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Nozin’ Aroun’

Posted on March 03, 2015 by

We love it when the UK government tries to get down with the kids.


The Smiths broke up in 1987.

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  1. 04 03 15 00:41

    Nozin’ Aroun’ | Speymouth

126 to “Nozin’ Aroun’”

  1. fletch49er says:

    Doh! (_8(|)

  2. Adam Fitzpatrick says:

    I can’t wait until they catch up with the ’90s. Their homages to Rage Against the Machine would be something else.

  3. Auld Rock says:

    Am I just being thick but I don’t get the subtlety of this one? Will someone kindly explain for me? Thanks.

    Auld Rock

  4. Croompenstein says:

    And is Robert Smith not out of The Cure, the useless bastirts 🙂

  5. Simon Barrow says:

    Since they haven’t noticed that the Smiths broke up 25 years ago, they also won’t have noticed that Morrissey was a robust supporter of Scottish independence from “the United King-dum” during the referendum ( I’m sure he will get a warm welcome in the Yes city of Glasgow later this month.

  6. Marco McGinty says:

    Utter bollocks! Robert Smith was the frontman for The Cure!

  7. MajorBloodnok says:

    You are all wrong, it was Wolfie Smith from sitcom “Citizen Smith.”

  8. Dr Jim says:

    From 2008 The Smiths…Title

    That joke isn’t funny anymore

  9. Paula Rose says:

    Try the “mastermind” version.

  10. crazycat says:

    Alas, the thing which irritates me most about that is that it should be “chaired by whom?”.

    Perhaps they have a point about educational standards – but didn’t they all go to Eton?

  11. Al says:

    Oh no! If Blair McDougall sees this, Jim Murphy’s next daily policy announcement will be letting 16 year olds drink in pubs! And he will announce it as if it is new regardless of whether they can do so under certain circumstances already.

  12. HandandShrimp says:

    Was not The Smiths?

    A collection of radical iron workers known for their square horse shoes?

  13. Democracy Reborn says:

    Wasn’t “Panic” a hit for The Smiths? As I recall, the first line was “Panic on the streets of London….”

    How apt.

  14. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    I got ten out of ten correct – WOW!

    I must be an expert.

    Did you know that Scotland will now get Aggregate Tax. WOW.

    Not only Gravel and Rock but Sand as well. Would you believe it – Sand!

    Brilliant Quiz – but I chickened out of the Mastemind Quiz. I will leave that to the politicians.

  15. Croompenstein says:

    It may have been Armitage Shanks cause it’s a load of pish

  16. frankieboy says:

    I heard Bob Smith charged a shilling per shoe. He retired 1897.

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    I’d prefer to multiple answer questions such as:

    Should Unionists who voted No be sent to:
    a. Falkland Islands?
    b. Pitcairn Island?
    c. Never-never land?

    Arch betrayer and liar Gordon Brown should be:
    a. Tarred and feathered?
    b. Barred and tethered?
    c. Scarred and weathered?

    A crumbling House of Commons should be:
    a. Burned down on Guy Fawkes night?
    b. Sold to Best Western Hotel chain?
    c. Used as a transit camp for migrant workers.

  18. galamcennalath says:

    I did the quiz and the clear message I took from it was … a load of dross and trivia is being proposed.

    What’s wrong with with devolving decent powers!?

    I know the answer to that question … powers devolved are powers removed from London where the folks always know what’s best.

  19. Lesley-Anne says:


    Oor wee Wolfie, well thought out there Major sir. 😉

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I tend to favour Smiffy from the Bash Street Kids. Keeps getting things wrong.

  21. Stoker says:

    9/10 On the first test (got No7 wrong).

    9/10 On the second test (got No9 wrong).

    I thought the UK was the 9th largest economy in the world (6th).

    I thought we already had the power over onshore gas/oil licences.

    DOH! Back tae skull fur moi.

    Goodnight all.

  22. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Don’t tell me…Thinking… Thinking…

    Yes – this pish must have been dreamt up the SOS for Scotland – Chief Numpty – Alastair Carmichael himself.

    Do you know that he is being proposed as the next leader of the Lib-Dem Party.

    Why you ask ? For his great intellect perhaps?

    No – he will be the only one left. LOL.

  23. mogabee says:

    Almost a mastermind! Can hardly control my apathy… 😀

  24. Thepnr says:

    @Auld Rock

    We’re all thick as shit. Don’tcha know! There is no subtlety, only feed for the thick. Propagandists don’t do subtlety, only lies.

  25. Joemcg says:

    Surely the “comprehensive new powers” bit is a family fortunes style NIHH NIHH?

  26. Lesley-Anne says:

    I did the *ahem* quiz and scored a 10/10 but am a wee bit confused none the less. 😉

    Have ALL these alleged powers in the *cough* quiz been accepted by Westminster or don’t some of them still have to be debated and voted on?

  27. heedtracker says:

    That OurUnitedFuture isn’t leaving any doubt as to the quizzmasters UKOKness. And yet the whole teamGB/BBC political cabal is doing and saying anything to keep SNP away from Westminster May 7. Our united future, just vote anyone but the party currently because we’ll get them out of there too, in ourunitedfuture.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    Jim Murphy has got a new policy announcement for today and it’s this……

    Scottish branch Labour Accounting office place that is mine.
    Today is proud to announce that we will keep a policy that the SNP have already got but we’ll just no tell you what we’re going to change it into when you’re no looking but it will be totally costed and (see through) we mean transparent.
    SNP Bad Vote for me i want to stay rich.

