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Politics for vegans

Posted on April 22, 2014 by

If you’ve ever found yourselves in a situation where you’re dating someone from the hardcore militant wing of vegetarianism, readers, you’ll know that their life – and by extension yours – quickly becomes defined by what’s missing.

Whether shopping or going out to a restaurant or a surprisingly large number of other things, hazards you’d never previously imagined loom menacingly everywhere. Veggie “beanburgers” often apparently contain unadvertised cheese, innocent-looking sweeties turn out to be glazed with beeswax, and so on.

cowstuff

But soon you familiarise yourself with the “everything-free” aisle in supermarkets, where much more expensive facsimiles of normal foodstuffs – now bereft of dairy, gluten, sugar and goodness knows what else – reside, leaving you to wonder over the mysteries of the sinister-sounding unheard-of substances they’ve replaced them with.

And increasingly, so it is with politics.

“Better Together” put out a press release last night regarding Gordon Brown’s speech today about pensions, which we gather will be delivered at some point this evening in a secret location to a small, hand-picked and carefully vetted audience of local Labour Party activists and old folk there for the free tea and biscuits.

It is, in its fashion, a masterpiece. Allow us to present some highlights:

“Brown will open two new fronts in the referendum debate on pensions using unpublished internal Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures he has been given that show the cash benefit to Scotland as he campaigns to ‘keep our pensions British.’”

Hang on – “figures he has been given”? Given by whom? Who in the government is handing out unpublished reports to opposition backbenchers? And why are these figures unpublished anyway? Don’t we have a right to know?

“First, figures show that as Scottish pensioners numbers rise from one million to 1.3 million, the UK will pay the escalating cost of Scottish pensions that will rise from a £425million-a-year extra benefit to a £700million-a-year extra benefit over the next two decades.”

What’s an “extra benefit”? Extra relative to what?

“This is because while Scotland pays eight per cent of UK National Insurance, it receives upwards of nine per cent of the benefits.”

What is the word “because” doing in that sentence? How is one of those things the cause of the other? We’ve read the passage over and over and can’t see the link.

Just about everything in those two sentences is dubious in any event. Firstly, Stephen Noon has already explained why the “8% of NI” figure is disingenuous and misleading. Secondly, the figures for pensioner numbers are predictions, not facts. And thirdly, even if the prediction turns out to be correct, £425m x 1.3 isn’t £700m, it’s £552m. Where did the extra £148m come from?

“Second, the UK will underwrite what is estimated confidentially as a £100 billion Scots public sector pensions bill.”

It’s not very confidential now, is it? But it’s awfully convenient that these figures are “estimated” (by whom?) ones that the rest of us aren’t allowed to see and verify.

“The UK will cover Scottish liabilities which are 10 per cent of the UK’s total, while Scotland has only eight per cent of the population.”

Wait a minute. A minute ago Scotland got NINE percent of something, now it’s gone up to TEN. Are those numbers talking about the same thing? Where have they come from? And what’s happened to the rest of Scotland’s population, which is 8.4% of the UK’s rather than 8%? That’s around 21,000 people who’ve just been rounded out of existence in order to make Gordon’s figures look a bit better.

“Brown also says that there is a third pensions gain for Scotland, for it would cost around £1 billion for Scotland to administer the first years of a separate Scottish pensions and benefits system once IT costs were included. On top of £720 million running costs, there would be £300-400 million in computer bills, costs incurred he says because of ‘unnecessary duplication.’ “

He says? Based on what? Do we get to see his working? Will there be a factsheet given out at the speech? And won’t Scotland be entitled to 8.4% of the value of the DWP in the independence negotiations? We suspect that’ll work out at rather more than a billion quid. Or is Mr Brown working once more on the assumption that Scotland inherits the UK’s liabilities and debts, but none of its assets?

“The reason for the higher Scottish payout is that Scotland benefits far more from UK-wide pension credits to top up the basic pension, with £700 million a year paid to 248,000 Scots in credits worth £25 per week to the typical recipient.”

Compared to what? What is the definition of “far more” here? If Scottish pensioners are getting £25 a week, what are those in the rest of the UK getting? £24? £2.50? 15p? You can’t make a comparison and then only give one side of the figures or they’re completely meaningless. And once again, where are these stats coming from?

“And Scottish pensioners receive far more disability benefits. One in four Scots old people – 259,000 – receive disability support, costing £1 billion a year. It is worth an average of £20 a week to recipients.”

See above. You can’t say “X is far bigger than Y” and then only put a figure to X.

But hold on. 259,000 people getting an average of £20 a week for 52 weeks is £269m, not £1 billion. And 248,000 people getting an average of £25 a week is £322m a year, not £700m. Who the hell’s doing Gordon’s sums for him, and have we just found the explanation for the financial crash?

“These two measures explain why pensioner poverty has fallen dramatically from 33 per cent of Scots old people in 1997 to 11 per cent in 2010.”

What? No they don’t. We’re not told what constitutes “poverty” or how many people fall into the definition or how far, so we can’t possibly use those unsourced, unverified partial assertions to “explain” the effect of 20 quid a week on it.

“So while it costs the UK £1,725 per head of the population for all pensioner benefits, Scotland receives £1,805 per head – a gap of £80 per person that will rise to £120 over the next two decades.”

Also, you will meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger.

“As the Scottish pensions bill escalates, social security spending will be rising in Scotland by 3 per cent a year compared with the UK’s 2 per cent a year.”

Nobody has the faintest idea whether that’s true or not, as it’s in the future. And it’s irrelevant anyway, because it’s not the bare numbers that count, it’s how affordable the increases are. (Spending in Scotland could rise by 30% a year, never mind 3%, without causing any problems were revenues to rise at the same rate.) Once again, we’re only given half an equation and told to accept the result without question.

“By 2030 30 per cent of Scots will be over 60 compared with just over 20 per cent today.”

Allegedly. (Also, so what? You don’t get a state pension at 60 any more.)

“The bonus matters to Scotland, says Mr Brown, because of the time bomb revealed in the internal DWP review.”

Except this “time bomb” hasn’t been “revealed”, has it? Nobody’s seen it except – he claims – Gordon Brown, and he oddly doesn’t seem to want to let us see it.

“It shows, he says, how a slow growing Scottish working-age population would otherwise have to bear the rising costs of pensions alone. The DWP internal paper says that ‘under the principal migration variant in 20 years time there are projected to be 2.84 working age people per pensioner in Scotland compared with 2.98 in the whole of the UK.’”

Wait a minute. Whose projections are these, exactly? If they’re from the DWP we must assume they’re UK government projections, and therefore based on Scotland still being inside the UK, still following UK immigration policy, UK childcare policy and any of a host of other policies that could affect the various ratios of revenue vs expenditure.

In other words, they’re totally irrelevant to an independent Scotland, which could adopt a completely different set of policies to deal with any demographic change.

Brown’s “calculations” also assume, of course, that the Barnett Formula continues as is, and completely ignore the new taxation proposals being put forward by his own party which would radically alter the balance of funding within the UK.

The rest of the release carries on in similar vein, but you’ve probably got the idea by now. Brown’s “intervention” is a series of random, unconnected, unverified assertions based on UK government figures he claims to have seen but which the rest of us can’t, and from which he makes claims about the relative sizes of things while only telling us the size of one side.

The former Chancellor, in short, seemingly plans to reel off a dizzying list of numbers, plucked from nowhere, which prove nothing and bear no relation to each other whatsoever. Everything we need to know to check his argument is missing.

It may be enough to fool an audience of bewildered pensioners and swooning fanboys in the English press, but anyone paying even the smallest amount of attention will find themselves asking a series of questions to which, we suspect we’ll find from tonight’s current-affairs shows, there will be no answers.

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    219 to “Politics for vegans”

    1. Kenny says:

      One thing I’ve noticed in the MSM is that people keep saying Brown is “still a potent force” in Scottish politics, is still “well regarded” or even “highly regarded” up here, compared to the visceral (and often explicitly anti-Scottish) hatred he gets down south. Is that actually true? Scots might not lambast him for being Scottish the way so many English commentators do, but does anyone here really like him, respect him, admire him or trust him any more than our friends down south do?

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Kenny: No, it’s just some old bollocks people who don’t actually follow or have a clue about Scottish politics say.

