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Sick of it all

Posted on April 10, 2013 by

This is from last weekend’s Sunday Herald:

“The largest cheque, for £500,000, came from Ian Taylor, a Scots oil trader with a major stake in the Harris Tweed industry, after a meeting on Lewis with Alistair Darling, the Better Together leader and former Labour Chancellor.

Although most of the large donors are registered to vote in Scotland, Taylor is not, prompting calls from the Yes camp for donations in excess of £500 to be restricted to those actually voting in the referendum.”

And then there’s this, from the Herald back in January:

“It is ‘nauseating’ that rich political donors like Sir Sean Connery should be allowed to support the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) campaign for independence, a Labour MP claimed today.

Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) said only those who lived within Scotland and paid their taxes should be allowed to donate towards the campaign for independence ahead of the referendum next year.”

(All emphases ours.) Mr Taylor lives in London – not located in Scotland the last time we checked – and is Chief Executive of an oil-trading company called Vitol, whose extremely colourful history includes the fact that “Last year, it was revealed that for a decade the company had been using Employee Benefit Trusts which avoided tax on incomes of its UK staff and was in discussion with HMRC about a deal to pay this off.”

(The next-biggest donator, author CJ Sansom, sent their £161,000 cheque from their home in Sussex, which we’re fairly sure also isn’t in Scotland.)

We’ve dropped Mr Sheridan a line asking if he finds non-Scottish-resident, tax-avoiding Ian Taylor’s huge donation to the No campaign “nauseating”. We’ll let you know his answer the minute it arrives, which surely won’t be long.

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    98 to “Sick of it all”

    1. Linda's Back says:

      The second largest donor to the no campaign also lives outside Scotland so the majority of their reported income comes from outside Scotland. 
      Robbie Dinwoodie in The Herald has coverage this morning 
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/controversial-background-of-no-campaign-donor.20752120
      But when will the BBC cover this story and you can be guaranteed it would be front page banner headlines if the YES campaign had been funded by Ian Taylor.
      Will Alistair Darling be quizzed on this the next time he appears on TV?

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The second largest donor to the no campaign also lives outside Scotland”

      Got a source?

    3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Christopher John “C.J.” Sansom is a British writer of crime novels. He was born in 1952 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D in history.[1] After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full-time as a writer. He currently lives in Sussex.[1]
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._J._Sansom
       
       
       

    4. Cath says:

      “The second largest donor to the no campaign also lives outside Scotland so the majority of their reported income comes from outside Scotland.”
       
      And that’s before you add in Conservative Friends of the Union, the Surrey based campaign raising money from expensive dinners and the like to “keep Scotland in the union”. Apparently they haven’t yet given anything to Better Together, but you can bet they are.
       
      Then there is the question of how much of our own tax money Westminster is spending on propaganda.

    5. Cath says:

      And meanwhile, the guy who is our own Prime Minister refuses to debate because he says it’s entirely an issue for people within Scotland. Breathtaking hypocrisy on so many levels.

    6. heraldnomore says:

      C J Sansom – £161K
      Lives in Sussex
      http://www.cjsansom.com/About

    7. Whilst its good to see the Herald covering this, it would be even better if some of the tabloids and the broadcast media covered it too.
      I won’t hold my breath, though…

    8. Ray says:

      Horacesaysyes says: Whilst its good to see the Herald covering this, it would be even better if some of the tabloids and the broadcast media covered it too.
      I won’t hold my breath, though…”

       
      It’s in the Daily Record today too, page 25.

    9. Marcia says:

      Sigh. Ah the Sean Connery thing again. Not many would know  the difference between non-resident and resident or not ordinarily resident etc etc.  All income arising in the UK is chargeable to tax no ifs or buts about it.  If you are classed as non-resident, income received worldwide is outwith the UK and that includes the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.  Mr Connery I would have thought has paid more tax over the years than Mr Sheridan. Mr Connery does devote some of his income to charities in Edinburgh. I don’t think  Mr Sheridan or Mr Taylor have done the same.

    10. Training Day says:

      The existence of a state broadcaster funded by a tax whose North Britain arm has been given carte blanche to disseminate No campaign propaganda kinda renders irrelevant any notion that ‘limits’ to spending – or amounts received from individual donors – in each campaign have any meaning. 

