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Pup for sale (very ill)

Posted on April 20, 2013 by

Scottish Labour’s record time for a policy U-turn was already pretty low. It took less than 24 hours from Johann Lamont’s infamous “something for nothing” speech before her MSPs were hastily popping up in the papers to insist that various universal services were in fact NOT under threat at all. (Despite the fact that the head of the commission investigating them had explicitly said that nothing was off the table.)

kieran

But yesterday saw the hapless party set a new personal best.

On Thursday, the Scottish Labour position on further devolution was clear. “Labour to back full income tax powers for Holyrood”, trumpeted the Scotsman’s unequivocal headline, although even then the reality was somewhat less straightforward. The actual text piled caveat on top of caveat – Johann Lamont and her colleagues were in fact merely making a commitment to THINK about devolving income tax, if it wouldn’t cost too much, and if it wouldn’t have any negative consequences.

And of course, it would do both. The devolution of income tax to the Scottish Parliament would obviously involve significant initial set-up costs, and who’d be footing the bill? At a time of brutal austerity, the idea of a Westminster government of any stripe handing hundreds of millions of pounds to Holyrood in order to pointlessly duplicate the work of HMRC is – incredibly obviously – laughable, and diverting a large chunk of the Scottish Parliament’s budget to do the same thing would be equally electorally suicidal north of the border.

And even if it could be achieved, what would be the upshot? Let’s assume that the Scottish Parliament used its new power to increase taxes on the wealthy and cut them for the poor. Since all other things would be equal, the rich would simply flee Scotland and set up in Carlisle, the Scottish Treasury would find itself short of cash and there would have to be horrendous cuts to balance the books.

Full independence provides all manner of financial levers to counter that single crude measure – not least the vast sums that could be saved on the defence budget and the possibility of a saner and more humane, yet less expensive, benefits system which didn’t waste billions subsidising low-pay employers and greedy landlords. But Scottish Labour’s commission has already ruled out any other major devolution of things like oil revenues and welfare, so Holyrood would in practice always have to mirror the rates in England to avoid fiscal catastrophe.

The devolving of income tax alone, then, would land Scotland with a great heap of extra responsibility, cost and bureaucratic burden, but absolutely no extra power. In effect, Lamont’s proposal is exactly the same as Ruth Davidson’s. (In so far as it’s possible to work out what Davidson’s actually is, at any rate.)

But the entire argument is academic anyway, because it took only hours for the rest of Labour to revolt. (Indeed, the revolt had been under way several days before the plans were officially announced.) Even “deputy” Scottish leader Anas Sarwar, a Westminster MP and a member of the commission which came up with the idea in the first place, hastily backed away, in the wake of a trainwreck interview on Newsnight Scotland in which he’d been unable to come up with a single benefit of the plan.

No impartial observer could rationally arrive at any other conclusion than that the plan is dead in the water. Lamont can’t command the support of her own Scottish MPs, far less those in the rest of Labour, who have no conceivable reason to back the move.

(Because even in the impossibly unlikely event that it DID benefit Scotland in some way, that could only be at the expense of English constituencies, particularly those in the party’s north of England heartlands.)

Readers of this site already know what a No vote in 2014 means for devolution. Scotland will be lucky to hold onto the powers it has now, far less secure any more. The hideous, shambolic, embarrassing dog’s breakfast Scottish Labour has managed to serve itself this week only serves to emphasise the fact.

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    52 to “Pup for sale (very ill)”

    1. Craig says:

      NNS are also running a piece on the likelihood of Lamont having her plans gain support among the bosses down at the “Big Table”

      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/7220-lamonts-devo-plans-are-not-going-to-happen-says-labour-mp

    2. Handandshrimp says:

      Given Boston, Texas, Thatcher and Rangers it also looks like the media are barely interested in what is going on in Inverness either. Quite possibly a good thing for Lamont because she is in the middle of a slow motion car crash.

    3. mato 21 says:

      Her boss the red Ed couln’t even bring himself to answer if he agreed with her or not and it was being asked by their favourite interviewer the fawning wee Glen so there was no chance he would have been given a hard time regardless of his answer
      Wee Glen sounded quite miffed that his approach was spurned

    4. The Man in the Jar says:

      I think part of Labour in Scotland’s problem is that the likes of Lamont and Sarwar assumed that the all powerful “party” would provide all the answers. All they needed to do was implement whatever the “party” came up with. Unluckily for them the “party” has given up on them being far to busy chasing middle England’s vote. They have been left to come up with some real answers and are frankly incapable both of them being promoted way beyond their abilities. Hence they are an utter shambles and I can’t see a way out for them. Who has Labour got to replace them with I can’t think of anyone but there again I don’t follow the misfortunes of the Labour party that closely.
      It is all great stuff though.

