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Lord Smith And The Seven Magic Beans

Posted on October 23, 2014 by

Today’s Herald carries a report from the initial meeting of the Smith Commission on “enhanced devolution” for the Scottish Parliament. The paper quotes from what seems to be a press release issued by the Commission, in which it explains that it thinks the people of Scotland are idiotic, drooling simpletons who’ll swallow anything.

smithcomm

“The key yesterday was the agreement on the seven principles, which were accepted unanimously.

These are:

– A ‘substantial and cohesive package of powers, meaningful to the people of Scotland’;

– Strengthening the Scottish Parliament within the UK, including its financial accountability;

– A ‘durable but responsive democratic constitutional settlement’ within the UK, enhancing mutual co-operation and partnership;

– Not being conditional on other UK political negotiations;

– Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts”;

– Causing neither the UK nor Scottish Governments to gain or lose financially;

– Being implementable, compatible with international obligations, including EU law; and with a broad understanding of the potential associated costs.”

Let’s just look at those for a moment. The first three are basically all the same piece of empty rhetoric repeated with different wording, and the fourth is a pointless aspiration – the Commission’s reports will not be binding on any government, which can make its recommendations as conditional as it wants. And #7 is just ludicrous – the proposals should be implementable and legal? As opposed to what? Was the Commission previously considering unimplementable plans? Are they morons?

(Yeah, okay, Tavish Scott and Iain Gray are in there. The jury’s out.)

That leaves us with clauses #5 and #6, which again seem to actually be a single point repeated with different wording in an attempt to puff out the press release a bit. But what a toweringly, stupendously fatuous point it is.

Call us crazy rudimentalists if you will, but we’re going to go ahead and start from the premise that there’s a finite amount of money available in the UK. And that’s what economists call a “zero-sum game”: to give one side of the equation more money, you have to take the same amount of money AWAY from the other side.

In other words, 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.

The statement quoted by the Herald is a colossal insult to the intelligence of everyone not just in Scotland but the whole United Kingdom. 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?

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    209 to “Lord Smith And The Seven Magic Beans”

    1. J.B. Turner says:

      Dead on the money. The Smith Commission is a sop, masquerading as the framework for working out extensive new powers. Frankly, it’s a sham. And not a very entertaining one. Clearly designed to fail. But that’s the whole point.

    2. DougtheDug says:

      5. Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts”;

      6. Causing neither the UK nor Scottish Governments to gain or lose financially;

      Points 5 and 6 are simply restating what has always been known.

      Scotland will not be allowed to have any more public funding than anywhere else in the UK. It’s the principle of fiscal equality for all regions of the UK and it’s underpinned all devolution legislation and proposals to date and all the smoke and mirrors of devolved and assigned taxes are simply their to try to obscure that fact.

      Point 5 does allow Scotland to raise its taxes above UK levels as the Commission will argue that people will lose on the swings if income tax is raised above UK levels but win on the roundabouts with better public services compared to the rest of the UK.

    3. Brian Powell says:

      To me politicians, commissions, experts and journalists get away with presenting crap be cause they can do it from the security of TV studios, press rooms, bits of paper, and closed door sittings.

      I would propose that, like the Romans, they should need to come to some public spaces, George Sq etc, at specified times and present it to the public; for approval.

    4. Exactly the same thing applies to ‘the vow’ as well. All equally meaningless but designed to sound important at first reading.

      The end result will be as few powers transferred as they think they can get away with. In the longer term this will simply result in dissatisfaction, instability, and the eventual end of the Union in a few decades time.

    5. a supporter says:

      “The statement quoted by the Herald is a colossal insult to the intelligence of everyone not just in Scotland but the whole United Kingdom. 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?”

      C’mon Stu. You are wildly exaggerating. And I’m not being sarcastic.

    6. heedtracker says:

      They’re grotesque on a number of levels but it’s really all just to reassure the cringers. 55% No thanks need to believe they are not a bunch of selfish gits, sorry, proud Scot buts.

    7. fred blogger says:

      so scotland gets nothing 0 zilch, now lets discuss this for a few weeks, then we’ll announce scotland is to get nothing 0 zilch.

    8. handclapping says:

      Nah, you’ve got it wrong there, Stu. You’re fixated on taxing, you’ve bought Ruthie’s pass and think Scotland can’t be hairy chested except it raises its “own” money.

      How about we forget about all the taxation malarky and concentrate on getting “Work and Pensions”? Or is that not big enough? ATOS, sanctioning, lifting bags of sugar, the worst pension in Europe, dying 2 years younger than the rUK?

      It needn’t cost Westminster any more, just give us the same per head that they spend on rUK and its up to us to find the way to make a Scottish social security system that works. Is that not a big enough challenge?

      They’ld not be able to say you’ll lose your pension next time.
      We’ld get a chance to be human not British

    9. Ian Brotherhood says:

      “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

      So wrote George Orwell, and here’s the essay that quote’s from:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language

    10. Non Anon says:

      But, they did go to the effort of meeting in a bright room with a great view of thon castle in Scotland’s former capital city, so that’s nice.

    11. Jiggsbro says:

      I imagine the Commission would argue that Scotland raising more taxes to pay for better public services is not to the detriment of Scotland – because Scotland would have better public services – nor would it cause the Scottish government to lose financially, because it could raise any Barnett losses as extra taxation.

    12. Donald says:

      Not losing or gaining financially should mean that if taxes were the same here and in ruk we’d still be where the Barnett formula leaves us just now.

      So if Scotland cuts, for example, corporation tax we’d lose whatever we lose (or potentially gain) in corporation tax receipts from Scotland…

      I don’t see the problem..

    13. Luigi says:

      And to think they had the cheek to call the White Paper a “Wish List”.

      It’s Day One, and Smith has already made his first big mistake. Whatever is proposed now, whoever “loses” is going to use this rather big stick to beat him over the head with.

    14. Luigi says:

      It sounds like an intention to reshuffle the cards, in a clever way, without giving anything meaningful to Scotland. The message is clear:

      There will be no net benefit to Scotland.

      (so what’s the effin point of it?)

    15. Macart says:

      Oh, the confusion. To slash or not to slash, devolve or not devolve fiscal powers?

      The ‘vow’ is looking to be on decidedly shaky ground at this point. Record have anything to say on this bollox? Or are they too red faced to have any comment at this point?

    16. donald anderson says:

      What a mess. Why don’t we all lie down and pull the coffin lid over?

    17. manandboy says:

      Right on, Stu.

      The Commission is a defuser of a situation after Indy that could have exploded politically if nothing had been done about the promised powers.

      The method is to get the Scots to believe that the matter is in the hands of a totally trustworthy and respectable titled individual who looks good on TV and who talks a very good game, and to persuade the Scots to believe that he WILL sort this to our satisfaction.

      Of course Lord Smith is Establishment through and through and will only do what his master, David Cameron, has told him to do.

      So while the Scots are waiting for a result, Westminster is simply buying time with no intention of devolving anything which would be to Scotland’s advantage.

    18. Grizzle McPuss says:

      Now what’s that well know idiom again?

      Oh that’s it…

      “like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic”

    19. kevin murray says:

      C,Mon guys!…..this is going to be fun!….give this commission time to sort out the wide ranging new powers that the three stooges promised would be given to the Scottish government. We all knew it was never going to happen!
      What will the no voters think when the vow turns out to be worthless?…..eddy boy must be shitting himself when he thinks about Mays general election. He could (hopefully) lose all his seats in Scotland
      isn’t politics fun!

    20. heedtracker says:

      It’s not hard to predict a UKIP Westminster’s reacting to the whole of this farce. Give the jocks nothing, or as future PM Bojo says, “a pound spent in Croydon is worth much than a pound spent in Strathclyde” Thanks again, proud Scot buts.

    21. ronnie anderson says:

      Many people here mentioning Taxation how do you raise Tax in Scotland on on a NO Wage Low Wage econemy, we on tae Plumb’s with this Smith Commission FARCE,its just allowing Westminster time to gear up for the next phase to knock Independance on the head for good, or at least the generation (as has been said)that would allow them to deal with EVEL & reduce the deficit with our resources.

    22. Cath says:

      it explains that it thinks the people of Scotland are idiotic, drooling simpletons who’ll swallow anything.

      The media do think that of the Scottish people but largely because the media themselves are that stupid. And the fact they won the referendum for the establishment proves enough of the people of Scotland (and I’m sure it’s equally true for the rest of the UK) are that stupid as well.

      Sad but true.

    23. Glad I wasn’t the only one reading that and thinking what a load of bollocks.We’ll dissected Rev.

    24. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I’ve voted for Stewart Hosie for deputy SNP leader. As well as having a strong grasp of economics, he puts it across well in a calm manner. Additionally, he doesn’t pull any punches.

      He is promoting a Scottish Alliance for the GE. If that were to proceed, under a Devo Max banner, it would prove to the Scottish people that Westminster will not adhere to Scotland’s democratic wishes within the union.

    25. galamcennalath says:

      Spot on Stu, another committe intent, from day one, of achieving as little as it possibly can.

      Full Fiscal Autonomy … ours is ours, theirs is theirs. Simple. No one would be losing out.

      Wait a minute, the current reality is theirs is theirs, but some of ours is also theirs. Change that situation and they lose out. And, they won’t allow that!

      Scotland is losing out now and can expect to lose out in any future within the Union.

    26. muttley79 says:

      @Donald

      Not losing or gaining financially should mean that if taxes were the same here and in ruk we’d still be where the Barnett formula leaves us just now.

      So if Scotland cuts, for example, corporation tax we’d lose whatever we lose (or potentially gain) in corporation tax receipts from Scotland…

      I don’t see the problem..

      Look I cannot say I have a good grasp of the taxation system at all. But the Smith Commission are basically telling us we cannot benefit from any new taxation powers. It sounds like the 3p in a pound 1998 settlement. Also, if we had to keep the taxes at the same level as the UK’s, what is the point in giving them to us in the first place? Is this correct? I really need to learn more about the taxation system and economics.

    27. Clootie says:

      This was not the plan. After a NO vote we were all supposed to just go away and let “everything go back to normal”.

    28. muttley79 says:

      What are the SNP and Greens hoping to achieve by taking part in the Smith Commission? Is there anything that can be gained at all from it?

    29. galamcennalath says:

      kevin murray says:
      What will the no voters think when the vow turns out to be worthless?

