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The best and worst of times

Posted on June 14, 2015 by

With scarcely a moment’s pause for breath or reflection, the Unionist polity and media has seamlessly switched its focus to the elusive beast that is “Full Fiscal Autonomy”.

(The SNP thankfully seems to have swiftly dumped the silly and short-lived attempt to rebrand it “Full Fiscal Responsibility”.)

sexpffa

Having deemed the anti-independence “Project Fear” strategy a success because it won the referendum – seemingly oblivious to the fact that what it actually achieved was to turn a 30-point lead into a 10-point victory, at the cost of the annihilation of Unionist MPs in Scotland – the exact same tactics have been deployed against FFA.

And the main problem with that is that there are in fact two FFAs. And the Unionist side is fighting against the wrong one.

At this point we’ll digress for a hefty quote from a brilliant Iain Macwhirter column in today’s Sunday Herald, which sets out the basic points with tremendous conciseness:

“In fact there’s reason to believe that the FFA scare, like its parent Project Fear, has actually damaged the Union rather than strengthened it. The rhetoric is entirely negative and to many Scots, demeaning. It is effectively saying that, unlike any other small country in Europe, Scotland is uniquely incapable of running its own affairs and managing its own economy.

Unionists insist they are not saying Scots are ‘too wee too poor too stupid’ but that’s how it sounds to many voters.

That is why so many Scots get angry about the press reports on Scotland’s alleged inability to finance independence; they think it’s just running their country down and they don’t like it. Actually it’s worse – it looks like a case of: ‘The UK got the oil, now it’s running out, you’re on your own. Hahaha.’

Scotland remains the only nation, state or region to have oil discovered in its waters and receive no direct benefit.

Nicola Sturgeon understands this, which is why she hardly bothers rebutting the IFS numbers. She isn’t like Alex Salmond, who used to get riled and would argue the toss endlessly about the economic numbers. What she has been doing, with considerable success, is acting as if Scotland already was an independent country.

Critics say she is running away from the reality – but what actually is the reality here? If there were fiscal autonomy, the calculations based on the General Expenditure and Revenue Statistics would no longer apply. Scotland would be raising all tax locally and sending a subvention south for common services like defence and foreign affairs. That would have to be negotiated as would Scotland’s burden of debt and repayments.

There would also be the tricky question of equalisation payments between Scotland and the UK. This is not independence, but a form of federalism, so even with fiscal autonomy there would be transfer payments to be negotiated as there are in all federal systems.

This may sound like the Scots getting their cake and eating it, but the point is that FFA, unlike independence, does not mean fiscal separation. All financial relationships would be subject to continual negotiation like everything else in a federal system.”

Macwhirter identifies a mistake that’s regularly made by even the more astute and thoughtful of Unionist commentators. In the Spectator this week, for example, Alex Massie complained bitterly that SNP MP George Kerevan advocates the continuation of fiscal transfers from London to Scotland in certain circumstances.

Yet Massie curiously and uncharacteristically misses the most obvious point about the events of last September: Scotland voted No. It is still part of the UK. What he describes as “having your cake and eating it” could equally be phrased as “the best of both worlds” – in other words, the exact thing that the No side claimed to be offering.

Unionist politicians pleaded with Scots not to vote for the status quo, but for “faster, safer and better change”. For “nothing else than a modern form of Scottish Home Rule”. For “extensive” new powers, but all backed up with the mighty “broad shoulders” of the UK which would step in at any time of crisis. A crisis, for example – and it was specifically cited as one – like a shortfall in oil revenues.

fastersaferbetter

All Kerevan asked for, reasonably enough, was for those promises to be kept – for Scotland to be given far greater meaningful control over its own affairs, but with a safety net in case of emergency. It would manage the household budget for itself, but the UK would step in if the house caught fire.

Without that safety net, after all, what purpose does the UK serve for Scotland? What use are broad shoulders if they refuse to step in when a burden needs to be borne? What point is there in paying tax for a fire brigade that just stands around polishing its engines and refusing to come out if you call 999?

FFA is for day-to-day decisions – to choose how to approach and manage the basic, essentially ideological balances between tax, growth, welfare and employment. It’s not for unforeseen extreme events like a war or an overnight halving in the oil price. The situation where you take responsibility for ALL those things is called independence.

This site has long portrayed FFA in the form that it would be imposed by Westminster as a trap designed to impoverish Scotland. But as Macwhirter notes, a negotiated FFA would be a very different beast.

The half-arsed, watered-down, veto-riddled Scotland Bill is a lot closer to the former than the latter. It piles responsibilities on Holyrood but almost no useable powers. A truly fiscally autonomous Scotland would have genuine job-creating powers, business taxation powers, real welfare powers, minimum wage powers. What’s being proposed is the worst of all possible worlds, and in the wake of the Smith Commission report the SNP’s 56 MPs were elected expressly and explicitly on the basis of a manifesto commitment to take the reality much closer to what was promised.

The whole point of autonomy is that Holyrood can choose to do things differently, so GERS, which is entirely based on how things are done now, is a total irrelevance. A fully fiscally autonomous Scotland would have the power to change those numbers – that being the entire point of the exercise – so attacking FFA on the basis of what they say is fatuously idiotic at the most basic, primary-school level.

Unionists need to make their minds up. If the rUK wants Scotland to stand entirely alone after all – if it doesn’t want to be Scotland’s broad shoulders, if it doesn’t want to uphold its end of the deal it offered Scots last year in exchange for their No votes – then it should say so and immediately call another referendum.

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    1. 14 06 15 13:13

      The best and worst of times | Politics Scotland...

    2. 14 06 15 14:17

      The best and worst of times | Speymouth

    3. 16 06 15 19:22

      Adventures in Truthiness: The SNP and Full Fiscal Autonomy - Spectator Blogs

    180 to “The best and worst of times”

    1. Grouse Beater says:

      Unionists – quicker U-turns than whirling Dervishes.

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      The “best of both worlds” nonsense was a bluff, and they never expected us to call them on it. We were meant to vote No, then get back to electing Labour politicians while the SNP imploded. It’s pretty clear they did absolutely no “war-gaming” of the current situation.

      Oops…

    3. Bob Scott says:

      Excellent article.

    4. fred blogger says:

      yet again excellent work rev.
      🙂

    5. Capella says:

      Excellent analysis once more of the political games being played by Westminster and the MSM.

    6. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I read that McWhirter feature this morning and found it well thought out.

      Thanks for sharing that excerpt more widely!

    7. Dal Riata says:

      So that “£7.6 billion black hole” has become a “£10 billion black hole” overnight. Wow! Now that is inflation!

      Who’s doing the maths, the “independent” OBR…?

    8. proudscot says:

      The fatuous, factually lacking and frankly anti-SNP rhetoric of the Unionist Parties, both in Westminster and in the press and media, angers me.

      However I take comfort from the longer view that this relentlessly negative assault, mainly directed at our democratically elected 56 SNP MPs, will have the effect of increasingly angering more and more of my fellow resident Scots, especially many of those who voted NO in the referendum, and subsequently voted for the same Unionist Parties now denigrating our chosen politicians and the principle of FFA.

    9. Chitterinlicht says:

      Clear and simple but very good.

      Unionists are tying themselves in so many knots it will be hard to unpick them.

      No one I ken is too wee or too stupid.

    10. Ralph Noyes says:

      Love the commenting rules, especially about grammar, punctuation, etc. Might have to steal those.

      Love the article above, too. As an American who first visited Scotland when I was seven, 57 years ago, and who has read a bit of Scottish history, I want to see Scotland free and independent once and for all. It is a matter of vindicating history, and of setting Scotland free to become all it can be, rather than being a moral and intellectual subsidiary of England.

      Yes, I’m of English AND Scottish descent, but my heart is with Scotland.

    11. steveasaneilean says:

      Superb piece Stuart.

      I have long believed in FFA and there is no logical reason for opposing it – just the usual hypothetical smears and fears.

    12. Clootie says:

      Why are so many people in the media trying to argue that if Independence could be achieved in a few years why would FFA take much longer.

      It is much easier when when you have full control over policy,spending and income generation in comparison to a Federal settlement.

      e.g. if we were Independent we wouldn’t be contributing to The Scottish Office / The House of Lords / HS2 / Trident replacement etc etc

    13. heedtracker says:

      Another display of UKOK’s you don’t exist/who the hell do you think you are anyway Scotland. None of their Project Fear 2 is ever in any English newspaper, let alone their front pages.

      TeamGB media get creepier by the day, shock.

    14. George S Gordon says:

      Excellent articles from Wings, Iain Mcwhirter – and Andrew Wilson in Scotland on Sunday. I expect rabid letters in the Hootsmon tomorrow for allowing the latter to be published!

      For the record, the SNP used both “responsibility” and “autonomy” in the text of their submission to the Smith Commission in October 2014. This was continued in their manifesto for GE2015.

      I think the stance they took can be summarised as –
      1) To have responsibility you need autonomy.
      2) We will exercise autonomy with responsibility.
      There is of course much more behind that in both documents.

      In neither case did they talk of instant FFR/FFA.

      So there have been no U-turns or attempts to water it down, as promulgated by unionists and the media!

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why are so many people in the media trying to argue that if Independence could be achieved in a few years why would FFA take much longer.”

      Because they’re very very stupid. FFA is, as is immediately plain to anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature, far more complicated than independence, because everything remains interwoven.

    16. thomaspotter2014 says:

      What a brilliant summary of what’s really going down at the moment.

      The need for clarity on the way forward is being pioneered perfectly by articles of this calibre.

      More power to your pen Rev.

      The farce that is the status quo can’t go on for much longer.

      Have a nice day.

    17. msean says:

      Well,some of us knew Scotland would get ripped off or pinished for daring to attempt to break away. When you vote for dependence,you vote to disempower yourself.

      I see it like any contract. We (sadly) played our part by voting no,now the the UK Government are reneging on their part.

      No matter whatever spin they put on it or how many non Scots consituency MPs they get to ask pre drafted questions to use up time in Westminster at anti Scottish Questions,that is what has happened. The contract has been broken in respect of “a modern form of home rule” and ” near federalism”. As for the most powerful devolved Parliament,it seems not,Greenland appears to be in charge of more,like its own borders and resources and, I think ,immigration since 2009.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland

    18. Jimbo says:

      Great article, Stu.