    5. Patrick Roden says:

      My oh my oh my, another car crash interview, that was painful to watch, this time with Brian Taylor.
      Johann sat hunched in her seat, wringing her hands nervously, and didn’t answer a single question!
      She even claimed in response to questions about Ian Taylor, that no one in Scotland would question the integrity of Flipper Darling !
       
      They just don’t get it !

    6. Les Wilson says:

      I watched both the STV interview with Lamont, who appeared hung over from a heavy night on the bevy. It was cringing stuff for Labour, and a gift for the YES camp.
      The Sanwar interview was also cringe worthy, I was surprised at the fact that Brewer actually gave a labour MP a bit of a hard time, which was borne out of the lack of anything news worthy from the hapless Sanwar. He had no answers to,well,anything! everything returned to an anti SNP rant instead of answering anything.
      To be fair to Brewer, on this occasion Sanwar’s anti SNP rants were even getting  him down.
      I really, really hope that this  type of interview will continue,it is so satisfying to have them shown up for what they are……… Clowns! 
      Watching it back, they certainly did what clowns should do, they gave me a  good laugh!

    7. mealer says:

      Whos that in the picture ?

    8. scottish_skier says:

      So let me get this straight…

      Nobody in their right mind would believe the Tories would devolve more powers to Scotland in the event of a no vote.

      The Libs could maybe convince a few people, but they’re screwed and will never be in a position of power to do so. That much is obvious to everyone too.

      So, Labour. The party that supposedly granted Scotland devolution as a grandiose act of goodness (as opposed to desperately trying to stop Scotland leaving and whereby losing its Scots MPs). The one party that possibly, just maybe, could convince a good number that it maybe just might deliver something meaningful, is now making it clear that won’t be happening 1.5 years ahead of the referendum?

      Well glad that’s cleared up. Indy or status quo it is then.

      Thank you Labour.

    9. AHamilton says:

      Subrosa blog has a video on BBC bias http://subrosa-blonde.blogspot.co.uk/
       

    10. Marcia says:

      SS
      I now hope that the Labour for Independence start getting a purchase on the ordinarily Labour voter who is pro-independent minded. I know from canvassing over the years of the sizeable proportion that are very much in favour of Independence and the SNP do target this known group on behalf of the Yes campaign. I also hope they don’t ignore the ones that said No either in previous canvassing sessions.

    11. scottish_skier says:

      Another thing.

      Is it just me or does it appear that it’s only the three Scottish divisions of the unionist parties that still believe Scotland will stay in the UK?

      Everything Dave et al. do is either to help or ‘who cares, they’re off anyway’.

      Nick Clegg and senior Libs are ambivalent. Even ‘senior’ Scots Lib MPs have been settling in darn sarf knowing they have no future in Scotland.

      Ed’s one nation Tory thing is most clearly not delivered at Scotland. The one nation is England. The fact that he even talks about revolutionising things like Thatcher did says it all. Mentioning her in even remotely positive terms up here is like crapping in public.

      The union seems to be abandoning Scottish unionists. Would explain a few things.

    12. kininvie says:

      Rev, You’ve not taken into account the malign influence of HM Treasury. Whatever the politicians say, that institution is not going to countenance a fair whack of revenue raising and collection moving out of its control. Any UK chancellor thinking of devolving income tax is going to receive ‘advice’ in the strongest possible terms that such a scheme is unworkable, expensive, undesirable, unpredictable in its effects, and in general a rotten idea (which is probably true). Since every minister in charge of a spending department lives in thrall to the Treasury, you wouldn’t find many people prepared to contradict it.
       
      As has become obvious over the past few days, it’s not going to reach that stage in any event. The horse hasn’t even reached the first hurdle before collapsing…

    13. Silverytay says:

      scottish-skier   It is not often I disagree with you but on this occasion I will ‘  it is not Indy or status quo ‘ it is Indy or lose all devolved powers .  If we are daft enough to vote NO ‘ there is no way that the unionists will ever again let Scotland challenge their powers or hegemony .
       

