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Meanwhile, back in the real world

Posted on July 01, 2014 by

The Guardian, 1 July 2014:

Many British people will never afford an acceptable minimum living standard

The chances of people on low incomes affording a decent life, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have dramatically reduced.

We know we go on about this quite a lot, but it’s pretty important – if the Tories win the next election, they’ll cut billions of pounds more from the welfare budget. If Labour win it, they’ve pledged that they’ll be even TOUGHER on welfare than the Tories.

Welfare isn’t just about the unemployed, though the unemployed don’t deserve to suffer either. Millions of people in full-time work need benefits to top up their earnings to even remotely close to a liveable standard. Whether under Labour or the Tories, the prospects for the poor are bleak and getting bleaker, no matter how hard they work.

Scotland, alone, has an option for real change available. Just about every billionaire businessman in the country wants Scots to turn that chance down. UK government ministers who rely on Scotland’s multi-billion-pound annual net contribution to the Treasury want them to turn it down. Labour MPs who’ll be out of a cushy job-for-life if there’s a Yes vote want them to turn it down.

All we’d say is if you’re planning to vote No and you’re NOT a billionaire businessman, a UK government minister or a Labour MP, it might be worth wondering why that is.

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    136 to “Meanwhile, back in the real world”

    1. “In Work Benefits” or “Good Employers Subsidising Bad Employers” as I like to call it.

    2. Let’s be clear.

      Tories while not a threat IN Scotland are a threat TO Scotland (as long as she remain in the Union).

      England may return as many Tory MPs (and UKippers) as required for sole or collaborative government.

      Labour are asserting an intention to maintain current cuts and implement planned cuts for the most vulnerable.
      Labour may well do this alone, or in collaboration with LIbDem or even Tories (we hope, Angus Labour Party apart, things have not deteriorated so that they would form a coalition involving UKIP but I would not put MY money on it).

      Liberal Democrats are the yes-guys for BTog and have not stood agin to stop the worst of the Coalition’s destructive policies.
      They are no longer a credible electoral option for anyone the UK as demonstrated in May.
      The LibDem spokesperson has shown over and over that his participation in Indy Debate is risible. And often ill-formed (I stop short of deliberately mendacious).

      None – not one party – has come out with clear, coherent, concrete options of their consolation prize of more Devo-WhatEV-oh, if we vote No.
      There is a Draft Constitution for a Free Scotland. There is the Future Document. These are coherent, concrete plans.

      The mark of Tories is seen in selling of public land and exploiting London renters (is Benyon a benefits scrounger…that I think IS a accurate and fair accusation).
      The mark of the Labour Party is seen in, well, their candidate choices and their general lack of competence in running a consistent, coherent political party.

      Ask yourself: what other choice do we have?

      Vote Yes.

    3. Lindsey Smith says:

      One of the best pieces you’ve put up. This vote is not about money per se it is about having better standards for EVERYBODY, not just the millionaires in their leafy granite-built streets.

    4. In theory, if the minimum wage was raised that could offset any cuts in the benefits of “people in full-time work [who] need benefits to top up their earnings to even remotely close to a liveable standard.”

      Apparently, the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour are all in favour of an increase to the minimum wage. Whether it would be raised enough to ensure a “living wage,” though, is another matter.

    5. donald anderson says:

      Labour is our Tories.

    6. heedtracker says:

      A lot of slave wage employers in Scotland are very no but they’re fully aware just how much benefits subsidise their profits. So you have to ask why they are backing a nonsense union that’s only going to cost them.

    7. prj says:

      And low wages subsidies big buisness , making them bigger profits.

    8. bjsalba says:

      Greed and need. Says it all

    9. Pin says:

      One major drawback of the hateful Labour candidate for Angus hoohaa is that it’s concealed the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy report showing our deficit in 2016 would be half of the UKs.

      It was reported on the BBC and Scotsman but it’s now sunk out of sight. Dammit

    10. Lesley-Anne says:

      Vote NO in September they say.

      Vote Labour in 2015 and get a Labour government back in Westminster they say.

      We’ll look after you they say.
      Cuts will be deeper and longer than Margaret Thatcher (our heroine) they say.

      So basically Vote NO to SCREW those in most need of help OR vote YES to HELP those most in need. I have to admit that is a very difficult choice to make. Can I have some time to think this one through? What’s that I only have till September 18th to make my mind up!

    11. macart763m says:

      Time for people to ask themselves, what do we stand for?

      The many or the few?

      Personally I’m done supporting the few.

    12. Lesley-Anne says:

      I gave up on that idea many moons ago Macart. 😉

    13. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Seems that Jack McConnell and Jim Wallace were gigging today for Better Together – anyone know where?

    14. faolie says:

      Great post Rev. Clicked the link too, back to the original Waldegrave post. Well worth reading again.

    15. wingman 2020 says:

      Where is this Leith Whingding? Please

    16. wingman 2020 says:

      Truth is the daughter of time and I feel no shame in being her midwife. Keplar.

    17. Grouse Beater says:

      Jack McConnell and Jim Wallace were gigging today for Better Together – anyone know where?

      Jack and Jim went up the hill
      To fetch a pile of ordure.
      Jack knelt down before the Crown
      While Jim patrolled the border.

    18. Nana Smith says:

      @Ian Brotherhood…this comment from the guardian re McConnell

      Speaking to an audience of Better Together supporters in Edinburgh…

    19. Stoops says:

      I just can’t get my heid round why anyone would vote No. Is it just me? Isn’t it painfully obvious that the only opportunity available for our country to thrive is through independence? Can some people really not see the writing on the wall?