    11. Tattie-boggle says:

      previous comment:
      But Vitol was accused of “immoral” trade and “backing corrupt regimes” by John Mann MP, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, who demanded that the Tory party hand back the “dirty money” it had received from Mr Taylor.

    12. southernscot says:

      Tattie-boggle
      Particularly like this bit.
      “But Vitol was accused of “immoral” trade and “backing corrupt regimes” by John Mann MP, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, who demanded that the Tory party hand back the “dirty money” it had received from Mr Taylor.”

    13. Matt says:

      We’re bought and sold for English gold.

      If you want to know what a parcel of rogues looks like, head down to your next local Better Together meeting.

    14.  
      Ray says: It’s in the Daily Record today too, page 25.
       
       
      I stand (well sit, actually) corrected.

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “C J Sansom – £161K
      Lives in Sussex
      http://www.cjsansom.com/About

      Excellent. Added, cheers to all.

    16. Jesus Margar says:

      Quite frankly, I think that issue is peanuts compared to which other funds Mr Taylor’s company goes into, such as www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/jul/01/balkans.warcrimes2
      Taylor does not give a fuck about independence. For him this is an investment. He is afraid he stops getting licenses to take out oil in the North.
      The second biggest donor is also an OILgarch.
      That’s where the focus should be.

    17. Tattie-boggle says:

      Radio Clyde News ?@RadioClydeNews 2m
      Scotland’s massive lottery winners Colin & Chris Weir are revealed as £1M donors to the @YesScotland #indyref fund

    18. Robert Kerr says:

      First time we were “bought and sold”…. the treaty of union of 1707… caused civil disturbances.
      But then the people were never asked.
      Lets hope it is a case of once bitten….
      Hail Caesar!. 

    19. annie says:

      Does this mean the Weirs have donated another million or is radio clyde a bit behind the times?

    20. Paul Martin says:

      Ah, Jim Sheridan … never been the sharpest tool in the box has he…  
       
      *Sketch: Jim Sheridan, noblest parliamentarian of this or any era*
      …once claimed for a 42-inch plasma TV and a leather bed…a great swollen zeppelin of self-importance
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9941077/Sketch-Jim-Sheridan-noblest-parliamentarian-of-this-or-any-era.html 
       
      *Labour MP snubs Holyrood fight for holiday flight*
      …Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Jim Sheridan told colleagues that the result was “in the bag”.He added he would not be needed to help in campaigning during the [2011] election, which instead led to the SNP winning a historic majority.
      http://www.scotsman.com/news/labour-mp-snubs-holyrood-fight-for-holiday-flight-1-1631147

    21. Dcanmore says:

      And don’t forget the tied business interests in Harris Tweed of major Tory donor Ian Taylor with Alistair Darling and Brian Wilson. They’re all in it together, quite literally. The real value of ‘Better Together’ is with themselves. 

    22. Norsewarrior says:

      “the treaty of union of 1707… caused civil disturbances. But then the people were never asked”

      To be fair the people were never asked about anything in those days, we didn’t have anything close to universal suffrage or democracy, so there’s no point really complaining about the people not being asked. 

      Likewise the people who lived in the areas that became Scotland weren’t asked whether they wanted to become Scotland or not were they? 

    23. Erchie says:

      With such a colourful history, surely Ian Taylor would be perfect as the next owner of “The Rangers”

    24. Seasick Dave says:

      We’ll let you know his answer the minute it arrives.
       
      Will I have time to get the kettle on?

    25. Erchie says:

      Ah, there’s wee Norsewarrior being his little sly self, sweet

    26. Off topic but interesting article in Guardian about Unicef stats on child poverty in the UK. Says that there were some improvements under labour but now under threat from coalition. Astonishing is how bad UK sits in comparison to other european countries.
      ” The country is placed 29th on further education – bottom of the list of developed nations in Unicef’s report – 27th on teenage pregnancy, and on youth unemployment it is ranked 24th.” source:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/10/children-bleaker-future-coalition-unicef 
       

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Ah, there’s wee Norsewarrior being his little sly self, sweet”

      It’s a perfectly fair point. The second one not so much, perhaps.

