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Quoted for Tories

Posted on June 03, 2014 by

This is Lord (Ian) Lang of Monkton (Conservative) speaking in the House Of Lords on the 6th of September 2011, during the second Lords reading of the Scotland Bill (later to become the Scotland Act 2012):

“Over the past decade, United Kingdom public spending, which determines the level of the Scottish block grant, has grown faster than Scottish income, which of course determines the revenue from income tax. UK public spending, of which Scotland has received its share and more, has grown by 94 per cent in 10 years, but Scottish income by only 48 per cent.

Therefore, when the new Scottish income tax replaces part of the block grant, it seems that it will have to be raised above the United Kingdom rate for Scottish public spending just to stand still.

And there’s more.

“The Bill will not work above all because Scotland’s weakened economic base cannot support the spendthrift policies of its Government. When the Barnett bonus of some £4.5 billion starts to disappear in the shake-out of the new tax arrangements, the burden will get heavier and it will fall on a small tax base.

We have fewer than 2.4 million individual taxpayers in Scotland – less than half the population. A large proportion of them are either employed by or dependent upon the public sector, where substantial cut-backs are inevitable in response to the deficit and debt crisis.

If income tax is levied in Scotland at a higher rate than in the rest of the UK, as it would have to be, targeting our brightest and most successful entrepreneurs, I foresee, as surely everybody can, a flight of capital, a flight of jobs and a flight of people, and it would be the brightest and the best who would go first. Already the uncertainty alone about Scotland’s future is a major cause of concern to the business community.

So I say again: this Bill will solve nothing and endanger everything. It builds on failure. It offers help and encouragement to those who would destroy the United Kingdom. It will create fiscal confusion and grievance.

In seeking to rectify the worst shortcoming of the Scotland Act – its lack of accountability – it will go far enough to alienate Scottish taxpayers but not far enough to enforce accountability, and it will bring with it an accumulation of painful and unforeseen financial consequences. 

The Germans have a word for it: Schlimmbesserung – an improvement that makes things worse.”

So, y’know, that’s the Conservative view of their new devolution proposals. Of course, they’ve been comically wrong about devolution before – nearly always, in fact – so maybe they will be again.

The trouble is that other than a bit of partisan ideological spin (“spendthrift Scottish Government” blah blah) we can’t find anything there that isn’t essentially logical. Of course people will move if you have different tax rates within the same country. Of course you’ll have a shortfall, if only to pay for the new tax-collecting bureaucracy.

But still, they might be wrong again. Do you feel lucky, Scotland?

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    1. 03 06 14 17:22

      Quoted for Tories | Scottish Independence News

    109 to “Quoted for Tories”

    1. cearc says:

      I feel lucky.

    2. X_Sticks says:

      I’ll feel a whole lot luckier on the 19th September with a Yes vote in the bag.

    3. Sydthesnake says:

      we feel luck, punks

    4. Sydthesnake says:

      lucky even, I wish I could smell better but I can’t even get my own name right

    5. Gordon Hunter (@GordonHunter11) says:

      God,I Feel Lucky.

    6. Murray McCallum says:

      Strange the BBC and “left”-leaning papers aren’t highlighting disunity and internal Tory criticism of their flagship Scottish dependence proposal.

    7. Nobby Power says:

      He’s also admitting his own side have failed to control public spending (which they promised), isn’t he?

    8. Bigdrone says:

      Go ahead, make my day Monk!

    9. john ferguson says:

      I won a bottle of champagne three years ago. My birthday is sept 19th any suggestions?

    10. Drew says:

      Tell me the last time a tory was correct?

    11. Clootie says:

      “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
      ? Thomas Jefferson

    12. Sydthesnake says:

      @Nobby Power
      they can’t even control there own emotions, we will be in dire straits if DO NOT VOTE YES
      come on September 18th

    13. Sydthesnake says:

      oh dear long day in office, I meant to say


    14. JimnArlene says:

      Seems to be a designed in failure, so it’ll be, “Scots can’t govern themselves, here’s the proof, yada yada”. Time to bid adieu, to the lot of them,and vote yes.

    15. alexicon says:

      Remember folks we’re preaching to the converted, we need to convince the unconverted???