      Indeed. I envisage a leaflet and/or billboard with a reprint of The Vow on it and over printed with big letters “Worthless” or “All Lies” or “The Scam” or whatever seems appropriate!

    30. Schrödinger's cat says:

      I dare say the snp need to be seen to embrace this charade, the next public announcement will be along the lines of how the snp disrupted and destroyed the commission,
      The Indy party’s should say nothing
      This commission will discuss what powers holyrood should get, then the unionist in London will decide what they will get , regardless of what the snp want
      The bill, if it ever gets to Westminster will be filleted by the hoc and the hol anyway, so Cameron can offer all he likes in the run up to the ge, safe in the knowledge that it will never happen

    31. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Galas right, we should be using the failure to deliver the vow and the promised powers regardless of this talking shop of a commission

      Nicola sturgeon may need to be seen to tow the line, but we arent

    32. gerry parker says:

      We’re going to have to stop playing fair.

    33. Schrödinger's cat says:

      I’m disappointed Thant Hamsa yousuf didn’t stand as deputy fm, but I suppose that the talent we have in the Indy camp is a blessing for the future

    34. Garve says:

      You’re being overly pessimistic Rev, or at least being pessimistic too soon.

      I think it’s clear that the changes the Smith Commission recommends have to be fiscally neutral for both Scotland and the rest of the UK, at the time they come into effect.

      The trick the SNP and Greens need to pull off now is to make sure that some of those powers allow us to improve our economy and alter the tax system to generate more revenue so that we can improve our welfare system.

      And if we don’t get those, including power over North Sea revenues, then they need to reject the findings in a way which allows us to benefit politically at the general election (for starters). That means making sure the electorate reailise that the unionist parties are welching on the vow.

      But for a short while let’s give the Smith Commission a chance – it might surprise us.

    35. Garry says:

      I read points 5 and 6 slightly differently. We have all said that Scotland gives more than we take (regardless of the 1500 extra via the Barnet formula) so we know that a huge reason for WM not wanting us to be independent was financial, they couldn’t afford to lose us so I think points 5 and 6 are just binding us to make sure that whatever powers we do get – WM wont be losing out. If we get all our oil money (they say, but who believes anything they say anymore, oil revenue was only 1.1 Billion for 6 months) and we can raise our own taxes etc etc, they will be up the creek without the paddle or the boat or the river!!! This is a ruse. I would rather be independent and if we don’t have enough money then its our choice what to do to tighten the belts. This smacks of WM trying to be nice and looking out for us but I guarantee you they most definitely are NOT. This means technically we couldn’t reduce APD as Newcastle and Manchester would lose out, or WM wouldn’t have enough for Trident so UK loses out (in their eyes)….. 5 and 6 are a def no no..

    36. muttley79 says:

      How do you archive articles again?

    37. manandboy says:

      IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR POINT OF VIEW

      Right now, not many people will thinking about this, not even the Smith Commission.
      Nevertheless, the planet earth is part of the Solar system and as such is hurtling through space at around 66,000 miles per hour.
      In more manageable terms, that’s 18 miles a second,roughly.
      That’s Glasgow to Kirk O’Shotts/ PortGlasgow/ Kilmarnock/ Carluke in one second.
      Or Edinburgh to Glenrothes or Peebles in 1 sec.

      What goes on down here on earth’s surface depends on what goes on at 66,000 miles an hour in space running smoothly.

      Bear with me. This is not about astronomy.

      In the same way, though not on the same scale of distance or speed, what happens here in Scotland/UK depends on global finance running smoothly.
      Though we may not give globalisation much thought either, it too has to go smoothly if we are to get on with our tiny part of it.

      Now, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
      The good news is that the trip around the Sun is going smoothly.
      The bad news is that global finance is not.

      Specifically, the US Dollar could collapse at any time and if/when it does, and it is looking very likely before GE15, then that will change the way we look at things in a very big way.
      In the meantime, the Smith Commission will meet and talk and hope that we are all paying attention – if only because half the membership, like Tavish & Ruthie, need to be the centre of attention – and that we will believe what the BBC/Press tell us about the Commission’s progress.

      While the Wings educated cognoscenti will not get carried away and will instead keep our feet firmly on the ground – good advice at 66,000 miles an hour.

    38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Here we go

      – A ‘substantial and cohesive package of powers, meaningful to the people of Scotland’; MEANINGLESS BUT INFINITELY INTERPRETABLE

      – Strengthening the Scottish Parliament within the UK, including its financial accountability; TAX GATHERING RESPONSIBILITIES FOR COLLECTION FOR ROME

      – A ‘durable but responsive democratic constitutional settlement’ within the UK, enhancing mutual co-operation and partnership; LOCKED IN AND THE KEY KEPT AT WESTMINSTER

      – Not being conditional on other UK political negotiations; IT WILL BE GIVEN QUICKLY BECAUSE NOBODY< NOT EVEN THE PIGEONS ATOP WESTMINSTER COULD OBJECT TO SFA

      – Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts”; DUCKSPEAK

      – Causing neither the UK nor Scottish Governments to gain or lose financially; SO WHAT IS THE POINT?

      – Being implementable, compatible with international obligations, including EU law; and with a broad understanding of the potential associated costs.” EH? MEANINGLESS AND YET SUBTLY PREGNANT (I know)

      Sorry about the rogue bold characters which should have been only visible on the answers.

    39. nigel says:

      The paper quotes from what seems to be a press release issued by the Commission, in which it explains that it thinks the people of Scotland are idiotic, drooling simpletons who’ll swallow anything.

      Well Rev, 55% of Scots do APPEAR to swallow anything?

    40. nigel says:

      Is that Travesty Scott in the picky? Good grief!!

      How did that lump ‘o nothingness get in there?? I’m not aware he HAS a party??

      Whatever next? Mercy me!! Jings a michty! Help ma boab!!

    41. seanair says:

      J B Turner
      “Charade” was the word I thought of when asked to submit my thoughts to Smith. For a start he does not have enough staff to go through all the submissions AND come up with an agreement by the end of November.
      His first decision is therefore to instruct all submissions asking for Devo Max to be put in a big black bag marked “NO”. That’ll reduce the submissions greatly so that they can concentrate on AGGREGATES and other similar matters of importance to the people of Scotland(not).

    42. Schrödinger's cat says:

      @muttley
      It is a charade the greens and the snp are obliged to take part in, when the unionist fail to come to an agreement, they will simply blame the greens and the snp for the failure of the commission to reach an agreement.
      The indy’s should just nod and smile at any suggestions by the unionists and when prompted to speak, just come out with the same vacuous type comments as above
      Oh, and make sure they get a copy of the minutes of the meetings

    43. desimond says:

      I want to see some evidence of co-operation that isnt mutual!

      I assume the folk here saying “Lets wait and see” and “Steady on now Rev!” are just trying to make us all laugh and know fine well this Commission is an utter nonsense. Jod done!

      😆

    44. Ron says:

      “Are we really the only people who can see that?”

      Nope, I commented on the same thing this morning on the Guardian article that quoted the same “no financial loss” nonsense.

      Which makes me wonder why the various representatives would agree to it? Each one must realise it’s impossible. I *hope* the green and SNP reps at the meeting have some cunning reason for agreeing, but I worry it’s a stitchup.

    45. Grouse Beater says:

      The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.

    46. nigel says:

      Garve says–But for a short while let’s give the Smith Commission a chance – it might surprise us.

      A shrewd observation Garve. Whilst posting , whats the weather like today on the planet Zog? Down here, in lala land, its a bit breezy but otherwise a fine autumnal day.

    47. muttley79 says:

      @Grouse Beater

      The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.

      No thanks.

    48. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      OT

      But as the VOW and the useless of Smith’s talking shop begins to sink in, why don’t we get

      I should gave voted YES badges made up for all us and more to hand out.

      We could pretend that we are disaffected No voters having seen through the lies. Might be a better tactic than YES or Alliance badges in the run up to the WM election.

    49. manandboy says:

      (Sorry, O/T )

      The vote for Nicola’s deputy.

      I could easily have voted for any of the three candidates as I’ve read they are each very capable.
      But, with a view to the future, I elected to vote for the stronger male candidate.
      It was a purely strategic decision made in the face of the onslaught that is already coming at us from Labour via the Unionist Establishment media.

      We need someone supporting Nicola who is strong with both bat and ball.

    50. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @
      manandboy

      You have been listening to a Monty Python sketch because there bugger all here down on Earth (intelligent life)

    51. Stoker says:

      Stu needn’t had bothered wasting his energy dissecting that
      blunt little pile of smouldering shite.
      Its glaringly obvious to all who can read it.

      What concerns me is our leaders, mainly the SNP, agreed to it.
      So, on the basis i’m willing to trust the Yes leaders who are
      on that group, i’m going to believe they know what they’re doing.
      There’s nothing else we can do – for the time being.

    52. gillie says:

      Devo-Nothing sums it up.

      The rumour is that Labour are digging their heels in and that others will simply walk in response.

    53. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Muttley,
      Go to desired page and select and copy the URL

      Then go to google and type in archive today, this will bring up the desired link for this website, click on it

      In the box at the top of the page asking which URL you want archive, click in the box and paste the URL into the box and hit enter, this will generate a new URL in the address bar which you can copy ns paste into your comment box here

      For links to the daily retard, you need to over come the questionaire pop up, ask if you need help with this

    54. msean says:

      I think you are correct,Westminster doesn’t want any change,anything it gives you will cost twice the price,its a heads they win tails you lose situation.

      Apparently,we voted to be turned over,no doesn’t mean no to Westminster,it means Westminster can and will continue to do as it pleases.

    55. Albaman says:

      Actually, I believe that life would have been so much simpler had the vote gone to a ” yes”, at lest there would be only two sides having to agree, but what we have now is everyone north and South, and west of the U.K. having a say, it could take years to sort out, which is Westminster intention anyway, I can see that your going to be very busy for quite a while Stew, but I get the impression that you ” enjoy” holding the press to account, and you do it very well, would that you had an outlet into the printed press.
      Anyone heard from Morag regarding the situation on the Lockerbie enquiries/appeals ?.

    56. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      23 October, 2014 at 4:05 pm
      The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.

      Illegal and would be challenged in a court of law

      This would exclude many of the snp’s own msp’s and angus Robertson.

      This is a bad idea gb

    57. muttley79 says:

      Cheers SC. I am still getting the Herald’s wall through archive today?

