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Opening your mouth and removing doubt

Posted on March 16, 2013 by

A couple of paragraphs in a Vince Cable story (to over-dignify the piece in question) from today’s Scotsman are quite amusing if you swap the order they come in.

“The first day I took up my job as the chief economist at Shell I was given a plaque which had an Arabic saying and when I pressed for a translation, they said ‘All those who claim to predict the future are lying, even if they are later proved right’.”


“Business Secretary Vince Cable last night warned that an independent Scotland’s reliance on revenue from oil would result in savage public spending cuts or tax rises, as he addressed the Liberal Democrat Scottish conference.”


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47 to “Opening your mouth and removing doubt”

  1. Adrian B says:

    Sounds a lot like Effie Deans – Both Tories looking out for Scotland’s interests then?

  2. Yesitis says:

    The Liberal Democrats – they`re a bit pointless, eh. Just another unionist party spouting unionist party tosh. A party of political threadworms farting in a hurricane.
    @Adrian B
    I could write a song about Effie, but it wouldn`t be very nice. So, I wont.

  3. Boorach says:

    o/t but does anyone know just how much the lib/dems jollies this weekend have raised for comic relief?

  4. The Man in the Jar says:

    Boorach. I think the lib/dems are comic relief.

  5. Davy says:

    Thanks for that Boorach, still laughing.
    So I take it the lib-dems did’nt have to waste money on any crowd control restrictions, how many wasters actually attended their shed party ???
    Remember the truth is out there, but not at the lib-dem conference.
    Vote yes, vote Scotland.
    Alba Gu snooker loopy!.

  6. frankieboy says:

    I can confidently lie and say that the LibDems will be even more irrelevant by the next elections.

  7. Tearlach says:

    Here’s what the Techie Geeks say at MIT in Boston – “if you want to know what the future will look like – go out and invent it”
    Works for us political Geeks here in Scotland as well I’d suggest.

  8. Dcanmore says:

    O/T dramatic developments from Labour London, read this on the Labour for Indy link …
    London Labour has finally accomplished the complete betrayal of traditional Labour values and turned their back on the very people the Party & movement was established by and for.

    To quote John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington : “Let me say to my hon. Friends on the Opposition Front Bench that I am extremely shocked by what has been said—that they are not willing to support my amendments. This is the first time in the history of the labour movement—the first time ever in the history of the Labour party—that this party has supported in Parliament the removal of trade union rights from trade unionists. That is a significant step and marks a historic change in attitude. I urge those on the Front Bench to use these moments in this debate to think about what they are doing.
    Time for YES to take the initiative and start slow dancing with the Trade Unionists in Scotland.

  9. Baheid says:

    Can you put on a link to it?
    Having a look now but can’t see it.

  10. FreddieThreepwood says:

    Channel hopping this afternoon looking for something to keep me inside on a miserable day I had the misfortune to come across the end of an interview between Brian Taylor and Beaker from the Muppets (aka Danny Alexander) in which the latter was trying to seriously suggest that Shetland claiming sovereignty over a large chunk of North Sea Oil after a ‘Yes’ vote was ‘just one more uncertainty the nationalists don’t have an answer for’ – a phrase he droned again and again.
    He was quite rightly then asked by Taylor what was to stop Shetland nabbing it’s oil anyway and wasn’t this therefore an ‘uncertainty’ right now for the UK? At which point Beaker blustered, flustered and did his rabbit in the headlamps routine.
    Honestly – is this the level we’ve got to? Is this really the best the No Campaign can come up with – stirring up the chauvinistic pretensions of Little Shetlanders and then presenting them, not as the illegal irrelevances they are, but as some sort of genuine threat that would apply, for non-existent reasons under international law, only to Scotland but not to the UK???!!!
    My only remaining question is why didn’t Taylor just burst out laughing and call him a pathetic loser with no respect for the intelligence of the Scottish people to his face?

  11. Dcanmore says:

    @Baheid …

    Find it on the left column, just under the Shawlands Academy picture, producing many comments from despondent Labour supporters.

  12. Holebender says:

    @Yesitis I think you can just shorten ‘party tosh’ and write ‘pish’.

  13. Yesitis says:

    Agreed 🙂
    @Freddie Threepwood
    Surely there is someone in the Scottish media who can ask the next unionist who mentions ‘it`s Shetland`s oil’ to explain exactly what they are implying?

  14. Silverytay says:

    On the drive upto Perth this morning I am sure that I heard wee willie rennie on the radio say that the 3 unionist parties were close to an agreement on setting up a federal system of government for the u.k . If there is a grain of truth in this story it means that private opinion polls show that the referendum is to close to call and the unionists are panicking .
    Before anyone asks i was not on the wacky backy nor had I been overindulging on the vino .
    My wife must have heard it as well because I told her that they were to late ‘ they had their chance to get it on the ballot paper but were not interested .