      That aside have you noticed the stone wall silence like euphoria that the Scottish media have greeted the Tory proposals with?
      Instead they’ve treated their proposals the same way as the Labour devo nano proposals.

    16. alexicon says:

      Oops! Don’t know what happened there.

      Anyway I get the feeling that the Scottish media is down playing the Tory proposals because the Tories are actually offering more than the Labour party is.

      We can’t have that in Scotland surely?

    17. chossy says:

      Can somebody explain that to me in simpler terms, I don’t think I understand it. It looks like they are suggesting we can’t pay for ourselves by a long way….

    18. Sydthesnake says:

      I still can’t believe (yes I’m naïve) that the Scottish media are all over YES like a rash when they perceive we’ve done something bad/told untruths and then they just criticise us and spin it, but turn a blind eye to all the lies coming from BT
      when will this stop?

    19. msean says:

      Not lucky at all,and won’t be till we are independent,where ermine clad fools can’t decide anything and we have a really free press and an SBC free from partial politics.

    20. Roy M says:

      As a resident of the US, I don’t think it’s a given that people will move around if there are different tax rates. Some definitely will, especially if you don’t have particularly strong roots or family ties where you live. But living in California, with a pretty high rate of state income tax and sales tax, there is not a mass migration over the border to Oregon, where there is no sales tax; ditto, Oregonians don’t flee over the border to Washington state, where there is no income tax.

    21. Les Wilson says:

      This is what concealing Scotland’s true worth does to the English people at large, they swallow it all with the deceit of Westminster and the compliant media spin.

      Sorry O/T
      A very good, uplifting video on Bella, from a young man who looks like he has a future.

    22. msean says:

      I guess it means we can’t do anything, the way those in charge want us to do it will endlessly hog tie the government in Scotland.Freed from these ‘superiors’ Scotland would do just fine,and they know it. In trying to compete with the better idea of independence,they are attempting to outdevo each other,resulting in even more reasons to vote yes.

    23. Jim Thomson says:

      @john ferguson 5:00pm

      buy a boat, name it something appropriate, and use the fizzy to launch it 🙂

    24. Cyberniall says:

      September 19th hopefully.

    25. desimond says:

      The Germans have a word for it: Talkinuttershit

    26. msean says:

      In the event of a yes vote,the next years budget at Westminster should be comedy gold as gaps are plugged and taxes rise right before a general election,and they’ll probably still beat Labour at that.

    27. CameronB Brodie says:

      Roy M

      Analysts of regional growth differences in the US tend to assume full spatial equilibrium (Glaeser et al, 1995). Flows of people thus indicate changes in the distribution of spatial welfare more effectively than differences in incomes. Research in Europe, however, shows that people tend to be immobile. Even mobility with in countries is restricted compared to the US but national boundaries offer particular barriers to spatial adjustment. Thus it is less reasonable to assume full spatial equilibrium in a European context and differences in per capita incomes may persist and signal real spatial welfare differences. Furthermore, it implies that the drivers of what population movement there is, may differ from the drivers of spatial differences in productivity or output growth. This paper analyses the drivers of differential urban growth in the EU both in terms of population and output growth. The results show significant differences in the drivers as well as common ones. They also reveal the extent to which national borders still impede spatial adjustment in Europe. This has important implications for policy and may apply more generally to countries – for example China – less homogeneous than the USA.

    28. Brotyboy says:


      Gary Player.

    29. IcySpark says:

      So basically if the Tories get their way and we vote no this will be the outcome:

      Removal of the Barnett formula. Which will hit Scottish tax payers if we get a means tested formula.

      Ability for Scotland to raise income taxes whilst Westminster keep all the oil revenues etc.

      Therefore a huge shortfall to the SG, so we would need to raise taxes which luckily for us the tories will have given us.

      Westminster can then blame the SG when it needs to raise taxes just to stay on a level playing field.

      Sounds great.

      The tory plan in my mind is a big cut to Scottish finances, not more powers.

    30. David Agnew says:

      once again a fossil from the thatcher era warning of how the Scots are just spending money that isn’t theirs.

      Tories in Scotland must actually enjoy getting their arses kicked by the electorate. Kind of sick if you ask me.