    14. Iain says:

      Not entirely off topic considering how SLAB’s antics make me feel, Ian Smart cementing his position as Unionist tweet-troll-in-chief.

      @ianssmart
      Two separate conversations today about the fear of some Nationalist suicides on 19th September 2014. Their Party has a duty of care here.
       
      Since Scotland’s suicide rates have been consistently higher than the UK average for the last 45 years, I wonder what duty of care he thinks the Union has?

    15. Juteman says:

      I’m sure that’s a photo of Basil Brush.
      Or a squirrel.

    16. CameronB says:

      I can’t remember which regular posted this, but I think it manages to capture the magnitude of the occasion whilst using plain language and immediately understandable consequences. Thank you whoever you are/were.
       
      Vote Yes = Make Scottish history.
      Vote No = Make Scotland history.
       
      Vote Yes in 2014. Obviously. 🙂

    17. Jimbo says:

      They don’t seem to have a clue about what, if anything, they’re doing.
       
      I watched Sarwar on Newsnight via a link provided by WOS. He said they wanted income tax devolved but could not give a credible reason why.
       
      On reading yesterday’s Guardian, it seems Sarwar has done a volte face. According to the Guardian: “In an effort to play down anxieties that the proposals had been already accepted by the party’s leadership, Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader and effective head of the party’s 40 MPs, insisted he was not yet persuaded that entirely devolving income tax was necessary.”.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/19/scottish-labour-leaders-income-tax
       
      It’s all just soundbites in an effort to convince the electorate that they’re doing something. Their spads should tell them that, if you’re going to try and con the people with policies you’ve no intention of delivering, at least have a clue about how you’re going about it.

    18. Barontorc says:

      Ian Smart like Michael Fish couldn’t see a hurricane coming if it blew him over. The guy is patently off his head and real dick class to even mention suicides. Another one to accompany Lard Foulkes on the one-way pleasure cruise to Gruinard Island.

    19. Edinburgh Quine says:

      I believe one of the (many) caveats that Labtorie have is that there will be no reduction in Scottish MPs at Westminster….  looking after their own jobs it seems rather than the people of Scotland.  Shame on them

    20. While we know Labour and Conservative parties in Scotland together with Scottish Liberal Party are pretty dire, I sincerely hope and pray a Yes vote will ensure that our new independant Parliament with real and international powers will attract, how can I put it, people of a higher calibre than currently on offer.  

    21. An Duine Gruamach says:

      Suicide.  Hilarious, eh?

    22. Robert Louis says:

      Looking at the way in which the Labour car crash unfolded this week, it is blindingly clear, that not only is Lamont a mere puppet of the REAL Labour management in London, but her time as puppet ‘leader’ is now short.
       
      There are real echoes of Wendy Alexander and her infamous ‘bring it on’ nonsense, who was shown the door shortly thereafter.  She learned much too late, that London Labour calls the shots.
       
      Much as I want Lamont to stay as ‘Leader’ of Labour in Scotland, if for nothing else than pure entertainment, i reckon her days are numbered.   It was all smiles from Ed yesterday in Inverness, but I can only assume, behind closed doors, he said to Lamont ‘shut the f*** up’.
       
      Overall a bad two weeks for Labour in Scotland, and also the anti independence campaign.  The cracks are starting to show, and it will not be long until some in Labour decide that siding with the Tories in Scotland to oppose independence, is actually akin to biting on a loaded revolver.  Someone is going to get hurt – and it won’t be the Tories.  
       
      Labour in Scotland has jumped into bed with beelzebub himself, and I reckon they are the ones who are going to get shafted, regardless of the outcome.
       
      And then there’s the ‘dirty money’ donations, which really won’t go away…….

    23. McHaggis says:

      Smart, Foulkes etc al are just pisspoor trolls looking for reaction so they can bleat about being ‘attacked by cybernats’…
      their tweets (bait) get more and more outlandish as time goes on.
       
      As for income tax to Scotland, I cannot imagine for one minute that devolving it to Scotland makes a single iota of difference to either Scottish or rUK lives… Existing HMRC structures in Scotland would be rebranded, and as Rev points out, no Scottish Government would raise or lower beyond English levels, so the net result is…
       
      A Scottish Revenue and Customs Service being nothing more than an expensive rebranding of existing infrastructure.