    DiM jIM aNd tHe DuG….

  29. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Honestly tried to get them all wrong. Succeeded in first section, 0/10, but fucked-up in the Mastermind section, got one right.


    This idiocy begs a like-for-like response, with the most shocking stats lined up coconut-shy-style, so that the answer won’t matter a jot – it’s reading the question that counts. If the question is in the form of a simple statement then respondents have to, at least, digest that before attempting an answer.

    Some of the figures quoted in the last thread are beyond belief and really should be illustrated in such a way that we can ALL try and get out heids around what’s been done before trying to explain it to anyone else. Seriously – my mind has been well and truly boggled, my flabber properly gasted by the stats revealed. I honestly wouldn’t know where to start trying to communicate this stuff to UKOK howlers.

    We’re living inside a fucking crime scene.

  30. call me dave says:

    The English FA have entered a GB football team request for the next olympics, breaking a promise that the London GB team was a ‘one off’. The Welsh FA are incandescent.

    Murphy is sleeping on it..announcement tomorrow (oh today!) 🙂


  31. CameronB Brodie says:

    Might be a bit optimistic there, about being stuck in the 1980s. I’d place the Establishment about here. 😉

    Ronnie Pearson – Deep blue sea

  32. ronnie anderson says:

    It wiz a cake walk fur me tae ah goat tae the hole in the middle of the doughnut FIZZZZIN.

  33. ronnie anderson says:

    O/T we might not have to wait to long for the Daily Record to close its doors re the Mirror group phone hacking scandal, least profitable titles go 1st.

  34. Tasmanian says:

    I think that I’ve heard this one before.

  35. David Robertson says:

    Maybe it was a Freudian slip, they were thinking perhaps Doctor Smith’s apt and now prophetic cry “Oh the pain”. His words ,oracle like, a prediction of Slab’s coming electoral drubbing 🙂

  36. Michael McCabe says:

    @ Ronnie Anderson 12:33am it wiz a cake walk. This ones for you.

  37. Dr Jim says:

    2 bliddy wrong the bliddy obvious first rounders as well
    I’m away to stand in a corner

  38. thedogphilosopher says:

    Perhaps Cameron could have a word with IDS about playing The Smiths down at the Job Centres:

    ‘I was looking for a job and then I found a job
    and heaven knows I’m miserable now …’

    Doesn’t exactly chime with Tory work ethic, does it?

    But then most Tories have never really done a day’s work in their puff. To them falls the enormous burden of giving orders. The exhausting task of delegation.

    So it goes.

  39. john king says:

    Correct Answer was b)Robert Smith Lord Smith of Kelvin

    Is that why I’m miserable now? 🙁


    Lesley-Anne says
    “Have ALL these alleged powers in the *cough* quiz been accepted by Westminster or don’t some of them still have to be debated and voted on?”


    BTW sady I got 10/10 on the mastermind version,
    I am now banned from using the computer for 3 days a week 🙁

  40. john king says:


    damn you thedogphilosopher

  41. Stoker says:

    @ Grouse Beater (11.30pm).


  42. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Michael McCabe 1.04am Thanks Michael, getting o n down at 6.00ams ah pickup ha ha.

  43. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood 11.58.We’re living inside a fucking crime scene.

    It was the gardener that done it wie the candlestick, Taggerts oan the case.

  44. Peter A Bell says:

    …was chaired by WHOM!!!

  45. Shex says:

    That’s a pity, I’m sure morrissey would have gave us better powers than road signs.

  46. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Peter A Bell. Peter they get the big buck’s, who are we to correct them.

  47. wee folding bike says:

    It was the “Yoof” show that Rick wanted to see in an episode of the Young Ones.

    Then he kicked the TV.

  48. Clootie says:

    I think the message is

    “…for the FIRST time…all the parties worked together at Holyrood”

    In short – We are children compared to the grown ups at the REAL parliament in Westminster.

  49. Macart says:


    Oh jeez.

  50. Tattie-bogle says:

    Labour are planning on making it compulsory that wee notes are handed out on Trains.

  51. john king says:

    Macart says

    Cumon daddio get with the (Westminster) programme
    the commom parlance is
    “not cool man, not cool

  52. john king says:

    Whom says commom? 🙁


  53. donald anderson says:

    Could be John Smiff’s grandwean?

  54. Lollysmum says:

    Now I know you need a break so how about a break from the web occasionally!

    Dross like this is just an embarassment which should have been kept to themselves lest we all get infected by it 🙂

    #Funded by UK Government


  55. Macart says:

    @ John King

    Ahm ah bovvuhd? Do ah look bovvuhd? Ahm no bovvuhd! Its them that’s bovvuhd. That’s whuttitiz man! 🙂

    Seriously tho, just how many more condescending howlers do you reckon they’ll fire out there before May? I mean weren’t they paying attention at all during the referendum as to just how clued up the teenage vote was? Did generation YES not give these pillocks any kind of a clue?

