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One more time for the folks at home

Posted on July 04, 2013 by

We know we go on about this, but it’s pretty important. A few days ago Edinburgh University held an independence debate which was unusually mature and reasonable in its tone (probably because of the absence of any representatives from Labour).

willierennietoopoor

One of the six panellists was Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, and one of his contributions contained a couple of notable truths, one more significant than the other.

The passage in question is only a couple of minutes long, and you can jump straight to it via this link. We’ve also recorded the audio in case the video ever disappears from YouTube, and we’ve transcribed Rennie’s words below for those of you who, like us, always groan when invited to watch a video clip or listen to a podcast instead of just reading something.

The first section went like this:

“I reject the arguments that some people make on my side that Scotland is too poor and too stupid. ‘Cos I don’t think it is. I think it’s well capable of being a vibrant, successful nation. I think that is something that we must convince people through this process, through the referendum.

And I want them, with that confidence, to believe that we can stay in the United Kingdom and punch above our weight within the United Kingdom, rather than feeling the only way that we can express ourself is by being independent.

But we should do it from a point of confidence, rather than dependency, and I think that’s really important that we come out of this referendum believing in ourselves and what we are capable of doing.”

Two things there: one, it’s nice to see a senior Unionist finally openly admit that the No campaign DOES say that Scotland is “too poor and too stupid” to run its own affairs, a charge they always deny.

And secondly, we’re at a loss to understand how Willie Rennie believes that a campaign solely based on creating scare stories, uncertainty and doubt, which its own people characterise in private as “Project Fear”, can possibly result in a confident Scotland full of self-belief. (Unless it loses, we suppose.)

Then we get to the more important bit.

“And to address Tom’s point about what is next, I’m passionately in favour of more powers for the Scottish Parliament, on two fronts. The first is more financial powers, ‘cos I think it’s ludicrous that a parliament can spend loads of money, but doesn’t raise it. If you’re going to have a proper parliament that makes proper decisions, it needs to have the tax-raising powers to go with it. So we need to have a massive transfer of financial power.”

And there it is again. Almost word for word, Ruth Davidson’s line for the Conservatives about the gap between Holyrood’s revenue-raising and spending, and how it needs to be closed, is echoed. And at the risk of repeating ourselves, that ISN’T a call for “more powers”, it’s a call for more responsibilities.

Rennie’s comments completed a grim Monopoly set. The Tories, Lib Dems and Labour in Scotland now all appear to be coalescing around a united and semantically perverse definition of what “more powers” means: that Holyrood would have to do vastly more work in order to have exactly the same budget and powers it does now.

Because being able to raise and lower taxes is absolutely meaningless and useless in a Parliament that still doesn’t control (say) welfare. No Scottish Government can do anything about the bedroom tax, or the persecution of the disabled, or inequality, or protecting universal services, or the living wage, or any of the other social-justice problems of the UK if all of those things are still controlled at Westminster. Having a Scottish HMRC won’t make a blind bit of difference to anything.

For that reason, of course, it’ll never happen anyway. No UK government is going to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a time of austerity adding a completely unnecessary and pointless layer of bureaucracy to the tax system just for the sake of a face-saving sop to the whingeing Jocks.

(And even if they did, we’ve already been told by Gordon Brown that the only goal would be so that Scots could be taxed more to prop up poor parts of England.)

But even the thing the three Unionist parties are shaping up to promise is a completely empty gesture, so whether or not they then deliver it is actually irrelevant. And in fairness, they’re all being absolutely open and upfront about their proposal – over and over again they come straight out with it: “We’ll make Holyrood collect its own taxes, but we won’t give it any additional policy areas to control”.

The only mystery is why the media keeps doggedly presenting that as an expansion of devolution, when it’s so palpably, obviously and empirically anything but.