    3. Fiona says:

      The demographic time bomb is a myth in any case

      The “number of working age people” is completely irrelevant to this whole discussion. What counts is the “dependency ratio” And that means it matters how many of those people are actually working.

      This government thinks that 7% unemployment is a fine thing. This is because they are neoliberals and they think that if everyone is in work the sky falls down. So they make sure it does not happen

      Let them discuss the dependency ratio and what they propose to do about that. If they can show we have a “demographic time bomb” under full employment then we have something to discuss. Maybe.

    4. As he no longer appears in parliament to represent the people who elected him, I don’t know how he can be highly regarded if he can’t be bothered doing what he’s paid for.

    5. Misteralz says:

      He’s about as well respected as Gideon Osborne is.

    6. GordonMcA says:

      “By 2030 30 per cent of Scots will be over 60 compared with just over 20 per cent today.”

      What has this got to do with pensions? Nowhere near the ever rising pension age.

    7. Murray McCallum says:

      “… debate on pensions using unpublished internal Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures …”

      If the DWP have not officially published them then they must not meet their standards for external release.

      The Rev’s analysis helps us see why that is the case.

    8. Doug says:

      As an independent IT services provider, I’m loving the idea of these extra IT costs he’s talking about. Should top up my pension nicely.

    9. Jim T says:

      @Murray McCallum

      it also suggests that he’s been handed a pile of steaming keich by the Tories because he’s expendable. If it isn’t published, maybe it’s because (there’s that word again) the DWP (or someone pretending to be the DWP) has been put up to manufacturing said keich specifically for GB’s rose garden.

    10. Iain says:

      Kenny: no. He’s a spent force.

      But you can bet that the press will tell us that Brown was ‘scathing’, that he ‘took apart’ the arguments for independence, that he ‘slammed’ the SNP and the Yes campaign who were left ‘reeling’ from ‘another blow’ to their ‘separatist’ hopes. Accompanied, probably, by a library split-second snapshot of Salmond appearing pensive, or, applying some imagination, ‘reeling’.

      Hey, that was so easy! What do these unionist journalists get paid?

    11. Jim T says:

      @Doug
      I’ve got an RJ45 crimping tool if you need any help 🙂

    12. Patrick Roden says:

      Rev says: “It may be enough to fool an audience of bewildered pensioners and swooning fanboys in the English press, but anyone paying even the smallest amount of attention will find themselves asking a series of questions”

      The only question that really needs asked is:

      Is Gordon Brown someone who has told lies to Scots?

      If the answer is Yes, we can safely ignore him.

      If the answer is No, we should worry about our pensioners.

      So what is the answer?

    13. gordoz says:

      Spotted the “unpublished internal Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures” but didn’t realise just how flawed this Brown premise was at all.

      When I read the percentage figures I too bgan to smell the proverbial rodent. This from a guy who ran the UK (badly I grant you for a period)

      If this guff is not scrutinised by Academia and pilloried by even the most ardent of our British journos then things are really heading off the rails and tripping into the world of the ‘Thick of it’ TV show and made up figures to fit the message required.

      I have never thought much of Mr Brown but this is now vering on ‘nuts’ and getting ‘seriously scary’ if not challenged by media.

    14. Les Wilson says:

      I guess there must be a lot of heavy smokers at Westminster as all their numbers seem to be calculated on the back of their cigar packets and hurriedly stuffed into Brown’s pockets.

      Well done REV,well written and his case duly dissected.

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What has this got to do with pensions? Nowhere near the ever rising pension age.”

      Good catch. Edited in.

    16. Drunken Hobo says:

      “Brown’s “intervention” is a series of random, unconnected, unverified assertions based on UK government figures he claims to have seen but which the rest of us can’t.”

      Isn’t that how Mormonism started? Dum dum dum dum dum…

    17. Patrick Roden says:

      It was mentioned on Twitter that Gordon Browns source of information was…Ian Duncan Smith!!!

      If that turns out to be true, it will be yet another spectacular own goal from the BT charade.

      Gordon Brown the sniffling creep, touring Scotland, doing Ian Duncan Smiths dirty work for him!

    18. heedtracker says:

      Well I’m rushing hame to watch betterTogtherBBC teatime news because they always tell us what’s really going on and if you can find anything that even begins to approach anything like “Wait a minute. Whose projections are these, exactly?” on here

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27112199, you’re a bloated bettertogtherBBC hack on expenses.

    19. gillian says:

      The title looked good. Vegans, progressive, intelligent, compassionate society. Then I realised you were using a caricature of a vegan to try to make some point that failed miserably! Come on…wake up. You also got some basic facts very wrong: vegans do eat sugar and gluten. Its exploitation that they oppose. You have lost a lot of credibility.

    20. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      “lie-ing by numbers!” or where’s the beef?

    21. Thepnr says:

      Why should an unpublished, leaked paper stand up to any scrutiny when even all the officially published “Scotland Analysis” papers fail.

      Look how the paper on Energy from less than two weeks ago was torn to shreds on radio and according to Westminster analysis, Scotland was “extinguished” in 1707.

      Look a squirrel keech!

    22. Fiona says:

      Numbers from IDS??

      That can’t be true

      NOBODY believes a word that lying liar says.

    23. Jamie Arriere says:

      It must still be the case that the DWP is still a smoking environment, because the number of fag-packets used for this latest batch of bollocks must be considerable.

      Previously unpublished? Why not, or do they even exist?

      But this is Gordon Brown’s career all over – smother people in piles of statistics and non-sequitur arguments, state them authoritatively and loaded with braggadocio – then find out months & even years later it is totally utterly wrong-headed.

      Demand the publication of these reports, then we can do our own analysis rather than take the interpretation of Crash Gordon.

    24. haartime says:

      Excellent critique Stu. Has any Wings reader been invited who may be able to ask some of these questions? The press certainly won’t even though you’ve alerted them to the complete idiocy of the speech.

      Can a FOI request be put in for the document without knowing its title.

    25. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @Fiona

      Left this on an earlier thread about “Pension Theft,” at the fag end so maybe you never saw it.

      I think I have clocked who you are and where we met in Byres Road?

      If it is the same Fiona, I keep getting spam from an old e-mail address of yours.

    26. handclapping says:

      And remember that we have paid 8.4% of the cost of producing this “DWP” information that no-one else can see. More fool us.

      Westminster isn’t working for us. It’s 100% against. MPs are trying to haul the civil service over the coals for working to the direction of Scotland’s elected Government, for which Scotland pays, but seem less than inclined to do anything about the rest of the civil service working to the direction of the Westminster Government, even when working on England only matters, for which we also pay.

    27. galamcennalath says:

      My granny gave advice in all sorts of matters. Not least, about lying. She said it was just too difficult to get away with. You must tell the same lies all the time, and to everyone (take note Express). Also, all lies must be consistent with one another.

      Broon apparently didn’t have a granny like mine.

      She was also a Scottish Nationalist long long ago. Maybe that’s the difference.

    28. Alba4Eva says:

      This is for a friend and Wings lurker I had a beer today with… Jump in Craig, you know it makes sense. 😉

    29. gordoz says:

      Gordon Brown – Trusted ?, Respected ?, Safe pair of hands ?
      appears to have dropped a clanger with this one.

      Nice analysis Rev, just wish the TV would go to the same depth and challenge such uncorroborated material but agree with your point, on the fawning after former PM and hero worship deference that goes on; its quite pathetic.

    30. Nobby Power says:

      Broon’s my MP, and I can assure you he’s been coasting for years. Well regarded? Only by those who’d vote for a cardboard box with a red rosette on. He has few admirers among the English public either.

    31. heedtracker says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27112199 all makes it much clearer so Scotland is £100 billion short and any questions are “Responding to this, the supporters of independence offer a rival analysis, together with a dose of ad hominem political attack. They play the ball and the man.”

      Doesn’t Gordon look so young and handsome and happy these days in all BBC vote no Scotland stuff photos. He must be taking some fancy new health tonic.

    32. panda paws says:

      “And Scottish pensioners receive far more disability benefits.”

      Sounds like the union hasn’t been too good for their health.

      But hey let’s cherry pick figures and completely ignore ones that don’t suit BT e.g housing benefits payments are far lower in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Come on… wake up. You also got some basic facts very wrong: vegans do eat sugar and gluten.”

      Yes, I know they do. I didn’t say otherwise, if you read it properly. Nor did I “caricature” anything.