    31. desimond says:

      Now better than a wee smile as you leave the office.
      This thread ( and this weeks events) reminded me of this classic :

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      Les Wilson @ 5.36

      That’s a great info video. Really well put together and delivered.

    33. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Tory Nawbags the lot of therr.

    34. IcySpark says:

      Alex Salmond’s 5 Million Questions appearance streaming live now on:

    35. Jim Marshall says:

      Sydthesnake 5.18

      “I still can”t believe (yes I’m naïve) that the Scottish media are all over YES like a rash when they perceive we’ve done something bad/told untruths and then they just criticise us and spin it, but turn a blind eye to all the lies coming from BT
      when will this stop?”

      Answer. Not until we vote for independence.

    36. call me dave says:

      Mr Salmond live at 18:00hrs live link.

    37. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Right! It’s time for the YES campaign to start motoring, now that the unionists have disclosed their Devo as little as we can get away with nonsense.

      A huge issue is the share of UK jointly owned assets. Valued by HMRC in 2007 as £1.3tn!!!

      Take a population % share of Scotland and that comes to circa £110billion. Maybe knock off property sitauted in Scotland and shared defence items £40bn?

      That would leave us with a payment from Westminster of circa £70billion. i.e. an initial oil fund!

      We could invest circa £20billion in the Scottish economy and take an income of 4% pa (as per Norway),. That’s £2.8bn a year!!!

      If they don’t agree fine. We don’t take any of the debt.

    38. CameronB Brodie says:

      The above link is rather technical, so you might want to skip to page 28, “Comparing and Contrasting the Drivers of Population and Economic Growth “. 🙂 My favourite passage is;

      We also find that there are significant, but theoretically consistent, differences in the drivers of population compared to economic growth. Agglomeration economies, concentrations of research and development (R&D) activity and highly skilled human capital, and systems of urban governance play a significant role in driving spatial economic growth differences, but no role when it comes to population growth.

    39. Kev says:

      Utterly disgraceful stuff there from B Ponsonby on stv news – declaring to the people of Scotland that there is no doubt whatsover that should there be a No vote the main Unionist parties will all sit down and agree on new powers for Scotland, despicable lies, I don’t know who is worse now them or the BBC, it was a blatant attempt to dissuade Labour voters from shifting to Yes. The state of the media in this country is truly shameful.

    40. Pentland Firth says:

      Tory and Labour devo proposals (not commitments) are similar to a pair of idiots offering a bag containing only one or possibly two golf clubs to a player about to start a round. It’s economic illiteracy on an impressive scale. As a cleverly calculated political proposal, however, it is seemingly sufficient to presuade the gullible, if the witless guff in today’s Scotch press is anything to go by. When are our print and broadcast journalists going to contact any economist worthy of the name to ask them for their views? Are they frightened of the answers they would get?

    41. Bryce McCulloch says:

      Its not all abour fiscal wealth but it helps. Moving from employed to self employed proved that to me. When your future is in your hands you work at it and develooe new skills when required, don’t be frightened, vote YES.

    42. goldenayr says:

      john ferguson says:
      I won a bottle of champagne three years ago. My birthday is sept 19th any suggestions?

      Mines the 18th of September.

      Pop round to mine and we’ll open it at midnight.

    43. taysideterrier says:

      Watching the 5 million questions live feed, Torrance looks to be obsessed with asking about income tax.

    44. Jim Marshall says:

      goldenayr & john ferguson

      We”ll all be quaffing the champers given the right result.

    45. Roy M says:

      @CameronB Brodie – agreed. The author in this Wings of Scotland piece said “Of course people will move if you have different tax rates within the same country.” That does not seem to be a huge reason why people move within the US, where neighboring states have different state income rates (or none) and different sales tax rates (or none).

      In the US context, people will move for jobs and opportunities, and a conscious calculation of what the state income or sales tax rate is doesn’t usually enter into an individual’s consideration of whether to move across a state line or not. I’m not too sure if I can comment on how individual companies might react to different tax rates, although we had the obnoxious Governor of Texas running ads in California trying to entice businesses away with his race to the bottom economics.

      Given the common language and a largely shared culture between Scotland and the rest of the UK, I don’t think people in Scotland and the rest of the UK would behave all that differently from what we see in the US if there were different tax rates while being part of the same country.