      I’ve said it before, their FFA scare stories are based on them (wrongly) reasoning that Scotland will squander our taxes in the same way that Westminster does. But what really gets them though is the ghastly fear that Scotland will make a complete success of it – making Westminster look totally inadequate.

    19. YerketbreeksDavidDavid says:

      Agree with the poisoned chalice of having only the hugely visible income tax to deal with, but what of the suggestion on Sunday Politics today that John Swinney might in fact just use this to test us out ?

    20. Ian Gourlay says:

      It never ceases to amaze me that a place with 100 years at least of economic mismanagement, leading to a relentless decline over that period, has the gall to claim that that Scotland is better off within the UK. No sensible person likes purely negative commentary but it’d be good to see some facts about the performance of the UK over the past 100 years, or even just since the war, compared to other European countries. As well as on-going general economic incompetence, the UK also managed to squander one-off gifts like the Marshall Aid (UK got more than Germany did) or North Sea oil, gifts that other countries had either less of or non at all. Some light needs to be shone of the reality of the UK economic & social mismanagement, how it has performed relative to comparable others and will likely continue to do so as long as the Victorian attitudes of the UK establishment continue their reign. The hollowness of the UK track record should be first and foremost in peoples minds when reading about how disastrous independence would be for Scotland.

    21. mogabee says:

      I used to think that the media were just not up to speed with the nuances of devolution and more powers.

      But you’re right Stu. They are basically stupid.

    22. bowanarrow says:

      It is an amazing piece of writing and, like all the other
      pieces of writing I have read recently, all saying vaguely
      the same thing, I only have one question, why should the
      westminster government do anything?
      Democracy, in westminster terms, is on their side, they
      can say no or yes or, in reality, anything they wish.
      Everyone on this site, in Facebook, and in other pro
      Scottish independence sites are all in agreement that, the
      way forward is for westminster to decide wither they are
      in or out of F.F.A.
      In my opinion they need to be out because if F.F.A. was
      given to Scotland how long do you would think it would
      take for the Scottish Government to start showing up the
      westminster establishment as liars when the Scottish
      Government show that austerity doesn’t work?
      Independence, the cheaper, easier way to go, lets all say
      it together now, IN-DE-PEN-DENCE. lol lol

    23. HandandShrimp says:

      They were enthusiastic proponents of “Best of Both Worlds” They can’t complain now….

      ..well they will obviously but we must diligently remind them of their words.

    24. Macart says:

      Cracking dissection Rev.

      The gaping hole in the vow strategy. Home rule, devo max, powerhouse parliament, none of it was defined for the Scottish electorate, yet the terminology was force to us day in day out for weeks. It was vague, insubstantial and simply intended to lead people down a certain path without guarantee. Except, not unreasonably, the electorate did indeed have their own ideas on the meaning, that home rule may mean just exactly what it says on the tin and that means Full Fiscal Autonomy.

      Now its time for Westminster to deliver on what they and their media bandied about so loosely in order to win a vote. Now they have to get down to the nitty gritty of dealing with enough pro Scotland MPs to warrant a negotiation process. Now they will have to put up or declare to all, and that includes a very interested international press, that their promises were empty.

      What happens if they cannot or will not deliver on their referendum strategy? Do they really want to find out?

    25. manandboy says:

      Brilliant Stu! You’re in a class of your own.

    26. Mealer says:

      Rev Stu 1.37,
      This really is the nub of it.A big majority of Scots want the Scottish Parliament to be in charge of everything in Scotland except defence and foreign affairs.A big majority of Westminster MPs don’t.And probably never will,because it would mean shining a spotlight into the murky depths of the UK establishment.They would rather “let Scotland go” than risk anything that might upset the apple cart / coup their swill trough.

    27. Hobbit says:

      What would be helpful, would be for the SNP to prepare the budget they would want to have in Scotland, whether independent or not; and also, to show (a) what sort of taxes would be levied to pay for this; (b) what sort of borrowing would be required; and (c), in the case of FFA, what sort of Westminster subvention would be required. It would help the debate if we could front up with better numbers than has been the case.

      I think we should also acknowledge that there are good administrative reasons, as to why we would not be able to have a separate VAT structure from rUK. This is a separate matter, but Scotland and rUK are so intertwined that there are some things we would have to live with.

    28. Fred says:

      A good article by indeed McWhirter on FFA today but balanced by a poorly argued case against police force consolidation by Ian Bell. I’m normally a fan of Bell but the fact of half of Scots being policed by one force while the likes of Fife had its own was complete bollox. Scotland arguably wasn’t well policed before consolidation just as some English forces are not now today and different regimes for Edinburgh & Glasgow was a nonsense. Bell’s parochial diatribe pivots on his dislike for the present Chief Constable, who is not without his critics and will not always be with us! and this colours his judgment.

    29. Dan Huil says:

      Let the unionists bleat on. They are oblivious to the fact that their Project Fear predictions are making them a laughing stock.

    30. James Kay says:

      ..well they will obviously but we must diligently remind them of their words …

      … or hold their feet to the fire!

    31. Hobbit says:

      @Fred – agreed, there are plenty of jurisdictions with the population of Scotland, and about the same # of police, which have single police forces. The Republic of Ireland, Norway/Denmark/ Finland, NSW, Victoria and Queensland (all Australia), plus New Zealand, make for good counter-examples.

    32. Iain McRae says:

      Iain McWhirter point’s:

      ‘The UK got the oil, now it’s running out, you’re on your own. Hahaha.’

      This resonates, it looks like colonialism and for most in Scotland it feels like colonialism.

      The two related items of most relevance are what next for FFA and some redoubling of the facts and figures round the subsidy of London and SE England need to be positioned in front of Scots.

    33. Robert Peffers says:

      @Dal Riata says: 14 June, 2015 at 1:09 pm:

      ” So that “£7.6 billion black hole” has become a “£10 billion black hole” overnight. Wow! Now that is inflation!

      Who’s doing the maths, the “independent” OBR…?

      We will never know, Dal Riata, as they found the figures scribbled on the back of an empty fag packet someone had dropped on one of those wee Dunfermline to Townhill busses.

      As the Townhill bus service is reciprocating, (it aye gans up an doon), they think this is the reason for the size of that black hole figures always going up and down.

      I’ll get my coat!

    34. woosie says:

      I giggle internally ( might be dangerous ) every time I see this drivel, or similar, in the msm, then listen at the window for the sound of laptops switching on over Scotland, their owners signing up to SNP!

      We must stop explaining that this negativity is counter-productive, one of them may not be as thick as the rest, and realise where it’s going down the stank. The electorate in the past would often change sides in response to a party’s stance on defence, welfare, services, foreign policy, etc, but the party can one day change its view again. When someone decides to side with independence, however, there is only one way; independence!

      This ratchet effect can’t be reversed. We don’t actually have to do anything; our 56 MPs don’t have to say anything, it’s all being done and said for us.

    35. Clootie says:

      …why don’t the media just print a story saying the black hole in the Scottish economy is now a £gazillion 😀

    36. Les Wilson says:

      Well put together Stu, and as always, saying it as it is.

      Make bones about it FFA, while ridiculing our MP’s in parliament(that makes me mad as hell!), behind all that stuff is real worry about this.

      That is why BT and it’s numerous helpers inc the media appear on another Scottish hate campaign. They think it is working for them, but in reality they have nothing else to try and dissuade us. They have no positives except contrived ones, if at all.

      Fear and loathing from them is what we have for exercising our democratic right, and expecting them to fully comply with their promises. Hell mend them, the sooner we are out the better.

    37. Kevin Evans says:

      Yup Westminster and unionist FFA was always based on the theory of “yous pick up the debts while we take the profits”. I think someone already used the poisoned chalice quote that more than adequately describes westminsters idea of FFA. I can’t believe though that a so called Scottish MP as in the SSfS mundell would try to stick his own countrymen with this idea. Disgusting

    38. galamcennalath says:

      Good article!

      The sooner it becomes crystal clear that FFA is not going to happen, the better!

      While it is still floating around as a possibility in some Scots’ minds, progress gets stifled because it allows some to sit on the fence.

      It needs to be removed as an option once and for all. Then we can move on to a simpler solution.

    39. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Two significant offerings I have pocked up today

      First from Andy Mciver who was Scottish Tory press spokes person. Federalism is dud he concedes. Confederalism, which is the voluntary co-operation in various areas of already independent units, is the way forward for the British Isles

      “The problem with federalism has always been, and remains, a question of how you provide balance between the component parts of the federation. There would be too many tensions, Trident & the EU would continue to be points of political conflict. I doubt it is possible, or would work for long. A confederation, on the other hand, has a better chance of working, because it immediately opens up the possibility of working together as sovereign, independent states. But giving up sovereignty in the interests of a long-term solution to the problems of the union is likely to be a step too far for Westminster.”

      And from here from Stu

      “The whole point of autonomy is that Holyrood can choose to do things differently, so GERS, which is entirely based on how things are done now, is a total irrelevance.”

      Can we stop wasting time getting involved in confusing arguments about figures produced by our enemies which are irrelevant.

    40. Dr Jim says:

      You’d kinda think this is something the Unions would get behind given how many times they have negotiated deals with employers only to get screwed on the implementations of those same deals once in place

      It’s what’s so vile about the so called Labour Party in Scotlands position given that they’re always claiming to support the working population that they yet again stand with the Tories in denying Scotlands right to protect and improve the lives of it’s citizens

      It will see the total annihilation of all remnants of the Labour Party come the Holyrood Elections
      We know the Labour Party read Wings Over Scotland and we Know most of the folk on here are smarter than the Labour Party so it makes you wonder just how much these people must hate they’re own country and it’s people to continue with this same stupid bitterness that’s leading to their demise

      It’s bad enough being a laughing stock in your own country but how bad is it going to be to be hated forever with no hope of ever being credible again
      Is it a death wish, is the Labour Party in Scotland it’s own Charles Bronson
      If so Scotland will supply the gun and pull the trigger shortly and gladly

      Are we in for a whole load of Carmichaels clinging on by their fingernails and embarrassing their families and friends to death for a ( Geeza Joab Gonny Eh ) refusal to recognise the truth when it’s punching you in the face

      How many resignations on the BBC are we going to have to sit through, how many of the “We’re going to change” speeches are we going to have to listen to, how many of the “We got it wrongs” are we going to have to sit through

      How many times are the Labour Party going to have the BBC trying to save them even from themselves
      I’ts ridiculous in the extreme that practically a whole country is telling what once was a political party they’re a load of Numpties “CHANGE” and help out or get out

      Disclaimer

      (Not of course advocating the Labour Party in any way)

    41. Gary says:

      FFA? They couldn’t spell it..

