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Wings Over Scotland

Putting your fingers on it

Posted on May 06, 2014 by

We can’t remember if anyone mentioned this last week when we were talking about the Scotland Office’s bizarre Buzzfeed escapades, so we’ll just put it up here now.


There’s something not quite right about that picture and the words underneath it, isn’t there, readers? Have you spotted it yet?

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  1. 03 01 15 10:15

    Lotto | Me Munroe & the Book

195 to “Putting your fingers on it”

  1. Evelyn says:

    It’s the EURO lottery?? If the RuK vote to leave the EU, they won’t be in it!? Am I right?

  2. RogueCoder says:

    Yeah, it says Euro Millions right there at the top.

    But the government never lets the truth get in the way of a good “myth busting” misdirection.

  3. Vronsky says:

    Too easy, Rev – not up to the standard of your usual brain-teasers. And I quite recently bought a ticket in France. Didn’t win, or I wouldn’t be here talking to scruff like you.

  4. Shona Louise Paton says:

    Euro Millions 😀 …..titter….

  5. Gordon Hay says:

    Maybe that’s a bit of mettle showing among the Scottish Office minions, indulging in a bit of sabotage.

  6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Switzerland plays the Euromillions also.

    It si the fact that we would be excluded from the Euromillions or in their mind the National lottery.

  7. No no no...Yes says:

    No doubt some junior member of staff at the Scotland Office will be getting disciplined about this basic mistake.

  8. Heather says:


  9. Glass Girl says:

    C’est ne pas le Euromillions

  10. David says:

    I wonder if they go to special training to be that stupid?

  11. Bob says:

    #Evelyn, I buy the Euro Millions lottery in Switzerland – still have n’t cracked it tho’ 🙂

  12. Bob says:

    #Evelyn, I buy the Euro Millions lottery in Switzerland – still have n’t cracked it tho’ 🙂

  13. K1 says:

    Lol Rev, short and sweet.

  14. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Euro Lottery ?

  15. itsagoinwrang says:

    Err, yes I can buy a EURO lottery ticket in France. Twits

  16. jimnarlene says:

    Well that’s my mind made up, nothing stopping a Yes! vote now. Hahahehe (I don’t do lol, too old).

  17. Grant_M says:

    EuroMillions is an international lottery ticket. The Tuesday and Friday EuroMillions draws normally take place in Paris.

  18. Nick Heller says:

    Perhaps the Scottish Office SPADs need a spot of gardening leave to recharge the tiny number of little grey cells;

  19. Kestral says:

    I just love the hover over

  20. jimnarlene says:

    Or do you think, this a snide way of them saying we won’t be allowed in Europe anymore. Too subtle?

  21. Iain says:

    It’s not just that the No campaign is crap, or that it’s nasty, it’s that they’re also crap at being nasty.

  22. Jacqui says:

    Oh am I the first ??! How exciting! It says ‘Euro’ millions, not UK millions. Silly Better Together people. I’m beginning to think that in the event of a Yes vote Scotland will become the next Atlantis and just sink under the sea never to be seen again. Or perhaps the opposite will happen and we will all just float away……

  23. llamalady says:

    I love the statement at the end of the 10 Myths page where they ask: Is there anything wrong with this page? …..Doh

  24. Alba4Eva says:

    Sorry OT again.

    Just had to be shared…

  25. Truth says:

    What utter morons.

  26. Heather says:

    What about the Irish lottery? Anyone can play that too.

  27. And what about the Health Lottery?

    Fact: It’s called The Health Lottery so, obviously, you can’t play if you’re ill.

  28. Jim Thomson says:

    Do you think that if they based their entire No campaign around SnapChat it would be just as successful?

  29. Maid_in_Scotland says:

    Ehhhhh … are we too stupid, too poor and too wee to have our own lottery? Or am I just being silly again?

  30. James Kay says:

    Ironic, is it not, that the Euromillions (not the ‘National’ Lottery) was the source of the Weirs’ prize which has been put to so many good purposes – not least of which has been a number of generous donations to YES and to the SNP.

    Whoever was responsible for the item illustrated above must have been wishing that. Scotland had ALREADY been excluded from everything Euro …

  31. ronnie anderson says:

    Cant buy a Euro lottery ticket in France, is the Euro Draw

    not made in Paris,( an I dony mean Paris , Texas.

    ur they oony good wie geography or should ah send them a


  32. G H Graham says:

    I recently read that about £6.5 billion per year was spent on lottery tickets in the UK. And the average amount spent per person per year is around £150.

    Assuming a population based split of 8.3%, Scots spend about £539 million per year on lottery tickets. It seems reasonable then, to conclude that there’s plenty of money to establish a Scottish National Lottery & keep all the proceeds in Scotland.

    Don’t forget, London siphoned off about £140 million from Scottish lottery funded projects to help pay for the London Olympic games.

    And perhaps we could establish smaller jackpots but award more of them.

    As usual, Westminster & the Scottish Office in particular, continue to enjoy treating Scots as if we are thick as pig shit.

  33. CameronB Brodie says:

    I bet its something obvious? 🙂

  34. Doug Daniel says:

    With independence, we could decide whether to stick with EuroMillions, or join the Nordics and Baltics in the Viking Lottery, or the EuroJackpot, which is basically played by every country that isn’t in EuroMillions (and at least one – Spain – that is).

    Or we could, like, gamble less…?

  35. ronnie anderson says:

    Glad to see British buisness is in safe hands, Vince Cable

    BSecretary today in Westminster its up to the shareholders

    of Astrozenica, so thats Pfizer buying out a british

    company & getting Taxpayers money for Research,

    Whit was that they said about Scottish Uni,s Research

    Grant,s. Another stitch up of the Workforce & the Taxpayer

    for Corperate greed.

  36. Caroline Corfield says:

    According to the national lottery website you can register to play online if you are over 16 and resident in the UK or the Isle of Man. Well, there’s a turn-up eh? You can play outwith the UK of GB and NI on their website.

  37. Mary Bruce says:

    That buzzfeed was drivel, someone in the Scotland Office got the local primary school to put it together as a project.

