote = Darling and buddies unemployed. It would be turkeys voting for Christmas and that’s where the logic is for the venom that they spout. So what we are dealing with are selfish greedy people on a free meal ticket courtesy of the daft Scots who vote for these mp’s.they don’t care about the UK anymore than they care about Scotland they care about their salary.

    69. david says:

      ha, you cybernats just cant get anything right. mr darlings nickname in london, where it counts is tadger not badger, so there, get it right.

    70. Big Jock says:

      David are you a cyberbrit?

    71. david says:

      how dare you big jock, ive never been so insulted, well, i have but not today.

    72. The Man in the Jar says:

      “Top tier SG? I’d fancy my chances.”

      Me as well! 🙂

    73. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Well, I’ve watched it now and can reveal the biscuit was indeed necessary. Couldn’t disagree more on Brewer, I’m afraid. He seemed far more intent on pushing on two ‘newsy’ but otherwise unimportant lines – a) ‘Did you mean what you said on the currency union when you said it last year?’ and b) ‘Oh, so you don’t think it’s in the bag, then?’

      The first was merely puffing up his own interview and just gave the miserable sod the opportunity to ‘clarify’ while the second gets us precisely nowhere.

      Meanwhile the usual lies, glibly delivered as if generally accepted verities (the one about just voting the Tories out at the next election to take one) go unchallenged – once again – and are allowed to just exist out there in the record as if they were indeed true.

      Sorry, Rev – Brewer’s an arse.

    74. John Lyons says:

      I don’t get the better as part of something bigger argument. If Darling actually believes this, then surely he’d be arguing for Westminster to be dissolved and for Great Brittain to be ruled from Washington. Isn’t 300 million bigger than 60 million? Or maybe he should be arguing for us to have a population of over a billion by becoming Chinese….

    75. Taranaich says:

      “Uh, if you don’t like the Tory-Liberal government at the moment, there’s a general election happening next year and, you know, you can vote them out.”

      Just once – just once – I wish interviewers would respond with “who in the hell do you think the Scots have been voting for in the last 60 years?”

      It never ceases to amaze me how people seem to blame the Scots for Labour not getting into power. “Oh, well since you don’t like the Tory-Libs, you can just vote them out again” – WE DIDN’T VOTE THEM IN IN THE FIRST PLACE. WE HAVEN’T VOTED THEM IN IN ALMOST 60 YEARS.

      JESUS WEPT.

    76. Les Wilson says:

      The Man in the Jar says:

      I take the “top Tier” back, I guess most of us could do it.
      Trouble is we would be just TOOO common for him to accept!

    77. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I think I have this fellow Darling sussed out, at last.

      Darling is asked a question, he then spends quite some time waffling on and on and on, by the time he is finished waffling the questioner and more importantly the viewer has forgotten what the question was in the first place!

    78. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This dude makes more sense than Darling:

    79. ronnie anderson says:

      @Rev, Royal Dutch Shell, have made a loss in the last quarter of 2013, I wonder how long it takes Mr Darling to twigg, ie the Volitility of Scottish Oil Revenue,s.

    80. Gav says:

      Thumbing through some of the Scottish history books on my shelves, I came across this speech.

      [If we don’t join the Union] “… Our Sovereignty and Independency will be eclipsed, the number of our Nobility will Encrease, Our Commons will be Oppressed, Our Parliaments will be influenced by England, the Execution of our Laws will be neglected; Our Peace will be interrupted by Factions for Places and Pensions; Luxury together with Poverty (tho’ strange) will invade us; Numbers of Scots will withdraw themselves to Foreign Countries; and all the other Effects of Bad Government must necessarily attend us.[sic]”

      William Seton of Pitmedden, 1706.

      It seems project fear started before the Union was even formed. Who knew?

    81. SquareHaggis says:

      @ian brotherhood 😀 :-D:-D

    82. SquareHaggis says:

      That was so fiddly-fi-fo-funny

    83. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood, A realy educated man was Stanley,talking Mince was his livelyhood,but we would gladly pay to hear him, no like the Mince talker,s of the BT shit stirrer,s.

    84. Papadocx says:

      Top right of picture. Is that a gun pointing at Darling Alistair’s head.

    85. Gav says:

      @ronnie anderson, that’s not accurate. RDS warn of lower profits, not a loss.