    46. Wee Jonny Campbell says:

      I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did I debunk six bullshit stories from NobOrders, Babe Ruth, Blink Eastwood (A. darling), Comical Ali, Stairheed & Coke Osbourne in the last 24 hours or only five?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is Wings Over Scotland the most powerful bullshit debunker in the world and will blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

      “How do they call you Dirty Stoo?”
      “Coz eh tak care o a the shite.”(don’t know why you went all Dundonian there Stu, but it’s meh story so…)

      O/T Came up on Facebook things that are similar to my stuff, and it was Gorgee Georgee’s page. Had a wee look and FFS he is worshipped by a lot of people for he is truly the next messiah. Unless it’s his own effin country.

    47. galamcennalath says:

      It’s what we all known, but good to hear it from Tory lips on the public record!

      Give the Scots control of income tax, cut the block grant, force Edinburgh to cut spending and/or raise tax … but it’s a plan, not a mistake.

      Consequences … devolution suddenly becomes so unpopular that independence is forgotten for generations. English voters appeased, Scots’ wings clipped, thoughts of self determination banished, oil secured, UK international status preserved. A Unionist dream ticket.

      We know we are not too wee, or too poor … on Sept 18th we need to prove once and for all, we’re not stupid!

    48. Onwards says:

      What gets me is that the Scottish Tories already know that devolving income tax alone, and cutting the Barnett formula proportionately, will hurt Scotland’s budget.

      We need to see other areas of income coming to the Scottish Government to make up for it – oil revenues, corporation tax, crown estate, alcohol duty etc

      Ruth Davidson knows this.

      So either:

      1. They are happy to deliberately hurt Scotland, and further subsidize the rest of the UK.

      2. It is all a sham. They can say they looked at the figures, then decided to leave things as they are to protect Scotland’s budget.

      My guess is 2.
      No more powers.

    49. memaw says:

      I have just had the most dispiriting conversation with a family member who says that she thinks no one is interested in the Referendum. She talks to lots of people through her work and so far they think it is just like a General Election and have not tuned into the debate at all. They will go into the booth and go along party lines. I am so disheartened. She is one of my converts but she can’t even discuss it with her family. The historical significance is passing people by.

    50. Davy says:

      So basicly the tories are wanting us to walk headfirst into a monetary trap of their making, just so they can legally screw us for the rest of time.

      And just to go OT what is this scottish labour union campaign launch I have read about on the bbc Scotland website ???, and something about Brown and Lamont having a rally tonight in Glasgow for it ?

      I thought their already was a labour no campaign and also they were with the tories/Libdems and other associated numptys “ukip, bnp, orange-lodge” in the better together mob, so what is happening.

    51. scottish_skier says:

      Right, that’s both cars decked out with Wings stickers thanks to Calgacus (aka SS senior).

      Also now 7 days commuting in a row now where I’ve seen at least one Yes sticker either way, with a few sometimes. That’s recent and nothing better for putting a smile on your face.

      In contrast, last time I saw a U KOK one was in Edinburgh Airport short stay in January.

    52. CameronB Brodie says:

      I can only talk of my own experience today. I asked one person (checkout assistant), if they had tuned into the debate. They had and will be voting YES. I know it isn’t a scientifically robust sample set, but the 100% result must surely indicate something? 🙂

    53. Balaaargh says:

      Over the past decade, United Kingdom public spending, which determines the level of the Scottish block grant, has grown faster than Scottish income, which of course determines the revenue from income tax. UK public spending, of which Scotland has received its share and more, has grown by 94 per cent in 10 years, but Scottish income by only 48 per cent.

      So what was Scotland’s share a decade ago, and what is it now?

      Therefore, when the new Scottish income tax replaces part of the block grant, it seems that it will have to be raised above the United Kingdom rate for Scottish public spending just to stand still.

      OK, someone help me out here. I thought Stu had already covered that only changes in the tax rate affected the “block grant”? If we don’t touch the tax levels (as Holyrood hasn’t for a number of reasons already covered enough on this site) surely our Masters will still throw the same amount of scraps into our bowl?

      That’s putting aside from the obvious, we-all-know-it’s-coming-if-we-say-no backlash from Westminster against Holyrood, let’s assume we continue with the status quo. (Can’t believe I just said that!)