    Not as rubbish as the No Borders astroturfing campaign tho, that was just plain old pish.

    They really are a bunch of incompetents, those posh boys in London. This is what happens when you organise your country to be run by rich folk’s kids rather choosing people with actual real talent.

  38. lumilumi says:

    I must live in the United Kingdom unbeknowst to me and my 5.5 million Finnish compatriots as we are able to play the Euro Millions lottery.

    I’m so glad we have such competent people in charge of “our” country. 😉

  39. handclapping says:

    I bet the one who gets Gideon Osborne in the Millionaire Raffle will be scunnered at their prize

  40. ewen says:

    That would be the euromillions I play in Ireland. Seems pretty international to me.

    Quite ironic that a big euromillions win is helping to fund yes.

  41. Ian Brotherhood says:

    You’re only allowed to play the Postcode lottery if you live in a cardboard box.

  42. lumilumi says:

    Doug Daniel @ 8.25pm
    …stick with EuroMillions, or join the Nordics and Baltics in the Viking Lottery, or the EuroJackpot, which is basically played by every country that isn’t in EuroMillions.

    Oops, maybe I got EuroMillions/EuroJackpot thingy wrong above. There’s some sort of European lottery in Finland, and the Nordic Viking thing.

    I wouldn’t really know since I only buy a Lotto (Finnish national lottery) ticket maybe once a year.

    Every time I’ve won, I’ve blown it all almost immediately. I once went to the cinema and another time I bought pints to a half dozen friends.

    But I’m a lottery winner. 😉

  43. Derek says:

    The lottery’s just another way for the government to avoid having to fund services. Make the desperate pay for it…

  44. Sinky says:

    Good article on Scottish exports on Business for Scotland.

    How is it then that many of the major supermarkets plaster most of their food packaging with Union Jacks?

    I have taken to removing the packaging before placing the fruit and veg into my shopping basket.

    I would encourage wingers to do the same then they might get the message.

  45. Michael says:

    13 European countries incl.Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finnland etc. play EuroJackpot with the draw on Friday in Helsinki. (23 mill Euro this week)

    Meaning… Scotland has options as to which system it would like to play in! No rip offs for London Games anymore.

    Is’nt independence nice 🙂

  46. Stuart Black says:

    Off topic, anyone wishing to support the creative arts via National Collective can do so her.

  47. Stuart Black says:

    here. Doh!

  48. galamcennalath says:

    ¿Quiénes son estos estúpidos unionistas?

  49. JLT says:

    Let’s be honest …it’s got to the stage where we trust nothing that the UK Government, the BBC or the media say.

    I mean, seriously! If the BBC weather guy says it really cloudy in Scotland; I still have to glance out the window just to make sure he’s telling the truth! That’s how bad it’s got!

  50. Thomas Hind says:

    Don’t disagree that the listicle in question is stupid and the point they’re trying to make patently untruthful, but they didn’t use that picture. They used this one

    We shouldn’t need to resort to distortion if we’re right.

  51. heedtracker says: Cant wait to see the back of these corrupt bullshitters, sorry much loved UK national institution.

  52. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Bloody capitalists…check this out! – …

  53. Boorach says:

    @ Doug D

    Unfortunately for some of us it’s the only (how sad is that) hope there is for us to improve our lives so we will continue to contribute to good causes on the off chance of… 🙂

  54. Nana Smith says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Does say money raised will be donated to the YES campaign.
    Already at £11….

  55. Bevrijdingsdag says:

    I give up Stu!

    Is it a Rollover?

  56. CameronB Brodie says:

    Ian Brotherhood
    The numpties can’t take the pressure. Total lightweights (no offense, honest 🙂 ).

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Don’t disagree that the listicle in question is stupid and the point they’re trying to make patently untruthful, but they didn’t use that picture.”

    Um, try clicking on the image…

  58. Boorach says:

    The good news is the Staggies have just beaten Hibs!

    Sorry Terry but you stuck it to us too often when you were with Caley!

  59. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Nana Smith –

    Only joking!

    I’ve got a wee stash of spare SHs, along with the lines from the bookies (rubs hands, laughing hysterically…).

  60. Roll_On_2014 says:


    Sorry to go OT so early Stu but it appears that Westmidden have been shown up for what they really are:

    Labour MP Paul Flynn accuses chairman of influential Commons committee of staging stunt to embarrass Scottish Parliament and walks out.

    SNP MP Mike Weir said: “This is an unprecedented intervention in the referendum debate from Paul Flynn, and is deeply damaging to the anti-independence campaign. For a senior Labour MP to walk out of a supposedly impartial committee inquiry on the referendum – claiming that it is a ‘stunt’ designed simply to embarrass the Scottish Parliament – undermines absolutely everything that Westminster committees are claiming about independence.

    He went on to add:

    “Today’s committee highlights why nobody believes a word the Westminster campaign says any more, and why the Yes vote continues to gain ground while support for No has stalled.”

  61. David Smith says:

    I’ll be happy to live in a country where people aren’t so put down that the only hope they have is based on a near non-existant chance of winning a big prize. It’s just a Hope Tax in the UK.
    I noticed the question at the foot of the page (is there anything wrong) too.
    I responded; “Yes this is a load of fictional British State Propaganda.”

  62. Nana Smith says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    HAHA… I have one to keep and I’ve printed one onto photo paper. Very nice keepsake.

    What’s happening with the bbc/cbi petition?

  63. ochyes says:

    There is a helpful bit at the bottom of the page which says

    Is there anything wrong with this page?

    You can provide them with feedback

  64. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Nana Smith –

    Here it is, and thanks for asking – I won’t be posting it any more as people must’ve been sick seeing it crop up here, but no sense closing it yet.

    Chris Patten, sorry, LORD Patten having to retire because of heart problems is obviously a massive setback because we don’t want to trouble the poor soul in a time of distress. We should allow a period of dignified silence during which his successor can be installed.

    Then we can send it.

  65. Paula Rose says:

    Has anyone asked Camelot what they think?