    42. Alan Weir says:

      Yes an excellent article by Macwhirter. The key point is that calculated surpluses or deficits in FFA are virtually meaningless without a fiscal framework, as Nicola Sturgeon has emphasised and which, as Iain Macwhirter says ‘would have to be negotiated as would Scotland’s burden of debt and repayments.’

      Thus all the calculations we see, e.g from IFS, assume fiscally autonomous rUK gets £3-4 billion a year from Scotland in debt repayments, though we’ve never taken out any significant loans with rUK. This is an assumption from political morality, not economics or accounting. It assumes Scotland, though having no legal liability, has a moral liability for a population share of UK national debt (which I agree we do) but that the UK government has no moral liability for e.g. the promises of a ‘union dividend’ made in the run-up to the referendum by all unionist parties (which would amount to at least £10 billion a year in the other direction now) or for the deception by the UK government of the 70s which has cost Scotland, many economists have calculated, at least £150 billion.

      The IFS and OBR may, or may not, be able to do their sums, but their (a)moral assumptions, which they take as unchallengeable, stink.

      As for Labour and the other BritNats, their line is the same as in the referendum. Scotland is a subsidy junkie semi-nation, perpetually destined, now the oil has allegedly gone (‘hahaha’: Iain Macwhirter captures their attitude exactly) to sponge of its large, benevolent neighbour. Their’s is a form of Scottish self-hatred, I don’t see any other way to explain it; for they don’t say Scotland is a region like Merseyside, and hence entitled, as any region of a larger nation is, to transfers from richer regions (or obliged to subsidise poorer). No we are a nation just like Denmark or Austria or Switzerland bar one thing, we’re crap.

      That would be the greatest benefit of independence, even greater than the financial benefits that are likely, but not certain, to accrue. Seeing off this odious, narrow British nationalism with its contemptuous attitude towards Scotland and the Scots.

    43. Alastair says:

      FFA for Scotland.
      Now take every argument and negative spin and apply it to.
      FFA for rUK (England)

      You get my point?

    44. call me dave says:

      I mentioned Mundell releasing his his peace dove for Scotland earlier in the week. Here is a look at at in the Observer from Monday.

      Feel the love!

      https://archive.is/KtJZP

    45. David Mooney says:

      @Mealer says:

      14 June, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      “Rev Stu 1.37,
      This really is the nub of it.A big majority of Scots want the Scottish Parliament to be in charge of everything in Scotland except defence and foreign affairs.A big majority of Westminster MPs don’t.And probably never will,because it would mean shining a spotlight into the murky depths of the UK establishment.They would rather “let Scotland go” than risk anything that might upset the apple cart / coup their swill trough”.

      I agree with what you say but would add that it’s not just about upsetting the apple cart. Westminster will never willingly grant any meaningful FFA. If they did they would have to open up the books to scrutiny. That would expose truths about the real contribution Scotland makes to the UK economy, the criminal waste and the corrupt use of public finances to feather the establishments nest.

      The Westminster establishment have been robbing Scotland blind for centuries. I just hope our SNP MPs are able to expose some of the truth, through their membership and questioning at various committees (although I suspect – wherever possible – they will be carefully excluded from any that will be considered sensitive).

    46. ArtyHetty says:

      UKOK are not finished with Scotland yet, even without oil. We have water, whisky, renewables, land, fishing even, they ain’t gonna let go until they have totally screwed Scotland to the point of destruction if they can get away with it.

      With the msm, run by the right wing state who are calling the shots in westmonster, it’s an uphill battle, against the odds for Scotland.

      However, as that has been the case for a long time, we keep getting back up again, and they don’t like it. A strong, creative and wilful lot, the Scottish people, that’s why I live here and not in my native NE England where the downtrodden are utterly disempowered.

    47. Sunniva says:

      But what does Macwhirter, and others, mean by ‘this would not mean fiscal separation’?

      I think the issue of subventions to Westminster for defence, etc., are secondary.

      The key issue (for me) is that the fiscal machinery to actually collect tax directly is set up in Scotland.

      What is lacking in so many discussions about FFA or FFR is clarity about us having the power to have our own fiscal machinery. Our own version of HMRC collecting PAYE, etc. It is a bit like having your own army. It is real muscle, real power.

    48. gerry parker says:

      Rev – Yer great value for money sir!

      I like what Nicola’s doing, behaving as though we were independent already. Bet that really gets up their Unionist noses.

      Here’s one of her on PBS.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/scottish-first-minister-nicola-sturgeon-striking-balance-camerons-uk/

    49. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      And if we don’t agree particular subventions to Westminster where does this leave this inaptly named FFA?

      No matter what you call it it is not FFA we are talking about and we should make this clear.

      There are many reason why I want to be independent. Leaving defence and foreign affairs at Westminster while paying for them is completely unacceptable to me and these are the two major reasons I want independence. I suspect if this was pointed out very clearly to many people they also would find so-called FFA unacceptable

    50. no no no...yes says:

      Westminster is never going to give Scotland anymore than the meagre and flawed Scotland Bill that Fluffy Mundell presented last week. So instead of FFA or FFR we will get SFA and when adequate numbers of fellw Scots realise that we win win the final indy ref.

    51. dramfineday says:

      Dave McEwan Hill at 4.54

      Or as Mustafa Kemal put it “…by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence.”

      I find myself agreeing with this.

    52. Phil Robertson says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      14 June, 2015 at 12:33 pm
      Unionists – quicker U-turns than whirling Dervishes.

      And what about the SNP pledge on reducing corporation tax?

    53. galamcennalath says:

      Two years ago we were supposed to have a clear cut debate and vote with two options, independence or status quo.

      It must be around a year since the Unionists changed the game and made it a choice between independence and ever inproving offers of devolution until finally promising super duper devolution.

      For nine months they have been trying fob us off with DevoFA while we keep telling them that such pathetic offers long since ceased to be adequate.

      This totally unstable state can’t continue!

      I hope we go into Holyrood 2016 with the Unionist side making it clear that DevoFA is all they will relinquish.

      I fear they will try to keep spinning the muddy waters pretending to be listening, but never actually delivering.

    54. scottieDog says:

      I see Glenn greenwald is going after the Sunday times over its fabricated story over the Snowden affair. Hopefully another event to quicken the decline of the non dom financed MSM.

    55. Flower of Scotland says:

      Thanks Rev!

      Just come back from a lunch with ” proud scots but….”

      Shared this with them on Facebook and dared them to read and comment!

      Not heard from anyone in 3 hours! Ha,ha.

    56. handclapping says:

      And just what control do the SNP have over Corporation Tax?

      What’s your point, caller?

    57. Robert Louis says:

      Excellent, excellent piece of writing, together with Macwhirters concise thoughts on the topic.

      This quote (from the article above);

      “Unionists need to make their minds up. If the rUK wants Scotland to stand entirely alone after all – if it doesn’t want to be Scotland’s broad shoulders, if it doesn’t want to uphold its end of the deal it offered Scots last year in exchange for their No votes – then it should say so and immediately call another referendum”

      needs pasted on the foreheads of each and every unionist, so they see it every time they look in the mirror, because it EXACTLY NAILS what is so very, very wrong with what London is doing.

      There is something very sick with the colonial (for that IS what it is) attitude Westminster has to Scotland, very sick indeed. The way these scurrilous Westminster unionists, and their cloying Labour apparatchiks are behaving, means it really is starting to feel as though indyref2 is just around the corner.

    58. Dr Jim says:

      Every time Scotland comes to the fore, gets stronger, gets more attention, is looking more confident in any way

      Have you noticed how much more often the trolls appear and how much more aggressive and urgent they become to the point of desperation and you have to ask yourself why does it bother them so much, even if they think they’re right

      Maybe one of them can tell us why it’s so important that something which is none of their business, IS

      Scotland doesn’t want you and you don’t want us so what is the problem,… Be Happy…

    59. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Phil Robertson at 5.53

      Do I see an answer to handclapping’s question at 6.13?

    60. Stoker says:

      There are 2 topics i strictly avoid being bogged down in:-

      (1): FFA – I want full independence, nothing more nothing less.
      I’m not interested in piecemeal scraps and traps from the table.

      (2): Oil – We have plenty of it and it isn’t going to run out any time soon but it should be regarded as nothing more than a bonus and our ability to thrive economically without it is what we should be pushing and promoting at every opportunity.

      The KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid.
      😉

    61. Valerie says:

      Spotted –

      FFA ASAP FFS

    62. Robert Peffers says:

      @Mealer says: 14 June, 2015 at 2:15 pm:

      “This really is the nub of it. A big majority of Scots want the Scottish Parliament to be in charge of everything in Scotland except defence and foreign affairs. A big majority of Westminster MPs don’t.

      I’m sure it must have happened but I cannot remember reading of any recognised and organised group of people who were set upon becoming free from a more powerful overlord who failed to eventually become free.

      That even includes oppressed people who suffered genocide oppressions and the Scots in the past were so oppressed.

    63. heedtracker says:

      Rancif Graun’s soft soap

      https://archive.is/2Uv2N

      “Voters in Scotland, and the rest of the UK, have every right to ask what has happened to all the money made from the North Sea. Unlike in Norway, there is no oil-backed sovereign wealth fund to pay for infrastructure and rainy days. It has all gone. Supporters of independence might see this mismanagement of a national resource as further evidence for giving Scotland control of its own economic affairs.”

      Scots oil money was spent on things like dole for Maggie’s millions, England’s spectacular infrastructure spends, treats like 2012 London Olympics, endless war in the middle east and so on.

      Now we have the UKOK red and blue creep show raging against “giving Scotland control of its own economic affairs” because Scotland’s got a black hole debt twice the size of England, with all of it run up by unionists.

      This tory buffoon will “blow holes” in it all for you.

      https://twitter.com/proftomkins

    64. starlaw says:

      Well done Stoker, Im fed up and have little interest in OBR.s GERS, FFA etc. I expect to get SFA I want full indy, nothing less KISS sounds good to me.

    65. gerry parker says:

      @ Dave Mc Ewan Hill at 4:54.