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    1. 14 03 16 16:49

      See No “Wee,” Hear No “Poor,” Speak No “Stupid” | A Wilderness of Peace

    78 to “One more time for the folks at home”

    1. Max says:

      “The only mystery is why the media keeps doggedly presenting that as an expansion of devolution, when it’s so palpably, obviously and empirically anything but.” – RSC
       
      There is no mystery. 
       

    2. Ericmac says:

      “And I want them, with that confidence, ….  rather than feeling the only way that we can express ourself is by being independent.”

      From a psychological perspective, an interesting choice of words.  It’s almost a recognition that there is a conundrum that the Unionists have realised they cannot solve.  The Scots are capable of being an independent nation and punching above their weight.. but we’d rather like it if they did it within a Westminster framework?

      Therefore, their solution is a compromise and a sop.  The only defensive strategy, against the increasing attraction of independence, is to stand along side Lab and Tory claiming there can be more powers.

    3. Seasick Dave says:

      Poor Wullie.
       
      I don’t think that he has ever got over not getting the Olympic Rings on his roof in Kelty.

    4. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu
       
      The only mystery is why the media keeps doggedly presenting that as an expansion of devolution, when it’s so palpably, obviously and empirically anything but.
       
      To echo Max there is no mystery.  The MSM are attempting to con the people of Scotland into voting No.  They know that the status quo is unpopular, hence the need to make it sound like we will get more powers if we vote No.  That is why they will not properly scruntise what the No parties are really saying.

    5. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Semantics, yes  indeed.
       
      Vote Yes get your own country back
       
      Vote No and get Royally shafted again.
       
      Can they not think of a better strategy?
       
      This is their end game.

    6. tartanarse says:

      So in a nutshell then, Rennie, Davidson and pals have all recognised the need for more powers. This is neccessary because Scotland is clearly not being run adequately from Westminster.
       
      However, they are told that they will never be in receipt of these mythical powers. The only way to gain these powers is independence, something which all agree, including Cameron, can be done.
       
      Despite this they all still do their best to do Scotland down in favour of the Union that doesn’t care for them or indeed it’s own people.
       
      They should be aware that Scots can still vote for them and their party after independence.
      They will not all be able to join the Westminster gravy train. They already have a Jim Murphy and some wee Dougies.

    7. seoc says:

      It’s all fairly simple: We, the Scots earn our own income and choose how best to spend it.
      Westminster does the same for England.
      The Scots have been cheated, ripped off, lied to by Westminster, to the point we could never financially trust that barrow-boy ever again.
      We cannot trust Westminster politically as their devious machinations in illegal wars show, Trident being inflicted upon us despite repeatedly voting against it in any shape or form and closing our industry from beneath us.
      You have been bad news for Scots – now beat it!

    8. Luigi says:

      The latest (Ha!) unionist approach to the devolution “problem” seems to be to grant Holyrood a “massive” hike in tax-raising responsibilities, with a teeny wee bit of financial power. Never mind the money – leave that for the big boys. At least we will be able to control our airguns, so I suppose we should be eternally grateful? Oor Wullie must think we really are “too wee, too stupid”, if he thinks we are daft enough to fall for that one.

    9. Training Day says:

      “I reject the arguments that some people make on my side that Scotland is too poor and too stupid. ‘Cos I don’t think it is. I think it’s well capable of being a vibrant, successful nation. I think that is something that we must convince people through this process, through the referendum”.
       
      Um, shouldn’t you be campaigning for independence then, given that the ‘nation’ of Scotland, according to legal experts employed by the UK Government, was ‘extinguished’ in 1707, and that perception will be ratified with a NO vote?

    10. jake says:

      So what Rennie et al are actually saying is that under his system we’d get BOTH the disadvantages of independence and the disadvantages of being part of the Union .The only up side appears to be that we get a warm glow inside from believing that we punch above our weight within the UK ( which I think is LibDem speak for being regularly rodgered in the rear by a red hot poker)

    11. beachthistle says:

      The phrase “more powers” as used by the MSM and the other BetterTogetherers is misleading. As far as governance terminology is concerned (i.e. that used, for example, by governance advisers working for the UK government/Department for International Development) I reckon that the Scottish Parliament currently has no ‘powers’.
      There are devolved ‘matters’, ‘functions’ and (as has been correctly pointed out several times by Rev Stuart) ‘responsibilities’. It is mainly journalists and politicians who have inaccurately used the word (and inflated these things to) ‘powers’. The words used in the Acts were presumably carefully chosen and used because the matters, functions and responsibilities are granted (and therefore can be taken away) by a higher level governance entity (i.e. Westminster).