    54. Murray McCallum says:

      O/T as not quoted for Tories.

      Have to say Alex Salmond is very impressive in

      Rare ability to mix hard fact, linked human stories and humour.

    55. galamcennalath says:

      memaw says:
      I have just had the most dispiriting conversation with a family member who says that she thinks no one is interested in the Referendum….. The historical significance is passing people by.

      Know how you feel sometimes, but on balance I’m becoming more optimistic with fewer pessimistic episodes!

      One event which I am holding out high hopes for is the draft interim written constitution for Scotland which will be published soon for consultation.

      Obviously it isn’t our present devolved parliament nor the SNP’s place to come up with our future actual constitution, however, for discussion and consultation it’s a good move.

      I am hopeful the huge contrast between Westminster rule, and the rights citizens should have in an independent Scotland will be an eye opening constrast for a lot of people. It will be hard to ignore and could be a game changer. It represents something which the Union could not possibly match.

    56. call me dave says:

      Torrance cannot be that much of a numpty, asking AS if he’ll be in charge of ‘team Scotland’ after a YES when negotiating.

      AS says “I’m First Minister” enough said audience laughs!

    57. Jim Marshall says:

      memaw & galmcennalath

      Most of these apathetic people are completely disinterested and are happy in their own comfort zone. Wouldn”t be too disheartened as a lot of them will not even bother voting.

    58. Seepy says:

      Schlimmbesserung is a great word, although disimprovement is not too bad

    59. Doug Daniel says:

      I like the way Lang casually chooses to completely ignore the other revenues that help determine the size of the block grant. It’d be interesting to see how much “income” went up in the UK as a whole. Income basically means pay levels – well we all know those have stagnated in the UK.

    60. rab_the_doubter says:

      Tell them to write just 2 words on a bit of paper – YES / NO
      Ask them to point to the option that says Labour Conservative SNP Green Party.

    61. rab_the_doubter says:

      oops, missed Lib Dem, no surprise though seeing as theyre finished in Scotland.

    62. heedtracker says:

      The Germans have a word for it: Schlimmbesserung – an improvement that makes things worse.”

      Yes wheel out something from Germany, the federal world economic powerhouse where the even notion of a unelected Lord twit like this choob or a House of Lords would be simply never happen.

    63. call me dave says:

      Heartening to listen to AS, he has a great ability to inspire people towards a better Scotland and fairer society at ease with itself.

      Enjoyed the event and especially the parts where AS nudged Torrance and his little traps out the road now and again.

      The last question Aye Right!.. The man in the green, aye you.. says Torrance (wink wink).

      Checked the back of my head… no buttons yet.

    64. macdoc says:

      Almost all medical students from my facebook like bettertogether. Its very disheartening and I honestly believe the polls are accurate and we will have a huge time getting a majority in this referendum.

      Opinion is very much based on geographic and social demographics and therefore some people will find it hard to beleive.

      Media manipulation and propaganda will make a no vote very likely.

    65. call me dave says:

      The last Q

      If locked in a room for 1hr with

      Prince Charles
      A. Darling &
      B. Putin

      What would you be talking about?

    66. TJenny says:

      Just finished listening to the David Torrance/Alex Salmond 5 million Qs at Dundee Uni. By God Alex is impressive. So natural and has the audience onside and laughing with him. I’ll never understand those who don’t like or appreciate oor Alex. I just thank all the gods and fates he’s on our side. 🙂

    67. heedtracker says:

      Dundee debate was really nice but hasn’t David Torrance got a lovely unionist hair do.

    68. heedtracker says:

      @ macdoc, Media manipulation and propaganda will make a no vote very likely.

      That’s exactly what they said last time in 97′ Doctor Mac, over and over and look what happened. Take an aspirin, have a lie down, vote YES!

    69. Murray McCallum says:

      I have a lot of sympathy for David Torrance.

      He really must be at a loss as to why Ruth Davidson isn’t First Minister. Over the last 24 hours she has not deviated one iota from her latest line in the jam.

      Contrast that with Alex Salmond. One decade he supports Scottish independence, the next he does and at the moment he is campaigning to deliver it.

    70. @memaw

      my experiences on the doorstep is that those not interested in the debate will not bother voting anyway.