  56. john king says:

    Osbourne sells taxpayers stake in Eurostar for 172 million,
    last October it said it would realize a profit of 300 million
    currently Eurostar gives the taxpayer a dividend of 7 million per year (and rising)

    A: why sell an asset for less than it is worth

    B :why sell it at all when there is a continued (and growing) dividend to be had from it!

  57. john king says:

    Macartb says
    ” Did generation YES not give these pillocks any kind of a clue?”

    They’re still trying to find the on button on the computer. 🙂

  58. mumsyhugs says:

    Grouse beater @ 11.30 pm – and could we have an “Option (d) All of the above”? 🙂

  59. john king says:

    Hoss Macintosh says
    “Brilliant Quiz – but I chickened out of the Mastemind Quiz. I will leave that to the politicians.”
    Aa goat 10 oot o ten

    that would be 10/10

  60. caz-m says:

    A wee bit unsure about this database proposal by the Scottish Government. It will give different agencies access to your personal information.

    I don’t like big brother style politics, so why are the SNP going down this road.

    Can someone re-assure me that what the SNP are proposing is a good thing.

    As I said, I don’t want more big brother.

  61. ronnie anderson says:

    Sky News

    NHS England sending people to Oklahoma for ( proton beam therapy)cancer treatment (ProCure Teatment cost £75.000 +.

    Praque Proton Treatment Centre £ 37.000.

    Smurph will ask questions about Value for Money in Westminster, wont he,its awe the SNPs fault.

    People,s lives at risk,lobbyists / politicians making money,

  62. john king says:

    Shex says
    “That’s a pity, I’m sure morrissey would have gave us better powers than road signs.”

    GAVE? GAVE? Do you really want the dunces hat ?
    answer me I have a tawes,

    Mr Peffers oh Mr Peffers we have a recalcitrant (like that?) one here
    Mr Peffers doesn’t give the belt oh no
    Mr Peffers is one *WHOM* 🙂 uses the table tennis bat oan the erse!

    Oh by the way youngun its chucking it doon with wholestanes ootside so you will be able to consider your crimes against the English language when he sends you HAME!

  63. john king says:

    “A wee bit unsure about this database proposal by the Scottish Government. It will give different agencies access to your personal information.”

    Im trying to keep an open mind on that one caz-m but I agree it could be a step too far.

    They would be well advised to give categoric assurances about the data protection and the advantages to be had by doing it.

  64. ronnie anderson says:

    @ caz m they,re adding Postal Codes the CHI numbers cross check with NI numbers.

    NO more Electoral Fraud, making sure the people registered at that address are entitled to vote, medical records dont even come into it,it helps in different ways.

    NO Foreign visitors getting free health treatment at our expence as is happening at present.

  65. ronnie anderson says:

    @ John King Eurostar £ 757 million sold for,but be joyful its a Canadian & British conundrum , fuckers would sell their grannies.

  66. Robert Kerr says:

    Exactly Ronnie.

    I already mentioned to caz m on the previous thread.

    Clad your on the ball Ronnie. You earned your wings!

    Our day shall come

  67. Almannysbunnet says:

    The quiz was probably aimed at the BT Ladies of Scotland to help them make their mind up about the upcoming election thingy. Just in case they forget to vote in the general election and protect this bounteous harvest that has been bestowed upon us. Though I did hear she asked Paul “why are we voting for generals Paul?”

  68. ronnie anderson says:

    @ John King

  69. frogesque says:

    Ronnie Anderson 12.40:

    Aye, and just how clean are the Daily R’s hands? Phone hacking on an ‘industrial scale’ at its sister paper The Daily Mirror and none of that content found its way north?

    “It wertn’t us Guv!”

  70. Brian Fleming says:

    “The Smiths broke up in 1987.” I wish the UK had. Anyway, that’s when I parted company physically with the UK. I still listen to the Smiths though. But the idea that someone can listen to the smiths, claim he likes their music (including lyrics, supposedly) and then further deepen the suffering of…….Words fail me!

  71. BrianW says:

    WTF.. have i woken up in a time vortex thingy? Either that or they’ve been at the Smash Hits*/Jackie*/Bunty* Quiz Book for Numptys.

    (*delete where appropriate)

    Q: What is Lord Smith’s fav colour? A: Black (to signify the empty vacuum of a report he published)
    Q: What does Lord Smith have for Breakfast? A:Poached Cybernat.

  72. john king says:

    Two guys putting up a summer house in the garden at the moment, moaning like hell about the levels. 🙁
    Trying to placate them with coffee,
    not working.

    Well it looks level to me I said \
    stick a brick under it, it’ll be fine I said
    got glared at
    retreated to house
    hiding now!

  73. caz-m says:

    John King

    Sometimes even our beloved SNP need their reins pulled in. A gentle reminder that not all of their policies have the full backing of their members.

    As soon as I see the words “agencies” and “databases”, it freaks me out a wee bit.

    These proposals are only for consultation, so I hope that they take on board the concerns some members have about them.

  74. Stoker says:

    ronnie anderson says:
    “NO more Electoral Fraud, making sure the people registered at that address are entitled to vote, medical records dont even come into it,it helps in different ways.”

    Oh well, BILLY, looks like yer wee friends fae Norn Iron don’t actually live at your address after-all, eh. Nae mare voting in our elections and referenda for them then, eh? Cheerybye!