    34. Billy Mac says:

      “And Scottish pensioners receive far more disability benefits. One in four Scots old people – 259,000 – receive disability support, costing £1 billion a year. It is worth an average of £20 a week to recipients.”

      They figures are well out. 259,000x20x52=269,360,000!!!

    35. Fiona says:

      @ Bugger (the Panda)

      I am sorry but I have no idea at all who you are, though it is perfectly possible we met in Byres Road.

      If you are getting spam from me I have no idea how or why, though. Is there something I can do to stop it?

    36. Grouse Beater says:

      Good work, Stu.

      I guessed, rightly, he’d use undated and outdated DWP figures predicated on union love rather than independence choices.

      What is baffling, however, is how Brown feels confident he will be taken seriously on anything related to protecting the welfare state, and UK finance and governance.

    37. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ panda paws

      and disproportionate heating allowance, higher cost of electricity per KwH, lower life expectancy and thus lower pension payout per person, lower health costs (see just in front) and numerous other disadvantages of being in this accursed Union.

    38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Sorry 666

    39. AnneDon says:

      “Highly regarded”? Hmm. That was then, this is now.

      I did defend Gordon Brown when he was PM, mostly because of all the abuse he took simply for being Scottish.

      Since then, I’ve found out far more about his behaviour, his idiotic intervention with Menzies Campbell to prevent an SNP/LibDem alliance in 2007 (yet another strategic bloomer!) and, now, his cowardly lack of engagement with anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

      My respect for him has disappeared, and his continuous attempts to terrorise pensioners – and future pensioners – that the pittance the UK state pays them could be any lower in an independent Scotland, are beginning to annoy me. I hope it’s having the same effect on others!

    40. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Who in the government is handing out unpublished reports to opposition backbenchers?

      Hang on a wee minute here Stu, I think you’re being a wee bit disingenuous here lumping “bruiser” Brown in with all the real and genuine opposition backbenchers. This bugger is never in Westminster to get or do anything. He is too busy flying round the world telling any poor sod who has paid over the odds that he, and he alone, saved the world and no one should ever forget that fact, nor should they forget that he is in fact an EX politician!

    41. Mosstrooper says:

      Back to the vegan thing and that Coo.

      Why does the Manure list no include Brown?

    42. kalmar says:

      Hmm, it may be a fair comment that Brown’s political language has a lot in common with the “free from everything” aisle, but vegans don’t tend to shop in that aisle – it’s for people with mystery intolerances to everything.
      Did that relationship not end well?!

      Anyway, good dissection, thanks.

    43. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Was GB set up?

    44. lochside says:

      When is this slack-mouthed , blundering oaf going to get the bum’s rush from the fawning Scottish msm?

      Big Gordon Bruin eh? couldnae count without using both sets of paws and claws. Incapability Brown, a Geek tragedy for our times.

      I can’t wait for his latest performance: prowling about, slavering, with slitted eyes and waving I.B.S’s, sorry I.D.S’fabricated sums on a a dodgy dossier in front of a bunch of press pimps. Roll on another carcrash performance by a fast disappearing nonentity.

      It’s amazing how many of these planet sized intellects are being found out to be burned out red dwarfs.

    45. Greannach says:

      I wonder if someone in a UK government department fancies slipping me some unpublished figures and papers. Is that even legal? Maybe Pete Wishart or Eilidh Whiteford or one of the others could nip along to a department of two and rake in a few secret documents. Why not? If El Gordo (a part-time, ex-politician, opposition back-bench-warmer) can still get his supplies from Whitehaall, why shouldn’t Pete, Eilidh or Angus Brendan? Fair’s fair in the Mother of Parliaments, surely.

    46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Hang on a wee minute here Stu, I think you’re being a wee bit disingenuous here lumping “bruiser” Brown in with all the real and genuine opposition backbenchers. This bugger is never in Westminster to get or do anything. He is too busy flying round the world telling any poor sod who has paid over the odds that he, and he alone, saved the world and no one should ever forget that fact, nor should they forget that he is in fact an EX politician!”

      He’s still a backbencher. It’s just that his bench is REALLY FAR back.

      😉

    47. Grouse Beater says:

      Stuart

      Cow and horse hooves are used in many of the Pick ‘n Mix sweets available in cinema foyer, usually chewy, rubbery variety.

      I met the Fife Scot when he boasted to investors how much profit he makes from varieties costing as little as 10p a half-pound to make. (He was pitching for money to build his empire.)

      Then again, who’d want to buy sweet made from hooves if they knew what was in ’em?

    48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They figures are well out. 259,000x20x52=269,360,000!!!”

      Another good catch in need of editing in.

      🙂

    49. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I remember hearing Brown, on some chat show or other – he had them rolling in the aisles with an anecdote about the time he addressed some lunchtime gathering of business-bods, and just before he was introduced he asked the chairman how long he was required to speak:

      ‘Forty five minutes’ replied the man.

      Brown got up and did as asked, but noticed towards the end that a lot of the audience were struggling, glancing at their watches etc. He later found out that the chairman had actually said ‘four to five minutes’.

      Oh, how we laughed!

      Anyway, the point is – GB is a top of the range ACME bullshit machine and he can spout it, nae danger, at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a big red button which can be struck to make him stop.

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Cow and horse hooves are used in many of the Pick ‘n Mix sweets available in cinema foyer, usually chewy, rubbery variety.”

      Indeed, that’s what gelatin is.

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “vegans don’t tend to shop in that aisle”

      Maybe YOURS don’t.

    52. Mosstrooper says:

      Nope, still no Brown edited in under Manure. I’m starting to think you don’t really care!

    53. Training Day says:

      If Brown has been given figures by Westminster civil servants it further calls into question the integrity of the UK body.

      There was much disquiet – unreported in the ‘Scottish’ MSM – in the Westminster Civil Service about the co-opting – coercion, maybe – of Sir Nicholas McPherson regarding his ‘support’ for Osborne’s ‘pound foolish’ gambit.

      If what we hear about Brown is true, the disquiet in Whitehall will only be growing..

    54. Peter says:

      On the matter of the gormless bigot, an interesting view from our old friends at political racism.

      “When as a youth I used to read accounts of life in Nazi-occupied Europe, I used to struggle to imagine what kind of people in Britain would have collaborated with them, in the way people collaborated with them in France and Holland and Poland. I have since realised that in a counterfactual history of the UK, in which we got occupied by the Nazis, the kind of people who’d have taken jobs whipping their neighbours into cattle trucks would have been people like Gordon Brown, Arthur Scargill, Damian McBride, and the kind of spittle-flecked UKIP supporter who posts comments under Daily Telegraph articles.”

      Remembering alan cockring’s berserk rants at the FM from two years back. Will he display the same ferocity against members of his own team BT?

    55. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      you can get vegetable gelatin

    56. GrahamB says:

      “a £100 billion Scots public sector pensions bill.”
      Yipee, divided among 1.3 million pensioners that’s £77,000 each per annum.
      Since there seems to be a recurring theme of manure in this thread, are veggies not OK with it as the animal has to be healthy and alive to produce it. Just a daft thought.

    57. Grouse Beater says:

      If Brown has been given figures by Westminster civil servants it further calls into question the integrity of the UK body.”

      I think that gets to the nub of the so-called impartiality of UK civil servants. If true – it requires a barrage of protest and an enquiry.

    58. Grouse Beater says:

      @ BthePanda

      you can get vegetable gelatin

      I thought Pandas stuck to unappetising bamboo shoots?

    59. Helena Brown says:

      @galamcennalath, your Granny was a wise woman.
      Do you remember all the past Budgets, how wonderful they were for about two days, then someone looked deeply into the figures and then they became not so wonderful. Well you see they kept talking Gordon the gormless up and he thought they meant someone else’s budgets and he kept producing sh*te, and so it continues today.
      I would expect they are emptying the care homes for this little lecture, they will be the only pensioners who will believe a word he says, that and those who firmly remain with Labour, because they think they can get something out of it.

    60. Brian Powell says:

      While waiting for all the details of Brown’s speech there is an interesting article in the Comment column of the Herald about how the nuclear strike weapons and submarine fleet came to be sited at Faslane.

      Be prepared to be furiously angry.

      heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/macmillans-sell-out-a-vital-lesson-for-scotland.23987103

    61. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Grouse Beater

      He was set up?