    58. ronnie anderson says:

      @Manandboy thanks for the trip around the galaxy noo back down to earth an Hehaw fae Smith Comm.

    59. Gary says:

      They’re moving the deckchairs around etc. As a reward those chairs will find themselves under the control of Labour local authorities. Their “thirty pieces of silver” and if the commission ever finishes/reports/makes any recommendations it will become mired in Parliament. SNP will be accused of slowing proceedings by not agreeing to sell out the people. Lordships will abound for committee members ‘saving’ the union whilst feathering their nests.

    60. desimond says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Wow, that really is talking pish and very sad.

      As per The Martian Chronicles..”Those are the Martians”

    61. Anne says:

      Anyone seen this from BBC Scotland. Get ready to weep. Just listening to BBC Scotland Newsdrive but no mention of it in their headlines. Please share with as many people as possible.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-29739085

    62. Ali says:

      The key point for the unionists is

      “including its financial accountability”

      We just need to look at whats happening in Wales now to see their endgame. Tory inspired attacks by Daily Mail on Welsh NHS as it struggles to cope with the massive budget cuts we were given a temporary reprieve from because we had referendum coming up. Now that’s behind us the gloves will be off.
      All the unionists want Holyrood to have is accountability without power. As the block grant is cut Holyrood to have accountability for implementing cuts or raising taxes while WM holds the purse strings and controls the media attacks on the SNP government. Blaring the message see Scotland you can’t run your country yourselves, bet your glad you stayed.

    63. Craig P says:

      Corporate strategies designed by committees are nearly always meaningless. Especially when the committee is made up largely of professional dissemblers.

    64. Luigi says:

      Schrödinger’s cat says:

      23 October, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      @muttley
      It is a charade the greens and the snp are obliged to take part in, when the unionist fail to come to an agreement, they will simply blame the greens and the snp for the failure of the commission to reach an agreement.
      The indy’s should just nod and smile at any suggestions by the unionists and when prompted to speak, just come out with the same vacuous type comments as above
      Oh, and make sure they get a copy of the minutes of the meetings

      Yep, I’m afraid that we just have to bear the pain and go through the motions (bowel movements) for a while. The good news is that it is all fast-tracked (apparently) so the Smith Talking Shop and Expectation Reduction Exercise should not take too long to run its course. The independence parties have to hang in there, and grab what they can, before coming out and saying “Some progress, but it could, and should have been a lot better, therefore we will now campaign for DevoMax”.

      Patience!

    65. ticktock says:

      BtP @ 4.10pm

      That’s a good idea, I’m thinking t-shirts as well as badges, a bit more visible.

      btw, found a discarded copy of the Retard – I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy the shitty little rag – and contacted a couple of sizeable advertisers. Told them I’m in the market for their product but that I would be taking my business elsewhere because they’re advertising in the DR which is anti-Scottish and was instrumental in cheating the Scottish people out of self-governance. One just said ok the other one not at all chuffed.

    66. AuldA says:

      @BtP:

      – Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts”; DUCKSPEAK

      Well, in this vale of tears, some are pandas, and others ducks…

      🙂

    67. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Muttley
      Try the option, private browsing, this will allow you to see the herald articles. I haven’t ever linked to the herald and I’m using an iPad at the mo, when I get to my laptop, I,ll have a closer look and paste full instructions, you may need to go through google cache to do this, I,ll get back to you
      I think that avoiding clicks on MSM is the right way to go

    68. ronnie anderson says:

      As the SNP werent consulted on the VOW or how it would be implamented WHY should they take part at all,Westminster know what the SNP / YES campained for FULL AUTONEMY NOTHING LESS,they dont need to take part in this Farce to get saddled with blame for the failure.

    69. panda paws says:

      “The minute you make Scotland raise some or all of its own income tax, say, you massively alter the financial balance”

      I’m not an economist so maybe I’m missing something but every time I see this I think what the hell difference does it make WHO “raises” the tax when it seems what we are really talking about is assignment.

      Instead of getting a block grant partially based on Barnett and God knows what else, this partial devolution of income tax proposes a budget of

      40% of income tax plus a block grant based on whatever Westminster gives us minus 40% of income tax assigned to Scotland.

      Am I missing something or is this a BIG waste of time?

    70. wingman 2020 says:

      @Heedtracker

      Is Caesar!sAlbie on the commission? If so why? What legitimises him to speak for the people of Scotland?

    71. Onwards says:

      It is easy to see flaws in the principles, and they are contradictory at first glance..

      But what are we trying to achieve here?

      Would people be happy with Devo-Max, if we were worse off at first?
      But had the powers to raise our overall competitiveness?
      And it could be seen as a further step towards independence.

      It seems to me, if we get very limited new powers, then we have no right to complain if we are amongst those saying it is unworkable.

    72. Jim Thomson says:

      I’m with @Craig P 4:33pm

      The whole “statement” has been written by politicians for politicians. Don’t expect it to have any grammatical or logical sense.

      When I stumbled across it either late yesterday or early this morning paras 5 & 6 were the ones that made me think “what a crock of meaningless and pointless crap”

    73. Jim Thomson says:

      by “paras” I do, of course mean “points” … grrrrr

    74. Luigi says:

      If 51% of England voted to get out of Europe, and 61% of Scotland voted to remain in, then the BritNats would be thwarted by a tiny margin. A tiny, Scottish margin.

      What a delicious irony!

    75. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Luigi
      Agreed, devo max it is,
      Indy is off the menu for a generation
      But the generation ends at 10.01pm on May 7th 2015′ I can live with this idea for the next 6 months

    76. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Luigi
      If we get 45+ snp mp’s elected in May and hold the balance of power, they will decide whether or not there is an eu referendum.
      What powers would they be willing to concede for angus Robertson and co to sit on their hands when the vote comes up in the hoc?

    77. robertknight says:

      The only outcome I can foresee is one similar to that experienced by a young Master Twist when had the audacity to ask for more. Why not simply accept that there’ll be zero output from this charade, other than a concerted effort by the Unionists/MSM to blame the SNP (and by association the Greens) for its ultimate failure to deliver anything substantial.

      All the referendum did was show the lengths to which the British establishment, in all its forms, will go to preserve its own interests, and the fact that there are still a good proportion of the population here who are willing to believe anything, provided it is repeated by the BBC etc. ad-nauseam… “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” (Paul Watson).

    78. Dr Ew says:

      You’re right, of course. On the other hand, modern economics is all about bankers creating money out of thin air so…

      …what’s a few more magic beans in the world?

    79. Big Al says:

      We raise say 60 billion and we get back say 30 billion the missing 30 billion needs to be returned to Scotland for then a deduction for defence etc can be returned to London
      We at the moment are losing out and London is gaining therefore a re balancing of the 60 billion Scotland raises will meet the commissions wish list

    80. Macart says:

      @Clootie 3.40

      “This was not the plan. After a NO vote we were all supposed to just go away and let “everything go back to normal”.

      In their dreams. 😀

    81. ronnie anderson says:

      @ ticktock would you not be better asking them if they’re still paying the same costs for they’re advertizment given the retards shrinking circulation, just a though on a different tactic.

    82. muttley79 says:

      @Big Al

      We raise say 60 billion and we get back say 30 billion the missing 30 billion needs to be returned to Scotland for then a deduction for defence etc can be returned to London
      We at the moment are losing out and London is gaining therefore a re balancing of the 60 billion Scotland raises will meet the commissions wish list.

      The Smith Commission says that the UK cannot lose out.

    83. Schrödinger's cat says:

      wingman 2020 says:
      23 October, 2014 at 4:50 pm
      @Heedtracker

      Is Caesar!sAlbie on the commission? If so why? What legitimises him to speak for the people of Scotland?

      That really does stick in the craw,

    84. Onwards says:

      Perhaps one answer is a REPLACEMENT of the Barnett formula, that enables transfers between nations or regions, based on average income and unemployment rates.

      That would have an automatic balancing mechanism.

      We could look at how the USA or other countries do transfers between states.

      In the USA, states can also compete against each other for business.

      But the more a state makes, or the residents within, the more is paid towards the federal government, and the less it gets back.

      One thing to remember is that we don’t have a level playing field at the moment, when it comes to business opportunities.
      Simply because of geography and all the advantages of London.

      The current situation we have goes against the principle above of “Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts””

      In order to resolve this, then it is necessary for Scotland to have job creating powers and the ability to compete to some degree.

    85. Grouse Beater says:

      Desimond: That’s talking pish.

      Don’t be a bad judge of character. It’s tongue in cheek.

      Anybody know how to convince at least half a million to vote for a better nation? Much of the debate is worthless unless it can be achieved.

      If we can’t get our hands on our oil to distribute it to the benefit of the nation …

    86. Dr Jim says:

      Next week there is a committee of MPs meeting with the Treasury to give evidence on the blocking of more devolution to Scotland
      This week Prof Jim Gallagher from Oxford Uni is meeting with a select committee to warn them against any backsliding on devolution to Scotland as it would lead to a legal backlash
      Who to believe… Who to listen to…What to do…Who’s telling the truth…
      Answers on a postcard to “Hughie Green” at “Opportunity Knocks”

    87. Graeme Doig says:

      Michael Connarty, labour MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk east, on radio scotlandshire just now arguing for control over fracking licenses to be given, i repeat ‘given’, to Scotland.

      What a joke!

    88. liz says:

      The SNP have to go with the Smith Commission and then point out in no uncertain terms what we were offered.

      Even if the Lord Ashcroft poll or the vow gave folk an excuse to vote no, we can still use the figure 25% of Nos voted for FFA to force either a full package or a new indy ref, especially if we have a lot of SNP MPs.

      We let them away wit nothing – I really think the Yes parties need to start considering suing reporters for telling lies

    89. Tom Platt says:

      Devolution of public broadcasting provision would cost Westminster little financially and they might be tempted to allow it.
      http://www.newsnetscotland.scot/index.php/scottish-news/9775-thousands-sign-petition-to-devolve-broadcasting

    90. Husker says:

      Not causing detriment to the “UK nor to any constituent parts”;

      I had mentioned previously that I am not in nationalism but in a form of localism where power is devolved as closely as possible to the people who require it.

      It can be argued that this form of thinking doesn’t need independence and can occur under the union.

      However, this whole commission and the quote that I highlighted in this post shows blows a hole in this argument.