    12. Craig M says:

      I think that Willie Rennie is to wee and stupid intellectually to be able to see the possibilities that Scottish Independence will bring. If we take the pre coalition stance of the LibDems, then Independence presents them with a landscape within which they could bring to fruition many of their desired policies. The problem with trying to achieve these same goals within the UK is, quite simply, that it will forever be impossible. The demographics ensure that the pre coalition aspirations of the LibDems will never see the light of day.

      So does Rennie want to be forever a loser? I suspect not. Is he a die hard Unionist? Actually, if he developed some capacity to increase his intellectual latitude then the answer is “maybe not.” The trouble with Rennie is that he isn’t that clever and I say that with some respect, but sometimes it’s better to highlight the limits of a person’s skillset. And perhaps I may have touched on one of the problems of unionism within Scotland. It is simply that the politicians from within the LibDems and Labour in Scotland are really struggling intellectually.

      It’s not Scotland that is to wee, to stupid, it’s the unionist politicians. They occupy and work within systems that do not encourage freedom of thought and expansion of vision. And to further that argument, they are probably being used and manipulated by the more sociopathic and careerists that have made it to Westminster. You only have to look at the present events in Falkirk to see manipulation in action. Forever a sorry bunch.

    13. clachangowk says:

      I caught a bit of Newsnight last night where Brewer tried to get from Ian Murray MP (lab) just 1 new positive policy for Scotland he would be for in case of a No vote.
      His reply was classic and I paraphrase; “no one is interested in what Ian Murray says; it is important that there is a new vision for a healthy prosperous Scotland and Yesscotland should be prepared to answer the difficult questions we put to them” or words to that effect.
      So we have it – no one is interested in what labour politicians like Murray say since it is only words with no substance. And they themselves know it

    14. Barontorc says:

      Craig M is spot on to say we give far too much weight to the utterances of these politicos.
       
      If we are serious about getting this country of ours standing solidly on its own capability and maximising its potential and resources, the very last people we should be listening to are these very average – and that’s being kind, characters, who have appeared from nowhere and will disappear just as fast.
       
      They wouldn’t last two minutes if we had a press brigade half worthy of its actual purpose.

    15. Robert Bryce says:

      Can we get away from saying that Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson or any of the Labour puppets aren’t intelligent enough to see the possibilities that independence will bring?

      They are intelligent people and Willie Rennie’s comments suggest that.

      They must tow their respective party lines and if that’s at odds with their personal beliefs then that’s just too bad. A handsome salary + expenses is the antidote for their troubled conscience.

      There is another term I would use to describe these people but I don’t think we’re allowed to use it. 🙂
       
       

    16. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      A Parcel of Rogues would be the least of it.
       
      I am more for the French appelation, Collabo

    17. Adrian B says:

      @ Robert Bryce,
       
      Its one thing to be intelligent – but quite something else in being able to handle that intelligence 😉

    18. Murray McCallum says:

      “proper parliament”
      Notable that Wullie R excludes a democratic decision of going to war from that definition.  How proper does Wullie really want the Parliament to be?
       