      I still cant see the thousands of NO voters happily skipping along to the polling booth on sept.18th,knowing they are going to screw up Scotland for good.

      What will they get out of voting NO anyway,apart from a Tory/UKIP government for the next 5 years!
      No ones that stupid are they?(I keep telling myself this to keep sane)

    71. DougA says:

      I feel lucky. Wee point. I think you will find Scotland has a lot more taxpayers, about 3.7 million if I remember correctly. Ian Lang, of course, always did get things wrong, the big jessie.

    72. Grouse Beater says:

      Lord Lang said: Schlimmbesserung

      Not a wise choice considering he’s the same who went on to implement and then lead the Lords debate on independence opening with the charlatan’s rallying cry, “Independence would dishonour the sacrifices made in common cause of those who died for the UK” … the traditional Posh Jock baloney that helps keep RAC Club membership honorary.

      He chooses a German term, and a four syllable one at that.

    73. G. Campbell says:

      David Torrance: “You are now quite conservative with a small ‘c’ perhaps, on income tax in particular.”

      Alex Salmond: “David, I’ll never be as Conservative as you.”

    74. scottish_skier says:

      Almost all medical students from my facebook like bettertogether.

      This sounds like a BT yougov poll approach.

      MORI just gave 50/50 among men now and it’s the most no friendly pollster there is. And that’s a very sudden shift. Women will follow; they’re just being more polite.

    75. scaredy cat says:

      Sorry, sort of O/T but I thought it worth mentioning this. Since my question to Anne McGuire MP re Labour’s devo nano proposals she has been keeping in touch.

      I got this today

      Anne McGuire MP
      Member of Parliament for Stirling
      This Saturday, June 7th, former Secretary of State for Scotland John Reid will make his most important intervention in the referendum debate so far, highlighting the many positive reasons why the brightest future for Scotland is to remain in the UK.
      This event will take place in Stirling’s Smith Art Gallery & Museum, with an 11:00am registration for an 11:30am start.
      To register, please click HERE.
      Over the past few months quite a few e-news readers have commented that they do not have enough information on some of the important issues on which we will have to decide on 18th September, Referendum Day. So, I am very pleased to be introducing and sharing this platform with John.
      As someone who believes that it is important that people seize opportunities to help inform their decision on September 18th, I would be delighted if you could attend.
      There will be an opportunity to put your questions to John and I following his speech, so we hope you will come along and take part in this important discussion.
      I look forward to seeing you and hearing your contribution on Saturday.
      Former Secretary of State For Scotland
      John Reid
      Speaking in Stirling on Saturday

      I guess you have to register as you need to click on a link, but I can forward the email to anyone who wants to go.

    76. Ken500 says:

      Ian Lang, Thatcher’s henchman. Thatcher took the equivalent of £Billions of Oil Revenues from Scotland and cut Scotland’s budget to the core, in secret. She actually wrote, ‘this must be kept secret’, on the Government documents, released last year. Thatcher came to the General Assembly and said, ‘We the English people are generous to the Scots’. Complete bare faced lies. Unelected Ian Lang has no mandate.

      Thatcher cancelled a pipeline wasting the equivalent of £Billions of Gas. One of her Minister’s resigned. Ian Lang helped destroy Scottish manufacturing and infrastructure. Blair/Brown continued the collision Labour/Unionists kept the McCrone Report secret for thirty years.

    77. Marcia says:

      G. Campbell

      Several hundred at the University. A few overflow halls in use. Wasn’t able to get into the main hall. I like the way the FM upstaged David Torrance a few times.

    78. G. Campbell says:

      Alex Salmond on Magnus Gardham’s immigration spin.

    79. Edmund says:

      The question to ask when reading the first quote, is by what percentage did UK income rise over the last 10 years? Going by these figures:

      £522.4 billion in the year to 2011 vs £358 billion in the year to 2001 is a 46% increase.

      So Scotland if Scotland managed 48% she actually performed better than the UK as a whole over the period.

      The people arguing that Scotland is too poor should go look at the figures for the UK as a whole and ask if you can afford to remain shackled to governments that consistently fail to balance the books.

    80. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thatcher sold weapons to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, then sent the SAS over to train them in terrorism techniques. Rule Britannia. 🙁

      How Thatcher helped Pol Pot
      By John Pilger

    81. X_Sticks says:

      What’s the Rev up to now?

