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Wings Over Scotland

Out of the cave

Posted on November 24, 2016 by

Readers of this site will be well aware of the many failings and limitations of GERS, aka Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland – the document which serves as the informal accounts of a devolved Scotland but tells us next to nothing about the finances of an independent Scotland, as noted just a few weeks ago by the impartial multinational auditors Deloitte.


An article I produced this week for the Common Weal White Paper Project – Beyond GERS – has generated much critical response from Unionists, though some of it has at least been constructive.

Spurred on by the mention of the article by David Torrance in Monday’s Herald, in a column containing several serious inaccuracies, I’ve seen various misunderstandings and misconceptions about it which ought to be addressed.

Beyond GERS represents a large leap away from where the independence debate has stood – which is to say, more or less stationary – for the past two years, so some further explanation of some of the points is warranted. I’ll address the misconceptions in a number of sections.

1. “The Data Source Is Wrong”

This first clarification comes via a piece by a blogger and amateur economist popular with Unionists, which can be found here and which examines some of the figures used to back my arguments. His chief objection is that I used PESA 2016 (which covers up till financial year 2014/15) as the basis for my disaggregation of UK and Scottish geographic spends and that I should have used CRA 2015/16 instead (he makes the case that doing this actually strengthens our case from a financial perspective).

Whilst it’s a point to which I wouldn’t necessarily object, I can only point out that the latter source wasn’t actually published until after Beyond GERS, thus was unavailable at the time of writing, and that my conclusion makes it quite clear that this publication should be considered as a first step – to be updated as new data develops.

We must remember that the data for 2015/16 will continue to be updated and refined for several years from now – most of these documents will show refinements and adjustments running up to five years before they “drop off” the table. We must also remember that whilst this study assumes the case of Scotland becoming independent today, the simple fact is that we are not, we will not be and it will be several years at a reasonable minimum before we are.

Despite the efforts of economic analysts to divine the state of the economy several years hence, the only certain conclusion one can reliably reach on such things is that these predictions will be wrong to greater or lesser degrees, one way or the other.


Would using GERS 2014/15 have made for a neater comparison? Possibly so. The baseline deficit was relatively similar so the task at hand isn’t significantly different. But the more shrill objectors I’ve encountered would have immediately demanded to know from where I was conjuring up £1.8 billion of oil revenue.


On one particular point of attention, the piece suggests I’ve overestimated the effect of overseas spending to the tune of £2.4 billion. This number was reached via a share of the total UK’s total overseas spend, rather than the more modest figures assigned in CRA, which applies a “who benefits” formula to spending where possible and a population share where not.

The rationale for this choice being that, as outlined in the paper, one of the arguments used directly against Scottish independence was the breadth and reach of the UK’s diplomatic service. Whilst a credible case is made that the UK’s diplomatic service is, while broad, rather more inefficient than it need be, others who do not necessarily support independence would now surely recognise that if Scotland wanted to replicate that reach then it would be within our budget to do so.

2. “This Means Cuts To Scottish Defence”

In two of the cases mentioned, Spending according to the EU average or at NATO target levels, this represents an INCREASE in the amount of spending within Scotland, along with estimations of the economic impact caused by this increase. Only in one of the cases – a level of spend similar to Ireland and in accordance with their policy of neutrality and involvement in UN Peacekeeping missions – would this represent an actual cut to defence.

If one were to consider reducing actual in-Scotland spending on defence – and were to do it in such a way as to risk jobs – then it would be absolutely right to consider how those savings could be invested into other sectors of the economy which may carry with them far higher fiscal multipliers than defence spending does.


As the IMF have noted more than once, rational defence spending levels are rarely decided out of concerns about the state of the economy.

This said, defence is an issue which is very much bound up in policy and it is a subject that we really need to have a serious discussion about. Scotland’s defence requirements post-independence are likely to be very different from that of the UK as a whole or even Scotland within the UK.

If, for example, you believe that Scotland’s defence threats are primarily Russia and terrorism, then you’re likely to end up creating a defence force entirely inadequate for tackling the actual threats to our national security. None of these need aircraft carriers, outward force projection or nukes to effectively combat.

3. “Closing the Tax Gap Means Raising Income Tax”

One of the implications made – and picked up by Torrance – was that closing the tax gap to raise an additional £3.5 billion could be equated to a ~30% increase in income tax level. This is a particularly misleading way of representing this particular point, not least because the research quoted in the paper makes it clear that the inefficiencies, loopholes and avenues for avoidance and evasion lie far more within the realms of VAT, corporation tax, capital gains and inheritance tax.

The fact that these taxes are all currently reserved to Westminster aside, the implication that closing the tax gap automatically means an increase in tax rates for those who already pay their full share and obligation is simply wrong.

This mode of thinking, I believe, is symptomatic of the main problem that this paper is trying to tackle. Too many political commentators (on both sides of the debate) have gotten far too used to thinking about Scotland strictly in terms of being a region of the UK with limited powers.

When just about the only major tax power Scotland has control over is income tax, perhaps it’s tempting to think of solutions purely in terms of that one tax but if you want to think about Scotland as an independent country – even if you’re against the idea and want to attack it – you must think about Scotland in terms of BEING an independent country.

An independent Scotland would, of course, have full control over all of the taxes currently employed. Most importantly, it would be fully in control of the power and opportunity to completely dispense with the UK tax code and start again with a better, more efficient, more effective one designed explicitly for the Scottish economy.

If a pro-Union commentator wishes to fight on this point then they have to be prepared to defend the current UK system, explain away its flaws and why we’re not getting any of the solutions that folk like Tax Research UK can identify, as well as attacking any proposals that we push forward.

4. “We’d Be Defaulting On The UK’s Debt”

The stated objective of the Westminster government in the 2014 campaign was to have the rUK recognised as the “continuing”, or at least the “successor”, state to the United Kingdom and for Scotland to be recognised as a “new” state

(The link above went so far as to claim that the 1707 Treaty of Union “extinguished” the country of Scotland as a legal entity despite the UK describing itself to the UN 2007 as being composed of “two countries [Scotland and England], one principality [Wales] and a province [Northern Ireland]“).

This state of affairs would carry with it significant advantages for rUK – notably, it would lessen any serious challenge towards their holding the UK’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which was the case when Russia became the successor to the USSR – but carries with it many obligations also.

(The historical precedents are clearly laid out and extensively referenced in my paper Claiming Scotland’s Assets but readers should also consider G.F. Treverton’s book on the subject Dividing Divided States.)

Essentially, where one country successfully claims “continuing” or “successor” status then it accepts that all of the mobile debts and assets of the former state belong solely to it (non-mobile assets like mineral rights, military bases and public buildings – including public companies and any mobile assets deemed essential to their running – are almost always split geographically).

This means that a “continuing” rUK owns all of the UK’s debts alone. Scotland can no more default on them than can a former lodger default on your mortgage.

Now, if the side negotiating on behalf of the UK wishes to make the case that Scotland should take on a share of debts, perhaps by offering a share of assets to their value, then this is something that Scotland could consider, accept or refuse. But there’s a very good case to be made that Scotland doesn’t actually need or want a population share of the UK’s mobile assets.

We may need a few £billion worth of military equipment – assuming we can’t buy newer or more appropriate equipment elsewhere. We may need a couple of billion (those stalwart supporters of independence Scotland in Union estimated not more than £1bn) to set up essential government departments currently lacking – assuming we can’t borrow the money at better rates on the open market.

We may need a couple tens of billions to support our new currency and set up the investment banks we’ll need to start rebuilding our economy. After that, it really does start to become a stretch to consider what other assets we would actually need which would justify accepting over £130bn worth of debt.

5. “rUK Won’t Pay Pensions To People In Scotland”

The current rules regarding the UK state pension are quite clear. If you meet the requirements for one, including paying up to 30 years worth of National Insurance, then you are non-negotiably entitled to a UK state pension when you retire.

Should you retire outside of the UK then, depending on which country you retire to, you may or may not receive an annual increment to that pension and changes to things like exchange rate and purchasing power may erode or enhance the value of that pension but the basic premise is laid out.

In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, if someone has reached their 30 years contribution before the date of Scottish independence, or has already retired, then they can expect their full UK pension. By this logic, at the point of independence, the full component of pension liabilities would fall on rUK as, at that point, no Scottish NI would have been paid.

This isn’t a controversial point, as it was precisely the stance that the UK government itself took during indyref 1 (and is entirely consistent with the stance laid out above that rUK would act as the continuing state to the UK).


At least one commentator has suggested that the UK could “change the law at the stroke of a pen” to block payment of extra-rUK pensions. They could certainly try. But even leaving the legal nightmare that would result aside, it’d be what Yes Minister used to describe as a “brave” move.

They’d have to pass that bill over the howls of horror from all the other British emigrants currently drawing that pension, and the idea that rUK citizens who chose to move to Scotland at some point after independence would face suddenly losing their pension is, to be generous, a challenging one.

It’d also present an interesting scenario in relation to those British nationalists who would seek to retain their UK citizenship post independence and might well reject the offer of taking Scottish citizenship to which they would be entitled.

(It’s perhaps pertinent to note at this point that millions of expats still retain the right to vote in UK elections.)

An alternative agreement over pensions liability sharing MIGHT be reached, given that independence would be a process of political negotiation, but the current situation is clear – the UK government owes current pensioners their pension whether Scotland is independent or not.

6. “But The SNP Said [X] In Their White Paper!”

It’s true that the White Paper said that an independent Scotland would take over pension liabilities. However, this was as part of their stance that Scotland would share UK successor status with rUK and would share assets and debts – something the No campaign originally claimed wouldn’t be possible.

If the pro-Union campaign wants now to seriously suggest asset and liability sharing, then everything is on the table. But it seems they’ve now flipped from saying that the White Paper was utterly without merit and should be rejected out of hand to now demanding that its proposals should be accepted in full.

In doing so they’ve revealed that their own case for the Union has yet to adapt to the new circumstances posed by (chiefly) Brexit, and they haven’t even considered the possibility that when they demanded that the Yes movement drop a previous position and adopt a new one, that it might actually do it.

They’re still stuck in a cave, blinking at the light and yearning for the shadows they sneered at two years ago. If and when they ever come out, it might be possible to discuss things with them like grown-ups.

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  1. 24 11 16 19:56

    Out of the cave | speymouth

  2. 26 11 16 11:04

    Just who has the problem? – soccer doc's blog

221 to “Out of the cave”

  1. Phil Stephenson says:

    “They’d have to pass that bill over the howls of horror from all the other British emigrants currently drawing that pension, and the idea that rUK citizens who chose to move to Scotland at some point after independence would face suddenly losing their pension is, to be generous, a challenging one.”

    So you advocate that citizens of an independent Scotland remain British citizens in order to attempt to continue having their pension paid by another country?

    Some independence.

  2. Tackety Beets says:

    Item 6 ref “Whitepaper” , you expose the Yoons so well.


    Strivin’ to pull my chin off the floor.

    Masterclass! 10/10

  3. R-type Grunt says:

    Awesome post!

  4. Bob Mack says:

    Brilliantly summarised Craig. It seems that the staunch Unionists cannot envisage anything other than what decries Scotlands ability to cope and thrive. They prefer the scribblings of a man who cannot keep his own company in profit or even at break even.

    This is great ammunition. A logical perspective on a real issue.

  5. Bruce L says:

    Thanks for this illuminating write-up, Craig.

  6. heedtracker says:

    “Too many political commentators (on both sides of the debate) have gotten far too used to thinking about Scotland strictly in terms of being a region of the UK with limited powers.”

    Got that spot on. The potential is staggering, with a whole range powerful multipliers, all currently restricted entirely by the Treasury.

  7. Tinto Chiel says:

    Ouch! A real stinger, Dr D. Facts and logic can hurt.

    “They’re still stuck in a cave, blinking at the light…”

    Troglodytes, then.

    Can we call Yoons The Troggs now?

    Back to the future!

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “So you advocate that citizens of an independent Scotland remain British citizens in order to attempt to continue having their pension paid by another country?

    Some independence.”

    No, don’t be such a fucking idiot, of course nobody’s advocating that. Learn to read.

  9. ephemeraldeception says:

    Great write up and patient, clear myth busting of unionist mantra.

    Main sore point for me is that no matter what, Scotlands accounts are simply not audited and not audit worthy. FFA would be the only way to have a realistic and complete picture.

    The unionists carp about partial transfer of powers to enable some accountability and some responsibility and some transparency. Yet are vehemently against full transparency and accountability. There can only be one logical conclusion as to why.

    An illustrative question to unionists is: If we change nothing except manage all our revenues and expenses but pay into the uk for reserved matters and services, and keep the union, would you agree?

    Actually the question is already answered as it was formally written that this would lead to independence, which made it out of scope of the Smith commission whose remit was to keep Scotland in the UK.

  10. JLT says:

    Pensions is a key factor in all of this. Even my own father during the 2014 Referendum kept telling me that if Scotland became independent, then he would lose his UK pension. As I told him that apart from the fact that if the UK did do such a thing, then an independent Scotland would play absolute havoc with England in telling the rUK to ‘eff off’ over the national debt, Sterling-sharing, Faslane, and any hint of retaining that UN Security Council seat. Basically, if we’re going down in flames, then we’re taking England with us.

    However, it’s all utter nonsense. Legally, they could …but they won’t. Ever!

    Any insidious move would not only lead to a serious verbal punch-up in these islands, but in one fell swoop, any faith or trust that other nations have in ‘British promises’ would evaporate in the blink of an eye. Who would get involved with the UK unless the British State coughs up hardcore money first before any job or project was undertaken? So, if Westminster did decide to do the dirty on Scotland, then not only would it alarm the rest of the world, but the rUK would face a severe backlash from the rest of the world (especially from other nations already involved financially in UK Projects suddenly wondering if they will get paid), but the value of Sterling could begin to slide overnight …and that’s without Scotland hitting back with it’s own bag of vendettas (ie see list above in the first paragraph).

    But for my father, he just couldn’t get it out of his head. He believed his pension was going to stopped if Scotland became independent. and worst of all, Scottish Labour, Lib-Dems and Tories never stepped up to shoot this myth down. They allowed it to flourish even though they all knew it was a blatant black lie. This is a stain on every Unionist MP and MSP from the time of the Referendum – that they utterly frightened Pensioners with financial ruin. Gordon Brown was instrumental in that (

    In my opinion …if the truth over Pensions could be relayed to every Pensioner across Scotland, I believe many would seriously consider the option of independence again. After all …right there, we have a key example of an economic argument where, as we all know, and at the end of the day, it all goes back to that old saying, ‘it’s the economy, stupid!’ For Pensioners, their pensions are everything to them if they are to survive in today’s economy. Let them know that they will still get their pension, and your remove a dirty key pillar from the UK’s argument.

    At the end of the day, you might not steal the majority of them, but you might just get a fair percentage of them to vote our way …and that could be everything when it comes to the vote.

  11. Bob Mack says:

    Perhaps a better description of our two Kingdom relationship can be found in HD WELLS Time Machine. The morlock feed and clothe us, and in return eat us when hungry.

    The other battle raging just now is around exports from Scotland. Many commentators are saying England is our biggest market. ( which for now we cannot actually disprove), though research is taking place.

    They say we would lose trade with England ( laughable). and that England would deliberately veto Scotland. Depending on the outcome of events they may be trying to veto an EU member. Not good .

  12. brewsed says:

    The latest blog from chokka has, near the top, the following: ‘By using Twitter, official party representatives can basically get away with saying whatever they like by avoiding having to deal with pesky journalists who tend to like to check facts before they report them.’ At which point I stopped reading.