    19. Zaphod says:

      A web search for “Scottish parliament powers” yields “Page not found” from 
      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/abouttheparliament.aspx
       
       

    20. Craig M says:

      Robert Bryce
       
      Although I’m not disagreeing with you, I do suggest strongly that Rennie, Ruth and Johann et al are not up to what Scotland demands of them. Of course they are puppets. Of course they are salved by the pay packets and the expenses. But they are still incapable of developing intellectual latitude to think out of the box. The “box” being the rules set by their Westminster masters. They also know their limitations, hence they occupy and operate within the very narrow confines of the Westminster constructed landscape that dictates their behaviours. I’d be generous if I described it as “Intellectual lazyness” as I don’t regard it as such. 
      What I think we are are presented with are people who have chosen a career in politics, who, with a recognition that their individual abilities are very limited, have latched onto whichever bandwagon they thought would assist their personal ambition. 
      Creating a new nation, a better society and the various institutions that will be a part of it is a big task. It’s hard work and demanding. It’s probably a daunting and challenging prospect. If you’re a Rennie and you don’t have the skills to contribute to that then your going to do your bit to keep the status quo. At least being a parish councillor for a minor party is an easier ask that having to step up to the bigger challenge and be found very badly wanting indeed. Rennie, Ruth and Johann know this. Independence spells the end of their careers, not because there won’t be the ermine, gongs and honours from London, but because they won’t have the brain power to shine in a political career. 

    21. Max says:

       
      The Battle of Falkirk claims its first victim. Tom Watson is forced to resign.
       
      http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2013/07/independence-day-resignation-letter-3
       
      I hear that Unite are gunning for Jim Murphy. 
       
       

    22. Angus McPhee says:

      Don’t underestimate these people, they know what they are doing and they are playing to the wider audience.
      Their reasons for backing a no vote are largely irrelevant.
      What matters is whether their tactics are effective. They will choose those tactics knowing the media are on their side, these comments are not aimed at convincing those who will investigate further.

    23. Desimond says:

      No fan of Rennie but isnt

      So we need to have a massive transfer of financial power.”
      And there it is again. Almost word for word, Ruth Davidson’s line for the Conservatives about the gap between Holyrood’s revenue-raising and spending, and how it needs to be closed, is echoed. And at the risk of repeating ourselves, that ISN’T a call for more powers, it’s a call for more responsibilities.

    24. Angus McPhee says:

      Mental Note : Disregard all music recommendation from Elected members.
       

    25. I reported on this at the time. For me, Rennie’s most ludicrous contribution was this (at 1:15 in the video):
      In terms of Vision looking forward, Willie Rennie wholly voluntarily and without prompting, live on stage, metaphorically took out his Browning 9mm, deliberately took aim at his left foot and fired.  He informed the audience that he wanted to see the Scottish Parliament made permanent, as it is currently a temporary institution voted into existence by Westminster which could just as easily be voted out of existence by Westminster. It seems that in his own time as a one-term wonder in Westminster, he did not learn that there is no constitutional mechanism in the UK to legislate Holyrood into permanence as sovereignty rests with the Crown in Parliament and that sovereignty is absolute. Any future Westminster parliament has the power to do as it damned well pleases, untramelled by putative, previous Lib Dem legislation.

    26. DougtheDug says:

      More tax-gathering powers for Scotland are useless because they will never be enough to fund all Scottish Parliament spending and therefore will have to be made up with a top-up grant from Westminster. This top up grant will always be adjusted to ensure Scotland gets the same level of funding as the Barnett (or its replacement ) formula would give calculated on the standard income tax levels in the rest of the UK. 
       
      The only way Scotland will be allowed to collect more money than the rest of the UK is if it puts personal taxation up to a level above the rest of the UK. If it puts the tax levels down it will effectively be paying taxpayers out of public services as the top up grant will still be calculated on the tax income at the standard income tax levels in the rest of the UK.
       
      Better funded public services than England will have to be payed for directly out of income tax, tax cuts will have to be funded directly out of public services.  It’s a recipe for a Scottish Government to do nothing.  Which is exactly what Rennie, Davidson, Lamont et al want.
       
      This is how the Scotland Act 2012 works.

