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Wings Over Scotland

That context thing again

Posted on April 03, 2017 by

Unionists were barely able to hide their excitement last month at the thought of some dead pensioners. This was former Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson, for example:

(Simpson later went on to embellish the claim by saying that it had in fact reversed.)

The story was serious enough to be the Sunday Times Scotland front page lead.

The paper’s article revealed that life expectancy for Scottish pensioners had failed to increase for the first time since records began over 150 years ago.

Unionists were, of course, quick to blame the SNP.

And they clearly had a point, because in the rest of the UK oh wait.

While life expectancy for Scotland’s elderly had remained static, in the whole UK the figures for men had dropped by over seven months, and for women by a whole year. (Which means that excluding Scotland they were even worse.)

This site has spent much of its existence warning how data can be used selectively to create a false impression without actually saying anything untrue. As ever, readers are advised to take note of what they’re NOT being told as much as what they are.

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  1. 03 04 17 16:56

    That context thing again | speymouth

351 to “That context thing again”

  1. Martin says:

    SNP policies not shortening life expectancy at same rate as rest of UK. Scottish pension crisis looms. SNPBAD

  2. Walter Scott says:

    So you can draw from this a belief that we should go on living longer and longer til some time in the next 150 years we’ll be a hundred & eighty five

  3. Malky says:

    Unfortunately, for all the interested thousands who follow Wings there is a healthy cynicism regarding what remains unsaid by the media – it is the others I fear for, ultimately.

  4. findlay farquaharson says:

    just brilliant

  5. arthur thomson says:

    These people are truly immoral.

  6. Wee Jonny says:

    Truly truly mental to think there’s fuwk oot there that’ll jump on anyhin negative aboot Scotland just to blame a political party. Even mare so when it’s a load a bullpish. Ane day we’ll be free o the fuckers.

  7. Margaret Clarke says:

    Who would want to live long with Theresa May in the offing?

  8. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @arthur thomson –

    ‘Immortal’, surely?

  9. Alba Jock says:

    At least when we become an independent self governing nation.

    I can say at least I lived!!!!

    Not stuck 85% of my life until I’m 100 with the Westminster establishment. PRICELESS for me!

  10. Morag says:

    Setting all this aside, there is going to come a point where life expectancy can’t rise any more as the natural maximum for the species has been reached. The real scandal is that it was SO bad 150 years ago that such a long continuous period of growth was possible.

    It’s like athlete performance. There will come a time when no further measurable gains can be achieved. The present state of continuous record-breaking is, like increasing longevity, a side-effect of terrible nutrition and environments up to 150 or more years ago and their epigenetic effects. Eventually that will work through the system and the best time for the 100 metres or whatever will be whatever the species can maximally achieve. Same with life expectancy.

    Take racehorses for example. The best times for the classic races haven’t increased since the 1920s. Of course horses have been selectively bred and looked after and fed and molly-coddled to win races for about a bazillion generations. They’ve reached peak speed.

    I don’t think we’ve reached peak human speed or peak human lifespan yet for various reasons, but there is going to be a time when annual increases can’t be expected. Which may be about the time it’s all going to hell in a handcart because of climate change.

  11. FatCandy says:

    Somewhat ironic given that it’s the pensioners keeping us in this travesty of a union.

    Perhaps he too is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome?

  12. Bob Mack says:

    It’s not so much as what they put on the tin, but rather what they fail to put on the tin.

    I would imagine under this monstrous Tory government life expectancy for the disabled and the very poor will not be very good at all no matter what age they are.

  13. galamcennalath says:

    The Scottish Government have their shoe laces tied together and one hand tied behind their back.

    Literally most things, including critical benefits, working conditions, quality of jobs, retirement age, state pension, minimum wage, etc etc are controlled by Westminster. These impact on health.

    When we are living in iScotland criticism should be rightly laid at the feet of our fully empowered government in Edinburgh.

    Prior to Indy, it is more than likely that any woes Scotland has should be attributed to Westminster.

    When the UK figures are bad, and the Scottish figures are not quite so bad, what does that tell any sane minded person? My deduction would be that without the cold dark hand of the Union, Scotland would improve.

  14. harry mcaye says:

    That guy A Proud Scot is one of the worst Yoon loons on twitter. Narrowly beaten by Terry “I hate flags, love the Union Jack” Coombes. I don’t block him as he’s unintentionally very funny.

  15. Dr Jim says:

    Life expectancy in Scotland has stalled, well that’s SNP good then if it’s going backwords in England it’s Tories Baad

    So really the SNP is good for your health

    Re-spun (is that a word?)

  16. hamish says:

    So give them a bus pass when they retire but kill them off first. Cunning SNP

  17. Arbroath1320 says:

    Oh dear the elderly are no longer expecting an increase in life span compared to … erm … whenever the unionists say so.

    I really do suggest that unionists go back to school to learn ONE very important thing … there is something available to EVERYONE these days that allows individuals to FACT CHECK anything that said by … erm … anyone. This “thing” is called the internet. On the internet folks have a number of choices, yes I know this is unbelievable news but hey someone has to point this out. 😀

    Option 1.

    Do your own research on the internet, this can take some considerable time but you will eventually find the TRUTH about anything.

    Option 2.

    Head straight for Wings over Scotland website. You can find the TRUTH about everything in one place that can never be blown away because the information on this site is backed up with hard FACTS!

  18. geeo says:

    ****Alternative Headline****

    “Demands for WM government to REDUCE retirement age due to life expectancy drop”.

    Oh wait…..that makes sense…!

  19. call me dave says:


    Aye I agree about the WM cold dark hand of the Union on our Scottish shoulder but the other one is there rifling our pockets at the same time and giving us peanuts to live on.

    Time to leave.

    Start with the council elections one step at a time.
    SNP etc + Green + Vote till yea boak!

    I’m a reformed man I always did like my Greens… really I do! 🙂

  20. AAD says:

    There are so many determined unionists who seem to spend their lives with their fingers in their ears singing ‘LaLaLa’ very loudly. It doesn’t matter whether the story is good, bad or neutral, the interpretation is SNP BAAAAD.

    Keep leaving copies of well-argued articles on buses and public places which debunk all the outright lies to get the truth out.

  21. handclapping says:

    Great news! With the fall in the value of sterling having to be made up by an increase in interest rates and this reduction in life expectancy the pension funds will soon be back in surplus and with companies no longer having to support them shares will soar.

    Add in the profits from foreclosing on all those unable to pay the higher interest on the mortgages they took out to get on the property (snakes and) ladder and its win, win for the fat cats again!

    Roly-poly felines rule!

    PS How is the Emergency Kitten?

  22. Robert Louis says:

    Arbroath 1320 at 458pm,

    Absolutely true. Of course the reason I think the unionist nutters of Scotland still persist in lying in this way, is because it always used to work in the past.

    Prior to the internet getting really well established, for decades, if not centuries, London and its Scottish stooges (unionists) had their own control of information. When Westminster lied about Scotland, the only resource we had was either to read hansard (in paper form, in London, and at great cost), or the newspapers, which are all pro London (and mainly owned and controlled there), or of course the blatantly biased anti-Scotland broadcasting corporation.

    This is the reason successive Labour and Tory Government were able to repeatedly lie to the people of Scotland regarding the oil wealth in the 1980’s and 90’s. Indeed, it has has now been admitted by the former Labour chancellor Dennis Healey that when he was in the LABOUR Government, they deliberately lied to Scots about the oil and made them believe it was worthless – in case we decided to become independent.

    It seems the unionists just cannot cope, now that their lies are being shown up for what they are. The lies used to work, yet now they don’t. Year by year, more and more Scots are starting to see just how duplicitous London has been and still is towards Scotland. They and London have treated Scotland shamefully and with utter contempt for many, many decades. This isn’t a peaceful ‘union of equals, oh no, instead England is merely a parasite feeding off Scotland’s wealth, whilst all the time pretending Scotland is bankrupt.

    When this union is finally torn up and put in the bin, Scots will finally get to learn just how nasty, deceptive and manipulative London has been. Scotland at present is treated as a colony, but with a few trimmings to disguise the fact.

    We need independence from these Westminster liars ASAP.

  23. heedtracker says:

    Morag says:
    3 April, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    Setting all this aside, there is going to come a point where life expectancy can’t rise any more as the natural maximum for the species has been reached. The real scandal is that it was SO bad 150 years ago that such a long continuous period of growth was possible.

    Morag the real Scandal is life expectancy and class, still, in this god forsaken shithole of a union.

    We all the know the stats roughly, poverty and unemployment will kill you a lot sooner than anything else does.

    Even schlubs like Ligger Neil crack BBC gags about the short lifespans in Scotland and that’s why indy ref2 really is once in a gen.

    Hilarious, probably the real story, buried again by our relentlessly hideous meeja.

  24. Macart says:

    Neatly done Rev.

    In case the the ‘very odd’ yoon is reading this thread? Personally I’m long past giving a shit what your media say about the SNP and as for ‘some arsehole’ from twitter?

    Take a wild guess.

    For the undecided, or those with a more open minded attitude, well worth reading and learning.

  25. Arbroath1320 says:

    Absolutely right RL.

    Whilst the unionist media continue as they have always done telling LIES and sticking their heids in the sand WE have embraced the internettywebby thingy and attacked the unionists with cold hard FACTS. They don’t like undisputed facts… they can’t argue against undisputed facts … they all go greetin tae their mammy’s when faced with cold hard FACTS!

    No one in 21st Century Scotland should be without the internettywebby thingy. Everyone should be given an equal chance to uncover the TRUTH for themselves. NO ONE should have to rely on BIASED broadcasters or other media for their information.

  26. Proud Cybernat says:

    Like I said earlier…

    WoS – keeping the NEWS REAL:

  27. Ken500 says:

    Dr Simpson who refused to support minimum pricing and fag bans. Dr Simpson was trying to contribute to kill people off. What a wasted time and space. 50 years of lying Labour. They are despicable.

  28. Auld Highlander says:

    On life expectancy, I would just like to say that I have outlived both my parents by many years, almost 10 years on the old girl and 17 years on the old boy. Now I have reached the ripe old age off ** and benefiting from the pittance of a state pension but I am still capable of walking for miles and last year I made it to the top of our highest mountain although it took me ten hours for the round trip.

  29. Camz says:

    The one thing the stats never tell us is if the ‘expectancy’ and the facts match.

  30. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    How dare you, irreverent Stu? The brave media =ahem= are simply trying to reveal the truth =cough= that it’s a typically devious SNP plot to hasten independence by accelerating the elimination of all the old dears who will rightly never ever vote for divisive separation, even if casually at the cost of collateral damage to one or two doddery misguided malcontents, the divisive SNP swines.

    Have I mentioned divisive yet, I forget…?

    Oh, and it’s all the fault of the awful SNP that the weather has been so terribly inclement over the Forth this winter. It was never as bad as this in my youth when Labour ran everything in Scotland and the Tories ruled in London…

  31. robert knight says:

    Every 80 year old can put their life expectancy firmly at the door of the SNP, who of course will have been entirely responsible for their diet, tobacco and alcohol consumption, exercise regime and working conditions for that entire period – despite the SNP having been in a limited-form of Government for less than a decade.

    Where do they drag up such idiots to spout their tedious crap?

  32. Bill McDermott says:

    I don’t whether anybody else caught the admission from Gordon Brewer in yesterday’s Sunday Politics over the Spanish ‘veto’ that he didn’t know that the whole thing had been a unionist ruse since 2014. He said about it that Mike Russell had been clear for a long time that their was no veto but that he ” wasn’t sure whether anybody else knew about it”.

    I thought BBC journalists were supposed to be wordly wise.

    Here it is at 1hour 10 minutes and 38 seconds in.

  33. Ken500 says:

    No doubt Scotland still lags behind in life expectancy. After Thatcher illegally and secretly took all the Oil revenues and shut down every industrialise sector in Scotland. To fund lots of money bankers and the ports of London. Dr Simpson will have a nice pension funded by the Scottish taxpayers. Many of whom will have clocked off early because of fifty years of lying Labour/Unionist and malicious Tories and Unionists who kill and starve children. Illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion. The Unionist deceit and lies in Scotland.

    Another 1/4million in poverty thanks to Westminster Unionists who target children to deprive.30,000 homeless children rejected. Made homeless by Westminster unionist immoral policies. Killing and maiming millions of innocent people. Westminster hypocrites.

  34. caz-m says:

    Glasgow was named “Second City of the Empire” in the 19th/20th Century and to go with that we had the worst slums in Europe.

    Scotland is paying the price for many decades of under investment.

    Time for change.

  35. Dan Huil says:

    These pathetic, servile-to-Westminster ProudScotButs truly hate Scotland.

  36. liz says:

    These folk are absolutely despicable.

    Terrifying old folk in Scotland thinking their life expectancy has dropped.

    Seriously they are evil

  37. Arbroath1320 says:

    Bill McDermott says:
    3 April, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I don’t whether anybody else caught the admission from Gordon Brewer in yesterday’s Sunday Politics over the Spanish ‘veto’ that he didn’t know that the whole thing had been a unionist ruse since 2014. He said about it that Mike Russell had been clear for a long time that their was no veto but that he ” wasn’t sure whether anybody else knew about it”.


    He “works” at Pacific Quay …or so I’m led to believe anyway. Is he REALLY suggesting that NO ONE atP.Q. has any access to something called a “computer”? Is this what he is saying?

    I always thought BBC newscasters were a bit behind the times, well they have been proven to be behind the times in a numnber of their “reports” for years. For Brewer to “admit” he did not know about the Spanish veto being a LIE now is just … well just laughable!

    Any semblance he had left of being a respectable “journalist” has just disappeared with that “claim!”

  38. Stoker says:

    WOS archive links for the remainder of September 2013 now on O/T.

  39. galamcennalath says:

    caz-m says:

    Second City of the Empire … worst slums in Europe.

    It wasn’t ordinary Scot’s Empire, that was for sure.

  40. Croompenstein says:

    FFS when are they going to get over this….

    Dear Croomp,

    It was 100 years ago, in the Flanders region of Belgium, that one of the most costly and harshest battles of The First World War took place – the final battle of Ypres. Culminating in November 1917 with the capture of the ridge at Passchendaele the most defining images of futility, mud, suffering and sacrifice come from these battlefields.

    Lest we forget – in 2017 nations will join together in Flanders Fields to commemorate the centenary of the final Battle of Ypres, a defining moment in World War I. Regarded as The War to end all Wars, over one million British people gave their lives in service to their country. In honour of their bravery and sacrifice, a new limited edition commemorative coin has been issued and is available FREE of charge, as a gift to the nation, in commemoration of Ypres.

    Struck to the highest quality Proof finish, this centenary coin features the symbol of remembrance from Flanders Fields – the poppy, set against the backdrop of the Angel of Mons who is said to have protected the British soldiers during the war.

    Framed beneath the angel herself are the words of Rudyard Kipling – ‘Lest we forget’, a poignant reminder of the enormous debt owed to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

    To participate in this commemoration, act now and click here . This FREE coin is available on a strictly first-come-first-served basis and limited to less than 1% of British households.

    Yours sincerely,
    James Deeny
    Managing Director
    The London Mint Office

  41. Breastplate says:

    “SNP save thousands from certain death”.

    That headline would be good to see on the front pages 🙂

  42. gus1940 says:


    Today’s on-line Torygraph has an item near the top of the page titled:-

    ‘Don’t Go To Scotland’

    and underneath

    ’28 Tourists Who Will Never Go Back To Scotland’

    Clicking on that takes one to 28 of the most ludicrous TripAdvisor comments.

    Methinks the Yoons are starting to see the writing on the wall and are desperately trying to whip up hatred and apathy in their disciples.

  43. One_Scot says:

    Just saw this on twitter.

    This is the mentality of the people we are up against.

  44. DerekM says:

    Well that will be rock bottom hit playing on the big bogeyman of death.

    Oh no under the SNP you will all die sooner or maybe later(to be honest we have no idea so we just make this up to sell papers but you can damn bet we will be blaming the SNP for it and everything else,now how can we pin global warming on them)

  45. Orri says:

    Age profiles for Scotland

    And the UK as a whole.

    Interestingly the gender balance seems to have switched in favour of males in the younger age groups even below working age.

  46. Ken500 says:

    The cuts in social care in England led to a higher number of unexpected elderly winter deaths. 300,000? An Oxford Report. The Tories are killing off their voters.

  47. Orri says:


    If the statistic is any way related to the age people pop their clogs then one way to increase it would be to go out an shoot some of the older generation in order to push up that average. Or arange some incredibly cold weather and cut payments for heating.

    To drastically reduce it you have a war.

    The thing is that even if nothing other than birth rates changed then a fixed age dependant chance of death can mean the average of death will rise and fall based on that alone.

  48. JGedd says:

    Before WW2, people in poorer classes were at considerable disadvantage due to the effects of bad housing, lack of educational opportunity and inadequate health care.

    Those born during the war or after were the beneficiaries of the new NHS, attempts to replace slums with healthier environments and better educational opportunities. This was the generation that felt that they could advance their social status and live better than their parents’ generation.

    The immediate post-war generation who benefited from these benign changes are now those in their sixties and seventies whose life expectancy had been extended. That it is now seemingly stalled, might well point to the effects of the pulling back of many of these social advances – the gradual destruction of social welfare systems due to idealogical decisions feeding into population outcomes.

    In other words, right-wing ideaology is bad for your health and chances of living to a secure old age. Sadly enough, often those who were the beneficiaries of greater social equality are now content to see regressive policies increase the likelihood that younger generations will not enjoy their hard-won advantages, won for them by their parents’ generation.

  49. Hamish100 says:

    One_Scot says..@6.33pm

    Looks like a set up to run down the YES campaign. Totally unacceptable. I hope the Police deal with this individual.
    If anybody knows him tell him he is a complete idiot and Scotland doesnt want people like him.

    of course it could be he is a journalist posting as a troll

  50. Jock McDonnell says:

    So relative to England our life expectancy for pensioners has increased.
    A sign of progress.
    And BTW, Terry Combes on twitter, pure genius.

  51. One_Scot says:

    Hamish100, the account is new and has been made to look like a Yes supporter.They are clearly a unionist attempting Trojan Trolling. It just goes to show the level these people will sink to to try and discredit Yes supporters.

  52. frogesque says:

    @One-Scot : 6.33

    1 tweet, joined April 2017. Obvious fake purporting to be Indy supporting. Content abominable. Made up Unionist propaganda weapon.

    I hope no one rises to this hate that is quite likely criminal. Any tweeters care to take this on and get it taken down?

    We are up against some really vile people.

  53. Dan Huil says:

    @Hamish100 and One_Scot

    Looks like someone has hi-jacked this bloke’s twitter account. Hasn’t been used for a couple of years – until now and this offensive tweet.

  54. Robert Peffers says:

    DerekM says: 3 April, 2017 at 6:41 pm:

    ” … now how can we pin global warming on them”.

    Oh! That’s an easy one to answer, DerekM.

    Scotland has all that oil and because that Scottish oil is the wrong kind of oil, the CO2 from burning Scottish oil is far, far worse than any other country’s oil at generating CO2.

    So it stands to reason that it must be Scotland, and the SNP’s, fault that Global Warming is so bad.

    This, of course, is why those nice people at Westminster tried so hard to hide the value of Scottish oil from the Scots with the McCrone Report.

  55. Thepnr says:

    It’s always been true though that certain parts of Scotland had a much poorer life expectancy than the UK in general. The reasons are obvious poor housing and poor living standards.

    I’m a produce of the East End of Glasgow where the average life expectancy of a male was just 55. Can anyone believe that? I can.

    We need to change that by action, only a Scottish Government will do that. By the way my younger brother died two years ago aged 54 and I doubt I’ll see 65. That’s the way it is but it is in our power to change that. Let’s do it.

  56. scottieDog says:

    Well done to you Mr Campbell. What on earth will you do when this is all over!
    Still depressing seeing daily mail figures. I get bloody angry when I see see folk pick up that rag

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s a john clark anti-indy extremist sadly posts on the Herald, used a despicable term for Spaniards – got deleted and some replies. Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the same nasty piece of work. I don’t twitter, but users could probably report to twitter.

  58. sam says:

    The fundamental causes of health inequalities are well known. They are the unequal distribution of wealth,power and income in society. The more of these assets you have the longer you will live.

    To re-distribute wealth,power and income most effectively, Scotland needs control of the economy and of welfare policies.

    Scotland and UK life expectancy was mid-league up to the 1980s. It is the policies carried through by Thatcher and successive governments that has lowered life expectancy and kept it low. The Scott-Samuel research is scathing.

    Research is turning to the rich rather than the poor to account for health inequalities.

    Dr Simpson is an ill educated boor when it comes to the health of the poor.

  59. HandandShrimp says:

    I have maintained for some time that the pension black hole was not as bleak as some have predicted and I am interested to see the actuaries are finally pegging back their forecasts.