      “Leaving defence and foreign affairs at Westminster while paying for them is completely unacceptable ”

      I think our position would be that we would be buying a service, not just blindly paying any bill that Westminster delivered to us for defence and foriegn affairs, so we would be entitled to ask “what are we getting for our money here?”

      and demand service level agreements in return, with penalty clauses of course..

    66. Capella says:

      O/T Catching up with Friday’s excellent National – and thinking about comments above about why the Labour party detests Scottish culture – this article about the Unionist coalition on East Dunbartonshire Council selling off the home of Thomas Muir of Huntershill, the father of Scottish democracy, for a measly £140,000 (although it’s all hush hush – commercially sensitive you see) in this 250th anniversary of his birth, crystallises their attitude.
      https://archive.is/VZyTJ

      The closure of The Arches is another example.

    67. Bob Mack says:

      I want independence,not interdependence. Scotland must have the ability to govern for ourselves.The establishment can throw up as many smokescreene as it likes,but the Scottish people are becoming more and more aware that the real fear appears to be coming from the Unionist side.
      Methinks they protest too much.

    68. Robert Peffers says:

      @Phil Robertson says: 14 June, 2015 at 5:53 pm:

      “And what about the SNP pledge on reducing corporation tax?”

      Are you really so idiotic as your idiotic comments make you seem? Are you really so devoid of clear logical thought?

      The SNP have only the devolved functions that the de facto Parliament of England allows them to have and the power to control Corporation tax is not one of them.

      The SG can set only one form of tax and a very limited control of one other that is so badly drafted that no SG in the history of Holyrood, not even the unionist one, has ever used as to do so would be as stupid an action as could ever be imagined.

      I leave it to you to research the situation and find what tax powers the SG does have. Every time you people post your daft comments you reinforce the drive of the people of Scotland towards total independence.

    69. Des says:

      Dear fellow cult members, I gather Tesco has a wee problem with 7.5 billion loss. Well was in Tesco in Inverness and no fecking black hole or vortex when I drove into the car park. Didn’t have my brains sucked out by aliens either. Isn’t it amazing how Tesco keeps going, they are big but not as big as Scotland by any means. 10 billion is obviously feck all in this day and age.

    70. Phronesis says:

      The Unionists are incapable of making their minds up because their approach to Scotland is inherently conflicted and this is apparent in their language use. It’s generally agreed that words, phrases and sentences of natural languages have meaning but the entire Unionist modus operandi is to produce endless paradoxes of implication that have absolutely no causal connexion.

      In linguistic terminology this is homonymy – employing different words with the same form but unrelated in meaning that serve to introduce ambiguity- in other words empty meaningless statements. They are still using the same strategy of distorting communication (lies) that was used during Indy 1 which will ensure that we have Indy 2.

      If they took some time to understand the legacy of the YES movement UKOK would engage in open debate and honest communication with an enlightened electorate who are often better informed about the political challenges where UKOK seems bereft of ideas. A large dose of humility in admitting the economic mismanagement that has produced Breadline Britain is also in order- where is our sovereign wealth fund from decades of North Sea oil extraction? Will the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Hunger and Food Poverty still deny the connection between welfare reforms and use of food banks as stated during a parliamentary debate on this subject?

      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06657#fullreport

      Clearly not- the agenda is to still manipulate, distort, deny, subvert- UKOK is not working nor is its now defunct propaganda machinery.

    71. Robert Kerr says:

      Yes Phil R.

      i thought we had had enough “Whataboutery” during iRef1.

      Go away and die!

      Perhaps to be reborn a human being!

    72. IvMoz says:

      What is wrong with these people. Most economically successful democracies operate with a deficit, the US, Germany etc.

      It was UK Unionist parties who have saddled the UK with near £1.6 trillion debt, £90+ billion deficit in recent/upcoming years & large seemingly ignored by the MSM borrowing.

      FFA tomorrow IMO.

    73. heedtracker says:

      It was the best of times, it was the blerst of times.

      Check out classic tory boy waffle on their Smith Commission non veto vetoes and Prof Tomkinski says it was actually “the mistakes of mistranslation.”

      Fun starts 40 mins into ” you voted NO, take what youre given suckers”.

      His poor spoken English aside, I thought we voted for Prof’s historic Devo-Max fraud, federal UKOK promise/freak out, the week before 18 Sept and that poll came out showing a YES win.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05xq8lp/sunday-politics-scotland-14062015

    74. Iain More says:

      Yet another official headline that says the Brit Nats have fucked up as they claim a black hole and a black hole that is getting bigger under their incompetent corrupt and sleazy rule.

      Sooner we are free of those fucks the better. Indy ASAP and screw the rest.

    75. galamcennalath says:

      Phronesis says:

      The Unionists are incapable of making their minds up because their approach to Scotland is inherently conflicted … empty meaningless statements.

      Very few Unionists have ever had much interest in devolution. A few in Scotland (Wales, NI), none in England.

      Other than Scottish Unionists, others have no interest in Scotland whatsoever. We are expected to be seen and not heard.

      Devolution has basically only been seen as a tactic which might curb the SNP. Most would have preferred never to have used it.

      Unionism has never moved from this mindset, and shows little sign of so doing.

      Meanwhile, Scottish attitudes and aspirations gallop ahead!

      This diverging system cannot last much longer.

    76. Les Wilson says:

      heedtracker says:

      Yes, Tomkins telling lies, there is no veto!, but they are throughout the documents.
      Seems he has taken over from Curtis
      as the current BBC favorite “Unionist” spokesman.

    77. galamcennalath says:

      OT The Mail, Mhairi Black “.. admits using her Westminster salary for ’rounds for her mates and McDonald’s”

      Excellent. That’s another batch of young Scottish voters converted to backing the normal person’s party!

    78. Rock says:

      “Unionists need to make their minds up.”

      Their minds have always been made up.

      To keep Scotland in chains, and use whatever means necessary to achieve their objective.

      They will never stop lying about Scotland.

      Thankfully we now have the freedom of the internet, and of course brilliant journalists like yourself, which have woken up the people like never before.

    79. TheItalianJob says:

      Another great digest of this topic Stu. A top analysis from you as always.

      I clicked on the link to the SH article and the saddest part for me was the following para.

      “Scotland remains the only nation, state or region to have oil discovered in its waters and receive no direct benefit.”

      I’ve worked in the oil and gas industry for over 30 years including 4 years in Norway and when I see how wealthy they have become it hurts believe you me.

    80. Capella says:

      @ heedtracker
      Prof Tomkins’ grasp of English is very poor indeed. And also of current affairs.

      He is clearly unaware that a Yougov poll on 8th Sep 2014 showed YES at 51%. That the Three Amigos then rushed up to Scotland to promise a NO vote was not a vote for no change.

      That Gordon Brown promised a near federal state, George Galloway promised Devo Super Max, Jackie Bird and Alisdair Darling agreed it would be Devo Max and the Daily Record published “The Vow”.

      Why are BBC Scotland inviting such ignorant individuals to offer opinions on politics? Someone off the street would be better informed.

    81. Glamaig says:

      @Gerry Parker
      I think our position would be that we would be buying a service, not just blindly paying any bill that Westminster delivered to us for defence and foriegn affairs, so we would be entitled to ask “what are we getting for our money here?”

      Just not workable. Scotland is fast diverging from UK in just about everything including foreign affairs, could you imagine trying to persuade them we didnt want to pay our contribution for their latest foreign invasion or bombing campaign? I’d be fine with FFA but not with sharing defence and foreign policy! That means we might as well be independent… NATO would give us quite enough sharing in the matter of defence.

    82. Husker says:

      The size of the black hole quoted by the unionists was £7 billion, now it’s £10 billion. It will increase as the weeks go by.

      How they can say this with a straight face is beyond me.

    83. Glamaig says:

      …this is a brilliant article – one of the best. Should go in the ‘Best of Wings’ book when one appears (hint hint). Or how about a Wings Christmas Annual 🙂

    84. gillie says:

      The rumours are that John Boothman is facing the sack over allegations of bullying and threatening behaviour at Pacific Quay.

    85. heedtracker says:

      Yes, Tomkins telling lies, there is no veto!, but they are throughout the documents.

      Also nutty Prof Tomkins farts out his own black hole of Scottish deficits, Scotland’s deficit is now £10 bn and then £12bn and future OBE Brewer says nothing.

      £7.5bn, £10bn, £12bn, you take your THE VOW shyster pick.

      It is interesting watching red and blue tory UKOK shysters trying to stop independence lite though, exactly what PM Cameron, Milliband, Crash Gordon, Daily Record etc all begged and pleaded with Scotland to vote NO for.

      Even unionist zealots and nutters like Prof T, must realise all of Scotland knows we’ve been had and what about future MBE Brewers new hairdo:-(

    86. Mealer says:

      Glamaig 8.32
      I take your point but we must remember that promises were made to the Scottish people and its up to Westminster to keep those promises.If that means the UK can’t go off on missions of mass destruction without the agreement of the Scottish Parliament…so be it.

    87. Training Day says:

      This is why we fund you Rev.

      MSM ‘journalists’ look on and weep, if you have any shame.

      I know.

    88. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Gerry Parker at 7.14

      No, Gerry.
      It’s not the cost
      I have an absolute objection to having any part in UK defence (Trident) and UK foreign affairs (Iraq, Afghanistan).
      These are by far my major reasons for wanting independence.

      It is perfectly possible to have a limited co-operative defence arrangement with the UK in a confederal arrangement (ie independent countries dealing freely and voluntarily with each other in mutually useful ways)) but I want nothing to do with UK defence policy or illegal activities around the world

    89. De Valera says:

      We are on our way to Independence, how can we not be when our opponents are so stupid?

      Thanks to excellent articles such as this and the high calibre of pro indy MPs and MSPs we have changed our country, the unionists seem to be 30 years behind us.

      Whatever your thoughts on FFA, we have a clear mandate for it by electing the 56.

    90. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Capella.

      Re: George Galloway.

      Scotland will be independent in five years, says arch unionist George Galloway

      From the Sunday Herald:-

      https://archive.is/WrRSV#selection-869.0-869.78

    91. Glamaig says:

      FFA is all a moot point anyway. We are witnessing a farce being enacted in Westminster re the Scotland Bill.