  75. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T sorry Rev Stu

    Irish Times has article on separatists.

    We are not alone. But we knew that.

  76. BrianW says:

    Why not get Alistair McGowan and Ronnie Ancona to do the quiz Richard & Judy Style:

    The Barnett Formula is:

    A – a mechanism used by the Treasury to automatically adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

    B – The Leaning Tower of Pisa


    C – A Potato

  77. X_Sticks says:

    @john king

    “Two guys putting up a summer house in the garden”

    I do love an optimist 🙂

  78. john king says:

    caz-m @9.25
    I couldn’t agree more, but given the advantages as highlighted by Ronnie it could work in our favour when it comes to election fraud and the disadvantages to privacy I would hope would be well and truly covered to the general public’s satisfaction.

    I remain unconvinced either way.

  79. Mike says:

    Was it not Smithy from Gavin & Stacey?

  80. john king says:

    Xstick @9.43
    its to shelter oot o the rain! 🙁
    And ahem somewhere to hide from er indoors. 🙂

  81. galamcennalath says:

    OT Have just read an excellent piece by a 14 year old on Bella. Inspiring stuff.

    “I wont let my future be stolen again. Will you?”

  82. Algernon Pondlife says:

    It was hard, but managed to get a complete set of wrong answers through both quizzes. 🙂

  83. bjsalba says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the SG database – I’d worry more about the information that Google and places like GCHQ, NSA etc. hold. Both you and I are on the Google one right now.

    Security is a big problem with on-line data no matter where it is. And if newspapers can hack phones, I would not be in the least surprised to find that they can hack other electronic devices. And that includes the device you used to get to Wings.

  84. Author_al says:

    Identity cards…got thinking on the subject and realised there are already many different ways info on us is stored.

    Citizen Cards
    Driving licences
    Government Gateway card
    Student cards
    Job qualification cards, ie Teacher Number
    National Insurance info
    Rail cards
    EC health cards or whatever they are called
    Supermarket points cards
    Experian … My pet hate as they know more about my finances than me
    National Trust cards

    Seems I give away my details to lots of organisations as well as the UK govt. I expect the UK govt not to sell my info on but apparently it does. Anyone know more on this?

    I used to be quite relaxed about much of this crud being ordered and collated but after the Ref I am not so sure… the question is for whose benefit? I don’t trust big business and I don’t trust HM Treasury or our illustrious better together leaders…

    Privacy and access are the two words that concern me.

  85. Luigi says:

    galamcennalath says:

    4 March, 2015 at 10:00 am

    OT Have just read an excellent piece by a 14 year old on Bella. Inspiring stuff.

    “I wont let my future be stolen again. Will you?”

    What a fantastic slogan for the next referendum!

  86. john king says:

    “I wont let my future be stolen again. Will you?”

    Love it Luigi. 🙂

  87. smithie says:

    Re data base, here’s a comment from John Swinney.

    STV News asked the Scottish Government for an interview on the issue but nobody was available to comment, however Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We prize our freedom and our privacy in Scotland. Quite rightly, we guard it ferociously and are vigilant about protecting our personal information.

    “I can re-state our commitment today that under this Scottish Government there will never be ID cards or anything remotely resembling them.

    “We cherish personal privacy and will protect it. Indeed, it was this government that took the initiative in 2009 to set up an expert group to develop Identity Management and Privacy Principles — principles published in 2010, and updated in 2014.

    “We will continue to lead good practice and act in a way that is consistent with these principles. We are not and we will not create a new database. We will not be sharing health records.

    “We will listen carefully to all consultation responses. And we will act in a manner that is consistent with our long-standing principles in protecting personal data. Decisions will only be taken after full scrutiny by Parliament of any eventual proposals. That is the principle upon which our government is run and will remain so.”

  88. Cuddis says:

    @John King
    John, had a chuckle at your ‘wholestones’ remark. There were a couple of other mock ‘proper’ language sayings around when I grew up speaking in the Aberdeen dialect:

    ‘The handle of the mangle won’t caw.’
    ‘My brother has tripped and fallen over the pelling.’
    ‘I am off down the grocers for a quarter of corring beef.’

    Thank’s for the reminder.

  89. Jim Thomson says:

    and just a wee bit O/T (I only got 0/10 in the quiz – Hoss we need to talk …)

    found this in my e-mail the other day (don’t ask, it’s what I look at … a lot)

    Not sure I like the idea of any system that has software in it that can be fiddled to show anything you like.

    What’s wrong with ornery folks sitting counting bits of paper? I’d rather get a result that’s close to reality after a wait of a couple of hours than have one delivered in minutes that might have been subject to “computer” errors.

    Or, is it just me?

  90. galamcennalath says:

    Luigi says:

    “I wont let my future be stolen again. Will you?

    What a fantastic slogan for the next referendum!”


  91. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I managed 0/0,zero, nada, SFA, rien, nul points!

    Anyone thinking that I was trying to do that should ponder the fact that I couldn’t find how to get into the advanced quiz.

  92. Stoker says:

    On the one hand it’s boring when the Rev goes all quiet like this and there seems to be a lack of quality articles.

    But on the other hand it’s fricken marvelous because you just know he’s up to no good and best thing about that is knowing that all they Unionists know he is too.