    Life expectancy is, to a large degree, our own responsibility. Smoke, drink and live on chocolate, heroin and doughnuts and it may be that you will foreshorten your life…but if you enjoyed it then perhaps that was better than a life of abstinence and boredom. It is a personal choice. The fact is that people are eating too much, not exercising enough and opting for choices that will stall life expectancy in increasing numbers and diabetes is at almost epidemic proportions. What is Government to do, come round and hide your doughnuts? Even measures like minimum pricing of alcohol have the self same critics whining about a nanny state.

    The state provides health education, welfare and a health service. That is reasonable provision but you don’t take your car back to the garage and complain that it has dents if you take it stock car racing every weekend. The comments from political activists like Simpson and Sked are academically disappointing. They both know there is far more to life expectancy than the colour of a Government, unless that Government has civil servants sitting on street corners dispensing free crystal meth. The Osborne cuts to welfare that are hitting the streets this year will have longer term consequences if allowed to persist but even they are not going to impact on demographics in the short term.

    In short, what is happening in the UK is something that has already happened in the US and what was being discussed a couple of years ago. Our lifestyles have changed.

  60. Bootsy81 says:

    But Rev, why aren’t we all immortal demi-gods? Surely that’s the SNP’s fault? Eh? EH?

  61. Roland Smith says:

    The ONS report each year on mortality stats. Google it and you can see all the results. It started in 2015 when there were 5% more deaths in the UK than there ever increasing graphs predicted. They wrote that off as flu in the winter. Every time since then when I have seen articles (you can comment on) that indicate the state pension age will be rising I have written and pointed out that the premise of increasing life expectancy has hit the buffers and the state pension if anything needs to be either frozen until they have enough data and then possibly reduced. Needless to state the government backed up by its compliant media are keen on the cost savings.

    So I believe there are two issues this wings article highlight, the usual one of unionist spin and misrepresentation of facts and the other equally important is Westminster screwing our younger people.
    Also if interested google a TUC report on how much the state pension laws lifetime costs are for a person in leafy Surrey against a person in Liverpool, Glasgow etc.

  62. inverschnecky says:

    When I worked in the NHS the ‘glasgow effect’ was a well known problem. Expensive healthcare 33-35k per patient per year still gave life expectancy of a 3rd world country.

    Removing useless labour mp’s and hopefully their councilors in May – might be part of the solution, but unless we can re-construct the economy of glasgow the physical and mental health issues are gony stay with us.

    For me that’s why we can’t get tired and give up. When yer out chapping on doors and getting grief from nawbags about nato, immigration, currency an pensions – there’s three wee words that get me through:

    I. Daniel. Blake.

  63. Free Scotland says:

    I hope Dr Richard Simpson has been made aware of this article. His words are on permanent record.

    Not entirely unconnected is this wee gem from John Jappy, whose videos “Scotland’s Oil” and “Hiding the Truth” were used to good effect during the 2014 referendum.

  64. Phronesis says:

    Scotland has been treated historically as a population laboratory that WM has been given unfettered access to. This has been to the detriment of Scotland’s population. The learned Danny Dorling expands on this theme in a talk that he gave in Glasgow recently,

    ‘In late 2016 we learnt that life expectancy is no longer rising in Scotland. For the first time (outside war-time) since records were published in 1861 life expectancy for both women and men did not rise. After 2012 it appears to stall at 81.1 years for women and 77.1 years for men. This is part of a wider trend seen across the UK, and in the USA, but not in other countries in Europe or elsewhere in the world. There is now mounting evidence of falls in life expectancy taking place for particular groups in our societies. Why have things become worse here?

    The talk these words summarise described recent trends in inequality and health in affluent countries and suggest that the UK and USA have become very unusual compared with global trends – with Scotland suffering as a result. There are signs of hope that people in these two, no longer very united, states are now beginning to realise that the growth of inequalities has caused, and is still causing, widespread harm. Signs of hope from elsewhere in the world where inequalities in many other places are much lower and/or falling were also explored.

    What is happening in the UK and the USA is the exception, not the norm and that in some ways it is the end of a forty-year experiment to test the supposed benefits of promoting inequality, in which we (and especially people in Scotland) have been the guinea pigs. The experiment is unlikely to end well as those who have most benefited from it seek to preserve as much inequality as they can.”

    Professor Dorling’s presentation slides;

    He suggests that some solutions to the rising levels of inequality are;

    ‘Taxing at the normal European level
    Spending on education & health normally
    Having housing laws that are fair to tenants
    Working towards a basic income for all
    No sanctions and student loans for the young
    Introducing a fair system of voting (PR)
    Not allowing the 1% who take a 7th of everything every year in the UK – to also run political parties, newspapers, companies, even university building programmes unchallenged. This is best done by reducing their income/wealth – and that can be done in many ways – which they are aware of’

    But these logical and intelligent suggestions will not be found in the policies of the current UK Gov who are not interested in a blueprint to alleviate suffering and disadvantage. Those who are ‘outraged’ and ‘appalled’ by the mortality stats for Scotland should reflect on who has always had a vested interest in maintaining poverty levels and the inequality gap and why? It is not the SNP.

  65. johnj says:

    I hope that Dr Simpson isn’t a medical doctor. Surely that statement would make him liable to a charge of misconduct.

  66. cearc says:


    ‘…the Angel of Mons who is said to have protected the British soldiers during the war.’

    Sounds like propoganda to me, he clearly didn’t do a very good job. Maybe he should be the patron saint of SLab.

  67. Cactus says:

    In keeping in with the current context…

    Scottish Council Elections vote day digital countdown clock (04/05/17)
    Time remaining:
    0 years, 1 month, 0 days, 3 hours & XX minutes (31 days)

    Register to vote in SCE day digital countdown clock (17/04/17)
    Time remaining:
    0 years, 0 months, 13 days, 3 hours & XX minutes

    Be sure to be registered to vote by the ’17th’ all you positive people of Scotland and be sure to choose the team who be stronger for Scotland.

  68. K1 says:

    ‘But these logical and intelligent suggestions will not be found in the policies of the current UK Gov who are not interested in a blueprint to alleviate suffering and disadvantage. Those who are ‘outraged’ and ‘appalled’ by the mortality stats for Scotland should reflect on who has always had a vested interest in maintaining poverty levels and the inequality gap and why? It is not the SNP.’

    No indeed they will not Phronesis.

    When you read this from this from The Highland News from just 2 days ago, it makes you despair and confirms your opening paragraph:

    ‘Scotland has been treated historically as a population laboratory that WM has been given unfettered access to.’

    And when you read the reply from the DWP at the end of this article you know you are dealing with heartless bastards.

    ‘Life on universal credit – no food and relying on hand-outs’

    ‘Inverness MP Drew Hendry says more than 100 people have come to his office with worries over universal credit.

    A NEW benefits system has sparked a spate of cries for help from people left in desperate hardship in Inverness.

    Tearful residents have flooded one MP’s office with harrowing tales of life on the new universal credit – including one toddler’s parent who was left without money, electricity and food after they were cut off for six weeks without explanation.

    Delays to payments have also forced others to sell beloved possessions, visit food banks and rely on hand- outs from family, neall while grieving for a spouse.

    And there are fears that many more people are suffering in silence, unaware that help may be available.

    Inverness was one of the few places in the UK picked to trial the full universal credit roll- out, a single benefit to replace Jobseeker’s Allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit.

    The controversial system has been blamed for people losing their homes after they had their benefits frozen for something as simple as reporting a change of address.

    All new claims or changes in circumstances spark an automatic six-week freeze which can continue even longer if there are problems processing the application – leaving some penniyless and unable to feed their children or pay their rent.

    And every Highland Council tenant who claims universal credit has now fallen into arrears, leaving the local authority with an budget hole of more than £700,000.’

  69. Smallaxe says:

    After reading this thread I’ll count it as a bonus if I wake up in the morning.

    Peace Always

  70. Liz Rannoch says:

    I’m one o’ yon folk who dinnae sleep very well and was up this am at 5.20am. I often get to watch a lot o’ yon stuff. All day the bbc has been touting the ‘naybody gets aff their bums’.
    Since this am it’s been – ‘worst N W England 47%, followed by Ireland 46%, Wales & the N E England 42% and Scotland on 37%. Bad enough but no as bad as some.
    Tonight on the ‘news where they are’, the same figures in the same order, but no mention of Scotland. Scotland – omitted out of a UK wide survey? – same as bliddy usual.
    I then decided to watch shortbread this evening and lo’ and behold, would you guess it? 1.6 million sofa whelks, huge number, no context, so went in search of ‘the truth’.
    Imagine my surprise (not) to find this:


    The things you learn to do on this site – the checking, no the archiving!

  71. Brian McGrath says:

    Pretty sure Tory austerity and the underfunding and destruction of the health service may be to blame.

    Also possible that people no longer want to deal with old age in Tory Britain and WANT to die younger.

  72. Breeks says:

    Sometimes I try to put myself into the Unionist frame of mind… What would possess me to argue for or against the Union on the basis of life expectancy of pensioners? I mean, who actually thinks like that??? How would I feel about saying more pensioners in England would die sooner if the Union was finished? Surely you’ve got to have a mind that’s in a dark and desperate place to think like that, no? Healthy normal people don’t think like that, do they?

    YES arguments are like little rays of sunshine that brighten your day and give you hope. If we’re talking about the doom and gloom of dying pensioners, then I’m guessing we must be in a conversation started by a Unionist.

    Such creepy and morbid arguments have no place in a debate about constitutional sovereignty. The thought I would vote for Independence because our pensioners would live longer is such a contrived and absurd argument to make, you can’t avoid drawing the conclusion that Unionism has nothing to offer and is scraping the barrel.

    It IS appalling that Scottish life expectancy is so much poorer, but it’s just one piece in a big jigsaw of appalling things Scotland has to live with in the Union. But hopefully, we can begin to address and conquer these problems when decisions about Scotland are made by an independent Scottish government which actually cares, and who’s first instinct is to make Scotland a better place, not merely how to keep the natives subdued and feeling hopeless during the next few decades of their joyless exploitation.

    What’s next Mr Unionist? All our cats and dogs will all have fleas if we vote for Independence? Our kids all have rickets? Our cars will rust quicker and we won’t get parts? We’ll get fewer hours of sunshine and our wild birds will stop migrating here? Ya bore me silly with your claptrap!! Even the small % that’s actually true is still a load of shite. You’ve a cloud ready for every silver lining don’t you? I even remember Flipper Darling saying we’d have to do without British music!! What an arse!

    At least when you’re banging the big bass drum, and marching off to war with Spain we can see ya comic’ and at least have a giggle at your tragic stupidity. Wha’s like us? No you, and for that may the Lord be thankit!!!

  73. caz-m says:

    Looking at the population stats for Scotland, we had over 5 million of a population in 1939. Our population is not much more than that now.

    In 1951 there were more people living in Scotland than in 2001.

    Disgraceful figures.

    A healthy economy needs to have population growth.

    Demography of Scotland:

  74. Cactus says:

    Scotland’s motor has been up on bricks in dry dock for far too long.. now we almost have all of our wheels back in place:

    N/S/R – Scotland voted in SNP for Westminster
    O/S/R – Scotland voted in SNP for Holyrood
    N/S/F – Scotland voted Remain in the European Union

    O/S/F – Scotland to vote in SNP for the Council Elections…

    If we can do that, we drive to freedom, iScotland is our final destination.

    The spare wheel was successfully repaired and remains ready for deployment.

    Yes We Can!

  75. caz-m says:

    This will not help the health of the Nation either.

    “In the coming days, Theresa May’s Conservative government will bring in a range of widespread benefit cuts – cuts that target disabled people, young people, and parents on low wages.”

  76. mike cassidy says:

    I’m 65 this month.

    All that running and it still looks like I’ll be donating my body to medical science sooner than I thought.

    And I thought the big downer of the day was this technical look at our new gigantic oil discovery.

  77. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Tomorrow’s National front page:

  78. BBC Scotland Tells Lies says:

    Tomorrow’s “National” twitter page:

  79. mike cassidy says:

    Phronesis 8.36

    Thanks for the posting. Didn’t know about this research.

    “This is part of a wider trend seen across the UK, and in the USA, but not in other countries in Europe or elsewhere in the world. There is now mounting evidence of falls in life expectancy taking place for particular groups in our societies.”

    Definitely something to follow up.

  80. twathater says:

    Cmon Stu , stoap it , at this rate we’re gonna have half the engerlish aged population movin up here for longer life and ther’l no be any hooses left for the rest o us and we’l no have any pensions or free prescriptions or free bus passes ,and yil end up stoppin aw they yoonyoonist erses fae emigratin tae brexitland when we’re independent

  81. BJ says:

    Everybody is looking forward to voting in the council elections and then waiting for their hopes to be realised.

    No such joy for the folk in South Kintyre, Argyll and Bute.

    There are 3 positions for that ward and only the 3 present councillors are contesting it, so that means they will be declared the winners on the day. No chance to vote out one of them, a LibDem who is utterly useless. He makes Willie Rennie look like Nelson Mandela.

  82. Cadogan Enright says:


    if anyone sees the BBC mis-reporting this story

    send it to

  83. Dr Jim says:

    Stand on the Pier at Peterheid in winter withoot yer shirt yer life expectancy’s aboot 20 minutes
    It’s too cauld fur fire tae burn

    Slightly different from south Englandshire what

  84. dakk says:

    I’d love to think the Scottish Government were enterprising and proactive enough to run a covert euthanasia programme in order to expedite our Independence,I really would.

    In reality the SNP are just not Bad enough to do this so will just have to sit tight.

    I have suspected for a while that due to farming methods and increased exposure in general to carcinogens that the life expectancy curve might take dip.

    Maybe there is a god after all.

  85. Golfnut says:

    @ Mike Cassidy.

    Yep, the oil industry took such a hammering, Shell only managed to pay its shareholders £11 billion in dividends. I guess we can look forward to a lot more of this kind of drivel, but we know better now.

  86. ben madigan says:

    @ Thepnr who said “my younger brother died two years ago aged 54 and I doubt I’ll see 65”.

    very sad comment – Thepnr didn’t say what his brother died of (absolutely no need to) but I think we all agree poor housing, food,medical care, hard work from a young age, poor education etc all lower life expectancy

    However what emerges from ThePNR’s statement is something that is often overlooked – genetics.
    Barring accidents or fatal diseases which will inevitably shorten lives – some of us have longer telomeres (which means we live longer) and some have shorter.

    In my own family one uncle and aunt died before they reached 60 and their only son died at the same age. Other relatives stretching back in time and to the relatively recent present reached their late 80s to early 90s.

    It’s the luck of the draw which telomere we get – so here’s looking to you Thepnr to reach your century!!!!

    Just think you’ll get a telegram from her madge – but not if we’re Independent first!

  87. Capella says:

    Excellent video by Sir Harry Burns, former Chief Medical Officer in Scotland, at the Faculty of Actuaries on the shorter life span in Glasgow. He looks at all the usual factors but, in the end, the most likely basic cause is “hopelessness”. 1 hr 10 mins

  88. DerekM says:

    @ Robert Peffers

    lol Robert maybe we should not give them ideas they are mad enough to try.

  89. xaracen says:

    @Liz Rannoch, although the BBC item won’t archive, it can be converted to a PDF file and srored locally, using the same facility the Rev uses with his PDF button.

    Copy the url of the BBC page to the URL field at this website, and follow the instructions.

  90. Fred says:

    Anent the “Glasgow Effect,” Glasgow’s middle-class largely live beyond the city boundary in a ring of suburbs whose people work in the city but commute, this doughnut effect is artificial & figures for the city are therefore slewed. Maryhill, for example had a low life expectancy while the adjoining Bearsden & Milngavie is amongst the highest. The problem is money & the poor are less likely to reach pensionable age, saving the UK Government billions!

  91. Returnofthemac says:

    I have just seen 67 winters. Been for an ECG last Friday all well. Completed the bowel test recently (too much info) all well. How dare this Scottish NHS keep me functioning like this. “Live well and prosper”

  92. Robert Peffers says:

    Upon getting a telegram from Her Maj I think I would return it to Buck House marked, “Not Known at This Address”.

    Try Postcode : SW1A 0AA c/o Rt Hon Theresa May MP. PM.

  93. Lenny Hartley says:

    Ben Madigan re Telomeres, never heard of them, but Google is our friend! Apparently life style and excercise according to study’s lengthen’s them.. That’s it the new diet starts tomorrow 🙂

  94. heedtracker says:

    Dr Jim says:
    3 April, 2017 at 10:17 pm
    Stand on the Pier at Peterheid in winter withoot yer shirt yer life expectancy’s aboot 20 minutes
    It’s too cauld fur fire tae burn

    Why its the Bluetoon Doc?

  95. Robert Peffers says:

    @Returnofthemac says: 3 April, 2017 at 11:06 pm:

    “I have just seen 67 winters. Been for an ECG last Friday all well. Completed the bowel test recently (too much info) all well. How dare this Scottish NHS keep me functioning like this. “Live well and prosper””

    After reading the Rev Stu’s article, Returnofthemac, I suggest that instead of, “Live well and prosper”, the real quote should be, “Prosper well and thus live longer”.

  96. G H Graham says:

    I believe the life expectancy of the Daily Record, The Herald & The Scotsman is now lower than it has ever been, since records began.

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

  97. TheItalianJob says:

    It always saddens me regarding areas of poverty associated with certain parts of Scotland.

    I grew up in Fife town in a street of Victorian tenements with toilets in our closes with no heating and oil lamps for lighting. Heating was coal fires and expensive electric fires. Thank god the council tore them down in the early 1970s. I suffered from asthma as a child and due to better housing later in life and getting a good education etc I have survived well without any further health issues.

    Scotland could have been so different if the wealth it had was distributed more evenly but couldn’t so due to having no control on its own resources and revenues.

    Labour supporting man most of my life but changed in 2014. The SNP are doing a great job for Scotland but I remember a teacher at high school being sacked for wearing an SNP badge in school and daring to discuss politics with our class. That was in the early 70s.

    I see little has changed on the views of the SNP by the MSM.

  98. K1 says:

    Thanks xaracen, bookmarked 🙂

  99. Clootie says:

    …it is actually quite sad that this spin will go unchallenged by “journalists” in Scotland. Perhaps one day they will investigate a story instead of simply printing unionist propaganda…but do not hold your breath.

  100. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Fred @ 22:59:

    Glasgow’s middle-class largely live beyond the city boundary in a ring of suburbs […] this doughnut effect is artificial & figures for the city are therefore slewed.

    The same applies to school stats (which is part of the story, I suppose) but with a double whammy, because some parents within the city boundary export their kids to state schools out in the “doughnut” besides, and of course some “go private” instead.

    So much for stats.

    Our local school had a sharing arrangement with a nearby private school for some subjects, and so a small group of our kids found themselves going to the “posh” school part-time. The private kids were initially rather apprehensive, fearing that they were going to be hosting a bunch of very dangerous toughs, only to discover instead that they were all among the smartest in the class.

    I guess the moral of this story is an old one: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

  101. Cactus says:

    In life, we have..

    Followers &

    Which are you?

    Happy new day!

  102. Jock McDonnell says:

    remember, when they talk of North Sea oil running out, West of Shetland isn’t the North Sea

  103. Cactus says:


    2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    We good 😉

  104. Iain More says:

    The only thing keeping me going now is that I will live long enough to see Scotland free of London Rule.

  105. Cactus says:

    @Wingers ~

    Met many of yous for da first time at Glasgow’s Counting Hoose… 3 ago years today, remembers? I got the photograph 🙂

    1 week is a lang time in politics
    2 weeks is a generation in politics
    3 weeks is a lifetime in politics

    Today is a special day, see y’all some weeks in May.

    “It’s a beautiful day”

    Sing it Freddie.. 🙂

    Here we come.

  106. Still Positive says:

    Sir Harry Burns said as much before indyref in 2014, that the Scottish Government does not have the powers and it is only with independence we can address it.

  107. Cactus says:

    Bohemian Rhapsody is a work of art.

  108. Cactus says:

    This is even better.. try this one on for size:

    Dedication to ‘The Press’ ~ How Bizzare

  109. Cactus says:

    @Smallaxe dude ~

    The perfect compliment

    ThanX 🙂

    Quality & Sound.

  110. Smallaxe says:

    Oh well Cactus, if we are dedicating songs to the press, may I offer this?

    Peace Always

  111. Cactus says:


    Put it out there people!

    It catches on.

  112. Cactus says:

    Looks like it’s just you & me on this night-thread Smallaxe?

    Though, there may be another 300 hunner odd thousand watching..?

    Let’s get wired in.

  113. Smallaxe says:

    We should really be on O/T but I don’t think that we’re bothering anyone, so,


    Peace Always

  114. Cactus says:

    Skipping along through me play list and along comes the perfect..

    GnR are excellent for BGM.


    Anyways, let’s keep it in context.

  115. Cactus says:


    Our excellent international neighbours!

    Let me lay my hat there.

    Scotland is HOME.

    Je concur, we’re not bothering anyone, are we?

  116. Smallaxe says:

    If anyone is annoyed, speak now or forever…..

    Santana: “Oye Como Va”

    Peace Always

  117. Cactus says:

    Smallaxe dude,

    Have we got the border posts manned for the Easter break?

    Tis a lang way tae..

    Listening to ‘Love Walked In’ by Thunder.