      From twitter:

      “We’ve got something interesting coming up at 10pm about that “Better Together” poll from the weekend about benefits and oil money, folks.”

      More tease than Paula Rose 😉

    82. Jeannie says:

      Talking of journalists, there’s a Yes/No debate this Thursday (5th) at 6pm in Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. It features George Kerevan and Alan Cochrane – they seem to have written a book, jointly. No entry fee and will probably get in at the door, but might be best to phone Waterstones and book. The number is: 0141 332 9105.

      Now’s your chance to talk to Cockers directly and figure out whether or not he really is batshit crazy.

    83. kininvie says:

      O/T Please forgive

      Could anyone involved with the Wings Stall for Yes in the Park contact me at please. There are Alert reader badges and maybe Hamish posters available, and I need to find a way of getting them to you (can’t be there myself)

      Also – there’s a fundraiser going on for Yes ad Trailers for West Lothian and Borders:

      I know everyone’s donated out, but every little helps.

    84. Nana Smith says:

      Truly inspirational. Willie MacDonald speaking in Lockerbie.
      Someone should arrange for him to tour round Scotland.

    85. Grouse Beater says:

      David Torrance: “You are now quite conservative

      David Torrance strikes me as a man in a perpetual state of preparation for an audition as Clark Kent, man of steel – Superman – but he never gets the call.

    86. ronnie anderson says:

      @Kinivie,Where are you at,we could arrange something

    87. Grouse Beater says:

      Ken 500: Ian Lang, Thatcher’s henchman.

      And we can see how he was rewarded for carrying out orders to exterpate dissidents and tear out the heart of Scotland.

    88. memaw says:

      Thanks to everyone who tried to cheer me up. Watched the Bella Caledonia link above posted by Les Wilson. The young man doing the news roundup is fantastic and has given me some hope.

      By the way it was great to meet so many Wingers at the Counting House on Friday.

    89. gerry parker says:

      @kininvie, have e mailed you.

    90. call me dave says:

      Well that never lasted long. Once again the big team in London appear to have scuppered Ruthie’s boat.

      On NNS site.

      The SNP has today called for clarity from the Tories on whether they intend to devolve powers over Air Passenger Duty – after media reports appeared to suggest that Ruth Davidson had been overruled by David Cameron on the issue.

    91. Gordon E says:

      Just back from the Alex Salmond 5 million questions talk in Dundee.
      We were 20 minutes early and after being told that the hall was full we were put in another hall downstairs with two large screens that was also full. That was a lot of people, great to see so many there.
      A pretty partisan crowd with good intelligent questions all answered well by Alex.
      A good bit of humour too.
      I can’t understand why some people say they don’t like him as I couldn’t imagine anyone better to negotiate for us after a Yes vote.
      My father in Law, who worked in London, always said that he was thought of as one of the last of the great politicians.
      It really is great to have him on our side.

    92. john king says:

      Grouse Beater says
      “David Torrance strikes me as a man in a perpetual state of preparation for an audition as Clark Kent, man of steel – Superman – but he never gets the call.”

      Could it be because there are no phone boxes?

      Ah’ll get ma cape 🙁

    93. call me dave says:

      @Nana Smith

      Thanks for posting that YES meeting in Lockerbie. Mr McDonald did well and covered many important issues regarding why YES will prevail.

    94. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @scaredy cat says:
      John Reid will make his most important intervention in the referendum debate so far.
      This event will take place in Stirling’s Smith Art Gallery & Museum.

      Goodness me, if this is happening in the lecture theatre at The Smith (and I can’t see it being elsewhere in the building) then it won’t exactly be a cast of thousands.

      The lecture theatre can take a maximum of 80 people seated, but that would be packing people in. Sixty would be a more comfortable maximum.

      With all the tame MSM hordes, and TV cameras, there won’t be many seats for punters.

    95. gerry parker says:

      Just finished watching AS @ Dundee. He came over very well.

    96. Lou Nisbet says:

      For those dispirited by relatives intransigence – I just converted my first mibbe to Yes – took all of three sentences. My wife has two and a half to her credit (a no converted to not voting) so we are one and a half above requirements of one YES convert for every YES voter and we walk it.