      Mundell on the 10th June, in Hansard:
      David Mundell: The hon. Gentleman will know from
      the Second Reading debate on the Scotland Bill that
      there was some uncertainty on the SNP Benches about
      whether proposals would be brought forward to put in
      place the SNP’s previous policy of full fiscal autonomy.
      I now understand that such proposals will be brought
      forward, but only on the basis that other parties with a
      real interest in Scotland will vote them down.

      ‘A real interest in Scotland’

      They are taking the piss.

    92. Tam Jardine says:

      galamcennalath

      Indeed – devolution for England or regions of England is a pretty hard sell when they have a defacto English parliament already that simply includes some representation from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      The result of the poll in the North East devolution referendum was interesting – at the time I was amazed they didn’t vote for devolution but then their representation at Westminster would have become, like our own a small bloc completely outnumbered.

      There are very few possible stable arrangements. Full independence for Scotland being the obvious one. I suppose if maybe 7 or 8 English regions were given parliaments and split up thus with Westminster remaining as a senate with representation from all parliaments that could work.

      A return to the days before devolution is a non starter but there we have it. 3 possibilities for stable long term governance of these Islands.

      The first, independence for Scotland is opposed by the establishment as it is against their interests. 3 would cause civil war. And there is no appetite in England for real federalism.

      There does not seem to be support outwith half the Scottish electorate for any possible stable form of longterm governance.

      Best piece by Rev Stu in months I think – perfectly captures what many (myself included) have been struggling with.

    93. dakk says:

      We will never get a fair deal from unionists.

      The unionists who decide what deal we get are the English Establishment and they want what we’ve got,they want to own us,and they do.

      As colonial/imperial masters they will only give Scotland powers which have no potential to weaken them.

      We have now rectified the problem of sending English Establishment wannabes (Scottish unionist MPs) to Westminster on our behalf.

      What remains is for the electorate in Scotland to realise that even 56 Scots MPs are irrelevant to 600 English Establishment MPs.

      What happens next is we either remain a virtual colony or we don’t.

    94. Croompenstein says:

      Came across the psychopath test and scored 30% so I am an ok guy, I wonder what the batshit unionists would score…

      http://psychopath.channel4.com/quizzes.html

    95. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Jackie Baillie reveals her favourite animal.

      This has only had 9 views. 🙁

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5OjwEsd-mU

    96. Kevin medina says:

      British TV was on war footing tonight bbc1 Waterloo bbc2 world war 2 stv World War Two home front.
      If Britian had no imperial past the TV schedules would be on constant test card,a constant stream of unionist propaganda rammed down our throats.

    97. David Allan says:

      “Full Fiscal Autonomy ” a term born after the referendum to replace a more familiar “Devo-Max” . I’m afraid that by dropping the use of Devo-Max we have confused the issue.

      Most folks realise now and accept that a Devo-Max referendum option would likely have won the day.

      By replacing Devo-Max with FFA we merely muddy the water with our electorate. We were promised by Brown and Darling and Jackie Bird! – let us fight and deliver Devo-Max!

      Let’s return to focussing on the more familiar term.

    98. Lochside says:

      The Unionist msm are on FFA like a dog with a bone. This is expected, not because they are stupid, in fact it’s the reverse. They realise perfectly well that we’d do far better than RUK both economically, politically and socially than them if we are ‘allowed ‘ to control even the limited amounts of fiscal levers.

      The SG has already proved this on a paltry £30 billion Barnet handout. The Unionists know that our resources..particularly oil…have financed their infrastructure and their Capital city.

      They purposely destroyed our industrial base; robbed the oil; undermined our financial sector; created their own international financial powerhouse of greed in London; and thought we’d disappear into colonial obscurity controlled by compliant SLAB.

      But now eight years after the tide turning and the destruction of the Unionist hegemony in Scotland they face the fact that love bombing and fear and loathing is not working and becoming ever more desperate in their hateful campaign to undermine the Scottish people’ s burgeoning belief in itself.

      The time is coming closer when we will cast the chains of colonialism finally from our backs. The BBC is on the point of leadership collapse. As the old 60’s song goes:’When the mode of the music changes..the walls of the city shake’….let the ’56’ bring the whole stinking edifice down!

    99. David Allan says:

      The quicker we dump the FFA term the better. It used to be called DEVO-MAX. That is the term all are familiar with it’s what Broon and Darling vowed to deliver.It’s what Jackie Bird referred to when interviewing Darling.

      Scots are familiar with the term and it’s meaning. Whereas FFA to most is some kind of newly created policy.

      Stop this confusion and get back to DEVO-MAX.

    100. call me dave says:

      Radio 4 : Interview just finished.

      Ipsos MORI is the second largest market research organisation in the United Kingdom, formed by a merger of Ipsos UK and MORI, two of Britain’s leading survey companies in October 2005.

      Spokesperson on for them saying WM enquiry into why the predictions Labour V Tories in England were so wrong starting tomorrow. Poor show they admit but can’t say why yet. 🙂

      PS:
      Westminster repairs urgently needed but will cost millions and the MPs probably will have to move out. Building falling to bits.

      Never mind Jim will be gone tomorrow! Fingers crossed.

    101. Eddie says:

      “What point is there in paying tax for a fire brigade that just stands around polishing its engines and refusing to come out if you call 999?”

      That would be the case if Westminster manages to ram through the privatisation of the Fire Service. It’ll be back to the old days of standing by outside a burning house because they weren’t signed up to the proper insurance company. Only in attendance to prevent the fire spreading to the insured house next door.

      Westminster is trying desperately to flog our public sector to the private sector but here in Scotland we have a government that is trying just as hard to save them. FFA will be the answer to saving and enhancing our public services.

    102. Paula Rose says:

      @ Croompenstein 10:13 – took test failed – eek how can I fulfil my dreams of being either a CEO, banker or member of the HoL?

    103. Albaman says:

      Oh aye, the U.K. Goverment does indeed have “broad shoulders”, it’s just that they are sloppy shoulders, and are “Teflon” coated!!.

    104. Chic McGregor says:

      @Dr Jim
      “Have you noticed how much more often the trolls appear and how much more aggressive and urgent they become to the point of desperation and you have to ask yourself why does it bother them so much, even if they think they’re right”

      Maybe they do not want to die in the knowledge/guilt that they were wrong? Especially those who secretly think they might be.

    105. Albaman says:

      Robert Peffers ,
      Watch it you, I’m a regular user of that “wee Townhill bus”!.

    106. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Here’s another great Peter Curran video, featuring the Viceroy of Scotland, David Fundellymundelly (for it is he) talking guff about tax-rates whilst having his nethers soundly thrashed by a narky Brewer.

      Hopefully, we will see much more of this type of thing in the months ahead…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0aqj0lri9M

    107. scottieDog says:

      The genie is out the bottle. Doesn’t really matter what bbc report now – their cover was blown during indyref. The snp landslide occurred despite the best efforts of MSM.

      I would say keep it coming, let the Westminster propaganda continue.

    108. scottieDog says:

      When are people going to realise, Britain is effectively insolvent. The only difference between it and Greece is that it can print it’s own currency.

    109. Caroline Corfield says:

      Just a wee clarification, the North East region of England was offered an assembly, not devolution, the assembly would have had the ability to make recommendations and some enterprise like powers for inward investment such as the quango OneNorthEast had before it got the chop. The nail in the coffin aside from the idea that it was therefore an expensive talking shop was the rumour, correct or otherwise that the leadership of the assembly would be ‘won’ by John Prescott.

      Unfortunately the No campaign was better organised than the yes campaign, and people in Enlgand on the whole don’t think that giving even an assembly an overwhelming vote of confidence would allow them to claim a mandate for more powers to become devolved, though I try to say this every time someone complains about the A1 north of Morpeth or the lack of local rail in the SE of Northumberland, or the total dependency on Sunderland and its hinterland on Nissan, etc etc etc

    110. Phil Robertson says:

      To handclapping and the other amnesiacs,

      The SG white paper produced for the referendum promised two definite tax changes. One of these was to undercut the UK rate of corporation tax by around 15% (which on last year’s figures would be a £500M windfall for the oil companies)

      This proposed measure has now been quietly dropped. What the media would call a U-turn.

      What is worrying is that so many know so little about the policies of the party they support.

    111. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Just occurred, watching Brewer dressing-down Mundell – these public schoolboys do like all that type of thing, right? Being chastised etc.

      Perhaps Brewer and his colleagues should get dressed up as nannies, and give these characters the full treatment – ‘You’re a very very naughty Scottish Secretary, and if you don’t give me a straight answer you shant have any supper!’, and if that doesn’t work they could try tempting them with ‘Davy-wavy-baby likes to tell Gordy the truth, yes? And Davy-wavy-baby shall have favey-wavey spam fitters with cold mashed potato when he gives the answer!’

    112. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      David Allan at 10.27

      The only poll done since the referendum indicated very firmly that devo-max on the ballot paper would have resulted in a narrow win for the YES vote(about 25 higher than devo max with status quo about another 2% behind.
      Many of those who reluctantly voted status quo would have voted for devo max and the devo max vote would have had a more damaging effect on the NO vote than on the YES vote

    113. Stoker says:

      @ Croomp.
      70% for me.
      🙁
      (((((NURSE)))))
      ___________

      Caesar!man wrote:
      “the U.K. Government does indeed have “broad shoulders”,”

      Aye, as do American Football players, then they remove the outer upper layer and you very quickly discover they’re fake.
      😉

    114. dakk says:

      Caroline Cornfield. 11.30

      And I don’t doubt that these ideas and rumours were instigated and amplified by the msm.

      Hopefully your people will awaken soon as well,but its a long hard struggle for us all.

    115. Cadogan Enright says:

      God, Mundell is such an embarrassment!

      If only the MSM were capable of doing their jobs fairly

    116. Craig Macinnes says:

      What continues to baffle me is why the unionist press in Scotland feel it makes commercial sense to constantly slag off the people to whom they are trying to sell (or in the case of the Daily Record give away for free) copies of their publications. Don’t they realise that the very unionists who actually buy or read their papers are also part of that supposedly failed state that is Scotland within the union and therefore by implication are the very people who are responsible for the reported crap state of Scotland and as such are totally too incompetent and thick to run their own affairs. I’m sure even the thickest unionist must get tired of being told he or she is a piece-of-shit human being only allowed to exist thanks to the munificence of London rule. Or maybe not, I am genuinely baffled at the unionist mindset.