    28. Seasick Dave says:

      How about the bold Sir Alex?
       
      Does he get a vote or is he just stirring it?

    29. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Norsewarrior
       
      Perhaps I can refer you to the book “For Freedom Alone” authored by Edward J Cowan which relates with great detail with the fierce national sentiment right across all classes in Scotland as Scots long before there was any unified similar sentiment in England 

    30. Norsewarrior says:

      “relates with great detail with the fierce national sentiment right across all classes in Scotland as Scots”

      I’m not denying that people felt themselves to be Scottish in the 13th and 14th centuries, I’m just saying that the people didn’t have a say in whether they wanted to become part of Scotland when the kingdom of Scotland was originally formed – simply because there wasn’t anything resembling what we know as democracy now, all such decisions were made by kings and lords. 

      Likewise the people weren’t asked whether they wanted to form the union because again there wasn’t democracy in those days. 

      That’s why there is no point complaining about the people not being asked about the union – its not as if there was universal suffrage on everything else and it was only the union that the people didn’t get a say on, the people didn’t get a say on anything!

    31. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Ray says: It’s in the Daily Record today too, page 25.
       
       
      I stand (well sit, actually) corrected.
       
      HOWEVER ITS NOT IN THE ONLINE VERSION – MUCH LOOKING HAS YIELDED NOTHING

    32. Marcia says:

      Annie
      Yes Scotland have just revealed that they have received £1.6m including a £1m pound donation from the Weirs.

    33. G. Campbell says:

      I’ve just had a quick flick through the interminable “historical note” at the end of C.J. Sansom’s novel Dominion (don’t worry, I didn’t buy it) and I couldn’t quite help but laugh at this part.

      “How people who regard themselves as progressive can support a party whose biggest backers include the right-wing Souter family who own Stagecoach, and Rupert Murdoch, escapes me completely. Like all who think they will be able to ride a nationalist tiger, they will find themselves sadly mistaken.”

      C.J. Sansom, meet Mr Arkan funder.

    34. Training Day says:

      Anyone who wants an insight into the thinking of the typical Unionist ‘journalist’ should look at Tom Gordon’s contributions this morning on Twitter via the Rev’s links.  There you will find the reason that contradictions like the ones in the Rev’s article find no succour in the MSM.  Gordon is already deriding the ‘small pool of contributions’ to the Yes campaign, these contributions suggesting no ‘broad support’ and ‘no momentum’.
       
      I wonder what he had to say about the small pool  of contributors to No and the ‘momentum’ that they possess as shown by their sliding figures in every recent poll? 
       
      Gordon, lest it be forgotten, is the ‘impartial’ journalist who went out of his way to deride the marchers for independence last September. 

    35. Cath says:

      C J Sansom is another one of those who calls the SNP and independence supporters NAZIs, even in print. I’m honestly surprised people can (and think they can) get away with that. But they do. They also, however, make themselves so ridiculous as to be not listened to on anything else, or given any respect for their opinions.
       
       

    36. velofello says:

      @ norsewarrior: why don’t you go off and read the book suggested to you by Dave McEwan Hill before you comment on the book.
      “simply because there wasn’t anything resembling what we know as democracy now, all such decisions were made by kings and lords”
      You must have been having a fit of the giggles as you typed that masterpiece.

    37. Seasick Dave says:

      “simply because there wasn’t anything resembling what we know as democracy now, all such decisions were made by kings and lords”
      I suppose that this falls into the same category and proves that nothing much changes…
       
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3895921.stm
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358768/Fury-David-Cameron-apes-Blair-1m-sofa-squad-unelected-advisers.html
       
      Luckily, the Scottish Parliament provides a more democratic alternative.

    38. Cath says:

      “Gordon is already deriding the ‘small pool of contributions’ to the Yes campaign, these contributions suggesting no ‘broad support’ and ‘no momentum’.”
       
      They have small donations from over 7000 people, most of whom will be in Scotland. Plus the larger donations also all come from within Scotland.
       