      I’m fortunate to have a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. Being a higher rate tax payer I can only expect my income tax contribution to go up under independence. I could (and will) greet and moan about the injustice, unfairness etc. should that happen, but guess what? I would still never give a seconds’ thought to voting against my country. I can’t understand the unionist mentality, I real can’t!

    20. Lesley-Anne says:

      Grouse Beater says:

      Jack McConnell and Jim Wallace were gigging today for Better Together – anyone know where?

      Jack and Jim went up the hill
      To fetch a pile of ordure.
      Jack knelt down before the Crown
      While Jim patrolled the border.

      Strewth Grouse you’re a poet and don’t even know it. 😉 There again you probably DO know it otherwise you wouldn’t have written this would you? 🙂

    21. TJenny says:

      wingman 2020 – the Wings shindig is this Fri, 4th July, in The Newsroom (basement) at the top of Leith Street from @ 7.30 onwards. Hopefully see you there. 🙂

    22. bookie from hell says:

      Jack McConnell and Jim Wallace

      the hub

      Edinburgh

      castle hill

    23. Grouse Beater says:

      Lesley-Anne said: again you probably DO know it

      I do believe I might have a certain facility in that department. Then again it might be my only talent!

    24. Grouse Beater says:

      castle hill

      Ha, ha! I got it right without checking! He, he!

    25. Brotyboy says:

      @ Stoops

      Kudos.

    26. wingman 2020 says:

      Without faith, hope and trust, there is no promise for the future, and without a promising future, life has no direction, no meaning and no justification. Sinclair

    27. wingman 2020 says:

      @Tjenny

      Thank you. I will be there with one other..

    28. TJenny says:

      wingma 2020 = so will you be joining us at the shindig on Fri night? (see my post at 5.31).

    29. TJenny says:

      wingman 2020 – posts crossed in the ether. 🙂 Look forward to seeing you.:D

    30. Grouse Beater says:

      Union Jack McConnell advocates a new way forward for Scotland led by imaginative Labour entitled … wait for it …

      HOME RULE

      Not as Labour first advocated it early last century, certainly not as Scotland needs it in the early 21st century – more a steady as we go, let’s think about it later, Home Rule.

      Squirrel!

    31. Phil Robertson says:

      It’s not just the Tories and Labour that have a problem. CIPFA in a report (that the SG welcomed) notes that the iScotland will run significant budget deficit even using the optimistic end of projected oil revenues.

      That will have to be dealt with in one (or more) of three ways:
      – increase taxes
      – cut public spending
      – renege on their promises.

    32. Lesley-Anne says:

      Grouse Beater says:

      Lesley-Anne said: again you probably DO know it

      I do believe I might have a certain facility in that department. Then again it might be my only talent!

      I think I’ve sort of heard that about you Grouse. I mean being the holder of a certain *ahem* facility. 😛 I do believe you may also hold other as yet unseen talents as well although I’m sworn to secrecy about where that information came from. 😉

    33. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Grouse Beater

      I think this is what the Yanks call flagpole thinking.

      Run something up the pole and see if anybody salutes.

      In other words, they have nae fekin idea.

    34. Grouse Beater says:

      Lesley-Anne is in the know: I do believe you may also hold other as yet unseen talents

      Well, I used to be somebody. If only I could remember who!

      Just completed a great debate on Bella Caledonia over a St Andrews University lecturer’s intemperate remarks made at Graduation Day.

      Another PHd there, just this hour, dropped in a wonderful surprise contribution, end of the thread, and I was able to add to it how I’m working there at the Uni’s invitation on a major public project.

      Oh, triumph is sooo, sooo sweet!

    35. Croompenstein says:

      @Phil Robertson – blah blah blah f*ckin blah… when you gonnae get it, we don’t give a f*ck we just want our country back

    36. Grouse Beater says:

      BtP says: they have nae fekin idea.

      Chuckle – true!

    37. Findlay Farquaharson says:

      “t’s not just the Tories and Labour that have a problem. CIPFA in a report (that the SG welcomed) notes that the iScotland will run significant budget deficit even using the optimistic end of projected oil revenues.

      That will have to be dealt with in one (or more) of three ways:
      – increase taxes
      – cut public spending
      – renege on their promises.”

      pish, check your facts

    38. Grouse Beater says:

      Phil Robertson claims: Scotland will have to be dealt with in one (or more) of three ways:
      – increase taxes
      – cut public spending
      – renege on their promises

      The fourth way forward you omit is all three multiplied tenfold by submitting to another generation of dire Westminster rule.

      No thanks. See that. Done that. Burnt the Tee shirt.

    39. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I wonder if Jim Wallace and Jack McConnel appeared on the stage together as nobody else would be seen with either of them.

      Must be lonely, being as they are Lords of the Flies in the big retirement home on the Thames.

    40. heedtracker says:

      @ Phil Robertson, what about growth Phil? Are you an employer paying the minimum wage and if so, what happens when the Con/UKIP teamGB freak show leaves the EU soon and you lose all that cheap EU labour for say the fish processing business in Aberdeen Phil?

      You know full well Phil that the one thing Westminster will never give up is economic control of Scotland, and Trident in Argyll, which is two things but even so.

    41. Edmund says:

      In-work benefits should never have been needed. They are an attempt to paper over the chasm of inequality caused by the economic mismanagement of the last 30 years.