    117. Petra says:

      Is anyone else concerned about the man who’s calling all the (economic) shots and is it George Osborne?

      FFA for Scotland? It’s high time we turned the table on them and demanded an explanation for the absolute botch-up they’re making of the UK economy: The one that actually has a ‘massive’ black hole. A black hole that’s going to get even wider and deeper from all accounts.

      ‘George Osborne is NOT an economist. He’s got a degree in Modern History, and the closest thing he’s got to an economics qualification appears to be “O” Level maths, meaning that he’s bizarrely underqualified to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.

      The failure of Osborne’s austerity experiment: In 2010 George Osborne made a number of bold predictions about how his ideological austerity experiment would benefit the UK economy. The mainstream press has long-since forgotten about these fabulously over-optimistic predictions, but they are still available from the Office for Budget Responsibility (here) should anyone want to look at them and compare them with what has actually happened (here).

      Eliminating the deficit: In 2010 Osborne promised that his austerity experiment would completely eliminate the budget deficit by 2015. In reality the UK is still borrowing £100 billion per year, meaning that he’s failed to even halve the deficit.

      Government debt: In 2010 Osborne predicted that the UK national debt would have reached £1.232 trillion by 2015. In reality it has risen to £1.489 trillion, which means he has borrowed £257 billion more than he said he would.

      The size of the economy: In 2010 Osborne predicted that the UK economy would grow to £1.916 trillion by 2015, but in reality it is only £1.822 trillion, meaning that he’s borrowed more than a quarter of a trillion more than he said he was going to, in order to make the UK economy almost £100 billion smaller than he said it was going to be.

      Debt / GDP: In 2010 Osborne predicted that debt would peak at 67.2% of GDP in 2015 and then start falling. In reality the debt has reached 80.4% of GDP and it’s still growing dramatically. This means that he’s now overseen the longest sustained increase in the national debt since the Second World War!

      The UK Credit Rating: Before he became Chancellor George Osborne staked his reputation on maintaining the UK’s AAA Credit Ratings, but in 2013 the UK economy was downgraded for the first time since the 1970s.

      Worse than Labour: George Osborne continually harps on about how Labour would threaten his “economic recovery” but what he doesn’t tell you is that in just four years he’s created more new debt than every single Labour government in history combined!

      Earnings: One of the strongest indicators that Osborne’s ideological austerity experiment is really bad for Britain is the fact that he has overseen the longest sustained decline in wages since records began. The fact that millions of workers are significantly worse off than they were in 2008 thanks to George Osborne’s deliberate campaign of wage repression (or Rupert Harrisons) explains why economic demand is still so weak and the “recovery” so slow.’

      http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/george-osborne-genius-how-think.html

      ‘Rupert Harrison, chief economic adviser to the British government, has had an 18% pay increase and is now on £95,000.’

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/dec/18/george-osborne-top-adviser-18-percent-pay-rise-rupert-harrison

      ‘Top adviser to Chancellor George Osborne, Prof Douglas McWilliams, is seen smoking makeshift crack pipe then slumping dazed on a sofa.’

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/top-adviser-chancellor-george-osborne-5251411

      ‘Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, stated that George Osborne’s plans to push ahead with tough new fiscal rules forcing government departments to cut spending in a bid to run a surplus will see Britain pursue an economic policy not seen since Dickensian times.

      “It will certainly mark a very big change with the past. And I don’t just mean the recent past but over the last 100 years and more, when we’ve only rarely run surpluses – for three or four years after the Second World War, for two or three years at the beginning of this century …. would take us back to the practice of the second half of the 19th century.”

      ‘Even the OECD have warned the Chancellor he does not need to cut as far and fast as he is threatening. By stripping this much extra spending out of the economy, he risks recovery and will almost certainly slow down economic growth.’

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/back-to-dickens-george-osborne-will-use-law-to-enforce-austerity-policies.3955

      ’77 of the best-known academic economists, including French economist Thomas Piketty and Cambridge professor Ha-Joon Chang, said the chancellor was turning a blind eye to the complexities of a 21st-century economy … his plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law is a political gimmick that ignores “basic economics”….. are not fit for the complexity of a modern 21st-century economy and, as such, they risk a liquidity crisis that could also trigger banking problems, a fall in GDP, a crash, or all three….. characterised as Micawber economics.

      Other signatories of the letter include former Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Blanchflower, Diane Elson, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Essex and chair of UK Women’s Budget Group alongside professors of economics from Oxford, Leeds and London universities.

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/academics-attack-george-osborne-budget-surplus-proposal

    118. Grouse Beater says:

      I’ve noticed twitter from somebody called ‘Daisley’ and another much uglier, inane Scotland hater dealing in mono-manic abuse called ‘Jill Stephenson’ – calls herself the history woman. Stephenson deals only in hatred.

      Can anybody enlighten me as to who they are, how they have arisen overnight, why they are involved in Scotland’s politics, and how high should I build the barbed wire fence to keep them at bay?

    119. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Phil Robertson (11.40) –

      There was once a regular commenter here who used the name ‘Captain Caveman’, and a lot of us just referred to him as ‘Cavey’ or ‘CC’. He defied anyone who called him a ‘troll’, steadfastly maintaining his right to be a Unionist and still take part in whatever debates were ongoing.

      Haven’t seen him around here for a while. Anyway, he was well-liked by many (myself included) because he had a good sense of humour and wasn’t above the occasional bit of self-deprecation, and that endeared him to many who would otherwise have dismissed him as a typical Tory knob.

      Anyway, CC was asked, a long time before the referendum, to give us his positive case for staying in the UK. He said he had one, he was working on it, and it would take him a wee while to get it ready. If he did complete and send it, it never arrived.

      So I ask you, Phil, to address the same question which CC faced, but didn’t answer. Seriously – please give us your positive argument for Scotland staying in the current constitutional arrangement.

    120. dakk says:

      Grouse Beater. 12.14

      The fact that these historians like Starkey and Stephenson are on the attack tells me they are rattled.

      They are not politicians so must be establishment lackies out to fight back against a clear and present threat.

      I read your excellent piece on Dr John Rae and so probably did she,hence the attacks.

      I’m not good with computers so can’t advise on defence,but take their attention as a complement.

    121. icySpark says:

      @Grouse Beater

      Daisley = Funny guy (writes for stv) worth a follow.

      Hiostory Woman = total Britnat loon of epic proportions – stay well clear for your own sanity.

    122. Dal Riata says:

      Personally, I don’t want anything to do with, “except defence and foreign affairs”. The government of England (incorporating Wales and Northern Ireland) expanding what nuclear facilities are there already in Faslane and Coulport, while Scotland’s young men and women get sent on operational duties to foreign lands because of their we-must-always-back-up-America’s-and-Israel’s-latest-‘projects’-no-matter-what military adventurism…? No thanks to that!

      We would still be ‘in’ the ‘UK’, and, furthermore, would continue to be seen as being ‘UK-ish’ or English by the rest of the world. No thanks to that, either!

      And, if you think the abuse and condescension from the Unionists and their supporters is bad now… being seen as poor, wee, stupid and defenseless Scotland having to rely on them to ‘look after’ us in the big bad world, plus all the ‘costs’ involved, well, the bile and froth forecoming would be at tsunami levels. A definite no thanks to that, as well!

      Naah! No ties with and to Westminster and the British Establishment, no reliance, no dependency, no subordination, no handouts, no ‘grants’… none of that. Independence, 100% – or nothing.

    123. ClanDonald says:

      Phil Robertson: it appears that you haven’t heard the news that the Scottish government lost the referendum and Scotland is not about to be independent. This is why no-one is discussing policies like corporation tax that would only have applied under independence.

      Similarly, no-one is currently discussing keeping the pound or the monarchy or any of the dozens other scenarios that would only have been relevant after a yes vote. These issues are now completely irrelevant and unless new powers that we’ve been told we’re not getting suddenly materialise, they will remain irrelevant.

      So go away and stop trying to invent imaginary u turns just to stir up trouble.

    124. ClanDonald says:

      @Grouse Beater, you are correct to be suspicious of Daisley. Block historywoman.

    125. Grouse Beater says:

      Dakk and Icy Spark –

      My grateful thanks for the elucidation.
      Dakk – pleased my Rae essay hit the spot.

      I was suspicious – the Stephenson woman talks as if an adolescent male youth and swiftly confirmed it – he-she backed off after I posted only three of my mildest barbs.

      The language ‘Jill’ uses is Jurassic age troll insult. Nothing to be scared of. Soon as he-she grows a moustache and the voice breaks girls will be discovered.

    126. Grouse Beater says:

      ClanDonald says: you are correct to be suspicious of Daisley.

      There’s something awkward about Daisley’s comments.

      Block history woman.

      I was thinking of sending him (for it is a he) shaving cream, and a packet of prophylactics.

      🙂

    127. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Dal Riata (12.54) –

      Well said.

      Hear hear.

    128. Connor McEwen says:

      Phil was Fred on Bella caledonia
      Take the Golliwog off the jar

    129. DerekM says:

      @ Phil Robertson

      Well Phil your answer is in your own post

      “The SG white paper produced for the referendum”

      Now this was a manifesto for an independent Scotland, are we independent? not yet since you onions seem to forget you won,which means yes you guessed it these policies can not be implemented as westminster will not allow the SG to do so.

      Your argument holds no water,will the Labour/lib dem party be allowed to implement their manifesto policies,no they are not in UK government,the way you lot go on you would think we won jeez.

      Away and talk pish someplace else or at least learn how politics in the UK works before you let your arse rumble.

      As for us not knowing SNP policy lmao we are writing it, have you not been watching what has happened in Scotland or are you like all the other onions and are in total denial.

    130. liz g says:

      I also hope no one is forgetting that one accident at that abomination they call faselane but in reality coleport will end Tourism, whisky,water and our potential fledgling film industry (outlander and the OKI deal)forever.Infact all that would be left is a road up the east coast… On I don’t know maybe to Aberdeen… Can’t think why though!!!!

    131. CameronB Brodie says:

      Just did the psycho test and I’m a bit disappointed with the result, especially the ‘do unto others…’ jib. Looks like I’ll never make it to the top. 😉

      Re. FFA, previously known as Devo Max. As asked previously in the comments, why the new name?