    Ra now.

  118. Smallaxe says:


    Have a listen and a look at our Home!

    Peace Always

  119. Cactus says:

    Dio’s just kicked in on the airwaves with:

    Medieval Rock.

    Get that stuff playing on in a Scottish castle..

    Oh yeah.

  120. Cactus says:

    Sound & Quality.

    Aye, seeing a few more bars in Glasgow with Saltires in their windows now.

    At first ah thought it was just for the rugby.

    But now I know it’s for real.

    Drink wisely.

  121. Cactus says:

    Come and join us..


  122. Macart says:

    The lesson folks, as if anyone needs reminding, is that poverty kills. Wealth disparity kills. Poor diet, higher levels of stress, shorter life expectancy. In the face of a UK wide drift backward in life expectancy, Scotland is only just bucking the trend.

    No shocks in either statement so far.

    What really turns your stomach. What really, REALLY, gets your back up. Is the utter hypocrisy, the sheer willingness of those most responsible for this poverty and wealth disparity to use the fruits of their labour as a political tool. The very same politcal class and parties who day in, day fucking out work tirelessly to undermine trust in our public services and institutions to better their own sorry lot.

    Conservative, Labour, Libdem politicians. The same folks and system of government who have had the run of the UK economy and the trust of the public for literally fucking generations.

    They did this and NO ONE else need apply for responsibility.

    Just to be perfectly clear, it’s worth remembering that the SNP haven’t crashed any economies recently. They haven’t gambled away the taxes and assets of those in their care by allowing the corporate world to compromise our democracy. They haven’t started any wars or pished hundreds of billions up against a wall in amassing useless fucking weapons systems, or participating in the time honoured ‘sport’ of geopolitically motivated military adventures.

    Only two political parties and their ever helpful Libdem enablers have managed any of that.

    Well I’d like them to stop for just one second. Stop and look around at what all of their ‘politics as it is practised’ has brought the populations of the UK. Austerity ideology, Brexit, societal breakdown, isolationism, xenophobia and hate crime and yes an ever shortening life expectancy.

    You DO NOT get to hold ALL the powers of statehood and government then shift the responsibility when it all goes pear shaped on you. You were either in charge, in control of that power or you never were. There is no grey area where you pass the buck to the devolved legislatures who, at best, have only had the very lowest level of competences for a mere seventeen years.

    You did this. ALL of this.

    Maybe just me, but I’d say it’s perhaps time folk placed their trust in those who have done them no harm.

  123. Smallaxe says:

    Macart my Friend, never a truer word was spoken.Thank you.

    Peace Always

  124. Al Dossary says:

    Life Expectancy – we all know the main reasons, as has been quoted.

    The 3 D’s. Diet, drink, drugs with genetics, lack of exercise and quality of housing thrown in for good measure.

    Lack of affordabe, quality fruit and veg is a huge problem also. Why should a supermarket pay the farmer a pittance for his crop and the multiply the price by many times for the consumer.

    It breaks my heart to drive along the upper reaches of the Clyde valley these days. The market gardens between Garrion Bridge and Lanark are nowadays largely derelict of fruit trees or soft fruits – save for a lovely big house and a neglected orchard.

    I worked with a bloke from Stornoway who’s mither, grandmither back to thw great-great grandmither all lived in to heir nineties. Hard working, God fearing crofters who also happened to be teetotal.

  125. David Caledonia says:

    I know we have to discuss the rubbish that’s going about, but this did make me laugh out loud, you see health falls into the category of your own affair
    I know people like myself who lead a quite healthy lifestyle, and i know a lot more people who do the opposite, now my take on it is this, some people like to enjoy themselves smoking, drinking, eating the wrong stuff, but that is their choice, it makes them happy so good luck to them, and some people have just not got into the smoking and drinking culture, and some have given that lifestyle up
    There is allways a funny side to things, a guy once said, giving up smoking will not make you live longer, it will just feel that way lol
    And another thing, if a bus runs over the top of you, it won’t matter what kind of lifestyle you where leading, just enjoy life, appreciate every day, life is good, to good to worry about some labour supporting doctor blaming a government for people’s lifespan, did you know that doctors have the highest rates of suicide in the professions , some of the doctors i have had i can believe it, some right miserable buggers i have had the misfortune to be doctored by, one told me i did not have problems with my back, and he was sitting looking at the x-ray when he said it, i said, do you think i am telling lies about my lower back problem, what a bloody idiot he is

    Anyway, Peace and Love and puppy dogs tails

  126. Ken500 says:

    Don’t vote for the Greens. They are habitual liars. They waste Billions of public money which could be better spent on the vulnerable. They collude with unionists for office and remuneration. They put people from voting for Independence because of their unpopular policies and their appalling behaviour.

    They are two faced liars who renege on their own policies. Muck up the local and national economy. They waste public money on groteque projects of low value. There behaviour is so unpolpular they are a hinderance to Independence. It puts off people joining the Independence movement and voting for Independence, They are complete charlatans. They collude with lying criminal Unionists to enable non mandated grotesque projects. Renege on their own policies. The illegally and criminal waste public money. Divert it from essential services and shut them down.

    They are so unpopular people will not campaign or vote for Independrnce because of them. They are habitual liars and lie about SNP policies and interfere at every opportunity. They are worse than the unionists with whom they collude and go into coalition for office and remuneration. Giving their vote to disasterous unionist policies. Ruining City Centre, putting up emission, causing traffic chaos. Wasting £Million/Billions of public money. Cutting essential services. Borrowing and getting Cities into £Billions of debt. Totally against the public interest and the majority wishes.

    There will still be enough voters to get the over the line, even more. Even more without the duplicity.and dishonest Green Party interference, Their unpopular policies and bad double dealing behaviour are putting people from voting for Independence. Thry renege on their own policies. They lie use false statistics etc just like the unionists to try and discredit the SNP Gov at every opportunity. They support the unionists (give the casting vote) for Unionists administrations to ruin the local and national economy, They are just despicable in every way.

    They use Independence for their own means to try and take support from the SNP, Then in collusion with the unionists, ruin the local and national economy. Waste £Million:Billions of public which could be better spent. They are a small interest pressure group. They put people off of supporting and voting for Independence. They are a complete danger to the economy and the Independence movement. They put off more support than is gained.

  127. Who is this old codger Dr Richard Simpson? Oh yes, yet another Yoon Uniiversity Professor accusing ‘the EssEnnPee’ of cutting hospital beds, reducing midwifery places, and now killing off pensioners and newborns.
    Old crabbit idiot.
    It has nothing to do with the overpaid Chief Executives and Chairpersons of our Health Boards, or the ridiculously salaried and pensioned Chief Executives in Care and Health in our tired old Yoon Councils.

    It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.

    BTW when is she going to go ’round the streets of Govanhill picking up all those abandoned mattresses and sofas from the pavements?
    There is a pattern emerging. Our universities, headed almost exclusively by Yoon Placements have become hotbeds of Better Together propaganda.
    Richard Simpson washes his hands, and the corrupt and lazy local Executives in Health, Education, and Social Care, of the 50 year in the making social and economic destruction of Scotland at the hands of a SE Westminster Oligarchy, one of whose compliant monkeys the good Professor certainly is.

    This from a synthesis report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, NHS Scotland, the University of West Scotland, and University College London explaining the 5000 a year excess mortality rates in Glasgow, West of Scotland, and the Scotland in general.
    It is reported that 5000 more citizens per year die in Glasgow than comparable cities like Newcastle or Liverpool which suffered the same industrial and economic vandalism imposed by 50 years of Tory and Labour Westminster Governments.
    It is argued that Labour Councils in Scotland, even during the Heath Thatcher Major years did nothing to resist the Right Wing tidal wave that closed industries, attacked trade unions, began the privatisation of health, utilities, and public services. Indeed under the New Labour neo conservative Blair Brown regime our Labour Local Authorities were enthusiastic neo liberal cheer leaders. Think PFI, think the pseudo privatisation of ‘Arms length’ contracts in care for the elderly, car parking, building, and social work.
    Dr Simpson is an unreconstructed old Tory Blair New Labour Red Tory dyed in the wool elitist Yoon.
    What the hell is happening in our Universities?

  128. Fergus Green says:

    @Ken 500 7.02.

    I’ll be voting Green, along with 2 SNP candidates, together at the top of the list on 4 May.

    Keep your eye on the prize and save your vitriol until after we achieve independence.

  129. sinky says:

    Why am I not surprised that BBC Radio Scotland GMS failed to mention the HoC cross party committee’s call for Theresa May to respond formally as a matter of urgency to Scotland’s demands for a besopke deal as reported in The national this morning.

    BBC did cover the report and had Hilary Benn and some Tory on to discuss it but ignored the Scottish dimension.

  130. Macart says:

    I see the Rev’s made The National again today.

    A big well done to both the Rev and dedicated wingers everywhere. 🙂

  131. Muscleguy says:

    @Roland Smith

    65 was set as the retirement age originally since the mass of working men could expect at most a couple of years of retirement before popping their clogs.

    The phenomenon of the retired living on for 10, 20 years sucking at the public teat is relatively recent and this is behind both the pensions blowout and the need to increase the age.

    In addition people have not just been living longer but healthier lives (NHS helps a lot here) meaning plenty of 65 year olds could work on for a bit.

    Your point about the stalling of ever increasing longevity is a good one but you have to think like a government. Fred and Mary living for 15 years post retirement before Fred pops off but Mary goes on for another 10 is a government nightmare. It was never supposed to be like that.

    I suspect the regular ‘excess’ deaths are due to so many being kept going with multiple overlapping conditions. They are one crisis away from catastrophe. IF this is the case then it explains the non decline in Scotland.

    One of the reasons an elderly person on multiple drugs reaches crisis is by not taking one or more of their meds, perhaps due to penny pinching. In Scotland we do not pay for prescriptions, in part to forestall expensive crises in such cases. So this may very well be the SNP’s fault, they are keeping Nana and Grandad alive for the weans. Bastards.

  132. Roland Smith says:

    I will be voting SNP 1, 2, then any greens and finally any other party/person who supports independence.
    The Tories will do well at these elections care of Labour and the Lib Dems demise. The unionist press will trump this success as being proof that another referendum will be lost. Its essential there are more pro Independence councillors to counter that spin.

  133. Dorothy Devine says:

    Smallaxe and Cactus , I am about to enjoy all your musical choices – thanks.

    Just had a Tory leaflet through the door with the bold statement that the chap is ‘working for Glasgow not for Independence’ – obviously he can’t multi task.

    So my message to this lovely Tory chap , backed by the redoubtable buffalo rider , I will vote as Macart suggests for those I trust and who have done me and Scotland no harm.

  134. Ken500 says:

    The Greens stop support for Independence. People will not vote for it because of them. They will probably renege in any case. Don’t duped. They put off more people than they retain. It is a false flag.They are manipulative liars. There will be more people to vote Independence over the line without promoting them. More people would support and vote for Independence.

    Their poliicies and behaviour put people off. They do not even support green principles they renege and walk away. The just turn people off. They do not practise what they preach. They talk the talk but do not walk the walk. They are just out for themselves and some twisted idealogy, to promote themselves. Policies that do not follow through but are just wasteful. They are more of a hinderance than a help. A source of annoyance of the duplicity, incompetence and ignorance.

    One bad ‘apple’ is all that is needed to destroy the local and national economy and waste £Billions of public money that could be better spent on essential services and building up the economy. Over coming poverty, austerity and better health outcomes. etc. The SNP have more evaluated policies in a balanced economy and are more Green. Keeping and reach targets etc.

  135. gus1940 says:


    For those who thought that the site was dead bbcscotlandshire sprang to life yesterday with a brilliant spoof program schedule for Donalda’s proposed new TV channel.

  136. Dorothy Devine says:

    Smallaxe and Cactus , I’ve only made it through half of them because I came a cropper over Jeff Buckley and Hallelujah , it will be an earworm for the next few days.

    I am now late for an appointment and I am blaming you two.

  137. galamcennalath says:

    gus1940 says:

    brilliant spoof program schedule

    Excellent. Thanks for highlighting. And it’s not so far from the truth!

  138. heedtracker says:

    “One of the reasons an elderly person on multiple drugs reaches crisis is by not taking one or more of their meds, perhaps due to penny pinching.”

    Or more likely making mistakes in a daily self multiple medication, because that’s what ageing can do, make you forgetful, causing conditions to worsen, causing you to make more mistakes.

    Prescribing long term multiple drug treatment to anyone of any age, is expecting a lot of patients. If medics do this without any monitoring, it comes down again to that grand old UK lottery of life, or just another chronic health care failure, will the relatives check, is the GP lazy etc. All of it can easily be solved, with a little bit of investment.

    But lets invade Spain.

  139. mr thms says:

    With regard to voting in May. My preference will be for pro-independence candidates. Is it also important therefore that I rank the no to independence independent candidates and unionist partirs candidates in order of preference, to ensure that the three main unioniist party candidates remain at the very bottom of my order of preference to make their chances of grabbing a seat as difficult as possible?

  140. Robert J. Sutherland says:


    Pardon me, but your hobby-horse is showing (yet again).

    We can do without splitters in the independence movement, thanks.

    Unless you would rather that Unionists get more seats in local councils…?

  141. Ken500 says:

    (OA) Pensions have been kept low deliberately. This has led to a top up means tested benefits system which is full of bureaucracy and difficult to run, more is spent in adminstration than the top up fund. Ie (Gov) Pensions would have to be £180 a week at least to cover all expenses. (As per the top up) to bring it up to sustainable levels out if reach of poverty levels. That is less than half the average wage which is £520 a week. It is in fact approx 1/3 of average earning.

    In many cases for many reasons pensioners can’t work. Health, caring duties,availability of employment etc. The UK Gov is operating a means tested top up scheme of bureaucracy. That is more expensive than giving the pensioners (ie senior citizens) the extra money that they need to be taken out of poverty. The senior citizens who have more than done their bit for society. Bringing up and nurturing the next generation often in difficult circumstances. They should and could be respected. Instead of living in means tested poverty.

    Pensioners who have the means (a small extra annuity) also still pay tax, ie they are still contributing to society. In some cases that is why so do not work pass pension age. If they can find suitable, available, employment. They would just pay it it tax, it wpukd not be worth the effort.

    It is the old conundrum. If the UK Gov spent less on illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. There would be enough public funding to give pensioners the proper support and sustenance and the respect that they deserve. Still helping out their families and their communuties. Not wanting to be a burden. The dignity and thanks they deserve.

    The UK (Tory) Gov destructive and disrespective policies towards Scotland and the rest of the world. Ensures pensioners and senior citizens do not get the respect, support and remuneration to live out their lives in contentment, happiness and peace that they deserve.

    Many older people do not like change. They can be fearful of it. It is a psychological aspect of aging. Life changes. People are draw to what they perceive for comfort. They can be susceptible to propaganda and misinformation having had less of a comprehensive education. That does not mean they can’t be persuaded over with care help attention and respect. Especially as they realise their needs and care will be more fully met. Using fear and false manipulation on vulnerable older people is despicable beyond contempt. Especially is it means the outcome is their means and aspirations will not be met. They are everyone’s parents, grannies, granddad’s, aunties, uncles cousins. With respect, kindness, humour explanation and information they can be persuaded if the advantages of Independence and self determination. Even if they can’t the demographics are changing in any case. So give it a rest. Low pension rates are because of the bad decisions that Westminster Unionists make. That is an indisputable fact.

  142. mr thms says:

    It is confusing when people say don’t vote the Greens. Is this vote not about ranking the candidates in each ward in order of preference?

    You need to hold your nose and rank ‘pro and anti-independence’ independent candidate before any of the candidates standing for the main three unionist parties to make sure that they are placed firmly at the bottom in the order of preference and make it as difficult as possible for them to grab a seat.

  143. heedtracker says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:
    4 April, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Pardon me, but your hobby-horse is showing (yet again).

    We can do without splitters in the independence movement, thanks.

    This is the issue about Green voting. Why did SNP Scots gov fall to minority Holyrood last GE?

    Green’s got massive boosting from all tory BBC led media, for last Scots GE, as did tiny fringe left RISE, its not by chance.

    Green’s are nice tories. In Aberdeen, Green’s opposition to AWPR held it up for at least a decade, double construction cost, with the whole N. East region losing economic boost.

    Green’s have been Nae to every single SNP Scots gov Holyrood vote.

    Who’s the actual enemy against Scotland’s democracy Green’s, as that tory sock puppet straddles cows and tank barrels, and rages at Scots, WATP style.

  144. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker @ 9.19

    Some pharmacies deliver the drugs to patients who are housebound and they are delivered in a ‘drug diary’. It is divided into days of the week -rows – and into times -columns – with the relevant drugs in the correct rows and columns. My aunt who was housebound got hers delivered weekly with the empty one being picked up at the same time as the drop off.

    Works well so long as the patient is mentally OK and knows what day of the week it is. So there are some things that can be done. The other thing to do is have regular reassessment of the drugs people are on. Often some of the drugs they are on have been given to treat what is in effect the side effect of another drug and so it goes on.

  145. Robert Peffers says:

    @Macart says: 4 April, 2017 at 3:44 am:

    “Conservative, Labour, Libdem politicians. The same folks and system of government who have had the run of the UK economy and the trust of the public for literally fucking generations.
    They did this and NO ONE else need apply for responsibility.”

    Very well described, Macart, but you did not make one fact very clear.

    These unionist parties are like one of those USAsian Prairie Ghost Towns from the, “Old West”.

    You know the type of thing I mean. Log built single story buildings with at least a two story high false front. The bat wing doors on the saloon false front disguising the truth that what lies behind is a single story, earth floored, den of iniquity.

    Westminster is a false fronted establishment and behind the false front of democracy with three parties, with claimed different policies, lies the squalid den of iniquity of, “The Establishment”.

    It is of no real consequence which actual party has won the election for the Members are all on the same MP’s pay rates and they all get the same access to the perks. The only ones who are on higher incomes are the Cabinet Ministers and most of the committee chairs are cross-party as are the Committee members.

    Most alert readers accept that the three unionist parties are different coloured Tory parties but fail to realise the overall unionist ethos is not actually Tory but is, “The Establishment”, and that includes much more than the members in the Houses of Parliament.

    For almost my entire life we have been ruled by, “The Establishment”. Labour swept to power in 1945 but almost instantly they threw in their lot and joined, “The Establishment”.

    Since that day they have done what the Establishment is designed to do – undo the work that the 1945 Labour Party had done. At this point in history they are part and parcel of an Establishment, hell bent on dismantling such things as the NHS.

    Little remains now of The Electricity, Gas and Water Boards. No British Road Services or British Rail remain.

    The GPO was first split up then it also went private. Now even the NHS is set to go private. Yet the facts are that the public are still subsidising the private companies that replaced what they once owned. Even BOAC and British Air are now in private hands.

    Westminster is, and always has been, a false fronted edifice, fronting a den of Establishment iniquity dedicated to maintaining an elite ruling class that first began in Britain with the Roman Empire and has remained situated in Londinium ever since.

  146. ComradeHeval says:

    To be fair the Scots are known to like ciggies and alcohol and these two substances are known to shorten lives. Personally speaking I want to live fast and die young

  147. Ken500 says:

    Unionists hypocrites and the wider population than the greens in bigger numbers. In the secrecy of the Ballot box vote for Independence. Some Unionist Party members and their supporters vote for Independence. The hypocrisy. They do not say as they do. The unionist Parties have few members. A really low membership. The Greens have even less for good reason. A single issues unpopular interest pressure group. Their policies in the main are ridiculous, The are not held to account and just get away with their duplicity and greed.

    The hardship, waste and unnecessary economic hold up they have put on communities and regions cannot be disputed or denied. Total unreasonable undemocratic hypocrisy .Ruinig the economy and putting undue stress and strain on the majority of other people’s lives. The infrastructure failing to meet the needs of society. Massive waste anxiety and stress at their completely incompatible behaviour. Often for their own selfish gain of public remuneration and office. Using assets and public money for wilful destruction of gainful economic activity. The public have to pay.

    You have been warned. The Greens put off more than they gain. Demographically less promotion of the green hypocrites and their renege of green policies can lead to bigger gain for Independence support.

  148. mr thms says:

    Chances are, after the local council elections are over, there will be an anti-Brexit, pro-independence, pro-EU coalition government for the next four years. The Scottish Greens will want some of their manifesto pledges to get through. Which is only fair. The main thing is that the blocking tactics of the pro-union parties of the past year will end.

  149. gus1940 says:

    WGD says ‘Brexit is founded on lies and Racism’.

    That sums it up brilliantly.

  150. heedtracker says:

    Legerwood says:
    4 April, 2017 at 9:49 am
    heedtracker @ 9.19

    Indeed but its a fundamentally flawed system Legerwood.

    Assumptions that elderly patients will follow prescriptions accurately is extremely poor health care management.

    There are number of public sector management systems that a very low standard, very badly trained and just plain old lazy.

    A lot of public sector management comes from the private sector and lot of them think its a doss. How to incentivise them is a tricky question.

    More democracy maybe, always works.

  151. heedtracker says:

    gus1940 says:
    4 April, 2017 at 10:03 am
    WGD says ‘Brexit is founded on lies and Racism’.