      Even better news I have a friend who works in the defense industry (of all places) who has converted no less than TEN of his workmates to YES. So keep it up folks one per person does it.

    97. Fairness for All says:

      There is a clear message here to upper rate tax payers, from the Labour party in particular, but also from the Tories and LibDems. If you vote “NO”, you condemn yourself to higher taxes in a “post No” Scotland. And there is a message to the rest of us: be prepared to loose some of the biggest payers to our countries finances, as some will inevitably move south to get lower tax rates, and who can blame them. It is truley appaulling that the Scottish press are not nailing the No Camp to the posts for this

    98. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Calgacus MacAndrews

      I always thought that museums were for old relics and we haven’t the ability to bring extinct animals back to life yet.

    99. Chic McGregor says:

      Income tax, due to higher wages in England rather than more people working (there is actually less) is the only tax take where Scotland is less than the UK average.

      It is therefore the only transfer of tax which benefits the rUK.

      But they can spin it as more powers.

      Vote yes and get all the tax revenue.

      Income tax take in an independent Scotland will rise as wages do.

    100. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      cynicalHighlander says:
      @Calgacus MacAndrews
      I always thought that museums were for old relics and we haven’t the ability to bring extinct animals back to life yet.

      Why does Dr Reid appearing in the lecture theatre at The Stirling Smith now make me think of Hogwarts meets Braveheart?

      His Legendness will probably say that the Bitters can win the Indyref without a shot being fired.

      (The gig will be another freebie for BT, courtesy of that nice Provost of Stirling.)

    101. mai parks says:

      Hell yeah ! I feel lucky !

    102. Sonja Cameron says:

      They can’t even get their terminology right: it’s VERSCHLIMMBESSERUNG in German.
      Also I feel lucky.

    103. Kenny says:

      Question 1: what mandate will the Tories have to implement their new proposals? They look likely to do badly in Scotland in 2015 but could well still form a “national” government.

      Question 2: would Scottish policy be up for grabs in coalition negotiations? For example, UKIP might hold the balance of power and they have anti-devolution views. On the other hand, some projections show the SNP doing very well in 2015. Would massively increasing Scotland’s autonomy be up for grabs if an SNP confidnence and supply agreement could be reached?

    104. Kenny says:

      @Lou Nisbet – Well done! I think I’ve converted my mum. She was bemoaning the fact she might have to post her auld aunt’s postal reflexive Labour No vote. I think converting her might be a bigger task but it seems like my mum’s already on it! 🙂

    105. Chic McGregor says:


      Or as Rabbie put it ‘The best-laid schemes o mice and men gang aft agley”

      Here is hoping that after a Yes vote, and everyone discovers that you do not always regret getting what you wish for, that we are not so ungracious as to over indulge in schadenfreude.

    106. Betty Boop says:

      @ macdoc
      3 June, 7.19pm

      Point your no voting med students to Youtube to watch Dr Philippa Whitford on the danger of a no vote to NHS Scotland and her case for independence on the following link:

      Then point them at which lists the major contracts and values offered for privatisation in NHS England since Feb 2013. These have a consequential loss Scottish government funds. Link as follows:

    107. Kerryfisted says:

      @Betty Boob 1.55 – Brilliant combination of links and easy information to use when campaigning.Well done.

    108. Kenny says:

      I wish people understood Barnett better. Yes, we may arguably get disproportionate increases in funding when times are good, but when times are bad we get disproportionately large cuts. EVEN IF Barnett is retained after a No vote (and that seems exceedingly unlikely) it still means Scotland getting bigger cuts than England for as long as cuts go on. What’s worse, due to creeping privatisation of the NHS we don’t even just face cuts to the kind of things the always get cut. We’re facing cuts to core NHS funding, and that money is never coming back. Once it’s privatised in England, it’s privatised and there’s little way to bring it back. Scotland may be being forced into privatisation as the only means of retaining an appropriate level of service despite it being in no way the will of the people. People MUST be shown what is happening. Saving the NHS is one of the few things that rallies people across these islands politically. If they see that independence is the only thing that can do that, it might be enough to swing many uncommitted voters.

    109. Brian Hill says:

      Thus, in a crash of cymbals, a new Scotland is born!

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