      Capitalism was supposed to improve living standards for everyone. But the bargaining power of the working man has been destroyed by globalisation and a media that demonises both unions and organised protest. The benefits of increased productivity have been almost wholly captured by a small group who have control of land and control of the money supply.

      Tax Credits and Housing Benefit are a symptom of a massively dysfunctional economy. Far from helping families, they enrich landlords and subsidise the wage bills of international companies. The cost of living increases ever faster, supported by government money, requiring people to claim more and more government money to keep their heads above water.

      Is the aim to have us all on benefits, forever dependent on government goodwill? What about us poor childless singletons, entitled to nothing but expected to cope with ever rising housing costs? A working person, as in the past, should be able to buy themselves a decent standard of living using their earning power alone.

      The UK parties aren’t interested in fixing the real structural problems. They’ve done everything possible to ensure that no-one but bankers and billionaires can afford to live in London, while at the same time ensuring that the country’s economy (and all the jobs) are focused inside the M25.

      They’ll ruthlessly cut the safety net – begrudging every penny spent to support their economic victims – while doing nothing about the cost of housing, or of energy, or improving employment rights, or tackling subsistence wages. This generation is the first since WW2 that will be poorer than their parents. If we continue Westminster’s neoliberal experiment, will the next be living in shanty towns and queueing for bread?

      Scotland’s only chance to change tack and build an economy where work improves people’s lives and where money makes people richer rather than enslaving them with debt is to vote Yes.

    42. Vestas says:

      I do hope that an independent Scotland will rip up both the tax & benefits system completely, then start from scratch.

      I’ve always thought “working tax credits” are basically a huge subsidy for the employer from taxpayers who earn more.

      I cannot for the life of me see why Asda/Tesco/Sainsbury/Morrisons (for example) should be able to pay minimum-wage and then the taxpayer tops it up.

      There’s an argument for startups being able to pay minimum wage & tax credits top it up but there is NO VALID ARGUMENT for massive companies to be subsidised by the state.

      Rip it up & start again 🙂

    43. Andy-B says:

      Add to this the rise of interest rates by the Bank of England according to policymaker Charlie Bean, who said they’d rise at the end of the year, and you’ll have god knows how many more people in dire straits.

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/30/uk-britain-boe-bean-idUKKBN0F50HH20140630

    44. Les Wilson says:

      Can’t help but see the number of women on here is growing.
      They also are making very good posts and are really getting into it.
      Power to you all, ladies!

    45. Croompenstein says:

      As for Trident and that awl bawbag Ming banging the drum for it’s replacement I don’t care what anyone says that shit is causing cancers in the west of Scotland. I know they will give it blah blah no link, no proof but I know it in my heart that something just ain’t right.

      We have all been affected by cancer, I lost my mum to it and she never smoked or drank in her life but cancer still beat her and there are many more in the west suffering. They will tell us it’s our poor diet and we drink too much, that is pish. I just feel that something isn’t right and those abominations in the Clyde must be kicked out of Scotland.

    46. G H Graham says:

      The fundamental disaster of UK finances is that the Treasury collects about £100 billion less per year than it collects. It borrows this amount then to “balance” the books.

      But there’s nothing “balanced” about the debt mountain to which £99 billion or so will be added this year. It currently exceeds £1.3 trillion & is expected to exceed £1.5 trillion soon because Osborne expects to borrow another £88 billion next year & £73 billion in 2016.

      You will notice then that the amount borrowed each year is going to fall which is at least some good news. But there’s only three methods available to George Osborne to achieve this; raise overall taxes or cut public sector spending or both.

      But corporations have enjoyed a repeated reduction in taxes every few years or so. Ed Balls just this week said he intended to cut corporation tax even further if he got into office in 2016. So it is the average worker who will see their taxes, in one form or another, continue to rise.

      Some of this is incidental. For example, if your home energy bill goes up due to a run on the oil markets, the Treasury collects more tax since each unit of heating oil is levied at 5%. Some of the tax rises will be direct as a consequence of reducing allowances so some of you will see larger deductions in your payslip.

      On average then, those in work can expect their overall tax bill to rise. However, some who work also collect benefits. By now you will have already figured out that some of those benefits are going to be reduced. And exactly the same will happen for people that are out of work completely or unable to work due to illness or incapacity.

      There are of course other things that the British government spends your money on: the NHS, Defense, the Foreign Office, the Home Office, large capital infrastructure projects, pensions & general Whitehall bureaucracy (eg. tax collection).

      But London seems determined to cough up for a replacement for Trident even though the cost would surely mitigate the planned reduction in the benefits bill. And there’s no big announcements coming out of Whitehall to declare massive improvements in its efficiency or indeed any substantial & sustainable reductions in the costs of running the Home & Foreign Offices.

      Which leaves the biggest expenses of all to chip away at; the NHS, benefits & pensions. And we can predict how much cost cutting & tax raising is going to take place over the next three years because Osborne has already given us the numbers.

      The government then is planning to find £12 billion between now & next year & another £15 billion after that. That’s a total of £27 billion over the next two years; about 20% of the GDP of Scotland or 2% of the GDP of the entire UK.

      Remember that it took just a 4% contraction in 2008 to dump the UK into the worst post war financial crisis.

      Still think we are better together?

    47. Brotyboy says:

      the one thing Westminster will never give up is economic control of Scotland, and Trident in Argyll, which is two things but even so

      ‘I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.’

      ‘Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise… our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our four…no… amongst our weapons… amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.’

      Happy days.