    24. Rod Mac says:

      Those suggesting that Lamont’s time as leader of Scotlandshire Branch omit one very important point, who is there to replace her with?
      There is not one of any stature ,gravitas or intellect on those benches.
      They could attempt a by election and parachute someone in ,that begs two questions , Who ,  and which Labour seat is any longer safe?

    25. velofello says:

      Scottish Labour are trying to run with the hare and the hounds and it just ain’t working.
      They are trying, here in Scotland, to maintain an image of traditional Labour values for our consumption but UK considerations dictates alignment with New Labour policies.
      Consider the donations to the Better Together campaign – easily described to independent minded Scots as “bought and sold for English gold”.The smaller donation of circa £140,000, if it had been the only one from England could have been returned on priciple. But the Ian Taylor donation, irrespective of the size of the donation, is in a different category. The Taylor donation is a corporate policy decision by an international oil trading company seeking influence to develop its business interests in Scotland’s oil and gas resources. Vitol already have the Tories onside, and Vitol are seeking to have New Labour onside too and New Labour cannot afford to be outside the Vitol tent.

    26. pmcrek says:

      Funding Scotland on income tax alone without any benefits of taxes from our resources/exports and other incomes whilst even returning a portion of that income to pay for things like trident, diplomatic balls, arms trade insurance and the UKs deficit is a total and utter scam. The talk about how this would effect Branett is ludicrous, innevitably there wont be a Barnett formula for long after this, I can only assume they want to make sure we are indeed too wee and too poor to ever challenge their privillege again.

    27. Mister Worf says:

      Okay, I have to speak out now, I keep seeing this plan described as a “dogs breakfast” and frankly, that’s an irresponsible thing to call it.
       
      You feed this crap to a dog, expect a visit from the SSPCA for animal cruelty. I fear the damage I’d do to my bin tossing it in there let alone letting an animal eat it.

    28. Barontorc says:

      I’d bet Ian whatsisname and his company Virol are rueing the day he ever clapped eyes on Brian Western Isles. As for the other side of the blood-soaked coin – well they deserve all that’s coming to them, in spades!
       
      Tricky Dickie and Stuart Hosie this morning further showed the dire paucity of NO talent.

    29. YesYesYes says:

      Iain (10.12am),
       
      Well said.
       
      On a related topic, I see that the comments at Labour Hame have dried up. I don’t know whether this is because pro-independence contributions have been censored or whether it’s because pro-independence contributors have decided to stop commenting on Labour Hame. I hope it’s the latter.
       
      Most of the articles on Labour Hame are devised with one specific purpose, to bait independence supporters. It’s disappointing to see so many rise to this bait, giving the pond life that runs Labour Hame the opportunity to vent their anti-independence prejudices (and also increasing their internet traffic).
       
      In fact, if you removed the pro-independence comments from Labour Hame, it would be the dullest blog in the Scottish blogosphere, though admittedly it would be a close-run thing with those polite kids at Better Nation. Maybe it’s worth a try, though. Resist their baiting, don’t contribute to their site and achieve the objective of turning them into the dullest blog on the blogosphere. 

    30. mealer says:

      I reckon this whole “more powers” thing is just a means of trying to find something positive to talk about.Trouble is,whenever theyre questioned about it,they quickly go into “Salmonds a big fat liar” mode.Also,is it pure coincidence that the most hopeless of Labours MPs and MSPs are the chosen spokesmen? Or are they using up the dross as canon fodder just now and saving the slightly more useful for nearer the battle proper ?

    31. Juteman says:

      @mealer.
      I suspect the more intelligent amongst the Labour group are staying silent. They will have one eye on a seat in an independent parliament.

    32. Cath says:

      ” I also hope they don’t ignore the ones that said No either in previous canvassing sessions.”
       
      No one will be ignored. One of the folk I’ve canvassed with almost ignored a house that was plastered in Union Jacks, expecting a very frosty response. In fact it turned out the person was pro-independence. Never can tell. The area I canvass in is a Labour heartland but the responses have all been good. Not necessarily pro-indy, more just glad to get some information.
       