      Scottish independence: Devo max ‘most popular option’ among Scots
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26245611

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-meaning-of-devo-max/

      http://www.euractiv.com/sections/uk-europe/scotland-votes-remain-uk-devo-max-underway-308571

    132. manandboy says:

      And so David Cameron said to the genie ” Get back in the bottle, or else I’m f***ed”. And the genie said, ” Look mate, I’ve been trapped in that bottle for more than 300 years, so you can go f*** yourself. There is nothing like freedom; and I mean nothing. That’s nothing. Absolutely nothing. I ain’t being your houseboy no more. Freedom is in my soul now. I don’t much care what you do about that.
      I only care about freedom.”

    133. majestic12 says:

      Grousebeater@12.14am

      Jill Stephenson is a retired professor of modern German history at one of the Scottish universities, can’t remember which. She is a regular contributer to Scottish Review and her trenchant unionist and anti-Scottish views can be quite hateful. She is definitely a middle-aged she, and is the main reason I unsubscribed from Scottish Review a good while back.

    134. Cactus says:

      Fur Fox Ache.

      Good read from top to bottom.

    135. bjsalba says:

      @Fred
      @Hobbit
      As for the debate against a centralised force, perhaps this snippet from encyclopaedia is pertinent.

      The national police forces of most countries in continental Europe represent extreme cases of the centralized model, and the police system of the United States represents the decentralized extreme.


      Do we really want to go with the US model of policing? As for the question of armed police where is it that we hear about problems with inappropriate use of guns?

      The dispatch of an Armed Response Team to the incident in Inverness was IMO entirely appropriate. Whan was not appropriate was the big headline article by the local paper touting the possibility of “armed patrols” at the Belladrum Festival which the paper described as a family friendly event. They did retract that claim but as usual it was given nothing like the prominence of the original article.

      I have often wondered why the press campaign against Police Scotland and Stephen House. I suspect it is because Mr House does not encourage over-cosy relationships between officers and journalists – rather different from the situation at the Met in London.

    136. boris says:

      And this is Cameron’s poodle in Westminster, in the driving seat for the Tory Goverment. Our Scottish MP’s will get nothing from him but stonewalling. Friends of the group, said to make up over one third of their MP’s is also known as the “Tombstoners”

      Mundell was a founding “friend” (there are no members) of the Cornerstone Group a right wing forum for MPs who wish to defend traditional British values – faith, flag and family. The group mission statement:

      “We are a group of Conservative MPs dedicated to the traditional values which have shaped the British way of life throughout this country’s history. We believe in the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, her culture and her nation’s sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state. We stand for the Monarchy; traditional marriage; family and community duties; proper pride in our nation’s distinctive qualities; quality of life over soulless utility; social responsibility over personal selfishness; social justice as civic duty, not state dependency; compassion for those in need; reducing government waste; lower taxation and deregulation; our ancient liberties against politically correct censorship and a commitment to our democratically elected parliament.”
      http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2012/05/what-is-the-cornerstone-group-mbarrettch-profiles-the-socially-conservative-tory-backbench-group.html

    137. gerry parker says:

      @ scottieDog at 11:24.

      Exactly, one thing the referendum did was blow their cover for everyone to see.

      The MSM aided and abetted by the BBC and it’s “complaints” system. London Calling by G A Ponsenby is a must read.

      Whitehall civil service, IFS and the OBR.

      http://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/news/hm-treasury-team-wins-special-civil-service-award

      The Monarchy.

      The “Lords”

      And we can all see now the treatment of our 56 MP’s by Westminster and it’s built in Unionist Majority.

      tick tock, tick tock.

    138. scottieDog says:

      The issue with uk MSM continually pedalling the deficit is that people are starting to say ‘so what?!’
      They still want self-determination even if the country is financially disadvantaged (which it won’t be long term).

      Part of our borrowing was used to incinerate a generation of iraqi people and I don’t want that to continue.

      So when the deficit argument fails to work, what do they have?

    139. Tam Jardine says:

      Caroline Corfield 11.30pm

      Understood – thanks for clarifying. In that case it reminds me of the AV referendum, ill conceived and therefore doomed leading to the need for change being kicked into the long grass

    140. Grouse Beater says:

      Jill Stephenson is a retired professor of modern German history at one of the Scottish universities

      I believe the reference available – if true – is ‘former’ which means she can no longer be fired for bringing her university into disrepute. If the same person she had regressed further into a manic troll.

      The Stephenson who has written a few tawdry articles on Scotland versus England is a standard unionist presenting basic unionist mythology but with no insight. She repeats what others have said, though she regards Scotland as a European country, and England an anti-European country. And in that regard has stated publically she’ll vote SNP.

      But I assure you, the ‘she’ I engaged for all of ten minutes is also ‘male.’

      And if one and the same, therein might lie internal conflict.

    141. marydoll says:

      ScottiedDog

      Another war?

    142. scottieDog says:

      @marydoll
      Yes probably!

    143. Caroline Corfield says:

      Yes Tam Jardine, very much so. Now they’re trying to buy off the desire for regional control with bribes to have elected mayors, and the latest idea of the powerhouse north ( in essence an excuse it seems to spend a bit of money on Manchester). There is still no commitment to dual the A1 to the border.

      I mean if this really is one nation as Labour were wont to say, or even the family of nations that appears popular amongst the Westminster bubble, you’d think more than one road across the border would be dualled wouldn’t you?

      As a result of their civil service investigations into border controls they already know there are only 12 roads in total across the border, at least two need to be dualled if trade and enterprise is to flow. Anybody who travels across the border on a regular basis and experiences both countries shurely (don’t call me shirley) can’t help but notice they are two distinct entities moving further apart in opposite directions?

      Btw and entirely selfishly OT can I expect my hardback wee blue book soon or should I panic about not having received it yet? Ta.

    144. Robert Louis says:

      So today we will see the English tories, who have NO democratic mandate whatsoever in Scotland, walk all over the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Scotland, by refusing to deliver what they solemnly promised if we voted NO.

      Time for independence, so we can get away from these lying, undemocratic and manipulative Tory charlatans who somehow claim to rule over Scotland.

      A complete and total betrayal of Scotland and the people of Scotland by Westminster, the tories and the complicit, lying Labour party. Again.

    145. gus1940 says:

      I thought that we had finally got rid of him on Saturday when he announced that he was ‘leaving the political stage’ (his own words).

      Surprise Surprise!!!

      What do we get this morning – according to GM Scotland Creepy Jim is today going to deliver a ‘valedictory address’ (nice patrician choice of words) in London. We were even treated to some wise words from our hero on the 8.00 bulletin.

      What next:-

      Jim Murphy Live At The Apollo (with endless repeats on Cable and Satellite).
      Jim Murphy At The London Palladium.
      Jim Murphy At The O2.
      Jim Murphy At Carnegie Hall.
      Jim Murphy At The Hollywood Bowl (but unlikely to appear at/or be elected to The Holyrood Bowl.

      No doubt to be followed by:-

      Jim Murphy – The Boxed Set.

      Anybody labouring under the impression that we have seen or heard the last of this opportunistic political charlatan and his massive self publicising ego is going to be sadly disappointed.

    146. Robert Peffers says:

      @Grouse Beater says: 15 June, 2015 at 12:14 am:

      “I’ve noticed twitter from somebody called ‘Daisley’ and another much uglier, inane Scotland hater dealing in mono-manic abuse called ‘Jill Stephenson’ – calls herself the history woman. Stephenson deals only in hatred.”

      You may be under a misapprehension, Grouse Beater, (or perhaps I am), as there are two people I can identify as, “Jill Stephenson”.

      One is a journalist with the Financial Times and the other is a University of Edinburgh, Emeritus Professor of Modern German History. Who I would think is, “The History Woman”, you mention. However I have no knowledge of the works of either woman or indeed if they are the same person.

    147. call me dave says:

      Pia seems to be the only person the BBC can muster up to discuss the state of the labour party in Scotland. Are there no elected labour politicians in Scotland willing to state a view or a solution to their demise. Where’s the Dug of Macintosh?

      Mundell also turned down a chance to debate the Scotland bill (better things to do among his many duties) and Swinney was on his own outlining the FFA in between Garry repeatedly interrupting ever 5 secs by the question “When” “When” “When”.

      Everyone knows the answer Garry, “Never” because Cameron and Mundell have said so. But much fun kicking the amendments about in WM later. More voters to the cause in the long run.

      In other lighter news Alan Lord of Galloway , Constable of Scotland penned some of the Magna Carta, and the Soup Dragon reappears today on the telly.

      Your Call… right I’m off for the papers and get the provisions for the next few days. Must put the Empire biscuits back on the list. 🙂

    148. Grouse Beater says:

      Gus1940: Creepy Jim is today going to deliver a ‘valedictory address’ in London

      The farther away the better. Will he send his crate by courier?

      Mind you, who wants an address with dic and Tory in it?

    149. john king says:

      After numerous attempts at recovering my system when I got a trojan/virus now every time I even as much as click the kettle on I get a f**king advert and every second word I read is a link to something or other and the Oneironaut telling me not to go onto to naughty sites (how the hell did he know I had been on Labour Hame?).

      Now Gus1940 reminds us of the undead (Nosferatu)I have no choice but to commit Seppuku! 🙁

      Dont blame yourselves Gus/Oneironaut it was inevitable. 🙁

      Oh before I go,
      nice meeting you again no no no yes
      we’ll have to catch up again after my failed attempt at Hari Kari 🙂
      why don’t you and your wife go to the night out in Helensburgh?

    150. galamcennalath says:

      Jill Stephenson

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/angryjill.jpg

      Is that us being talked about!?

    151. Joemcg says:

      Hosie threatening to call Indy ref 2 over FFA getting slapped down by Mundell according to The National. Pretty certain that is the first time another vote has been talked about since September by a senior SNP figure. Brilliant!

    152. call me dave says:

      All the dominoes are lining up but who has the double-six.

      https://archive.is/w5FvL

    153. Stoker says:

      Joemcg wrote:
      “Hosie threatening to call Indy ref 2 over FFA getting slapped down by Mundell according to The National.”

      Aye, gaun yersel Hosie boy, bring it on.
      Aye, Joe, and Moondial & Co tell us there are no vetoes.
      😉

      No more LibLabCons – Vote them out.

    154. Grouse Beater says:

      Galamcennalath: Is that us being talked about!?

      Well, ‘she’ seems to make that her standard reply to anybody who irks her, which makes her seriously ill-informed.