    48. eezy says:

      I know that no-one on here needs convincing but we NEED to take this opportunity.
      I always think of Margo MacDonald when she said that each of us need only convince one person.
      I’ve convinced quite a few….And do you know what?
      Just a few simple reasons why. Nothing too deep or complicated and they didn’t take much convincing.

    49. Andy-B says:

      Lord Jack McConnell, The fight against independence will continue even after a no vote, McConnell says I will step up my involvement in the fight against Scottish independence, as he and Lord Wallace prepare to make a speech in Edinburgh.

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/jack-mcconnell-slams-polemic-debate-as-he-backs-no-1-3461796

    50. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      GG Graeme

      There are about £2+ billions off books.

      Specifically PFI and various variants as well as the Civil Service retirement pension fund, which is way not covered by an investment fund, like it would have been had it been a private one.

      The debt is simply unsustainable.

    51. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Nice try, Phil. Fooling no one.

      “It’s not just the Tories and Labour that have a problem. CIPFA in a report (that the SG welcomed) notes that the iScotland will run significant budget deficit even using the optimistic end of projected oil revenues.

      That will have to be dealt with in one (or more) of three ways:
      – increase taxes
      – cut public spending
      – renege on their promises.”

      ___________________________________________________________

      See your post? It is what we call a squirrel. You’re attempting to deflect the thread off the topic onto one you think you’ve got a point on.

      We’re not talking about the Scottish Government here, we’re talking about the UK economy and how it is screwing ordinary people. But enough about you, eh? Or what you want it to be about.

      Case in point; my weekly take home is broadly the same today as it was five years ago. Five years ago I committed more cash to the household. I ran a motorbike and I had regular nights out.

      Today, on as stated roughly the same money, I don’t have a motorbike because I could neither afford to buy one OR afford to run it. I commit less money to the household; we’re not talking about bills here, we’re talking about spare cash going on the house and into savings. Certainly more going on bills.

      Night out? Once a month. If I’m lucky.

      The point is that money is no longer available to me because there are other calls upon it. My standard of life has dropped to satisfy bill payments. I work the same number of hours. I just see less benefit from it.

      I’m not on any state benefits; I am entitled to none. I would dearly wish never to set foot in a benefits office again now that Ian Duncan Smith has got his slimy claws into the already unfair system and whapped the shitty volume up to ten. I, however, work as a temp having been unable to find a permanent job for five, aye, five years in a line of work which has no shortage of jobs, they just all seem to say six months, or rolling contract. The current one has been good, it’s getting on for a year now. But the chances of me entering IDS’s ‘scrounger’ system is quite high. And I would do just about anything to avoid it… legal, taxed, and sixteen k a year minimum, if anyone knows of something I could conceivably do. God knows I can waffle for Scotland but as yet waffling doesn’t seem to have a good income level.

      So when folk think it’s all fine, the economy is recovering, and the future is better just remember. You do not have to be on benefits at all to be in the shit at the moment.

      Phil’s crappy attempt at deflection got just a bit up my nose, because we’re not really talking about what he would like us to talk about. The UK is f**ked. We might have to work hard to make Scotland (not f**kng ‘i’ anything, thanks) work well but frankly that will be worth it.

      And as for raised taxes, or cuts to services… one thing you can utterly guarantee is that if Scotland votes no you’re going to see a lot more of that than if Scotland votes yes.

    52. Les Wilson says:

      Just had an article sent to me, and it is about Scottish shale gas. Which at only 6% of the UK potential amount, mostly in the North of England.

      However, our gas alone would service the needs of the UK for thirty years.
      However, if you consider this in a Scotland only supply, that is we use it ourselves to keep costs down, with say 9% of the UK population of around 65 million,around 30years x approx 7 =210 years if we used it for ourselves.
      Something to ponder is it not.

    53. Brian Mchugh says:

      Stoops; “Being a higher rate tax payer I can only expect my income tax contribution to go up under independence.”

      I’m in at the higher end of tax payer… certainly not rich, but nevertheless in the top 20%’ish probably.

      I see a huge economic boost from the new opportunities and economic confidence that would follow independence.

      I would predict that the only way tax is going to be a bigger burdon on you is to vote for more economic vandalism by the Tory’s …or vote for ultimate economic vandalism by Labour.

      Takes yer pick?

    54. handclapping says:

      Phil Robertson says:
      … That will have to be dealt with in one (or more) of three ways:
      – increase taxes
      – cut public spending
      – renege on their promises.

      : by expanding the economy so increasing taxes
      : by not paying for Trident, the house of Lords and more admirals than boats
      : Fantastic, the Phil seer can tell us today the promises that the party who will win the Scottish election in 2016 is going to have in their manifesto after the outcome of the negotiations that will follow after the 18 September 2014 result.
      Are Paddy Power looking for an odds setter? (Other bookies available)

    55. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      As Gideon puts the screws on the austerity regime after 2015, just think of all these extra unemployed people relying on foodbanks and the local taxes on them.

      GDC must be praying for a Tory win at Westminster? They’ll be quids in.

    56. Andy-B says:

      The Department for Works and Pensions south of the Border is in chaos.

      http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/labour-loses-motion-on-dwp-chaos/7004457.article

    57. Andy-B says:

      Tory Peer openly admits that further cuts to the poor are inevitable.

      http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/further-cuts-to-the-poor-are-inevitable-says-tory-peer/7004319.article

    58. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Les Wilson @ 6.36

      2 problems there, or 3 really

      !) Westminster will seel the exploration rights to their mates before we can get control (The Hong Kong gambit)

      2) The reserves traditionally only yield less than 10% of their reserves.