    Their arses must be making buttons, sweaty palms and sheeting themselves.

    ((((( GAUN YERSEL REV )))))

  93. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    John Major’s

    Motorway Cones Hotline

  94. lumilumi says:

    @ caz-m 8.26am

    I’m not sure what the Scot gov is proposing but I can offer a view from a country with a comprehensive central population register.

    Finland has had very accurate public records since the 16th century (the Swedish king wanted that for tax purposes) so Finns are used to the idea and don’t mind it. Actually quite like it because it makes things run smoothly.

    The register has your name (including former names), birthplace, social security number (d.o.b plus a 4-digit code), current address and domicile (the municipality you live in, necessary for local income tax etc.) and other data. You can check your own data online (or on paper but I think this incurs a small fee).

    It’s the law that when you move, you have to notify the local magistrate of your new address within a week. Usually people do this through the Post Office because that also redirects your mail. The Post Office notifies the magistrate (=central population register) and if you want, your bank, insurance company etc.

    This central population register is shared across all government bodies and makes it easy to deal with different authorities (tax, health, social security, education and so on), especially online. There aren’t a dozen different, disjointed, incompatible registers but an integrated, efficient single one. Basically all you need is your social security number to deal with all the authorities.

    For instance, if you’re applying for a social security payment, say, sickness benefit or childcare allowance, the officials can check your data in seconds because they share the info across all government departments.

    One of the most important things is that the electoral roll is based on this central population register. You do not have to register to vote. You’re automatically registered in the correct address.

    This system makes it virtually impossible to have dead people on the electoral roll or to have someone registered to vote at two or more different addresses.

    A few weeks before an election you’re sent a notification of your right to vote and in which constituency/municipality and also info on advance polling dates (usually about a week) and places (hundreds throughout the country, and you can go to any one of them, not only the ones in your home municipality) and the specific polling station you have to go to on actual polling day.

    We have no postal votes. If you choose to vote in advance (about a third do), you still have to go in person to an advance polling station and produce photo ID (driving licence, passport or official ID card).

    If you really are unable to make it to advance polling stations or actual polling stations on polling day (e.g. you’re in hospital or a care home), you can apply for the election officials come to you. No political parties involved in the process.

    This all might sound a bit bigbrotherish to people not used to such a register but it has its benefits. It avoids duplication and waste of public money and makes life easier for ordinary citizens.

  95. Muscleguy says:


    What I think is happening is that a load of departments, agencies and organisations have put in bids as to why they could do with access to such information to make their lives easier. If you add them all up it looks horrendous. But this is only a proposal and it has been consulted on. This is a test for our leaders and we can only hope they are listening. I expect the numbers who can access it will be severely limited and there will be an adequate curation system installed to log EVERYONE who accesses it, where and when and perhaps a ban on any information to be stored on mobile platforms.

    Though the SNP do seem to have authoritarian/paternalistic tendencies so I’m only cautiously optimistic this will get properly sorted.

    It’s a tough one, do we wear things like this because the SNP are our one best hope in this election for another crack at Independence? In most constituencies it’s SNP or a wasted vote. It’s Holyrood and the party vote that we can use to show our displeasure. Locals at the same time too. And besides a one party state will not be healthy so for the health of our democracy we need a variety, a Green, Socialist variety.

  96. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    It is all quite logical, but

    only if you trust the Government and there are sanctions on them and their representatives on its misuse.

    Remember in the UK, even Parliament is outside the law of the people, because they pretend to be the King, who in England was secularly omnipotent and by way of replacing the Pope was was spiritually too.

    John Peffers should be able to get his teeth into this one , I hope. 🙂

  97. galamcennalath says:

    lumilumi says:

    “This all might sound a bit bigbrotherish to people not used to such a register but it has its benefits”

    I’m not opposed on principle to such a system. However, it does come down to a simple matter of trust.

    I MIGHT be willing to trust the authorities and government of an independent Scotland (as you clearly trust your Finnish system).

    I definitely WOULDN’T trust the UK with such a system. That probably includes a devolved administration where the UK is lurking in the background!

  98. boris says:

    O/T: The entire two-hour-long Westminster Committee investigation into impartiality in the Civil Service was one long, concerted attempt to obliquely – and sometimes blatantly – attack the integrity of the Scottish independence referendum, the Scottish government, and Sir Peter Housden Head of Scotland’s civil service.

    The clip shows the astonishing – and humiliating – spectacle of Lindsay Roy, Scottish Labour MP, sitting silently while a Welsh Labour MP Paul Flynn, excoriates Sir Bob Kerslake for failing to censure Sir Nicholas Macpherson for ‘leaking’ his advice on currency union, and for attacking the Scottish independence referendum. Then walks out of the Committee. More here

  99. Joemcg says:

    Maybe this new SNP proposal just confirms the referendum was rigged.

  100. The Man in the Jar says:

    Personally Im okay with ID cards. I had to carry one for most of my working life and its not as if the majority of the data isn’t out there already. As long as strict measures are used for privacy then why not. There are many benefits to the system for example Europeans can travel around the European travel zone using their ID card so no need for a passport.