    62. Helena Brown says:

      @ Bugger, (the Panda), agar agar, made from seaweed. Used to be a veggie.

    63. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      the red variety especially so.

    64. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Helena Brown,

      The fish variety is called Isinglass and if you have drunk beer in the last you have taken it in, albeit in residue.

    65. Pentland Firth says:

      Wouldn’t be more honest for IDS to make the speech himself rather than get the Great Gordo to do it for him? Duncan Smith seems to have supplied the ammunition, so why is he so reticent about firing it? And why is Broon so willing to act as a Tory minister’s assistent? (These are all rhetorical questions, folks.)

    66. Ian Brotherhood says:

      I refuse to eat anything with a face. Especially if it looks like Danny Alexander’s.

    67. Bit of a luddite – but can anyone else confirm that business for Scotland site is down? Wanted to show someone an article and its gone.

    68. Kestral says:

      Where does brown get 300-400 million for a computer system

      Most ERP systems which run end to end global businesses can be done for 30 – 40 million including data center with servers

      Did he accidentally add a couple of 0 ‘s to the 30 – 40

    69. Grendel says:

      Perhaps “By 2030 30 per cent of Scots will be over 60 compared with just over 20 per cent today” should read:
      “By 2030 80 per cent* of Glaswgians will die before reaching 60 compared with just over 20 per cent today.”
      Surely a saving to be had there.

      *Figures plucked from thin air. But then if Gordon can do it, why can’t I?

    70. Les Wilson says:

      Elaine (@MFinthree) says:

      Aye Elaine, tried it, down for me too. They will be back though, site probably attacked. All too common these days.

    71. David says:

      Nice one Billy Mac for pointing out some of the arithmetical errors in the document, and well done Rev for updating the article accordingly!

      Those figures are so completely wrong that they cast doubt over the entire Better Together press release, godalmighty it is simple sums and they cannot get even that right. BT deserves to be hung out to dry over this, and Gordon Brown deserves to be kicked out of town.

      This is a disgraceful showing by Brown and BT, and I am finding it hard not to swear as I write this. They cannot be allowed to get away with this lying.

      P.S. Is the figure for admin, “£720 million running costs” correct? That works out at £14 per week, for a basic state pension of £113.10 a week. That seems a large percentage, over 12%, for admin costs.

    72. handclapping says:

      @Ian Brotherhood 6:08

      I had this fleeting glimpse of you taking knife and fork to Mount Rushmore 🙂

    73. Arbroath 1320 says:

      He’s still a backbencher. It’s just that his bench is REALLY FAR back.

      😉

      You got me with that one Stu. 😛

    74. Andrew Morton says:

      Just watched Alan Little on BBC Six O’Clock News telling us from Glasgow that Broon is ‘well regarded’.

      ‘Well regarded’ must be the most debased phrase in UK politics.

    75. Edward says:

      Just a note that Business for Scotland is back up 🙂

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/

    76. Andy-B says:

      Bravo Rev, another nail in the Better Together campaigns coffin, its just a pity the funerals not until September.

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If Brown’s speech was released before he delivered it, why did he have to bother being here? Is it because he’s such an irresistible performer, that ‘you really have to see him live’?

      Then again, it’s cheap to e-mail a script – if he doesn’t keep on the move, thus convincing people that he’s ‘working’, he can’t claim his dosh.

      Away hame, bawbag.

    78. Fiona says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      It is because the journalists have to have time to read and understand what is said so that they can properly critique it. That is their job, you know: forensically taking claims apart and asking the hard questions. You see this every day, obviously: or not…..

    79. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Kestral says:

      Where does brown get 300-400 million for a computer system

      Most ERP systems which run end to end global businesses can be done for 30 – 40 million including data center with servers

      Did he accidentally add a couple of 0 ‘s to the 30 – 40

      Think you’ll find that “Bruiser” Brown was using the same methodology that he used when he was Chancellor and all those government computer systems were *ahem* bought and found not to work costing the UK Treasury Billions. Nice to see he STILL uses the old tried, tested and FAILED methodology then. 😛

    80. Seasick Dave says:

      Shouldn’t he be in jail for:

      1. Financing an illegal war.
      2. Gross financial mismanagement of the country’s finances.
      3. Expenses irregularities.
      4. Claiming his salary while gallivanting around the world charging extortionate sums of money for talking pash.

      I’m sure there’s more.

    81. Murray McCallum says:

      If Gordon Brown had made his speech in England setting out the security of pensions and the NHS within the UK he would have been openly ridiculed.

      Sadly, some Scots seem to listen to his stories.

    82. Andy-B says:

      @Seasick Dave.

      Oh there’s more alright, this shows the hypocrisy of Gordon Brown, the man has a real cheek to even mention pensions.

      http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-1608722/Browns-tax-raid-on-pensions.html

    83. RogueCoder says:

      Evening all,

      Just home – anybody got a video link for Crash Gordon’s pantomime this afternoon? I’m pouring a glass of wine and fancy watching a comedy 🙂

    84. Big Tam says:

      Stu,

      Sorry to be pedantic but are you’re figures not are also wrong ie too favourable to the no side?
      “Where have they come from? And what’s happened to the rest of Scotland’s population, which is 8.4% of the UK’s rather than 8%? That’s around 21,000 people who’ve just been rounded out of existence in order to make Gordon’s figures look a bit better”

      It’s actually 240, 000 folk they miss out.

    85. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Fiona –

      Aha!

      So that’s why they do that! Funny, isn’t it, that Rev has detailed just how much shite is in that one speech – presumably Brown is confident that none of the ‘journalists’ covering this momentous event will ask him anything even remotely connected with any of it.

    86. JLT says:

      To be quite honest, I think the vast majority of Scots cringe now when they see Gordon. It’s absolutely breathtaking that the man who raided the pensions, sold off the gold cheap and was the real culprit behind the UK Financial Crash by deregulating the system …is telling us that we should believe what he says in that Scottish Finances are better off in the very hands of the system that he once oversaw, that lies to the vast majority of people, doesn’t give a hoot about anyone north of Watford and has created one of the most divisive and unequal societies in the Western World!

      It’s like taking childcare advice from a paedophile.

    87. Seasick Dave says:

      Check some of the details here, particularly the Register of Members’ Interests halfway down.

      Don’t forget to pick your jaw off the floor when you are finished.

      http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10068/gordon_brown/kirkcaldy_and_cowdenbeath

    88. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It’s actually 240, 000 folk they miss out.”

      No. 240,000 would be very roughly 4% of the population. We’re talking about 0.4%. (The difference between 8.4 and 8.)

    89. ronnie anderson says:

      Rev, Disection by deft strokes of the Scalpl,top form.

    90. Joy Scobby says:

      RE National Insurance (NI) – what Brown is not admitting in all of this that whilst he was in charge of the book is that he raised national insurance and skimmed off it to pay for increased NHS funding ( no doubt not to NHS Scotland) Prior to this NI was, as far as I know, protected and ring fenced from its inception to pay for contributory benefits such as State Pension and Unemployment Benefit. Prior the NHS was funded from general taxation. At the time I wondered why no one else picked this up. This no doubt is still the case. Perhaps this needs further investigation. see http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/alevelstudies/1940-origins-welfare-state.htm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1934690.stm

    91. ronnie anderson says:

      Why o Why did Blair Jenkins do that interview for Bbc today

      of all days, its horses for courses he could have put

      forward Ivan Mc Kee, Gordon Mc Intyre Kemp,

      Cmon Yes Scotland think fast.

    92. Walter Scott says:

      During Gordon’s speech I wonder if he’ll do the walking about from one side of the stage to the other. what’s that about?

    93. Croompenstein says:

      What is it with Crash Gordon stalking back and forth on stage, who does he think he is Bruce Springsteen? mair like f*ckin Loose Tonguestream

    94. Jimsie says:

      Walter Scott

      People who do that are usually suffering from piles.

    95. Colin Mccartney says:

      I have been given confidential information from Lord Zord of somewhere, that an ALIEN virus will wipe out all Scottish pensioners over the age of 60 /65/ 68 – your choice – on September 19th , freeing up 8 / 9 / 10% – your choice – of £1billion / £535 billion / £1trillion – your choice, for buying lovely shiny beads in a free Scotland. Believe me? PLEASE believe me Gordon.