      3) this one for England, the extractions needs mega multiple volumes of water to force the gas and oil out. Guess what England is short of? So, they need Scotland to stay in the Union so that Scottish Water can be privatised for the shale reserves in England to be extracted.

      One last thought, this major North England shale deposits probably extends right into the North Sea. Yes, the North Sea that Tony Blair and Donald Dewar connived to steal at the tome of the set up on Holyrood.

    59. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @BtPanda

      You mean £2+ TRILLION off book ?

    60. Kalmar says:

      Strangely enough this subject made the main 6o’clock news bulletin on radio 4 this evening. With respect to the Indy angle, I mean.

    61. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Kendoonmacaroon bar.

      Yes thank you my proof reader.

    62. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      What is the odd trillion amongst friends.

      ????

    63. G H Graham says:

      Something else that is fundamentally wrong with the UK is productivity: It’s crap. In fact it’s been flat for SIX years people. That means that the amount of value produced per person has barely changed since 2008.

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/productivity

      If I were a line manager in a factory with that track record I would have fired myself. So you might be wondering why Britain is no more productive today than it was in 2008.

      I don’t have all the answers but since I was previously a global manufacturing operations executive, I’ll guess it is a direct consequence of paying shit wages. And guess what? Wages have shrunk:

      https://uk.news.yahoo.com/living-costs-five-times-more-wages-092959677.html#Ff98BV9

      So who can blame the poor average British worker when he/she no longer gives a shit because he/she works the same amount of hours as before but realises that all that spare change that he/she used to find in their pockets has all but disappeared.

      Still think we are Better Together?

    64. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      🙂

    65. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Let’s see , a slave – wage economy & erosion of workers’ rights…surely we need a political party to fight for and protect workers in such a plight…IF only 🙁

    66. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @BtP

      Did I ever tell you that my maw’s a millionaire ? 🙂

    67. Les Wilson says:

      Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I could not discount anything you say, however this comes from a company who reports on such things from across the world. They will know well how much is actually recoverable, therefore I imagine they will have allowed for that.

      I do totally agree with you that they will try and steal everything we have, it has worked for them up until now.
      Still, if we vote yes, we give ourselves a chance, the option is no chance.

    68. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @GHG

      Did you work in contract manufacturing by any chance ?

    69. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      GH Graham

      The UK has a very short term approach to investing in plant and equipment.

      I remember years ago, before the arrival of Japanese and German car plants, the the old BL manufacturing equipment was on average over 50 years old.

      The key to raising productivity is new plant and equipment which requires investment and a longer term perspective. Why should senior management bother when the way things are going they get the same output produced at less cost by way of wage inflation?

      The Stock Exchange likes its divi every 6 months.

    70. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I am now in moderaration?

    71. Robert Peffers says:

      @Les Wilson says:
      1 July, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Can’t help but see the number of women on here is growing. They also are making very good posts and are really getting into it. Power to you all, ladies!”

      Yes, Les. Very well spotted. In fact I’d go as far as say that most of the more perceptive and erudite posters here are from the fairer, (in more than one sense), sex. I just came back from walking the wee papillon and stopped to speak to a group of, (mainly), ladies in a new housing developement. Of the around 10-12 ladies only two were not certain YES voters. The two were leaning towards YES but still not quite sure.

      I asked them to select a single question they were not sure about. They both plumped for what currency Scotland would use. Saying they wanted to know what plan B was. I left them in no doubt that it would NOT be the Euro and would be the Pound Sterling, Whether or not the Kingdom of England agreed or not.

      This prompted the, (intended), question about, “The Kingdom of England”. The looks on their faces when I asked them how could there be a remaining United Kingdom when the Treaty only had two Kingdoms that signed as signatories. Believe it or not neither had heard of the Statute of Rhuddlan nor the Crown of Ireland Act.

      I left them debating Scottish history with the parting thought they could find the exact wording of the Treaty of Union on the net. Don’t think I’ll need to do any more as there were enough YES voters there to keep the subject going.

    72. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Canae be ersed reposting but it was something to do with reducing manufacturing cost by way of way deflation.

      The Stock Exchange likes their divi 2 times a year.

    73. Andy-B says:

      Highland Game Americans, say Scotland must vote YES.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-27891460

    74. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @BtP

      I think most OEM’s have either optimized their manufacturing processes and supply chains or, like Apple, have outsourced everything.

    75. G H Graham says:

      @Kendo:

      Nope. Although I used to manage a $1 billion manufacturing budget in the USA for a sleazy Fortune 500 corporation.

    76. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Kendoonmacaroonbar

      Outsourced to China?

    77. Nana Smith says:

      Ah the house of lords and their dirty little secrets

      https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/pipe/272871/plea-to-brittan-on-abuse-dossier/

    78. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      wage deflation

      my words are disappearing as well as posts?

      I am sober.

      Problem solved

    79. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @GHG

      I worked for a large US CEM – fortune 500 company also, if there is such a thing as corporate karma; hell mend’em.

    80. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Nana Smith

      There is a distinct smell of ordure about that man, and Ted Heath.

      Best not to go there on this blog thread.

    81. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @BtP

      A lot of product build is coming back into Europe. The buzzword is TCO (total cost of ownership) and logistics and compressed supply chains have a critical part in the success of sustainable profits.

    82. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I worked for a company owned by some of the biggest gangsters on the Eastern seabord of the USA

    83. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Kendoon

      Too late for me.

    84. Thepnr says:

      When you compare the comment above by Phil Robinson with the fantastic reply by Peter Macbeastie it is clear which of the two is on the right side.