    ‘check facts’. Indeed. If that was always true this site would not need to exist.

  13. call me dave says:

    Wonderful exposition.

    Some here knew most of this while others merely unconnected fragments and it is good to see it laid out so clearly and well.

    Very heartening to see similar bits of information accumulate and recognise a viable economic case for independence as well as the principled, heartfelt one. 😐

  14. Phil Stephenson says:

    “No, don’t be such a fucking idiot, of course nobody’s advocating that. Learn to read.”

    So Scottish citizens would have their benefits paid for by the UK?

    This is just a fantasy. It’s not going to happen.

  15. Bob Mack says:

    @Phil Robertson,

    No, they would be having the money they invested with the Government for their pension returned. That is all

  16. Tinto Chiel says:

    Quite right, JLT. The pensions lies cost us. And yet UK pensions are crap.

    Despite regularly giving out the DWP statement about the pension guarantee to OAPS, Yessers in my town had to watch Jimmy Hood MP and BARON Maxton (eat your heart out, Jimmy Maxton)lying to pensioners that “They” (MI5? Police? Wonderful Union this, eh?) would be coming for their pension books if there was a Yes vote.

    Are there such things as pension books now anyway?

  17. Tinto Chiel says:

    “So Scottish citizens would have their benefits paid for by the UK?

    This is just a fantasy. It’s not going to happen.”

    Phil R, it will happen because they have paid into the scheme and the DWP in an official statement confirmed this in 2014. In any case, it’s not a benefit, it’s an entitlement.

    Do keep up.

  18. tartanfever says:


    ‘So Scottish citizens would have their benefits paid for by the UK?’

    Firstly, we’re talking about Pensions here, be precise.

    Secondly, my Aunt Fanny lives in Canada and has done for 30 years now. Prior to that she lived and worked here and paid all her taxes and NI to the UK treasury. She moved before retirement and worked in Toronto. She has taken Canadian citizenship and guess what ?

    She receives a UK pension from Westminster based on the tax and NI she paid in during her working years in the UK

    That’s some fantasy Phil, care to explain it ?

  19. Phil Stephenson says:

    “No, they would be having the money they invested with the Government for their pension returned. That is all”

    That’s not how state pensions work.

    “Phil R, it will happen because they have paid into the scheme and the DWP in an official statement confirmed this in 2014. In any case, it’s not a benefit, it’s an entitlement.

    Do keep up.”

    The DWP doesn’t decide government policy. Pensions are a benefit.

  20. call me dave says:

    I kept my side of the bargain with my contributions and receive a UK state pension as do many others living in various parts of the world. After independence it will continue as before.

    I understand anyone who contributed in the UK and then moves to an Independent Scotland pension regime before officially retired will be paid partly by the UK for contributions made and partly by the Scottish system after independence.

    If I have a private pension with a company in England or America the contract will still be valid when independence comes.

    Only in Yoonland are the facts distorted to suit their agenda.

    This was established before the 2014 vote and in the letter at the top of the thread and in the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster by Ian Davidson chair when interviewing UK Pensions Officials.

  21. uno mas says:

    @ Phil Stephenson 6.56pm

    The pension payed to senior citizens is NOT a benefit.

  22. Bob Mack says:

    @Phil Robertson,

    The DUP do not make decisions, and that is why the Government in Westminster have over the years brought out several Pension Acts ( legislation) outlining the qualifying criteria and their own responsibilities for paying the pension if those criteria are met. Anything else ?

    Your pissing against the North wind with this one Phil.

  23. ScottishPsyche says:

    This is a great start. For too long one group have been allowed to shut down any meaningful discussion around GERS and dictate the terms. They cannot get beyond the idea that GERS is only one means of estimating our revenue and expenditure and see everything as absolutes.

    How dispiriting to have to be around people who only see problems but never have any innovative ways to deal with them. Given the means, political will can overcome what seems like unsurmountable hurdles.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    It was all going so well till the part about the UK being grown up, and as if by magic a couple of their weans turn up and argue that a fact isn’t a fact because it just isnae!… so there! (stamps footsies)

  25. Not Convinced says:

    Even if the government of rUK decided that it wasn’t going to pay state pensions to otherwise qualifying[1] pensions simply on the basis that they lived in an independent Scotland, and they’re willing to put up with all the potential negative side effects for the rUK in doing so … Then all I really think would happen would be some enterprising person would quickly start a business, perhaps based in the Republic of Ireland[2] whereby they would offer a correspondence address and a RoI-based bank account which you could have your UK state pension paid into, which they would immediately forward to your Scottish account.

    If someone wanted to be really enterprising, perhaps offer a service whereby said affected pensioners can register to vote spread across the constituencies in rUK of the Cabinet. Since there are approximately 1.3 millions pensioners in Scotland that would wipe out the majorities of entire cabinet! I reckon they could “do the math” on that, and it might influence their thinking!

    [1] On the basis of their National Insurance contributions.
    [2] Or maybe the USA? Plenty of UK ex-pats there, so I doubt the government of rUK would want to copy said law for that country!

  26. Tinto Chiel says:

    Phil: “The DWP doesn’t decide government policy.”

    No, but it carries it out and its 2014 statement was clear and unequivocal.

    And a pension is an entitlement, not a benefit.

  27. ScottieDog says:

    Actually, I tend to ask the question, how important IS the deficit ?

    The answer to this is dependent on currency choices and it’s a point I continually make to people who insist Scotland would be like Greece.

    With its own sovereign floating currency, the deficit and stock of debt becomes much less important. To see an example you only have to look at the UK.
    Westminster have run consistent deficits for most years since WW2. A decade ago UK debt was around £500BN.

    Back then neoliberal mainstream so-called economists would be decrying the unsustainable levels of debt where any more gov spending would incur ‘higher rates of borrowing’.

    Well the debt tripled in ten years and interest rates are at an all time low blowing the mainstream fantasy economic projections out of the window. The OBR is unsurprisingly a mainstream organisation.

    Investors know the pound is safe simply because the Bank of England will pay out at bond maturity and stands by to buy government gilts. It now owns one third of UK debt.

    This is why the deficit and debt doesn’t matter. Look to Japan if you want a more extreme example.

    The real question should be – for the £1.6tn in debt what do the UK and its citizens have to show for it.?
    There has never been a weaker argument for saying deficits actually matter than there is now.

    Highly recommend reading this..

  28. frogesque says:

    How sensible, look at Independence from a viewpoint of being Independent.

    Very novel. It will never fly in the D (spit!) Mail BBC land of subservience.

  29. Colin Rippey says:

    Why oh why oh why do you keep peddaling this myth that (somehow) after independence the rUK will be pay the pensions of people who are no longer eligible to receive it?

    That’s the key term: eligible. You first have to be eligible before your entitlement is calculated. Once you are deemed eligible it would be a case of calculating how much of a state pension your are entitled to. Why would anyone who is no longer eligible to receive benefits from rUK receive a pension?

    Please explain how someone would still be eligible for benefits from rUK? Maybe you have a cunning plan, more cunning than a fox who’s just been appointed professor of cunning at Oxford university, but I suspect not. I suspect you cannot explain at all the set of circumstances that would arise that would allow people to retain their eligibility for rUK benefits.

    (of course the answer is simple, upon independence rUK would almost certainly grant people the right to retain their rUK citizenship and become de facto ex-pats, and maybe as is believed on this site that all old people are brit-nats then they’ll ALL take up the offer. That the plan?).

    So give it a go, give us your step by step guide on how someone now living in an iScotland would be able to still be eligible for a pension from rUK.

    The Scottish Government were very very clear that upon independence that they would then be responsible for paying the pensions of people in an iScotland. And here you are, once again a bunch of guys on the Internet making stuff up and claiming that’s what would happen.

    The pensions angle is fast becoming the yesperado’s version of the “we send £350 Million to EU every week” nonsense. All the other parts of this Beyond GERS project will be buried under the weight of this rubbish.

  30. jimnarlene says:

    Brilliant article, more yoonary exposed for the pish that it is.

    Phil, They paid their dues, and are entitled to their pension, same as if they’d fucked off to Spain in their retirement.
    You’ll need to practice your trolling, you ain’t up to the job.

  31. jimnarlene says:

    Colin Ripley, see my previous answer to Phil.

  32. Dr Jim says:

    Pensions at this moment are not a benefit, however Dr Liam Fox wants to reclassify them as such next year hence the removal of the triple lock in order to not increase them

    Winter fuel allowance is also to be scrapped next year but the SNP Scottish government has stated as part of their mitigation plans to combat UK incompetence and heartlessness they will maintain payments to the elderly from existing budgets

  33. Legerwood says:

    Phil Stephenson says:
    24 November, 2016 at 6:56 pm
    “” “No, don’t be such a fucking idiot, of course nobody’s advocating that. Learn to read.”

    So Scottish citizens would have their benefits paid for by the UK?

    This is just a fantasy. It’s not going to happen.””

    The article did not say that Scottish citizens would have their pensions paid by the rUK post-independence.

    Post independence there will be broadly 3 groups made up of pensioners, those still working and paying into a pension and thirdly those still to enter the workforce.

    Scottish citizens who are already pensioners have paid into the UK pensions pot – the fact that the UK did not save and invest the money to pay the pensions but pays the pensions out of current income does not affect the fact that the UK received that money and therefore would continue to pay those pensioners.

    A second, hybrid, group will be composed of those not yet of pension age. They will have paid into the UK scheme and therefore some of their pension will come from the UK. How much will depend on how long and how much they have paid into it. At the time of independence they are likely to start making their payments to the Scottish Government who will then become responsible for that part of their pension when the time comes. Therefore it is likely that this hybrid group will have their pensions paid from rUK and from Scotland.

    The third and final group will be those at the time of independence who have yet to join the workforce eg the young. When they start work all of their pension contributions will be paid to the Scottish Government who will be wholly responsible for paying their pensions when the time comes.

  34. mr thms says:


    Re T in the Park taking a break next year..

    The event is usually held in the month of July..

    If a second independence referendum is called as a result of Article 50 being activated in March, it would need to be held after Scottish Local Elections in May.

    Should there be a landslide result for the SNP in those elections, it would sense to keep that momentum going by holding the second independence referendum in July.

  35. Ken500 says:

    Channel Four news now having a go.

    Jon Snow relative of ‘All in together’ Dan Snow. Duke of Westminster – large landowner – Tories

    ‘Scottish Gov to blame for tenant farmer eviction etc.’ because of a Supreme Court judgement against the Scottish Gov. The Scottish Gov could not bring the Reforms in, because of Westminster rule.

    Supreme Court/Blair judgement against the Scottish Gov

    The bias liars. Tories liars. Did they vote NO. BBC liars.

  36. Legerwood says:


    Channel 4 News just did a longish item on the eviction of tenant farmers in Scotland. Scottish Government getting lots of criticism.

    Scottish Government invited to respond but did not put anyone forward to explain their position!

  37. frogesque says:

    @colin Ripley and others.

    If a UK citizen is of pension age their pension is paid regardless of which country they chose to retire to.

    It is a right, bought and paid for via relevant taxes and NHS contributions during their working life paid to the UK government.

    Are you seriously suggesting OAPs in Scotland would be singled out for punitive punishment purely because the lived in an Indy Scotland?

  38. Bob Mack says:


    You would have more luck trying to explain it to your dog. The brain power is just not there to grasp realities.

  39. Tinto Chiel says:

    Phil & Colin.

    “Oh God, there’s two of them.”

    Just read all the answers you’ve been given if you wish enlightenment.

    Nothing more to say: you’re clogging the thread of an excellent article.

    Ah, get it now…..

  40. Ken500 says:

    Scottish taxpayers pay (UK) Gov pensions. £16Billion? for pensions and welfare benefits. £16Billion raised in Scotland. As part of the £54Billion Scotland raises. It could be less as unemployment has fallen. Scotland has more elderly pro rata? but they die on average younger. So there is less pension liability on average. (pro rata). Pensions are paid from current funding. There is no pension fund. More of the welfare benefits go supporting pensioners who do not receive adequate pension provision. UK Gov pension £140 a week. Average wage £25K. £500 a week.

    Scotland pays average £4Billion on Defence. UK Defence bill average £40Billion a year. Services pensions are paid by Ministry of Defence. Scotland pays it’s share. Scotland could save nearly £Billion a year if Trident was cut. More for Pensions?

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    Oh Jings, bit at at time. First well done Rev and Dr Craig writing in Wings. Yeah the CRA came out November but to give wee Kevin his due, he did actually have a link to it which is how I found it. He’s getting better in providing sources and putting his squiggly line graph plotter away in the attic where it belongs. He also desisted from mixed calculation going from total to per capita and back again – which used to make me laugh my cotton socks off.

    I still have the full printed GERS for 2015-2016 to peruse at my leisure – unopened for 2 months. But I want to reconcile that and previous GERS to all the methodology changes, at least in broad strokes, as well as really gettng back into the guts of it since I lent out my 2011/12 one to my son and never got it back.

    Defence. An ineresting point here is that the Scottish budget will be the Scottish budget for Scottish Defence spending, with that 0.6 IMF multiplier which seems reasonable.

    BUT – Trident will almost certainly still be at Faslane for 10 years before moving it, Faslane and a smaller Coulport south of the border. Meanwhile that’s rUK Government defence spend in Scotland – thanks for that – which adds to our economy. Plus some sort of rent payment, or like for like, after negotiations. Pay up.

    So as far as a contribution to the economy is concerned, all that rUK defence spend in Scotland – for the sake of argument £1 or £2 billion a year – gives a further £0.6 billion or £1.2 billion to the economy, as well as helping our GDP (hence lowering any deficit as % of GDP, and of course our debt to GDP ratio).

    Might post later

    Peter Piper

  42. heedtracker says:

    Ken500 says:
    24 November, 2016 at 7:57 pm
    Channel Four news now having a go.

    Jon Snow relative of ‘All in together’ Dan Snow. Duke of Westminster – large landowner – Tories

    Classic britnat toryboy media attack propaganda. How come the C4 news liggers couldnt interview the landlords doing all the actual evicting?

    Its probably all the usual tax haven dodgers.

  43. ronnie anderson says:

    Just on site & 1st poster irritated ma nipples but Rev caught it & I second it Learn to Fucking read Phil Stephenson.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    Why oh why oh why do you keep peddaling this myth that (somehow) after independence the rUK will be pay the pensions of people who are no longer eligible to receive it?


    The pension lies are the ones that will come to haunt Better Together as the Tories axe the so called triple lock.

    However, those in receipt of a pension would continue to receive said pension having already been determined as being eligible. Those not in a receipt of a pension would receive their pension from the Scottish State at some future point as a liability taken on by the new State. The assets and liabilities having been part of the horse trading on independence. This was made clear at the time of the last Indyref by the DWP.

  45. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Phil Robertson or Stephenson (relation to Batsh*t Crazy Jill) and Kevin ‘Colin Rippey’ getting a wee bit overly defensive tonight.

    Face it you two, your scare stories of two years ago have been shown to be just that, stories.

    There will always be those who believe ‘the fear’ but there are a lot less in 2016’s Post EU Ref Scotland than there were in 2014’s Pre IndyRef Scotland.

    This is thanks mainly to the broken promises made your Better Together mates, the bullsh*t peddled about Brexit and the vilification of Corbyn in the MSM this summer.