    96. Croompenstein says:

      Bitter Together coming to a screen near you…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIptmeb3gFs

    97. ronnie anderson says:

      O/T sos Rev.

      They’ll throw every thing at us
      even the kitchen sink
      They’ll even throw the lavvy pan
      but then were used tae the stink
      every day we wade through their shit
      oor ein bleed fae reading
      no tae mention dia rea o the ear
      aye there’s nay stink like
      The Westminster MIDDEN.

    98. Murray McCallum says:

      “During Gordon’s speech I wonder if he’ll do the walking about from one side of the stage to the other. what’s that about?”

      In addition to piles, it could be that he forgot to go to the toilet. All his talk of “pooling” would have made matters worse.

    99. caz-m says:

      Shortly on Channel 4 News a piece on Gordon Brown and his speech on pensions today.

    100. Jimsie says:

      Colin Mccartney

      Here was I looking forward to a big celebration on 19th Sep only to find out I will be a goner !

    101. msean says:

      Ouch,that deconstruction has got to sting.

    102. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Nana Smith – Great news from Stornoway Gazette on Carloway debate and vote. Thanks for posting. Of course you realise this mirrors the other debates/votes all over the mainland. Lets hear more from the islands.

    103. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      During Gordon’s speech I wonder if he’ll do the walking about from one side of the stage to the other. what’s that about?”

      It is a technique to help focus the mind, his one. It has also the further benefit that the audience are watching him and less listening to what he actually says.

    104. Jimsie says:

      Ronnie

      You are nearly as good a poet as McGonagle.

    105. msean says:

      Perhaps the most important thing about this site is the questions that are asked,if I think back even just a year or so ago, most of the assertions in the entire independence campaign would have been accepted without question. Not anymore.

    106. ronnie anderson says:

      @Jimsie,nae chance he,s a bard o the people but never

      got the same regognition as Rabbie, how you keepin.

    107. fairiefromtheearth says:

      i would ask how the fekk did this theifing warcriminal lying toad get on in life but then again i just answered my own question 😉 HANG HIM HIGH

    108. heedtracker says:

      @ Nana Smith, thanks very much for the Stornoway Gazxette debate/poll. Its interesting that Brian Wilson, another lying and fearmongerng hasbeen like Brown, cant win on his own turf although Wilson isn’t given nearly the same BBC fanfare boost that Brown gets. “After the count if was revealed 24 people voted ‘No’ to independence, 4 people were undecided and 37 people voted for independence.” Wonder what it was before?

    109. Jimsie says:

      msean

      I”ll second that. Everything these BT wallahs utters is now scrutinised and debunked. Stuart on this site,Bella and Newsnet have changed the debate.

    110. caz-m says:

      Bugger (the Panda)
      “It is a technique to help focus the mind, his one. It has also the further benefit that the audience are watching him and less listening to what he actually says”

      So maybe instead of pacing back and forward, he could take up juggling, it would cut out all that walking and it would save him a fortune on getting his shoes re-soled.

    111. Nana Smith says:

      @ Archie [not Erchie]

      I had hoped the yessers would be greater in number [especially after listening to B Wilson]

      I was born in Lewis but left a long time ago and rely on the gazette for the latest news.

    112. Jimsie says:

      Ronnie Anderson

      I”M fine Ronnie. You like my new avatar ?. The picture flatters me somewhat.

    113. Nana Smith says:

      @ heedtracker

      No idea what the count was before the debate. Had hoped the yessers would be greater in number.

    114. caz-m says:

      Broon oan Ch4 in a wee minute.

    115. fairiefromtheearth says:

      i suppose when you see what happened to the puppets saddam hussaine who turned against their masters when you relise your just a puppet you will say any old shit to stay alive or maybe gordon is deluded enough to think hes the puppet master lol wake up Brown boy

    116. dmw42 says:

      It seems, based on GB’s figures, that it’s cheaper to set up and administer Obamacare for 246 million Americans than it is to set up and administer a pension fund for 1million Scots!

    117. msean says:

      I know the Rev has been doing this longer than a year,I meant by my earlier post that I would have accepted assertions in this campaign. As I said,not any more.

    118. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      caz-m

      Broon was a hapless juggler at the Treasury; dropped everything.

    119. Clootie says:

      How can I get a copy of the background figures?
      The BBC and Gordon seem to have access.

      Now this may be a stupid question but do we not have to factor in the accumulated costs determined by life expectancy .i.e. If we have 10% more pensioners but on average they live several years less then the calc should be man-years to ensure an equal comparison.

      I hope we decrease the life expectancy gap but at present it does exist.

    120. ronnie anderson says:

      @Sea Sick Dave, how in the name o the wee man dey you vote

      Moderatly, is it aye,or is it naw.

    121. Jamie Arriere says:

      No. 240,000 would be very roughly 4% of the population. We’re talking about 0.4%
      ___________]

      Erm,.. would that be 0.4% of the Scottish population or the UK population. If the 8.4% figure refers to the Scottish share of the UK population, doesn’t the 0.4% difference also refer to the UK population

      0.4% of 63million = c. 250,000

      [Takes cover behind sofa]

    122. chools says:

      Excellent. So now through my choice of lifestyle (vegan) and politics (pro independence) I’m a hardcore militant cybernat. Will I still get a pension?

    123. ronnie anderson says:

      @Jimsie, diz Clint Eastwood know you stole his pal lol.

    124. caz-m says:

      Gordon Brown report on Ch4, 5 minutes out of my life that I won’t get back.

      Sums up this whole Gordon Brown fan fair today, a total waste of everybodies time.

    125. Alba4Eva says:

      Had a ‘Mono’ (Glasgow) Vegan pizza this afternoon… with Vegan Salami (as a mad carnivore, suprisingly I couldn’t tell the difference), vegan cheese, vegan pizza base and vegan jalapeno peppers.

      Spent a wad on vinyl though. Sitting listening to a Sons & Daughers 12″ I just got (amazing Scottish vocals)… can’t believe how good music sounds on Vinyl (I forgot!).

      Has Scotland done the same and forgotten how good self determination sounds… The union must be like buying into CD’s and getting used to that inferior product… All it should take is a taste of the superior Vinyl to make the masses realise what they have been missing. I guess that’s why no nation has tried self determination and then ever went back to dependency!

      We need to get Scotland to do what I did today; get their decks out of the loft and buy some nice new records. 🙂

    126. caz-m says:

      Would somebody put on a cheery wee song please.

    127. Murray McCallum says:

      Jamie Arriere

      That is correct. It would appear to refer to 0.4% of the UK’s population = c.250,000

    128. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ Nana Smith – Your hopes are in the figures mah dearie.

      Firstly it’s amazing that 65 folk turned up in Carloway to debate & vote. Its not exactly high density living eh?

      So 37 folk voted YES, with 4 DKs. Now percentages are not my forte and I get lost with poll tables but even for me this seems like a healthy 55-60 percent.

    129. Dcanmore says:

      Jeezo how much of Broon’s waffle is based on assumption here? It feels like Gordo is being set up for an almighty fall considering Cameron hates his guts with a passion. What the Tories want is the systematic destruction of the Labour Party in England, so Darling and Broon and the Labour Party are discredited by losing Scotland from the UK. All Cameron has to do is win over those 30 constituencies in the SE for his party to retain power in the City State of London.

    130. ronnie anderson says:

      Knickety kinackity noo noo noo Auld Broon hizna a clue an

      walking back an forth like that he’s wearin oot hiz

      shoo shoo.

      Jist fur you Caz-M

    131. caz-m says:

      Rev
      I think we can safely say that Broon got well and truly slaughtered today.

      Bring on the Shadow Cabinet.

      Come ahead, ya shower a Westminster Red Tory bastards.

    132. StevieMcB says:

      @Sea Sick Dave
      WOW, That lot adds up to an elite lifestyle!

      Repeating statement in G Browns register of interests

      “I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to support my ongoing involvement in public life”.

    133. Alba4Eva says:

      caz-m just for you… but really for Gordon Broon… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvGxzg7-GQo
      🙂

    134. HandandShrimp says:

      Archie

      57% Yes with 6% DK meaning 37% were No

      Would be happy with that on the day 🙂

    135. Nana Smith says:

      @ Archie [not Erchie]

      Ah when its put like that [55-60] it sure looks better. Thans for pointing it out to me.
      I ‘don’t do’ percentages as you can probably tell.