      There appear to be three type of people living in Scotland right now.

      Those who are generous and feel genuine sympathy with the plight of their fellow man.

      Those who are selfish and will stoop to any level to prevent any of “their own” wealth being used to better all society.

      Finally those who know no nothing of either 1 or 2 above because the MSM feed them crap on a daily basis in obedience to the type 2’s.

      We need to inform the type 3’s of this reality, the type 2’s will manage just fine whatever the result. The type 3’s will be the victims.

      We type 1’s must do all we can to ensure a fairer more equal society, up the ante. Get busy people.

    85. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @BtP

      There is a life after corporate craziness. No more powerpoint. ace superbo ! 🙂

    86. BigRik says:

      The entire system at Westminster is, as they say, not fit for purpose. We need to break away from this nonsense, from the public schoolboys impersonating sheep, all the way to the truly undemocratic and anachronistic House of Donors,, ….sorry, Lords. Nothing short of a peaceful revolution, and a new Scottish Enlightenment, where everyone has a chance, not just the already very rich.

    87. Marcia says:

      Live stream of a Yes meeting in the Gorbals;

      http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive/events/3148471

    88. Brian Mchugh says:

      Well done Marcia… beat me to it 🙂

    89. MochChoca says:

      O/T But I see someones else has mentioned it above.

      I’ve seen one or two items about new research into Scotland’s potential balance sheet under either devo or indy.

      It ought to be a real game changer as far as the economical argument goes. It has featured on the BBC website and in the Herald and Scotsman, but of course headlined as a warning, rather than what the figures show – Scotland’s deficit being around £4 billion, or 6% of total public spend with the UK’s being £82 billion or pretty much double at 11%)

      There was an SNP press release about it last night, but the real significance is just not being reported.

    90. Croompenstein says:

      @Nana Smith – somebody’s stole Skull Murphy’s Irn Bru crate 😀

    91. MochaChoca says:

      O/T But I see someones else has mentioned it above.

      I’ve seen one or two items about new research into Scotland’s potential balance sheet under either devo or indy.

      It ought to be a real game changer as far as the economical argument goes. It has featured on the BBC website and in the Herald and Scotsman, but of course headlined as a warning, rather than what the figures show – Scotland’s deficit being around £4 billion, or 6% of total public spend with the UK’s being £82 billion or pretty much double at 11%)

      There was an SNP press release about it last night, but the real significance is just not being reported.

    92. G H Graham says:

      When Chinese wages catch up with Europe, I predict a lot of work coming back because margins earned by delivering to customers inside China will be higher than shipping to customers across the globe. And they will inevitably become capacity constrained for all sorts of energy/material/labour reasons.

    93. kininvie says:

      I wrote a wee piece for Business for Scotland on designing a tax system for an indy Scotland:

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/designing-a-tax-system-for-an-independent-scotland/

      It’s obviously on the superficial side, given that it’s just a blog, but the links in it are well worth following up for anyone interested in the detailed ideas of how it could be done.

      The main problem of course is that in 2016 we shall inherit the UK tax system – and we can’t just rip it up and start again, because we’ll still need the money coming in. But provided the SG puts its mind to designing something simple and fair from the word Go, it should be possible.

    94. joe kane says:

      Your coverage and highlighting these issues Rev is just the best. Top class journalism.

    95. R whittington says:

      Who’s watching the Belgum USA match tonight? Rev, Major, Grouseman are you with me?

    96. Krackerman says:

      All I’ll say on this woman is…

      “she’s not right…….

      in the head.”

    97. Simon Chadwick says:

      I have started seeing round blue “Naw” badges recently. I was in Pitenweem today and saw one as a window sticker in a house. Are they spoofs or for real? What kind of a person wears a pin-badge that says “naw thanks”?

    98. Kenny Campbell says:

      Employers paying no tax.

      Students paying for their own education when before employers educated their own workforce in apprenticeship schemes.

      Workers working for no wages under pressure from government.

      Taxpayers paying benefits to workers so they can live on low wages.

      Seems to me that Corporations are in charge of this democracy.

    99. handclapping says:

      @GHG, kendo,BtP
      Tell me if it gets boring 🙂
      The productivity stagnation has its double entry in the cash mountains of co.s and the cause of both is the daft remuneration policies of their boards.

      ROCE is king so if you need spare capacity in the short term you dont buy a new machine or factory you take on more labour to do it. Zero hours, below living wage, more stuff to sell, more profit made, and, if demand falls off, fire these temps again at nil cost.

      If you spend your cash mountain it increases the CE and you have to work harder for the multimillion £ bonus like take on permanent staff, train them and also look for sales to run the extra capacity at profitable levels. As for the business being overtaken by those bloody foreigners who have invested in the bad times, too bad, your CEO has taken his bonus and scarpered and who cares about the business and the workers.

      Two cures A) Make bonus depend on RoTA That would stop the Fred the Shreds
      B) Become truly multicultural and make interest non deductible That would also eliminate 70% of tax avoidance

    100. heedtracker says:

      Meanwhile, in tell the suckers anything world

      https://archive.today/BFAux

      Severin Carrell in a nice summer frock and wig boosts unelected trougher Lord McConnell’s ukok shyste, vote no for home rule and “Murphy also talks about Scotland having a home rule parliament, “which we’re going to get no matter who wins the next election”. No matter what happens now? How kind of them.

      Also Murphy “doesn’t run down the SNP: “The passion of the SNP is a plus” if you’re out there Severin, good one dude or dudess or who ever it is that pumps out this BettertogetherGuardian dross.