  66. Roll_On_2014 says:

    STU I have just submitted a comment and its just disappeared into the ether.

    I tried to submit it again but it was rejected because of duplication.

    I don’t know what I am doing wrong, It is getting frustrating!

  67. Mary Bruce says:

    “I’ll be happy to live in a country where people aren’t so put down that the only hope they have is based on a near non-existant chance of winning a big prize.”

    Sorry, David, but the first thing I’m doing in our indy Scotland is heading down to the bookies to collect my massive indyref winnings. Then I’m having a party.

  68. heedtracker says:

    Fact: It’s called the National Lottery – not the International Lottery. You can’t buy a ticket in France

    Fact: from wiki . Lotto,Initially, only the UK, FRANCE and Spain participated, with the Austrian, Belgian, Irish, Luxembourgish, Portuguese and Swiss lotteries joining for the 8 October 2004 drawing

  69. Cactus says:

    Just as the National Lottery state that the money they rake in supports good causes (is that that pooling & sharing talk again), the ever-likeable Weir couple kindly donated some of THEIR winnings towards some very good and worthy causes. This is no different.

    Try these 6 lucky numbers: 25/01, 18/09 & 30/11
    Extra bonus balls: 24/03

    In an Independent International Scotland (IIS).. Burns Night, Independence Day and Saint Andrews Day, could even become national holidays. Why? Because we made that decision!

    There is a whole new Scotland on its way, the undercurrents and momentum are positively gathering.

  70. CameronB Brodie says:

    I think this exemplifies Better Together a.k.a. HMG. Misleading and depressing. These guys get to play with tanks and worse. I really do wonder what our monarch thinks?

  71. Fiona says:

    That is the national lottery which we were assured would never be used to provide essential services or to part fund them so there could be tax cuts for the wealthy? That national lottery?

    A lottery is always a tax on desperation

    I look forward to the day when all of our people are secure enough never to bother with taking that gamble: the odds are lousy.

  72. hetty says:

    This subject came up at a charity board meeting I was at a few weeks ago. The issue being that the lottery funds projects which may struggle without it. I was acccused of politicising the meeting because I questioned some assertions that were put forward regards Independence in general, but the question of lottery funding for charities, and even other funding sources from ‘England’ was on the agenda. I think I read that there are no plans to set up a Scottish lottery.
    My view is that charity should never take the place of what should be funded by government.
    Scotland will be more than capable of funding essential non governmental services, it is a matter of where there is a will, though some are doubtful about how projects will continue to be funded.

  73. TheItalianJob says:

    Over in the Scotsman.

    Headline: UK MP: State Pensions would be paid after a Yes vote.

    “Giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said that anybody who had paid UK national insurance would be entitled to their state pension whatever the outcome of the referendum.”

    “The intervention contradicts concerns raised by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign.”

  74. TheItalianJob says:


    You beat me to it.

  75. Croompenstein says:

    Oh Flipper, pensions will be paid! Are you looking forward to your public debate Flipper 🙂

  76. Ken500 says:

    Scotland will be £Billions better off Independent.

    Everyone will have won the Lottery.

  77. Ian Brotherhood says:

    If we’re talking chance, betting, odds etc, this might be worth a swatch –

    Haven’t been following it religiously, but the Yes odds seem to have drifted just a tad out – didn’t we see some bookies offering less than 2-1 before the week-end?

    2-1 is still a decent punt – end up with treble whatever you stake? Hard to see how that can be maintained much longer when you look at the state of BT/UKOK.

  78. Marcia says:

    For those who don’t what to click on to the Scotsman website here is the archived page

  79. TheItalianJob says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Yes they have drifted slightly from last week. One was under 2/1 but has gone back up again.

  80. john king says:

    Somebody’s stole Catriona Shearer and replaced her with Kezia Dugdale on the SBBC news 🙁

  81. Les Wilson says:

    O/T is this the UK of the future?
    Here is a section of an article I got emailed, it’s from America. 1984 aint seen nothing yet!

    “attorney William Olson:

    The personal freedoms of Americans are now in tatters following the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal to knock down the National Defense Authorization Act, constitutional and election law attorney William Olson says.

    “This is a rather remarkable shredding of the Bill of Rights,”… he explained that the language of the act is so “loose,” that anybody can be picked up for any reason.

    “The president of the United States … [has] this power to detain indefinitely without charges, without trial, without an arrest warrant, without a grand jury, just to be able to hold someone who they think might be a threat of some sort,” Olson said.”

  82. Ken500 says:

    Scottish taxpayers pay (UK) gov pensions in Scotland. £17Billion from Scottish taxes raised in Scotland pays (UK) gov pensions and benefits in Scotland. Gov Pensions are paid from general taxation. There is NO pension fund.

    Pensioners pay tax. There will be more pensioners, but more pensioners paying tax. Swings and roundabouts. People had poor pension rights (60’s 70’s) especially women who worked P/T. They had no pension rights. That increases the Welfare Bill.

    Everyone in Norway is a kroner millionaire. £500Billion Oil Fund.

  83. Liquid Lenny says:

    Good to hear the Finnish National Anthem at the Moto GP held in Spain at the weekend as Mika Kallio easily won the Moto 2 Race.

    Re Pensions, this is old news, My mate got a letter confirming this fact about 15 months ago from the DWP.

  84. HandandShrimp says:

    I see Chris Patten is stepping down, he has just had heart surgery and has decided to retire. Diane Coyle is going to step in temporarily.

  85. Ken500 says:

    Tommy Sheridan was supposed to be on Keiser Report.What happened?

  86. Diane says:

    O/T but I think you’re going to hit 200,000 comments tomorrow Stu, that’s some achievement. BTW, COYR : )

  87. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @HandandShrimp –

    re Patten’s ‘retirement’.

    Must be serious right enough – he’s just dropped £143,000 a year.


  88. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    Yesterday I said I was trying to upload the Gray artwork from the Sunday Herald turned into a YES window poster, but FTP Explorer wouldn’t play ball. For some inscrutable reason it’s playing ball now, so help yourselves.