    That sums it up brilliantly.

    But watch out, if you say that to any Leave vote!

  152. Calum McKay says:

    This is a common theme right across the media in Scotland.

    Where England / uk is doing badly for whatever reason at something, stats will be produced for Scotland that when spun and taken in isolation look bad.

    But when you dig a bit (thanks to Stuart and others), it turns out that Scotland is doing well in comparison with its neighbours.

    We are certainly not the sick man of Europe as we used to be under Dr Simpson and labour. And, it will take time male amends for decades of London and labour rule.

    That’s not to say the SNP should not be judged or held to account, they should be, but fairly!

  153. Robert Peffers says:

    @David Caledonia says: 4 April, 2017 at 5:29 am:

    “I know we have to discuss the rubbish that’s going about, but this did make me laugh out loud, you see health falls into the category of your own affair.”

    Aaaah! You are sensibledave and I claim my £5!

  154. call me dave says:

    Henry McLiesh (spelling 🙂 ) in The National… waffling on about his 7 steps to a constitutional convention.

    Too late we’re going for independence Henry!

  155. Flower of Scotland says:

    A nice piece in the National again about the fundraiser.

    Well done the Rev and all Wingers.

    I hear what everyone is saying but I put the Greens in the same category as the other Unionist parties and will have to hold my nose to vote for them after the fiasco of the Holyrood election.

    Don’t know if I can do it but will see what Scot goes Pop, James Kelly says nearer the time.

  156. stu mac says:


    You mention average wage in your post. You have to be careful about using this as the mean wage can be affected by extreme outliers (for instance the fact that top salaries are nowadays so massively greater than most other people’s salaries. Statisticians also use mode (most occurring) and median (middle value) to check how true an average the mean is. In fact average wage you see in headlines is usually more than most people make.

    This is old but still useful:

  157. stu mac says:

    @stu mac

    I should have said that of course politicians (and big business) use the “average wage” (mean) to make out most folk are getting better paid than they really are as most people don’t earn as much as the so-called average.

  158. Les Wilson says:

    As posted above, ref Tories and cheating with postal votes on a large scale, does anyone know of this happening in Scotland.
    Seems possible that if they would do it in England it may possible be done in Scotland.

  159. Breeks says:

    Feels like stating the obvious, but the Greens are green! It’s the environment which commands their loyalty, and it’s because Scotland is a progressive, innovative place with a ring side seat in Europe’s renewable energy prospectus for the indefinite future which earns us their support. An Independent Scotland is going to be an Earth friendly part of the planet, and that’s good news for the Greens.

    But what they are not, are SNP candidates with a green bunnet and scarf on. You might not like that, but you shouldn’t forget it either.

    If we want to earn support from the Greens in our Independence aspirations, then that means keeping our Independence agenda a Green Party friendly agenda; that doesn’t mean caving in to the Greens agenda, but it probably does mean meeting them half way on a number of issues. Oil springs to mind…

    Please don’t launch grapeshot condemnations of the Greens, because YES is not about alienating anybody. In some respects, you might even excuse some Greens having Unionist sympathies because while their job isn’t quite done in Scotland, we are broadly heading in the right direction. Yet there are other parts of the UK who are channelling money into Nuclear power and liaising with anti-renewable NIMBY’s and Climate Change deniers in the USA. “Greenness” is an international concern that hurdles national boundaries; but it is not the same thing as Unionism.

    Keep that in mind. If Scottish Independence fails, then a vocal beacon of hope and a pristine example for a Greener philosophy in life will fall into the plundering clutches of a bankrupt Westminster. Find me a Green candidate anywhere who is prepared to argue that as a positive result.

    Find a little empathy and respect for people who might not see the world the same way we do, but share our path for the next wee critical part of the journey.

    By all means strive for SNP dominance in the Council elections, but play it fair, be progressive, positive and straight, and then we can all live with the result, whatever the result may be. Be constructive and resourceful so there remains a platform for co-operation and mutual respect which we can all embrace. It is Scotland that will benefit the most. We may or may not need Green support for a Holyrood majority, but whatever happens we can overcome it. We definitely will need everybody on the same side and pulling together for ScotRef.

  160. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Flower of Scotland

    Here are a couple of good articles from James Kelly (scotgoespop) on why we should rank ALL candidates in the local elections:

  161. Proud Cybernat says:

    One thing that concerns me about James Kelly’s ‘rank all candidates’ advice is what would happen if a large swathe of indy-minded folk rank ALL candidates (with the yoon candidates at the bottom end of course) but yoon-minded voters rank ONLY yoon candidates?

    Thoughts anyone?

  162. schrodingers cat says:


    if you rank the indy parties first, and the unionists after, it is only once all of the indy parties are eliminated that votes are transfered to unionists

  163. Liz Rannoch says:

    @ Xaracen 10.53

    Thanks for the tip – I’ll try it next time. Ended up just snipping as I usually do, got loads of snips and haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with them!

    Anyhoo – re the voting. Just had a look at Dunfermline Ward 2, 3 to be elected, choice of 7 and I know someone on here said to ‘vote ’til you boak’ but I’m boaking after 2! Lots of thinking and boaking to do.

  164. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ schrodingers cat

    Got that – but I’m thinking about this more in the sense of what James Kelly has advised in his articles i.e. that we should rank ALL candidates. He says that ranking ONLY pro-indy candidates is to effectively abstain on lower preferences which could potentially come into play and by NOT placing yoon candidates you don’t have a say.

    So if pro-indy folk rank yoon candidates (waaaaayyy down their list, naturally as per Kelly’s advice) but yoon folk rank ONLY yoon cndidates then–if I understand this right–this advice could potentially backfire.

    Is that right?

  165. Robert Kerr says:

    Using a “reductio ad absurdum” argument re STV voting surely if no one voted for a Yoon/Britnat then none would be elected.

    I cannot find it in myself to “vote till I boak”.

    SNP, SNP, Green and “Tommy Sheridan Hope Over Fear” OK but Slab? and Tory? and the other lot?

  166. Fergus Green says:

    There are 2 ‘independents’ standing in Perth South. One sounds left of centre – whatever that means – and the other sounds like a Tory.

    Note the use of ‘sounds like’ in this post.

    I’ve tried searching online but can’t really work put what these ‘independents’ stand for. Can anyone advise?

  167. Ken500 says:

    It is elderly women who are the most likely to live in pensioner poverty. They outlive men. They are the generation who were less likely to be in work or worked part- time when they were younger. So have less pension rights. Lifestyle changes in society have lead to their lose of reasonable pension attribution. These are the demographics of the society that mean they have less of adequate support in their elderly twilight years.

    The 11WW lead to great hardship death and destruction in the world. Destroyed the world economy. The baby boomers are of that generation of general hardship of the post war years. In the 1950’s many people were out of work. The destruction of the world economy had taken it’s toll. A depression was the result. People were starving with not enough food. There had been s lotal lose of production. That is when the EU was born. To stop starvation and war in Europe. Free trade increased production of food and free movement of people ultimately helps counties and society to prosper. Illegal wars never do.

    In the 1950’s. Less women worked as a percentage of the population. They had larger, by today comparison, families and were the main careers of these families. There was by proportion (today) less jobs for men. After the war with the resulting depression higher unemployment. A higher proportion of the resources had been spent on Defence. In the 1960’s with increased contraception available. ‘Swinging for some’, but greatly over estimated (by proportion today).

    There were still restriction but it gave more freedom to the increased (after war time) baby boomers to come to the fore. To be recognised as a higher demographic in society. The ‘teenagers’ as a distinctive culture group. The mods /rockers wanting to be heard and making their mark in the world. People of that generation still had their children at a younger age (pro rata) and had less of them as the norm. A boy and a girl was the norm but did not work out to all expectations. People like to have fun and nature can take it’s course.

    More women went back to work as a percentage of the population. Debt became incorporated as an aspect of the society both nationally and personally. ‘Live now pay later’. People were no longer so inclined to wait or save for personal goods. The expansion of trade led to more jobs and increased economic activities. More foreign holidays and consumer goods. Women still had more caring duties and spent time in the home, especially when their children were young both from necessity and inclination. People are usually responsible parents. In fact their children’s and other peoples’ children’s welfare consumes most individuals aspect and outlook to this day. A continuing obsession in most societies. That children should do well and be protected. The next generation should benefit.

    Many women worked part-time and were told by the Gov to pay a smaller stamp (£1) because their pension were considered to be covered by their husband!s NI stamp contribution. Ie not pay twice. They received their OAP on his contribution a rate for married people on his (later date) retirement. Part-time workers of this generation did not receive work pension rights. Until much later when Gov incorporation gave these people (pro rata) rights. They received half value pension rights. The demographics will change. The Pill/free contraceptives. People choosing to have less children. Give greater employment opportunities. The world over. As more countries get adequate health care. In most counties in the world (without migration) the populations are falling.

    The world population will peak and then fall. Absolute poverty is being eradicated. Until them the vulnerable and elderly still need support and should get it. There is absolutely no reason not. With the right fairer distribution. To which the majority conform. The majority in the world are rational caring people who are willing to share. The political class must adhere to these wishes and values or be set aside.

    So women were unlikely to have made such higher pension contribution because of the structure of their lives according to society demographics. Gov could override for fairness and evaluation some support especially for people. I.e. more vulnerable because of lives circumstances – vulnerable children and their careers. .

    This Tory government has changed that and is now targeting disproportionally vulnerable people who need support. Cutting necessary benefits and support to those they think are without a voice. The sick, the elderly, disabled, children and their careers. A small demographic group which should and could be supported. This corrupt and fraudulent Westminster Gov chooses not to do this. In order to line their and their associates £Billions of public money to sink into their coffers. Of the corrupt unionist and their associates pockets. Riping off taxpayers money off their illegal, wasteful grotesque projects. Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow and Trident. There are more credible safer alternative. .Spending too much money on Defence and redundant weaponry. Illegally threatening other countries.

    There is enough to support pensioners and vulnerable people. Demographically. This illegal Tory Gov chooses to take support away from vulnerable people, cut NHS/Education and other social crew policies. Adequate benefits for those on the poverty line. Instead chosen to waste £Billions of. Taxpayers money on non mandated grotesque projects of low value instead of supporting the citizens as they were elected to do. It is not a case of lack of funds. It is a case of the poor calibre of unionist politician at Westminster and a false ideology and intransigence. More interested in lining their and their associates pockets than running the UK successfully. It will continue until Scotland gets rid of them. Westminster illegal unionist policies are ruining the Scottish economy and will continue to do so until Scotland gets Independence. Anything else is now too little too late.

    The illegal campaign to come out of the EU is the last straw. How destructive that will be, The incompetent, ignorant Tory Party and their unionist colleagues have done it again. Ruined the world economy. They never fail to disappoint. The farce will continue. UKIP win the battle and lost the war. How very appropriate. The unionist party’s in-fighting has carried the day. To ruin the world economy again. They never fail. Their egos are more important. Total liars and fraudster. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Westminster unionist failure.

    The Westminster unionist Gov is now a laughing stock the world over. Losing prestige and any influence of any good, because of the Westminster unionist failures. A complete and utter appalling illegal disgrace of incompetence governance. Only time will tell if it can survive. Highly unlikely. Or a better relevant system of governance will arise in the UK. The electoral systems in Scotland certainly need revising. Democratic the unionists are having a laugh. Annoying and compromising the majority of the eldctorate and the population. .

  168. orri says:

    The assumption about voting outwith your preferred party is that when that happens all their candidates have been eliminated. Once a fraction of your vote transfers to your next preferences then it won’t really matter whether unionist minded candidates vote for others or not. If their preferences are still in the running then even if they’d put Green or another party as next preference those votes’ wouldn’t transfer.

    It’s only when you get to the stages of forcing yourself to pick a unionist party that it can get complicated.

    in 2011 the average transfers to other parties went as follows.,_2012#CITEREFCurtice2012

    Average first terminal transfer rates (2012)[a][8]
    Transferred from % non-transferable % transferred to
    ———-Con Lab LD SNP Ind/Other
    Con 33.6 – 8.0 32.4 8.3 17.6
    Lab 47.8 5.8 – 13.2 16.5 16.7
    LD 23.1 21.8 20.4 – 15.5 19.3
    SNP 44.2 6.0 18.1 14.1 – 17.8
    Green 20.4 5.1 19.2 19.9 18.3 17.0

    Probably less than clear.

    Lib Dem voters tend to favour Conservatives over Labour. However if there’s an upsurge in SNP voters voting beyond only SNP then it’s possible to swing that balance in the other direction.

    Labour voters tend to favour Lib Dems over conservatives. If the aim is to keep Conservatives out it might be a better bet to put Labour ahead of Lib Dems.

    Don’t trust independent candidates unless you know for a fact that they aren’t a closet tory.

    I’m sticking to SNP, Green and possibly a independent if I can be persuaded.

  169. mike cassidy says:

    A voting system that has to be explained in the torturous way that stv is – see the comments below the Kelly articles – is not fit for purpose.

    FFS they had to come up with a way to avoid donkey voting!

  170. Graeme says:

    I get what James Kelly is saying re using up all your votes, the way I see it once you’ve used up all the pro indy candidates rank the yoons with tory last,

    however Peter Bell made the point that any vote for a yoon wherever placed is a vote against a indyref due to Theresa May using the lA elections as a proxy referendum vote

    Now I’m confused


  171. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I’m not sure if McLeish in today’s National is trying to explain achievable steps to Federalism or explain how unlikely the whole idea is to ever result in anything sensible. I’ll go for the latter.

  172. orri says:

    Looking at the age demographics I posted earlier in the page I’d say that the longer life expectancy of women is actually a statistical anomaly rather than potential. It’s kind of like the caveman or even historical life expectancy thing. Looking at it there seems to have been a massive event that caused a loss of life slanted more at males within the last 70 to 100 years or so.

  173. Ken500 says:

    The local elections are not an Independence Referedum. They are an Election for adequate properly, functioning local givernance and services. With an electoral system the majority of voters find incomprehensible. The majority do not understand it. To have to vote for candidates/Parties most people can’t stand. in order to get the candidate/result they want. Is just ridiculous. .

    To have the lying troughers reappear with surprising regularity. On a minute proportion of the vote is just insulting. No wonder people become apathetic and just don’t vote, Their vote does count and is dilute in some way to another candidate. In a total,undemocratic way. Now wonder the pig, monkeys and goats in the rosettes are so smug. There is nothing that the electorate can do to vote them out. Once again they return to muck up the local, national Gov. What kind demicrsvy is that. A joke of colluded unionist liars running amok.

  174. Brian Powell says:

    Why does the National publish McLeish’s federalism drivel, except to give a few to frightened to walk forward folk a straw to grasp at? And split the vote.

  175. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T To Henry McLeish re his epistle on federalism in the National I ask one question.

    Why is the “Constitution of the UK” an unwritten one?

  176. schrodingers cat says:

    looking at 2012 election in my area, unionists invariably only vote for other unionists, i expect they will do so again

    after chosing indy candidates, your votes for unionists will only come into play once all indy candidates are either elected or eliminated.

    so your unionists choices will only have an effect on which unionist gets elected. which unionist you vote for is a difficult question, eg, labour are dead in the water in north east fife but still strong in the south, which is why they control fife council, so i wont put the labour candidate ahead of the tory or libdem. most likely will chose the independent who as far as i can see, isnt even interested in politics?
    it is really for you to chose depending on where you live, but terry kelly is right, there is no case where this can back fire.

  177. schrodingers cat says:

    in the holyrood elections, vote share is usually calculated from the constituency vote, not the list vote.

    the same is true for this council election. they will tally onlly the 1st preference to calculate vote share for the parties.

    im not even sure if it is possible to physically to do this by using 2, or 3rd preferences.

  178. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    heedtracker 09:49,

    Your comment is sadly misguided, heedy. The Greens are a separate party, so it is hardly realistic to expect them to echo the SNP on everything. This isn’t a one-party state, after all.

    The Greens have sometimes indulged in a bit of immature posturing, it’s true. Trying to show that they weren’t SNP stooges. That’s just democracy, do try to get used to it. When the chips went down, they were there for independence. That’s all that matters.

    We still desperately need to smarten-up in coming to terms with STV-based local elections, it seems. They don’t operate the same way as the AMS system for Holyrood, so the calculations are not the same either. In this case it’s important not only to grade all pro-independence candidates, since that might ensure an SNP-controlled council, it may be worthwhile to rank their unionist opponents as well, for exactly the same reasons.

    Here in Glasgow, Labour know that very well from the other side. Their literature keeps banging on that only they “can stop the SNP”. They are desperate to harvest 2nd prefs from any and all other unionist supporters in order to hang on to power. They know how this thing works, and are busy courting votes from others without actually saying it out loud.

    Are we doing the same? Not everyone, it seems. We need to be as smart as our opponents if we are to get rid of them, not be indulging in entirely counter-productive petty factionalism.

  179. Ken500 says:

    Using average wage in relation to Gov pension remuneration is quite relevant. It shows the proportion of less adequate means of support. in relation to prices, food etc. Off the need for the basic average necessities of life. Leading to Benefit require top up etc. Fraility and sickness a consideration. The human body does not last forever Gov intervention for lifestyle changes and necessary support. Increased health cost for the elderly. Everyone is going to age, That is indisputable.

    The Circle of life where just being on the Planet for longer can sometimes appropriate/generate wealth. Wealth which is just transferred to the next generation. No one can take it with them. Recycled. In what proportion is the answer but Gov are supposed to handle that through taxes. Distribution of wealth through taxes etc.

    The unequal distribution of wealth. Tax evasion etc. Or misplaced Gov spending is relevant but is a different argument and consideration as to why because of life/ society historical structures so many pensioners (and their incomes) have been left permanently behind the norm.

  180. Gus says:

    I agree with Peter Bell on STV voting. Locally we have two SNP, an Independent, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem standing for three seats. I don’t know if there is a Green candidate but if there is then I doubt if they stand and chance of being elected. I will be ranking my selections as SNP 1 and 2 and not ranking any others. I do not want my vote to go to any unionist party in the event that both SNP candidates are eliminated or in the event of an SNP landslide then I still do not want part of my vote transferring to a third (unionist) candidate.

  181. galamcennalath says:

    Henry McLeish and all this federal pish. Really irritating.

    The constitutional changes to make the UK a federal setup are massive and Westminster isn’t interested, and more to the point, wouldn’t want to see their absolute power diminished.

    Absolutely no one is listening to Henry McLeish in London.

    I smell shite! If London will never be interested, then who is he targeting? That group of gullible Scots who still believe Scotland can have sufficient powers within the UK to protect it from the UK!

    It’s all bollocks. He is up to no good IMO! The choice is Indy versus Brexit UK with diminished Scottish powers and rolling back of devolution.

  182. schrodingers cat says:

    i.m not sure if it is really important to work out what the order you should vote the unionists in

    far more important is finding out if any of the smaller parties or independents support independence and rank them before any yoon.

    im not sure if it will really make a difference to them as they are most likely to be eliminated before snp candidates, so when an esp candidate is elected or illiminated, any of your 3rd vote greens etc, are likely to be skipped as the green will already be gone.

    so why do it? well if the greens and indy independents and stuc candidate voters see us promoting them, they may reciprocate and give the snp their 2, 3 votes.

    that will most definately make a difference. eg in 2012, only 45% of greens gave their 2nd vote to the snp. getting that figure up to 60-70% would mean another 10 snp councilors scotland wide

    we have seen many social commentators saying snp1,2 greens 3, (terry kelly)it would be good to see some high profile greens(harvey?) say, green1, snp 2,3 etc

  183. DerekM says:

    You are not voting for unionist parties you are ranking the candidates in your preference.

    The objective is mainly to remove Labour candidates,other wards will differ so logically they should be ranked last,yes even if you despise the tory more,you see the tory needs the slab and without the slab the tory cant win the council.

    Take out the slabbers numbers and the tories are left with no coalition partner.

    In some wards you have no choice but to get a yoon your preference ranking could decide which one and maybe stop another one sneaking in.

    Have you noticed the lack of lib dems the yoons know that if we were to use the lib dem as top ranked yoon their plan of lab/con coalition would get blown out the water.

    If you have a green even if you do not like or care for them you had damn better rank them after the SNP as they could be the difference between winning the numbers game, and not because you SNP guys will need to go in coalition with them no no no lol by getting elected the green takes away a yoon head count,it does not mean you voted for a SNP/green coalition what you do is reduce the final yoon head count by one.

    Do it in half the wards and the council is ours.

    It is quite simple really Winners to Losers if you rank a candidate last it will affect the outcome of their election more than if you do not rank them.

    By not ranking them you reduce the we think you are an eejit vote against them.

  184. heedtracker says:

    The Greens have sometimes indulged in a bit of immature posturing, it’s true. Trying to show that they weren’t SNP stooges. That’s just democracy, do try to get used to it. When the chips went down, they were there for independence. That’s all that matters.”

    Hopeless patronising Robert J. Sutherland. Criticising Green’s isn’t blasphemy, just democracy, do try to get used to it.