    136. Paula Rose says:

      @ caz-m

      Plenty cheery songs on off-topic dear.

    137. caz-m says:

      Thanks for that Ronnie, LOL

    138. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      @ HandandShrimp – Cheers and I knew someone would help. There ya go Nana Smith 🙂

    139. caz-m says:

      Hi Paula

      Do you Brown got well and truly Tangoed today.

    140. Flooplepoop says:

      I love how concise Brown is.
      He estimates that at £100bn, based on hitherto unpublished analysis from the Department for Work and Pensions – while acknowledging that it is difficult to be precise as such calculations would form part of post referendum negotiations in the event of a “Yes” vote.
      The Mormon description earlier on was very apt.

    141. ronnie anderson says:

      @Alba4Eva,an I hope we’ve seen the last of Broon after today.

    142. caz-m says:

      Missing “think” from last post.

    143. Arabs for Independence says:

      Once again great work from the Rev.

      Missing from the coo diagram – what is big, broon and steaming and comes out the back of cows?

      the Isle of Wight Ferry 🙂

    144. caz-m says:

      @Alba4Eva

      Sons and Daughters, very good.

    145. Anne Lawrie says:

      I know a lot of older people will become bored with Gordy and only listen to the “gist” or see the headlines in the press. The state old age pension is safe and will continue to be paid by DWP. I’ve seen a copy of a letter stating this. However, as I am already receiving this, I’ve written today asking them if this is the case. I want a letter addressed to ME PERSONALLY stating this, to take with me when canvassing, to show to anyone who might be concerned & who doesn’t have access to the internet!

    146. caz-m says:

      Ronnie

      We still have the papers to deal with tomorrow. No doubt they will go heavy on Broon.

      You either ignore the papers, or do what I do, rip them up and throw as many as you can into the nearest bin.

    147. HandandShrimp says:

      Is this the same DWP that calculated the computer costs for their new universal credit?

    148. scottish_skier says:

      [Takes cover behind sofa]

      Wise move.

      Ahh percentages. It’s amazing how even the brightest brain can get fuddled when it comes to them. I’ve had PhD students add components to aqueous solutions up to 50 wt% instead of 5 wt% and look quizzically at their numbers saying ‘but this looks right’.

    149. Footsoldier says:

      All this from the man who killed the UK’s Final Salary Pension scheme stone dead. No mention that Scotland’s larger pensioner population ratio is due to our young people having to leave Scotland for work.

      Anyway I saw a few empty seats in the photo despite the narrow camera angle.

      All’s well, Labour have wheeled out the man who took them from power and gave it to the Tories. Ed Milliband’s up next.

    150. Croompenstein says:

      Where is Flipper?

    151. X_Sticks says:

      What a great job you’ve made of shredding Brown’s scaremongering misinformation Rev Stu.

      Any option on an FOI to get the information Brown was ‘supplied’ with? As someone else says, we have a right to know.

    152. Diane says:

      Who knew cows were so useful!

    153. Tocasaid says:

      Agree with one or two others here – the tad ignorant dig at veggies and vegans isn’t necessary and is wide off the mark.

      A lesson in how to shoehorn a bit of personal predjudice into an otherwise apt article.

    154. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      Rev Stu is off to drool at Eddi Reader in Bath tonight. Rats left unattended so expect an outage around midnight. 🙂

    155. Betsy says:

      Looking at this from another perspective, this seems a really odd case to present to the rUK electorate. If Scotland is the impoverished pensions blackhole they make out, then they’re hardly putting an appealing case to the rest of the UK, ‘times are tough but we all need to subsidise Scotland’. Or are they relying on all forms of communication becoming impossible between Scotland and the rest of UK. That went well for the Express.

    156. Flooplepoop says:

      Hmmm… just noticed the piece was by Nicola Sturgeon, doh

    157. jimnarlene says:

      Pity Gordie isnae a wee broon coo, he’d hiv loads o’ uses (see above diagram). Then again maybe he’s the sacrificial kind o’ farm animal.

    158. Jamie Arriere says:

      @Scottish_skier

      Yep, even the brightest brain gets frazzled trying to decode Gordon Brown’s spin from a report nobody else has access to. Important that it’s kept right nonetheless.

      However, 240-250k missing people is quite an omission – and that’s his mistake not the Rev’s

    159. X_Sticks says:

      @Rhymin Ronnie

      Yer on form the day, eh? 😉

    160. Edward says:

      Here is the current tally of who has quit the CBI
      Law Society of Scotland
      Skills Development Scotland
      Scottish Qualifications Authority
      Highlands and Islands Enterprise
      Strathclyde University
      Glasgow Caledonian University
      Glasgow University
      Edinburgh University
      Aberdeen University
      Aquamarine Power
      Balhousie Care Group

      Who’s next?

    161. heraldnomore says:

      And I see we will have 10,000 saltires flying after the latest crowdfunding success. Well done Mark and all supporters.

    162. Thepnr says:

      @Betsy

      Nothing really changes, he’s still saying to us we’re too wee and too poor. Ignoring the fact that he is denigrating all of us, not just in the eyes of rUK but the EU and the rest of the world too.

      How low can supposedly intelligent people stoop? All the way to their ankles I think we’ll find out before long.

    163. wee jamie says:

      Did you know the dictionary definition of a vegan ?

      A vegetarian who is not receiving enough attention !

    164. Michael H says:

      Great article, apart from the ragging on vegans – I’ve been vegan since I got married 5 years ago and I eat a far greater selection of foods than I ever did before. Also the “free-from” sections tend to not have alot vegans can eat as even if something is milk free it can still have egg.

      Also describing people as the “hardcore militant wing of vegetarianism” makes us sound like we’re violent or aggressive when in reality we’re just people making different food and purchasing choices.

      I did some quick googling and in 2007 the estimate was 0.3% of the UK population was Vegan. That could mean ~12,300 Scottish vegans of voting age today. In the About Us section of this site the stated etiquette is to write as if an undecided voter was reading. Some of those undecided people this site wants to win over might be vegan.

    165. Betsy says:

      Thepnr,
      Yes, it’s all just the same old story. The words get rearranged a bit for variety but it’s just the too wee, too poor mantra.

      Still I think they should be challenged to put this to the rest of the UK. It’s only fair that if the taxpayers of rUK are to subsidise our pensions as Brown is claiming, they should be asked if they want to do so. I would rather enjoy watching all three main unionist parties going to the rUK electorate and making the case for the redistribution of rUK’s wealth to the economic basket case in the north.

    166. Arbroath 1320 says:

      As always Better Together have their finger on the pulse… of a skeleton! 😛

      http://tinyurl.com/ms5nzjf

      I don’t think there is anything really to add to Brian’s amazement here. 🙂

    167. Jamie says:

      Oh my god – I’m vegan and really bloody insulted right now! Why do people (who ultimately don’t really understand veganism) feel the need to use us for crap like this? Seriously – don’t alienate the people who are on your side. Just cos I go about my day to day life without hurting animals in any way doesn’t make me a wierdo, it makes me someone who chooses their products consciously, just like people who recycle or buy ‘green’ alternatives. Just trying to make the world a slightly better place and you get nothing but grief! Why? Cos most people (and I used to be one of those people so I know how it is) can’t be bothered to take 5 minutes to understand why vegans are vegan, or (heaven forbid) just let us get on with it! I intend to vote Yes, and I thought that Scotland was a place where people from lots of different backgrounds, cultures, religions can all live peacefully, but because a vegan’s beliefs aren’t tied to a religion or a culture trait we get targeted for rubbish like this. Stop pissing off your Yes voters!

    168. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Still pushing folks…keep it up, and RGU could well be next. By the end of this week everyone will have left except Ian McMillan.

      http://tinyurl.com/lgqeunw

    169. clochoderic says:

      Betsy, you beat me to it.

      I was just thinking that Broon’s ahem, “statistics” are just begging to be rewritten in a Simon Heffer / Kelvin MacKenzie style for the UKIP mouth foamers of the Daily Mail.

      Welfare sponging porridge wogs in pension scandal black hole shame….

    170. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Ian, signed last night. Used to be RGIT when i was in Aberdeen, before they jumped onto the Uni cart

    171. Ian Brotherhood says:

      PS Meant to say, it’s currently 460, so let’s see what we can add by midnight.