    I’ve got an A3 version in my window, a neighbour has an A4 version, and the new people that moved into the next street want one too.

  89. Roll_On_2014 says:

    Paula Rose

    Has anyone asked Camelot what they think?

    Funny you should ask that. Camelot is a Private Company and the UK only holds the license that allows the UK one, or is the Scottish Raj saying that they hold the European licenses as well!

    If I remember correctly Thales the Electronics Company initially held the majority of shares in Camelot but it was recently bought out by a Canadian Teachers Pension Fund.

  90. Fiona says:


    Pensions are not paid from taxation: they are paid from the National Insurance Fund. There are occasions when the fund is topped up by the treasury but that has not been the case for a number of years because the fund is in surplus

  91. heedtracker says:

    Sunday Herald Says YES Newspaper’s on ebay are bootleg:D

  92. Edmund says:

    Better off without the lottery anyway. All it does it make ordinary people poorer as we gamble on our numbers coming up. A lottery win (or an inheritance) is fast becoming the only way someone in the UK can secure themselves decent housing and a comfortable retirement. It’s not like wages pay for the cost of living any more.

    Do beer and bingo really keep the plebs happy?

    We need to build a country where we can earn ourselves a good life without having to bank on a lottery win.

  93. call me dave says:

    Oh well better ask… Excuse me! WoS I can’t find repository of things to know.

    Can I have a key or is there a special word to locate?

    “Be gentle with me” as Joan Collins once said in an old black and white film, as train rushes into tunnel! 🙂

  94. caz-m says:


    Tommy Sheridan had to cancel Max Kiazer show at last minute but they still done a good pro indy show without him.

  95. heedtracker says:

    Patten’s ‘retirement’. He lost his safe Tory seat of Bath oddly enough, so John Major gave him the governor of HongKong job. Such was teamGB cronyism so the boy’s done well or rather Hongkong was handed back to China and now this year the BBC in Scotland can witness Scotland being handed back to the Scots, which was probably just too much for one tory boy lifetime.

  96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Pensions are not paid from taxation: they are paid from the National Insurance Fund.”

    Sorry, that’s nonsense. NI is a tax. It’s put into the fund and used to pay pensions. There’s no “pot” of savings from people’s previous contributions. It’s paid from taxation in any meaningful sense of the term.

  97. Paula Rose says:

    All a big lottery win does is make you fair game for our national press.

    btw I’ve put a wee note about VNB on off-topic.

  98. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “He lost his safe Tory seat of Bath”

    It was only “safe” until I got here 😀

    Voting him out was one of the first things I did.

  99. Roger Mexico says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Thomas Hind “[…]they didn’t use that picture.”

    Um, try clicking on the image

    Actually Thomas Hind is right. They didn’t use that image in the original Buzzfeed piece, but one showing lotto tickets.

    However, what happens if you click on the image above is that you are taken to a “News story” on the UK Government website ‘published’ only today, which republished the original clodhopping listicle[1] apparently as part of “Informing the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future”. It was they who seem to have substituted the Euromillions picture.

    So either your awesome powers now extend to hacking into UK Government websites to make them look even more stupid, or, er, they did it themselves.

    [1] Soon to feature in 17 Government Uses Of Social Media That Remind You Of Your Dad Dancing. I mean who does a Buzzfeed listicle with ten items.

  100. Paula Rose says:

    @ call me dave – go to very top of page, click on ‘reference’ then scroll down xx

  101. HenBroon says:

    Sinky said, “How is it then that many of the major supermarkets plaster most of their food packaging with Union Jacks?”

    Aldis do a lot of Scottish brands, especially veg, meat, fish, and dairy. I shop mostly there now, a lot cheaper than even Asda.

    However your point is well made. I grew up wondering why every damn thing I lifted said Made in England on it.

    Our time has come.

  102. Craig P says:

    Regardless of the accuracy of the claim, this is the most pathetic official reason to keep the union I have heard yet.

    Has anyone heard of any benefits to the union even lamer than this?

  103. CameronB Brodie says:

    Paula Rose
    They haven’t hidden themselves very well, so far. Well spotted. Let me know where I need to go if you need a hand.

  104. heedtracker says:

    “Voting him out was one of the first things I did.” Which is rather a brilliant coincidence, or something else is going on in the history of Scotland:D

  105. Free at 63! says:

    Someone please tell me what is a ‘listicle’. I was an English teacher and never heard that word!

  106. Paula Rose says:

    Yes, keeping pound coins to use in supermarket trollies.

  107. Paula Rose says:

    My last post 11:20 refers to CraigP at 11:14

  108. Grouse Beater says:


    Patten’s ‘retirement’. He lost his safe Tory seat of Bath oddly enough, so John Major gave him the governor of HongKong job.

    He “lost” that too, and now the BBC.

    One is misfortune, twice looks like carelessness, but three times is most certainly gross incompetence.

    (With apologies to Lady Bracknell.)

  109. Paula Rose says:

    @ CameronB at 11:21, with what dear?

  110. lumatrix says:

    O/T but FYI just been on the Scotsman’s forum about Billy Connolly and was surprised to be prevented from rating comments up or down. The ijits obviously don’t know about ‘incognito’ or private browsing – as ditto the Herald.

    For those that do not know this, the Scotsman’s ploy of preventing ratings (does anyone know if it works BOTH ways as I tend to doubt it?) is easily overcome. In Chrome just copy the URL press and then paste in the URL. Do NOT accept cookies and eureka! – comment away.

  111. Paula Rose says:

    Damn 11:16

  112. TartanZen says:

    So this is how long they’ve been making the same claims…

    Devo Max… check
    England will be foreigners… check
    Companies leaving… check
    Alicsammin commander in chief of Scotland… check
    No currency… check
    Scotland’s share of the national debt… check
    Separating = Chaos… check
    No clout in Europe without the UK… check
    Ghosts of Labour resurrected to form the A-Team… check

    This message brought to you by George “oh noes it’s a cataclysm” Robertson

  113. lumatrix says:

    O/T again – sorry last part of last post should be – rate the comments as much as you like.