      Given Scotland is where the referendum is happening, and only people who live here can vote, how much of Better Together’s funding is from within Scotland? Because that comparison would be better for showing who’s support is most broad and has most momentum, here in Scotland.

    39. McFascist says:

      The biggest backers for the yes & no campaigns are gamblers, someone who traded with vile dictatorships, a political party, and an author, in that order.  Not particularly inspiring, really.

    40. Big Watty says:

      Norsewarrior displays remarkable ignorance for one so active in political spinning propaganda.
       
      People in any country in those far of times voted with their swords and lives, and those that followed McAlpine, Wallace and Bruce who were the warlords who created independent Scotland did so because they followed and believed in the country, and it’s people, it’s status, it’s honour and independence from greedy grasping  English war lords. Men followed these warlords as they recognised the desire for identity and freedom. As a nation we are the oldest in Europe, much more so than England. It is that spirit that has prevailed over the centuries and kept Scotland as a nation alive in the psyche of Scotland’s population.
       
      It is that historical knowledge and spirit that has shaped the Scottish independence movement in the shape of the SNP, in modern times. It was also once alive in Labour and the Liberals sadly now crushed by subservience to London. The SNP in defiance of London are now on their way to reclaiming the independence that was stolen from us by a few skint landowners in the thrall of London. The days of London telling Scotland what to do are gone for ever.

    41. velofello says:

      @ norsewarrior; “Police plan pre-arrests as security fears grow over funeral disruption”.
      – what we know as democracy now.

    42. Training Day says:

      @Cath
      “Given Scotland is where the referendum is happening, and only people who live here can vote, how much of Better Together’s funding is from within Scotland? Because that comparison would be better for showing who’s support is most broad and has most momentum, here in Scotland.”

      Indeed so Cath – and I’ve just donated £50 to Yes in direct response to Gordon’s lies.

    43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The biggest backers for the yes & no campaigns are gamblers, someone who traded with vile dictatorships, a political party, and an author, in that order. Not particularly inspiring, really.”

      Let’s call this official trolling warning No.1, shall we?

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “HOWEVER ITS NOT IN THE ONLINE VERSION – MUCH LOOKING HAS YIELDED NOTHING”

      Is this not it?

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/better-together-campaign-backer-accused-1821976

    45. Norsewarrior says:

      “why don’t you go off and read the book suggested to you by Dave McEwan Hill before you comment on the book”

      Er……..I wasn’t commenting on the book, I was commenting on Dave McEwan Hill’s view about it. 

      “You must have been having a fit of the giggles as you typed that masterpiece”

      No, why on earth would I giggle about that?

    46. annie says:

      Just made another small donation to Yes  hope lots more do the same.

    47. Willie Zwigerland says:

      velofello>History is written by the winners. Why should it make any difference that the Scots absorbed the Picts and Alt Clut before the English identity emerged from the various Norman/Anglo-Saxon/Viking population?

    48. Albert Herring says:

      “It’s a perfectly fair point”

       
      Except there was in fact a Scottish electorate, albeit a small one, in 1707. “Since Scotland’s small electorate would probably have expressed strong dislike of the Union it was decided to avoid a direct election”. ie the electorate was not consulted.
       
      http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/legislativescrutiny/act-of-union-1707/overview/end-of-the-old-scottish-parliament/
       
      Interesting stuff re Scotland taking on liability for English national debt in last paragraph.

    49. McFascist says:

      The biggest backers for the yes & no campaigns really are gamblers, someone who traded with vile dictatorships, a political party, and an author, in that order. That is not trolling – that is a statement of fact.

    50. Norsewarrior says:

      “Norsewarrior displays remarkable ignorance for one so active in political spinning propaganda. People in any country in those far of times voted with their swords and lives, and those that followed McAlpine, Wallace and Bruce who were the warlords who created independent Scotland did so because they followed and believed in the country”

      With respect, I’d suggest its you who is displaying ‘remarkable ignorance’. 

      Ordinary people in those days did not ‘vote’ to give their swords and lives for the likes of Bruce and Wallace or any other kings or lords, it was because they had no other choice! They were forced to do what their lords and kings ordered. No doubt many of them did believe in Scotland and its freedom, but they certainly didn’t have a choice whether they wanted to follow their lords and kings into battle. 