    On one level, Scottish Greens feed off of the extraordinary Green movement achievements in countries like Germany, where they really have had such a massive impact on Green core issues, environmentalism. Look at how Germany is nearly nuke power free, for example.

    And there is only one clear and present danger to Scotland, not just Scottish democracy but all Green environmentalism in Scotland too and that’s the tory party, 22% in Scotland, Scotland still governed by them from London.

    Greens want to pick up nice tory vote? fine, good luck with that but Robert, in Holyrood its turned them into a odd conglomerate of single issue beardy weirdies, nice tories and nimbies , who are all SNP bad.

    If Scottish Greens think this is the way to future greatness…

  185. cearc says:

    Interstingly (or not), the 4 candidates elected in Highland ward 6 last time were in fact the 4 who had the most first round votes and in the same order.

    Isabelle (Biz) Campbell who is standing as an Independent this time was, last time, the top scorer as a LIBDEM! So, has she fallen out with the LDs over the constitujtional issue or does she just reckon her chances are better without the LD tag?

  186. Dave Lewis says:

    In my area the Greens are using the tactic vote Green 1 the SNP are certain to win. One of their candidates was a member of Lab at the start of indy 1 then joined the SSP stood in Holyrood election for RISE and is now a GREEN what the fXXX are his principles.

  187. schrodingers cat says:

    Robert Kerr says:
    Using a “reductio ad absurdum” argument re STV voting surely if no one voted for a Yoon/Britnat then none would be elected.

    I cannot find it in myself to “vote till I boak”.

    gotta agree there, im not sure i could work out a strategy for the order of unionists votes for my own ward, or indeed, disseminate that to snp voters in my ward even if i could.

    it is difficult to influence the over all result unless you have a strategy which a large proportion of your voters will follow.
    then consider we have 370 separate elections for 32 councils and it starts to look a tad futile

    if you cant bring yourself to vote for a yoon…. dont
    i completely understand this position

    that and it sticks in my craw to vote for any yoon.

  188. admiral says:

    Robert Kerr says:

    4 April, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Using a “reductio ad absurdum” argument re STV voting surely if no one voted for a Yoon/Britnat then none would be elected.

    I cannot find it in myself to “vote till I boak”.

    Got to agree. In my ward, Fountainbridge-Craiglockhart there is one SNP and one Green (both sitting councillors), one “independent” and one each from the Yoons.

    I will vote SNP- 1, Green – 2, but that’s it for me. The thought of putting any sort of mark next to a Yoon candidate gives me the heebie-jeebies, particularly since it will be used to “prove” that Scotland doesn’t want an independence referendum. 🙂

    On the other hand, if I were to rank them as =6 on the ballot paper, would my paper be treated as “spoiled”?

  189. schrodingers cat says:

    Dave Lewis
    In my area the Greens are using the tactic vote Green 1 the SNP are certain to win. One of their candidates was a member of Lab at the start of indy 1 then joined the SSP stood in Holyrood election for RISE and is now a GREEN what the fXXX are his principles.

    that may be uncertain, but we certainly know what the lib/lab/con principles are, keep the snp out.

    you chose dave, it aint going to make a huge difference if you dont vote green 3, so not worth arguing about.

  190. mike cassidy says:

    With thanks to the wings twitter page for this method of de-stressing after thinking about the stv voting system

  191. Macart says:

    Federalism rearing its ridiculous head again is it?

    For Mr McLeish – FEDERALISM: Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or ‘federal’ government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single political system.

    Scotland is a country. It’s not a province, sub state, region, canton or territory. It is a country within a bilateral international treaty. Setting aside the very nature of Westminster politics and the establishment which runs the show for a second, just what benefit would there be for the people of one nation to allow their nationhood and their rights to be completely abolished/absorbed in favour of federal statehood?

    The answer of course is that there are no benefit. None whatsoever.

    Then of course you do have the nature of the beast to contend with. The nature of the Westminster establishment and UK politics as it is practised.

    Has Mr McLeish been paying attention at all to the treatment of Scotland and Scottish representation since September 2014? Has he perhaps overlooked the nature of the media assaults, a general election in which demonising Scotland was deemed acceptable strategy? Could the traffic bump of Brexit, and a Supreme court farago which saw Lord Keen lay out in great detail, just what Scotland’s place in this ‘partnership’ actually entailed, have somehow passed his notice?

    Were he present I’d say to Mr McLeish that it’s past time to get off the fence. Westminster not only cannot change, it will not change. It doesn’t want to change. The Scottish population have given it more ‘last’ chances to do so than has been good for anyone.

    Time to let go Henry and look to building ourselves something better.

  192. galamcennalath says:

    STV. More importantly than what you do with your nth preferences is how you use your 1 & 2 for SNP.

    We all need to find out the SNP local strategy for our own area.

    They will advise whether 1 goes against the first on the ballot, or against their second candidate. This will change across the constituency as part of a thought through voter management strategy.

    Human nature would be to put first in the alphabet 1, but this needs to be countered to maximise chances of two wins.

  193. Robert Graham says:

    Well it seems they have got Barrel dredging down to a fine art , total experts at by now, the more you practice something the better you get i suppose .
    As for both our voting conundrums ,anything as simple as voting , that has to be explained in detail is PISH .
    I believe correct me if i am wrong , that both systems were gifted to us at the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament and can only be changed by the Westminster Government , is this correct or am i talking pish ? .

  194. Ken500 says:

    @ More men died in the 11WW and every other conflict. More men voted proportionately for war. Illegal or otherwise. They are proportionately more representative in the political process. Again for various reasons. Women out live men. Their are more of them to out live because more men vote disproportionately for conflict. They area more overly represented and representative in the political process. Men are more likely to vote to kill each other and others. To take up arms. Genetic? The pychological need for survival still rears its instincts for outriders and outsiders. The need for ‘must appearing string’ or intransigence? Women internalise conflict. Self harm and depression. Men externalise conflict self harm with aggression. Things are changing slowly. Too slowly?

    More men vote disproportionately for conflict illegal or otherwise which will result in more men killing each other. As a proportion of the society more men are violent. More men commit crime statistically. It is a gender issue. More women are sent to prison proportionately for minor non violent misdeameours than men. It is younger men (16) 18 to 24 year old men who commit violent crime usually against each other while under the influence of drink or drugs.

    There are too many people with additional needs in prison. There needs and actions have often been misunderstood by ignorant officials, without the necessary training and support. Their needs have not had the necessary minimal support in society. This leads to a higher prison population which requires more public funding by comparison. Adequate relatively inexpensive training is needed. Including ‘one chance’ total abstinence drink drug counselling. This is more cost effective and relevant than prison. Minimum pricing is also important to make society drink less and be advantageous for maintaining public services.

  195. orri says:

    Surely the point of “vote till you boke” is that you don’t have to vote for unionists or anyone else you truly don’t want to vote for. Going by the 2012 results SNP voters don’t massively follow that, they and Labour supporters are less likely to vote outwith their party of preference. Arguably voting Green takes you a step closer to bokeing point.

  196. ScotsRenewables says:

    Voting for SNP 1 & 2 then Green if available then any ‘fringe’ left-wing party or confirmed sound independent and that’s it for me – beyond that is definitely boking point.

  197. Ken500 says:

    The Scittish Gov can vote to change the system but it needs an SNP majority. For obvious reasons it suits the other parties. That is what it was introduced to do. PR is relevant up to a point but FPTP is simple. People understand it. It gets in the candidate that the majority wants. One vote and rejects the others. A majority means more representative strong Gov. If the Parties follow a reasonable manifesto. Do not commit electoral fraud or face the consequences. The electoral tariffs are not longer relevant and should be strengthens. Outside influence and money is now being illegally used to swag and manipulate the Electoral process. Pollsters etc. It has been increasingly corrupted without sanctions.

    On pensions – put up the Gov OAP to save costs and bureaucracy holding equal, fair society back. Give the pensioners the dignity and care they deserve. They gave contributed enough.

  198. Robert Peffers says:

    @Les Wilson says: 4 April, 2017 at 10:36 am:

    ” … Seems possible that if they would do it in England it may possible be done in Scotland.

    I’m now in my 80’s, Les, and since I was 11 I’ve done volunteer work in homes, hospitals and residential organisations for those less fortunate than myself.

    Now I don’t know if the Tories have been at the fiddle with both postal votes and proxy votes but I have often seen, (known to me), Labour Party activists, “at it”, in several ways in such institutions.

    One being the old, “I’ll help you fill it in, Dear. Who is it you want to vote for? There! That’s it done. Can I save you the bother of posting it?”.

    I’ve seen them hand out applications for postal votes, and/or proxy votes, and later seen them collect them into a bundle and take them away.

    Now this may all have been genuine but, let me put it this way, I knew these people very well and I would not have trusted them to even sugar my tea or walk my dog.

  199. Robert Louis says:

    Some on here, might be interested to know that the First Ministers speech in Stanford today, is apparently being livestreamed.

    The link is below. Some on here may know more about how such things work than I do, and may help etc..

    The actual speech is at noon, US West coast time, so starts for us in Scotia time at 8PM today. I think.

  200. Marie Clark says:

    Dear Mr McLeish, kindly belt up aboot federalism. It ain’t gonnae happen. That particular horse bolted a long time ago. It would never ever cure the main problem now, which is, being dragged out of the EU by the torykip party.

    I do not wish to go down that nasty racist, bigoted, small minded ugly road thank you very much. Take your federalism and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    The choice now is stark, Scotland, an independent and outward looking country in the EU, or dragged kicking and screaming into the nightmare that is Brexit. End of Henry, make your mind up time. Now away and don’t bore us to death with your federalism pish. Time tae remove the skelfs frae yer erse and man up.

    O/T I see that there’s still no links from Nana who was not feeling the best at the weekend. Keep taking the toddy and coorie doon till you are feeling better. Get well soon, we miss you.

  201. Dr Jim says:

    Henry McLeish would support Independence he just wishes he’d thought of it first to save the Labour party but hates the idea the SNP can deliver it
    If the SNP were’nt there old Henry would be staunch Labour once again
    He’d probably say “Now is not the time”…

    SNP 1 AND 2 then nobody unless there’s a Monster raving loony party or a Monster munch party
    It’s all very well saying the Greens support Independence but they’d never propose it in a thousand years nor could they ever deliver it, so?

    Remember what Theresa May said, make the local elections a referendum on the SNP!

    I’ll go along with that!

  202. Ken500 says:

    @ Gus

    That is the argument that seems to get diminished for some reason. If the Unionist/green get no 3rd 4 th bites from anyone his can they increase their vote share. It diminishes their vote share. These votes are then non existent. So how does not voting for them increase their proportion of the vote. It should decrease their vote numbers, just saying. They would have got in anyway (STV) but with a less credible voting numbers. Giving them less legitimacy. It is just ranking the worst of a bad bunch. Where everyone of them is equally bad. Just saying.

    Will do the ranking to keep out the Tories who are the most likely challenger to the SNP in the constituency. OK. The other might be contained by numbers of preferences.

    Hopefully. In the secrecy of the Ballot box it might come OK. SNP might get more 2nd, 3rd 4rd preference votes. Please all you unionists come on board for pity sakes. To have a better well run society. Some of you must have a shred of decency.

  203. Robert Peffers says:

    @Ken500 says: 4 April, 2017 at 11:40 am:

    ” … In the 1950’s many people were out of work.”

    Ken, that’s not correct. In the 1950s you left school on a Friday and you were out working for a living on Monday morning.

    Unless your family took you off on holiday for, “The Trades Fortnight”. Then you started work after the Weekend you got back after the Trade’s Fortnight.

    I left School on the Friday in 1952 and went off to ATC, (Air Training Corp), Summer Camp at Dyce, (then still an RAF Base).

    I had to get the, “Airman’s Bus”, (an old, twin Engines, Anson back to Turnhouse, (Then also an RAF base), in order to sit the Apprenticeship Entrance Exam for HM Dockyard, Rosyth.

    Anyone not in work in the 50’s did so from choice. You may not have got the job you wanted but there were jobs aplenty – including five year Apprenticeships for the trades and similar long Uni training for most professions.

  204. Ken500 says:

    Henry McLeish is a hopeless waste of space like the rest of them. How can anyone give him or his ridiculous policies any time or consideration. He just courts publicity and remuneration for himself. A total loser. A time waster.

    They will likely just go into the secrecy of the Ballot Box and vote SNP or for Independence2. The way they probadly always do. A bit of publicity and remuneration on the side is just a bonus for them.

  205. call me dave says:

    @Marie Clark

    That’s Henry telt 🙂

    An aside!
    As I was posting from my tablet earlier (10:18 see above) the very man walked in to the cafe and plonked down about 10ft oof!… (3m) away just a minute later to enjoy his Americano.


    He’s a frequent visitor and sits quietly having a wee think!
    Now wee know what about. 🙁

  206. Ken500 says:

    The returning service men were homeless and unemployed. Homes and jobs for heroes became the cry. For those who returned. Often injury or with anxiety and stress. House building increased. More council houses. The Labour Party had a landslide victory. The 1948 Eduction Act expanded Education. Employment opportunities expanded in the late 50’s early 60’s. Plenty of relative low paid jobs.

    The professions limited to the 10% who went to University. Low mobility through education. Only 10% passed the 11plus and had access to Uni education. Until later 1970’s. That was to change. Trades skilled people can make a comfort living. Many people in Scotland had to migrate to get a job,The rest of the UK or overseas because if Westminster economic policies. £10 to Australia. Assisted passage. Canada, NZ etc.

  207. Cadogan Enright says:

    Some of you will remember the article in last months National about a leaked report saying the EU would deliver a different solution for Scotland (and NI and Gibraltar) if asked.

    This is the actual leaked report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs relating to the EU’s negotiating position on dealing with NI.

    The report is dated 17th January and was sent to the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs, which will form the basis of the parliament’s negotiating position after article 50 is triggered.

    The report recommends that the EU’s institutions “should be prepared” to deal with NI, Scotland and Gibraltar wanting a separate deal.

    This is covered in sections 17, 18 and 19 in the report. See link to the original website


  208. Ken500 says:

    With respect Mr Peffers not all the country or returners had your impressive experiences. Some extremely sick etc. Early death. Until things picked up again,

  209. Cadogan Enright says:

    @gus at 12.21

    I can only suppose you are a y**n on here to spread confusion.

    The ONLY way to vote in an STV election is to vote RIGHT DOWN THE CARD.

    In the situation you describe, the SNP will divide the first and second preferences between the two SNP candidates to ensure that they both stay in the race on the first count.

    One or both may indeed be elected either on the first count, or on subsequent transfers of 2’s or 3’s etc from other eliminated candidates

    Their SURPLUS will then transfer – so long as no idiots have stopped voting at number 2.

    IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED GREEN OR OTHER ‘YES’AS AT no 3 or 4 or 5 – then your vote will cease to count

    At that stage you are essentially voting for the Red/yellow/blue Tories against YES candidates.

    If we were to follow your advice, Torys and Labour will continue to control many councils in Scotland

    CATCH YOURSELF ON. Listen to people who know the STV system

    you vote till you boak, right down the card

  210. call me dave says:

    Oops! wee wee’d to much there.

    More eggs in the news Cadbury drops Easter Jings!

    I thought he was a Quaker!

    @Robert Peffers

    Pretty true about the jobs even in the early 60s in my case I had a few choices then.

    Pits …Over my fathers dead body 🙁 He said!
    Dockyard: Sat the exam did very well. Never took up the offer
    Gas Board apprenticeship offer but. Nope!
    NCB Workshops Cowdenbeath offer but.. Nope!

    SSEB Apprenticeship… Seemed appealing ‘electrician’ and I enjoyed that + other things later on.

    On the other hand my Uncle Tom (Tobruk to Italy)and family left to go to Corby and later ended up in Manchester… pits were closing in some places Lumphinnans etc. etc.

    I made a lucky choice it turns out.

    Hmm! I see the Revs taken umbrage on WoS twitter and is oot for the afternoon.

  211. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    The nasty little kernel at the heart of Henry Mcleish’s article in The National today is the “2nd question”. It keeps popping up these days. The poison pill that Labour, recognising the inevitability of ScotRef, are desperately attempting to have inserted into it.

    The option that they rejected out-of-hand back in 2012, in cahoots with the other Unionists, when they were generously offered it but arrogantly thought they didn’t need to bother. Now cynically intended to serve as diversion to stave off the inevitable. Underwritten by no-one apart from El Gordo, for the complete nothingness that’s worth.

    I’ve had it now with McLeish. He promised to switch to indy with Brexit and he’s still prevaricating. Trying to ride a donkey that’s so dead only the bones are left.

    Time’s up, Henry, now you have to come off the fence, if you are to salvage any credibility.

  212. orri says:

    @Cadogan Enright ,

    Let’s see what happen in the place where you claim we should take our lead from ….

    Page 25,

    “Very few Protestant respondents gave any ranking to a nationalist
    party (only 6 per cent of preferences expressed by Protestant voters
    went to nationalist parties); and few Catholics passed a lower
    preference on to a unionist party (the corresponding figure here is
    8 per cent)”

    Average number of preferences are 3. Your lucky if anyone goes beyond 5.

    Take your self asserted and completely wrong insistence that you are right and the voters of Northern Ireland do as you suggest and shove it up your arse.

    “Vote till you boke” as actually practised in the place you insist we look at is a personal choice. The same as it is here.

    For that matter most people seem to have made their own minds up about the Holyrood election. I voted SNP/SNP. Others SNP/Green and it resulted in a fair reflection of the distribution of the two parties who between them got the majority of the votes cast in the part of the election meant to be the proportional part. Now some might claim that that might have robbed the SNP of a razor thin majority. However that may also have led to a less convincing single party support for a second referendum.

    By all means advise people on how you think they should cast their votes. Don’t insist on something that the evidence doesn’t support. Definitely don’t belittle them with nothing other than opinion to back it up.

  213. Did the National pay that Never Was Henry McLeish a fee to write this Federalism crap?
    He has been out of politics for 15 years when he left under a muddled cloud, yet he pops up everywhere on TV and newsprint, as though his tired old opinions matter and have influence on how voters might vote.
    I repeat, is it a masonic thing? A cosy wee club of those and such as those who get unlimited access to the media basically to sell themselves.
    No Country For Old Men, National.

  214. Marie Clark says:

    Vote till you boak hmm. In our ward I might get to 5 or 6 at the outside. Boak level does not alow me to vote for any colour of tory.

  215. Gus says:

    Cadogan Enright,
    Locally we have seven candidates chasing three seats, 2 SNP, 2 Independant (One is definitely a yoon I don’t know the other) 1 each from tory, labour and libdem. If the unknown Independant is also a yoon then what’s the point of going beyond two?

  216. arthur thomson says:

    Federalism is a complete, utter and absolute non-starter.

    The Brits want to hold onto their right to traumatise, maime and kill innocent people the world over while claiming to be civilised.

    On foreign policy the Scottish people will almost invariably be opposed to the views of the Brits. To give the Brits the right to set foreign policy would be nothing short of idiocy.

    There are few occasions when one should say never – this is one of those.

  217. Thepnr says:


    I think has it right, look closely at your own council and in particular your own ward and the candidates standing in your ward.

    Now the idea is to prevent a Unionist council being formed ahead of an Independence leaning council. You can only be sure of an Independence leaning council if the SNP fail to have an overall majority of Councillors if there are Greens, SSP or Rise Councillors elected who will support the SNP in forming a council.

    The idea of ranking the Unionists after your main preferences is quite simple, look at the make up of Angus council below.

    SNP 14 elected members
    Independent 9 elected members
    Conservative 4 elected members
    Labour 1 elected member
    LibDem 1 elected member
    TOTAL 29 elected members

    Now the SNP have a minority but are running the council due to the support of one or two Independents, they only need the support of one Independent and would form a majority.

    So let’s say you want one less Tory elected as they are the third “strongest” grouping then you would put Tory last behind both Lib Dem and Labour. As for the Independent’s standing in your ward then why not email them and ask their position in supporting a minority SNP group in forming a council. I’m sure they all want your votes but no doubt only those willing to support the SNP will bother replying.

    Then you know what to do, give that person a preference vote ahead of the others. By the way AFAIK there are no Greens at all standing in Angus, they do not appear on the list of candidates.

    As to which order to put the SNP candidates in for 1 and 2, well I’m not in touch with the SNP so I’ll put the one at the top of the list first and my wife will put the one at the bottom of the list first and the other second. Same goes for my son and daughter, I’m not certain this is right but intuitively it seems right.

  218. Graf Midgehunter says:

    I’ve read Scotpops vote articles and I seem to understand most of the argumentation. SNP – Greens – Pro Indy Independents – Lib Dem.

    What still bothers me though are the LAST preferences for Slab and Tory (shudders). Every time someone puts a vote/preference for them on the paper then that is added to the votes FOR them.

    Depending on the elimination level, the more votes they have then the more chance they have of sqeezing in a candidate.
    Whereas if they are denied a vote, it is one less that they can bring into play later.

  219. crazycat says:

    @ Cadogan Enright

    In my ward there are 4 seats and only 3 pro-indy candidates, one of whom has a negligible chance of getting elected.