    27. HandandShrimp says:

      Robert
       
      You are correct in that all these people are intelligent. What utterly tongue ties people Curran and Lamont is that they caannot speak their minds. They have to think what they are allowed to say by the party line and they have to consider what is politic for themselves and the party. This often results in unintelligible car crash interviews. What made Tony Been such a joy to listen to was he didn’t care about either. Robin Cook’s best speech was when he said to hell with it all. Galloway is always going to be controversial and therefore interesting because he can say what he likes. The Murrays and Banes (got to stop doing that)  are so tied to the party line they never say anything at all.
       

    28. Max says:

       
      New responsibilities but no new powers. 
       
      There are clear dangers for Scottish Labour on this. If they were to win the Scottish Parliament elections then they would find themselves even more seriously constrained by who governs at Westminster.  
       
      On that basis you can forget social justice or economic prosperity. In effect Scotland will become like a communist satellite state – whereby Scotland will have a puppet government with Westminster pulling all the strings.

    29. Max says:

       
      More fallout over Falkirk. We have a leaked letter from Unite’s Political Director, Steve Hart.
      “I attended the Scottish Labour Party conference where Unite, as usual played a very full part. The Scottish trade union movement, with Unite in a leading position has taken a clear stance on the Scottish constitutional referendum of wait and see. Our membership has been extensively consulted, and doesn’t want to be rushed to a decision without a full examination of the different positions. Unhappiness at campaigning alongside Tories has also been feature of our position. It is to the credit of Scottish Unite that we have assisted Labour to realise that it must argue for a progressive future within the UK not simply around a dry constitutional position. After setting up the Devolution Commission at our behest, a new Labour led campaign has been established. Unite will develop its position further in Scotland as matters progress – led by the Scottish Committee.”

      Are Unite holding a gun at Labour’s head over the referendum?  
       
      The ongoing Battle of Falkirk clearly has huge ramifications for both Labour and the referendum debate.  

    30. HandandShrimp says:

      Max
       
      I think Unite are saying don’t take our support for granted….bit gunnish yes

    31. SCED300 says:

      The people who will be watching most closely are the Westminster Tories.
      The Labour Leaders are in reality Followers, any win from them will be a fail in terms of UK politics. Their purpose, as far as the UK Tories are concerned, is to act as spoilers in the Referendum.
      Labour will not control the UK Parliament, even if it were to win the next GE, there will always be the next one. They have not shown the ability to hold in the way the Tories do. Any diversion from Tory style policies will lose them future votes south of the border.
      It’s a tragedy for Scotland that the Labour politicians in Scotland have too much of the follower mentality to realise it.

    32. Adrian B says:

      “It would appear that Steve Hart has resigned.”
       
      He is disputing that from his own twitter feed :
       
      https://twitter.com/SteveHartUnite/status/352787459165261825

    33. bawheid bragg says:

      As someone previously pointed out on a Facebook post somewhere, most of Wullie’s speech is in fact a case for Scotttish Independence, probably about 80% of what he said! Thanks for another enlightening article Stu, best one yet.
       

    34. Vincent McDee says:

      Is Tom Watson who’s resigned  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/04/tom-watson-resigns-shadow-cabinet
       
      After reading all the comments my believe in what Tartan Seer coined, increases
       
      A YES vote will make Scottish History
      A NO vote will make Scotland history.

    35. Robert Bryce says:

      @Handandshrimp

      Agreed. These people are more than capable of coming to the same rational conclusion as we have on the merits of independence.

      The exception to this are SLAB. They’re consumed by a wicked hatred of “the nats”, crippled by infighting and bereft of any backbone when it comes to pushing back on Ed and his merry band in Westminster.

      They have no policies of their own, no leadership and no hope!

      If political party’s were race horses SLAB would have been sent to the knackers yard a long time ago!

      For me that is why SLAB politicians can’t tell their arse from their elbow and look gormless when challenged. They’re not allowed to deviate from Ed’s script!

      It’s like the kids have been given some loose change, left at home and told not to answer the door to strangers (or journalists in Johann Lamonts case).
      As a historic Labour voter I would love nothing more than for SLAB to wake up, grow a set, back independence and tell Ed to fuck off.