      The simple fact is that in the union, whether in actual political bodies, parties or movements, we Scots are in a pecking order with other parts of the UK and as a lot of our problems are far worse than other parts of the UK, we are pushed down this pecking order.

      The question is also numbers. The UK is a state of 65+ million people. We are part of that state with a nation of 5 million and we are in the geographically in the fringes of the main population centres of the Midlands and the South East of England which also makes us less relevant than those in this area.

      Being in the union, we are competing for a slice of the pie that is ever decreasing as well as other parts of the UK requiring bigger parts more than us.

      Of course, Scotland can stand on it’s own two feet but people need to be convinced that it is better than they are getting in the UK. They also need to be convinced about what constitutional settlement will be in their best interests.

      Of course, those in support of the union will say that independence is selfish, narrow minded nationalism and that the UK is a family of nations that should help each other. Yes, we need to help those less fortunate than other-selves but we can’t beggar ourselves in the process. As well as that, we need to deal with our own problems and look after our own.

      This part of the independence debate needs to be discussed and ensure that we are right in this and then take it to those undecided or against. If we are right then we can win them over.

    91. Ken500 says:

      The Herald and the Smith Comimission are a joke.

      Get 40+ SNP MP in Westminster to make any difference.

    92. manandboy says:

      John McTernan is to Independence what Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes.
      Since Sept 19th, McTernan has been scanning the Indy blogs, to see if the YES side have figured out how he did it.
      He still has a smile on his face,
      not just as a result of the No campaign,
      but because he’s planning to do the same again.

    93. Robert Louis says:

      So, now the result is a narrow NO to independence, comes the flood of new oil ‘finds’. Surprise, sur freaking prise.

      http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/press-releases/gdf-suez-and-bp-discover-new-central-north-sea-field.html

      Interestingly, in that staement from BP, it includes the following text;

      “Along with its co-venturers, BP is currently embarking on a £10bn investment programme in the North Sea, of which over £7 billion will be spent in the next five years”

      A wee fact that ALL the unionist liars of Scotland, and the entire UK media seemed to have missed in the run up to the referendum. Funny that.

      Come the GE 2015, it is up to us to ensure every single lying unionist MP in Scotland is sent packing. I am sooooo motivated now. If we can shut down some of these english owned and run anti Scottish newspapers we have in Scotland, in the meantime, so much the better. Hopefully the first to go, will be the financially stricken, and insultingly titled ‘Scotsman’.

    94. Schrödinger's cat says:

      @gb
      My friend
      If we have to out ukip, ukip, to win our independence
      It probably isn’t worth having

      But I do think it is time we were more forceful
      My mind was made up on that point on the 19th when I saw the video of the woman having the saltire ripped out of her hand in George square

    95. Davy says:

      Various tories of many colours made promises to Scotland of “significate powers”, home-rule, and Devo-Max so surely our job is to inform the Scots what should be expected from such statements.

      Their does not appear to be enough public information about what is on offer and how to define Devo Max from Devo Nought, this to me is an open goal for the indy parties.

      If we define what the terms mean then the unionist parties have lost the initive and what they propose can then be held up to public view and ridicule.

      Maybe Stu we need something we can print off showing what Devo Max should be, and the political parties need to be told to get their fingers out and grab the opportinuity.

      lets get the first strike in.

    96. O/T
      Is Alex Salmond on Question Time tonight ?

    97. Baheid says:

      Ok, I don’t get this.

      Who decided that this would all be done behind closed doors and why?

      I don’t get it at all, you have committees in parliament,FMQ’s etc all televised yet we’re not allowed to observe/witness these proceedings.

    98. @manandboy – Reference your comment about John McTernan. I would suspect that he planted people within the YES camp, on blogs posing as ordinary folk, in YES groups etc and all the time they were quietly pushing agendas and ideas ever so slowly.

      Did any on here notice anyone within their groups who did things like that.

    99. Capella says:

      But surely, if the Smith commission grants Devo Max rUK will be better off because they will no longer be subsidisng the subsidy junkies. And as we are a net contributor to the UK, Scotland will be better off as we will only hand over the amount needed for defence and foreign affairs. Win Win !?

    100. Lochside says:

      I’ve already reached the point of no return with the ongoing farce called the Smith Commission’.The only truth about this charade is that it’s chaired by some toffee nosed git called Smith and it’s been commissioned to bore and demoralise the collective arse off the Scottish public.

      I already can see the fervour cooling,and the flags disappearing from view as people go back to the mundane every day struggle under our unelected tyrants.

      The British excel at simultaneously boring native populations to death while scaring the shit out of them.
      Terror threats, viruses, wars all thrown into the pot of diverting the gullible majority and if they show a glimmer of interest then the tedious ‘command papers’ and obtuse contradictory proposals from our ‘imperial masters’will soon force their attention back to the ‘Daily Retard’ or Auntie Beeb.

      Meanwhile the BBC marshalls all its propaganda to prepare the ground for laying the blame on the SNP for imposing ‘Devo Max’ and bringing ‘black holes’ to Scotland’s economy.

      The SNP and the YES alliance have a duty to tell Lord Smiffy and his pals to take a right good fuck to themselves with DEVO WHATEVER once they’ve finally cogitated and masticated themselves blind with their mandarin bullshit.

      We cannot let ourselves be herded like swine into another blind alley of constitutional bullshit for another 30 years.

      Talking of ‘devo’ there was a seventies band by the same name, whose famous eponymous debut single had the line ‘Are we not men?’…The answer to that should be a resounding ‘YES’….and like the band’s LPs, Devo Max etc. should be consigned to the bargain basement racks of history.

    101. robertknight says:

      Swinney and Harvie better get started on that Minority Report, ’cause that’ll be the only option open to them once the Unionist block break into full ‘sabotage then blame the Nats’ mode.

    102. Jimbo says:

      IMO it’s just a charade.

      I don’t think any of the Unionist parties have any intention of seeing this through to its conclusion.

      Same goes for the Tory promise of an EU in/out referendum. I reckon they’ll do the same as Gordon Brown did back in 2009, and renege on their pledge to hold one. They’re too feart to put it to the test.

    103. liz says:

      John McTiernan thinks he’s Machiavelli but he would have won nothing if it hadn’t have been for the BBC/MSM.

      Plants might work to a certain extent but I think the Yessers are pretty well informed.

      McTiernan will last depending on the GE results, remember his failure in Australia

    104. galamcennalath says:

      Scot Finlayson says:
      Is Alex Salmond on Question Time tonight ?

      Yes. Hope he makes some good relevant points!

    105. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Re mcternan
      He is a master of bugger all, the conspiracy theories only divide us

      He had every daily newspaper and every tv channel in the uk repeating his pish
      With forces like that, coco the clown could have run the no campaign

      The media bias is something we all recognize
      There are movements afoot to launch our own media
      How do we defeat mcternan, …. People power, when the new newspapers and tv channel are launched, we all support them

      Mcternan is no guru. If we had had a level playing field the rev, WTD etc, would have wiped the floor with him

    106. Schrödinger's cat says:

      Beat me to it Liz,

    107. GusI says:

      In other words, the only way to ensure that none of the UK’s constituent parts gain or lose financially is to change nothing.

      You are all being far too negative on this!

      We have been promised change and this was confirmed by Cameron on Wednesday at PMQ’s. The only other way that the
      UK’s constituent parts will not gain or lose is with full
      fiscal autonomy. If rUK currently gets “r” income and
      Scotland gets “s” income then under FFA this will not change so no gain or loss to either parts.

      If the unionists say that rUK will loose out then we can
      counter that with Scotland subsidising rUK. They will have
      the GERS (or maybe other treasury figures) and these can be used to counter any proposal that Scotland will loose out.

      How the two entities spend it is their choice as is the
      amount of borrowing.

    108. galamcennalath says:

      I saw somewhere that Cameron hasn’t ruled out FFA.

      I’m wondering if there might be two forms of FFA!? The generally accepted definition, and Cameron’s EnglNat view on the subject.

      Just suggesting, but perhaps he means full fiscal responsibility to raise all the taxes Holyrood spends on whatever is devolved to it. In other words … only ocontrol taxes to cover expenditure on devolved powers, NO block grant at all, all other taxes from Scotland go to WM.

      I wouldn’t put it past the Tories, with MSM backing the idea, to try to sell that arrangement and call it FFA! Some rather strange things have been called DevoMax and Home Rule, after all, when they are nothing like them.

    109. Anne says:

      New oil field mentioned on Reporting Scotland but in amongst “Other Stories from Across the Country” with upbeat music in the background to distract the viewer. Of course, it was not given the significance it should have given that the OIL is meant to be running out. Where is that useless BBC complaint form!!!

    110. Anne says:

      New oil field mentioned on Reporting Scotland but in amongst “Other Stories from Across the Country” with upbeat music in the background to distract the viewer. Of course, it was not given the significance it should have given, questioning the Unionist’s position that the OIL is meant to be running out. Where is that useless BBC complaint form!!!

    111. @Schrödinger’s cat
      The thing about McTernan is that he is a Sociopath ,`a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.`
      He Knows the Internet and how to manipulate blogs and twitter he is not as stupid as he looks and boy does he look stupid.

    112. john king says:

      Grouse Beater says
      “The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.”

      I rest my case!

    113. Robert Louis says:

      Baheid at 558pm,

      You make an interesting point, just WHY IS all of this happening behind closed doors?

      Th other question I would raise is simply this, we already have a democratically elected Government of Scotland, so surely their views on behalf of the people of Scotland should carry greater weight than people such as Adam Tomkins, who has to my knowledge been elected by nobody in Scotland. Would the UK have negotiations with the EU, for example, carried out by all the parties of Westminster (each with an equal say), or would it be the current UK Government who would do it?

      I do hope the SNP can see what is happening here – their Government is being undermined and effectively treated as just A.N.Other interested party.

      The whole damn thing is becoming a sick joke, as we expected. Referendum number 2 is coming hurtling down the rail tracks, as fast as Smith and his unionist cabal obfuscates and obstructs devo max.

    114. Capella says:

      @ Lochside
      “The British excel at simultaneously boring native populations to death while scaring the shit out of them.”
      Well they failed with the USA, India and the Irish. Probably many others though I can’t think of the right now. Malta?
      They also failed to scare 45% of Scottish voters. The more people see through Project Fear the braver they get.

    115. nigel says:

      The appalling thing about this “commission” is that all parties around the table apart from SNP, wish bugger all powers to be devolved.