    Therefore, at least one and more probably two unionists will get seats. They are as bad as each other and there is no way I will be voting for any of them. (Labour has abandoned hope of regaining the overall control of the council they had until 2007; even if every single one of their candidates got in, there aren’t enough of them.)

    That’s my boak-point right there; after the 3 pro-indy candidates. I’ve never voted Tory and I won’t be starting on the off-chance she gets in ahead of Labour. It wouldn’t be any better.

    (Note: this does not mean that I am a “yoon” attempting to sow confusion.)

  220. heedtracker says:

    How come Henry Baird McLeish is not a Lord and Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale is a Lord?

    Henry Baird McLeish is a privy councillor too. Probably looked at someone the wrong, its that Lady Mone of Mayfair demented.

    Hope Lady Mone of Mayfair makes a huge yoonster intervention, indy ref2.

  221. Feel_loon. says:

    Sorry for O/T
    Just watched the PM getting interviewed on sky from Faisal Islam
    She was asked about the brexit negotiations and she kept saying that her approach was a sensible and pragmatic one and that everyone would know the details with the two years timetable
    If that is indeed what they intend to do then why will it be unfair on the Scottish people to make a blind choice ???
    If the PM approach is pragmatic and sensible the surely the FM position is equally so as it’s based entirely on the PM timetable
    Or am I missing something

  222. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    orri @ 14:18,

    You in turn musn’t attempt to draw false parallels between the Holyrood election under AMS and local elections under STV. The two systems operate entirely differently.

    (Also, it’s quite unfair to compare the relatively deadlocked sectarian situation in NI with a currently very fluid political situation in Scotland. Cadogan Enwright can of course speak for himself, but he has experience not just of NI but also the Republic, where sectarian issues are far less significant.)

    Unlike the two-ballot AMS, which leads to all sorts of confusions about the influence of each, STV is a completely loss-free choice. A lower-ranked preference never trumps a higher-ranked one. Your own higher-ranked pref either gets accepted or falls according to the popular will, then any portion that remains is transferred. But only if you choose it to be.

    So you can continue to influence the choices that even your opponents make, if you are prepared to exercise it. It sometimes matters, since lower preferences can accumulate.

    But some people will insist on sticking to their partisan favourites and no more. It’s their right. But they should then spare us from coming back on here afterwards and whining that “the system’s bent” because their opponents outsmarted them and came up from behind and won. They can have the satisfaction of having stuck to their wee choice and just suck up to having to keep on living under a Unionist-run council.

  223. Thepnr says:

    If there are say 6 candidates then by putting the Tory last I suppose you could argue you were voting for a Tory.

    Your voting for the Tory to come last LOL!

  224. K1 says:

    Conflicting messages regarding council elections. So now I’m not so sure of ‘vote tae ye boak’ as there seems to be contradictions, on the one hand Cadogan and James (scotgoespop) are saying fill out the ballot and use up all preferences as to not do will ‘count’ as abstaining. Thereby allowing unionists to ‘sneak’ in.

    On the other there’s the can’t bring ourselves tae vote for any Tory and what’s the point of placing a preference for them as by not doing so we are effectively ‘not giving them any votes at all’, thereby preventing them increasing their numbers in any accumulated counts.

    These two positions seem at odds folks. Or maybe I’m thick and just can’t see the wood fur the trees here? Are these positions in any way compatible. Is it more the case that both are valid depending on your ward ‘makeup’.

    More debate, more clatrity, nae point in accusing each other here, can we just focus on the best advice possible and hone it down till we have a semblance of understanding to take forward tae folks before next month?

  225. One_Scot says:

    I am no expert on the Council election voting system, but I would have thought that voting for any unionist candidate would be absolutely insane. If that is not the case then, this one messed up voting system.

  226. Alastair says:

    As a Spanish Navy ship enters Gibraltar waters what is another Spanish speaking country in the Southern Hemisphere thinking?

  227. One_Scot says:

    Yeah, I think I may actually be dislexik.

  228. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Graf Midgehunter @ 14:50,

    You make some fair points there.

    Where the choice comes down to two Unionists at the bottom end who are as bad as each other and who would form a coalition if they had to, they are effectively indistinguishable.

    I feel that about Labour and Tory in Glasgow, the former because they just have to be removed for all our sakes’ and the latter because they are in effect making the local elections a referendum about a referendum. That’s definitely beyond my boak point.

    But I can also see that the calculation may be more nuanced elsewhere.

  229. Kenny says:

    Is that the same Dr Richard Simpson that called fire fighters ‘fascists’ for daring to go on strike over worsening conditions and pay whilst he pocketed thousands sitting on Labour quangos. By the way how much does it cost the tax payer to train doctors who then go on to private medecine and working at St Elsewhere

  230. Robert Peffers says:

    @Ken500 says: 4 April, 2017 at 1:47 pm:

    “With respect Mr Peffers not all the country or returners had your impressive experiences. Some extremely sick etc. Early death. Until things picked up again.

    Sorry, Ken500, but you most certainly have your dates wrong. The War ended in 1945 (Europe), and 1946, (Pacific).

    By the 1950s the housing shortage problem was well in hand. There were Arcon, (Asbestos), Aluminium and, to a lesser extent, precast concrete Prefab housing schemes everywhere and lots of more permeant housing schemes being built. Many totally new suburban areas were established on the outskirts of Scottish villages, towns & cities.

    By the 1950’s there were already many slum clearances going on as the local councils moved whole areas into the prefab schemes that had sprung up like mushrooms almost overnight.

    This housebuilding alone created many jobs. Much Nationalisation was going on and thus much construction work creating jobs. National Service was still employing young men, many of these learned trades by signing on for some extra years in the forces. Manufacturing was picking up and was employing people.

    Defence was still a large employer. In the 1950s Rosyth Dockyard directly employed over 10,000 and the Yard’s Department of Works several thousand more.

    Not to mention that Port Edgar was an active Naval base as was Crombie Armaments Depot and Lathalmond RN Stores Depot. The Mines were still active and the Automobile industry was going great guns. The British Road Service was started with all new British built vehicles and British Rail was running new built trains and locomotives.

    Domestic appliances Factories and Radio & TV factories, (TV came to Scotland in 1952), were churning out new TVs and radios and tape recorders were about to hit the market.

    In Glasgow Singers were still going strong. At the height of it’s productiveness in the early 1960’s, Singer employed over 16,000 workers. However, by the end of the 60’s compulsory redundancies were taking place and by the 70’s the workforce was down to 5,000.

    The fact is that the 1950’s to 1960s were probably when the UK’s employment figures were at their highest ever,

    So, sorry Ken500, but you have your dates mixed up.

    As for those Service persons, either wounded or otherwise sick,they were not counted as unemployed as they remained on service pay until finally discharged. Mind you that was the era when TB was at its height and there were TB sanatoriums all over Scotland. Although Antibiotics were discovered in 1928 they did not work for TB.

    By 1943, medics were using penicillin to treat soldiers wounded in World War II. and in that year, Selman Waksman, (a Russian-born microbiologist at Rutgers University), isolated another antibiotic named streptomycin, which was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis. Incidentally it was he who coined the term “antibiotic.”

    However, it was Steriomycin that finally almost wiped out the TB that was rife among the wartime service men & women affected by the close proximity of people in the mess decks & barrack rooms of Wartime.

    The NHS in Scotland was formed on 5 July 1948, and by the 1950s was a major employer. Alexander’s Bus Manufacturers was building buses to replace what was called, “Utility”, buses, these had slatted wooden seats and were quite uncomfortable.

    Isn’t practical history a fascinating study?

  231. yesindyref2 says:

    @K1 / @Thepnr
    If there’s 6 candidates, you don’t need to put “6” against the last one if you really really can’t stand them. You would just need to do 1 to 5 for the rest.

    I think James & Co have made it easy “vote to you boak”, and quite right too, don’t complicate things, but the advanced level on that is to leave just one and only one blank.

  232. Ken500 says:

    The problem is the majority assume the Green will support the SNP where in reality they collude with the unionists even take office and remuneration to support them. Give the casting vote which swing the result away from the SNP policies/group which the majority support (they have the highest number of results) to the unionists group which the majority do not support. That makes people really disappointed and disillusioned with politics. When the City and services are not improved and £Million/Billions is being wasted.

    The idea that the green always support the majority supported SNP policies is factitious. Even irresponsible. In some cases it is a unionist (secretly Independence persuasion) or just realistic who gives support to SNP policies group. At a local level it can be a green that does the damage to the economy, and supports the unionist for self interest. Oblivious to self awareness.and hypocrisy. There is lack of being held to account. They hope people will not notice but they do.

  233. Scott says:

    The picture that says it all.F*** the Yemens we will still sale you bombs to kill the youngsters.

  234. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Ken500: “More men voted propotionately for war.”

    I understand your point in that post, and the generalisations about gender behaviour are somewhat self-evident, but I’m sure you must have forgotten to mention that war is typically not a direct consequence of democracy.

    As prime catch Hermann Goering stated – with refreshing honesty – to Gustav Gilbert at the Nuremberg Trials:
    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany…Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.”

    And we must never forget, nor forgive, the disgusting women in the Great War who saw it as their duty to shame men at home into going off to die for nothing. White feathers forcibly thrust on disabled men and older (but still underage) boys.

    Not that these actions alter the proportional gender attitudes as a whole. I just couldn’t resist throwing my pedestrian tuppence worth in there. *tips fedora*

  235. schrodingers cat says:

    Graf Midgehunter
    there in lies the problem of a strategy for the ward and or the council

    eg, the ward im in, labour candidate has virtually no chance, it is libdem stronghold
    who do i favour, lab or tory or libdem?

    thing is, fife council is labour controlled, if i favour the lab candidate in my ward, and he wins, lab may get enough to hold onto power in the council?

    you could argue the same for glasgow, ie rank the lab candidates below ukip, so if lab does hold onto power it will need to be by forming an alliance with ukip?????

    problem, you need to agree this strategy with all of the wards in glasgow, then you need to find a way of informing your supporters???

    result, unlikely to happen, it is only by a sizable number of your voters following a strategy can you expect to effect an outcome. if you cant bring yourself to vote for a yoon, dont,

  236. stu mac says:

    @galamcennalath (and others on McLeish)

    The article in the National actually describes how difficult Federalism would be, even if there was some support down south for it which there isn’t, so is hardly what you claim. Besides the National is not, despite the claims of Private Eye, McPravda for the SNP, it gives a voice (without necessarily supporting them) to alternate viewpoints.

    Personally I found it, as another poster above did, rather odd. I felt that maybe he was trying to convince himself that Federalism was a goer but having been out of politics for a while his honesty gland had revived and he was forced to concede how very difficult it would be and also that it required a nation wide support that isn’t there.

  237. Arbroath1320 says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted.

    Apparently the RED Tories, a.k.a. Labour, know something that no one else does.

  238. Sarah says:

    @cearc at 12.39 – Biz Campbell swapped from LibDems to Independent straight after the 2012 election!! Some nerve, I’d say. Google Biz C for a report at the time.

    I sent a letter to my local newssheet about STV today – advised folk to “vote ’til you boak” [tho’ in different words!] – hope I’m giving the right advice. I did ask for sharper brains than mine to write with their views and hope they will.

  239. orri says:

    @Robert J. Sutherland

    The parallel I was drawing was to the same bickering on the run up to the last Holyrood election rather than the systems used.

    Given we’re actively discussing, or at least some are, keeping unionists out or even Tory representation to a minimum then NI is the closest parallel.

    In those elections most voters don’t venture beyond the faction they support. In the Holyrood elections few ventured into an SNP/Green ticket other than possibly Green supporters who held their nose and voted SNP in their constituency elections.

    Like it or lump it the evidence is that most people will keep it simple. Amazing as it seams in 2016 that actually got a workable result. A party elected on a PR system has a parliament that reflects that allowing for over representation by both the SNP and Conservatives and under representation of the rest.

    If we’re talking about keeping a specific form of unionist party out of power then things get complicated. Unless enough SNP or others transfer to the Lib Dems then there’s a slight balance on their own second transfers to give the Conservatives a slight edge should that transfer of support towards them be enough to put them above the threshold, allowing for the fact that the obvious next preference should be towards a fellow LibDem. The dilemma is that voting for a Lib Dem increases the chances of them getting elected by passing the threshold and releasing the excess in proportion to all next lower preferences. If you really want to keep the Conservatives out then you need to hold your nose and put Labour ahead of the Lib Dems on your ballot paper as the statistics show that once independents are eliminated the majority of their voters prefer the Lib Dems.

    All in all I’ll stick to SNP until I run out then Green then another indy supporter and possibly a real independent if they can be trusted. Forced to pick one of the 3 main unionist parties it’d be Labour then LD rather than the other way round if I really wanted to keep the Conservative out. But that last is unlikely as ideally 2 SNP plus Green in enough wards should be enough to win the day.

  240. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    I meant the first paragraph of my last post to end with the sentence:

    It is an indirect consequence; rarely, if ever, voted for per se.

  241. Luigi says:

    RE STV. The idea I think is to vote down the list right to and including the boak (red and blue tories) in order to keep you vote active.

    Once the stage is greater than your number of preferences, then your vote drops out and you have no effect whatsoever on the outcome. By holding your nose and puting red and blue tories at the bottom of the list, your vote stays active right to the end, so it could theoretically help to stop any blue and red tories sneaking in at the end (cos you put them last). Its a crazy system, but if all the Wingers voted smartly, we could effectively deny the red tories any council control. I think the blue tories will score in a few places, but we can still reduce their success.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  242. manandboy says:

    Just read the Henry McLeish article on Federalism. A waste of time and a waste of space, and another contradiction in the pro-independence National.

    McLeish is touted as a moderate voice from the fence, but he’s just a unionist who leaves his party scarf at home. Another liar, pretending he’ll think about voting for an independence party some day.

  243. galamcennalath says:

    stu mac says:

    The article in the National actually describes how difficult Federalism would be … so is hardly what you claim.

    He does highlight the problems, but what was the point of the article? And there was mention of a second question. I am still convinced it was mischief making by trying to keep the concept of federalism in some people’s mind and make it part of the current debate.

    Not only is it a bad idea diminishing Scotland’s status as a nation, but is completely and utterly irrelevant to current issues, so why keep it simmering?

    There a two paths forward, the Tory way and the SNP/Green way. Labour are ‘at it’ trying to pretend a middle way exists. It’s a con to confuse the gullible.

  244. Proud Cybernat says:

    “He does highlight the problems, but what was the point of the article?”

    Perhaps ‘The National’ is simply trying to broaden its appeal towards Labour soft NOs??

    Not insisting it’s this – just a possibility.

  245. K1 says:

    Someone on twitter just (within last half hour) asked Stu if he would do an article on council elections. He’s confirmed he will be doing just that, not right now though as people forget so easily, so we can expect some input nearer the time which should help clarify for folks too.

  246. Thepnr says:

    Know this there will still be Labour supporters in Scotalnd who favour Independnce but couldn’t stomach voting for the SNP.

    That’s not me as I see SNP as the route to Independence, we need to encourage as many as possible over to our side and one way of doing that is saying “look there are a variety of parties supporting Independence, choose whatever flavour you like”.

    That’s the point, it is broadening the appeal for an Independent Scotland. Let’s not be narrow in our outlook, we’re not all the same that much is certain and the broader appeal the Independence movement has then the better as far as I’m concerned.

    Hey we have a country to win back, ignoring support for that goal is just ignorant and doesn’t increase our chances of winning another referendum.

    Stick together, support equally all those that support Independence and you will increase your chances of achieving your own goals. No narrow mindedness in this movement, we are all one with the same goal are we not?

    We support them and in return they support us. Simples I would have said. Shame that some fail to see this obvious truth.

  247. manandboy says:

    ORGANISING The STV (Single Transferable Vote)

    STV remains a bit of a muddle, but perhaps only for want of some networking and organisation. Cue Wings over Scotland.

    Were the Secretaries of every SNP branch in Scotland to be asked to draw up the most favourable voting options for Independence voters in their local wards, and then forward to Wings, Stu could then post them on Wings as a reliable guide for those in doubt as to how to vote. Or something similar, but in any event, so as to create a comprehensive ‘map’ of every Council Ward, with the most advantageous independence voting sequence shown clearly.

  248. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    K1 @ 15:08,

    Some wise reflection there.

    I think the whole situation has been clouded by what happened in the late ScotGE, where substantial constituency votes+wins for the SNP effectively scuppered their list vote without being fully accounted for themselves. It’s a damnably opaque and even perverse system – by design.

    So not too surprising it has left some people feeling antsy, I suppose.

    It doesn’t apply to STV though. We can studiously ponder all sorts of gaming strategies for that here, but in the end it’s not that hard a task for an individual voter:

    + firstly rank (according to their politics) all the people who are willing to co-operate for the main things you believe in;

    + rank any others that don’t actively oppose your main choices, even if you don’t especially share their politics;

    + lastly possibly rank any individuals from among your opponents who are more reasonable and fair-minded than the rest;

    + ignore the rest.

    That’s my rough guide, anyway.

  249. FIONA TOMANY says:


  250. Breeks says:

    There was a time I’d have gone for a Federal UK, but Federal as in the sense of Federal Nation States, actually 4 English speaking Nation States forming a tight knit trading and marketing group working inside the EU; effectively as coordinated gateway for EU commerce to and from the English speaking parts of the world. Nothing short of Nation status would have done however, because each Nation would require a sovereign veto so that the arrangement wouldn’t be dominated by the larger England. In short, a mini EU inside the greater EU. A little like EEA or EFTA, but inside the wire…

    That’s old hat now. The days that might have worked are long gone, if in fact they ever existed. If the will was there to do it, it would have been done.

    Now there are bigger questions to answer. How would Federalism undo the rank stupidity of Brexit? How would Federalism temper the arrogance of the Little Englanders suffering cold turkey withdrawal symptoms when denied their Imperial exceptionalism?

    Federalism does work, in the sense that the EU is a federation of nation states/ consenting adults, who want the thing to work. Ultimately, I think it will work. It is working. It has more or less kept Europe at peace for 70 years, which was one of its founding principles don’t forget.

    I was once ridiculed for introducing my own “Project Fear” when arguing back in 2014 that the EU/EEC had brought peace and stability to the quarrelsome and warmongering Nations of Europe who hadn’t known peace for centuries. Yet here we are, 4 days after triggering Article 50 to exit Europe and talking about territorial disputes escalating into war with Spain. Project Fear meet Project Told You So. Threaten war on a fellow EU member, and you’ll find your future trading arrangements feature the words “embargo” and “international sanction”. That I presume the bad deal Theresa May compares to having no deal.

    The quasi Federation of European states can succeed, but it requires something the UK has never properly grasped and that is the actual will to make it work. You don’t join the EU to try to exploit it for all you can get.

    So, with a liberal degree of flexible interpretation of the words, I’m ok with Federalism. I’m just not so keen on forming that Federation with the Brexit Roasters of Westminster. Frankly, I don’t see any arrangement with them actually working; neither a free Trade Agreement with the US, nor any Empire 2.0 nonsense,… They’ve lost the plot in ways that will take decades to live down. Frankly, I would expect to see some rather uncomfortable body language when the UN Security Council next meets to discuss a mandate for action.

    “How do we get these warmongering, bankrupt, arms dealing Fruit-loops out of their permanent seat on a Security Council?”

    “I don’t know India. How’s the new Empire 2.0 Trade Agreement working out for you?”

  251. Edward says:

    A bit O/T
    Just twigged when looking at a video of May arriving in Jordan, that the aircraft was not the bog standard converted A330 ‘Voyager’ that Cameron got converted to VIP level for Government use (at a modest cost of £ 10 million for us taxpayers to pay for, even though we don’t own the RAF A330 aircraft)

    Nothing to good for May, as they chartered a luxurious Boeing 757VIP for May’s travels in the Middle East
    In these austere times, we pick up the tab again

  252. bjsalba says:

    O/T A shoe has dropped.

    Never done archive and a bit long in the tooth to learn, but there is an article in the Guardian “Up to 100,000 UK jobs at risk as Merkel and Juncker ally warns on euro clearing”.

    Entirely reasonable and predictable but the tabloids and MSM never mentioned that.

    I could write “I told you so e-mails” to several of my Leave voting acquaintances, but I will refrain – for the time being.

  253. galamcennalath says:

    Breeks says:

    I’d have gone for a Federal UK, but Federal as in the sense of Federal Nation States, actually 4 English speaking Nation States forming a tight knit trading and marketing group

    You describe a confederation i.e. sovereign countries agreeing to share some aspects, but remaining sovereign.

    Having said that, I agree. My first choice would have been Indy in EU, second Indy in EEA/EFTA, and third as confederation of these isles also in EEA.

    A confederation is much more palatable than a federation.

    If Scotland had gained Indy in the 70s then a confederation was a possibility. We have moved on.

  254. Macart says:


    A lot shoes about to drop I’d say. Well, pretty much an entire shoe factory.

    Visas, customs admin from point of exit and entry, export tariffs and admin, price rises across the board in weekly shopping, travel restrictions to name but a few.