    Thanks to Lumilumi for that “Central Population Register” input (above) that sounds like a good system. I like the idea of the “one stop shop” using the post office to disseminate the info to banks etc. when you move house as that in itself can be a nightmare. And I especially like the way that the system is used to prevent voting fraud.

    It won’t take a genius to work out the response from the unionists. I expect the Bain principle to be deployed post haste.

  101. bjsalba says:

    Out of curiosity I looked on Wiki to see how other European countries do ID cards. Here’s what I found

    National identity cards are issued to citizens of all European Union member states except Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, and also to citizens of Liechtenstein and Switzerland (the latter not formally part of the EEA).

    I know that you have to register residency in a lot of European Countries, and information can be found on Wiki. It is rather more complicated – some is national, others not and they don’t tell you whether it is a central system or a local paper based one. It does however, appear to be widespread.

    If other countries manage it why can’t we?

  102. Foonurt says:

    Fuck me. Wid folk luk ower yon comments, afore fleein oan wae thurr ain. Especially, re-Scottish Government database thingae.

  103. Fiona says:

    I have been aware that there are ID cards etc in many european countries and that the people accept them as a normal part of life. I do not know why that is, but our history in the UK is different and there is a great deal of resistance to the notion. Some of that resistance is because we do not trust the government, no doubt: that is a part of our increasing americanisation, I think. But it is not the whole explanation because the resistance was strong before ever we were so far along the road of adopting american attitudes.

    During WW2 we had ID cards. They were introduced as a special measure in wartime and they were accepted. The government “forgot” to withdraw them after the war and they continued until one ordinary bloke objected: this became a cause celebre which culminated in the abolition of the ID card system. The judgment in the related court case is instructive because it confirms that once you have such a system in this country it is subject to “creep” and eventual abuse by the authorities. Those objections remain, and are particularly pertinent in the information age.

    At bottom the question is one of the nature of the relationship between the citizen and the state. From the point of view of many in the UK, the state has no automatic right to information about you: it has such rights in particular arenas and for particular purposes. If you wish to access a state service you supply information which is directly relevant to entitlement to that service and the agency has no right to other information nor to share that information with a different agency for a different purpose.

    That is indeed “inefficient” from the point of view of the state. If you happen to think we are here to serve the state then that argument is powerful: but if you think the state is there to serve the citizen the argument falls.

    The paper linked below shows that there is evidence it is not “value for money”, as is glibly claimed. Isn’t it interesting that once again we see superficially plausible arguments which fail when scrutinised and which are known to fail: yet are presented again and again as if that evidence does not exist or does not need to be addressed

    All governments are attracted by the idea of ID cards and shared information and there are repeated attempts to introduce these measures, which so far have all failed because of public hostility. So, for example, the idea was mooted when there was a problem with football hooliganism; and most recently promoted on the back of the fear of terrorism. As noted in the linked article, whenever we are in one of fits of moral panic, the government seeks to use that to reignite the debate about ID cards as part of the solution to the perceived problem. They are a dog returning to their vomit, because the diverse nature of the excuses exposes the real agenda.

    The fact is that my details are none of their damn business, unless for a particular purpose which I choose to pursue.

    One thing that bothers me is that the frequency with which this idea is trotted out tends to habituate us to it: and I think that is part of the point. What was once outrageous becomes familiar and the principles on which the resistance is based get lost through repetition: like making you hum a pop song you hate because you hear it so often. That process is one which has led to wide acceptance of economic nonsense, and is demonstrated again with this issue: and so the fundamental freedoms are undermined by an authoritarian state and we do not notice it much.

    As well as overt policy to introduce ID cards there is a parallel process whereby the matter becomes a fait accompli by stages which appear ok on the surface. For example sharing information between social work departments, schools, and health boards is being heavily promoted by the “single shared assessment” agenda. It sounds like a good idea, on the face of it. It is a lousy idea for lots of reasons, which I will not go into because this post is already too long. But that kind of story is yet another attack on privacy and a change in the relation between citizen and state

    We should not accept any of this, notwithstanding the points so well made by lumilumi above.

  104. Stoker says:

    I’m in the same corner as galamcennalath (@ 10.50am) on this one.

    I would have absolutely no problems with such a scheme in an independent Scotland, but under no circumstances would i have any trust in such a scheme under the control of Westminster and the Unionist parties.

    If Westminster authorities can access and use the data count me out.

  105. Cuddis says:

    I’m not sure I was taking the same quiz but did anyone else get these questions?

    The Smith Commission, sired by The Vow, took a small ball of Scot’s mist and knitted it into a set of diaphanous proposals for the powerhousiest parliament since that of Athelstan the Disingenuous in 1243. Who chaired the commission?

    A Lord Kevin of Smithfield
    B Athelstan the Disingenuous
    C The drummer off the Troggs

    True or False? Would the Elysian fields of the UK government’s pulling an sharing pension provision slide into pools of molten rock in the sulphurous caverns of Hades were Scotland to gain independence?

    A Yes
    B Surely you don’t have to ask
    C You said it

    From May next year, 16 and 17-year-olds will be eligible for the first time for what?

    A Coordinated bribery, indoctrination and scaremongering by MSM and the UK government to turn our yoof into compliant (unionist) anti-indy citizens
    B Free tickets to T in the park
    C Backstage passes to the next Jam concert

    Which calculation is used to allocate funds to Scotland?