  114. CameronB Brodie says:

    Paula Rose
    I thought you were still playing with VNB, at least keeping an eye on them.

  115. Free at 63! says:

    Thank you Cameron B for that link. As an English teacher (still registered) it’s an Americanism which I was, and still am, fighting against. Basically it’s sh**e. I preferred to teach Scots language and literature which the pupils loved.

  116. Kenny says:

    It’s actually bollocks anyway. Camelot’s contract runs until 2016 and they’re working on the assumption that they’ll still be active in Scotland beyond March.

  117. The Man in the Jar says:

    In answer to “Myth #1” Thank fuck!

  118. CameronB Brodie says:

    Free at 63!
    I only knew because it was mentioned a couple of days back. Way too modern for me, otherwise. 😉

  119. heedtracker says:

    @ Grouse Beater, Patten was the boss of probably the biggest anti democracy campaign against Scotland the BBC has ever attempted. He’s had a heart attack, Scotland will vote YES. Poor Patten.

  120. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    There goes my dream of Lord Patton on the Edinburgh Castle esplanade to listen to the last post played by the Royal Marines Band, as the Union Flag was lowered for the last time.

    It would be quite appropriate for the Chairman of the BBC to receive the folded Union Flag and take it back to London for the British Museum.

    Patton would have been the best but I suppose his successor would do.

  121. Grouse Beater says:

    Someone please tell me what is a ‘listicle’

    “Listicle” is the past participle of “statistical,” an arithmetical measurement, used to denote a the outcome of a faked poll, “the results are listicle.”

    It’s often corrupted in rubber production jargon to mean, the strength of elastic, as in, “Check the elistical” – that is, check how far it will stretch.

    Listical has other colloquial useages, most of a practical application such as the general measurement of a drunk’s lean: “Constable, how much is that man listicle?” This is sometimes followed by the blunt observation, “I think he’s totally pisticle.”

    In religous society it denotes a junior vicar, not quite ecclesiastical, short of full training, “listical.” The the observant grammarian will note, though pronounciation is the same the spelling is different.

    In the recent Scottish Referendum, on hearing the Yes vote had overtaken them, inner members of the Better Together campaign were known to go “ballisticle.”

  122. caz-m says:

    Daily Mirror latest UK poll for 2015 GE.–ed-3505658

    What will any of these four Party’s do for Scotland?


    Vote YES Sept 2014.

  123. Anne Lawrie says:

    It’s very sad that so many people are so desperate that they hopefully buy lottery tickets every week and Camelot make more money, then the money goes to fund things the Westminster can’t afford (e.g.the Olympics). Don’t they realise that they have more chance of being struck by lightning than having a major win. Much better to buy premium bonds. You can pay monthly by direct debit, if you want and in an emergency you can always get your original stake back within a few days! The first month I bought them, I had a win that was more than the interest if I had kept my money in the bank for 200 years! The chances of winning are much higher than the lottery.

  124. Paula Rose says:

    @ Anne Lawrie – I totally agree, worked for me too!

  125. haud on the noo says:

    I’ve just found the listicle, mind I always swung to the left..

  126. caz-m says:

    Some dingbat on Sky News press preview said that the BBC opens doors all over the world because it has such a great reputation.

    The only door I would open for the BBC would be a Trap Door.

    Rot in hell BBC.

  127. Grouse Beater says:

    Dr Mackintosh

    It would be quite appropriate for the Chairman of the BBC to receive the folded Union Flag and take it back to London for the British Museum.


    I feel a Frankie Boyle joke coming on. After a triple bypass it might be draped over –

    (I’ll get my coat.)

  128. alexicon says:

    Don’t worry free at 63!
    We know another teacher who doesn’t even know what the word ‘truth’ means 😉

  129. Fiona says:

    Sorry Rev Stu but the national insurance fund is not a tax. The money does not go into the consolidated fund. It is a pay as you go system, certainly, though it has a minimum of around 16% over and above its commitments in year: and currently it has more than 40% surplus (or it did last time I looked)

    The distinction is important. If you really want to think of it as a tax (I don’t much care what we call it) then you have to qualify it as a hypothecated tax: and that makes a significant difference to its status since the government cannot divert it to other uses without primary legislation: and that is not a feature of the general taxation system. In fact that is the reason that pensions will be safe after independence no matter what the no campaign say.

    There are arguments about whether their should be a “pot” or not: personally I think the downside of such a thing outweighs the benefits, though others differ. But it is simply not true to suggest that NI is a tax like other taxes and it is important to counter that idea because it is an attack on a foundation principle of the welfare state. To undermine this is to help those who mouth “tax is bad” and tie that to the dismantling of the social security system.

  130. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Poor Lord Patten doesn’t deserve all this vitriol. Not after what he’s been through.

    He needs something restful…something to calm his nerves…makes the eyelids pleasantly heavy…something to summon quieter, happier days…perhaps those spent in the Orient…ohmmmmm…

  131. Lesley-Anne says:

    I don’t do the National Lottery with its *ahem* pitiful couple of £ millions jackpot I only do the Euromillions with its £ Mega Millions jackpot. 😛

    I guess because I don’t do the National Lottery then really all I got to say to Better Together is this:

    “You don’t want me to play the National Lottery in an independent Scotland then guess what I won’t cause I’m only interested in the BIG prize not the wee tiddlers.”

  132. rab_the_doubter says:

    Damn it we should have kept quiet about this – they’ve updated the pic.

  133. Thepnr says:

    The thing about NI is that it was supposed to fund all sorts of things not just pensions. Health and unemployment also being two major spenders.

    I agree with the Rev it is just another tax wrapped in a different envelope. It now makes up over 1/5 of all government revenue. However it’s impact is larger on the lowest payed because there is a cap on what you pay over a certain earnings limit.

    Personally I’d scrap it and just have a fairer income tax. This would rock the bout though.

  134. Thepnr says:

    The thing about NI is that it was supposed to fund all sorts of things not just pensions. Health and unemployment also being two major spenders.