    86. SquareHaggis says:

      Well spotted Papadocx

    87. David McCann says:

      It really annoys me that journalists fail to put Darling under any pressure.

      In 2012, he stated in Holyrood magazine that the Tory-led anti-independence campaign will offer Scotland virtually no chance of more powers in the event of a No vote, saying;

      “..If you want anything more than a fairly minor change to the constitutional arrangement then at some point you are going to have to ask the rest of the UK which means that all the parties in a general election would have to have in their manifesto what they would intend to do.

      “At the moment this question has been confined to north of the border but once you go a little bit further then you are going to have to engage with the rest of the UK which is a rather different debate to the one we have had so far.”

      This effectively means the Tories would hold veto over any more powers to be passed from Westminster to Scotland, and yet he is never questioned on this.
      And that is before you go in to his record during the expenses scandal

    88. Chic McGregor says:

      Stuart is very astute in pointing out that it was the Scottish Unionist vote rather than Conservative and Unionist vote which was, along with the Atlee government reneging on previous Home Rule support, responsible for the anomalous blip. A point that is rarely made. History routinely writes it up simply as a Conservative victory.

      I have looked at this period before, drawn by the apparent anomaly.

      The backdrop running up to the blip was the signing of the National Covenant for Home Rule by over 2 million Scots. Atlee duly ignored the petition. Also the ‘Stone of Scone’ incident at the end of Atlee’s reign. All heightening and demonstrating a large sense of injustice regarding the issue of Home Rule in Scotland.

      The Scottish Unionists, of course, were well aware of that and made a great deal of the fact, that they were financially and organisationally independent from England.

      They in fact, quite paradoxically because of their own opposition to Home Rule but perhaps less surprisingly given their Liberal antecedents, played the nationalist card (very small n).

      The likes of Walter Elliot were able to claim to the electorate that Labour nationalisation was ‘antinationalisation’ as far as Scotland was concerned, concentrating power in England. They berated the Labour party in Scotland for being under London control and even, something that would be criticised as being racism today, for having English MPs in Scotland.

      They later amalgamated with the Conservatives propah in the 60s. Psephological analysis would suggest that it is likely that a lot of their support migrated directly to the still embryonic SNP.

    89. PeterB says:

      “But that’s the thing, isn’t it, Alistair? We CAN’T.”

      It’s true that Scotland has never voted for a Tory government since I started voting in 1974. The Tories have won half the elections over this period despite not being voted for by Scotland. It doesn’t seem fair on Scotland. However, SE England has never voted for a Labour government over this period. Labour have won half the elections since then despite not being voted for by SE England. This doesn’t seem fair on SE England.

      Or is it just democracy? The worst political system in the world, except all the others.

    90. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “SE England has never voted for a Labour government over this period”

      SE England isn’t a country. Not yet, anyway.

    91. PeterB says:

      “SE England isn’t a country. Not yet, anyway”

      Yeah, England full-stop. It pooled its Sovereignty with Scotland in 1707.

    92. john king says:

      ” My preference is NICOLA, so can get what he deserves.”

      Naw I would chuck him to Stuart Hosie to dismember, remember the laugh we got when he filleted Lord George Robertson.

    93. Bill Walters says:

      “SE England isn’t a country. Not yet, anyway.”

      And that’s really all the argument amounts to in the end – drawing an artificial distinction between MPs that doesn’t actually exist in reality.

      The fact of the matter is that in any representative democracy you will have regions/constituencies which are regularly denied the government that they voted for. That’s either a problem with the concept of democracy or it isn’t. We can’t realistically argue that it only affects “countries” and that we shouldn’t give a jot about any other sub-national entity until someone arbitrarily decides that they’re “countries” too.

    94. Ian Brotherhood says:

      How to stop Darling, the blinking liar, giving the game away:

      http://blog.booklistonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/A-Clockwork-Orange-1971.jpg

    95. george paterson says:

      Could I please have comments from Wings Over Scotland.

    96. Spansco says:

      Better to be ruled by Tories, than independence. What a statement from a Scottish Labour man. If this doesn’t stop Scots supporting Labour in Scotland nothing will. Filpper Darling is just a ("Quizmaster" - Ed) politician who doesn’t care about his own country as long as he and his fellow ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s get their reward.

    97. Handbags says:

      Labour said the government had done a U-turn on a flagship policy that both the PM and home secretary had backed.



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