      People aren’t daft. Most might be generally a-political and not be aware of the political car crashes, or the things political geeks talk about. But for something this big, they do want information and debate and the usual “we’re Labour, we just expect you to vote how we tell you” is less likely to wash. Folk might still troop out and vote Labour in droves with no real idea why. For the referendum, I doubt many will do that. They’ll want actual reasons. And they’re not getting any. They’re also currently not seeing much from the Yes camp either, largely due to the media, But the Yes camp are the ones with all the arguments, the reasons, the facts. The No camp only has lies, smears and this level of “debate”.

    33. mato 21 says:

      RT have dipped a toe in the water re BBC bias I would imagine they will now keep an eye on goings-on An email to them now and then when we have concrete examples will do no harm
      Here is the link I realise it has been given above but for those who may have missed it
      http://subrosa-blonde.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/take-your-pick_20.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/bUee+(SUBROSA)
       
       

    34. Dcanmore says:

      Now, if Lamont is to go I sincerely hope she will be replaced by Jackie Bailie 🙂
      Oh please let it happen!
       
      Labour are running out of time, they have one year, essentially, to change peoples minds or persuade them that the status quo is the best option. Jam tomorrow is being questioned by the MSM now. That is not a very long time when the other eye is on the big prize of winning the GE2015. I believe there are Labour MPs in England (like the Tories) that don’t really care for Scotland and it remaining in the UK. Many of these Labour MPs are Blairites and in another time would be Tory ones. Their main game is Middle England and the soft Tory vote. Scotland was left to SLAB and Flipper and that has spectacularly failed. Milibot has no traction in Scotland and his only appeal is to the soft Tory vote in England. What will be SLAB/BT tactics over the next year? More fear and smear, and more desperate it will become. This is now the chance for Scottish Labour for Indy to make inroads into Scottish Labour heartlands and to do that they need funds for grassroots campaigning.
       

    35. TYRAN says:

      Why be an opposition backbencher in London not doing shit or work in a limited devolved Scottish Parliament when one can be chancellor, foreign affairs, shadow, etc in the Scots Parliament in Scotland for Scotland?
      Doesn’t one aspire to do greater things with more responsibility? If you are a politician, surely that is the type of stuff you want to do? Not keep stuff from Scotland and from your own career. 

    36. Jiggsbro says:

      Why be an opposition backbencher in London
       
      Because you hope to eventually get your turn as a government frontbencher in London.

    37. Albert Herring says:

      Why be an opposition backbencher in London?
       
      Because you get all the money and perks without having to take any responsibility or do any work.

    38. Bugger (the Panda) says:

       
      Juteman says:
       
      20 April, 2013 at 11:47 am
       

      @mealer.
      I suspect the more intelligent amongst the Labour group are staying silent. They will have one eye on a seat in an independent parliament.

       
       
      This has been exercising my mind for some time too.
       
      I am wondering if the demonising of A Salmond and the insinuation that he and the SNP would be in government in an independent Scotland for a very long time is in fact a double edged smear; like an each way bet.
       
      So, come the YES vote and elections for a new non-pretendy Parliament in Holyrood, out of the woodwork come the redundant London contingent with a selling proposition that says we need to hold the SNP to account otherwise Scotland will become a One Party State.
       
      Who are the boys to do just that?  Us grown up politicians fro Westminster, that is who!
       
      “You will need us more than ever after Independence”
      Nice each way bet, and when you think about that is all they have, and their unquenchable belief in the naievety  of the Scottish electorate.
       
      They live in interesting times.

    39. Iain says:

      @Jiggsboro
      ‘Because you hope to eventually get your turn as a government frontbencher in London.’

      …and then consultancies with (hopefully FTSE listed) companies, then a seat on the boards of aforementioned companies, then a place on the red benches where you can carry on exerting influence without any democratic accountabilty at £300 a day.
       
      Their selfless dedication to serving the country fair takes my breath away.

    40. Jimbo says:

      Iain @ 10.12 am posted:
       
      @ianssmartTwo separate conversations today about the fear of some Nationalist suicides on 19th September 2014. Their Party has a duty of care here.
      A person’s sense of humour is seen as a projection of that person’s personality/mental development. What can you say about some-one who thinks suicide a joke subject?

    41. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The dog needs emergency surgery.
      We all know labour are useless and deal in deceipt regarding Scotland, but I’m even shocked at the train crash of their devolution proposals. We’ll think about devolving Income Tax only- GTF, say London openly. I can’t recall such disasterous interviews by any politicians as provided by Lamont and Sarwar. Lamont’s body language and lack of verbal commitment was there for all to witness.  She may as well said, this is all hot air, it’s feeble and will never happen.
      The great thing is that the truth is starting to emerge regarding the consequences of a NO vote. One truth is that further devolution is devo fantasy.
       