    Your team are doing all the hard work for us 🙂

    Tick Tickety Tock

  46. Ken500 says:

    Scottish (UK) pensions paupid by Scottish taxpayers £6Billion a year. Plus supplementary benefits where required (From £10Billion welfares benefit spend – also raised in Scotland)

    £72Billion is spent on pensions in England/Wales More pro rata. NI from NI funding?

  47. call me dave says:

    WM will allocate an appropriate sum to the SG annually which will be used to pay the Scottish pension to those entitled.

    It will not be sent directly from the WM government department to every individual who is eligible.

    Here’s Ian Davidson the Chair asking that question.
    After the official mumbles his answer, trying his best to hee-haw, it eventually becomes clear. 🙂

  48. heedtracker says:

    Colin Rippey says:

    Hey Colin, what do you make of this kind of hard core tory unionist’s stuff? You probably dont know Kevin but his Project Fear thing is basically too small, stupid and poor, mostly too poor, with no hope, except keeping used car salesman Hammond in charge of Scotland.

    Be great to hear you explain the cringing UKOK stuff Kev Hague keeps farting out Colin.

    Kevin Hague ?@kevverage 1h1 hour ago
    the assumptions they make to find £9bn range from heroic optimism to complete fantasy – vindicating what some of us have said for a while

  49. yesindyref2 says:

    @ ephemeraldeception: “Main sore point for me is that no matter what, Scotlands accounts are simply not audited and not audit worthy. FFA would be the only way to have a realistic and complete picture.

    GERS is audited by Audit Scotland. It has been written to ESA1995 standards whereas the current one is ESA10 (2010) which came in in 2014 but the UK got a derogation until 2017 and is just about to implement it. Hopefully this will give better results.

    But meanwhile the SG has been working steadily to get more accurate figures from the Treasury for expenditure and HMRC for receipts, hence the methodology changes coming out just about every year. It’s a big task as in fairness neither Treasury or HMRC were set up to disaggregate over the “regions”. There is however a bit of an EU push for all member states to account better for their regions – a total of 350 in 28 states if there’s one each for the members of the Committee of the Regions.

    in 10 or 20 years we might even get deadly accurate GERS!

    Meanwhile thank goodness Dr Craig has apparently volunteered to be the exhausted “champion” of GERS. He’s going to need all the help he can get.

  50. heedtracker says:

    C4 news liggers left out dudes Charles Fforde, the owner of a 16,300-acre estate on the island of Arran tonight. Although he’s maybe sold up as that’s from the Torygraph 2004.

    Mongrel racing, from that Torygraph thing,

    In the past, Mr Fforde has been criticised by Brian Wilson, MP, whose Cunninghame North constituency includes Arran. The island is a popular holiday destination whose visitors include Jack McConnell, Scotland’s Labour First Minister, who grew up there.
    Mr Wilson condemned the Fforde family in the mid-1990s for launching an unsuccessful legal attempt to evict a local hill farmer.

    Three years ago, Mr Fforde accused the Scottish Executive of breaching his human rights by abolishing the feudal system.
    Related Articles

    More recently, Mr Fforde, 55, was accused of racism when he made remarks about the “mongrel race” of modern day Britain. In a letter to the conservation agency Scottish Natural Heritage in 2002, he complained about the restrictions on the import of red deer by “state authorities”. He wrote: “The authorities are content to witness the demise of the unique and once-proud product of the Celtic, Viking and Anglo-Saxon into a mongrel race, yet are so concerned as to prohibit the continued proper management of a centuries old herd of red deer.”

  51. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Oh God, there’s two of them.”

    Or maybe not.

    Just a thought.

  52. Bob Mack says:

    @Call me dave,

    I think that clip brings that argument to an end . Phil, Colin, have a listen.

  53. Macart says:

    Neatly done Mr Dalzell. 🙂

  54. heedtracker says:

    Same evicted farmers on C4 new tonight, who must have repeated “Scottish government” a dozen times each, its bad.

  55. Ken500 says:

    Scotland pays it’s pro rata share of Defence spending. Any UK Gov Defence spending in Scotland has already been paid for from the taxes raised in Scotland, Trident spending gives no benefit to Scotland. It would benefit Scotland better spending it on something of more value. It is calculated Scotland does not get all the share Scotland contributes to the UK Defence bill/spend.

    Scotland has lost thousands of Oil & Gas jobs because of the high UK tax regime imposed on the sector by Westminster.

    How much have the illegal wars cost £Billions. How much of Scotland’s (Oil) revenues have been spent on projects elsewhere or not supported by the majority in Scotland. While Scotland (taxpayers) have to make repayments on the borrowing.

  56. Chitterinlicht says:

    Great post and very welcome.

    There are many on Wings who understand much of this. The real trick is to communicate it clearly and simply so as many more do. I say this not as comment on how well the article is written but in the full knowledge that inyref2 will be a very nasty fear driven campaign full of doom sounbites and sense and argument will struggle to find a place.

    Wee Blue Book did a brilliant job and better than the White Paper did last time. Next time it will be easy to expose the lies and with pieces such as this simplified and distrubted think we woukd have a real chance.

    GERS are not the finances of an independent Scotland.

    Ta again

  57. ronnie anderson says:

    Why do Ripley & Stephenson persist on regurgitating lies, call me dave they will dispute that video of the Scottish Affairs Committee & the words of Steve Webb Secretary of DWP as a Wings fabrication Baad Rev .

  58. Colin Rippey says:

    It really does astonish me that people *still* believe this pensions’ myth. Here is what the Scottish Government themselves stated:

    State pension entitlement in an independent Scotland would be organised as follows:
    For those people living in Scotland in receipt of the UK State Pension at the time of independence, the responsibility for the payment of that pension will transfer to the Scottish Government.
    For people of working age, living and working in Scotland at the time of independence, the UK pension entitlement they have accrued prior to independence will become their Scottish State Pension entitlement. Any pension entitlement accrued in Scotland after independence will also form part of that Scottish State Pension. On retirement, the Scottish State Pension will be paid by the Scottish Government.

    And yet this comment thread is strewn with counter claims – why do you NOT believe the Scottish Government? Why do you believe “a bunch of guys on the Internet”?

  59. jimnarlene says:

    @Bob Mack, no wonder I drink, my bloody cat understands it, these trolls; fekin eejits.

  60. Stoker says:

    WOS archive links for January 2012 now over on O/T.

  61. ronnie anderson says:

    Oh fur Fsaky Danny Dyer connected to Royalty . Get me tae fek oota here. ( Plantagent) Plantagenet stupid.

  62. Ken500 says:

    The £9Billion is easily accounted for. It could be eradicated overnight with different policies. Not forgetting the £300Billion+ Oil Fund that Westminster wasted on (Thatcher) banking fraud, tax evasion and unemployment. Over 3million when the population was smaller. Interest rates at 15% How much was spent on illegal wars. £Billions/Trillion.


    Cut Trident – nearly £1Billion. A Tax on ‘loss leading’ drink (or minimum pricing). Save £1Billion on healthcare/police/social services/crime. There is a link to crime and drink/drug abuse. A gender issue. £3Billion? tax evaded. Whisky companies pay no tax. HMRC not fit for purpose. Scotland has to pay debt repayments on money borrowed and spent in the rest of the UK. Not Scotland. £4Billion. (Increased because of more borrowing and spending in the rest of the UK by Westminster)

    Total £9Billion.

    Scotland would have no deficit but could borrow 10% + £6Billion to invest in Scotland.

    Get EU renewable Grants. Charge or tax exported energy. Increase visitors Flights to China. Fornexported goods and tourists. Introduce CCS. Electric cars would save money. 4 times less to run. Manage Oil & Gas sector. £4Billion+ plus. Increase taxes when prices are high. Lower taxes when prices fall. Introduce proper health & safety measures. No helicopters falling from the sky. Manageable shift and offshore time. Conducive to family life. Less family break ups. Build boats on the Clyde. Ferries, supply boats and liners, wind turbines etc.

  63. call me dave says:

    @ronnie anderson

    Steve Webb Secretary of DWP sure was suffering there, flatulence do you think, or trying to come up with a terminological inexactitude?

    I never liked Ian Davidson much but from what I saw as the Chair of the Committee he could run a meeting quite well.

    He knew all this stuff fine, including the shipyards pish and never let on.

    Labour in Scotland…they all did Curran, Hood, Darling…Jings you could make up three football teams with the names of them.

    All gone now of course but it will be a close run thing this independence nevertheless. 😛

  64. Bob Mack says:


    I despair. Read what you have written yourself. Does it say that only Scots would be paid ? No.

    Does it say Scottish pension ? No .It states UK pension. In other words the Scottish government is saying it could act as paying authority of the UK pension ( as agents)

    I suppose we could claim then that you cannot drive a car in Scotland because we pay our road tax in England.

    How hard is this mate ? Watch the video.

    Keep trying.

  65. Ken500 says:

    Scottish taxpayers already pay the (UK) Gov pensions in Scotland. It is raised in Scotland. From the £54Billion Scotland raises paid out of current revenues. Plus pensioners additional welfare benefits. Most of the welfare benefits in the UK are funds to give pensioners adequate provision.

  66. Not Convinced says:

    One wonders why unionists like Colin Rippey bother posting to this website when they clearly make absolutely no effort to actually read the article to which they are replying?

    Specifically in this case, his posting at 8:49PM clearly indicates that he didn’t read the article as far as section 6 the one titled “But The SNP Said [X] In Their White Paper!”.

  67. Mark Russell says:

    Good post. Well covered.

  68. jimnarlene says:

    Colin Ripley.

    Off topic, kind of, Colin.
    What’s so great about having Westminster give you pocket money, with spending restraints?, rather than Scotland existing by it’s own enterprise and way of doing things?

    As far as I can see, and history backs me up, Westminster is fekin useless.

    By the way, my parents spent most of their “sunset years” in Spain, they still got their pension.

  69. HandandShrimp says:

    The way things are going it is all probably academic anyway. In a few years the Tories will have increased the retirement age to 83 and reduced the payout to a 1kg bag of weasel shite a month.

  70. Bob Mack says:

    My nine year old grandaughter just offered to explain the facts to Colin before she goes to bed.

  71. Proud Cybernat says:


    Saw this tonight in a remote part of the Highlands. The word is most definitely out.

    FFS Someone Call Kaye (with an ‘e’) and let her know:

  72. Proud Cybernat says:

    Sorry – that should be ‘Phone’ Kaye with an ‘e’.

    The word is out – bloody vandals….

  73. ephemeraldeception* says:

    I’m afraid that compliance with EAS10 doesn’t mount to a hill of beans as far as accurate financial accounts are concerned.

    I am certainly not an expert, but I am familiar with other standards and audits such as iso27001.

    EAS1O has very little to do with detailed accounts of income and expenditure of a ‘region’.

  74. ronnie anderson says:

    @ call me dave We need ah new keyholder fur the ToyBox since John Kings no aboot these Trolls could do with some time oot , or in as the case may be.

  75. Macart says:

    Biggest elephant in the room as regards prudent management of an economy?

    Yesterday’s Autumn statement.

    Mibbies just me, but I recall BT and HMG assuring the the Scottish electorate of broad shoulders in times of hardship. To place our trust in the established system and stewardship. To look forward not just to job security, but to increased job opportunities.

    Don’t recall them saying the debt and the hardship would increase, that the pound would fall off a cliff, or that austerity measures would be markedly extended. Don’t recall them saying Brexit would occur or that the UK economy would suffer accordingly and place all of the nations in a constitutional train wreck either.

    In all that better togetherness I also don’t recall them saying that in a time of national economic and constitutional crisis the parties of government and opposition would embark in a year long bout of catastrophic self harm.

    Maybe just missed those leaflets back in 2014. Aye, that’ll be it.

  76. Colin Rippey says:

    @Bob Mack

    Wow, so now the Scottish Government have become a pensions’ agency for the rUK?

    This has to be the most yesperado of answers ever, WoS gold standard.

    @Not Convinced
    The statement I posted above was not from the independence white paper, it was from a completely separate paper that dealt solely with pensions in an independent Scotland and had far more details in it than the independence white paper did in terms of how pensions would operate. But don’t let that get in the way of your cult beliefs eh!

  77. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker says:
    24 November, 2016 @ 8.32

    It looks as if CH4 news based their report pretty much on that article but although they kept repeating it was due to a bad law they did not at any time say that the law was passed some time before the ‘SNP took office.

    The SG really should have put someone up to be interviewed on this matter. I would like to think they were going to do something about this mess even if it was not originally of their making it has come to a head on their watch.

  78. Ken500 says:

    @ Channel Four News.

    ‘Scottish Gov offered to response’ Did not do so. Missed that bit.

    More stirring?

  79. heedtracker says:

    By the way, my parents spent most of their “sunset years” in Spain, they still got their pension.”

    Triple lock looks unaffordable in teamGB now anyway, no matter what they cut and or, how many more hundreds of billions they borrow.

    I wish, I wish, Kevin would come back and tell us why tory austerity has failed completely and maybe then you can be taken seriously Kev, raging away at us simple deluded fools.

    Trumpmomics look like they’re merely protectionist, Brexit’s a waking nightmare already, so come on Kevin Hauge/Rippey, explain why its bettertogether for Scotland?

  80. ronnie anderson says:

    To the Rippley’s & Stephenson’s in oor parish I will enjoy picking up my Uk part of my Pension in a Independent Scotland all the more than I do now. However I dont fancy your end of the shitty end of the Westminster stink tank , raising the Pension age to whatever age 68 70 75 80 .

  81. Ken500 says:

    BT certainly never mentioned the fact that Scottish taxpayers paid (UK) Gov pensions. It fact implied exactly the opposite. Trying to scare pensioners. Told a pack of lies from start to finish. Ended up with the fabricated ‘Vow’. Liars always get caught out. Cameron, Clegg, Milliband and Brown. Didn’t do them much good. Now Brexit. With 62% of Scottish voters want to satay in the EU.

    Better together not likely. No referees at Holyrood. No fair play. Time for the whistle on the lot of them. No play another day.

  82. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Can’t believe anyone still has the gall to flog the ‘you’ll lose your UK pension’ line.

    It was the lowest of many lows perpetrated by a desperate BTUK camp, and it only gets nastier when repeated.

    Utterly shameful, but thanks for reminding us what kind of scum we’re up against.

  83. jimnarlene says:

    Colin, now playing the man and not the ball.

  84. Bill McLean says:

    Colin Rippey – do you understand how pensions are accumulated and paid – I would appear not! If you have paid in enough years of qualifying NI contributions you are entitled to a UK State pension(it used to be 35 years for women and 40 men). Once qualified it matters not where you live you WILL be paid the earned UK pension. Scots pensioners, in an Independent Scotland, who have paid into the UK State pension will receive a pension commensurate with their contributions. The pension used to be pro rata but now the brilliant UK Govt has proclaimed that as long as you have paid in the minimum amount of years you will get the same as anyone who has paid the full whack. Whether this pension is paid from the rUK State via the Scottish Government or directly to pensioners is irrelevant – it has to be paid legally!!! Stop insulting people with your “cult” beliefs childishness!

  85. Graf Midgehunter says:


    I’m a UK “Subject” and live in Germany but I’ve also lived and worked in other countries.

    As I’m now officially retired, I receive THREE pensions.
    One from Germany.
    One from Denmark.
    One from the UK.

    The amount of each one is calculated according to the length of time and amount paid in to the system of the relevant country.

    I automatically receive the yearly increases incl. the UK Xmas Bonus (!).

    Written notification in advance:
    “Providing there is no change in your circumstances affecting the entitlement your benefit will be payable at the weekly rate of …….

    From the DWP booklet:
    “UK State Pension, ….., can be paid to you anywhere in the world.”