    101. Grouse Beater says:

      Simon asks: What kind of a person wears a pin-badge that says “naw thanks”?

      An idiot hoping to cadge a drink in a pub.

    102. Thepnr says:

      Brilliant speech by Jim Sillars, I apologise for describing him as mediocre. Bad mistake, given free rein he hits the heights.

      http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive/events/3148471

    103. donald anderson says:

      What kind of a person wears a pin-badge that says “naw thanks”?

      Someone who does not understand English, or Scots.

    104. donald anderson says:

      I like Jim, but he needs ca’ canny the noo and stop trying to be nice to the Brit Nats..

    105. R whittington says:

      Are you watching footie tonight Grouseman?

    106. BuckieBraes says:

      @Simon Chadwick
      I noticed a number of blue and white ‘Naw’ stickers on lamp posts, etc., around Perth’s South Inch this afternoon. Most of them had already been defaced and scratched off.

      As I sauntered through the July heat, I reflected on how this ‘Naw’ thing fails on so many levels. Firstly, there won’t be a ‘Naw’ on the voting-paper. Secondly, the No side seems to have shown such a lack of honesty and originality as to steal the Yes side’s branding. Thirdly, and most importantly, ‘Naw’ is sneering and sarcastic in tone. Not to put to fine a point on it, it’s taking the piss; and that won’t go down well with the voters of Scotland.

      Still, carry on, No campaigners. Carry on.

    107. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      In moderation again?

    108. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      still in moderation after a copy and paste.

    109. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I give in

    110. joe kane says:

      Stellar panellist line-up at Gorbals –
      RIC Gorbals Public meeting, St Francis Community Centre 19:00 PANEL: Jim Sillars Jeane Freeman – Woman for Independence Allan Grogan – Labour for Independence Victoria Heaney – Radical Independence Campaign

      ps
      Just say Naw to the Nawbaggers and Aye to YES.

    111. Grouse Beater says:

      The great Gerard Depardieu, the best Cyrano de Bergerac ever, now a vigneron, lover of life, and perilously fat, enjoyed chat and wine and beer and haggis in a Skye pub yesterday.

      Afterwards, a local said to the journalist who had been with him, “That man reminded me of yon Gerad Deportee.”

      Wish I had been there.

    112. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Grouse Beater

      I have drunk some of his wine in the USA.

      Undrinkable.

      Vinegar.

      Sent it back.

    113. donald anderson says:

      Apologies to grouseman

      Jack and Jim went up the hill to siphon Scotland’s water
      Both came down with half a crown
      And it was not for carrying water.

    114. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Try this for a flyer

      Somehow make dividends not payable to shareholders and the Stock Market a true second market for shares?

      Companies retaining what would have been dividends would be obliged to invest in new plant and equipment and acquire other companies to be incorporated into the “not for profit” ethos?

      Shares could be bought and sold based on the solidity of the economic fiability?

      Are the most performing companies in the US, not companies which do not really issue dividends, and can focus therefor on long term investment and growth?

      Think Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, Apple?

    115. Grouse Beater says:

      BtP says: His wine, undrinkable. Vinegar.

      “Vinegar? VINEGAR?

      Is that the extent of thy imagination? What sir, come sir, no more to say, wsir. No augmentation, no expansion, no fine, wonderous development, no blossoming of eloquent insult?

      Nay sir, his wine is a veritable toss pot of urine, an acrid belch of a bishop’s arse, a whore’s milk, the sneeze of a plague victim, the gush that flows endless from a horses entrails, the racid butter that fermets our gutters, the worm stew that lies in the cesspit of the dead, the sewage that slithers and sweeps through the streets of Paris at night – and I do not mean our dearest politicians, sir – I mean the very vomit of Belzeebub himself!

      And you call it ‘vinegar’?

      Try hardier, sir, to find a gem, a flower from inside thy wanton, empty larder of words and phrases.

      Don’t crush thy daises, for dear Depardieu’s life compared to thine is couchie.

      So. There. Sir. Touchie!

      (With apologies to Dumas and Cyrano)

    116. Clootie says:

      The low wage trap is only one part of the unfair system. We have too many taxes that apply in a uniform manner.Gordon Brown’s stealth taxes.

      Take the basics in life from / your lunch (sandwich has VAT) / the weekly shopping (the parts not zero rated) / rent / utilities /adult clothing etc the costs are a huge percentage for a low paid worker.

      If you have a private mooring or parking slot you are exempt from VAT.
      You are also exempt if:
      You are dealing in securities (VAT 701/49)
      Granting of Loans (VAT 701/49)
      Management of Credit (701/49)
      Provision of HP
      transfer of bonds/shares
      management of special investment funds
      Gold Investment Coins (VAT 701/21)
      etc

      However you will pay 5% VAT (VAT 701/23)
      on the following
      Carrycots
      Children’s car seats / boosters

      If you have a Good Credit rating – loans at 6% and credit cards at 11-12%
      Poor income rating – Payday loan in the 500%+range and a credit card at 35% (If you can get one)

      So how do you climb out of the pit?
      Voting YES would be a good start.

    117. Grouse Beater says:

      And apologies to Hercule-Savinien, dramatis and duelist.

    118. lochside says:

      Slightly o.t: watched STV 6pm news and it’s as bad as the BBC.

      ‘Lord McConnel’ pimping ‘Home Rule’ and Bernard Ponse replaying all our yesterdays for ‘younger viewers’…stock footage of Dewar etc.to remind us of when ‘power returned’ to Scotland.