      Not only will they get my respect, they’ll also get my vote back!
       

    36. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      In fact, Robert Bryce
       
      That is how Westminster see Scotland, all three union parties.

    37. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I have been thinking about a post Yes vote.
       
      I would imagine an SNP majority in the following Westminster GE, if such and election took place.
       
      The next GE at Holyrood would be really interesting.
       
      Assuming some Labour, Tory and LibDem SMPs are elected, they will be like orphans of the storm. Nae mammy to tell them what to do and look after them.
       
      I wonder whether those who survive would be able to cast off their Punch and Judy politics mentality and understand consensus politics as is the situation in the Scandinavian countries?
       
      Or would they still be greetin and moanin.
       
      I would want that the present lot would be completely unable to do that. However there is always a chance they could join up with their erstwhile No defeated partners and try to sabotage Scotland to force it back into the Union.

      We need a new flowering of these three unionist parties and their true values to step into the gap. Yes, even the Tories who have enough votes over Scotland to require that their democratic voice be heard.

    38. Tris says:

      Why does Willie want us to punch above our weight in the UK? Doesn’t that mean subsidise them? If so, I guess we already do.
       
       
       

    39. Caroline Corfield says:

      i remain unconvinced that Wullie actually does know the ins and outs of the whole Byzantine system. And due to his avowedly Unionist stance he cannot allow himself to find out either, because the truth belongs to those who want independence and you can only support the Union if you manage to continue to not find out the truth. That goes for many within Labour but perhaps not so for the Conservatives since the truth is an irrelevance for them. Wullie to my knowledge was an excellent representative for his constituents but while he might be a Liberal at heart he is purposefully lost as far the the political machinations of his party are concerned.

    40. Dan Simmie says:

      There always seems to be this implication though that somehow Scotland currently does not raise any money and what we get is a gift from Westminster.
      When unionists like Rennie and Davidson speak about raising the money we spend they are implying that we don’t do that.Well we do.We hand over all our wages to our neighbour then hold our hand out for pocket money.

    41. Vronsky says:

      “They must tow their respective party lines”

      Using a superhuman effort of self control, I usually don’t comment on this, but now I’m losing my temper. You don’t ‘tow’ the party line, you ‘toe’ the party line.  Please keep an old man happy and get it fucking right.
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line

    42. Peter says:

      “They must tow their respective party lines”
      Using a superhuman effort of self control, I usually don’t comment on this, but now I’m losing my temper. You don’t ‘tow’ the party line, you ‘toe’ the party line.  Please keep an old man happy and get it fucking right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line

       
      Have you an opinion on those who say loose instead of lose?
       

    43. Caroline Corfield says:

      {ducks for cover}

    44. Juteman says:

      Wullie would make a good concierge at the parliament.
      I can just see him doffing his cap to visitors, and hailing taxis for them.

    45. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      You don’t expect someone to cowtoe to that sort of comment, do you?

    46. Andy-B says:

      Who the hell does Willie Rennie think he is, what noble deed for Scotland has he ever done, during his political tenure, spouting his “double-speak”, the likes of Rennie, Lamont and Davidson, should be ashamed of themselves, instead of backing independence, and the beginnings of a bright new future in Scotland, these charlatans, are desperate to shin up the greasy pole of advancement by any means possible.

    47. Vronsky says:

      “Have you an opinion on those who say loose instead of lose?”
       
      Of course I have, but I can’t remember what it is.  I’ve totally loost it.

    48. The Man in the Jar says:

      Sorry to go OT but the loathsome “One Show” on BBC1 running an article showing that the bedroom tax isn’t that bad after all.

    49. Murray McCallum says:

      Based on his efforts at FMQs Wullie R seems to lack effort and/or interest.  He comes across as totally aloof from what is going on and seems to get by with some occasional meaningless and misinformed rants.