    Is Scotland anywhere..! 🙂

    BTW. I only needed to apply for my pension in Germany, they contacted the International Pension Centre in Newcastle, the Danish Pension Sikring in Copenhagen and arranged everything.
    All I did was to provide all the necessary documents for each country. Top service..!

    The SNP have got to get their finger out, stiffen their back and get the yoon pension lie sorted out.

    Or as they say in the Swiss sweetie ads, Niiiccoooollla. 😉

  86. Valerie says:

    @Dr Dalzell, many thanks. Clear, logical and factual piece. I enjoy your writing style. Thanks to Rev for airing it here.

    I’ve read the whole thread, and obviously the troll(s) comments.

    Apart from the fact they are just plain wrong, just how hateful do you need to be towards your fellow human? To try and peddle the hatred of denying ordinary working class people a pension that, like me, have spent decades paying into?

    This goes beyond ordinary political debate/banter/argument – it’s unadulterated bile, and contempt for ordinary people.

    The principle is common sense, decency, not to mention lawful entitlement, and these revolting posters think this is some kind of jousting point?

    On the other hand, carry on recruiting for us, you disgusting excuses for humanity.

    No wonder there is such record levels of hate in this island.

  87. Tinto Chiel says:

    “But don’t let that get in the way of your cult beliefs eh!”

    Ah, we’re a cult again.

    Just don’t mention female quotas or Gaelic.

    No, PLEASE don’t.

    Or the fact that the Rev allows plenty of grit in the beautiful oyster.

    Apart from that, spot-on Colin.

  88. heedtracker says:

    Legerwood says:
    24 November, 2016 at 9:34 pm
    heedtracker says:
    24 November, 2016 @ 8.32

    When they didn’t even mention the super rich landlord’s of Arran, it was a clear hit.

    But C4 news only gets about 2 million viewers across the UK, probably middle and upper class Scotland. They’re lucky to hit 4 million for their big dramas like Homeland. In my neck of vile sep land, their news show commercial news breaks have no ads. Its probably why they’ve not be sold yet.

    Still hurts though to watch grown tv, turned into a party political broadcast on behalf of the Lord and Lady Dan Snow offshore trust funds and vast shooting estates in his Scotland region.

    Something must be getting itchy and scratchy in Mayfair and Knightsbridge:D

  89. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    A great piece of work, both behind the article itself and also some of the btl comments. Keep it up everyone, this is just what we need!

    The article interestingly states:

    the UK describ[ed] itself to the UN 2007 as being composed of “two countries [Scotland and England], one principality [Wales] and a province [Northern Ireland]“

    That is a brilliant piece of sourcing of which I was heretofore unaware, so a special thanks for that.

    Annex A was of course merely a legal opinion sought by the UK government in an attempt to maintain its claim to be the rightful successor state in the event of a split. But one should always be careful of having one’s wishes granted. Given BT’s especially-vile collusion over the matter of “Scotland’s pound”, a strategic error made by the yes side that will surely not be repeated, I think it’s very easy indeed next time round to tell rUK that it is heartily welcome to keep all of its misbegotten inheritance, including every single rUK penny of its mismanaged debt.

    I have no doubt that an independent Scotland will be fiscally sound, and will quickly be internationally recognised as such. FGS, fiscal probity is one characteristic for which the Scots are universally famous!

  90. call me dave says:

    It’s that non Scottish stuff of the wrong sort again.

    Northern Isles MSPs in plea for cheaper ferries

    Oh wait! The SG are already working on it.
    Ach well, an old labour trick that ‘demand what you are about to get’. 🙄

    Footie off turning in.

  91. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “WOS archive links for January 2012 now over on O/T.”

    Um, why?

  92. Smallaxe says:


    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Peace Alway

  93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I’m not letting “Colin Rippey” troll this thread any more.

    People who have paid their contributions for a UK pension are entitled to receive that pension wherever in the world they live. That is a fact. It happens every day for millions of people. No amount of semantic squealing and wriggling gets you out of it. I won’t have people’s time wasted going over it again just to disrupt.

  94. Broch Landers says:

    Great work.

    Intelligent people open to persuasion will give it a fair hearing.

    The state and corporate media have a vested interest in preventing that.

    So keep spreading Wings.

  95. Paula Rose says:

    Craig Dalzell visited me in Brechin two weeks ago and now writes more brilliantly than ever – just saying like.

  96. Smallaxe says:

    HandandShrimp:Here is the “s” I owe you

    Peace Always

  97. Not Convinced says:

    So Colin Rippey, this White Paper you are allegedly quoting from … I’m guessing it’s the one from 2013 entitled “Pensions in an independent Scotland”, then Section 6 applies equally to it wouldn’t you say?

    Those White Papers informed us of the Scottish Government’s thinking at that time and the position that they intended to take. Since circumstances have changed, indeed at the time BT was telling u s that position could never happen, then it seems at best rash to assume that those White Papers suggest anything other than historical interest.

    To suggest otherwise would surely be suggesting that in the event of independence the Scottish Government would get anything and everything it wanted (and equally not get anything and everything it didn’t want), and that the Government of the rUK would bend over backwards in it’s willingness to accommodate them?

    Equally you would seem to be suggesting that any position taken in any White Paper issued by any government (whether Holyrood, Westminster or even foreign governments using the Westminster system) is the enduring, unchangeable position of that country for ever and ever? In which case, can I ask you when White Paper from 1968 from the Labour government of the time on reform of the House of Lords is going to be actioned?

    Finally, you also seem to be assuming that the government of an independent Scotland would have the power to legislate so as to prevent the government of rUK from taking actions in rUK.

  98. Graf Midgehunter says:

    Oops, I forgot something.

    In 2014 before the Indyref-1, I called up the Int. Pen. Centre in Newcastle to check as to whether I would continue to receive the UK pension should Scotland be independent again. Me with Scot. passport. (I’m a suspicious bast..d at times.)

    They said, it does not matter where I live, if I have paid my contributions and have an entitlement to a pension it will be paid without fail.

  99. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I mean, just imagine.

    Yes wins indyref 2 by 53-47, with turnout of 88%.

    Nearly 2 million people vote No, including 600,000 pensioners (there are currently around 900K, and most will vote No again).

    The UK government says “Right, 600K people who paid their pension contributions to the UK government all their life and didn’t want to leave the UK, we’re taking your pension away and you better just pray the Scottish Government, to whom you’ve never paid a penny for your pension, decides to bung you a load of money.”

    900,000 lawsuits are filed the next day, all of them highly likely to be successful, because the millions of other pensioners in other countries who’ve paid exactly the same contributions as the ones in Scotland are still getting their pensions.

    If you seriously think that’s a realistic scenario, you’re a fucking imbecile.

  100. Dr Jim says:

    On Independence the Scottish government will assume payment of pensions Yes
    Reimbursed by the UK government whos responsibility it is to the citizens of the UK who paid for the right to a pension as happens with UK citizens throughout the world

    Unless the Trolls are saying the UK government is going to sell their debt to pensioners to Sun Life insurance where they only get back what they paid in if they die really quick like a week on Tuesday

    I don’t really mind the stupidity of Trolls it’s the twisted liars that they are, that no matter what happens in the world as long as it makes Scotland look or sound Baad it makes them happy

    That’s why they’re twisted wee bedroom crawlers on their keyboards battering out their hatred from wherever they live jumping from site to site commenting on everything from the size of Kim Kardashians Erse somehow offending them to George Clooneys haircut, in between watching re runs of George Galloway on Big Brother or Hitler saluting about their houses

    Usually Global warming isn’t a thing either with these types, they should build walls around their, well whatever they live in

  101. ScottishPsyche says:

    It strikes me as very strange the argument that the UK would not fulfill its pension obligations. I have paid pension contributions in three countries, two of which I am not a citizen of. Is it being said that the ‘foreign’ contributions are now safer than those paid to the HMRC?

    Why would UK pension contributions not be part of any negotiated settlement? Are all financial rules between countries to be abolished when it comes to Scotland?

    What is really being said here? The UK government would uniquely act in a vindictive and dishonourable way towards new Scottish citizens?

    I suppose they do have form with the WASPI women.

  102. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Or a 75-year-old woman who’s lived her entire life in Kent decides she’s had enough and wants to spend her twilight years with one of her two daughters. One lives in Spain, the other one in Inverness.

    Are we SERIOUSLY expected to believe that the UK government will tell her “You’ll still get your pension if you move to Spain, or any other country on Earth, but if you move to Scotland you’re not getting another penny from us, you’re their government’s problem”?

    I mean, fuck off.

  103. ronnie anderson says:

    The Rev’s got the key of the ToyBox well done Stu getting rid of the disruptive elemental’s.

  104. Andrew Mclean says:

    Troll free. Nervana!

    This article is exactly what we need to be broadcast far and wide.

    I notice that all trumps promises prior to the election are not surviving contact with the enemy.

    As will all the trolls proclamations about pension, even in the face of over one million two hundred thousand British people abroad in receipt of a British pension still they peddle the lies. It’s like the blood and organ donation, troops on the border bullshit.

  105. yesindyref2 says:

    Ay well, I didn’t get involved in the murky pensions argument in Indy Ref 1, and I’m not getting involved this time either. The thing is that there is a difference between “Responsibility for the payment of that pension”, and “source of the funds”. And a keyword used by both Governments was “negotiation”. It’s part and parcel of the post-YES negotiations, which would include “forensic accounting”. I recommend PwC. Might be even more incentive for them to move lock stock and smoking barrel – to Glasgow. Then the fees re-enter the Scottish economy at a good multiplier [1] value 🙂

    However, one way or the other, pensioners will be paid. Through GERS, Scotland is already being allocated the costs of paying our share, possibly more because of our 2 year lower life expectancy.

    [1] I’ve a feeling that’s my word of the week

  106. d says:

    Watching the News at ten… Teresa May looks like she was about to cry or have a breakdown.

    It is all unraveling around them and their lies are coming home to roost.

    Even the BBC was actually asking questions; real questions it was weird to see!

  107. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Since this pension scare ploy is already being rehearsed here, it will no doubt be regurgitated in indyref2. One way that it could be neutralised is for all pro-indy parties to agree in advance that for the first (say) 5 years post indy, pensions will be guaranteed to hold their value against a basket of international currencies, whatever happens to Scotland’s own currency. To carry the pension over any initial turbulence, or at least the fear of it.

    As compared to rUK’s likely future abandonment of the pensions triple-lock. Could win some more yes votes from the most-resistent population group.

  108. Iain More says:

    Well OT or should that be Well Offside?

    As a resident of Moray I am enjoying the ignominy presently being heaped on Douglas Ross. Not least because of the acidic and barbed digs at Naw Bags I have indulged in today at his expense.

  109. Ruby says:

    Interesting article about Trident in the Herald.

    £18million for each worker on the job!

    That is one very costly work creation scheme!

  110. Cactus says:

    53% Yes.. sounds good.

    Yer pensions well safe.. nae fear.

    Farewell C. Rippey.. I never had the pleasure, adieu to you.

    ps Question Time on a guest tv shortly fae London.

    *MON the 3-day gig next year on International Glasgow Green 🙂

  111. Paula Rose says:

    Multiplier and cost benefit analysis are important concepts to understand.

  112. jim davidson says:

    I very rarely comment. Usually because anything I could say has been said already. As I read every post and comments. Just wanted to say great that you remove the idiotic trolls, but I hope their posts remain to highlight their ignorance and keep reply’s in context. Also our battle would be so much harder if it were not for the work and effort you do.

  113. Cactus says:

    The Clyde Arc looked nice and purple on the tv tonight.

    Get out of the cave and into the light.

  114. heedtracker says:

    Paula Rose says:
    24 November, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    Multiplier and cost benefit analysis are important concepts to understand.

    Easy too.

    “The multiplier effect. … The multiplier effect refers to the increase in final income arising from any new injection of spending. The size of the multiplier depends upon household’s marginal decisions to spend, called the marginal propensity to consume (mpc), or to save, called the marginal propensity to save (mps).”

    So if you’re the queen and you need a several hundred quid Grand Design revamp for one your palaces, in central London, that several hundred million spend has a good multiplier effect, but its in one the most super economies in the world.

  115. heedtracker says:

    Paula Rose says:
    24 November, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    Multiplier and cost benefit analysis are important concepts to understand.

    Easy too.

    “The multiplier effect. … The multiplier effect refers to the increase in final income arising from any new injection of spending. The size of the multiplier depends upon household’s marginal decisions to spend, called the marginal propensity to consume (mpc), or to save, called the marginal propensity to save (mps).”

    So if you’re the queen and you need a several hundred quid Grand Design revamp for one your palaces, in central London, that several hundred million spend has a good multiplier effect, but its in one the most super heated economies in the world.

  116. Ruby says:

    Andrew Mclean

    It not just the pensioners living abroad who will be hit by the falling £.

    Everyone living in the UK looking a buy anything imported (which is pretty much everything that we buy) will be hit.

    Want a new iMac computer it will cost you £300 more than it did before the EU Ref.

  117. Legerwood says:

    call me dave @ 10.01

    Northern Isles Ferries. Some interesting background to this and Mr Tavish Scott’s time as transport minister.
    This link gives quite a bit of background to the road equivalent tarriff argument. Seems it might nit work to the advantage of the Islanders

    This gives info on the situation when the Labour LibDem coalition was in charge. Mr Tavish Scott was the Transport Minister at the time. Looks like the costs escalated somewhat.

  118. Graf Midgehunter says:

    @ Dr Jim / said

    “On Independence the Scottish government will assume payment of pensions Yes
    Reimbursed by the UK government whos responsibility it is to the citizens of the UK who paid for the right to a pension as happens with UK citizens throughout the world”

    I don’t think you’re right here. (Or?)

    The Scottish government will NOT assume payment or part payement of pensions because the UK is obliged to directly pay the recipient pensioner the amount to their account.

    The plays no part in this as far as I know.

    Why rack up more costs than necessary?

  119. Ruby says:

    ronnie anderson says:
    24 November, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    The Rev’s got the key of the ToyBox well done Stu getting rid of the disruptive elemental’s.

    Ruby replies

    Scruvy elephants!

  120. Paula Rose says:

    Just love a scruving elephant.

  121. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Graf Midgehunter,

    See the very clear postings by call me dave @19:16 and 20:22 (for which thanks, and wishing you a continued recovery!).

  122. yesindyref2 says:

    Yip yip flaming yippee, found it after wasting my time on the wrong gov propaganda sheets, and found this one from ScotGov based on ONS data. That’s *ONS* a UK-wide statistics body, not a Scottish one.

    Figure 2.4: Projected Dependency Ratio, 2010-2035, a bit more than halfway down:

    43 Scotland is in a relatively better position than the UK in 2013, with 589 dependants per 1,000 persons of working age compared to 615 dependants in the UK as a whole. The dependency ratio in Scotland is projected to remain below that in the UK for the next 10-15 years. In 2016, for example, Scotland is projected to have 29 fewer dependants per 1,000 adults of working-age than the UK.

    I used to post about the “crossover point” in around 2030. Up till then we get less than our per capita share of pension spending. After that, unless we’ve improved our working age ratio, we would in the UK get more – but not until after 2030. It’s exactly why we need more immigration than the rest of the UK does of working age people. Though they need it too but are too xenophobic to admit it.

    So basically speaking in terms of pensions, we’re subsidising the longer lived in, well, England in fact, because we don’t live so fsking long on average.

    This is what the Unionists DON’T want to tell us about being “Better Together”, it should have been called “Better Together deid”. And the pensioners listened to Broon.