    172. galamcennalath says:

      Croompenstein says:
      Where is Flipper?

      Good question! Have the Tories sacked him, maybe?

    173. Les Wilson says:

      Nice take from Craig Murray
      http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    174. Croompenstein says:

      @galamcennalath – He is conspicuous by his absence, will see if he turns up on Scotland Tonight or Newsnight

    175. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Oh my god – I’m vegan and really bloody insulted right now!”

      Then stop, because nobody insulted you.

    176. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Great article, apart from the ragging on vegans”

      Nobody “ragged on” vegans. Is the protein that lets people understand English properly only found in sausages or something?

    177. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Agree with one or two others here – the tad ignorant dig at veggies and vegans isn’t necessary and is wide off the mark.”

      Where was the “ignorant dig”?

    178. Patrician says:

      ****Test*****

      Are there still issues with post going missing?

    179. Alba4Eva says:

      Sorry Stu, I have to jump in here… I was in ‘Mono’ today, which is a Vegan restraunt in Glasgow… That also has a bookshop and sells really cool Vinyl records.

      I hope I said nothing but positive things about my experience today… I had a great time with family (majority of which were vegetarian to ratio 3-2).

      I know you got it Stu, but maybe some are seeing something that i’m not?

    180. Clootie says:

      I’m a veggie and I must have missed something because I’m not upset by the article.
      I am upset by d…h..d Brown and the BBC.

      …and don’t get me started on the BBC trash programme about female support for independence.

    181. ronnie anderson says:

      @Les Wilson , I hope your sharing that story far & wide Les.

    182. Tam Jardine says:

      Rev Stu

      Stv reporting scotland – about 3 mins in after GB pacing about all deranged.

      Wee graphic showing the no lead narrowed 52% to 48%

      I have a shitey wee TV but the scale is well off to play down how tight the polls suggests. If yes is on 48% = 84mm on my TV No should be about 91mm instead of the 106mm the no column actually measures.

      Or do I need to just take a long hard look at myself and go to bed.

      It’s a long time since I studied maths but If stv they are taking the graph from a point roughly double the height of the no column then it makes sense.

      It’s amazing how you can use scale to make your point to the viewers!

    183. Barney Thomson says:

      Most of the base figures in Broon’s mutterings seem to come from ONS statistics in Table A1-6 of this –

      http://tinyurl.com/l4x4u7w

      and are predictions of the situation twenty years hence. It looks like we have some time to plan a response to the demographic problems we may face and we shall be planning that ourselves, thank you.

      The misleading spin and disinformation put on the figures will be provided secretly by civil servants whose wages we are paying.

      It is interesting to look at the predictions for England and Wales (Table A1-3). They are in a slightly better position but the basic demographic risk remains.

    184. Heather says:

      As a vegan myself…only a couple of years but a veggie for 25 years before that. Yes, we get ‘ragged on’ by meat eaters all the time, but it was clearly meant as humour!

      If it was intended to be derogatory as is often the case then fair enough, defend yourself, but I honestly just laughed when I read it, because it’s TRUE!

      My veganism is hell on earth for my family – this is an indisputable fact. They never know what to get for me and they find checking everything an absolute pain as they don’t know what to check for apart from the obvious things. They are learning but they are very long-suffering. It is an endless check for everything, even for me, who’s well used to checking. I also shop in the ‘free from’ section. Yes, it does have stuff that isn’t vegan but it does have the vegan sweets, milks, custards, etc. Also, I DO bloody wonder what they replace some of the ingredients with! I also wonder why the hell they have to use flies to coat chocolate or use gelatin in sweets when they can use agar agar or pectin but hey-ho, such is life.

      Some people really need to develop a thicker skin.

    185. HandandShrimp says:

      Maybe Brown and Darling still prefer not to do the same location even if there is a truce.

    186. Fergus Green says:

      Nice to see I am not the only vegan here, but Stuart, your first paragraph is disappointing. I am not ‘hardcore’ or ‘militant’ and I don’t define myself by ‘what’s missing. Over the years though, I have become used to attacks on my ethical stance towards eating by those who fear people they perceive as different. I expect better from Wings.

    187. CameronB says:

      Ah, “ragged on” vegans. Classic divide and rule, eh? Hint – ‘they’ve’ put something in the water supply. 🙂

      Let’s get back to failed, war criminal politicians, sent north to woo Scotland with threats of economic doom should we dare to choose self-determination over imperial subordination. Didn’t he once claim to be a socialist? Perhaps even progressive?

      IMO, there is a name for this sort of conduct. It begins with “t” and ends in ‘ism’. Ask the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died as a result of the economic sanctions Brown precised over for 13 years. I am sure they wold paint Brown in glowing terms, if they could speak from the grave, that is.

    188. HandandShrimp says:

      Given the number of bodies that have left the CBI it does beg the question as to what Cridland meant when he said he had consulted the membership because it certainly seems to have caught an awful lot of them by surprise.

    189. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Heather –

      ‘I also wonder why the hell they have to use flies to coat chocolate…’

      Huh? Don’t flies have faces?

    190. Heather says:

      O/T

      I see @BBCJamesCook has been asking the CBI’s press office for numbers on their Scottish members ‘to no avail’. Seems they are keen to avoid disclosure for some unknown reason.

    191. Heather says:

      @Ian

      Yes, and legs and wings!

      My point was highlighting the question of what they replace non-vegan ingredients with, but also pondering, conversely, the need to include fly faces in the first place to make chocolate shiny when they could use cheap alternatives.

    192. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Heather –

      Cheers.

      (I’ve just been sick right enough, but cheers all the same.)

    193. Kalmar says:

      Politics for vegans is like being a yes voter, looking for something you can swallow in the supermarket that is the newspapers and TV news. And being mocked if you admit your preferences.

    194. Aidan says:

      It’s nice to see all the vegans coming out to play. I’ve been vegan myself for more than five years now.

      Come on, my fellow non-anthropocentrists. You have to admit that the opening paragraph of this article is an extremely mild version of the normal rough-and-tumble that all of us must be used to by now. Take offense at this and you might want to consider turning that legendary, preternatural sensitivity down a notch while at the same time giving your sense of humour a boost.

      There may be vegans out there whose lives are indeed defined by what is missing but that’s not exactly a well-adjusted position to adopt for any length of time. Being vegan is defined by what you don’t do on principle – once you’re clear about what you DON’T do, you can get on with defining yourself by what you actually and in fact DO.

      When I went vegan, I was initially inclined to avoid the term and call myself ‘animal-free’. Eventually, I decided I’d better join in and use the word after all for the sake of solidarity with the wider movement in society. Sometimes I wonder, though.

      I truly believe it’s better to find one’s own way to veganism through ‘moral shock’ following exposure to the realities of animal exploitation rather than through listening to arguments made by outraged vegans, however sincere. If this is correct, the best thing we can do after going vegan is be deeply happy that we can live this way ourselves, bite into our cruelty-free food with gusto, and make it as easy as possible for other people to be around us.

      Donald Watson coined the term ‘vegan’ as “the beginning and the end of vegetarian” [veg-an], “because veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion.”

    195. Craig says:

      Some vegans might seem extreme to general society but their ethical stand is admirable and can’t be faulted.

      So you cannot in any way compare them with politicians, certainly not Scottish Labour politicians opposing Scottish independence for their own benefit.

      I know Stuart is not really comparing vegans with such politicians but such unrelated mentions create controversy.

      Like that wonderful Co-operative article by an ‘apolitical’ contributor was spoiled by his references to political events in Syria and Russia which had absolutely nothing to do with the article itself.

    196. john king says:

      “Responding to this, the supporters of independence offer a rival analysis, together with a dose of ad hominem political attack. They play the ball and the man.”

      Another assault on Alex Salmond’s person?
      Nope this is Brian Taylor complaining that us ordinary mortals should be ashamed for insulting sainted GB who should not be questioned or insulted,
      my head nearly fell off

      GB is the drunk on the microphone belting out New York New York for the 3rd time while his wife is trying to get him to sit doon cos he’s makin an arse o himsel.

    197. john king says:

      Gillian says
      “The title looked good. Vegans, progressive, intelligent, compassionate society. Then I realised you were using a caricature of a vegan to try to make some point that failed miserably! Come on…wake up. You also got some basic facts very wrong: vegans do eat sugar and gluten. Its exploitation that they oppose. You have lost a lot of credibility.”