      And my original point was nothing to do with that anyway – it was the simple point that people in those days didn’t have universal suffrage and had no democratic say over whether they wanted to become part of Scotland or over whether they wanted to become part of the union.

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The biggest backers for the yes & no campaigns really are gamblers, someone who traded with vile dictatorships, a political party, and an author, in that order. That is not trolling – that is a statement of fact.”

      Calling people who buy a £1 lottery ticket “gamblers” might be technically accurate, but it’s still trolling. There is no right of appeal over warnings. Watch your step.

    52. Norsewarrior says:

      ““It’s a perfectly fair point”. Except there was in fact a Scottish electorate, albeit a small one, in 1707″

      Yes, but my original point was that the people didn’t have a choice whether they wanted to become part of the union because we didn’t have universal suffrage or what we know as democracy now, in those days. 

      The small ‘electorate’ you refer to didn’t include any women or anyone who wasn’t rich, so clearly it wasn’t universal suffrage or democracy as we know it now.

    53. McFascist says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell: people who waste their money on lottery tickets are gamblers.
       
      Anyway, it is good to see that the Yes campaign is refusing large donations from individuals living outwith Scotland.  My question about that is how much of the donation made by the SNP originated outwith Scotland?

    54. MajorBloodnok says:

      According to the Herald article Better Together accepted Taylor’s ‘donation’ in ‘good faith’.  If that’s the case then it’s about the only thing BT has done in good faith…

    55. Norsewarrior says:

      “Luckily, the Scottish Parliament provides a more democratic alternative.”

      The Scottish Parliament certainly has a slightly more democratic electoral system, and obviously doesn’t include an unelected second chamber.

      But your comparison with Westminster was that Cameron is ignoring the views of his cabinet in favour of listening to his unelected advisers. 

      But likewise Salmond has a large number of handpicked unelected advisers, and I don’t think anyone would suggest SNP policy is made by consensus with the rest of his ministers, whatever they do is his choice.
      That’s how it has been with  most PMs and FMs down the years.

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev. Stuart Campbell: people who waste their money on lottery tickets are gamblers.”

      Cheerio!

      (I’m not sure how much of a “waste” the Weirs would consider it, incidentally.)

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I don’t think anyone would suggest SNP policy is made by consensus with the rest of his ministers, whatever they do is his choice.”

      Can you support this assertion at all?

    58. jr ewen says:

      rev found this in the lords report
      The Secretary of State for Defence said on 4 July 2012: “I am withholding information relating to contingency planning 
      arrangements should Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde become 
      inoperable for the purpose of safeguarding national security.”147
       
      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldselect/ldeconaf/152/152.pdf
       
      the MOD does have plans in case faslane is inoperable but hammond won’t tell us what it is.

    59. Doug Daniel says:

      McFascist: “My question about that is how much of the donation made by the SNP originated outwith Scotland?”
       
      The SNP’s contribution so far will have come from the referendum fund, which consists of the bequeathed near-£1,000,000 from Edwin Morgan, and the first donation from the Weirs. Anyone with a basic grasp of maths will, of course, quickly realise that their contribution thus far isn’t even a sixth of that fund.
       
      So let’s nip that one in the bud, aye?

    60. Tom says:

      CJ Sansom’s website reveals that he rates both Atlee and Hugo Chavez as people he admires. He really is scared about fascism. Poor wee soul.

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The SNP’s contribution so far will have come from the referendum fund”

      Actually it’s listed as “non-cash”, presumably meaning “in-kind” support like staff time, use of premises and so on.

    62. Norsewarrior says:

      “Can you support this assertion at all?”

      No, I’m not privy to the private meetings of the Scottish Government, its purely based on the fact that there’s never any dissent against Salmond within the SNP ranks and the general direction politics is going nowadays. 

      Back in the 1970s there used to be some leeway in governments, with cabinet ministers to a certain extent free to pursue their own policies, now everyone has to be ‘on message’ and most policy emanates solely from the leader. 

    63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “rev found this in the lords report”

      That’s very interesting. Will have a closer look later.