  123. Cactus says:

    When our independence Yes vote comes.. there won’t be any of this dilly-dallying around like Brexit..

    We’ll be right in there, nae messing about, a running commentary, direction, certainty.

  124. yesindyref2 says:

    Incidentally it’s why though I don’t like the idea of all these young people getting nursery free we had to pay for for ours out of our hard-earned, and childcare for nothing, we absolutely need it to improve our birth rate. Which means of course we should be telling all Scots regardless of Indy persuasions of child-beraing age to “F off” 😯

  125. Cactus says:

    This is what we’re going to do.

  126. Ruby says:

    The pensions issue seems to have been sorted out now what about the Heating Allowance/Winter Fuel payment?

    Poor old Iain Davidson was having nightmares during IndyRef1 when he discovered that pensioners in Scotland who opted from dual British/Scottish nationality would be entitled to be paid Winter Fuel payments by the RUK GOV.

  127. Robert Louis says:

    This work by Dr Craig Dalziel, is excellent. He is absolutely right, in that we need to move the arguments on. As we all know, GERS is just utter pants designed from the outset by Tories to make Scotland look poorer than it really is.

    This kind of work is very important. It is abundantly clear how important it is, by the squeals, wails and frankly stupid comments made by unionists in response.

    The argument is moving on, and unionists are still stuck, along with the red tories, firmly in the past. Circumstances have changed dramatically since indyref1, and the case for independence is stronger than ever.

    Well done, Dr Dalziel.

  128. Fireproofjim says:

    Never forget Scotland has a very strong hand to play in inde negotiations if Westminster refuse to pay pensions or any other due amount.(I don’t think they will be so stupid).
    With the UK debt mountain heading towards £2 trillion we can just refuse to accept any part which they may wish to allocate to Scotland.
    i dare say also they would not like an early termination of their lease on Faslane, and a convoy of nuclear weapons heading back to Aldermaston would concentrate minds wonderfully.

  129. Robert J. Sutherland says:


    “we should be telling all Scots … of child-beraing age to F~”

    Sorted! =laugh=

  130. Clootie says:

    The trolls today reminded me of just how idiotic the unionist arguments were during the Independence debate. It was as obvious then as it is now that the claims were nonsense…and yet people voted NO to protect their pension / to stop their daughter in Southhampton becoming a foreigner / and on and on.

    The question is…how to we get the truth through to the scared / the selfish and the gullible this time.

    It baffles me that in a nation with family in so many parts of the world people still believed that only those family members in England would overnight become “different”. Those “Brits” who retire to Spain/France/Italy/ India/ New Zealand /Australia / Poland (You don’t even need to be born in the UK – just contribute) will get their pension…all they need do is avoid Scotland.
    However even with all that evidence I still encounter idiots who believe the crap our trolls spout.

    However the biggest insult by the trolls is to suggest a state pension is a “benefit”
    What next -that my post office savings account is a benefit and my savings will be lost if I vote YES.

  131. Tam Jardine says:

    A great piece of work Craig.

    Defence spending is a great case in point. The 2% figure, indeed the actual total defence budget is of secondary importance. Where is the money spent? What is it spent on? We are entering a new phase of the cult of the doomsday device where conventional spending is massively curtailed to feed the successor to Vanguard.

    If the Autumn statement told us anything it is surely that the UK cannot afford to spend £200 billion on a new fleet of nuclear submarines to carry a bunch of new nuclear warheads over the next few decades.

    You don’t spend money on defence in order to boost the economy of course but a happy side effect of Independence is just that. If you look at military facilities in Norway or Denmark the number of facilities they have and the size of conventional forces makes Scotland look virtually defenceless. And all these facilities generate economic activity ie tax revenue. Blowing the budget on a weapon we could never use is obscene in itself but it is also economic madness.

  132. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, here’s one (of interest to those who “found” a certain PFI document off topic): “Successive governments in the UK have been criticised for leaving both Network Rail and PFI contracts off-balance-sheet for the public finances under ESA95.”

    Scotland does our own PPP, not PFI, so any UK Gov contracts hidden like that skew the GERS – or perhaps even Barnett consequentials. No idea. Page 149 of

    but in general if stuff like decomissioning is now to be on the books, and other items as well such as proper pension provision, it’ll make splitting up the costs in GERS easier, and there may be other knock-on adjustments. In whose favour depends on the government in which we trust.

  133. liz says:

    Thanks Dr Craig, have been using this report today to silence pet shop boy & his supporters

  134. yesindyref2 says:

    Unionist bloggers are so useful, I couldn’t remember his name until I remembered a letter to the Times about him complaining he was wrong about GERS and ESA, which he was actually right about.

    Hughes Hallett – Growth Commission – made the comment that GERS doesn’t conform to ESA. Well they don’t, not to the new ESA10 standard. But with any luck, Hallett will be up to the job. Anyway, I’m looking forward to next August’s GERS.

  135. yesindyref2 says:

    @Robert J. Sutherland
    Is that what I’ve been doing wrong?

  136. Mosstrooper says:

    Will the Yoon trolls and naysayers kindly explain how my sister and ex wife in Australia, as well as two cousins in the USA and another cousin in South Africa, all of whom are naturalised citizens of their respective countries of abode receive their OAP pensions from the UK yet those citizens of an independent Scotland will not.

  137. Cactus says:

    Darn Tootin’!

  138. K1 says:

    Thank you so much Stu, ah really thought ma heid wis gonnae explode from the level of stupid on show wi those two.

    We’re on our way…nae doots.

  139. Clootie says:

    …another example for the pension arguement.

    I work offshore with people from Ireland (the South!) / Poland / Spain / Portugal & Norway. At the end of our offshore trip we all travel home on leave.

    We all pay UK NI though our wages and based on contributions we will all at present receive a UK pension.

    …so the troll logic is that after Scottish Independence the only person who will not get a state pension is the only one who lived in the UK.

    You don’t need to live here just contribute – the offshore industry kills the arguement

  140. Lenny Hartley says:

    Re the evictions of the Pattersons and in the next couple of weeks of Alf McMaster and Family.on Arran

    Although the the person who is 100% responsible is the halfwit Charles Fforde ( his own Mother wont even trust him with getting her headstone right when she snuffs it so she has one ready minus the end date – I kid you not) I am highly pissed off by the attitude of the Scottish Government, it doesn’t matter whether it was a lab/lib administration that screwed up the legislation , the current administration should compensate those affected.

    I am angered that the SG did not put forward a spokesman on the Channel 4 piece tonight,
    Again it should be stressed that one person Charles Fforde is responsible but having said that I feel that the SG are abdicating responsibility and I have decided I will not be renewing my membership which is due soon.

  141. Stoker says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell (@10:03pm)
    (In response to you wondering why i’m linking to WOS Archives)

    A few different reasons but mainly to:

    Create a constant awareness for any lurkers/newbies of the treasure trove of info ammo we have here on WOS, especially with the high possibility of new members joining daily.

    Help those of us who want to find that article (or articles) we meant to save but forgot, or lost it/them due to whatever circumstances and can’t find it/them.

    Help those of us who want to build our own register of selected WOS references for future use without having to go through the monumental task of searching all the WOS archives.

    It also shows how WOS goes from strength to strength rather than, as some would hope, just fade and disappear. I cannot express the joy i experience at the thought of what that must do to their fragile psyches.

  142. G4jeepers says:

    O\T but did anyone else notice the latest rebrand on the nooze tonight frae Loch Ness.
    Looks like Visit Scotland is being packed awa intae it’s shortbreid tin and replaced by something called Visit Britain, I sh1t u not. They’re taking over our tourist industry now and they had some rotten teethed Invernesian pensioner goin along with it and telling the viewers how it’s all a bit of fun, really, FUN!

    Notice from thier website, they have visit britain (with logo) and vist england (with logo). Visit england is represented by a lovely english rose while Scotland appears to gets bundled in with a UJ! No sign of NI or Wales.

    The fcking guile of these people, jeesus wept…

  143. Chic McGregor says:

    uno mas

    Bad news

    Yes we have all or nearly all contributed National Insurance contributions throughout our working life. However, for the past few decades since approx. 1990, no doubt related to the neoliberal paradigm shift, state pensions have been defined as being a benefit rather than a contractual entitlement.
    That means that Westminster could decide to reduce or remove all together, state pension payments from whomsoever they elect to do so.

    Good News

    Retirees who currently move to any country in the World are still paid a pension from the UK in acccordance with the number of years they have made National Insurance contributions while in the UK.
    It varies a little, in that if you move to a country which has no ‘pensions agreement’ with the UK, your pension payments may remain fixed at the time you moved but if there is such an agreement then they will also increase in an ‘index linked’ fashion.

    So if Scotland became independent and they did not honour that, it would set a new precedent namely that be the only country in the entire World where former UK National Insurance contributors were not payed a pension would be Scotland.

    Bad News 2

    That does not mean they could not do so.

    Good News 2

    2.1 If they did do so, the effect on rUK reputation would be catastrophic. Both in terms of international reputation and in terms of economic trustworthiness.

    2.2 An independent Scotland would then, of course, refuse to take on its pro rata share of the enormous UK debt which would way more than compensate for the required pension fund to ensure pension continuity.

  144. yesindyref2 says:

    Sorry about this, last post, but even better for the potential scope of ESA10:

    Under ESA, the general government sector is divided into four sub-sectors: central, state and local governments and social security funds. It may also be relevant, notably for practical reporting purpose, like in ESA 2010 (see Chapter 20 Government accounts), to make a distinction between the “core” or “primary” units (such as “budgetary central government” or “regional/local authorities budgets”) and the other government entities with separate legal identities and various degree of autonomy which are part of the given government sub-sector as controlled by the core units (and frequently mostly financed by transfers from them).

    We’ll need to actually see it in full action apart from as Dr Craig says “that I should have used CRA 2015/16 instead . . . the latter source wasn’t actually published until after Beyond GERS”. As it says in that brand new CRA:

    “6 As a result of UK National Accounts now being produced on an ESA10 basis . . .”

    I seem to remember that gave us an extra £1 billion already.

  145. Pete says:

    Re. Pensions
    Very interested in this topic as I receive a state pension.
    As I understand it, pension entitlement has never been funded by the UK government but is paid from contributions paid in by current taxpayers.
    After independence, the ruk will NOT be receiving tax income from Scottish taxpayers so why will they be obligated to pay Scottish pensioners?
    I’m no expert on this topic but some on here obviously are.
    Thoughts, please.

  146. Chic McGregor says:

    Oops, I see the Rev himself covered this in subsequent posts.

  147. Famous15 says:


    Mugabe’s Zimbabwe is now paying its pensioners including those who served Iain Smith’s government.

    The Great British Empire might just be honest enough to pay its pensioners who have contributed to National Insurance all their working days. Even I cannot see Brits allowing Mugabe to be morally superior. Can you?

  148. Tam Jardine says:

    Macart 9:28 pm

    Biggest elephant in the room as regards prudent management of an economy?

    Yesterday’s Autumn statement.

    You’ve nailed it. What amazes me is that the Scottish Government is crucified for its performance in every conceivable sphere by the press even to the extent that a train breaks down and there are calls from idiots for the transport minister to resign.

    The tories have been at the controls of the UK with power over every aspect of the economy, bar a few minor dials and buttons that don’t really do to much… they’ve been in for 6.5 years and Hammond announces yesterday that everything is getting worse, all forecasts are being downgraded, we have to borrow much more and there is going to be another decade of pain.

    What do we see from the press? Not a forensic grilling with regular calls for resignations of course. The press including the BBC are like “meh”. It is seen as an act of God… just the way things are!

    One thing that has been troubling me is every year the personal allowance keeps going up. This is continually punted as good for low earners and it certainly seems to be. When I started work it was about £4k and since then it has just gone up and up… “lifting people out of taxation” I suppose they call it.

    If we look at the extra £7500 personal allowance in the last 18 years it means I pay something like £1500 less income tax than I would have done in ’98 were I on the same wage. I hate paying for nuclear weapons and the queen and the lords and all the troughing bastards… but then that also means I am paying less towards schools and hospitals and social services and the arts and infrastructure.

    But thats OK because the burden of taxation is shifted onto those higher earners, right? They are helping keep the welfare state going, right? The issue is that if you are earning enough to qualify for the higher rate (and were on an identical salary in ’98 to continue the example) you would be saving 40% of that extra £7500 allowance, ie £3000 in tax per annum. And if you’re on mega money (45% rate) the saving is slightly more.

    So in the period I have been working someone on the higher rate (who undoubtedly pays more in tax than I do) has saved at least double thanks to this “progressive” approach to the personal allowance.

    The tories are continuing in the fine old UKOK tradition of running the economy with one eye shut and the other eye on the richest few percent…. everything has been cut to the bone for years choking off growth and yet the bedrock of revenue to power everything has been strangled and skewed year on year to benefit higher rate payers masked as progressive taxation.

  149. Graf Midgehunter says:

    @ Robert J. Sutherland

    Thanks for the reference to Dave and the video.

    Up to indy everything seems clear – UK, you’ve paid in, you get back.

    After indy it seems unclear about what they would do and negotiations would be necessary. OK.

    You’ve paid in, you get back. But how?

    This is where I have problems with “reimbursing”.

    My German pension is my local one so no problem.

    My Danish and UK pensions are parts of my total pension and come in from abroad. They are both paid directly to my account.

    Germany does not pay these two and is then reimbursed.

    If I lived in an indy Scotland instead of Germany why would or should Scotland pay my UK, Danish and German pensions or part pension and then be reimbursed?

    Or is this only because Westminster is bonkers?

  150. Robert J. Sutherland says:


    You’re never too old to change, that’s what I always say! =grin=

    Keep up the good work over finances and the EU, BTW, this is all worthwhile road-testing for what’s to come.

    In a way, the recent spate of various trolls is good, a sign that the message is increasingly getting through…

  151. Dr Jim says:

    @Graf Midgehunter

    I should have made myself more clear there what I should have added is because of age entitlement and address changes within the host country it would seem more likely that payments would be made from the host country (Scotland) by their own departmental systems in order to account for local changes but for some time would have to employ a transfer from UK departments to Scotland to support existing claiments until a time limit for exclusion would occur because Scotland would have to set up it’s own DWP anyway

    British pensioners all over the world get their pensions all I meant to point out to the Trolls is wherever people are they get paid but the Trolls have the funny idea that the only country in the world to be excluded from this arrangemet will be Scotland because they don’t like us

  152. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Graf Midgehunter,

    I think I see, given your experience, where you’re coming from. But your other pension-paying countries are all well-established, and you’re one of a relatively small number.

    I guess from the rUK point of view, they may prefer to avoid having to deal individually with a whole countryful of ex-citizens. Easier to transfer a block sum and let the SG incur the expense and bother of handling all that individual admin., combined with whatever new info that only they would know. But that’s just my guess.

  153. Graf Midgehunter says:


    No probs..! 😉

    Let’s get the claymores sharpened for a spot of bother with the next bunch of trolls, have fun.

  154. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Graf Midgehunter,

    Thinking about it some more, the logical answer would be for one’s country of residence to handle & pay all of one’s pension, then be reimbursed by other EU governments as necessary. The tax situation should be handled likewise.

    Although there is a certain (to me surprising) degree of EU co-operation at the social security level, as my mrs discovered in her circumstances, it’s by no means seamless, wherever you happen to be. And it really ought to be. But that’s just one example of how the EU falls down in the citizen-friendly stakes.