  15. muttley79 says:

    This story about the Shetlands and oil has been around for decades in the Unionist media in Scotland.  The fact that the No campaign have mentioned it numerous times since 2011 does not auger well for them.  They have dismally failed to give us the much cited, but never actually articulated positive case for the Union.  As the wait goes on for it only the scare stories remain.  The truth is the No campaign are scared witless of change in Scotland. 

  16. Baheid says:

    He repeated that when interviewed after his speech at the lib conference.
    Two pundits interviewed by Taylor, (I think),  near the end of politics Scotland trashed the idea completely, in fact I think they trashed everything concerning Libs at the conference.
    I was loosing the will to live so somewhat struggled to watch.

  17. Dcanmore says:

    Of course this jam tomorrow is from the Scottish versions of the Unionist parties. If there’s a NO vote then their London masters don’t need to do a thing in victory. Just like in 1979 with Alec Douglas-Home making his visits to number 10 with his ‘better deal’ on a devolution settlement for Scotland. “Thank you Mr Douglas-Home, we’ll take from here, don’t call us we’ll call you traaa! It will be same again if Scotland votes NO!
    Vote NO get nothing!

  18. Silverytay says:

    Bahied@Dcanmore  I can remember the jam tomorrow promises that we were offered in 79 and we wont be fooled again .
    What I find interesting about this jam tomorrow is the fact that they would not even contemplate it unless they thought they were going to lose the referendum .
    For those of us who were worried that the opinion polls were not moving in our direction fast enough this jam tomorrow is a sign that the bitter togethers are panicking .
    Nowadays I take every opinion poll with a pinch of salt and wait for scottish-skiers analysis of it .

  19. Bill C says:

    With regard to Shetland, Lib Dems Tavish Scott and I think Nicol Stephen have been particularly active in raising this particular scare story. The facts are that Shetland has had links with Scotland since the 13th century, has  been part of Scotland since the 15th century and lies within Scottish territorial waters recognised by UNCLOS in 1982 (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). I find the actions of those who raise this issue in defence of the union to be particularly reprehensible.   They seek to sow seeds of strife and division, actions which in time of war would be considered treasonable. The tactics of divide and rule have been employed for decades by unionists in Scotland. The scourge of sectarianism scars large areas of Scotland and may well play a significant part in the final result of the referendum. We cannot allow further division of our people to go unchallenged. These people must be exposed for the “parcel o’ rogues ” that they are.

  20. FreddieThreepwood says:

    I’ve just read that Beaker’s comments came on the back of a call for ‘Home Rule for Shetland’ from Tavish Scott. The sheer, unadulterated, barefaced hypocrisy of this is feckin’ eye-watering!
    Scott says: “I am a Shetlander first, a Scot second and a Brit third.” So why has he leapt from 3rd straight to 1st with his calls for home rule? It’s OK for Shetland to run its own affairs is it, but not Scotland?
    And the LibDems wonder why they are the laughing stock of British politics?
    I need a drink.

  21. scottish_skier says:

    Independence for Lauderdale!

    Inaugural meeting of the People’s Popular Front of Lauderdale is 7.30 tonight in the Black Bull.

    (People’s United Front are meeting in the Lauderdale Hotel at the same time, so don’t get the two mixed up).

  22. Yesitis says:

    @Free Threepwood
    “I’ve just read that Beaker’s comments came on the back of a call for ‘Home Rule for Shetland’ from Tavish Scott. The sheer, unadulterated, barefaced hypocrisy of this is feckin’ eye-watering!
    Scott says: “I am a Shetlander first, a Scot second and a Brit third.” So why has he leapt from 3rd straight to 1st with his calls for home rule? It’s OK for Shetland to run its own affairs is it, but not Scotland?”

    Oh oh..but isn`t Tavish Scott pro-union? Why, then, is he trying to break up his beloved union even further by suggesting Shetland`s independence from Scotland? Does he think the Shetlanders will snub the Scots and go straight for some kind of Shetland/England union? Tavish, have you thought this through? Has Mr Scott discussed this with the people he is meant to represent?
    I think Tavish has been out drinking with this guy.