      And they are supposed to be “proud Scots??????”

      Beggars belief!!

      Strange race……….

    116. Grouse Beater says:

      Schrodinger: The woman getting the Saltire ripped out of her hand in George Square.

      I’m afraid that’s what we face, only the majority of the opposition needs no orange apron to show fidelity to Union values.

    117. Bob Mack says:

      The story about the discovery of a new oilfield is manna from heaven, and helps to discredit the likes of that “oily” character Sir Ian Wood, that supposed doyen of all things North Sea. Loved the description or should I say lack of description of where exactly it is, but I can assume from the name given to it by B.P. “VORLICH” ,that it is not far from Scottish shores. May I say that this will not be the last discovery, as I am aware through other sources that more will follow in the near future .Robbed blind by ("Tractor" - Ed)s and colonialists yet again

    118. Capella says:

      @ Anne
      Re all that “new” oil in the North Sea (for which £10b had already been committed). It might be a good idea to have some kind of “Truth and Reconciliation” process whereby the authors of all those lies (I’m thinking of Ian Wood for a start but there are plenty to choose from) are confronted with the truth and invited to apologise? Perhaps a website or a full page advert in the newspapers with the quote – then the reality.

    119. Patrician says:

      Smith Commission, for all those who have contributed to this should be made to sit down and watch repeats of “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister” to see what the establishment really think about commissions and any submissions made.

    120. Stoker says:

      I need some help with the picture at the top of this page.
      Struggling to identify the bodies at the table.
      I am working on the reasoning there are 2 reps from each party.
      Working clockwise from top of the table/photie:
      (1)-Chair, Boabie Smith.
      (2)-?
      (3)-?
      (4)-?
      (5)-?
      (6)-Iain Gray.
      (7)-?
      (8)Michael Moore.
      (9)Tavish Scott.
      (10)-?
      (11)-?

      Who’s taking the minutes and recording all this?

    121. Paula Rose says:

      I’m a rudimentalist!

      Briandoonthetoon and Petethecamera – can I have a badge please?

    122. balaaargh says:

      @stoker

      10 & 11 are Linda Fabiani and John Swinney. I’m guessing 7 will be McClymont sat next to Gray. Don’t know the others but I thought Goldie had grey hair so it might be Heedtracker’s Slovene girlfriend… 😉

    123. K1 says:

      Anne @ 4.29pm

      Here’s the link you posted archived.

      https://archive.today/R9f60

      As schrodinger mentions above, and it can’t emphasised enough, archiving msm links reduces the ‘clicks’ on any given article. By doing so we are actively reducing their ‘viewer numbers’.

      So, click on address bar of article you are reading, ‘highlight’ the whole address line, then right click, choose ‘copy url’ on the drop down menu. Open http://archive.today/ place cursor into the long oblong red bordered box, right click ‘paste’. Then click ‘submit url’ at the end of the box. Wait for a few seconds, or moment while it does it’s thing. Hey presto, you have an archived copy.

      So, 1 copy…registers on the msm site, if you then post that archived link and 20 people click on it, it’s still just that one click that registers.

      Now imagine that ‘habit’ being learned by 100’s or even 1000’s of us…till it’s just ‘natural’. That could seriously ‘damage’ their digital model, as it reduces the potential income revenue from advertisers, which is how they generate their income to keep their websites viable. Those advertisers have to find new revenue streams…and the more we use Indy friendly sites etc…who also (with exceptions) generate income through advertising. We can ‘draw’ those companies who potentially lose out from the drop in ‘clicks’ from msm as they begin to see the increase in traffic to alternative Indy media sites.

      It’s just a dream I have…that we by small individual acts can change the world 🙂

    124. yesindyref2 says:

      Seems reasonably straightforward to me mathematically, and could presumably be based on last year accounts / current year (GERS). If Income Tax is devolved to Scotland and currently earns Westminster £X billion from Scotland, then £X billion is taken from Barnett / block grant.

      If welfare on its own is devolved to Scotland and currently costs the UK £Y billion on behalf of Scotland, then Westminster saves £Y billion so Scotland gets given £Y billion more in Barnett / block grant.

      If both happen, then:
      If X = Y, Barnett stays the same.
      If X GT Y, Barnett is reduced by £X-£Y billion
      If X LT Y, Barnett is increased by £Y-£X billion

      Same for any powers or package of powers. Perhaps even with FFA / Devo-Max, some Barnett is retained, but in that case two-way – as the mechanism for balancing the equations. It should be noted that this is a very good time for Scotland right now in that balancing system, for oil revenues to be fully devolved, as currently they’re low. That works in our favour unless oil disappears beneath the waves never to be seen again.

      It should be noted that ths above seven principles were agreed unanimously. Neither the SNP nor the Greens wold give away the Stone of Destiny on Day 1 of Smith.

      I’m afraid, at this stage, this is much ado about nothing.

    125. nigel says:

      Yesindy
      It should be noted that this is a very good time for Scotland right now in that balancing system, for oil revenues to be fully devolved,

      Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    126. Bill Melvin says:

      Surely the reason we want change is because we currently get a bum deal and think we can do better ourselves. By its very nature this means we need the ability to raise more and/or spend it more effectively, with powers to take decisions which can result in additional returns then we must know that we can keep the increased returns to invest in improvements. But under Smith Commission would this constitute us being better off and therefore needing to sacrifice the increase back to WM? The SNP child care initiative to aid more women to return to work and generate extra income tax being a point!
      We’ve been or are about to be royally shafted!

    127. Gallowglass says:

      I came to exactly the same conclusion as Stu on the ‘to no detriment’ issue. There is no scope for movement, then, as the Treasury clearly is set to lose on any transfer of taxation.

      Why is the Daily Record being allowed to still champion itself as a champion for this nonsense?

      Lord Smith should be making these statements through the media at large, not just the DR.

    128. Tam Jardine says:

      I can see John Swinney pulling out in disgust if he is getting no-where. Or maybe just because he can’t stand being holed up with the rest of ’em.

      He and Linda Fabiani are no fools- they will have gone into this with a strategy, what they want, what they are willing to accept and when to jack it in. It will be interesting to see how they can make political capital out of it particularly when the media are geared up to crucify them whatever permutation of pish appears at the end of it all.

      Had they refused to enter into the discussions, although it would have been reasonable it would be the constitutional convention all over again.

      Re deputy- Hosie edges it for me though I think they are all good candidates who have impressed me. I presume there is a separate Deputy First Minister to be chosen at a later date? Like SC I was disappointed Humza did not throw his hat in but he has a great future ahead of him in the party.

    129. K1 says:

      I agree Patrician, but kinnivie made a good point a day or so ago regarding individual submissions; we can all just send an email saying we fully endorse the SNP’s proposals. The act of engagement, showing the strength of feeling behind real change. I also thought of future historians and generations, finding our submissions and in much the same way that we now know about the 2 million Scots who signed the Scottish convention in the fifties. It gives anyone looking in the future a real insight into the depth and strength of the movement that has actually been systematically hidden from successive generations, since 1707. It gives them courage to know their ancestors pursued every option to do this peacefully. And depending where Scotland is by then; it may yet give them courage and certainly insight into the struggles encountered along the way.

      I think I’m romantic in this way, cause I don’t think this commission will amount to anything other than a whitewash. We have to keep leaving our mark. No matter how futile it seems, I think that’s why the snp are going along with this…they really do have our best interests at heart. We should support them, they are us.

    130. Stoker says:

      balaaargh says:
      23 October, 2014 at 7:24 pm
      @stoker
      10 & 11 are Linda Fabiani and John Swinney. I’m guessing 7 will be McClymont sat next to Gray. Don’t know the others but I thought Goldie had grey hair so it might be Heedtracker’s Slovene girlfriend… 😉
      _______________

      Jeeez Louise, i sense a visit to the opticians coming on,
      never recognised Fabiani & Swinney.
      You’re correct about Goldie having grey hair. I thought No2
      was her at first then i remembered the grey hair.
      I also thought, at first glance, that No5 was Ruthy but i’m
      not so sure.
      Thanks for the clarification on 10 & 11.

    131. Tam Jardine says:

      1 thing I wanted to mention- I would love someone with a little time on their hands and the know-how to put together a vast 4 hour long montage of promises from the con-artists before the referendum. I watch the clips of Gordo bigging up the significant new powers we were going to receive now with a kind of manic pleasure.

      It could culminiate with the BBC camped outside that miners club overnight like adolescent Justine Bieber fans waiting for a chance to touch his hem, waiting in anticipation of their ONE TRUE GORD, sorry I mean failed absentee backbench mp’s monumental speech.

    132. wingman 2020 says:

      @Schrödinger’s cat

      It sure does.

    133. Gallowglass says:

      Regardless of what happens the SNP need to stay involved until the process is over, it’s quite feasible to do so while legitimately pointing out that the thing is flawed.

      What we CANNOT allow is for Labour to cat call the SNP for another few decades claiming they rejected the ‘settled will of the Scottish people’ blah blah like the refused to engage in the constitutional convention.

      You and I might understand why, others won’t.

      It would be a fools game to pull out even if it was frustrating and fruitless.

      We have to play ball on their terms until their ineptitude passes it back into our play.

    134. unclebob says:

      I have spent many minutes sorting this out for the Smith commission.
      Here goes:
      Every country (4 in total) raise their own taxes and decide how to spend their own money. For joint things (which we all agree are joint) we pro-rata pay for the service. So we can opt in or opt out of these services, provide our own or decide we don’t need them. (Like defense)
      So we become 4 Federal states: A, B, C and D.
      If a big project involves two states they pay for it in a balanced way, perhaps using population figures.
      So, HS2 is paid for by the only state that it is in. New Forth Road Bridge is paid for only by the state that it is in.
      We than agree if we can use your roads, we’ll let you use ours!!! for free.

      Each state buys from each other the things it needs. We share our currency, the queen and other UK things.
      Simples, you keep your stuff we keep ours.
      We pay for our stuff, you pay for yours.
      If the other states have different priorities and needs they spend their money on them, we spend our money on the things that we want.

    135. Capella says:

      1)-Chair, Boabie Smith.
      (2)-Annabel Goldi
      (3)-Adam Tomkins?
      (4)-Ruthie
      (5)-Iain Grey
      (6)John McClymont
      (7)Michael Moore
      (8)Tavish Scott
      (9)Linda Fabiani
      (10)-John Swinney

    136. Papadox says:

      @Capella 7:02 pm

      Truth and reconciliation commission.