    But if integration were closer & smoother, there would be cries of “Evil Superstate” from all the usual suspects, you can be sure.

  155. Still Positive. says:

    I really want an independent Scottish Government to be paying all pensions because I trust them more than the UK government.

    I have 3 pensions: the UK government state pension which will only be index-linked until 2020; a UK Civil Service Widows Pension, which may or may not be index-linked after 2020; and a small teacher’s pension, also index-linked which is paid in Scotland.

    Independence can’t come soon enough.

  156. defo says:

    Beaver free to run wild in Scotland.
    Happy days.
    It’ll be just like one huge Newcastle.
    Wish I was 15 years younger.


  157. Macart says:

    @Tam Jardine 12.10

    Pretty much Tam. Another fine example of ‘the best trick the devil ever pulled’.

    That degree of scrutiny and discipline imposed under the devolution settlement has actually been of some use though. A case of not only being seen to balance the books, but provably pulling rabbits out of the hat when need has arisen in order to offset and mitigate the worst excesses of austerity policies whilst doing so.

    What could prove just as useful, has been the the lack of scrutiny and accountability of UK gov by pretty much… well everyone. Why is one legislature, which has NO ACCESS to the core economic levers, held so accountable for their actions and the state of an economy over which they have the most minimal control? Why is central government (who do control ALL core economic levers) given fiscal credibility when they are quite provably and literally mismanaging the economy of the wider state and satellite legislatures?

    All folk need is the confidence to question. They need to know that you don’t need to be an economist or carry a business degree to spot double standards in society and then question why that should be.

    When you give folk the self confidence to start asking the obvious questions, that elephant in the room not only becomes visible, you note that its wearing baggy troosers and clown shoes.

  158. yesindyref2 says:

    I finally read the rest of the article. Yes, it fits together, and within the context of the article as a whole, the arguments are consistent and valid. It’s a shame the couple of detractors didn’t read the whole thing before commenting. To be fair, the anti-indy arguments often take quotes, figures and even facts out of context so it’s not unusual. A common easy rebuttal is to look up the context from the original report / paper / even article, and reply with “Yes, but it also says . . .”.

    So I had a look at the Europe Economics paper dated 23 March 2016. Ouch, it’s a bit embarassing considering their background.

    1). Interest costs £250m. They refer to NIESR about interest rates which goes back to 2013/14. Well, since then the cost of borrowing has gone down. Ireland for instance this summer (after the report in fairness), borrowed £1.2 billion to repay some IMF loans I think, at a 50 year rate of just 0.33% per annum. Lenders have been even thinking of lending at NEGATIVE rates of interest just to park money somewhere, anywhere. I’m halving that.

    2). Currency costs £415m. Pass on that.

    3). Lost rebate – EU £525m. They totally ignored that iScotland would then get ALL the CAP Pillar 1 and 2 convergence uplifts the UK got on the basis that Scotland has the lowest rate in the EU per hectare, but which the UK shared equally around the UK instead of giving to Scotland. In addition our rates per hectare are very low and if adjusted well upwards with our own EU membership would be hugely more. In addition their cost £75m of Scotland’s share of the UK’s rebate is rubbish, by GDP proportion it’s £50m (£55m back in March). I’m putting £0 nett and will justify that some other time. It might be £200m or it could be -£200m.

    4). Border control costs £90m. Pass on that.

    5). Loss of renewable subsidies £510m. “27 per cent of Renewable Obligation certificates (ROCs) issued across Britain, but only consume 10 per cent of British energy.” Ummm, not my area but would Scotland really want to consume 2.7 times as much energy? In other words, what is the relative energy usage – the report FAILED to consider that. Half that.

    6). Government set up costs £1,000m. Whatever.

    7). Tuition fee costs £150m. Since then the rUK would be leaving the EU, so that figure becomes £0. Not their fault.

    That’s possibly around £1 billion less than their figure, maybe more. Not including the Barnett figure which interestingly they put at £7.5 billion.

    Use my figures at your peril.

  159. yesindyref2 says:

    That Europe Economics paper produced for Scotland in Union is even more daft than I thought. Here from it:

    In addition to these impacts, Scotland might have face macroeconomic policy response risks in the first year. These non-monetary costs could have included:

    In the event of euro adoption . . .

    That is just completely amateur scare-mongering. Who wrote it? Do they know nothing at all about the EU, the euro area and the ECB? That’s absolutely shocking – genuinely.

    To join the euro area, a country’s currency must have had a stable exchange rate and be within ERM II for 2 years.

    From the company’s website:

    Our clients include government departments, regulators, the European Commission and the European Parliament . . .”


  160. yesindyref2 says:

    Sorry, the quote was from my website, as simplified elsewhere, the actual ECB Convergence page quote is:

    The third indent of Article 140(1) of the Treaty requires: “the observance of the normal fluctuation margins provided for by the exchange-rate mechanism of the European Monetary System, for at least two years, without devaluing against the euro”. .

  161. Ken500 says:

    Westminster are considering (who?)just giving everyone of pension age who is a regular citizen in the UK a basic £140 a week pension. Costs are met from the Welfare benefits budget to make up adequate pensions to a standard amount. (Poverty). A high proportion of the welfare payments are to pensioners. Some of whom did not pay the full stamp because they were not employed at the time. More Women only began to work, mainly part time, outside the Home from the 1960’s (the Pill/free contraceptives). Many women retired/retiring now where told by the Gov at the time to pay the lower stamp if they worked P/T (they get pension rights on their husband stamp if they were married – which more of them as a proportion of the pop) women get accredited for a certain number of year for child caring duties, as they are likely to be the main career. It is allocated according to Child benefit records. Depending on how many children they have.

    Women also can work and now pay the full stamp as well. There is no longer the lower Stamp? Because of the anomalies. That is why it is still important to apply for child benefit, even families who will not get it because it still gives credit for caring duties. Although the system is changing to give a standard pension payment to alll citizens. People who are unemployed should sign on to get their stamp credits.

    It is women who are retired, retiring now. Women who did not work. It was less common to work at the time. Or worked P/T are often the ones in pension poverty now. Women on average out live men. So they need adequate pension supplement from welfare benefits to survive. Their rights were denied because of the social structure at that time. Until 1960 onwards – free contraception and the Pill.

    It is often economists (mainly men) who do not consider how medical invention has shaped the world and the changing patterns of people’s lives. Women working has added to the prosperity of society. When everyone does get an opportunity to reach their full potiehtial.

    The Gov pension should be £180 a week to take in all the basics. Let pensioners pay their way etc.Pensioners with other income or second pensions or wealth pay tax. So any income above tax threshold in proportion, is taxed. It is pensioners (especially women – who did not work outside the home when they were younger), students, the unemployed, sick and vulnerable, careers (one parent families – mainly women) who are mainly likely to be in poverty. Some for a shorter period than others in long term poverty. People’s elderly grannies, mother, aunties and other relatives..

    More women work now especially if they have adequate child care. The more highly qualified/educated women are. The more like they are to work because they can afford adequate child care, because of higher salaries. So they pay into the pension scheme (scam- private pensions). More women working mean more productivity and more money available to pay out in pensions. Some women often inherit their husband (generous?) pension funds when they depart giving more adequate provision. Many employers now make provision for future pension payments with contributions. It is Law? Many private pension funds are a scam but are backed up by Gov provision. BHS scammed by Philip Green etc. Pension funds charged at management rates extortionate fees. It can be a racket.

    Scotland still raises and pays it’s own (UK) Gov pensions. In fact if Independent could pay more and cut welfare provision, make more direct payments. Cut Trident etc and increase pension payments and cut down on administration as pensioners would be receiving more direct payments. Any wealthy pensioners (few) pay tax. They pay inheritance tax etc. Any second pensions are more likely to be taxed. War pensions/military/service are not taxed?

    Scotland still pays all it’s pension dues/liabilities by contribution from taxes raised in Scotland. Either in Defence contribution, welfare funding or pension contribution from the £54Billion+ raised in Scotland. Scotland could raise more and be more prosperous, fairer and equal without Westninster interference. By politicians who were not even elected in Scotland. An absolute disgrace and against International Law, The mismanagement of Scotland’s economy by Westminster unelected Unionists, and the harm done is an International disgrace against the Human rights Act,

  162. Ken500 says:

    Goodness that is a long, unconceived post.

    For those wanting farmers compensated. The Supreme London Court blocked the Scottish Gov scheme. I.e. Westminster rule is the cause because people (farmers) voted NO.

    If farmers were compensated with pout legislation (specific restrictions) it could lead to claims for compensation from all other industries outwith present legislation. The claims could be enormous and totally out of proportion. Compensated farmers without legislation (restriction) leads to claims for compensation from all other sectors.

    The Scottish Gov are still working on it. To circumvent the UK Law, The Blair/London Suoreme Court. Property rights are part of the Human rights Act on which Devolution is based. Formulated by Unionists. Stop blaming the Scottish Gov for legislation outwith their remit because a majority of people voted NO. Land in Scotland on average costs £5,000 an acre. Anyone with qualification can buy it with a mortgage over 25 years. Building permission increases the value.

    Scotland was depopulated by Westminster rule. Land is exempt from inheritance tax (UK legislation) in order to keep farms together. Larger farms produce more. They also receive higher CAP payments. Allocated per acre for specific direction. Depending on the crop/product production.

    Westminster – Unionists politicians try to muck up the Scottish economy at every opportunity. It is either from absolute total ignorant incompetence or malicious spite.

    Vote SNP/SNP May 2017. Vote for Independence.

  163. Ken500 says:

    Education costs in Scotland allocated £1.7Billion (from the £54Billion+)

    Note how the Oil & Gas revenues are predicted to miraculous recover. Once the Westminster Tories have screwed Scottish industry. Taxing the Oil & Gas sector at 60% to 80% from 2010 when the price fell 75%. Losing thousands of jobs and exports. The producers stopped exploration in 2010 because of the UK Gov tax regime. Excessive taxation. It is now 40% since Jan 2016.

    The UK Gov plans to cut Corp tax to 17%. It can’t it is against EU equal trade Laws The EU tries to regulate equal Corp tax (20%) -VAT rate in order to promote free and equal trade within the EU/world. The EU is cutting down on tax evasion. That is why the Tories and their associates and backers want out of the EU. So they can continue to tax evade. For some wealthy, people enough is never enough. The Duke of Westminster, the richest man in Britain suffered from depression before dying prematurely. The strain of keeping one foot ahead of the tax man? Better to pay the dues.

    Rich person has a better chance of getting through the eye of an needle than going to heaven.

    Remember the Foodbank, charity, giving tree donation. especially at Christmas. A hassle for most A misery for many. A time for reflection.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Remember the donation. (Only kidding). Vote for Independence.

  164. snode1965 says:

    Reported in today’s National.
    The BBC Trust has commissioned a study,by Cardiff University, to monitor it’s own coverage of devolved Nations news.
    This study has revealed that BBC coverage has halved in 2016 compared to 2015. Their coverage of Scottish only news has dropped from 14.4% to 7.1% in the last year…

  165. Nana says:

    EU adopting three-tier approach to Brexit

    The special relationship

    Sir Fraser Stoddart: Brexit far worse for science than Trump

  166. Ken500 says:

    @ Tom Jardine

    Cracked it personal allowance. Cutting taxes not raising enough for essential services – NHS/Education in England. The wealthier paying less . The burden disproportionately, falling on the less wealthy vulnerable. Than more borrowing to try and balance the books, More repayments.
    Spending extra £Billions on infrastructure investment of less value costs more. Hinkley Power Station, HS2, Heathrow expansion, Trident. All over priced and over budget and over valued. They can cause extra problems and will be obsolete. Wasting £Billions. There are more reliable, safer other options of higher value.

    Brexit will cost more than it saves. It will not stop migration into Europe. It is illegal wars costing £Billions/Trillions that are causing the migration crisis in Europe. The US/UK and France carved up the Midfle East and caused the catastrophe.

    The Tories are now on borrowed time. Things will get worse and worse.

    Hopefully Scotland will vote for Independence and start to manage it’s own affairs and become more prosperous, equal and fair in line with most countries in Europe. Left of centre Democracies. Hopefully eventually join the Euro and save £Billions wasted on the exchange rate. Fees and commissions for exchanging money. Cut red tape and costs to business. The UK Banks make £Billions exchanging Euros/sterling. The size of the debt determines Gov borrowing costs. The higher the debt, the higher the repayment rate on (sold) Gov bonds. Increasing the debt once again. All the companies that supported NO are now struggling, under UK Regulation and Brexit.

  167. Smallaxe says:


    thank you for the links,still full up from yesterdays.Kettle’s on.

    Peace Always

  168. Ken500 says:

    It is feasible Thomas Mair did not get the additional support he needed. Fell through the net because of UK Gov policies and welfare cuts. The MSM coverage is terrible.

  169. heedtracker says:

    Their coverage of Scottish only news has dropped from 14.4% to 7.1% in the last year…”

    BBC r4 vote tory news Scottish only news has dropped from 0.0 % to -50.5%.

    Vote tory Today show just had long thing on Westminster bill to make it illegal to wear someone else’s military medals, not maybe be mental health care issues and now its the tory creation the OBR explainerising why the Treasury is refusing to give them any data or policy on Brexit, or something.

    Mike Gove’s written a letter to say, the Brexit £350 million’s saved is going to be great.

    Its not loony bin at the beeb. Heil Farage.

  170. Muscleguy says:

    @Tinto Chiel

    The Cave reference was one philosophical reference to Plato’s analogy of how one individual views the world and so starts the discussion of how we can work out how the world is.

  171. heedtracker says:

    Please Sir, may have a second referendum? Scotland.


    The Guardian,

    EU referendum and Brexit

    Brexit: Sir John Major says ‘perfectly credible’ case for second referendum
    Former PM says ‘tyranny of the majority’ should not dictate manner of UK’s exit from the European Union in remarks likely to anger pro-Brexit Tories.

  172. heedtracker says:

    Please Sir can we have a second referendum? Scotland.

    NO! Salmond said once in a generation, which is 50+ years in teamGB timeline of UKOK greatness.

    “Sir John Major has declared there is a “perfectly credible” case for a second referendum on Brexit and people who voted to remain should not be subject to the “tyranny of the majority”.

    The ex-Conservative leader told guests at a private dinner that the 48% of people who voted to stay in the European Union should have their say on the terms of the deal for breaking away from Brussels.

    His comments come after his successor in Downing Street, Tony Blair, suggested the Brexit process could be halted.


    The former Labour leader told the New Statesman: “It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up.”

    With the Press Association

  173. People Carrier says:

    Libby Brooks……….”On a dreich November evening in Gourouk…………….

    I just stopped reading at that point. Oh yes, she knows all about dreich, clearly nothing about gourouk, wherever that is.

  174. DerekM says:

    @ Pete

    That is what you pay national insurance for Pete it is based around contributions so if you have already payed into NI then that money is yours not the governments they are meant to look after it for you until you retire that is the point of a pension scheme public or private.

    It is not a gift or a benefit it is something you pay for, so for the UK to renege on payments would probably make lots of lawyers drool.

  175. bjsalba says:

    @Graf Midgehunter,
    @Robert J. Sutherland

    I understand the EU is looking to do some co-ordination of recording Pension Rights accruals across EU countries, much in the way it is done in Germany. I believe it is being done to ensure that individuals who work in more than one country get what they are due, and to prevent some benefit tourism. It is, however, only at the very early discussion stage.

    When it was mentioned recently in a speech by a head of state, our idiot tabloid press twisted it into the idea that Brexiteers would be allowed to cherry pick. Sigh.