    A The Barnett Formula
    B Neutrogena Norwegian formula
    C Formula 1

    Which of the following phrases are in common currency in the discotheques the Scottish yoof of today hangs around in?

    A Your the most, daddio!
    B Dig those crazy trainers, man!
    C Right on, brother!
    D Far oot!
    D See you later crocodile. Not if I see you first alligator! (Not sure about this one)

  106. Robert Louis says:

    Just to echo the point made by others above, it is a matter of trust. I wouldn’t trust Westminster with my shoe size, never mind anything else.

    An independent Scottish Government is a different matter.

    In general, i am opposed to any kind of master ID database or card. Stinks of authoritarianism, big time.

    SNP need to watch out on this.

  107. lumilumi says:

    @ BtP, galamcennalath and others

    After I posted my thing, I stopped to think about exactly that issue: TRUST.

    Would I trust the UK government with such a central population register?


    Would I trust the Scottish government?

    Maybe not while Scotland is still a part of the UK – there’s the risk that Westminster unionist parties get into power in Holyrood.

    Maybe yes if Scotland was an independent country, provided that appropriate safeguards are in place.

    I tried to explain that Finns do, indeed, trust the system because we’ve “always” had it and it’s evolved gradually and worked well. Digitalisation is just a new development of the old system, making it more efficient and easier to use.

    Data protection and privacy issues have risen on the agenda in the past 15 years or so, and new privacy laws passed, due to digitalisation. We have a Data Protection Ombudsman who’s very sharp and on the side of the ordinary citizen, sometimes against the powers that be.

    Data from the Central Population Register is never given or sold to third parties.

    Recent developments in data protection and privacy legisltation have made it more difficult to do genealogical research. Previously Finland (and Sweden with a similar system) were a paradise for genealogical researchers because all the parish/magistrate records going back to the 16th century (name, date and place of birth, parents’ names and date and place of birth) used to be open to everybody.

    In this digital age you can block this data from being used for genealogical research. Dead people’s data is still open but not their living offspring’s if they’ve opted out.

    I’m not much into genealogy but some relatives are and they’re a bit frustrated about this. 😀

  108. Fiona says:

    Data from the Central Population Register is never given or sold to third parties.

    And that sums up the difference between the Finnish system and any conceivable version implemented in the UK. See the NHS data base and the fate of information on it if you do not opt out, in England

  109. lumilumi says:

    As regards ID cards.

    I’d like to point out that it is not compulsory by law to have an ID card in Finland.

    In practice, everybody over 18 does, you need official photo ID for a range of things, from getting into a bar when you’re 18 to voting.

    Most Finns have a driving licence and/or passport, anyway. If you have neither, you can get an official photo ID card. (I don’t have one because I have a driving licence and a passport.) The state already has that information about you, driving licence/passport/ID card is just the outward show of it.

    I appreciate Fiona’s point about the creeping of “big brother society” but it just doesn’t register (pardon the pun) here in Finland because “it was always thus”, even before independence (1917).

    It comes back to trust between the state and the citizen.

    I suppose Finns (citizens, not subjects) mostly trust the state. It is our own, we made it since 1917. We might not trust our politicians of the day but we trust the state because it’s made up of us.

  110. Swiss perspective says:


    Reporting in from Switzerland, here we have community-based residence registration. The registry is locally maintained (several thousand communities all told). ID cards are issued nationally, but you are not obliged to wear them. For getting things done, such as proving who you are, they do make life a whole lot easier in that you do not need to take a heap of bank account receipts and utility bills along to get a mobile phone.

  111. Fiona says:

    Ever wonder why you have to prove your identity so often these days? Why should you have to do that to get a mobile phone at all?

  112. bjsalba says:

    Someone earlier mentioned voter fraud.

    I live in a small seaside settlement (too small for a town, too big for a village) and I an tell you that many of our hitherto seasonal rental properties had voter registrations for the referendum – including some postal voters. I know from canvassing that they were not independence friendly and oh guess what, they are empty again. An Id system would allow those folks to be identified.

    Also I worked in IT for 25 years and I can assure you that with name postcode and house number/name and access to files from government systems and even better national insurance number, I could probably get a pretty accurate national database put together. Have they? I don’t know. I’d just rather it was done openly and its uses bound by law.

  113. lumilumi says:

    @ Fiona above (12.31pm)

    When I got my first mobile phone in 1997 – or rather the service, not the actual physical phone – I thought it only natural that the service provider wanted to see some ID to make sure I was who I said I was, to know where to send the bills. And you can buy pre-paid SIMs without ID.

    Same with banks, insurance companies etc. To prove I’m a real person, simple by showing my driving licence (=ID).

    The mobile/internet providers, banks, insurance companies etc. of course, have NO access to the central population register.

    The police can of course ask for my phone (and internet) records if I’m suspected of serious crime.

    I’m sure the NSA and GCHQ have more of my internet activity recorded than the Finnish state. (Hi, you guys! *waves*)

  114. Fiona says:


    The more you talk about this the less it seems to me that you are really talking about an ID system, as that concept is currently conceived in this country

    First: it is not compulsory. If it is not compulsory then it is not a national ID system as that is usually understood

    Second, you say you choose to use your driving licence rather than your ID card: I can do that too, for a service where they want ID. Or I can use my passport. Most people have some document which they have acquired for their own purposes and which serve this function, so there is no need for an ID card on that basis. It is true that some people do not have such a document: but in the absence of compulsion why would those same people have an ID card?