      Brian Powell says
      “Be prepared to be furiously angry.”

      Im am suitably angry as you said
      The link disnae %$>?£+@*ing work
      OMG get over yourself, if someone questions your sanity for supporting independence your ok with that but don’t you dare even mention my choice of lifestyle,
      Your lifestyle choices will be infinity harder to afford if we vote no Gillian after Gideon really gets into gear,
      the only credibility I seem being lost here is YOURS.

      Nobby Power says
      “Broon’s my MP, and I can assure you he’s been coasting for years. Well regarded? Only by those who’d vote for a cardboard box with a red rosette on. He has few admirers among the English public either.”

      The trouble with that Nobby is that the people in our area are still in the thrall of old labour and cannot see the world has changed around them, they’re still in 1966

      They’re like whipped curs coming back for more.

      aNE dON SAYS
      “yet another strategic bloomer!”

      Is it guid wi soup and can ye get if frae Morrisons?

      Mosstrooper says
      “Nope, still no Brown edited in under Manure. I’m starting to think you don’t really care!”

      My very thoughts,
      I think he lost interest when the rats went native. 🙂

      Ian Brotherhood says
      ” if he doesn’t keep on the move, thus convincing people that he’s ‘working’, he can’t claim his dosh.”

      Why do you think he walks back and forth when he’s lecturing/advising people? his security have told him to keep moving to make him a harder target to hit.

      caz-m says
      “Would somebody put on a cheery wee song please.”

      Hows this grab ye?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdvOV3sDlbk

      CameronB says
      “IMO, there is a name for this sort of conduct. It begins with “t” and ends in ‘ism’”

      I’m with CameronB on this, there’s far too much tism going on here,
      lets get back to the real debate, mkay,
      now where were we? oh yes,
      does protein deficiency make vegans intolerant? DISCUSS

      Heather says
      “the need to include fly faces in the first place to make chocolate shiny when they could use cheap alternatives.”

      Jesus you have to pay for flies? I never knew!
      btw what is a cheap alternative to fly faces? just askin sa’ll
      Am done!

    198. john king says:

      I f**ked that up
      My response to Gillian is below my comment on Brian Powells post 🙁
      not havin a go at you Brian.

    199. john king says:

      repeat 300 times Anne Don, Anne Don, Anne Don ———————

    200. Kalmar says:

      Well said, Craig.

    201. Tam Jardine says:

      Must be hard coming up with a new angle for Stuart when faced with the same old scare stories regurgitated once a week today pensions, tomorrow defence etc.

      To put a positive angle forward if vegans represent only 0.3% of the population as mentioned above then this site’s readership is pretty huge, from the number of comments posted.

      I hope some of those first time posters will continue to contribute in the coming months to the indy debate and get involved in Yes if they have not already done so. And get those bleedin badges on! First smile of recognition on the bus this morning – presumably due to the badge and not my general demeanour.

    202. Muscleguy says:

      @Gillian
      The Rev’s point works perfectly well for those of us who are gluten intolerant too. The stuff is EVERYWHERE. I’m lactose intolerant too but there are lactase capsules for that (I carry two wrapped in foil in my wallet*).

      My beef is that so many of the GF products are also egg free, so generally I bake my own. My GF hot cross buns (minus the cross, can’t get that to work) are much better than the store bought ones.

      BTW I went near veggie after a gout diagnosis and made myself ill (I have a malabsorption syndrome connected to the gluten intolerance) which was cured over a weekend by red meat and oily fish, with a side of tomatoes and mushrooms (bad for gout). So I couldn’t be a veggie, let alone a vegan if I wanted to be.

      *Fortunately I’m not in a stop and search demographic or location. Be interesting if I ever was 😉

    203. Brian Powell says:

      John King

      I don’t know why the link didn’t work, but the gist of the article in the Herald was how Harold McMillian as Prime Minister, 55 years ago, was in discussions with the Americans about the siting of nuclear weapons in Scotland, and who should control the use of the weapons.

      He said they should be in Loch Linhe, near Fort William, so they should be well away from centres of population (Glasgow), and the UK should have the say over deployment and use.

      The US said, “Go away and think again”, as they wanted the base to be at Faslane, and the US would be in allover control of use.

      McMillian and the UK Government caved on both issues; keeping the ‘good will’ of the US was more important than safety in Scotland. I think some in Government called it craven cowardice.

      All of this was in a biography of McMillian.

    204. kalmar says:

      Tam: I’d be willing to bet that vegans and vegetarians are a much higher percentage of this site’s readership than amongst the general population. That’s because they are likely to be people who make a principled stand to care about a cause, inform themselves and dare to be different from the mainstream.

      Indeed, exactly the sort of people you might find voting to hopefully bring about a fairer, more ethical and humane society, with a healthier people and environment.

      Equating that aspiration with Gordon Brown’s output is therefore going to raise a few hackles, jokily done or not.

    205. Heather says:

      @John King

      Zein – a protein from corn, which is in plentiful and cheap supply. It is already used as a coating for sweets, nuts, fruit, pills, and other encapsulated foods and drugs. Just as they can use lycopene (naturally found in tomatoes, pepper, beetroot, etc) as a substitute for those other crushed bugs, cochineal.

    206. magicpants says:

      Is this site about Scottish Independence or the Vegan life choice??

    207. Tam Jardine says:

      @ kalmar

      In total agreement. We are all on the same team. What I was trying to convey is that Stuart is doing a near impossible task in his output and keeping this all fresh. When a piece misfires as this clearly has by the amount if hackles raised it does good to dwell on the positive that I mention and you reiterate.

      I aint in the business of retracting anything written by anyone else and Stu doesn’t think he has been out of order so what else but move on? We all need each other too much to fight. Have a good one.

    208. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is this site about Scottish Independence or the Vegan life choice??”

      Wait, I know this one.

    209. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I’m going to say this once and once only: the phrase “hardcore militant wing of vegetarianism” is just a vaguely entertaining alternative way of saying “vegans”.

      It does NOT say that vegans are mad extremists. It points out the inescapably true fact that they are more “hardcore” than vegetarians, because saying “vegans” in the first line of an article with “vegans” in the title is terrible writing.

      For what are hopefully obvious reasons I was very careful NOT to say anything that was offensive or mocking towards vegans, but I do often forget that a lot of the time people don’t read things as carefully as I write them. Hey ho.

    210. TartanZen says:

      Vegetarianism is a dietary choice. Veganism is not just a more extreme version of Vegetarianism. It is a moral/ethical choice that results in amongst other things a different diet.

      To call Vegans a more militant/extreme form of Vegetarians is the ignorant dig Rev.

    211. Paul says:

      Ok, as a vegan I found your portrayal of of us to be ignorant and demeaning.
      I’m a committed yes voter but, had I been undecided, this would be very off putting.

    212. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Vegetarianism is a dietary choice. Veganism is not just a more extreme version of Vegetarianism. It is a moral/ethical choice that results in amongst other things a different diet.”

      So, exactly like vegetarianism, then?

    213. Aidan says:

      Fellow practitioners of a wide circle of compassion, I beseech you: let’s not start digging ignorantly at the Rev. 🙁

      So you might not care for the way this article was framed… please direct your attention back to the picture the Rev was painting: Gordon Brown and the DWP’s ‘fun with numbers’ on pensions and population in an Independent Scotland. Miss this and you do start to make vegans look a bit deficient, if only in the ability to demonstrate benign indifference to things that are completely irrelevant. Pick your battles, as they say.

      There are plenty of other places where we can argue about abolitionism vs welfarism and divide into our respective camps. Me, I’m with the abolitionists! 😀

    214. Craig says:

      “It points out the inescapably true fact that they are more “hardcore” than vegetarians”

      I would say they are more ‘principled’ than vegetarians.

      If you are talking about Scottish Labour politicians, I would say they are even less ‘principled’ than other politicians.

    215. Craig says:

      Kalmar, I am pleasantly surprised at the pro vegetarian / vegan comments here.

      Generally, I think the vast majority of pro independence posters here are making a principled stand on independence.

    216. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Ok, as a vegan I found your portrayal of of us to be ignorant and demeaning.”

      Then you read it wrong.



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