  176. Ken500 says:

    Tenant /farmers who have their tenancy/job/remuneration rights expectations restricted when the tenancy agreement comes to an end. Can go to a Tribunal/ Law courts under UK /EU Law and give a case for compensation. Estate workers have done so and won.

    Estate workers given unpredicted, extra duties or having to re-apply for their jobs under different management procedures/structures. Or leave. Have gone to a Tribunal (court) stated their case and negotiated compensatory pension pot for years of diligence work or service.

    Tenant farmers should do the same sue the Estate for improvements made and compensation. They should start a fighting fund and take the Estate to Tribunal/Court for compensation.

  177. North chiel says:

    ” ken 500 @0729 ”
    Yes Ken , the Yoon narrative as regards ” their” trillion pound plus
    assets in the North Sea and Atlantic will be ” talked up” to counter the catastrophic Brexit
    economic calamity facing the Tories. They will attempt to hang on to Scotland at any cost
    to ensure that the impending 2 trillion debt liability is covered by ” Scottish assets” . In effect UK plc is facing bankruptcy without us. Thus a propaganda ” tusami” will be launched ref. Indy ref2. ” Ultra better together” 2.

  178. Ken500 says:

    Everyone who pays into a pension fund gets the same rights as others in the fund. Especially Gov backed. Gov breaking contracts can be sued. The pension remuneration according to the Pension fund rules. Standard pension agreements anywhere in the world. Linked to world banking agreements between countries.

    The UK banking industry sells pensions in India etc and all over the world. If people pay in they get out proportionately. If the funds are managed properly. Guaranteed by inter world banking connections. If they are fraudulently run, they can be open to prosecution – jail. International arrest warrants. Worldwide for offences committed in individual countries, Many of the large funds become part of support for Gov finances. Investments worldwide made by Pension funds in all countries. Governed by Gov legislation. May and her husband. Multimillionaires. Stock funds. Stock brokers are all multimillionaires. They have to have guaranteed millions of assets before they are licensed to trade. They can be sued. Internationally. Put in jail.

    In the UK they can be bankrupted for compensation. There were not Laws to prosecute for financial crimes until those recently Introduced. Too lax?

  179. Clootie says:

    Muscle guy

    Plato’s theory was that a group of people held in a cave seeing shadows of figures cast on the wall from a fire would accept the shadows as “the real world” and would only become enlightened when allowed outside to see reality.

    …and TV has confirmed Plato’s prediction.

  180. Ali says:

    Hard to believe the question on pensions is still alive. Excellent stuff

  181. galamcennalath says:

    MORI asking what people think about their own country and what they think is wrong with it ..

    UKOKers biggest concern? Immigration.

    Everyone else thinks crime, unemployment, terrorism, healthcare but in UKOK the big fear is Johnny Foreigner!

  182. Ken500 says:

    The reason why the women part time (married) workers (told by the Gov) paid a lower stamp was because indirectly they were paying more. Their husbands paid a contribution on their behalf. The married man’s contribution was higher than a single person.

    Even divorced women have contribution considered towards their pensions from the years they were married. Plus full stamp payments from working (when the system changed. Small stamp abolished) plus credits from main carer child duties. Contributing to (Gov) pension rights and payment. It still comes from money raised in Scotland from Scottish taxpayers now.

    Scottish Gov can stop benefit sanctions in April. That will help older unemployed women who have been denied pension rights because of earlier cut of time for pension contributions. From earning. Creating a unexpected artificial gap to retirement because of (Westminster) Gov policy. Increasing working years. They will receive welfare benefits, without sanction, in times of illness or hardship. More cost affective.

    Vote SNP/SNP May 2017. Vote for Independence.

  183. orri says:

    Obviously, Westminster could change the rules retrospectively to “punish” pensioners who had the audacity to vote for independence.

    However until they did the line been fed about losing rights to their pensions would simply be a threat. It was also verging on the illegal given that it’s against the law to bribe people to vote the way you want generating a scenario where you threaten peoples income if they don’t must surely be illegal.

    Think there’s probably some kind of disavowal going on along the lines of what happened with UKIP so the official campaign can keep their hands clean.

  184. galamcennalath says:

    US examples but the moral is that fake news only really works when targeting rightwing people.

    I think we can see plenty of examples on this side of the pond recently.

  185. heedtracker says:

    People Carrier says:
    25 November, 2016 at 8:23 am
    Libby Brooks……….”On a dreich November evening in Gourouk…………….

    I just stopped reading at that point.

    Well you missed a lovely The Guardian coffee time read, because Libby o The Guardian says, SNP bad, Nic Sturgeon bad, Scottish independence bad, Scottish democracy also, bad, SNP activists, very bad, in fact Libby says, SNP activists are bad and also fools on anerrand of badness, for bad Sturgeon and her survey of badness,

    “But it is difficult not to conclude that the survey, which ends on St Andrew’s day, 30 November, has been something of a fools errand for those loyal driveway-trampers. Privately, they are the first to admit that the exercise has drawn a mixed response, with many refusing to speak to them at all.”

    “Loyal driveway-trampers” is probably a new low, even for progressive and liberal democracy loving rancid The Graun.

    Think Graun wants it all to stop and stop now, north of Hadrians wall.

  186. Golfnut says:

    State pensions are paid directly from current tax receipts, their is no pension pot, or at least nothing that is significant and certainly nothing that could cover the UK governments liability for pension provision, because they have quite literally pissed up against a wall. Personally I think it should be removed from GERS since it is a UK responsibility and payable directly from that UK central pot. So much for that mythical Scottish black hole.

    That’s means that all State pensions paid in Scotland are paid directly from Scottish taxation, there is and never has been fiscal support from the English tax payer.

    An Independent Scotland will continue with this provision until it sets up and funds a proper pension fund, possibly using some part of oil and gas receipts. However that does not negate or dissolve Westminsters responsibilty for pension provision, we paid in, we are entitled to it.

    The most likely scenario is that Westminsters pension liability for Scotland will be calculated as a gross sum, probably negotiated, and then paid as a gross amount, possibly over a number of years. The Scottish Government could perhaps use this as the basis of a future pension fund.

    Westminster is facing huge fiscal penalties when the union ends, their pension liability for Scotland alone is eye watering, loss of oil and gas won’t help.

    It’s going to get really interesting, lots of threats and promises to come.

  187. call me dave says:

    Morning all.
    As noted above I had a wee rant on a thread here last month about radio shortbread talking about anything and anywhere rather than Scotland and Scottish issues.

    The National agrees and has figures to back it up.
    Stuck the article under her indoors nose this morning and got a grudging Hmmm!

    Also in The National the UK state pension one of the lowest in the world when compared to average income. 🙁

    All frosty and bright in Glenrothes coffee time!

  188. heedtracker says:

    They walk among us, happy and glorious long to reign over us. Her “do just that every day!” probably means once or twice a week but it is UKOK hackdom, so…

    LibbyBrooks zendon 1h ago

    Myself and Severin Carrell, both based up here in Scotland, do just that every day! Have a look at our contributor pages and you’ll see recent reporting on rail services, welfare reform, the health service, to name but a few…

  189. heedtracker says:

    Also, dreich November Gourouk has a stunning heated out door swimming pool, shut winter, great for burning off that winter fat in warm salty Clyde water. You can also sit pool side and admire Trident nuke subs coming and going across the water to Faslane. If a trident nuke does go off by accident, this will also burn off you winter fat, aswell as all the rest of your flesh too.

    But its all for the good of teamGB and keeping you safe.

    The only other outdoor heated swimming pool in Scotland is over at Stonehaven. Its great, and the owners of that pool fly a giant union jack over the middle of their pool too, just in case you forget where you are, as you’re doing the back crawl, British back crawl!

  190. Sinky says:

    BBC “national” TV coverage of Scotland more than halves since 2015.

    Its also disgraceful that The National is NEVER featured on BBC / SKY newspaper reveiws while we are subjected to wall to wall right wing bile from Sieg Mail and the UKIP Express on a daily basis.

  191. Bob Mack says:

    The last I heard ,nearly 1.7 million had completed the survey.

  192. Robert Peffers says:

    @Phil Stephenson says: 24 November, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    ” … So you advocate that citizens of an independent Scotland remain British citizens in order to attempt to continue having their pension paid by another country?
    Some independence.”

    Where do you get the idea the author advocates citizens of an independent Scotland should or should not remain British Citizens, Phil? He said no such thing.

    Unless the people of the Kingdom of Scotland remove themselves from, Britain , (not just either Scotland or the United Kingdom), they will remain in Britain and as Britain is NOT a state it has no citizens. You are confusing Britain with the United Kingdom and there are another four independent states in Britain that are not under the government of the United Kingdom parliament. Three Crown, (not UK Parliament), protectorates and a republic.

    BTW: The British Passport is issued in the name of the Queen and her personal kingdom does include the Crown Protectorates that are independent from, “Her Majesty’s”, Parliament of her United Kingdom.

    The United KINGDOM. is only part of Britain it is not Britain. That is pure Westminster Establishment propaganda that you have obviously soaked up.

    If the Kingdom of Scotland does leave the United Kingdom the Scots will still be living in Britain because Scotland is part of Britain but there will then not be a United Kingdom left to be part of.

    The United Kingdom is a bipartite union of Kingdoms and thus a United Kingdom of one Kingdom cannot exist after the two Kingdoms split apart.

    I’ll put that another way for you, Phil, The Treaty of Union only has two signatories and they are Kingdoms, and the United Kingdom is the result of the Union thus if the two split up neither equally sovereign partner Kingdom is the United Kingdom and neither one remains as a United Kingdom.

    That is pure Westminster Establishment propaganda.

    Furthermore the author claims no such thing. He is stating what the Yoon Loons wrongly claimed.

  193. Dr Jim says:

    “Nicola Sturgeon threatens democracy with her divisive threat of a second Indyref”

    Have a look at that headline for just a second apart from the dreadful english, how does anyone threaten to offer democracy? There are countries all over the world begging to be allowed to vote on stuff and being denied the opportunity to do so and the media in this country make all sorts of scorny shouty superior reports on how undemocratic that is

    I want Nicola Sturgeon to “Offer” Scotland a referendum just the same as David Cameron “Offered” his referendum and if I hear one more Bastirt Unionist newsreader or politician calling Scotlands referendum a threat the claymore’s comin oot (no that I’m threatenin)

    Ireland’s had about 8 or 9 referendums in the last ten years and nobody bats an eyelid, I think they see it as being offered …..democracy!

  194. Dr Jim says:

    That’s defo not Phil Stephenson I’m thinking…. Jill?

  195. Brian Powell says:

    Interesting comments above on Libby Brooks, Severin Carrell, colonial recordists camped on the edge of the Brit Empire (defunct).

    It’s extraordinary that the Guardian, great guardian of the truth, turns out not to be. It might be that they have found themselves outside when they thought they were inside and they are bewildered and confused. But that doesn’t excuse lies and distortion of what is happening in Scotland.

    It is their unwillingness to engage with a democratic movement, examining its possibilities, that was an eye opener for me. I guess the quality of Glen Greenwald highlighted their mediocrity.

  196. heraldnomore says:

    Coming up right now on talkRadio – it’s Pishtradamus, talking on the second coming of Blair, and a second ref – that’s EU not Scot…

    Maybe phone in and see if he’s paid his bets yet.

  197. Soutron says:

    I’d be perfectly happy to let rUK continue as successor state and leave them to their all of their liabilities and assets.

    An indy Scotland will be more than capable of paying our own pensions. We’ll also be able to reduce the retirement age to reflect our (currently) lower life expectancy and give the younger generations a chance to move into/up in the workplace.

    UK pensions are a farce, we need to make that clear and make a cast iron promise that we can do better, not just scrape by as things are currently.

    We don’t NEED the rUK to honour anything. We shouldn’t rely on the good will of rUK Gov next referendum or expect voters to think that realpolitik and good sense will prevail (even if that is the case)..just like the currency-union last time.

  198. I know Andrew Neil`s`This Week`show is more satire than real politics,

    but I thought John Nicolson was a wee bit of the pace with what happening in his own party,

    `extra` £800m “it`s up to Scot Gov what to do with it”

    Chinese £10b deal,looked like it was the first he had heard of the MOU,

    Trump and Farage yet again no idea what he was on about,

    Tony war criminal Blair “he is a great orator”,

    whoever is in charge down in Westminster (Angus?) needs to make sure our SNP MP`s are all clued up about the topics the media are spotlighting,

  199. Ken500 says:

    Outdoor pools are health promoting, lots of fun and exercise. They bring in the tourists are relatively, actively cheaper than a pint or coffee and worth their weight in sea water. Filtered of course. Costa lazing on a sunny afternoon. Sun traps.

    May is a corrupt liar. Her husband is a Hedge Fund manager. Multimillionaires. Their joint wealth is derived from that activity. May deliberately manipulated the immigration figures, to include foreign students. Exaggerated the number of remainers. Did not included the Brits abroad that take citizenship in the country of their abode to pay lower taxes. Spain, France, Portugal etc. Then attacks the worse off, to make their lives incredibly harder and disrupt society. Causing the majority great distress and anger. Making more people anxious, sick and ill, less able to work and putting up the healthcare costs.

    May wants out of the EU so the Tories et al bankers, backers and associates can continue to tax evade. May/Hammond et al are ignorant and incompetent. Did not admit the illegal wars in the Middle East and UK/US and France foreign policy caused the migration crisis in Europe and cost £trillions,

  200. Dan Huil says:

    You can tell how important this latest post is by the desperation in the britnat comments on here. Graig’s excellent post has hit a nerve. Britnats don’t like the truth.

  201. heedtracker says:

    BBC vote SLab Scotland in SNP bad action this frosty morn,

    Edinburgh, Fife & East
    Glasgow & West
    Highlands & Islands

    Welsh leader Carwyn Jones rules out Scots single market deal

    The Welsh first minister has said he does not support the idea of Scotland retaining separate access to the European single market after Brexit.
    Carwyn Jones said he supported the UK keeping its access to the market, but said individual deals for any of the home nations were unworkable.
    He is due to host a British-Irish Council summit in Cardiff.”

    So that’s going to be another UKOK hoot and half.

  202. Nana says:


    Older peoples assembly due to start soon

  203. Andrew McLean says:

    I was trying to explain this recently, and I had a thought, to understand your opponent its best to try and see things from his perspective, that works in any sphere of life.

    Most people adhere to the 50 50 principal, or the win win scenario, in that each partner in the negotiation conducts their own cost benefit analysis and if both the parties on looking at that find that its mutually beneficial, then deals are made, agreements struck, contracts signed .

    So given the political arguments, “you’re no getting a pension”, ” you can’t use the pound”, “the wean that needs a heart transplant can fekin die”, and the ultimately stupid, a “militarised border” or as one seriously deranged chap posted on the Revs twitter “an Army of Occupation” you have to look at what is the driver, what impulse are they verbalising, what is their cost benefit analysis.

    You can take it from their stated starting point of “try and become independent” and we will “burn down the house, with us in it too” now why would any sane person take that view, how can that be the starting point for any logical argument.
    Well it can’t, so what is the motivation, some can say, that the argument is formed as a political standpoint, and that is SNP bad, or independence bad, this follows from the adversarial politics, were one party cannot allow the other any advantage, so either play beggar my neighbour where we see Ruth Davidson played the fool, by “persons unknown” in scraping investment from China (don’t worry they didn’t, negotiations are still progressing,), then twisting completely round when it finally became obvious to her the ridiculousness of her position. Personally she has lost my respect on this, a canny political operator she isn’t, she has shown she has Dugdale levels of incompetence and stupidity. Or adding amendments so to scupper their opponent or if accepted, claim credit for the Act.