    Third, my question about why you need ID so often these days referred to your point about carrying about utility bills etc. It is certainly true that we are increasingly asked to provide two or even three sorts of ID for the most trivial of services. So an ID card is not a solution, because the only plausible reason for asking for several proofs is that they consider nothing is safe. An ID card is no more safe than a passport, in those terms. Again, I see no advantage for the citizen. Only for a nosy state, with no legitimate reason for my indulging their nosiness.

    As we agree, our history is different and our attitudes are different. You accept a system which has been the norm for a very long time, as does most of Europe. There is nothing wrong with that at all: difference is fine.

    What you have not done is demonstrate any advantage of doing it your way rather than mine. So why should we change?

  115. lumilumi says:

    @ Fiona, above

    I wasn’t arguing for the UK/Scot system to change or not, I was trying to explain how it is in another country with a different history and different mindset, as you rightly acknowledge.

    I suspect that if the Finnish state was trying to introduce a central population register now, it’d be met with some resistance. But since we’ve had one for yonks, why not make it work for you?

    Thanks to the existing register, I can do all my interaction with the state (tax, social security etc.) with minimal fuss online. Even renew my passport. I can check the data the state has on me and correct it.

    Different state departments do not have to duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate etc. the same data, and be burdened with the problems and costs and time of sharing information across multiple incompatible databases. State administrative costs are down and everything works smoothly.

    Yes, it’s a bit bigbrotherish but it’s a price to pay for an efficient, well-functioning state, for the benefit of the state and the citizens. Not the kind of muddle the UK is so proud of, where you can show somebody’s utility bills or where dead people can postal vote and the state makes everything so difficult and bureacratically labyrinthine that subjects just give up on things they’re entitled to by law and let the power elite run things the way they want.

    I think what I’m trying to say in defence of a central population register – with appropriate safeguards – is that it’s better to have one that is transparent and accessible to the data subject (citizen) than have dozens of non-transparent, confusing and incompatible systems, making subjects run from one place from another with lots of red tape. The latter disincentivises citizen (or rather, subject) participation in state things and lets the power elite get on with their thing regardless of the populace.

    There’s a balance to be struck as regards privacy/state data, and people in Finland and people in the UK and Scotland just approach this issue from very different perspectives.

    Anyway, I’m now approching a very tricky place in the first ever Sanquhar gloves I’m knitting so I’ll be off. 🙂

  116. Gallowglass says:

    I’ve just clicked. I noticed the question that stated the Scottish parliament was resumed in 1999.

    But i thought Scotland was extinguished?

  117. Swiss perspective says:

    Currently in bigbrotherish but fragmented, hyper-federal Switzerland, I rather like the ID system. It stops private companies scutinsing my bank statements and utility bills which have ef-all to do with them.

    The Swiss value their privacy.

  118. freedoinnl says:

    I have followed Wings now for several months without contributing, but now feel obliged to have a say on the “Central Personal Data Register” issue.

    It seems that TRUST, or lack of it is the central to people’s concerns.

    Fundamentally, I wouldn’t trust Westminster Gov./Civil Service to tell me the time of day, notwithstanding their proximity to Big Ben, let alone the PROPER use of all the data they already have about individual citizens/residents of the UK they preside over. NI data, Electoral Register data (now there’s a joke), Passport data, Drivers licence data et al. None of which is integrated to the best of my knowledge, but then who knows what MI5/GCHQ may or may not have done or will be doing.

    I would, however be more inclined to put a degree of trust in a separate Scottish administration’s (devolved or separate) judicious and pertinent use of this sort of central data.

    I agree with lmilumi in his expression of the benefits which are to be gained from such a system. I have had experience of these in Germany and Netherlands.

    ID cards are not an issue, they can be compulsory or elective, but the data stored, properly maintained is key! Therein lies the only problem. Citizens/Residents would have to abide by the rules of registration locally. Then, of course, the administration would know who lives where and whether that address is their main or second domicile.

    Is that such a major problem to anyone who has nothing to hide?

  119. Stu Magoo says:

    I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour,
    But heaven knows I’m miserable now…

  120. Tregaron says:

    I’m sure Robert Smith was the lead singer of The Cure. Didn’t realize he’d been elevated to the house of lords.

  121. Croompenstein says:

    @freedoinnl –

    Good first post freedoinnl but our lumilumi is a she and her name means snow. 😀

  122. Fiona says:


    It is a major problem for me, yes.

    The question of whether I have anything to hide or not is often adduced and it makes my blood boil. What part of “it is none of their fucking business” is difficult to understand?

  123. Fiona says:

    Apologies: that was intemperate of me.

    Tell you what: just as soon as our politicians and bankers and financiers agree to open their tax and personal wealth records to my scrutiny, I will take their ID card. After all, if they have nothing to hide…..

  124. Robert Peffers says:

    As for me – I lost interest in popular , (Ahem!), music with the transition from Big Bands and, (mainly), Trad Jazz to the Beatles, other pop groups and boy bands, but then, I was a music fan.

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