      We should Waite till after Lordy Smithy does his part for HMG/establishment so he can salve his sole in a BT mass cleansing.

      This new NORTH SEA oil field, part owned by BP and the chairman of BT was bad mouthing the North Sea and Scotlands oil reserves, along with Mr Wood, Darling et al right up to the 18/9/14.

      Why do all these oil experts keep referring to NORTH SEA oil. They will go through hoops to avoid using the terms ATLANTIC MARGIN, CLYDE. that is a sure sign you are being conned, because they know the truth. The one thing they will never admit the truth.

      I used to wonder how you got a knighthood now I recon I’ve stumbled on it.

    137. Stoker says:

      According to this, these are the 10 players:
      https://archive.today/IFjvL

      My first attempt at archiving – i hope it works.

    138. Onwards says:

      One thing to be aware of is that people do want change.

      45% wanted complete independence.
      And many more want Devo-max.

      I think the London parties are well aware that they could suffer at the polls if Devo-Nano is proposed.

      There is an element of real-politik here.
      Are they going to just hand a big stick to the SNP?

      If some tax competition is allowed, and the difference made up from an adjusted Barnett formula, then it at least looks like something has been done.

    139. Capella says:

      Looks like Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman weren’t at the meeting?
      (Thanks Stoker – your archive worked)

    140. yesindyref2 says:

      nigel
      Yes it is. If there was a line drawn in say June 2015 that says “neither rUK nor Scotland shall be worse off, then the lower the oil revenues the better. If, for instance, it’s only £2 billion 2014-15, then the compensatory reduction in Block Grant is only £2 billion, whereas in 2011-12 it would have been £10.6 billion.

      Effectively it calls the bluff of Project Fear- Devo Max.

    141. ben madigan says:

      @ Stoker at 7.09 who asks ” Who’s taking the minutes and recording all this?”

      don’t know if anyone is.
      Apparently it was agreed “Not to comment on the talks until they had concluded and a final report was produced” which as i wrote in http://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/scotland-the-promised-land/
      hints at deals behind closed doors –

      Why not publish a report after each meeting, setting out the agenda and saying we agreed on a) or b) and there is no consensus at present on c) and d)?

    142. Kevin1 says:

      Why dont we organise a boycott of the pro union
      Papers, what can we do to inform people that they
      are not to be trusted, the recent oil finds is an example
      We need to do sonething or they will always have
      that unfair advantage, whether referendum or
      Elections.

    143. sinky says:

      I trust that the snp reps will clarify these sweeping assertions by the unionist PR machine

    144. Grouse Beater says:

      Panda Paws: Am I missing something or is this a BIG waste of time?

      Dumbing the Dumb‘ – grousebeater-wordpress

    145. EndofDaze says:

      How about we raise all the tax and duty, including Corporation tax, all oil revenue and whisky duty and then sit down and agree in negotiations between the Scottish Government and Westminster what we pay for Defence and Foreign Affairs.
      That is what normal adults and businesses would do!

    146. GusI says:

      From Goldie to Gray we have Tompkins, Harvie and Chapman.

    147. Christian Schmidt says:

      Who was actually there?

      Clockwise from the bottom edge I spy:
      1 Iain Gray (Lab)
      2 ?
      3 Michael Moore (LD)
      4 Tavish Scot (LD)
      5 Linda Fabiani (SNP)
      6 ?
      7 ?
      8 ?
      9 ?
      10 Ruth Davidson (Con)

    148. Baheid says:

      What is the reasoning for Tompkins being involved ?

    149. Morag says:

      Anyone heard from Morag regarding the situation on the Lockerbie enquiries/appeals?

      A whole lot of nothing happening at the moment. The appeal documents are in the hands of the SCCRC, who are taking their time deciding what to do about it all. I have heard no rumours. (I’d have felt a lot better about it all if we’d got a Yes vote, but there’s still plenty reason for optimism in my view.) The evidence they’re looking at includes my best shot at explaining how it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the bomb was introduced at Heathrow.

      The police are still looking at the allegations that wrongdoing occurred during the original investigation and the prosecution at Camp Zeist. Paradoxically, they seem to understand that the bomb started at Heathrow (which proves Megrahi was innocent), but they’re just leaving that sitting there because their remit is to determine whether any of the investigators or the prosecution team committed a criminal act in the course of convicting him.

      At some point, the mountain and Mohammed may meet up.

    150. Katie says:

      The very sad thing is that people were probably paid a lot of money, siting in their cozy offices over expenses paid fancy dinners to come up with these bullsh#t rules, to try and fool the people of Scotland, where in reality there are thousands of people with no money, no heating and no food in our country whose lives will be made even worse because of them !!! Makes me very angry!!!

    151. yesindyref2 says:

      Ruth Davidson is not at Smith, it’s Goldie and Tomkins for the Tories.

    152. yesindyref2 says:

      Maggie Chapman, that’s who’s with Patrick Harvie for Greens.

    153. T222Deracha says:

      The Smith Commission draws out the same reaction that most NO voters gave to the Scottish Referendum. “Why bother going to all this trouble, when nothing is going to change”.
      When the SNP were in opposition, I don’t recall them ever being plastered all over the media the way Lamont, Davidson et al are being presented.
      The NO vote came from a wide range of society, all ages and all classes and they had their own reasons for doing so. Accepting the “poll” from an ex Tory alleged tax “avoider” Lord Ashcroft, telling us that the NO vote was all the older generation is baffling beyond belief.
      More people would need to be convinced that an independent Scotland would be a good thing, for there to be any chance of success. Wishfully believing that only the older generation voted NO and that somehow everything will be okay if they were no longer around does nothing to help the cause of Scottish independence.

    154. Valerie says:

      Maybe Ruthie couldn’t be at the party cos she might be detained at Cornton Vale at some point?

    155. Morag says:

      I doubt it. She didn’t actually break any law we know about.

    156. Stoker says:

      Thanks, everyone, for the help to my request.
      I believe the link i posted @ 8.05pm to be correct.
      Thanks again.
      __________________________

      Baheid says:
      23 October, 2014 at 9:05 pm
      What is the reasoning for Tompkins being involved ?

      Most likely to bamboozle the room with legal gobbledygook?
      __________________________

      Valerie says:
      23 October, 2014 at 9:55 pm
      Maybe Ruthie couldn’t be at the party cos she might be detained at Cornton Vale at some point?

      I am willing to bet she doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist.
      Someone, if anyone, lower down the chain will kop it.
      And they’ll trot out some garbage along the lines of,
      ‘our investigations have revealed that there is a need for us
      to look at the rules again, blah, blah, blah, moving along now,
      there’s nothing to see here.’ SWEEP SWEEP
      _________________________

      ben madigan says:
      23 October, 2014 at 8:22 pm
      Apparently it was agreed “Not to comment on the talks until they had concluded and a final report was produced”

      Why not publish a report after each meeting, setting out the agenda and saying we agreed on a) or b) and there is no consensus at present on c) and d)?

      The reasons for not doing so are probably too numerous to say.
      And on the balance of things, it may not suit the public but
      you can bet your bottom dollar it will suit all parties present.

    157. Valerie says:

      I know, just wishful thinking Ruthie could have had her own episode in Cell Block H…..

      As for a crime, I thought they were still investigating? We can still live in hope.

    158. Baheid says:

      Why is Professor Adam Tomkins on this committee?

      What official position does he hold in Scottish affairs that should allow his inclusion?

      Or is it a bring a friend thing.

    159. Morag says:

      Valerie, if a crime was committed, it wasn’t Ruth who committed it. The polling agent who revealed what he or she saw at the postal vote opening is the person who broke the law.

      Ruth’s statement merely revealed that someone else had broken the law.

    160. @Morag
      This is from` Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013`
      Prohibition on publication of exit polls
      8(1)No person may publish before the close of the poll—
      (b)any forecast as to the result of the referendum which is (or might reasonably be taken to be) based on information so given.
      (2)If a person acts in contravention of this paragraph the person commits an offence.
      “publish” means make available to the public at large (or any section of the public), in whatever form and by whatever means,
      (3)A person who commits an offence under sub-paragraph (2) is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (or both).

      To me she committed an offence,could you look at it.
      docs.google.com/document/d/132d1LbcUaGfHEdhpBg8yoYzdwJkbAl0jeHioOP0AjSk/edit#heading=h.jwpwpfbkr1s7

    161. Morag says:

      First, are you sure she said it before ten? Second, I’m not sure that what she said is covered by that clause. But we’ll see.

    162. Gallowglass says:

      She said it after ten but before the results were known iirc.

    163. Grouse Beater says:

      Scot Finlayson

      Is ‘Morag’ trying to convince us the leader of the Tory group in Scotland is somehow fully conversant with, and utterly respectful of, democratic law as it applies to a Referendum held to decide on the future of Scotland?

      She would never allow her enthusiasm for Scotland’s defeat to run away with her professionalism and strict electoral protocol?

    164. Fiona says:

      Causing neither the UK nor Scottish Governments to gain or lose financially;

      I think that is quite interesting. There is a strong movement in rUK at present to reduce Scottish public spending per head to the UK average. In promoting that position it is carefully divorced from the question of the tax contribution ( many here will remember that very funny interview James Naughtie did with the Britnat, where the latter insisted Scotland gets too much money but had no idea at all about the tax take: See also recent statements from UKIP and many other unionists in the context of EVEL discussions).

      In making this statement it might be that the Commission is attempting to head off that demand, because it would be a true disaster for Scotland. And it would be very difficult to disguise who was responsible for that.

      Trouble is that that narrative is now so entrenched that I think there is NO chance it will pass if that aim is achieved. I think it is inevitable that Barnett will be altered to make sure that Scottish public spending per head will be reduced to the UK average even though that “average” is nothing to do with Barnett and the actual per capita spend in the english regions varies very widely. Many commentators appear to believe that the proposed reduction is “fair” and the merest “common sense” And for Westminster it means they get to keep even more of our taxes for themselves.

    165. Ken500 says:

      Is Tomkins getting leave of absence from Glasgow? Uni. Why are Scottish taxpayers paying for his absent. Is he an Academic or Politican? He is not elected.