    But this adversarial argument in itself can’t explain the logic behind the absolute determination to discredit, lie, abuse and damage the country either of their birth, or where they choose to call home. That they would subjugate their pride that anyone could be expected to have in their home, their neighbourhood and their community, to feel not worthy of self determination, instead, by cringe inducing their argument to, too wee, too poor, too stupid. And that when our near identical neighbour Norway is an embarrassment of wealth is astonishingly stupid!

    Now this is contentious for the Rev, he has banned this word, but tell me, even given the Queen will still be the head of state in an independent Scotland, and I don’t see that changing soon, what other word best describes those whose name is a synonym for treasonous behaviour so despicable that they put a different countries parliament and wealth ahead of their own.

    Especially given the statements above, “you’re no getting a pension”, ” you can’t use the pound”, “the wean that needs a heart transplant can fekin die”, and the ultimately stupid, a “militarised border”, who can hear that spoken and not shout “Judas”?.

    Time to end this stinking vile union, time to end it forever.

    One thing that even the wealth of Rowling, the insanity of the mail, the treacherousness of knaves, or the very fear of everything the English state can through at the independence movement can stop is our fundamental right of independence, the right of nationhood, that was never extinguished by a foreign army, or given away by benighted lairds.

    It is our destiny our birthright and our future. and who would surrender that for an a wee bawbee a title and a bloody riband!

    what would you call that man!

  204. Ken500 says:

    Blair caused the trouble. The illegal,wars caused the migration problems in Europe and cost £trillions of debt. Giving the corrupt politicians the excuse to come out of the EU. Blair/Brown should be put in jail. Blair can’t walk the streets without protection. Paid for by the taxpayers. Tax evader.

    Putting Blair/Brown/Cameron/Osbourne/Johnston/Farague jail will indirectly stop the crisis. An example to others who wish to defy the Law.

    Adrian O’Neil, the lawyer. Did not support Independence for Scotland. Claimed it was illegal and that Referendum should not take place.

    Adrian O’Neil is campaigning extensively not to be take out of the EU. It is apparent that lawyers who derive their extensive, well remunerated fees of public money, from EU legislation and litigation.Hold a different view when the threat to Scotland is to be taken out of the EU. Self interest or justice.

  205. Fergus Green says:

    ‘Welsh leader Carwyn Jones rules out Scots single market deal’. Open for comments on BBC Scotland page. Just saying like.

  206. One_Scot says:

    With regard to the lack of putting up on the US election wager. To be fair to Gerry, I believe he offered to pay part of his gas bill with the equivalent amount. #OneClassyDouchebag.

  207. heedtracker says:

    Fergus Green says:
    25 November, 2016 at 11:24 am
    ‘Welsh leader Carwyn Jones rules out Scots single market deal’. Open for comments on BBC Scotland page. Just saying like.

    Who do they think they are.
    Deep fried mars bars.
    Irn Bru quaffers.
    They voted No so they should up.
    I voted YES but I hate the SNP.
    Wee Krankie’s needs a slap.
    What about those poor farmers on Arran getting evicted by the SNP.


  208. Ken500 says:

    The Guardian Editor was threatened by the Con/Doms. Cameron and Clegg put the stoomtroooers in to smash up the Mail room and threaten the Editor with jail. An unreportable ‘D’ notice put into place? For printing the truth. The Sbowden revelations. Understandable the Editor was quite distressed and subsequently was promoted up the stairs. Out of trouble. A Tory sycophant was installed. Westminster Unionists control the masses. With false press report.

    The way Westminster Press Office illegally controls any Independent Press. Guardian is the only one. Murdoch the crook who should be in jail for breaking the Law wanders in and out of Downing Street issuing out the orders for the criminal tax evaders, himself included. The tax evading Non Dom MSM owners.

  209. Smallaxe says:

    Andrew Mclean says:

    “It is our destiny our birthright and our future. and who would surrender that for an a wee bawbee a title and a bloody riband!”

    what would you call that man!

    I have a name for a man/woman with this TRAIT, OR disposition,Andrew

    Peace Always

  210. Stu Mac says:

    d says:
    24 November, 2016 at 10:35 pm
    Even the BBC was actually asking questions; real questions it was weird to see!

    Ah but that is because this Brexit thing involves a split between different wings of our elite. A lot of powerful interests don’t like the way things are going.

  211. Breeks says:

    Well, pantomime season is approaching, but it’s hardly the seasonal novelty is used to be after another year of Unionists shouting “Oh no it isn’t”, and Yessers reciprocating with “Oh yes it is”.

    It is right to confront head on and overturn the false narrative, but we really do need to change the dynamics of the “debate”. It’s easy to slip into the state of mind where one argument is crossed out by an appropriate counter argument, but we seem to forget the first argument enjoys spin, repetition, and mass dispersal over the whole population which the second counter argument simply is simply denied. The lie is delivered with great gusto, the rebuttal, however damning and studiously correct, is invariably a whimper.

    There is no “weight” being attached to the arguments; but invariably undue regard is shown for spurious arguments which belittle Scotland, but no purchase being won for the power behind the inevitable counter argument. The Unionist argument is very often shallow, dishonest, and contrived, and in a fair system would be utterly trounced by the fact based robust counter arguments, but the system is not fair, and the issues are never addressed with adequate depth. It is trial by shallOw sound bite, and we are coming a poor second best in the game. If you win the headline, you win the debate, but they own all the headlines.

    We, all of us, but especially SNP and proIndy people on Television MUST be better briefed before their few moments in the spotlight, and be acutely aware of the ongoing battle for the initiative and command of the narrative. It’s not about being a nice person, or having a clever argument jump into your head spontaneously. They need to be coached, and have it drilled into them how to recognise when they are being shepherded away from issues they want to address and fed leading questions which pander to the Unionist narrative. It is a discipline that can be taught, and can be learned, but it currently isn’t. It makes good people look like amateurs, and we can’t afford that frankly.

    Without winning some of the initiative in the public eye, we will never get control of the agenda or the narrative, and Indyref2 will be another “Oh yes it is / Oh no it isn’t” pantomime just like 2014 all over again. We will be on our feet, screaming to warn the Scottish Government that the big bad BBC is behind you, but when the SNP turn round it has already moved.

    We will want be talking about the EU, EU investment, green renewable potential, positive immigration that includes EU students and international research, sovereignty, having sovereign say on all matters across the whole spectrum of government from defence and the wars we get dragged into to social care and whether our most vulnerable people are left to starve or die from hypothermia in a home they can’t heat, – but hands up anybody who doesn’t think we’ll be arguing ad nauseum about about pensions, a ubiquitous lack of clarity on this, a shortage of answer on that, respecting the result of 2014, depressed oil prices, Sturgeon and Trump, the U.K. being our biggest export market, a hard border, and of course what a wonderful opportunity we have in Brexit.

    Please, somebody at YES Mission Control LISTEN. We must work to get on top of this NOW, because right now, any one of us here at Wings would have a damn good chance of being right if asked what the Indyref2 Unionist agenda will be. This is the quiet before the storm, and I don’t see many metaphorical ditches, mines and tank traps being dug to defend our lines.

  212. Tinto Chiel says:

    Heedtracker: I used to be a “loyal driveway-tramper” (and hope to be again).

    Now I’m a vile cyber-sep.

    Life is good.

    To think I used to buy The Guardian.


  213. Ron Maclean says:

    @ Breeks 1206

    Unfortunately you’re up against the well supported Policy of Positive Inaction (PopI) which served us so well during Indyref1.

  214. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dr Craig Dalzell:

    Great article Dr Craig, but I must take issue with parts of – 4. “We’d Be Defaulting On The UK’s Debt”.

    That Westminster Establishment propaganda seems to have remained rooted in Indy supporters beliefs but really is so easy to disprove by history and historic documents and the Oxford Dictionary.

    The Westminster Establishment has always assassinated the English language it its quest to dominate not just the British Isles but under the British Empire the whole World. The thing is that when it comes to law the language is very, very precise and is the basis of court judgments.

    Quite simply the history of the British Isles and the historic documents prove that such Westminster Establishment claims just cannot be substantiated. Here’s why.

    It all hinges upon the old historic rule of law, “The Divine Right of Kings”. The point of which is that this law is only specific to Christendom and Christendom’s one true God.

    First please understand that the term, “Sovereignty”, is directly linked to that Divine Right. Under the claim that God granted Divine Right to monarchs by having them born as the heir to a monarchy.

    So let’s look with that in mind at the history behind The British Isles and we will begin with the Principality of Wales.

    The Monarch of England defeated the last native Prince of Wales and passed, “The Statute of Rhuddlan”, in 1284. This statute imposed the law of the English Kingdom upon Wales and to this day the Price of Wales is the first born son of the monarch of the Kingdom of England. In 1284 both these countries were under the rule of law of Divine Right and that legally allowed the Kingdom of England to annex, not unite with, Wales. Wales today is thus still legally an English Principality.

    Now we will briefly consider the former Kingdom of Ireland : –

    The Normans invaded Ireland in stages in the late 12th century when Gaelic Ireland was composed of several kingdoms and with a High King claiming lordship over all Ireland.

    In May 1169, the Cambro-Norman mercenaries landed by request of Dermot MacMurragh who had been ousted as king and who sought their help to regaining his kingdom.

    The invasion was backed by King Henry II of England and Pope Adrian IV authorized Henry to conquer Ireland to bring the Irish church into line with The Holy Roman See. The invaders seized Leinster and launched raids into neighbouring kingdoms.

    The summer of 1170, saw two more Norman landings by Richard ‘Strongbow’ de Clare. By May 1171, Strongbow had taken control of Leinster and the Norse-Irish city kingdoms of Dublin, Waterford, and Wexford. High King Rory O’Connor then led an counter-offensive against the Normans, but they held onto most of their invaded territory. In October 1171, King Henry landed an Anglo-Norman army in Ireland to establish control over the Cambro-Normans and the Irish and the Norman lords handed their conquered territory to Henry.

    Henry allowed Strongbow to hold Leinster in fief and declared the cities as crown land and many of the Irish kings submitted to him too. Henry then granted the unconquered kingdom of Meath to Hugh de Lacy and after Henry left Ireland, in 1172, the Norman invasion and Irish counter-offensives continued.

    The 1175 Treaty of Windsor declared Henry as overlord of the invaded territory and Ruaidrí as overlord of the rest of Ireland, but that had Ruaidrí also swearing fealty to Henry. This treaty soon fell apart and the Anglo-Norman lords continued invading Irish kingdoms who then launched counter-attacks.

    In 1177, Henry took a new tack and policy. He made his son John, “Lord of the whole country of Ireland” , and instructed the Norman lords to conquer the whole country. The territory they held became the Lordship of Ireland and thus formed a part of the Angevin Empire. All this was with the Holy Roman See’s support of Henry’s intervention.

    So began over 700 years of direct English and, later of British, involvement in Ireland and all legal under the Devine Right of Kings and the leadership of Rome and the head of all Christendom.

    Now we get to the bit of interest to the Kingdom of Scotland. While the Kingdom of England was expanding by use of the Divine Right of Kings law of Christendom the Kings of the Kingdom of England were attempting to include the Kingdom of Scotland as part of the Kingdom of England.

    Here there was a very large fly in their ointment. In the shape of William Wallace and King Robert Bruce. Bruce had become King of the Kingdom of Scotland in strange circumstance that deeply involved the English monarch.

    When Scotland was left without a monarch after the death of the Maid of Norway Scotland had a problem as there were several contenders to the throne. In their innocence those appointed to run Scotland in the interim had approached the King of England, who was supposedly an expert in such matters, to help resolve the matter of succession.

    He thought to seize his chance of adding Scotland to his existing Devine Right conquests. He appointed John Balliol who he thought he could manipulate but Balliol did not last very long and the two remaining contenders to the throne were the Red Comyn and Robert Bruce.

    In the event The Bruce killed the Comyn on the alter steps of Dumfries High Kirk. At this the English king, who then had the ear of the Pontiff, egged on the Pontiff to excommunicate The Bruce and, under Divine Right, that meant the excommunication applied to everything owned by a sovereign monarch including all his subjects.

    In those days this was disastrous for Scotland. Basically we had no one to trade with and were shunned throughout Europe and all Christendom.

    How this panned out was to change the laws of Scotland forever and indirectly that of England and have repercussion throughout the World.

    The English monarch really had become far too big for his boots and he was acting against the Holy See’s rules even as far as appointing himself head of the Church of England.

    The Abbot of Arbroath got Bruce and Scotland out of their problem with the Declaration of Arbroath. This not only declared the Scottish Kingdom as an independent Kingdom but declared that the Monarchy of Scotland was NOT sovereign but the people of Scotland were.

    The upshot was the Pope went along with the declaration and lifted the excommunication probably to spite the King of England.

    As for the repercussions it pans out like this – First of all Scotland is recognized as an independent Kingdom and the people, under Devine Right, must therefore be collectively among God’s Chosen people to rule. A very radicle concept in 1320. It means that when the King of Scots, James VI inherits the Kingdom of England, that under Devine right is/was composed of the countries of England, Wales and Ireland, he cannot just use Devine Right, (sovereignty), because he does not legally have sovereignty in Scotland. It just is not his to use.

    He is, though, sovereign King of the three country Kingdom of England that remained under unchanged Devine Right law until 1688 and the Glorious Revolution but which could not be applied to Scotland because Scotland changed that rule of law in 1320 long before 1688. That was thus the legal position on 1707 when the two Kingdoms signed the Treaty of Union as two equally sovereign Kingdoms

    Other indirect results were, among others, that the USA, American Declaration of Independence, is based upon the Declaration of Arbroath and was largely drawn up by a strong faction of people of Scottish birth.

    So there is the real deal that Westminster has always used propaganda to attempt to prove Scotland wrong but now the truth must be about to be made very clear as the EU will be faced with a decision on what the United Kingdom actually is.

    To sum up.

    The Kingdom of England annexed Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, and that was legal under the then English rule of law.

    The Kingdom of England annexed Wales in 1284 by the Statute of Rhuddlan, and that was legal under the Devine Right laws.

    The Kingdom of England that signed the Treaty of Union in 1707 was under the slightly changed legal system the Kingdom of England established by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that forced the English monarchy to delegate their sovereign powers to the English parliament while still remaining legally sovereign and thus only the three country Kingdom of England became a Constitutional Monarchy.

    This has always illegally treated Scotland as if Scotland was also a constitutional monarchy yet the English Kingdom agree in the Treaty of Union that Scots law is sacrosanct in prematurity and both concepts cannot be true as they contradict each other.

    If we are legally a Kingdom in 1707 and the treaty says we are as are the Kingdom of England then the Union created is legally a union of only two equally sovereign kingdoms and not single country or kingdom of four countries.

  215. gus1940 says:


    On the subject of the Eviction of farmers on Arran by Arran Estates prop. Charles Fforde can I suggest a crowd-funded buy-out of the estate.

    Apart from contributions by the islanders there are thousands of people who have a deep love for the island and many of them are well-heeled.

    A small amount from that collected would have to be retained after purchase to pay for one-way tickets on the ferry to the mainland for Fforde, his family and associates.

    As far as any possible involvement of Tar & Feathers I think that is a matter that should be left to the long-suffering islanders.

  216. Fred says:

    @ Gus, this is a family who at one time, I believe, wanted to charge visiting geologists for taking rock samples with their wee toffee hammers!

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