    I agree with the Rev it is just another tax wrapped in a different envelope. It now makes up over 1/5 of all government revenue. However it’s impact is larger on the lowest payed because there is a cap on what you pay over a certain earnings limit.

    Personally I’d scrap it and just have a fairer income tax. This would rock the boot though.

  135. CameronB Brodie says:

    I wonder if that is the sort of thing the FM thinks about in the shower. 🙂

  136. Thepnr says:


  137. TJenny says:

    So now Chris Patten’s resigned, Dimblebot for new BBC Trust Chairperson?
    (and Paxo for QT?)

  138. Democracy Reborn says:


    Chambers Online Dictionary definition of “tax”:-

    “A compulsory contribution towards a country’s expenses raised by the government from people’s salaries…”

    NI is compulsory. It meets an expense of the state towards its senior citizens – ie. pensions. It is levied on workers’ salaries. In other words…. it is a tax on any sensible view. Whether the monies collected through NI s are ring-fenced in a separate pot, or otherwise, is an entirely different question.

  139. Fiona says:


    It does fund more than pensions. It funds contributory unemployment benefits and contributory sick pay.

    It is not a tax for the reasons I have already given. The fact that it is not a tax is also used to justify the cap on NI, and that is, as you say, a problem. However removal of the cap would not alter the status of the NIF because an increased contribution to the NHS would solve that problem (the NIF already pays some of its receipts to the NHS and that portion could increase if the cap were removed; safeguarding the principle and protecting a greater part of the NHS from diversion of funds by government at the same time)

    I have some sympathy with scrapping it and doing it all through income tax: but on balance I think that is the wrong approach both for principled and pragmatic reasons. I think that people like and value the insurance principle and that it is something which they can understand and value. I am also conscious that our plutocrats have somehow managed to make tax into a dirty word (and by tax in that context most people mean income tax). That is not rational and it would be better if people did not think as they do: but they do. For these reasons I agree with maintaining and strengthening the insurance principle and making it clear that this is NOT the same as general income tax: and I think it important to make sure people are aware of the nature of the hypothecation and to give them the chance to vote on the structure of our tax and insurance regime post independence.

  140. Fiona says:

    @ Democracy Reborn

    I have already said: if you wish to call it a tax then I have no objection in principle so long as you make it plain that it is a hypothecated tax and why that makes a difference. But the fact remains that it is not a tax, even within your definition. It pays for contributory benefits: that means it does not meet the country’s expenses in any meaningful sense. The government cannot spend this money on roads or railways or anything else; it is for contributory benefits and it would need primary legislation to alter that. In that sense it is properly an insurance scheme, though there are differences which make a difference in some ways there as well.

    Hypothecated tax is very unusual in this country: it is just wrong to suggest that NI is like other taxes as we understand that term and it is important because this allows of a defence of those benefits in very different terms from other public spending. We do not defend it in those terms and part of the reason we do not is because people have been persuaded that there is no difference between NI and tax. This benefits no one. A proper understanding of the existing system matters always and it matters far more when we are considering what arrangements we might make if we vote yes.

  141. Truth says:

    The problem with scrapping NI is that it would automatically lose a lot of the OAP vote.

    Why? Because OAPs are exempt from paying Class 1 and 2 NI.

    Scrapping NI will therefore never happen.

  142. Fiona says:


    I do not follow your reasoning, I am afraid. Can you elaborate a little please

  143. Truth says:


    If you are an OAP with private pensions in payment you only pay income tax on those pensions, ie no NI is paid.

    If NI is scrapped income tax will surely rise to maintain tax take. Your average worker is not likely to see a difference in what he pays overall, but pensioners will almost certainly see a rise.

    (I might add I am nowhere near being an OAP)

  144. Fiona says:


    I do not see that follows

    Income tax would probably rise as you say: but there is no need to increase tax on pensioners if they are not paying NI at present: we are not bound to few and crude levels of income tax if we do not wish to be.

    I do not wish to see NI abolished for reasons I have given: but there is no necessity for the measures you envisage if that decision is taken. There are lots of ways to keep such a change neutral for all.

  145. Alba4Eva says:

    Alex Salmond in Bruges…

    Stu, maybe even worth a wee post on its’ own?

  146. Ken500 says:

    FFS – UK gov pensions/benefits in Scotland are paid from taxes raised in Scotland.approx £17Billion. It goes to the UK Exchequer and comes back. Scotland raises approx £60Billion or did until Danny Alexander ruined the Oil Industry/Revenues (now taxed at 80%) and cut the Block Grant £1.3Billion a year in 2011.

    Scottish Block Grant pays for most expenditure in Scotland is approx £30Billion + approx £15Billion on Pensions/Benefits. Other £15Billion goes to Westminster. Take off Defence/EU contribution (which comes back disproportionately), where does the rest go. Scotland overpays approx £3Billion and £4Billion in loans repayments on Monies it doesn’t borrow or spend.

    Scotland raises and spends approx £60 Billion. The UK as a whole spends approx £700 Billion. Borrowing approx £120Billion. The rest of the UK raises less and spends more than Scotland. Scotland pays off the debt but doesn’t spend (pro rata) the borrowing. The Oil revenues have made London S/E richer (and Scotland) poorer. 1 in 35 people in London is a $millionaire.

    5 people in the UK own more than 1/5 (20%) of the population.

    Income tax would not have to rise or spending have to be cut on essential spending. Cut the cloth etc. Spend more wisely, spend differently.

  147. Ken500 says:

    Cutting spending on Trident/redundant weaponry and putting a tax on ‘loss leading’ cheap alcohol would raise/save £3Billion. Add that to the debt reapyments (Scotland) doesn’t borrow or spend £4Billion and the £3Billion overpaid = £10Billion. Pensions could be higher in Scotland not lower.

  148. Ken500 says:

    Mutinationals (foreign) tax evade in the City of Westminster. The Finance Laws in the UK are not enforced in the UK. Multinationals blatantly disobey the fiscal Law in the UK. It is called ‘ taking the tax home to Wall Street’ by the US financial sector. Westminster rip off Britain, damaging British business and unlawfully damaging business competition. Upholding unfair markets and free competition.