    64. themadmurph says:

      Rev,
      He’s my MP.  I have asked him a question too.  If need be I will turn up at his surgery and demand an answer in person!

    65. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “He’s my MP. I have asked him a question too. If need be I will turn up at his surgery and demand an answer in person!”

      Awesome. Do take some pics if you do 😀

    66. Juteman says:

      @ Norsewarrior.
      “There is never any any dissent in the SNP ranks”
      I guess you missed the NATO debate at the party conference then?

    67. annie says:

      What a good idea – why dont all the Yes constituents go along to their Unionist MPs and MSPs next surgeries and ask for their opinions on the “dirty donations”.   

    68. Doug Daniel says:

      Stu: “Actually it’s listed as “non-cash”, presumably meaning “in-kind” support like staff time, use of premises and so on.”
       
      I’m making the assumption that they’re talking about paying the wages of the folk who got it up and running until YesScotland had their own revenue stream, but you’re probably right enough – after all, it was a few months until they actually had their own offices, and I expect most of the SNP-supplied staff were doing it in a voluntary capacity.
       
      But either way works for me.

    69. Dcanmore says:

      “There is never any any dissent in the SNP ranks”
       
      And that is exactly what Norsewrrior’s trolling wants to achieve. Fight among each other, go off topic and ignore the original article, divide and conquer. There are hundreds of posts like this from Norsewarrior where he/she claims to support independence then goes off on a bender constantly hammering on about the SNP/Alex Salmond and SNP ‘fanatics’ ad nauseam while strangely not a word against Better Together or their donors, or the blatant bias from the media, or even faint praise for the YES campaign. In fact nothing from so-called indy supporting Norsewarrior other than criticism of the independence movement via the SNP. Hook today is to create distraction by swamping the thread with O/T subjects such as medieval history but continue to ask questions???? as long as it’s nothing to do with the article.

    70. Robert louis says:

      Just wanted to highlight that the link above,
       
      http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/legislativescrutiny/act-of-union-1707/overview/end-of-the-old-scottish-parliament/
       
      by albert herring, from the London parliament, contains an awful lot of piffle and false information (as you might expect from Westminster).
       
      In 1707, Scotland was not what we now recognise as a democracy.  Most people did not have the vote.  It was the same in England.  Most Scots did not want the union of 1707, and protested violently.
       
      Those in the old Scots parliament who signed it, were bribed by money from London.  They were quite literally ("Tractor" - Ed)s to their country and people.  ‘Bought and sold for London’s gold, such a parcel of rogues in a nation’, as the bard put it.
       
      The site linked to purports to describe the articles of the treaty of union, yet mixes up FACT with pure Fiction.
       
      For example, the Westminster article states;
       
      ‘By agreeing to the Union the Scottish Parliament had also voted for its own extinction.’.  
      This is pure supposition.  In fact the sitting of the Scots parliament (to give it its correct title), was merely adjourned.
       
      Westminster is NOT, nor was it ever, a reliable source of accurate information on the treaty of union.  Only recently, they asserted the treaty of union meant Scotland no longer existed, but oddly for a bilateral international treaty, England does still exist.
       
      Unionist stuff and nonsense from England, purporting to be factual.  You might as well go and read the Beano.
       
       

    71. Dcanmore says:

      @Doug Daniel …
       
      yes I got that assumption too, payment in kind. 

    72. Paul Martin says:

      Norsewarrior is trying to be cleverer than his usual Scotsman trolling, but the cracks are starting to show. Tedious as ever.

      Anytime now we’ll hear about his 2 Masters degrees.

    73. benarmine says:

      According to a 2008 Herald article, John Dodd, big No funder was fined £107.000 after illegal pesticides harmful to birds of prey were found in baits on his £19,000 acre Glenogil estate in Angus. Interesting, that’s all I’m saying, it’s not like paying war criminals or anything.

    74. Adrian B says:

      There is a lot more on John Dodd, with a simple ‘Google’ search, the poisonings continued upto 2010. He is reported to have sold the estate rather quietly to a new owner. Lots of links here:
       
      http://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/tag/glenogil-estate/

    75. southernscot says:

      Found It!
      from the bbc website last paragraph on the Yes campaign donors story.
      “However, the SNP called on Better Together to hand back the donation pending full answers to “serious questions” surrounding Vitol Oil, including allegations that it gave $1m to Serbian war criminal Arkan the Tiger and that it was being investigated by HMRC over possible tax avoidance.”