  23. ianbrotherhood says:

    Cable, Alexander, Rennie, Scott…FFS, what a shower.
    Is there a collective noun covering ‘bawbags’?
    Reminds me of a favourite joke – the guy’s in bed with the farmer’s wife. The farmer walks in the door. The guy jumps out of the bed, starkers. The farmer raises his rifle and aims at the guy’s privates.
    ‘What are you doing?!’ screams the lad.
    ‘Ahm gonny blow the baws aff ye!’ replies the farmer.
    ‘Please, please don’t blow them off! Give me a chance! Please!’
    The farmer raises the rifle, closes one eye, takes aim – ‘Okay laddie, I’ll gie ye a chance – swing them!’

  24. David McCann says:

    Did Tavish ask his boss before making this statement- Cameron, I mean?

  25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Is there a collective noun covering ‘bawbags’?”

    A “shrivel”.

  26. The Man in the Jar says:

    A “scroat”

  27. The Man in the Jar says:

    A “dangle”

  28. Albert Herring says:

    An “Albert Hall”

  29. Peter says:

         If people were being bombarded with stories that the Isle of Wight wasn’t really  part of england then they’d laugh at the escaped mental patients making such patently untrue and absurd claims.
        It is 3 miles from Duncansby Head to South Ronaldsay and only 1.5 miles to the Little Skerry, which is the closest part of the Orkney islands to the MAINLAND.
    Scottish islands, full of Scots, occupied by the Norse before they were kicked out.
        Now the ("Tractor" - Ed)s in the ("Quizmaster" - Ed) unionist alliance are trying to partition the country as part of their campaign for lives in endless slavery.   H,D & Q is too good  for the them.  

  30. BillyBigbaws says:

    On the subject of Tavish going full separatist:

  31. Albert Herring says:

    I read somewhere that the inhabitants of the Northern Isle are ethnically Pictish, with elements of Scandinavian and Spanish (from the Armada), not that ethnicity is of any particular relevance.

  32. ianbrotherhood says:

    @Rev, TMITJ & Albert –
    Splendid suggestions. 
    What about a ‘ming’?
    ‘Aye, yon Lib-Dems? Whit a ming ay bawbags.’

  33. Craig M says:

    It’s actually vey simple with Tavish.
    He wants a seat in the Lords, a peerage, with all the gongs, expenses and conections that go with it.
    The British State is actually extremely simple to understand and so are it’s rewards. We shouldn’t try to understand the actions of people like Tavish in overly complicated terms. Tavish is an ambitious man, he wants a peerage, and he will go to any length to obtain it. If that means letting down his country, selling his constituents down the river, or turning a blind eye to child poverty, then so be it.
    Let’s put it this way.
    Would you buy Tavish a pint?
    Probably not, because, if you are a decent person you wouldn’t but a robber a beer, would you?

  34. BillyBigbaws says:

    @ Craig M, the problem for Tavish’s earthly ambitions is that he’s just delivered a killing blow to the Better Together campaign. How are they going to keep arguing that Scotland is too wee to go it alone, and we should never break up this precious unitary state, when one of the chief Better Togetherers just went galloping off to create a micro-state?

    And blatantly out of spite rather than concern for the rights of Shetlanders as well?

    For forty years they’ve told us oil is running out, that it’s worthless anyway, that it’s volatile and causes uncertainty and you need other sources of income – but now Shetland can be independent? While Scotland can’t?  Who’s going to believe that?

    Don’t get me wrong, I support whatever degree of autonomy Shetlanders and Orcadians choose for themselves, but the funny thing is that Tavish doesn’t support that at all.  And now he’s going to be forced to act like he does. 

    It’s going to be hilarious, all the more so because he thought he was boxing clever with this stunt.

  35. Kirriereoch says:

    Regarding the Northern Isles, Orkney´s MSP Liam McArthur let slip the real thinking in a rather straightforward (and unprofessional when considering his job as a politician) manner:

    “His Orkney colleague Liam McArthur backed the autonomy plan, conceding it felt good simply to annoy SNP leader Mr Salmond.

    “Annoying Alex Salmond is enough to commend any motion,” he said.

    “I sympathise with that sentiment. There are of course many more principled and substantive reasons for backing the motion.””

    Glad that´s clarified this wee episode in Scotland´s referendum debate.

  36. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

    Actually the Isle of Wight WAS a “kingdom” for  short while in the Middle Ages but the suggestion that Shetland and Orkney could be hived off as some sort of reserve for people who still vote Liberal should be approached with serious caution rather than mockery. Given the long history of British perfidy in cutting and pasting various parts of the fleeing Empire into “entities” convenient to itself and not to the inhabitants peple should beware – look what they did to the Chagos Islanders. They were declared “non-native” and so were excluded from their homes – in some cases while away they were simply denied a return journey. Many of them ended up destitute in slums on Mauritius and despite many court victories they have still been denied that basic right – the right to go home. There are other examples but this one is the most glaring – and perpetrated under a Labour government. The main island Diego Garcia is now a huge Military technically still under British “sovre?gnty” but for all intents and purposes under American control – much like Faslane where the nuclear codes for the “British” nukes are also under American control. Shetlanders and Orkney Islanders would be ill advised to put their trust in London’s tender mercies.