    166. Fiona says:

      @ Ken500

      Presumably his employers have granted leave because they think in enhances the University’s reputation if they have a presence on the commission and they also have an interests given all the scary statements about research funding during the campaign

    167. Morag says:

      Oh here we go again, the anonymous “Grouse Beater” who stirs up so much trouble here tries to imply that my real name is not my name. Maybe “Grouse Beater” will tell us who he is, some day, rather than making grandiose claims nobody can verify.

      Ruth Davidson didn’t actually break any law as far as I can see. She said something which indicated a number of other people had broken the law. Might be difficult to prove which other people, unfortunately.

      No matter how much you dislike her, the law is the law.

    168. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Maybe I need to do the Ian Brotherhood thing again, since a nasty anonymous poster is casting baseless assertions once more.

    169. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: Ruth Davidson didn’t actually break any law as far as I can see

      “As far as I can see,” carries no judicial weight.

      Your argument is the old one, and just as preposterous, a big boy made her do it.

      If the Treasury can cross its own legal rules and issue news of an RBS move of its HQ, in order to undermine the independence vote for Yes, it is illogical and unwise then to refuse an open mind that insiders will not leak the result of the postal vote in order to cause the electorate to abandon Yes as a winning bet.

      And ‘Ruth’ – as you refer to her – is just as culpable announcing the news as the person first whispering it, or passing it to her by internal memo.

      The man who handles stolen goods will also find himself in court next to the thief.

    170. Grouse Beater says:

      Ken500: Professor Tomkins. He is not elected.

      How many there have a mandate? They are only there because of their connections with, and loyalty to, the British Establishment, and have argued against genuine democratic powers for Scotland.

    171. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      So the anonymous “Grouse Beater” is a lawyer as well as being a senior BBC employee and someone who sat in on the early Yes Scotland meetings. Is there no end to this person’s supposed name-dropping? We’ll never know, because he likes to throw his weight around while carefully concealing who he is.

      My understanding of the law is that the people who have a legal duty not to divulge anything they “accidentally” see at the opening of the postal votes are the polling agents. They have the duty of secrecy. A second or third party they pass the information on to, is not legally bound in the same way.

      She clearly knew the information shouldn’t be divulged, and that she’d said too much. She effectively confirmed that BT polling agents had broken their requirement for secrecy (though she didn’t say which ones of course). That doesn’t mean that what she herself did was a criminal offence.

    172. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      And I note that someone has confirmed that she said it after ten o’clock. So she didn’t break any law about communicating results before the polls closed.

    173. Baheid says:

      Grouse Beater,

      What is the criteria required to be part of this commission?

      I think people were/are under the impression that these talks would be with the political representatives of Scottish voters.

      As far as I can see Mr. Tomkins is member of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party. So any member of a party could of been on the committee?

      (The only reference I can find that he is a member of SCUP is in Wikipedia’s Smith Commission page).

      I’m maybe making a mountain out of a molehill here, but I just don’t get why he’s there.

      Who put him there and under what pretenses.

    174. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: So the anonymous “Grouse Beater…

      Moniker or name, it’s a personal choice. Attempts to represent my contributions as sinister are disreputable. I challenge the odd aspect of your opinions, mainly because you make a lot of noise about stating them, usually when they clash with support for the independence movement.

      As for your authenticity, you stated unsolicited you were part of Vetpath, a company long since dissolved. I assume you are now retired.

      But it doesn’t matter to me who the hell you are, or what your standing is in society. Nor will it matter to other posters. What matters is an insistence on talking bollocks at great length, and then, petulantly when challenged, defaming your interlocuter.

      I have no issue when you’re lucid exchanging ideas. But it’s all too bi-polar for me.

    175. @Morag
      John McTernan on the 14 Sept 2014 on the Sunday Politics Show with Andrew Neil made a forecast on information given before the close of the poll which is an offence punishable up to 12 months in jail.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyvnWAKZXac
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2013/14/enacted

    176. Grouse Beater says:

      Baheid: What is the criteria required to be part of this commission?

      Baheid, I wish I knew. I’m just as much in the dark as you.

      I don’t recall the opportunity to follow an open process of election to the committee. At first I thought nomination was a matter for each political party, but then I knew there must be filtering and vetting.

      The group just appeared.

      I can understand the wisdom of Swinney being there to weigh up the financial implications of any proposal, and to argue our case, but why the arts minister? What fiscal specialism does she have? Is she only an observer?

      But you know, Baheid, we have seen carbon copies of that committee sit around a table to discuss and decide upon Scotland’s future, time and time again, and none were appointed by the people.

    177. Grouse Beater says:

      BP and BDF Suez, announce a new oil field in the North Sea.

      The prediction is for 5,350 barrels a day.

      So there we have it. North Sea oil is drying up. NOT.

    178. Baheid says:

      I can look out my window in Aberdeen and see a 4/5, not sure, story building that’s construction has been on going for about 18 months. With a big sign saying ‘BDF Suez’.

      What a stroke of luck for them eh!

      You would almost think these oil guys were mystic.

    179. thoughtsofascot says:

      @Grouse Beater
      The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.

      I’d be torn on that idea. Its the general principle in most parts of the world. The way Scotland conducted the referendum was an anomaly among independence referendums. The point was to show that we were an open and tolerant nation that did not ascribe to blood and soil nationalism (though that did nothing to stop them tarring us all with the nazi slur anyway). The most ironic thing about the referendum though was that we won with Scots…but lost with non-scots. Its a bitter pill to swollow.

      On the pro side: We would probably win. We’d eek over the line, but we’d probably win. The expat community too was, from my understanding, quite solidly in the Yes camp.
      On the con side: If we take that route, what sort of precedent does that set for us as a nation. If we have already excluded people who live in Scotland from voting on something once, what is to stop a Scottish government from disenfranchising them again in the future.

      Don’t get me wrong, I would love the chance to get a vote from over here and finally return home after 5 long years abroad. However, at what cost would that be?

    180. thoughtsofascot says:

      *Swallow

    181. Baheid says:

      And by the way, there are 4/5 major commercial properties being built on the riverside in Aberdeen.

      And that’s only a small area beside me.

      There is a LOT of commercial properties under construction in and around Aberdeen.

      (But then that’s why there’s a lot of ‘I’m alright Jack’ No voters in Aberdeen)

    182. Grouse Beater says:

      Thoughtsofascot: The most ironic thing about the referendum though was that we won with Scots…but lost with non-scots. Its a bitter pill to swallow.

      It’s a reality few have discussed or faced after the vote. With a claimed 400,000 non-Scots, incomers (the figure keeps changing) who can say with certainty they did not vote for British nationalism?

      My contention is, if they are settlers, how do we convince them they are in another’s country and should respect its wish for self-governance and independence of spirit?

    183. Dave MacIntyre says:

      The biggest problem of all still remains. We are basically talking to and educating ourselves whilst no voters are either not interested, not listening or busy listening to the BBC and other media. We still aren’t reaching out to them and getting through to them.

    184. Grouse Beater says:

      Baheid on North Sea oil find: I can look out my window in Aberdeen and see a … building construction that’s been on going for about 18 months. With a big sign saying ‘BDF Suez’. What a stroke of luck for them eh!

      Ha! As you say, Baheid, what wonderful serendipity!

      To have built their offices in the right city at the right time … and then to discover a huge new oil field.

    185. Morag says:

      Testing. (Just had a post disappear twice.)

    186. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Ah, I see what went wrong! The old YouTube catch.

      John McTernan on the 14 Sept 2014 on the Sunday Politics Show with Andrew Neil made a forecast on information given before the close of the poll which is an offence punishable up to 12 months in jail.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyvnWAKZXac
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2013/14/enacted

      I’m doubtful anything will come of that, for the simple reason that McTernan didn’t say how he got that information. It could have been a legitimate opinion poll, it could have been an educated guess, it could even have been pure bluff. He’s got plenty wiggle room to get off the hook there.

      Ruth’s situation was different in that she specifically referred to “sampling” carried out by BT polling agents during the postal vote opening. That does constitute an offence, but not by her, by the polling agents involved. Unfortunately it’s likely to be impossible to prove that any specific polling agent actually did this.

      I just think it’s a bit unwise to keep shouting about people having committed criminal offences when they’ve neither been charged nor convicted, and indeed where there seems to be no compelling evidence that they have actually committed a crime. They probably won’t come after posters on an internet blog for defamation, but you never know.

    187. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: :McTernan didn’t say how he got that information.

      Well, do you think he’s the sort of chap who would stand up and say he got it illegally and is making it public illegally to undermine confidence in a Yes vote?

      Please, can we leave political naivety to the fairies.

    188. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Moniker or name, it’s a personal choice. Attempts to represent my contributions as sinister are disreputable.

      You’re the one who remains obsessively anonymous while blasting out opinions right left and centre. Not to mention making grandiose claims about your “status”. Including claiming to have been involved in the early stages of Yes Scotland but to have walked away because the people involved didn’t meet with your approval.

      I only started pointing it out when you started attacking me by putting my name in inverted commas, as if questioning whether I really am who I say I am.

      I challenge the odd aspect of your opinions, mainly because you make a lot of noise about stating them, usually when they clash with support for the independence movement.

      Disagreeing with me or challenging my opinions is perfectly fine. Personal attacks, with is what you’re into, are not. There are several posters here who annoy the hell out of me by repeatedly pounding the same drum in post after post. Guess what, I scroll on past. You should try it some time.

      As for your authenticity, you stated unsolicited you were part of Vetpath, a company long since dissolved. I assume you are now retired.

      Now that’s just plain weird. I’ve never been part of a company called Vetpath, and in fact I’m not aware of any such company ever having existed. I certainly never stated that I was ever part of such a company.

      I’m also not retired, as anyone who has been reading what I’ve been posting over the past three years probably realises. Indeed, I even told you what I was doing at work one day a couple of weeks ago, because you asked.

      If you’ve been trying to google me, I suggest you brush up on your google skills, because it’s not that hard.

      But it doesn’t matter to me who the hell you are, or what your standing is in society. Nor will it matter to other posters. What matters is an insistence on talking bollocks at great length, and then, petulantly when challenged, defaming your interlocuter.

      You’re entitled to your opinion. My opinion of you is pretty low too, by the way. I’m certainly not going to shut up just because you choose to attack me personally.

    189. Morag says:

      Well, do you think he’s the sort of chap who would stand up and say he got it illegally and is making it public illegally to undermine confidence in a Yes vote?

      Please, can we leave political naivety to the fairies.

