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Wings Over Scotland

A fair assessment 382

Posted on October 17, 2014 by

Mark Steel in the Independent, 16 October 2014:

“Maybe one way they can reverse this is to try a more forthright approach, and to start with they could say: ‘If the Scottish are so daft as to believe our vow, maybe that proves they’re not fit to run their own country anyway, the idiots.'”

Craig Murray said something quite similar recently from the other side, as it were, and at the moment we’re finding it quite tough to disagree with either of them.

Where it matters 151

Posted on October 17, 2014 by

The Evening Standard, 16 October 2014:

“George Osborne was today named the most influential person in London as the Chancellor topped the Evening Standard’s The 1000 power list, with Mayor Boris Johnson in second place.

The Evening Standard panel decided Mr Osborne is London’s most influential person because of his willingness to invest in the capital despite pressure for the Treasury to spend the money in other parts of Britain.”

Nice to know he’s looking after your money, isn’t it?

Spoiled for choice 133

Posted on September 10, 2014 by

George Monbiot in the Guardian, 10 September 2014:

“If Scotland becomes independent, it will be despite the efforts of almost the entire UK establishment. It will be because social media has defeated the corporate media. It will be a victory for citizens over the Westminster machine, for shoes over helicopters.

It will show that a sufficiently inspiring idea can cut through bribes and blackmail, through threats and fear-mongering. That hope, marginalised at first, can spread across a nation, defying all attempts to suppress it. That you can be hated by the Daily Mail and still have a chance of winning.”

We could have picked almost any paragraph. A tour de force.

The great surrender 70

Posted on September 07, 2014 by

Owen Jones in the Guardian, 7 September 2014:

“New Labour’s surrender to the underlying assumptions of the Thatcherite crusade gave the independence movement its greatest opportunity. Yes, the Blairites could not entirely purge Labour’s traditions, and so the minimum wage was introduced (albeit at too low a level), poverty was reduced and public services were invested in.

Yet they illegally invaded Iraq with Conservative support, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and 179 British military personnel before handing much of the country over to fanatics. They punished aspiration by introducing tuition fees, saddled public services with long-term debt through the colossal rip-off of PFI, and began privatising our NHS – laying the foundations for some of the pernicious policies of this coalition as they did so.

They allowed the living standards of millions of working people to begin falling years before the crash, even as the coffers of corporate Britain prospered like never before. They failed to solve an ever-worsening housing crisis, leaving 5 million languishing on council housing waiting lists. They cut taxes on corporate Britain while indulging in entirely destructive gimmicks such as scrapping the 10p tax rate.

Many Scots look at the Britain built by this political elite, they don’t like it and they want out.”

Seems to pretty much cover it.

On moving to Yes 182

Posted on September 04, 2014 by

Bill Leckie in the Scottish Sun, 4 September 2014:

“I still have a list of nagging doubts, not least over who emerges to lead this new state. It’s just that… well, whereas not so long ago these doubts were what held me back, today they somehow seem exciting.

Will it turn out a Yes vote? Don’t ask me. I’m still too busy trying to work out exactly what it was about that conversation [with my son] that changed my mind on the most important collective decision we will ever make.

Today, I can still only offer this guess. That when all is said and done, maybe it just feels better to believe in something that could be amazing than to settle for what can never be better than OK.”

More lying nationalists 147

Posted on August 19, 2014 by

Remember, readers, saying the Scottish NHS is in danger from Westminster attacks on the English one is just a despicable and outrageous Nat scare story.


Alistair Darling and Alistair Carmichael wouldn’t lie to you, after all.

Hobson’s Choice 64

Posted on August 10, 2014 by

The Telegraph, 10 August 2014:

“Policy Exchange, a think tank with close links to the Conservative Party, will later this month publish a report calling for the government’s £26,000 benefits cap to be lowered outside London to reflect the lower cost of living.

Between friends 146

Posted on August 06, 2014 by

Phoebe Arnold on BuzzFeed Politics, 6 August 2014:

“If you minus Scotland’s total tax receipts generated per person since 1980 from the average for the UK, they’ve contributed a surplus of £222 billion in today’s prices (again, counting Scotland’s geographical share of North Sea oil and gas).”

(Source Our emphasis.)

£222bn divided by 33 years is £6.73bn a year. No biggie. Don’t mention it.

Betting on a sure thing 173

Posted on August 04, 2014 by

Ralph Topping, CEO of William Hill, in the Financial Times, 4 August 2014:

“I have spent the past six years as chief executive of a company whose 17,000 employees work in Scotland, elsewhere in the UK and throughout the world. Businesses are accustomed to dealing with different tax systems and employment regulations in the countries in which they operate. This rarely causes real difficulties.

And they know that national governments tend to collaborate where there is a mutual economic interest – indeed, they expect nothing less.”

Those voices of common sense just keep mounting up, don’t they?

The mouths of convicts 52

Posted on August 04, 2014 by

Chris Huhne in the Observer, 3 August 2014:

“If Scotland goes, it will be in everyone’s interest to have a ‘velvet divorce’, as the separation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia was described. A nasty and messy separation would damage both sides. London will want early certainty, and for Scotland to be an EU member alongside the rest of the UK.

The result on 18 September may rewrite history, but not geography. We will all still share the same island. Their mess will be ours, both sides of the border. So we will all have an interest not to make a mess.”

Isn’t it weird how an MP has to be “disgraced” before they can tell the truth?

More empty threats at your expense 159

Posted on August 02, 2014 by

The UK government is about to put another taxpayer-funded leaflet through every door in Scotland, laden with dire warnings about the consequences of independence.

Boiled down to just five bullet points – one of which is the meaningless “best of both worlds” – it presents the case for the UK as amounting to keeping the pound (which Scotland can do either way), higher public spending (omitting the fact that Scots pay over the odds for said spending), jobs with UK companies (which would be unaffected because EU law demands freedom of employment) and lower energy bills.


The latter is based on the oft-repeated claim that fuel bills would rise in Scotland because the rUK would no longer pay to import subsidised Scottish renewable energy. But an article in The Ecologist this week, by two respected academics from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, blows that argument out of the water.

Read the rest of this entry →

The best of all possible worlds 99

Posted on July 28, 2014 by

The Stevenage Advertiser, 22 July 2014:

“‘Lessons must be learned’ from the death of a Stevenage diabetic who could not afford electricity to keep his insulin cool after his benefits were stopped.

Former soldier David Clapson died aged 59 at his home in Hillside from fatal diabetic keto-acidosis, which the NHS calls ‘a dangerous complication of diabetes caused by a lack of insulin.

His jobseeker’s allowance of approximately £70 a week – on which his family says he was reliant – had been suspended three weeks before on June 28, for missing meetings.

According to his family, Mr Clapson was found “alone, penniless and starving” a short distance from a pile of printed CVs, with nothing to his name but £3.44, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date tin of sardines.

The coroner found that David – a former BT engineer of 16 years, who had served two years in Northern Ireland with the Royal Corps of Signals during The Troubles – had nothing in his stomach when he died.”

We can’t do any better than that. Vote No, everyone. UK OK!

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