    Then of course there is the less economic, but no less tangible, fallout from brexit of continental relations. How will the average English tourist abroad be perceived and received on the continent? How will political relations develop/degenerate?

    On the upside for your acquaintances, they got exactly what they voted for.

  255. galamcennalath says:

    bjsalba says:

    Guardian “Up to 100,000 UK jobs at risk …

    I agree, it was on the cards. The ‘City’ and it financial institutions are probably the least likely entity to get a good deal from the EU!

    iScotland could benefit if we get a move on!

  256. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    galamcennalath @ 16:43,

    I actually argued for a UK confederation in my submission to the Smith Commission, in the spirit of what we were promised during indyref1. Oh, what a mad optimist I was then! For all of a month or two. But I was by no means alone.

    Since then, as Breeks so pertinently points out, the wheels have come off UK foreign policy, and I for one want nothing more to do with this suffocating English Empire. Discussions with the EU27 haven’t even started yet and already there’s sabre-rattling between worn-out old nation states Brexittania and Spain. A pox on all such.

    We surely have moved on.

  257. galamcennalath says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:

    … in the spirit of what we were promised during indyref1. … We surely have moved on.

    Indeed. In all the current Brexit malaise, my favourite bit of yoonacy is referring back to 2014 as if something had been settled. The democratic will of we Scots lasted a very short time!

    Cameron missed his opportunity and then ripped it all up, and we are where we are, still seeking a solution.

  258. call me dave says:

    Sombre voice on shortbread radio just then, announced that the number of patients being delayed from moving out of Scottish hospitals continues to fall (10secs).

    Then another 3 minutes telling us BUT its not the same picture everywhere and the rate of progress should be faster… OH! 🙂

    Good old Auntie!

  259. Thepnr says:

    @call me dave

    We can expect no less, I’m beyond caring what that shower of shit have to say. They are the BBC and mouthpiece of Theresa May and her Brexiteers. It’s non stop propaganda.

    Ignore them, laugh at them, deride them. They can Fuck right off.

    They are the main obstacle to Scotland’s Independence, I am deaf to the lies they have to say to our people. Best totally ignored.

    I’m NOT listening!

  260. Legerwood says:

    heedtracker says:
    4 April, 2017 at 10:04 am
    Legerwood says:
    4 April, 2017 at 9:49 am
    heedtracker @ 9.19

    Indeed but its a fundamentally flawed system Legerwood.

    Assumptions that elderly patients will follow prescriptions accurately is extremely poor health care management.

    It is not just elderly patients who don’t follow their prescriptions. All those people who get antibiotics then don’t complete the course because they start to feel better. Over time All they are doing is selecting for resistant bacteria. No we are in the position of having fewer and fewer effective antibiotics in our arsenal.

    The diary system I described worked quite well for my aunt since all her drugs were already measured out and it was the local chemist in partnership with the local GPS who managed it. This meant that she knew the people delivering it.

    But always it depends on the people taking their drugs as and when prescribed.

    Another thing elderly people sometimes do is swap drugs as I discovered when my parents were in sheltered housing. If one got something and they felt better then they would pass it around. Legislate for that!

  261. Valerie says:

    That Guardian piece is just confirmation of what’s been said repeatedly since June, last year.

    Nobody has cared to listen, or plan for the eventuality, which is why I think the UK will just strop out of meetings with no deal, and move to a tax haven, in the hope of keeping some semblance of a financial role, when it’s all deregulated.

    The EU stated way back – hard to see a situation where money can move,,but people can’t.

    Banks have all had tentative plans made, just waiting to be enacted.

    The recent garbage about Gibraltar is just the start of EU bad, whipping up anti EU feeling, so Tories can blithely say, we tried, but the EU are so awful and punitive.

    I’m quite sure the EU has seen the way it will play.

    The only interesting bit as I see it, is if the UK will pay the divorce bill,,because EU have again been clear, they will seek legal recourse, if there is no agreement.

  262. harry mcaye says:

    I’m delivering SNP leaflets in Hamilton. They are advising folk vote only SNP 1 & 2. You’d think they would know what they are talking about. No unionist party will be getting any vote from me!

    Whole thing is a shambles though, the average person in the street will not be voting right down the card.

  263. Valerie says:


    Yes, vote till ye boak!

    The advice was given by Cadogan Enright, NI councillor, where it operates.

    Think about it this way. If you keep allocating your vote to all candidates, you are splitting the vote for the bottom candidates.

    Just had an independent candidate leaflet through the door, very odd in North Lanarkshire,,and leaflet is printed in Southend.

  264. Ken500 says:

    Universal Suffrage did not exist until 1928. The reference to war etc was in recent times. After 1928. 11WW. Even then the majority in the world were against going to war but were draw into it by manipulating politicians. Ie a just cause to include a gender balance. So people help and compliment each other. The Russians considered 11WW an imperialist war and advised people in Europe not to take part. They suffered the most after Germany. 26milion Russian were killed. The Russian economy was devastated. The whole of Europe and the rest of the world were devastated.

    At the 1WW commemoration the Royals should stand and apologise. Not be feted. The Russian leader should be invited to the 11WW commemoration and thanks for the sacrifices they made. In justice.

    The Tories are even trying to pick a fight on the Russian borders. UK/US have already devasted the Middle East region in illegal conflicts. Causing stress and anxiety all over the world. Brexit is an absolute disgrace because of the further conflicts which could result, A travesty of justice. Against the majority wishes.

    The 1WW was caused by the British European royal family and the divine right to rule. Conflicts and arguments between Victoria grandchildren The British royal only just survived possibly because they were less intransigent and agree to devolve power. Just agreed become figure heads. It frequently does not appear to be so in recent times. They have been taking more and more active interference in political matters and illegal wars. Used by politicians.

  265. Edward says:

    @Macart 4.50pm

    As you said a lot of shoes will drop off!

    Not sure who is advising Teresa May, or if it is just collective stupidity , but when she keeps stating that ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ and that ‘no deal will mean falling onto WTO rules, with neither EU or UK benefiting’ shows how barking they really are!

    If there is no deal with the EU , then it WILL be a bad deal, no if. buts or maybe’s about it

    The UK as a whole is a net importer, being that it imports far more than it exports (curiously Scotland on its own is a net exporter).

    There are no consumables made in the UK, that is items of every day use, that we consume, either directly or indirectly.

    Next time your shopping check out the labels that show where goods come from
    Clothes generally come from Far east or India, so cost will only be affected by exchange rates
    But food, notably fresh fruits & vegetables come in daily from the EU (yes there are some vegetables grown in the UK, but not enough to compensate for any loss of EU food)

    Some brexit idiots actually believe that soft fruits from the EU can be grown in the UK, forget about the unstable climate, who will pick them?

    So peaches, oranges, lettuces and tomatoes that come in from the EU, will become more expensive, as under WTO rules, the UK will have to apply full rates of duty on everything, as well as the additional cost of customs clearance on departure from the EU, plus the same again on arrival at one of the channel ports.

    Did I mention that there are already concerns by Kent County council on the traffic that will get snarled up as trailers heading out will get held up with customs formalities as well as the inbound also being held in queues to be processed through?

    Now the argument is that customs procedures have become automated since the days of paper entries, however the number of trailers flowing through in each direction have increased so much, that the ports will have to provide holding areas to process.

    Not so good for fresh produce that you want to keep fresh or even livestock!

    So prices will increase, because of Duty that the UK will have to apply on imports.

    But its not just fresh produce, there are food products that are manufactured in France and Holland that come over daily, as well as ingredients for some produce, like yeast for the mighty Marmite

    The brexiteers live in a 1950’s world where we didn’t consume much, we didn’t have much of a choice and everything that we did consume was made in the UK.

    You should note that there is no ‘Export tariff’ which I think you mean Duty. Duty is applied by the importing country.

    Having said that though, anything that is produced in the UK, such as Scottish Beef, Lamb, Salmon and of course Whisky will have to be subjected to import duty on arrival into the EU from the UK (unless of course Scotland is out of the UK and in the EU)

  266. heedtracker says:

    Legerwood says:
    4 April, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    heedtracker says:

    Another thing elderly people sometimes do is swap drugs as I discovered when my parents were in sheltered housing. If one got something and they felt better then they would pass it around. Legislate for that!”

    Legislation’s not really the issue, poor health care management is. If you’re elderly, and you’re not very well, maybe seriously and debilitating unwell and you start making mistakes with your multiple prescriptions, the only way medics can usually find out, is when you become even more ill, is just my point.

    GP’s are only on a hundred grand a year you know, with £2+million pensions waiting, poor wee souls.

    Anyhoo. BBC r4 gimps say that the war with Spain jingo stuff this weekend is just a jolly mistake anyone can make, despite same tory gimps reporting war with Spain round the clock yesterday and then today its Easter eggs not being labelled Easter eggs and a fitba manager threatened a female tv reporter with a slap

    and then they wonder why tory BBC led UK meeja are a laughing stock. Its a UK thing.

  267. John H. says:

    Scott 3.29pm.
    Have you ever seen such a corrupt looking individual in your life?…and he’s as bad.

  268. Hamish100 says:

    If you have 6 candidates couldn’t you vote 1,2 SNP then 4, 5,6 avoiding the person you dislike most?

  269. manandboy says:

    This is a financial earthquake, if , as seems likely, it comes to pass. (from the Guardian 2 hrs ago.)

    “Six months ago, the head of the London Stock Exchange, Xavier Rolet, said at least 100,000 positions could be lost if the City’s clearing houses lost their ability to process euro-denominated transactions.

    Clearing houses are independent parties that sit between the two parties in a trade and are tasked with managing the risk if one side defaults on payment. London clears around three-quarters of all euro-denominated trades.

    Talking in September, Rolet said he was confident the City would not be stripped of the business, but he went on to say that job losses would not be limited to London but shed across the UK in risk management, compliance, middle office and back-office support functions.

    A recent report from the accountants Ernst & Young echoed those comments, but additionally claimed that losing the business could have “a significant domino effect on jobs and revenue”, hitting up to 232,000 workers throughout the UK.”

  270. Valerie says:

    @Harry McAye

    Think you will find they are advising how you rank the two SNP candidates.

    I’m delivering leaflets, and our two candidates are ranked 1 & 2, the sitting local councillor being 1, and a newcomer at 2.

    They certainly can’t tell folk to vote right down the ballot paper.

  271. AndyH says:

    Yoon comments on BBC news website regarding Nicola Surgeons visit to California are way over the top.

    It’s often personal too. Appearance of her or her husband.


  272. mike d says:

    I have been told just 1,2 snp will do,nothing else if you don’t want to??

  273. manandboy says:

    With the City of London soon to suffer a Brexit-downgrade, and England becoming isolated from the EU, the Channel Tunnel could get a whole lot quieter, which may mean a downturn into losses for businesses operating through the tunnel. Such a downturn may even result in the Channel Tunnel closing?

  274. mike d says:

    Valerie 6. 19 pm.i think this is where some and older people (my mum) get a bit confused. Nobody has to vote right down the paper . but i think this stv system is done deliberately to confuse people.

  275. Valerie says:

    Ok, here’s my plan for voting.

    SNP 1&2, then 3= Green, then I will rank any other pro Indy, say SSP, if there are any. So in short, pro Indy until I run out.

    Then it will be the no hopers, but I want to push Slab and Tory down, so they will be my bottom 2. Above them, it’s say Monster Raving and Marijuana party.

    That’s my plan, because as the voting rounds progress, I’m splitting the vote against all Tories/ unionists.

  276. Robert Peffers says:

    @AndyH says: 4 April, 2017 at 6:20 pm:

    “Yoon comments on BBC news website regarding Nicola Surgeons visit to California are way over the top.
    It’s often personal too. Appearance of her or her husband.

    Aye! AndyH, They always remind me of the old schoolyard joke :-

    Woman walks into the pet shop complaining they had sold her a canary that only had one leg.

    The shop owner replies, “But Missus, ye asked me tae sell ye a burd whit wis a guid singer – noo is yon burd no the best singer ye ever did hear?

    Wiffie says, “Aye! It’s a braw singer richt enouch, bit it’s still only goat wan leg”.

    Weel! Says the shop owner, “if ye haed wanted a guid dancer ye should hae asked me fir wan whit cud dance”.

  277. K1 says:

    I see our fellow Europeans are seeing what the lunatics are incapable of seeing:

    ‘German president attacks ‘irresponsible’ Brexit campaign’

    ‘Germany’s president has launched a scathing attack on the politicians leading the UK out of the European Union, quoting the former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine’s warning that Britain is facing its greatest ever loss of sovereignty.

    In an outspoken speech to the European parliament, his first as president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier told MEPs that the Brexiters would be unable to deliver on their promise to “take back control”.

    “It is wrong to say, in my conviction, that in this world a single European country standing alone and without the EU can make its voice heard or assert its economic interests. Quite to the contrary,” the former German foreign secretary told MEPs in Strasbourg.

    “If we, as Europe, don’t become fully fledged partners on the world stage we will all individually become the plaything of other powers and I suspect that is what Michael Heseltine, a Briton of all people, was thinking when he recently said in an interview that Brexit was the biggest loss of sovereignty he can recollect, and he may be right.”

    At the end of the article Manfred Weber, the leader of the largest political bloc in the European Parliament warns:

    ‘…that British politicians had not yet realised the enormity of what the UK was doing.
    On the eve of the parliament’s debate and vote on its resolution detailing MEPs’ red lines for the coming negotiations, Weber said: “Some of the politicians in London have not understood what leaving the European Union means. It means being alone.”

    The German MEP also asked that following May’s triggering of article 50 last week, British politicians in the EU institutions refrain from making speeches and seeking to interfere in the work of MEPs when they discussed Brexit and the future of the union. “It has a lot to do with respectful behaviour, I would say,” he said.

    “I see in the council when there is debate about the future of Europe, Theresa May leaves the room, and I respect this behaviour.”

    He said he believed Julian King, the British European commissioner for security, would “not have a lot of the detailed access to things that Michel Barnier will do”.

    Responding to Weber, the leader of Conservative MEPs in the parliament, Ashley Fox, said: “The European parliament claims to represent all the citizens of the EU and until we leave, that includes UK citizens.

    “Therefore, Conservative MEPs intend to continue playing a full role in all debates, including discussions on Brexit. To suggest otherwise is both unconstitutional and undemocratic.”


    We are being ruled by a bunch of psycopathic Tories whose nannies have let them lose without their nappies securely pinned tae their facearses.

  278. Macart says:


    Pretty much and that is merely the tip of the iceberg.

    A very simple example: Take the print industry as point of fact. I’m familiar with a business whose every consumable – plates, paper, inks, chem are ALL sourced on the continent (they simply don’t manufacture these goods in the UK anymore). Presses in that workplace? German. And of course the companies which service and repair same. Press and pre press workflow software? You guessed it, German.

    Price rises across the board in the past year would make your eyes water. Paper stocks alone between 10-20%.

    That is just the print industry. ONE example.

    The shitstorm that’s about to hit an unsuspecting public in almost every strata of their everyday life is going to be awful.

  279. Thepnr says:

    OK it’s a three Councillor ward and SNP stand two candidates and you vote SNP 1 and 2. Good, they both win a seat so your happy.

    However you no longer have a say in who is going to be the third candidate to represent your ward. That choice will be up to others and the odds are that you will most likely end up with a Yoon as your third Councillor in your ward.

    Do you really not want a choice in who that third Councillor might be?

  280. K1 says:

    Aye that’s a good way of putting it Thpnr!

  281. Rock says:


    “Green’s got massive boosting from all tory BBC led media, for last Scots GE, as did tiny fringe left RISE, its not by chance.”

    Did you forgot to add the massive boosting from The National?

  282. John H. says:

    There’s been a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel held town in Syria. Theresa May in an interview condemned the attack.

    Why is Theresa May in Saudi Arabia again? No doubt to sell them those nice conventional weapons that don’t hurt people.

  283. mike cassidy says:

    To return to the subject matter which started this thread –

    here’s an actuarial point of view.

    Had to comment on the lack of context!

  284. Meg merrilees says:

    re the comments section on Nicola’s visit to the USA –

    I notice there is no comments section on T May’s visit to Saudi Arabia and similarly, no -one is suggesting that the PM is wasting her time and should get on with the day job.

    Also re voting procedures,

    I was really shocked watching the results come in for the N Ireland election. Sinn Fein were several seats ahead with only about 6 seats to be declared. Every on of the final 5 seats went to the DUP as a consequence of the transfer of votes. They ended up with a majority of one seat and the rest is history.
    I’m inclined to agree with Valerie. SNP 1,2,3 and then Green and any other pro Indy candidate.
    Make sure you know the ‘beliefs’ of any’ Independent’ candidate and whether they are pro or agin Indy ref.

  285. Rock says:

    call me dave,

    “Henry McLiesh (spelling ? ) in The National… waffling on about his 7 steps to a constitutional convention.”

    Why is Scotland’s only “independence supporting” newspaper giving space to unionist chameleon McLeish?

  286. Valerie says:


    I’ve been stockpiling coffee for months now! I don’t eat tinned food, but anyone that does, could do worse than a bit of stockpiling of anything from outside the country.

    Another thing I’m trying to buy extra is dog treats. I noticed Pets at Home have increased prices, so much of that stuff is from China.

  287. Rock says:

    Fergus Green,

    “I’ve tried searching online but can’t really work put what these ‘independents’ stand for. Can anyone advise?”

    Unionists in camouflage.

  288. Rock says:

    Apart from the SNP, the only “pro independence” voice to be trusted 100% is WOS and its author.

    Only follow the Rev. Stuart Campbell’s advice on how to vote in the local elections.

    The SNP lost its majority because the Greens, heavily promoted by the likes of The National, split the pro-independence vote.

    And in case anyone has forgotten, the Greens bear the blame for deliberately splitting the pro independence vote resulting in the re-election of the Tory viceroy of Scotland.

  289. Capella says:

    The BBC website account of the Syrian chemical attack is sourced from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a one man operation run from his home in Coventry. He’s been the media source for 4 years apparently.

    The other source the BBC are using is another opposition group the Edlib Media Centre, who supply the photos.

    Theresa May leaps onto the high ground in Saudi to attack the Syrian government for hiam rights abuses. Irony must have died long ago.

  290. Capella says:

    hiam rights = human rights

  291. Dan Huil says:

    Has Rock given us his views on Gibraltar?

  292. yesindyref2 says:

    Here’s a cut and pasteable version of a very useful document, the pdf is a nightmare:

    Possibly particulalry 38 down the ways. It’s not in force but is reckoned to be a general guideline as to splitting state debt. Which would presumably include the UK’s debt to oil companies to refund revenues in respect of decomissioning costs. So there. Scotland will get a lot of revenue from oil, as the rUK would have to pay for all of the lion’s share of that tax refund. Quite rightly – it got the benefit.

    Article 38 Newly independent State

    1. When the successor State is a newly independent State, no State debt of the predecessor State shall pass to the newly independent State, unless an agreement between them provides otherwise in view of the link between the State debt of the predecessor State connected with its activity in the territory to which the succession of States relates and the property, rights and interests which pass to the newly independent State.

    2. The agreement referred to in paragraph 1 shall not infringe the principle of the permanent sovereignty of every people over its wealth and natural resources, nor shall its implementation endanger the fundamental economic equilibrium of the newly independent State.

  293. Brian Powell says:

    “the leader of Conservative MEPs in the parliament, Ashley Fox” doesn’t grasp T May signed resignation letter, the cancelling of the lease. In those cases the employee, the tenant will have time to clear out their stuff but they have no more to say.

  294. Dr Jim says:

    BBCs James Cook interviews Scotlands First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about what she’s doing in America

    Good morning FM the Conservatives have accused you of obsessively talking about Independence….. back to you in the studio Jackie

    Without shame James(I’ve seen the memo) Cook knows we know his part in the French memogate lie and still he’s a wee shite
    He actually used to be a journalist at one time

  295. yesindyref2 says:

    nor shall its implementation endanger the fundamental economic equilibrium of the newly independent State.

    That’s quite a funny one as well by the way. It would mean the rUK / cUK had an obligation to make sure that the small part – us – splitting off from it, started life as a viable economic entitity.

    I’ll buy that for a dollar!

  296. Dr Jim says:

    @Dan Huil

    Don’t encourage him for God sake everybody’s getting on fine

  297. Robert Peffers says:

    @mike d says: 4 April, 2017 at 6:24 pm:

    “I have been told just 1,2 snp will do,nothing else if you don’t want to??”

    What they are attempting to tell you is that they want you to vote for the SNP candidates in the order they suggest.

    If, for example, the SNP votes were to be split equally between the two SNP candidates, then neither of them could get enough votes to be elected.

    However if the Labour voters all gave their vote to just one Labour guy and ignored the other Labour guy he would win the seat no bother.

    The SNP Constituency Association are not telling you what to do with your other choices. Just in which order to place the SNP candidates.

    I’ll tell you how I will vote. I will find out which SNP candidate the Constituency Association want to be first choice and which second in this ward. Then after them I will vote Green and if there are any others that favour independence they will be next.

    Without doubt I will place the most likely Labour guy last because Labour are the present party in power in Fife House so the least likely Labour candidate will be put first. I will thus lessen their chances by putting the most likely Labour guy after the least likely Labour guy and the Tory and LibDems before both Labour guys.