    76. Albert Herring says:

      @Robert louis
      I think you’re being a wee bit unfair re the UK parliament articles.
      They do cover reasonably fairly most of the factors you mention. While perhaps not being entirely accurate in certain respects, a clear picture certainly does emerge of how most Scots were totally opposed to the union, as well as pointing out the main real reasons for it from the English point of view.

    77. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Norsewarior
      So Wallace`s peasant army were forced were they? Wallace was the youngest son of a minor noble who held little land. Wallace held no feudal rights to raise any man for combat. His peasant army flocked to his banner because they were angry at the English aggressors turning Scotland into just another place to raise taxes. Sound familiar?

    78. dmw42 says:

      Slightly O/T and apologies, I’ve just received the following response from ODIHR regarding my complaints about the state broadcaster and MSM reporting of the independence debate
       
      In accordance with ODIHR’s election observation methodology, the deployment of an election observation activity requires an invitation from the respective OSCE participating State. Existing OSCE commitments do not oblige participating States to invite ODIHR to observe at referendum, nor is ODIHR required to respond positively if such an invitation is received.
       
      Some states have issued such invitations and the Office has observed a small number of referenda in the past. In the case of the upcoming referendum in Great Britain, ODIHR would consider undertaking an observation activity upon invitation by the Government of the United Kingdom. The media environment and the nature of the coverage of the referendum would be among the aspects of the campaign that such an election observation activity would assess.
       
      I’d hazard a guess that the UK Government wouldn’t be making any such request, the bar stewards.

    79. Adrian B says:

      I’d hazard a guess that the UK Government wouldn’t be making any such request, the bar stewards.
       
      Very true, however I hope they are keeping a keen eye over the proceedings – even if from a distance.

    80. benarmine says:

      thanks Adrian B, looks like an interesting website. I was thinking of a walk this weekend, Glenogil might be it!

    81. Indion says:

       
      Hallo Norsewarrior!
      You clearly have no conception of what the UK’s crown-in-parliament sovereignty of monarchical and presidential powers of patronage and privilege is vested in the PM of the government of the day for as long as he can command a majority in the House of Commons.
      All leveraged amid declining turnout and party membership by factional, fractional minorities into arbitrary majorities from votes cast from FPTP’s safe and marginal seats by no more than 25% of the total electorate for any one party for some considerable time since the high watershed of turnout in the 50’s.
      Remember that was when a petition for home rule signed by 2 million folk in Scotland was ignored. The Conservative peer Hailsham described the system as prone to the temptations of an elective dictatorship, which Thatcher for on could not resist.
      That’s the ‘king’ bit. The PM is dead. Long Live the PM.
      As for the Lords, you are looking at the remnants of the Norman Conquest and the landed families they married into and/or went native with, albeit being replaced by appointment of guess who with whom?
      The democracy we know now is little different in form and substance from centuries ago and as anachronistic. So, ok a full franchise post WWII was an undoubted improvement folk turned out to vote with but have drifted away and disengaged from as politicians and people distanced themselves in mutual incomprehension.
      We get the democracy and politicians we deserve?
      No Norsewarrior. We get the democracy the UK’s political parties dole out to us for their own self-serving bought and paid for interests.
      Google Charter 88, Unlock Democracy and the 2005/6 Power Commission and Inquiry Reports and read how feudal the UK’s democracy still remains.
      And yet the allies including the UK oversaw Germany’s post-war constitution. How did they get on with the post-war recovery it in comparison with the UK’s fag end of empire?
      Spot the difference between democratic and economic performance and corresponding deficits and debts since?  Think cause and consequence might be related?   

    82. Albert Herring says:

      Seems European institutions are comfortable with internal repression within member states then.

    83. velofello says:

      The LibDems will be on hand to advise their Better Together teammates on how to handle this  donation by Mr Taylor of Vitoil and the resultant publicity. Didn’t they have a problem some time back with the source of a substantial sum donated to them?
      You know the old saying, experience teaches fools? …  or,the devious?.
      “Sorry we’ve spent the money before we knew” might fit as atonement?