  149. Grouse Beater says:

    All those figures flying around your head, Ken, you won’t get much sleep!

  150. cynicalHighlander says:

    @rab_the_doubter says:

    Damn it we should have kept quiet about this – they’ve updated the pic.

  151. Craig P says:

    Thanks Paula

    Keeping the lottery and continuing to use pound coins in supermarket trollies.
    I seem to recall Danny Alexander or Michael Moore complain there would be some forms to fill in as well, ach, if I can’t use pound coins in supermarket trollies let’s not bother with all this upheaval 🙂

  152. Tattie-bogle says:

    why is it not the Nationalist loterry

  153. Tattie-bogle says:


  154. Greannach says:

    Craig P – with you on that one. The thought of not using pound coins in supermarket trolleys is cataclysmic. Stuff democracy and fairness – give me sterling denominated supermarket trolleys.

  155. scottish_skier says:

    Tories just 1 point behind Labour in the latest UK Survation poll.–ed-3505658

    Yougov showing very close results too. 1 point difference in this morning’s one:

    Comes on the back of Populus showing similar.

  156. caz-m says:


    These poll results for the UK GE 2015 will not have the Scottish Referendum factored into them will they??

    Surely, there should be polls showing what the outcome will look like without any Scottish MPs being included in them.

    It’s the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

  157. scottish_skier says:

    Surely, there should be polls showing what the outcome will look like without any Scottish MPs being included in them.

    The Tories would be ahead.

    Must be rather tempting for some in the shires.

  158. fergie35 says:

    Listening to BBC Radio Better Together Scotland while traveling back and forward to work, I noticed the same pattern emerging, they are putting the Better Together / LabServatives on at peak time and Pro Independence interviewees on at non peak time and they are avoiding the debate and the vote losing Darling and Brown, in favour of BBC Better Together spin.

  159. scottish_skier says:

    I suspect once the Euros are done and dusted, a section of UKIP voters, with protest complete, will move back to the *Toxic Tories* and they’ll pull ahead of Labour in polls.

    *(c) Scottish Labour / Better Together

  160. Wp says:

    I was under the impression that Scotland pays nearer £6 billion towards the national debt, but if you say £4 billion you must be correct,due to all the other stuff you have researched. I just want o be sure when I’m putting my facts over to ant unsure voters that they are accurate.

  161. manandboy says:

    England has self-determination.

    Scotland has no self-determination.

    What about ‘pooling and sharing’.

    Ah, Yes.

    Result – Scotland has self-determination.

    What could be fairer than that.

  162. Liquidlenny says:

    Manx radio reporting this morning that they are looking at ni for pensioners due to an agreement with UK govt. Guess then that if UK govt is making Manx Govt impose NI on pensioners then they have plans for UK?

  163. Famous15 says:


    Could I use your columns to wish Dorothy Bradford of GMS BBC a speedy recovery.The praise for the Scottish Government better methods of funding of hospital building which stuck in her poor little throat this morning must be excruciating. Perhaps a big soft cuddle from her matronly mentor Jacquie Baillie might be what the doctor ordered.

  164. No no no...yes says:

    Fergie35 @8:21 am

    Interesting observation. Another example of BBC bias, subtle but sleekit.

    Rev, I know it has been suggested before, but what about a separate tab for a log of examples of BBC bias.The date, time, programme and presenter(s) and link (if possible) would be required to properly record the evidence. I’m sure we would all be willing to put the required effort.
    Despite the proper campaigning date looming, the BBC will probably ignore it. I reckon the list would be usable within a few weeks to allow Wingers to share with others, through online links, social media, as well as printouts (with the Wings logo?),just ideal for handing out to the public.

    The outcome would be BBC bias exposed, increased awareness of this attack on our democracy, and more publicity for Wings.

  165. caz-m says:


    Do you mean Eleanor Bradford, BBC Scotland’s health spokesperson.

    Jackie Bailey also on the GMS phone-in, talking about child poverty and child education. Why no Scottish Government rep on?

    You have to laugh at all these Scottish Unionist MPs and MSPs. It has taken 300 years for them to realise poverty and poor education standards are related.

    And it’s all the fault of the SNP.

    According to Scottish Labour and Tories, EVERY problem in Scotland started in 2007.

  166. orri says:

    Hopefully the use of the Euromillions image was a deliberate act of sabotage. I’ll admit my reaction to hearing that we wouldn’t be allowed to play the UK/rUK National Lottery was that I’d start playing Euromillions instead. That or perhaps a Scottish Lottery might be started using a network of ticket machines bought on the cheap.
    One thing though, how do the funds spent per region compare to that raised? If more’s raised in Scotland then not being able to contribute to a common pool is actually going to mean more spent in Scotland.

  167. Flower of Scotland says:

    @Famous 15

    I heard that ! Actually it’s Eleanor Bradford. She is usually laden with doom and gloom about the NHS, so I usually turn off when I hear her voice. It was quite funny. She sounded a bit strangled! He, he!

  168. gerry parker says:

    Their heart’s just no in it!


  169. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ tatte bogle

    There’s a lot of whitaboutery aboot the loterrry.

    Apologies, still trying to waken up.

  170. Dorothy Devine says:

    Alba4Eva ,thanks for that .

    I had read it but it’s so much better to see the FM deliver it and the q&a’s were great.

    Should be posted all over the newspapers.

  171. john king says:

    No no no Yes @ 09.05
    NNS are already dong that.

  172. john king says:

    or doing even 🙂

  173. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Caught a snippet on radio this morning about Danny Alexander sounding-off again, this time about the real value of oil…

    ‘We Scots are canny…’ is one of his lines of attack, and he’s right. According to him, we ‘canny’ do this that or the other.

    I’m wondering if there’s a good seam to be tapped here – ‘Danny’, ‘canny’, ‘fanny’ etc. (Yes, it’s crude, but if Irn Bru can get away with using ‘Fanny’ in a telly ad, then its use shouldn’t be dismissed.)