       
       

    42. DMW42 says:

      And Westminster will give up income tax revenues without reducing MPs or Barnett, seriously?
       
      And you can separate income tax from welfare, seriously?
       
      And you can’t devolve NI because it’s used for pension, even though Brown and laterally Osbourne have been using NI to finance the debt and capex, seriously.
       
      Do we look as if we button up the back wummin, seriously?
       
      Progressive taxation requires all income and all expenditure administered and managed by an independent Scotland.
       
      Just gie us peace missus.

    43. Ghengis says:

      Link error in article — the last link links back to this very page. While the intention is to link to the ‘vote no get nothing’ page .. which I can no longer find ..

    44. Ron says:

      Cameron B,
       
      You’re welcome. Do you reckon it would fit on T-shirts?
      (probably would on mine!).
      Otherwise might just have to be-
      VOTE YES 2014 TINA.

    45. Scotsfox says:

      I’ve spent the last 6 months working on an HMRC integration project for their Real Time Information initiative & every dataset carries an SVR (Scottish Variable Rate) flag. Completely redundant of course as all it does is identify your workplace as in Scotland but there all the same.

    46. Ghengis says:

      Error in my comment above re Link error in article. .. doh! as they say.

      I see now it is a link to a series of articles all tagged: vote no get nothing

    47. Patrick Roden says:

      We have been mentioning that their may be splits emerging in Better Together with Labour even suggesting that they might persue a seperate campaign.
      Can it be that Ruth Davidsons failure to comment on Ian Taylors Donation, she claimed this was because their was still possible legal ramifications or something like that.
      But was this the thing that raised suspicion within the Labour Party that they may be getting shafted by the Tories?
      Surely Ruth Davidson was the person best suited from BT to be wheeled out to defend the donation, but in saying she would not comment, this left Johann Lamont swinging in the wind as she and other Labour people were torn to shreads by the MSM and Nationalist bloggs.
       
      We know that Ian Taylor is close to David Cameron so Ruth would most certainly have been in corespondance with Dave. Could this be further evidence of Scottish Skiers feeling that the Tories would be ‘secretly’ quite happy to see Scotland independent?
       
      Interesting times 😉

    48. Patrician says:

      I have said this before, but I think Tory HQ couldn’t believe their luck when Scottish Labour agreed to front up Better Together.  SLAB have been out-fought and out-manoeuvred by all sides in this campaign and now they are lost and haven’t a clue what do do next.

    49. Seasick Dave says:

      Patrician
       
      …now they are lost and haven’t a clue what do do next.
       
      I worked with a Polish guy recently who had just the phrase to describe this.
       
      He would say that, “They are like dogs barking at their own a*seholes” 🙂
       

    50. john king says:

      scottish-skier   It is not often I disagree with you but on this occasion I will ‘  it is not Indy or status quo ‘ it is Indy or lose all devolved powers .  If we are daft enough to vote NO ‘ there is no way that the unionists will ever again let Scotland challenge their powers or hegemony .”
       
      forced to agree with you silvertay, we don’t vote yes next year we don’t get another chance
       
      ITS NOW OR NEVER

       

        

    51. john king says:

      “Consider the donations to the Better Together campaign – easily described to independent minded Scots as “bought and sold for English gold”.The smaller donation of circa £140,000, if it had been the only one from England could have been returned on priciple. But the Ian Taylor donation, irrespective of the size of the donation, is in a different category. The Taylor donation is a corporate policy decision by an international oil trading company seeking influence to develop its business interests in Scotland’s oil and gas resources. Vitol already have the Tories onside, and Vitol are seeking to have New Labour onside too and New Labour cannot afford to be outside the Vitol tent.2
      velofeollos comment gave me a thought, 
      anyone with the smarts out there who can calculate how much English gold it took to buy Scotland the first time and compare it with Ian Taylors donation to the no camp, and see if our value in real terms has risen since 1707 ?

    52. Jammach says:

      For those curious, the pic is a still from the BBC3 series, Mongrels, a viciously funny puppet comedy program.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010t19z
      Sadly, no longer being actively broadcast, but available on DVD and there are many clips on Youtube.

      As ever, excellent taste, Rev Stu!
       



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