    50. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT ( sorry) but Guido has some news of Falkirk Labour cowpat.
      Bugger ,I lost my tea!

    51. Robert Bryce says:

      Vronsky
       
      I’ll get my coat.

    52. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Does the current broohaha in Falkirk mean that Eric Joyce has a chance of nicking his seat back?

    53. Dee says:

      O/T slightly, in recent interviews with Better Together reps, they are pushing strongly on the line that the Yes Campaign is going backwards, that the people are not listening to them etc.and that ALL the opinion polls are showing that the gap is widening in favour of a No vote. Does anyone have any evidence of how the opinion polls are standing at the moment. Because when getting interviewed on BBC etc.. they never seem to get corrected, as if they all know something I don’t.

    54. MajorBloodnok says:

      A quote from Tom Waton’s resignation letter to Ed Miliband that struck me:
       
      “Having resigned a couple of times before, I know how puckish lobby hacks might choose to misconstrue the departure. So to make it harder for them let me say this: I’m proud of your Buddha-like qualities of patience, deep thought, compassion and resolve.”
       
      I like Tom Watson.  He clearly has a sense of humour.

    55. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I thought the Buddha-like bit had been slipped in by some wag on the internet.
      If it is true, it rivals the savaged by a dead sheep put down of Geoffrey Howe by Dennis Healey.
      What are the chances he becomes a bigger pain in the derriere of Ed Milliband, from the back benches.
      I love it when a unionist party separates.

    56. Dee
      They are talking bolleaux. Here’s the polls.

    57. Archibald Berwick Melrose [aka Archie] says:

      Talking about tows I had to tow my car recently on the way to a Towing Party. Everyone had to divest themselves of footwear and sweaty socks and have their toes strung with baling twine before being hoisted aloft while singing the ELO hit – Toesday Afternoon.
      @ Vronsky – I am earmarking a bottle of 12year old malt for you as a mark of spelling understanding. Can you bring it unopened to the ‘windae hingin’ Sept 18/19th 2014?
      @Caroline and Bugger – Bring the Towlines? Toelines? Just in case Vronsky comes emptyhanded !
       

    58. Gayle says:

      “Scotland punching above its weight in the UK” 
      “I think it’s ludicrous that a parliament can spend loads of money, but doesn’t raise it.”

      I’m going to assume he meant Westminster since his first statement clearly acknowledges that we (Scotland) do. However, asking us to continue to do so with a smile on our face is absolutely ludicrous. The man needs his head examined. 

    59. Albert Herring says:

      Roddy, Dee
       
      Doesn’t seem to have been one for a while. Wonder why not.

    60. ianbrotherhood says:

      Have you ever had a friend who sported a moustache, got rid of it years ago, but you still ‘see’ it when you think of them, or even look at them?
       
      For me, now, Willie Rennie will always be wearing the same ‘pink’ jacket we’ve come to know so well. It’s just so him.

    61. Colin Dunn says:

      “Using a superhuman effort of self control”

      Ah. Thank god. I thought I was the only one. As for ‘loose’ vs ‘lose’, come the revolution (indy) people who mix them will be firced to watch reruns of Question time wirh Farage on it.

    62. ianbrotherhood says:

      Seeing as WoS is now the largest political party in Scotland, shouldn’t Rev be running for election in Falkirk?
       
      Good chance to do a Hunter S Thompson, frighten the bejaysus out of them, and familiarise one and all with the new national anthem.

    63. Vronsky says:

      “I am earmarking a bottle of 12year old malt for you as a mark of spelling understanding. Can you bring it unopened to the ‘windae hingin’ Sept 18/19th 2014?”
       
      I can give you a postal address for the whisky.  Any decent approximation (do your best) to the correct spelling will probably get it to me.  If I were you, and knowing me, I wouldn’t be terribly sanguine about getting a snifter from the bottle on the 18th. I’ll be around though, and can tell you how good it was.

    64. AlexMcI says:

      Ach I’m getting right jealous of all this single malt talk, I love the stuff so much, unfortunately I am barred from consuming any for my own good.Shades of the Eric Joyce when I do.