      That’s not the point. He has given himself plausible deniability. You may think there was illegality involved, and you may very well be right, but vague inferences aren’t enough to secure a criminal conviction.

    190. Sue Varley says:

      Morag, just wanted to thank you for continuing to try to lay to rest the “voting fraud” allegations in their various forms.

      I wish it was otherwise, that we could find proof of massive illegality in the way in which the ballot was conducted, but as you have argued so many times, we can’t. I at least am grateful for your good sense in basing your arguments on what the law states, rather than in what our gut feeling is – someone on the No side that we can blame. You have helped me accept the numbers, though nothing will ever make me acept the result.

      Good look also with your continuing work on Megrahi.

    191. Robert Peffers says:

      @handclapping says: 23 October, 2014 at 2:31 pm:

      “It needn’t cost Westminster any more, just give us the same per head that they spend on rUK and its up to us to find the way to make a Scottish social security system that works.”

      And we are right back to what I’ve been saying since devolved parliaments arrived on the scene, (Thanks to Labour’s idiocy).

      Handclapping, You state, “just give us the same per head that they spend on rUK”, but you have missing the point that causes the whole problem. There is no sum paid to, “The UK”, now.

      The United Kingdom was what was created by the, “Treaty of Union”, in 1706/7, and it was a bipartite union of two equally sovereign KINGDOMS.. It began as a single United Kingdom but that is no longer the case. We are now four distinct COUNTRIES and each one is funded differently with a Block Grant decided by a Westminster Parliament that is the de facto Parliament of the Country of England.

      A de Facto Parliament of England that calls itself, “The Parliament of the United Kingdom”, funds itself directly from the United Kingdom Treasury as, “The United Kingdom”, and legislates for the country of England and tags on wee bits at the end to accommodate Scottish, Welsh & N.I. conditions.

      So to ask to be given the same funding as, “The United Kingdom”, is meaningless. Is it the funding given to the De Facto Country of England or the average of the funding for the three devolved parliaments or the average for the three devolved countries plus the average for the de facto country of England?

      Thing is, none of the above cover the real situation where over and above the funding for the de facto country of England, (which they fund as the United Kingdom), there is the extra funding that is given from sources other than DEFRA to England for the Greater London, London Town and the City of London.

      Here is a a wee list of just some of that extra funding that carries no Barnett Consequentials: –

      The New London Sewerage System: The Cross-Rail System: HS1 & HS2: The London Dome: The Chunnel & Chunnel Infrastructure: Refurbishment of all London Rail & Bus Terminals: A Grant to set-up Transport for London: National Museums, Galleries, Theatres: The Greenwich Observatory: Various National Archives: Olympic Games including Stadia: Grace & Favour Homes. etc: Various Bridges over the Thames. The list is endless.

      Let me highlight just one such con-trick. English Transport funding is classed as UK as England has no Block Grant. So every major road upgrade in both England and London is paid for by the taxpayers of the entire United Kingdom. However, the cost of the new Forth Crossing & the duelling of the main link to the Highlands from the Forth to the far North must be paid for out of the Scottish Block Grant. Now apply that same rule to the other devolved functions – for example Scottish Education funding.

    192. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says: 23 October, 2014 at 2:40 pm:

      “(so what’s the effin point of it?)”

      The same one as usual, Luigi, It gives an already rich person a big payment for services rendered and elevates them up the ladder of Rank & Privilege. That is over and above the normal HOL daily attendance money and already generous pension. For the rest of us, though, nothing.

    193. Morag says:

      I wish it was otherwise, that we could find proof of massive illegality in the way in which the ballot was conducted, but as you have argued so many times, we can’t. I at least am grateful for your good sense in basing your arguments on what the law states, rather than in what our gut feeling is – someone on the No side that we can blame. You have helped me accept the numbers, though nothing will ever make me acept the result.

      Thanks for that. I agree with you, there were massive dirty tricks all over the place. It’s just that tampering with the actual ballots wasn’t one of them. It’s easy enough to get a few fraudulent votes in here and there by registering people who aren’t supposed to be registered, or even by voting early in the name of someone you don’t think will bother to vote. However, the system is very robust to large-scale organised fraud. There’s something to be said for bits of paper and blunt pencils – I don’t think we could be so confident of an electonic vote.

      Someone else mentioned another point. The British state would be immensely damaged in international standing if it were caught tampering with voting papers in a referendum. For that reason alone, it’s doubtful if they’d try it.

      If you fancy a conspiracy theory, I have some suspicions that some of the employees of Yes Scotland might have been batting for the other team. To my mind, putting forward their own candidates for these positions when they were advertised is more MI5’s style than running around substituting ballot boxes – that’s so third world my dear! But I don’t imagine we’ll even be able to prove anything.

      Good look also with your continuing work on Megrahi.

      That requires the patience of continental drift. I think we’ll get there, but we could still be independent before the conviction is quashed!

    194. Robert Peffers says:

      @muttley79 says: 23 October, 2014 at 4:10 pm:

      “The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.

      That’s worse than being part of the UK. No thank you.

    195. Morag says:

      I don’t think he was being serious, if you look at the posts in context. Whoever actually said it.

    196. mogabee says:

      O/T

      To Morag, with regard to your possible conspiracy, was it ever revealed whose email account at yesScotland was hacked?

      Just curiosity more than anything!

    197. mogabee says:

      Losing patience losing posts…aarrgghh.

    198. Morag says:

      Mogabee, I don’t think so.

      People keep banging on about “the British state will stop at nothing, MI5 wouldn’t hesitate to get involved” to justify ballot-paper-tampering allegations that simply don’t stand up to serious scrutiny. The basic point is valid though.

      I just think getting some “sleeper” loyalists to apply for jobs with Yes Scotland would be more their style. And the track record of Yes Scotland has done precisely nothing to reassure me that didn’t happen.

    199. Robert Peffers says:

      @Anne says: 23 October, 2014 at 4:29 pm:

      “Anyone seen this from BBC Scotland. Get ready to weep. Just listening to BBC Scotland Newsdrive but no mention of it in their headlines. Please share with as many people as possible.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-29739085

      It seems not the only thing the MSM are not telling us about.

      Was there not a by election count in Oban last night?

      The grape-vine says a good SNP win.

    200. Robert Peffers says:

      @Craig P says:23 October, 2014 at 4:33 pm:

      “Corporate strategies designed by committees are nearly always meaningless. Especially when the committee is made up largely of professional dissemblers.”

      I was talking to a camel yesterday. It told me it thought UK Committees were all designed by camels.

    201. Robert Peffers says:

      @Onwards says: 23 October, 2014 at 4:51 pm:

      “It seems to me, if we get very limited new powers, then we have no right to complain if we are amongst those saying it is unworkable.

      Have you actually thought about this, Onward? Seems you haven’t or you would realise the real situation is that no matter what percentage of whatever tax The Establishment grants to Scotland the establishment will then reduce the Scottish Block Grant by that same total sum.

      Thus the situation is that the Scottish Government must go to the expense of setting up a tax gathering system including office buildings, computer systems, revenue staff and another department to police the system in order to detect, catch and prosecute tax evaders.

      So we get exactly the same total income but lose the expense of tax gathering while getting the responsibility for the tax. The only obvious result would be that the Scottish Parliament would have to raise the tax rate of the only tax they control and the people of Scotland are the only losers. Not to mention they are talking about ending the Barnett System too.

      The real problem is that as long as The UK parliament remains the de facto parliament of the country of England then the other, devolved, countries of the actual UK, (including large areas of England), are going to be shafted by the London-centric Establishment.

    202. Robert Peffers says:

      @Onwards says:23 October, 2014 at 5:05 pm:

      “Perhaps one answer is a REPLACEMENT of the Barnett formula, that enables transfers between nations or regions, based on average income and unemployment rates.

      That would have an automatic balancing mechanism.

      Sheesh!

      Are you an undercover agent for the Establishment?

      The basic problem is very, very, very simple.

      There are only three of the four UK countries that have devolved governments. Thus there is not a level playing field as the country of England, now calling themselves the United Kingdom Parliament, is actually devolving English Powers down to the other three subservient countries.

      There can be no other way to return the United Kingdom to a true United Kiungdom Parliament than a properly elected parliament of England outwith the Westminster Parliament ,AND THE WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENT RETURNED TO BEING THE REAL UK PARLIAMENT.

    203. Robert Peffers says:

      @john king says: 23 October, 2014 at 6:53 pm:

      “The time has come to consider votes in the next Referendum for those born in Scotland – only.”

      What good news for my Scottish born sister in Australia, my Scottish born cousin in Australia, my Scottish born cousin in New Zealand and my several Scottish born cousins in Canada. Pity My old Mum & Dad have died in Australia just a few years ago.

    204. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: He [McTernan] has given himself plausible deniability

      In your opinion. Here’s another opinion based on evidence:

      Long may John McTernan continue to give Scottish Labour advice. He’s the architect of their ongoing catastrophe.” Wings-Campbell

      McTernan’s tenure protecting and promoting the good name of Australia’s Labour party turned out to be a disaster of his making, often crossing the line of legality between truth, spin, and fiction, a Coulson to his fingertips. Found out, he took flight to Scotland. Pity his plane didn’t get diverted.

    205. Grouse Beater says:

      What good news

      Well, Robert, in an ideal world we’d not have to ask for a Referendum. We would simply retake independence because of the ‘Sanity Clause – withdraw anytime from a 300 year out-dated, scabby old treaty because it was utterly redundant.

    206. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The biggest problem of all still remains. We are basically talking to and educating ourselves whilst no voters are either not interested, not listening or busy listening to the BBC and other media. We still aren’t reaching out to them and getting through to them.”

      And your solution?

    207. Grouse Beater says:

      Morag: I’m certainly not going to shut up just because you choose to attack me personally.

      No one is ‘attacking you.” No one is asking you to shut up. It’s all in your imagination. I am one of many who question the veracity of your loose opinions, far fewer times than most. Singling me out is reprehensible. Enough! Stick to the bloody issues we are debating or get a life.

    208. magnus says:

      ‘Causing neither the UK nor Scottish Governments to gain or lose financially;’

      This is a self contradiction. Smith must be the original ‘no-where man’. Scotland needs to gain financially as we all know so I will not go into detail except to say that all of the report is a lot of pish!

    209. Dorothy Devine says:

      Grouse are you the new Craig Murray??

      There are times when I wonder at some folks ability to take offence.



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