    84. Norsewarrior says:

      Dcanmore: “And that is exactly what Norsewrrior’s trolling wants to achieve”

      The Rev has already warned the likes of you numerous times to desist with your false allegations about others ‘trolling’.

      As he has repeatedly stated, he alone will decide who is and isn’t trolling, and he has repeatedly requested that you and others stop disrupting the thread with your accusations – if anything its YOU that is trolling by doing that! 

      I’d advise you to do as the Rev requests and concentrate on discussing the issues and making fair points and comments, as I and most others do, rather than attacking and accusing others with no evidence.

    85. Norsewarrior says:

      “We get the democracy and politicians we deserve? No Norsewarrior. We get the democracy the UK’s political parties dole out to us for their own self-serving bought and paid for interests”

      I didn’t suggest that the version of democracy we have now is perfect or anything close to full pure democracy, merely that the version of democracy we have now – which includes universal suffrage – is not what existed in the 18th century or earlier, when the only people entitled to vote were rich men and landowners.

    86. Norsewarrior says:

      “So Wallace`s peasant army were forced were they?”

      Perhaps not Wallace’s army so much, but certainly Robert the Bruce’s – he had the  power to call up an army:

      “By the twelfth century the ability to call on wider bodies of men for major campaigns had become formalised as the “common” (communis exertcitus) or “Scottish army” (exercitus Scoticanus), based on a universal obligation linked to the holding of variously named units of land. This could be used to produce a regional army, as the future Robert I did when from 1298-1302 when, as Earl of Carrick, he raised “my army of Carrick”, but also a national Scottish army, as he did later in the Wars of Independence”

      He also had the power to call up a number of feudal troops, who had no choice but to do as ordered since they were effectively slaves.

    87. Erchie says:

      Norse
       
      If I was a misunderstood Indy [but not SNP] supporter who had made the mistake of arriving with th. Name ff a known BTL troll,and had garnered such mistrust, I might think about proving people wrong, by being positive, adding to the debate, sparking ideas of how the range of opinions that support Indy could work on the thing that unites them
       
      Not sniping, negativity and threatening people with expulsion by proxy. 

    88. Norsewarrior says:

      “by being positive, adding to the debate, sparking ideas of how the range of opinions that support Indy could work on the thing that unites them”

      That is exactly what I am doing and have been doing on this site! 

    89. Erchie says:

      My arse

    90. themadmurph says:

      got a reply from my MP -:
      Thank you for your e-mail regarding the funding of the Better Together campaign.
       
      I hold the view that on the issue of funding, the Better Together campaign should take its lead from the SNP.  The SNP have been happy to accept funds from foreign donors and expatriates, living abroad to avoid paying tax, to promote the campaign for Scottish independence and I see no difference between this and the funding for the Better Together campaign neither of which I am content with.
       
      Follow on question sent!

    91. Training Day says:

      @themadmurph
       
      “I hold the view that on the issue of funding, the Better Together campaign should take its lead from the SNP. The SNP have been happy to accept funds from foreign donors and expatriates, living abroad to avoid paying tax, to promote the campaign for Scottish independence and I see no difference between this and the funding for the Better Together campaign neither of which I am content with.”
       
      So although he’s discontented with the SNP’s course of action over funding, his recommendation is that the No campaign should ‘take its lead’ from the SNP and follow suit?
       
      Ladies and Gentlemen, this man earns a basic salary of upwards of £60k, paid for by you.
       

    92. Iain More says:

      Well I wont be buying any of CJ Samsons novels. Not that I ever have.

    93. Paul Martin says:

      Best Viz-style comment of the day there by Iain, genuine LOL there mate :-0

    94. Craig P says:

      I’ve written ‘want to get out of an increasingly intolerant state?’ on post-its, attached them to Yes Scotland leaflets, gone to my local bookshop and put them in the back of the couple of copies of CJ Samson’s novel ‘Dominion’. 
       
      Glad to do my bit to help 🙂

    95. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Good article by MacWhirter in today’s Herald



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