    65. Shinty says:

      AlexMcl – if only more of us were as sensible as you.

    66. AlexMcI says:

      Good god Shinty, that’s the first time that particular insult has been aimed in my direction. They were right about yous bloody cybernats at better together. 

    67. velofello says:

      “It’s ludicrous that a parliament can spend loads of money but doesn’t raise it”.
      As Gayle notes, this really is the nub. The UK has an endemic balance of payments problem, spending more than it raises in income.Whereas Scotland…you know the rest .
      toeing the line – meaning lining up on parade? 
      towing the line – up shit creek without a paddle. Bogart and the African Queen movie comes to mind.
      So maybe unionist politicians appearing on Newsnicht are indeed towing the line.

    68. Barontorc says:

      On the press and BBC – it is remarkable that there can be such a generally voiced similar line of direction from all these different organisations and it is done with a sharpish impact, like they have all come out from the same briefing and get set to it.
       
      I can surmise that this all being regularly coordinated on an hourly if not daily basis and there will be commentators on here from that media world, so what’s the gossip side saying about it?
       
      If this is coming from the UK gov sources; MI5 whatever, that has to be subversion of the democratic process in Scotland, but if, more likely, its fronted by one of the swivel-eyed pressure/think tanking crowd, we ought to be digging it out.
       
      Where’s our whistleblower?

    69. Ronnie says:

      Vronsky,
      Thanks for lancing that particular boil, someone had to do it, and I hadn’t had enough of the Doublewood courage to attempt it.
      Now, what do we do with;
      its and it’s,
      their, there and they’re,
      to, too and two,
      seperate and separate,
      definately and definitely,
      etc, etc?
      YES IT DOES MATTER!
       
      Damn, the bottle’s empty, I’d better get my coat.
       
      The ‘2014’ will be a good year, though!

    70. john king says:

      barontorc said

      “They wouldn’t last two minutes if we had a press brigade half worthy of its actual purpose.”
       
      Could not agree more

        

    71. john king says:

      roddy Mcdonald said
      “Willie Rennie wholly voluntarily and without prompting, live on stage, metaphorically took out his Browning 9mm, deliberately took aim at his left foot and fired.  He informed the audience that he wanted to see the Scottish Parliament made permanent, as it is currently a temporary institution voted into existence by Westminster which could just as easily be voted out of existence by Westminster. It seems that in his own time as a one-term wonder in Westminster, he did not learn that there is no constitutional mechanism in the UK to legislate Holyrood into permanence as sovereignty rests with the Crown in Parliament and that sovereignty is absolute. ”
      BINGO
      that was my thought as well, the prospect of leaving OUR  parliament at the mercy of a foreign government which despises it, is an option for fools. 

    72. Ann says:

      Gosh, do they look very glum and pensive! Not a smile between them.  Their own Project Fear must be making them feel depressed and feart!!

    73. SCED300 says:

      When Blair Jenkins pointed out to Gordon Brewer that Project Fear was reported in a newspaper 10 days ago and was not from Yes, Brewer tried to swipe that aside.
      I guess the Newsnight team had put so much effort into their film in the piece he didn’t want it ridiculed.
      As an aside when Jenkins mentioned the bedroom tax, Brewer dismissed it as 3 month old news. Another BBC Fail; the lives of the people affected are still being destroyed, but that isn’t news!

    74. Angus says:

      My last car insurer wanted me to stay with them and pay an extra two hundred pounds than other quotes I had received but could give me no reason why so I told them to f off.
       

    75. Andy-B says:

      Thought bubble !…..above Ruth Davidsons head..
       
      Wth the caption “Poor Wullie, he looks like he’s about to burst oot greetin”

    76. sneddon says:

      Ok I’ll do it-  Some say wullie rennie has a loose screw in his headbecause he knows he’s going to lose the referendum and cannot deal with it.  Happy now 🙂



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