      Sorry, I was there and it never happened..power devolved, yes, but that means ‘power retained’ (copyright Enoch Powell).

      Ponse really is a cheeky monkey…keep replaying shots of ‘Father of the Nation’ i.e. the guy that helped give away 6000 sq. miles of Scottish water as a trade off to play statesman.

      All in the hope of keeping the fearties in line. He also came out with the ‘Biggest decision of your lifetime’ while adding the ‘consequences’ of the vote…not opportunities or possibilities you notice.

      Then he pulled another old Labour mate out from the vaults…Lord Des Browne, Lord Ladyton (ooh er missus) to discuss the Trident replacement.

      Old Des is another toon clock Slab…Chair of the European multi-lateral disarmament committee and signatory to the Global Zone. Meanwhile there he is discussing how to spend billions of our dosh on an obsolescent obscenity of mass destruction.

      Someone already has suggested this on this site…it’s time we targeted STV’s sponsors of news… and demand equal and honest coverage. They are vulnerable commercially to pressure, unlike the BBC.

      As someone once said (George Galloway?) they are both cheeks of the same arse..and let’s face it George knows more about talking arses than most.

    119. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      Unlike the BBC Ofcom regulates the STV news and political output. So there is an alternative route to complain about them.
      Give Ofcom a complaint or two.

    120. Grouse Beater says:

      Galloway reminds me of a celebrity editor in my youth, Malcolm Muggeridge.

      He was fond of taking over popular causes to rail against them voluably – it got him maximum media exposure over long periods, setting him up as devil’s advocate of first choice, and lots of television interview plus fees.

      No matter how wrong-headed his opinion he was chosen to speak because he was the self-appointed opposition.

      He argued against heart transplants first tried in South Africa. “Could it be that you do these things because life is cheap in South Africa?” He fired off against the Python team and Life of Brian. “Utterly deplorable.” (He was a practising Catholic) He despised what he saw as a general lowering of public morals, that is, sexual freedoms.

      And all the while he was a serial cheater on his wife.

      There’s aye a skeleton languishing in the cupboard, or as Galloway would pronounce, ‘a skelington.’

    121. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Rev Stu

      Ta

    122. YESGUY says:

      grouse Beater

      it has took me 6 minutes to stop laughing enough to crawl back to my chair and try to thankyou for that.

      I need a lie doon , i am knackered.

      Oh my sore sides
      cheers bud.

      that was magic.

    123. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Gb re Gros Zdepardieu

      Rank vinegar.

      That better?

      I don’t often send wine back but, this one was a cracker.

    124. Grouse Beater says:

      You’re welcome, Yes Guy.

      Occasionally, I do comedy. And I’m here all week.

    125. Lesley-Anne says:

      Les Wilson says:
      at 6:27 pm
      Can’t help but see the number of women on here is growing.
      They also are making very good posts and are really getting into it.
      Power to you all, ladies!

      Thanks Les for offering us power, MORE power, MORE power. One thing though that everyone should never forget and that is we are all *ahem* undecided and so will be counted a voting NO whenever NO Together and their media chums do their polling thingy. 😛

    126. Chic McGregor says:

      Superb article.

      That’s all.

    127. Chic McGregor says:

      @Grousebeater
      “There’s aye a skeleton languishing in the cupboard, or as Galloway would pronounce, ‘a skelington.’” 🙂

      Or if it was his ob. pompous bit

      “osteological artifact in the repository”

    128. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Clootie – excellent post, but with one line I know to be incorrect from personal experience.

      “If you have a Good Credit rating – loans at 6% and credit cards at 11-12%.”

      This is indeed what you hear, but you must always look at the small print you only see when you get quotes. Recently I looked into getting a loan. I could get a rate of 9.5% if I borrowed over five thousand; what I was looking for was a good bit less than that, which got me a range of ‘options’ from 18% to 25% APR. My solitary credit card has a better rate than that. Had it been cleared I could have slapped the amount I wanted on that and paid less than a loan.

      My credit record, after a very long stint of being very, very careful, comes under the heading of ‘clean as a whistle’ but it makes the precise sum of sod all difference to me. I still can’t afford what they charge for amount I would want.

      So I don’t have a loan. Probably just as well.

    129. Phil Robertson says:

      Grousebeater, Handclapping and Peter Macbeastie:

      You show a lot of faith in Scottish government being different from UK government. The current Scottish government has overseen a cut in public sector employment and has made real cuts (not just freezing) to some public sector wages. PS employment is now at its lowest since records began! It also has a string of missed targets in the NHS.

      Don’t believe the arc of prosperity myth.

      As for Croompenstein’s contribution
      “– blah blah blah f*ckin blah”.
      What can one say!

    130. Dick Gaughan says:

      Phil Robertson says:
      As for Croompenstein’s contribution
      “– blah blah blah f*ckin blah”.
      What can one say!

      One could always try, “It’s a fair cop, guv, I’ll crawl back under the bridge.”

      Content: 0
      Entertainment value: 0

      Are you really the best they can come up with?

    131. Grouse Beater says:

      Robertson tries the despair forever line:
      You show a lot of faith in Scottish government being different from UK government.

      Not quite.

      I have respect for an administration that delivered a plebiscite denied this nation for over 300 years.

      I have faith in peoples ability to take control of their destiny by means of participation in superior democratic structures existing than before.

    132. Grouse Beater says:

      As someone once said (George Galloway?)

      George Galloway – Scourge of Scotland
      grousebeater.wordpress



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