    Anyway, like everyone else, I’ll have to wait to see a list of candidates.

  298. Valerie says:

    Irish Times

    Sinn Féin, our plan to persuade Unionists to support a United Ireland.

  299. Rock says:


    “Know this there will still be Labour supporters in Scotalnd who favour Independnce but couldn’t stomach voting for the SNP.”

    Labour supporters who support independence have already moved to the SNP.

    What remains in Labour is only diehard unionists and British Nationalists who will never vote Yes.

  300. K1 says:

    Rock doesn’t do conjecture only grievance 🙂

  301. Capella says:

    10 mins to start of FM livestream from Stanford

  302. call me dave says:

    With all the West coast oil and the news over the last 3 months I can see a pattern developing.

    Mabybe the SG are already planning ahead for after Indi2.

    Hope I am right

    Same story as per BBC which has been cut down since I read it last. It did mentioned some of the work going to the BI-Fab at Burntisland and Methil and its highland works..

    FM speech to be streamed live at 8pm says a links further up from this morning. Thanks Robert.

    @Robert Louis

  303. call me dave says:


    Snap! 🙂

    Off the the Dons game!

  304. schrodingers cat says:


    unless we know at least which council area you are in, it is difficult to know if your comment is sensible or not

    i would advise people to put up their ward name so that we can actually assess who these independent candidates are actually

  305. yesindyref2 says:

    My ward

    6 candidates. SNP 1/2 then Ind Murdoch, then Ind MacCloskey, then Con Marshall. Shame about Lab Gallagher but his comment about Indy supporters being anti-English disqualifies him permanently. McCloskey is a dark horse (like the badge):

    and also this:

    Looks like a maverick to me – maybe even a future YES biker! Might make him 3rd.

  306. Luigi says:

    schrodingers cat says:

    4 April, 2017 at 7:57 pm


    unless we know at least which council area you are in, it is difficult to know if your comment is sensible or not

    i would advise people to put up their ward name so that we can actually assess who these independent candidates are actually

    I don’t want to just vote for pro-indy councillors. I want to cause as much damage to the pro-yoon councils as possible (those candidates most likely to win).

    PS: My ward is Aberdeen – [Hazlehead/Ashley/Queens Cross]
    Any suggestions?

    I will vote until I boak. 🙂

  307. Luigi says:

    Ward 10: Hazlehead/Ashley/Queen’s Cross

    Number of members to be elected: 4

    John Munro Corall (SNP)Jim Farquharson (Independent)Stephen Mark Flynn (SNP)Martin Greig (Scottish Liberal Democrats)Peter Alexander Kennedy (Scottish Green Party)Sandra MacDonald (Scottish Labour Party)Jennifer Stewart (Scottish Liberal Democrats)Ross Thomson (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)

    Here goes:

    1. John Corall (SNP)
    2. Stephen Flynn (SNP)
    3. Peter Kennedy (Green)
    4. Sandra MacDonald (Labour)
    5. Martin Greig (Lib Dem)
    6. Jennifer Stewart (Lib Dem)
    7. Jim Farquharson (ind – closet tory?)
    8. Ross Thomson (Tory)

    I put Labour candidate higher up the list for this ward cos she is less likely to win. Lib Dems do quite well here but cannot stomach putting the tories anywhere but last. 🙂

    Does this selection seem about right for Aberdeen Hazlehead?

  308. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    @ Ken500, re: WW2

    I think banks and big business wishing to play both sides against each other might have had a good deal to do with it, as well as the royals. But I agree wholeheartedly with your post, particularly about the Russians. We’re on the same page when it comes to a broad view of the conflict.

  309. HandandShrimp says:

    Shame about Lab Gallagher but his comment about Indy supporters being anti-English disqualifies him permanently.


    That and being an unhinged fruitbat driven solely by a hatred of the SNP


    Murdoch and McCloskey both look viable independents…I have never voted Conservative and I think I might toil to do so on the 4th. Is there more than one Conservative candidate? If not then I think Tom will retain his seat without too much bother, so is there any point in ticking Conservative as a fifth choice? Going for the SNP candidates is easy – this tactical stuff is the tricky bit.

  310. galamcennalath says:

    Valerie says:

    Sinn Féin, our plan to persuade Unionists to support a United Ireland.

    Thanks. I found that a very thought provoking article.

    SF proposing that NI Unionist/British identity needs to be accommodated in a united Ireland.

    I must confess, in a Scottish context I have always taken the view that when we achieve a majority Yes, Indy will folllow, and Unioinists will just have to accept separation from rUK. In that respect I suppose I am not being as inclusive as I believed!

    Perhaps, just perhaps, we might get more Unionist converts if we had an inclusive policy towards them. However, I also confess to having no idea where to start because so many Unionists seem to come from another planet!

  311. call me dave says:

    Excellent stuff from our FM who stood up for Scotland on all fronts and made a few friends I’m sure.

    Also she quite rightly did not trash WM or England or had a dig a Trump either ‘now was not the time’. Class act. 🙂

  312. Robert Peffers says:

    @Thepnr says: 4 April, 2017 at 6:49 pm:

    “OK it’s a three Councillor ward and SNP stand two candidates and you vote SNP 1 and 2. Good, they both win a seat so your happy.”

    Trouble with that Thepnr, is there is a much more likely scenario to be the real result.

    If the ward was previously a Labour held ward and the Labour constituency association have outthought the SNP constituency association by only standing a single candidate. The most likely result is the single Labour candidate gets the entire Labour supporter’s votes and wins the seat hands down because the SNP vote has split, almost equally, two ways. Furthermore, the Tory and/or LibDems have tactically agreed to all vote Tory and the Tories, who last time marginally lost out to the SNP, get the other seat.

    So the Labour guy walks into the seat followed by the Tory and, being a two seat ward, the SNP are nowhere.

  313. Graeme says:

    Just watched Nicolas speech at Stanford she is a class act no question about


  314. Epiphyta says:

    Did anyone else just lose the feed from the Stanford event? It dropped during the Q&A after the FM said, roughly, “We need to stand up for our beliefs even if they are politically unpopular”. The session is scheduled from 1200 to 1400 PST . . . .

  315. Flower of Scotland says:

    I watched the talk at Stanford! Nicola Sturgeon was very good and I enjoyed it immensely.

    On livestream there were only 47 likes! Really!

    My son in law was there so will try to find out what he thinks. He is German and is a great fan of our FM.

  316. sassenach says:


    Yes I suddenly lost it as well, just as it was about to get to Indy and Q&A. Grrrrr

  317. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dan Huil says: 4 April, 2017 at 7:32 pm:

    “Has Rock given us his views on Gibraltar?”

    Who would know, Dan? Does anyone still read his comments?

  318. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, as far as the SNP is concerned he is consistent, and been doing it for, ummm, decades! Regular spat in the wee paper between him and MSP. It is tricky, but Marhsall I think is more decent even if a Tory! Anyway, it’s back to being a Labour NOC after the last by-election, so the less Labour the better as I think Thepnr or K1 said earlier.

  319. schrodingers cat says:

    luigi, spot on, he is a tory,

    Conservative Mr Farquharson recently joined forces with Marie Boulton, who was the authority’s sole independent councillor, calling themselves the Independent Alliance Group, alongside Alan Milne.

    the thing about rating the unionists is that it depends on who has control of the council area

    ie, you would obviously want an snp majority, next an snp minority coalition, next a labour minority and lastly a labour majority

    since it is labour who are the snps main rivals in aberdeen, it would be better that libdems or tories won a seat in hazelhead rather than labour, since this would reduce the chances of a labour majority
    better lab needs tories, or ukip, to form a coalition, since it damages their credibility, even more.

  320. yesindyref2 says:

    @Robert Peffers
    Yes, that could happen, but only if the SNP has less than 50% of the vote in which case in a 2 seat ward, they should only generally have one candidate. Or pick 1 as 1st and the other as 2nd across the ward and hope people follow their instructions.

  321. Meindevon says:

    Well my voting preferences are going to be pretty easy (sorry!) compared to you, my friends.

    I can’t even be bothered trying to keep the Tories out now with wasted Labour vote. It’s going to be whoever will pee off the main parties more. Probably Greens.

    Good luck with your choices… my brain is befuddled just reading about all the connotations!

  322. schrodingers cat says:


    what you say is true,but the snp strategy is set,
    i know a few wards that i think would have been better to stand only one candidate

    unfortunately robert, it is difficult to gauge this election, turnout in 2012 was about 33%, indyref1 changed all that, it will defo be higher this time.

    in 2016, snp and slab turnout dropped 30% from 2015
    tory rose by 64k, about 10% from 2015

    what will happen this time? im not sure and without a base line, it is difficult to predict with any real certainty

    add in the vagaries of the stv system, and we are where we are

    once again, getting out OUR vote is the key next month

  323. Bob Mack says:

    Did anyone else hear Nicola state that Westminster supremacy over scotland has never been challenged in court ?

    Our own Robert Peffers may well have been right all along. I wonder if Westminster has the belly for a court case about sovereign rights because that is definitely what Nicola was hinting at.

  324. Here is Nicola giving fantastic speech at Stanford Uni USA,

  325. heedtracker says:

    Rock will be heartbroken. But he’s too busy prepping up all the reasons he’s a YESer, who his SNP MP is, what his fav SNP policies are, what he hopes to see Scotland become and other nice Rock like thingees:D

    Our own Robert Peffers may well have been right all along.

  326. call me dave says:

    Analysis by James Cook, BBC Los Angeles Correspondent

    This bits a lie if the archive is correct 8hrs ago Responding to. Aye right more like pre-empting the speech!
    Responding to Ms Sturgeon’s speech, John Lamont of the Scottish Conservatives said it was a “great shame that she has chosen to use her taxpayer-funded trip to America to promote independence, and an unwanted referendum.”
    He added: “She may be representing the SNP in doing so – but she does not represent mainstream Scottish opinion.”

    Scottish Labour’s James Kelly said Ms Sturgeon should use foreign trips to represent the interests of all the people of Scotland, rather than “trying to build up support for a second referendum that the majority here don’t want”.

    And Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie accused Ms Sturgeon of using California as the next stop in her “global grievance tour”.
    They must have been darn quick to get a phone call from Jamie…
    Oh wait they said that before the speech!

  327. cearc says:

    Great speech and Q+A, I had no problem with the feed.

    Young Ms. Sturgeon is a great asset to our country and always comes over as real and sincere despite the necessity of diplomacy.

  328. call me dave says:

    Now there’s a funny thing, there’s a funny thing!

    I Murray poll question. On WoS Twitter.
    Hope link works but nip over if it doesn’t. 🙂

  329. Cadogan Enright says:

    @Luigi 8.42

    Thats the right way to do it

    BUT the SNP will probably ask people in one have of the constituency to vote 1 for Corrall and 2 for Flynn

    and then the other half of the constituency to vote 1 for Flynn and 2 for Corrall

    In this way they will both stay in the race and not be eliminated too early, able to receive transfers if not elected on the first count

    – whomever is the most dedicated and loathsome Yoon gets the very last vote to minimize the chance of transfers going to them.

  330. Epiphyta says:

    Bob Mack @ 10.01:

    The live feed cut out for me before that point (if anyone knows of a transcript, I’d be obliged for a link), but the idea is an interesting one.

  331. John de Soulis says:


    This appears to be the order the SNP want for Glasgow Shettleston a 4 seat ward. I got the order from a picture on this page…( ).

    The addition of the Greens guy is my own.

    Any help on what’s the best voting order for the rest, all yoons. Or should I just ignore them?


    Michelle Ferns 1
    Alex Kerr 2
    Laura Doherty 3


    Kevin Campbell 4


    Jamie Cocozza
    Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

    Paul Corran
    Independent (can’t find anything about him assume yoon)

    Thomas Kerr

    Steven Marshall
    Social Democratic Party Scotland

    Frank (aka The Pieman) McAveety

    Timothy Pollard
    Lib Dems

    Jamie Robertson

    Anne Simpson

  332. Artyhetty says:

    Couldn’t watch Nicola Sturgeon’s speech, someone on twitter linked to it via youtube, something completely unrelated came up, lost the link. So not freaking surprised. Any links to it be grateful for.

    The yoons are exposed for what they really are, when Scotland’s First Minister is openly making connections, for the better of her country, internationally, actually doing her day job and some!

    The yoons, Mayhem, obviously have more important stuff to attend to. An embarrassment to their so called ‘precious’ union, when all they can get worked up about is chocolate. Absolute disgrace. They should hang their heads in shame, but no, there they go, seliing their ‘precious’ UK to the most dangerous regime’s around the planet. No thanks.

    Next independence referendum, the ‘yes’ side should have ‘no thanks’ as their slogan.
    No thanks to the dysfunctional, barbaric, corrupt as hell so called ‘precious union’. No thanks to a backward, destructive, insular, small minded, backwater, that the yoons so love to tout as somehow important on the world stage. A laughing stock more like, and becoming more so every day.

    Well done Nicola Sturgeon, for actively and positively promoting her country and doing her day job, about a million times more effectively, and more successfully than any yoon PM could ever hope to acheive.

  333. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    cearc @ 22:13,

    Yes, and Nicola’s considered statemanship makes all those usual suspects quoted by call me dave look like the one-track-minded third-rate zoomers that they truly are.

    As for Cook’s quote from Annie Wells MSP, it merely confirms what we knew only too well already, that the Glasgow cat-flapper is a complete alt-reality buffoon.

  334. Ken500 says:

    @ registered unemployment average 3% 1950’s

    These do not include the millions who had died or were injured. 1/2Million died. Plus those who were sick suffering from post traumatic stress and other major ailments. Women who had worked during the war, often returned to the home. If these figures were included the rate would have been much higher. The figures were artificial in that respect as a % of the population.

    The 1950’s are often described as a grey time. In some cases there was still rationing. Still a shortage of consumers goods. They did improve mid 50’s early sixties. There were plenty of jobs but many of them were low paid. Like now. Although people became healthier. A balanced diet. There was not such a comprehensive health service as today. They drunk less, compared to today, because alcohol as a proportion of income was was much higher. Most People drunk less or only at the weekend. Women drunk less because they did not frequent pubs or social,clubs. It was frowned upon.

    The Marshall plan in Europe. 1945+ The US were airlifting food and goods into Europe to stop starvation in Europe. Scotland had a more extreme climate. The winters were extremely colder and the summers warmer. In the winter manuel workers who worked outside, builders etc could be laid off for two or more months on the buroo, labour exchange or a small retainer, which could be recovered. A sub. The winter of 1947 was a particular bad winter. The economy, farming, building etc came to a halt for weeks/months.

    In the 1950’s married women left work when they were pregnant. In many occupation. Civil service, public jobs they were not allowed to continue when they were married? Or had a child. Household incomes were lower.

    In Spain today women traditionally leave work when they are pregnant. That is the way the society is structured. They are very family orientated. They go back to work when their children are older. There is less comprehensive nurseries and child care. Grannies/grandads relatives watch the kids.

    Surveys show the more higher educated/skilled a woman is the more likely she is to work, because good child care is more affordable. A higher salary. Increased child care is providing more provision. Allowing more women with children get back into,work or study etc. Make people more self sufficient. Helps dads as well. A better life balance. Workers in the UK work the longest hours in Europe on average.

    The cost of living in the Irish Repubkic is lower than the UK. Scotland is self sufficient in food. Exports £Billion. There is not reason why food etc would be more expensive in an Indepentent Scotland. Less would be imported or travel, long distances to some retail collection centre and then travel back. The distribution centre would be in Scotland.

  335. heedtracker says:

    call me dave says:
    4 April, 2017 at 10:15 pm
    Now there’s a funny thing, there’s a funny thing!

    If Ian Murray resigns the party whip, I’d have a heart attack laughing. But he is Morningside, his front bench career is all over now, what’s he got to lose becoming an independent?

    It used to happen quite regularly. He’s probably been praying for that red tory putsch that’s never materialised.

  336. Luigi says:

    Cadogan Enright says:

    4 April, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    @Luigi 8.42

    Thats the right way to do it

    BUT the SNP will probably ask people in one have of the constituency to vote 1 for Corrall and 2 for Flynn

    and then the other half of the constituency to vote 1 for Flynn and 2 for Corrall

    In this way they will both stay in the race and not be eliminated too early, able to receive transfers if not elected on the first count

    One simple way to do it would be to get every SNP voter to toss a coin:

    Heads it’s 1. Corrall, 2. Flynn; Tails it’s 1. Flynn, 2. Corrall. 🙂

  337. Capella says:

    Enjoyed listening to Nicola’s speech and the livelink was fine although dropped a few seconds here and there. Thought she pitched it just right for the Stanford audience. Touched on themes such as democracy, equality, inclusion, social justice and the need to tackle climate change.

    Wondering now what Annie Wells thought of it and I’m sure the BBC will find out as a matter of urgency.

  338. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    Watched Nicola’s Stanford speech. Agree with you Capella about the pitch being just right. I found myself relieved that they warmed to her so well, too.
    She should drop the ‘social justice’ phrase, though, as other phrases and idealogical concepts she uses approximate to the same thing anyway. That phrase is unfortunately fashionably toxic right now; I would think even within circles of the enlightened Stanford crowd.

    And as much as I wish politicians would stop gesturing with their hands in THAT way (you know, hands in front of chest spaced apart, back of the hands towards audience, thumbs up, Tony Blair style), she managed to make it look natural.

  339. People Carrier says:

    In years to come, I think that speech will be viewed as the date the political world really took note that Nicola Sturgeon is a national leader and international politician with considerable gravitas. The very fact that she was being asked about her views on international affairs spoke volumes.

    Nicola Sturgeon is a major political intellect. She really is. The more she speaks at such gatherings the more impressive she becomes. This concept of international and social inclusiveness all happening in the one nation is so appealing and refreshing that it makes me burst with pride. The programmes about women participatong in peace negotiations show leadership in an international context. Just think what we could do if we had an international platform for our national inclusive philosophy! It’s a beautiful thought.

  340. jockmcx says:

    Nicola’s stanford speech.

  341. Epiphyta says:

    I admired how the FM answered the young woman from Falkirk’s question about employment opportunities in Scotland (and then jokingly said that such unrelenting sunshine couldn’t be good for her and she should come home after she graduated!), and immediately became quite serious when the next questioner said “I am an EU citizen, and I am afraid to return to the UK after I complete my degree. What is your government doing to ensure the safety of myself and others like me?” Her respect and concern for both of them was palpable, and it lifted my heart to see it.

  342. woosie says:

    Some bleached blonde bint last night, ebc’s us rep, after footage of NS winning over all Americans; ” I don’t think California’s that focussed on Scotland”. You could see the smirk building up before she spoke. Shameless, sickening belittling of Scotland. Except that she’s obviously unaware that independence support is growing daily, despite these puppets.

    It’s interesting that they think we actually believe what they say. Like they think EU will crumble when the mighty engerland make their brexit demands. Time warp politics from a failed empire, now embarrassingly prostituting their brand – and our oil, whisky, etc – to every despot and loony dictatorship on Earth. Falange got a reality check in Brussels today.

    Not long now till they’re begging to get back in.

  343. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    “@Dan Huil says: 4 April, 2017 at 7:32 pm:

    “Has Rock given us his views on Gibraltar?”

    Who would know, Dan? Does anyone still read his comments?”

    You very much do, so why pretend otherwise?



    The Guardian: 541,000

    Daily Mail: 500,000

    The Telegraph: 457,000”

    Assuming that most of them only read one of the three, that is a shocking 1,500,000 readers in Scotland.”

    Robert Peffers,

    “Bloody hilarious and Rock won’t even figure out why his calculations are utter mince.”

  344. Rock says:

    Bob Mack,

    “Did anyone else hear Nicola state that Westminster supremacy over scotland has never been challenged in court ?

    Our own Robert Peffers may well have been right all along. I wonder if Westminster has the belly for a court case about sovereign rights because that is definitely what Nicola was hinting at.”

    Does Scotland have the belly for a court case about sovereign rights?

    The likes of Robert Peffers certainly have not put their money where their mouths are:

    As I had posted last month:

    Saint Theresa of England and Wales has no option but to deny permission until after Brexit has been completed, or the Scottish colony is lost.

    According to Scotland’s greatest legal expert of all time:

    Robert Peffers,

    “All we need do is to go ahead and do what we wish and let them attempt to stop or prevent our exercise of what, under Scots law, is our legal sovereignty and let them take legal action.”


    That would amount to UDI. Who in their right mind wants that?

    The Yes movement has hardly 50% support.

    There is no way Scotland’s MPs and MSPs could be sure of a majority if they stood for re-election in such a scenario.

    I very much doubt that the SNP would go down that way.

    It is now or never for “sovereign” Scots to take matters into their own hands, under the guidance of “Lawyers for Yes”:


    ” 4) We secure judicial review at Court of Session and have Scotland’s inalienable sovereignty recognised as the prevailing

    (if widely misunderstood) reality, prompting an emergency plebiscite to determine what we should do about it.

    Don’t know about you, but I’m liking option 4… a lot.”

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