  37. Callum says:

    O/T – here’s some interesting research that shows that articles that contain large numbers of “troll” and “nasty” posts colour readers judgement of the article and the facts behind the article.  You can see the play here about “winning opinion” by the BT campaign and their MMS outlets:  One sided moderation for the Herald and Scotsman/lack of comments at the BBC
    Whilst folks here will wave the “obvious” flag – it’s important that this has properly conducted research behind the phenomena.  The article, “The ‘Nasty Effect’: How Comments Color Comprehension

  38. rabb says:

    There’s no argument.
    We entered the union with Orkney & Shetland and we will leave the union with Orkney & Shetland.

  39. Nairn says:

    I think we definitely need to encourage Scott et al to go down this route. it’s difficult enough for BT to argue a consistent case as it as – to have them arguing against Scottish independence while simultaneously trying to stir up secessionism in Orkney and Shetland is going to make them publically the laughing stock we already know them to be.
    This is what’s known as the Trudeau argument, based on Pierre Trudeau’s assertion that ‘if Canada is divisible, then so is Quebec’, but not even that extraordinary politician could argue against the reality that Quebec’s territorial integrity is guaranteed by public international law, which means that Scotland would be covered by the same precedent. There was also the argument that Quebec as a nation was indivisible, while Canada, not being a nation was. Clearly the same assertion can apply to Scotland and Britain, Britain being a clearly recognized grouping of nations, and not a nation in itself.
    Neither Orkney or Shetland qualify as nations under any interpretation of the term, so the chances of them being allowed to secede seem pretty remote. Maybe it’s significant that the Isle of Man is a former Kingdom, but using it as a precedent is unwise, because it never arranged a treaty of union with the UK, which is why it retains its parliament. 
    Yeah, this whole subject is fraught with madness. I’d love to see the contortions they have to make to get around this one. Bring it on, Tavish.

  40. douglas clark says:

    The area of Scotland least likely to give an overwhelming vote in favour of an independent Scotland is the deprived West Central belt.
    It is an interesting question, but will Westminster fight tooth and nail to keep Glasgow and environs in the Union even if the rest of Scotland votes for independence?
    I rather think not.
    On this basis of geographical autonomy, would every constituency that voted no stay and every constituency that voted yes leave?
    It is bullshit. It also seems to me that this is an attempt to undercut the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’.

  41. Yesitis says:

    Yep, there`s an article in the Scotsman with the spurious title
    “Scottish Independence: Northern Isles devolution bid”

  42. Matt says:

    Looking through the wikipedia article on the history of Shetland to see if they have EVER been a sovereign nation. Nothing there to suggest they ever have, but it is interesting to look at how they were affected by the Act of Union….

    “From the early 15th century on the Shetlanders sold their goods through the Hanseatic League of German merchantmen. The Hansa would buy shiploads of salted fish, wool and butter and import salt, cloth, beer and other goods.


    The trade with the North German towns lasted until the 1707 Act of Union prohibited the German merchants from trading with Shetland. Shetland then went into an economic depression as the Scottish and local traders were not as skilled in trading with salted fish.”

    Looks like the act of coming together with the rest of Britain separated these isles from important trade links in Europe. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, I’m sure.

  43. BillyBigbaws says:

    Callum said: “O/T – here’s some interesting research that shows that articles that contain large numbers of “troll” and “nasty” posts colour readers judgement of the article and the facts behind the article.”

    If you want to see a possible example of this in it’s weaponised state, take a look at the comments on the Scotsman under the article about John Swinney saying the post-independence surplus “could amount to billions.”

    Rather than the usual vitriol and barbarism that online Scotsman readers have become used to, it’s just a load of meaningless, strangely structured, incoherent posts from all sorts of unfamiliar names.

    I’m sure it’s just because The Scotsman’s moderation policy is to only allow the most maniacal rambling to be posted, though, rather than some kind of targetted troll campaign.

    We should remember that Better Together hired Obama’s online social media strategists though.

  44. BillyBigbaws says:

    On EDIT:  Actually, the comments there are a lot better now than they were last time I checked, so nevermind.

  45. douglas clark says:

    These are the better comments?
    Bloody Hell.

  46. BillyBigbaws says:

    @ douglas clark, I’m afraid so.

    The moronic nonsense that has been posted there now is a vast improvement on the moronic nonsense that was posted there earlier.

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