    155. Valerie says:

      At Gus1940,@ 8.50

      There was mention of this from Saturday, but I think he is such a has been, the news no longer travels or registers with people, even political geeks!

      The man is such a narcissist, that he still believes in his mighty talent, and that we await his words of wisdom.

      Tragic.

    156. Dr Jim says:

      I’ve just watched that lunatic Starkey on Sky News not only repeat his Nazi nonsense live on telly but re-enforce it

      He seems to think only Academics have the right to freedom of speech as an entitlement over others

      But certainly not us nasty cybery natty folk who in his opinion are all pawns of the Master Race desiring all consuming SNP

      Who, BTW have seized control of Scotland
      Although we voted for them freely and purposely, Democracy, apparently, in his opinion gets it wrong

      Thank God for the Monarchy to keep us right

    157. dakk says:

      Have just read the article re Stuart Hosie’s threat of indyref2 in the National but there is no direct quote about indyref2,so not sure if I believe it.

      Poor journalism from the National.

      If he has mentioned another referendum,without independence specifically,then maybe he could mean an FFA referendum.

    158. No no no...Yes says:

      New article posted so I’ll take a chance. Rev, apologies for using site for personal message…

      John King 9:19am
      Good to see to you, albeit very briefly. I’ll send an email to you re-Wings gig and a suggestion re-Virus software

    159. galamcennalath says:

      Dr Jim says:
      “I’ve just watched that lunatic Starkey on Sky News not only repeat his Nazi nonsense live on telly but re-enforce it”

      The perverse thing is, all the authoritarian, right wing, raw nationalistic, imperial, behaviour tinged with ethnicity, and backed up by extreme classic propaganda techniques …. aren’t emanating from Scottish pro democracy activists, are they?

    160. handclapping says:

      @Phil
      Oh but I do have ?????. I also have a copy of Scotland’s Future.

      Page 85 last bullet point … for the first session of an independent Scottish parliament … a pre-announced reduction in corporation tax …

      page 383 Q22 … use the opportunities of independence to reduce … Corporation Tax.

      I rather think it is you that suffers from a forgetfulness of the result of the question put as to should Scotland be independent being No.

    161. handclapping says:

      ????? was the Greek word for memory (mneme) which is the basis for Phil’s posh “amnesiacs”.

      I can’t help it, I was given a classical education, Latin and Greek 🙁

    162. Capella says:

      @ john king
      Have you tried the free version of malwarebytes? I know it’s worked for people with that advert redirection malware.
      https://www.malwarebytes.org/

    163. Phil Robertson says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      “please give us your positive argument for Scotland staying in the current constitutional arrangement.”

      In general I think our best position is to be a member of larger groupings with the principle of subsidiarity applied.

      So, from the former, it’s yes to the UK and to the EU. That makes the argument about Scotland’s wealth or otherwise irrelevant since I’d share the benefits/grief with people in Liverpool, Belfast and Cardiff.

      The latter gives rise to my concern about the SNP. Ironically it has a centrist mentality and seems very reluctant to devolve from the centre.

      Since you asked …

    164. Phil Robertson says:

      DerekM
      “Away and talk pish someplace else or at least learn how politics in the UK works before you let your arse rumble.”

      Nice to see that the spirit of lobsterferret lingers on (like a bad smell).

      There are 56 SNP MPs and in their in-trays is the Scotland Bill 2015. It includes a proposal about Air Passenger Duty (which was the other tax proposal in the referendum white paper). Anyone who knows how UK politics works would know that any one of those MPs could propose an amendment to the bill concerning power over corporation tax.

    165. DerekM says:

      o/t
      @ John King

      John can i ask you what anti-virus/firewall set up you are using?

      A good virus killer is hitman pro 3 its free for a month with no pressure to buy and is easy to use,it will eat those little suckers for breakfast.

      However its not an anti-virus program its just a killer and will not stop you getting the same virus again,on a pc an AV is only as good as the firewall used and if its windows firewall then you would be as well using nothing as it is hopeless.

      I would recommend Avast as your AV and Comodo as your firewall both are free and work well together,it does mean disabling windows firewall through your task manager/services after you install Comodo though,to do this at the bottom of task manager/services you will see a shield with services next to it click it to open,scroll down to you find windows firewall right click to open pop up window,choose properties and set to disabled (you can do windows defender like this also as its a piece of junk as well)then restart your pc.

      i hope this helps 🙂

    166. CameronB Brodie says:

      Phil Robertson
      Sorry for butting in, but you appear to think that the UK works and that the pie is divided equitably. It doesn’t and it isn’t! Are you not concerned about the democratic deficit imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to government tax and spend, that is inappropriate to Scotland’s needs?

    167. dakk says:

      Phil Robertson 12.16

      You accept all Scotland’s taxes being sent to and set in London UK gov,but are worried about the SNP being too centralist.

      That’ll be the usual hypocritical logic of the unionist right enough. Concern troll.

      Anything but admit to being a BritNat.

    168. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Phil Robertson (12.06) –

      So, that’s your ‘positive case’ for remaining in the Union?

      I can’t imagine folk involuntarily pishing with excitement at your vision, but fair play, you at least had the guts to set it down in black and white. I’ll leave it to others to dissect.

    169. Phil Robertson says:

      dakk says:
      “You accept all Scotland’s taxes being sent to and set in London UK gov,but are worried about the SNP being too centralist”

      You’re confusing where the government sits with what it does. Scottish taxes are set at Westminster AND Holyrood although the latter have never exercised the right to change from the UK norms. Nor is the rate of council tax determined or “sent” to London.

    170. Fred says:

      @ bjsalba, comparing Police Scotland with the US is quite ludicrous, there are English county forces bigger than Police Scotland, I can recall during my time in the north that the much lauded Northern Constabulary regularly made a complete arse of murder cases and Invernesians who resort to smelling salts whenever an armed polis is sighted, should realise that such threats are not restricted to below Drumochter. There would be an outcry if some nutter went bersek with a gun there and no armed response was availlable. Sadly these are the times we live in and I’m quite sure that there are infinately more firearms in the Highland Region than there are in Glasgow with an infinately greater population. One individual went berserk and shot his wife’s horse in the head not so long ago.

      @ Connor McEwan, just to assure you that this Fred has no connection whatsoever to the fanny Phil Robertson aka Fred posting somewhere else.

    171. dakk says:

      Phil Robertson

      You know fine well if ScotcGov changed IT rate Westminster would just adjust our block grant to their advantage.

      We need control of all taxes to make a difference to our economy and society,and especially business taxes.

      However I understand Uncle Toms like yourself are happy with crumbs from the Westminster table.

      Regards throwing your lot in with people from Cardiff,Belfast,etc,if you gave a toss about them, you’d be campaigning for Federalism,decentralising and empowerment for them as well,not handwringing like some kind of bogus international socialist.Why not push for one world government or does your compassion stop at the English Channel or the EU.

      When Scotland gets the power to improve lives here there is a far better chance the people of Cardiff/Belfast will benefit when they too realise what can achieved by removing the dead hand of the Westminster Establishment.

      Keep power that matters in Westminster,that’s really going to help the poor provincials.

      I know so many Slab champagne faux socialists like you,I would have more respect if you just admitted you were a BritNat.

    172. john king says:

      DerekM, Cappela, No no no Yes
      I cant thank you all enough,
      I finally got rid of my unwanted visitor after a lot of effort and screaming like a girl. 🙂 the final resolution was dealt by malwarebytes,(thanks Cappela) but I took your advice DerekM and set up hitman pro3, Avast and Comodo,

    173. yesindyref2 says:

      @Rev, By the way, I think McWhirter is a regular reader of WOS, and gets materiral fro here which he then checks out, reinterprets and it appears in his articles in one way or another. I’d put the probability of that at 99.9%. Similarly he reads postings in the SH, but also in the Herald. Probably elsewhere as well. He’s a journalist and likes to know what’s going on. Damn few of them.

      I suppose basically there are two FFAs, with an infinite variety in-between, preferably voluntarily and indeed subject to constant respectful and mutual negotiation.

      I would see one form of FFA as absolutely full on FULL, which is quite possible Indy-lite, where the ties were defence, foreign affairs and currency. That’s almost a confederation, and both parts would need the right to withdraw with a suitable notice period of what, 2 or 3 years, or less with mutual agreement.

      The other extreme form of FFA is for Scotland to be in control of revenues and powers, but with a whole load of compensatory mechanisms. So, for instance, if Scotland generated a surplus in one year of £20 billion it would seem only reasonable to share £5 billion of that with the UK as a whole, and perhas £2 billion to Wales to build taht duak carriageway all the way as straight as the old Watling Way could have been, to Conwy. The revers is if having recovered to $150 per barrel by 2019, the oil suddenly plunged back to $40 for a few months. The UK would hold out its generous and supportive hand.

      In-between these is a mix of mandatory mechanisms and all sorts of voluntary actions that could still achieve that noble concept of a “family of nations”.

      Personally I think the more likely to occur if and when at all, is the full-on hard and fast, full FFA, unless the unionists at Westminster finally find their hankies, stop sobbing into them, and wipe that smell from under their noses.

    174. yesindyref2 says:

      Oh by the way. I think the big-mouthed anti-SNP FFA foo-fooing Unionists in Scotland have lost their relevance as that has moved down to Westminster with 56 SNP MPs.

      I think in Scotland it’s not so much to FFA or not to FFA, as “how d’you like your FFA, fried or boiled?”.

    175. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Och, John King.

      Just bite the bullet and arm yourself with a Mac.
      The only time one of my Macs was infected, was by a 5 year old virus – which I got from a magazine CD, before I was even connected to ‘t’interweb – in 1998.

      I just don’t understand why you Windoze users put up with the lack of protection provided by Microsloth, your imperial masters.

      Tell them ti git ti fük till they get their system security sorted.

    176. Phil Robertson says:

      dakk
      “Keep power that matters in Westminster,that’s really going to help the poor provincials.”

      You clearly don’t understand subsidiarity.

      On the question of taxes, you have to ask yourself why the SG is so timid with the taxes it does control e.g. business rates and council taxes. Despite the rhetoric, it seems happy to play along with the austerity game.

    177. Dorothy Devine says:

      I have just read an article by Mr Massie in the Spectator and the wonderful below line comments.

      I have serious doubts about both the article, the perplexing drivel and the usual suspects below the line.



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