    ‘Are You a Canny Scot?’ then takes on a different meaning – one that certain characters may be less keen to identify themselves with.

  174. Ian Brotherhood says:

    P.S. for example, ‘Canny’s for Fannies’.

  175. Grouse Beater says:

    The outcome would be BBC bias exposed,

    BBC biased exposed? “The Pitch – BBC Scotland”
    grousebeater.wordpress. Happy reading.

  176. Hood says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    ‘Are You a Canny Scot?’

    or maybe

    Are you a Canny Scot or a Cannae Scot?

  177. Macandroid says:

    O/T again – sorry

    Turn Morag Graham Kerr’s Herald front page into a huge poster at It uses tiled A4 or A3 pages to make whopping great composites. Then stick it on the side of your house!!!

  178. Flooplepoop says:

    O/T Is the Daily Record swinging round now as well?

  179. Grouse Beater says:

    Saw my first “Can’t” poster today, with the “T” crossed out.

  180. Robert Peffers says:

    @Free at 63! says:“Someone please tell me what is a ‘listicle’. I was an English teacher and never heard that word!”

    In this case it is a wrong spelling of, ““Testicle”.
    In other words totall balls.

  181. Blair paterson says:

    Why do these English people not stay out of Scotland’s affairs and worry about their own country people like Bradford ,Bailey and darling I am not sure if Bailey is English so I stand to be corrected in that but if she is not she is acting as if she is

  182. Desimond says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    You also have the cockney style “CANT” word for such fun.

    A picture of Ray Winstones head with a speech bubble saying “Scottish CANTS!” should do the trick.

  183. No no no...Yes says:

    John King at 9:55 am


    Thanks for the information about Newsnetscotland and its “Questionable BBC Broadcast” form. Not the easiest to find!

    Here is the link for others to use:

  184. Desimond says:


    Joan McAlpine is an SNP MSP, I think its the Records way of claiming non bias to have her as a columnist.
    From wiki
    Politically, the Daily Record supported the conservative Unionist Party until the 1964 general election, when it switched its allegiance to the Labour Party. The paper continues to support the Labour Party and has a close relationship with it, including donating £10,000 to the party in 2007.[7] It opposes both the Scottish National Party (SNP) and, separately, Scottish independence. On the day of the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, it ran a front-page editorial attacking the SNP

  185. gordoz says:

    @Ian Brotherhood – Danny the Fanny Canny

    Canny = Cannae ?

    ie Vote No; cause we cannae dae it

    Tae wee
    Tae poor
    Tae stupit

  186. Michael says:

    O/T and apologies for it but I know how much affection Wingers have for Bo’ness – wasn’t Stu going to be sent there for his holidays. Anyway, we have a very active Yes group here and we are presently trying to raise funds for a campaign HQ and information hub in the town. We have a very modest target of only £1500 and it would be great to raise that money in one day. Can all you generous Wingers dig into your pooches and purses and help us out. Stu, you can visit us any time you’re in the area. Maybe you’d like to come and cut the ribbon at our opening ceremony. Thanks.

  187. flirb says:


    Of course National Insurance is a tax! It’s a tax that the government has volunteered to limit its use of, but it is nevertheless a tax: “a compulsory contribution to the support of government, levied on […] income, […] now at fixed rates, mostly proportional to the amount on which the contribution is levied.” (OED)

    You insist that it isn’t, apparently because you want to differentiate NI from other taxes to defend it from the frothing lunatics who believe that all tax – and for that matter all government – is evil. But arguing that NI isn’t a tax, that it’s something somehow different, makes you complicit with those lunatics. You’re ceding to them the ground that tax is evil. That’s not the argument to make.

    The argument that needs to be made is that tax and government aren’t evil, that government can and should act for the social good in a way that the private sector can’t and won’t, and that tax is the necessary means to that end.

    You tiptoe around this yourself: We do not defend it in those terms and part of the reason we do not is because people have been persuaded that there is no difference between NI and tax. But no: people have been persuaded that all tax is evil, that a social safety net is evil, that anything at all done by government is evil. This is the war we need to fight: for government, as the only force that (despite its flaws, which we must always be vigilant to expose and correct) can promote social justice, protect the weak and provide for the common weal.

    Sure, NI is hypothecated, to a degree. Until Parliament decides it’s not. Your argument about the sacrosanctity of NI contributions would be more compelling in a system not defined by Parliamentary sovereignty. Anyone remember how a few years ago Jeffrey was talking about merging NI and income tax?

    And for that matter:

  188. Robert Peffers says:

    @Craig P: Re – Supermarkt trolly pound coins.

    Some years ago a popular magazine gave away a free key ring fob. It was the exact shape and size as a pound coin. They actually said in the mag that it could be used to free supermarket trollys. Now I note that my SNP key ring fob is the exact size and shape of the pound coin. Now is THAT forward thinking or not?

  189. Morag says:

    Gave away? I paid £1 for mine, to a cat rescue charity.

  190. Robert Peffers says:

    @Fiona says: “I have already said: if you wish to call it a tax then I have no objection in principle so long as you make it plain that it is a hypothecated tax”.

    I believe you are writeing in the, “Jargon”, of the tax insider and not in plain English. As one who spent over 50 years in the electronics/RADIAC/Defence fields where jargon was the order of the day, may I remind you that Road Fund Duty or Road Tax was not exclusively used to build, repair, plan and research our highways and byways. Not by a very long shot indeed.

  191. Famous15 says:

    Apologies for calling Eleanor Bradford Dorothy but the little miss innocent voice of hers ,particularly when trying to discredit the Scottish Government reminds me so much of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She is spot on; Kansas it ain’t!

  192. lumilumi says:

    Alba4Eva @ 5.13am 7.5.2014
    (the link to Alex Salmond’s Bruges EU speech and Q&A session)

    Thanks so much for the link!

    I’d read the speech before, but it was so much better seeing and hearing it, and espacially the Q&A afterwards.

    How many UK (Westminster) day-trip-to-Scotland politicians stay in front of an unvetted – or any – audience for Q&A?

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