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The difference a day makes

Posted on March 03, 2014 by

Scotland on Sunday yesterday:

devosos

The Scotsman 24 hours later:

scotmanpowers

Rinse, lather and repeat for the next six months.

That analysis will, of course, remain true even after Scottish Labour actually bite the bullet and come up with the results of their “Devolution Commission” at this month’s branch-party conference (assuming they do). Because as Yes supporters never tire of pointing out but the Scottish media remains inexplicably incapable of fully grasping, what Scottish Labour thinks doesn’t matter a damn.

(The same goes for the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Lib Dems, of course.)

Devolution is a Westminster policy, not a Holyrood one. The Scottish Parliament can’t just give itself more powers, they have to be granted by the UK Parliament, and that means the UK parties. Johann Lamont can promise Scotland the moon on a stick with a cherry on top if she likes, but it’s an empty, meaningless pledge because she’s not an MP, and so has absolutely no say in the matter whatsoever.

Any further devolution would need to be passed by the whole of Westminster, and even in the miraculous event of Ed Miliband being the next Prime Minister, he’d be faced with trying to force through a bill that will be opposed by hundreds of his own English MPs, and a sizeable proportion of his Scottish ones too. It’s almost impossible, in fact, to imagine how Parliamentary arithmetic could ever add up in such a way as to get a bill enacted, no matter what the result of the 2015 election.

Well, actually, that’s not entirely accurate or fair. There is one way the next UK Prime Minister, of whatever party, could probably ensure enough support in the Commons for a bill handing more powers to Edinburgh.

Can any alert readers think of what it might be?

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    96 to “The difference a day makes”

    1. G H Graham says:

      Here’s Westminster’s plan …

      Scrap the Barnett formula (i.e. Savagely cut out huge amounts of money that Scotland earns & keep it in England)

      Give Holyrood some more “wee things” stuff to manage like speed limits, airguns & fag packet design.

      Keep hiking the supplementary oil tax on the north sea until every last scrap of value has been milked dry.

      Close the last airforce bases & withdraw most of the British troops stationed in Scotland.

      Build a dock for the subs in England using Scotland’s money.

      When there’s no value left in the north sea & the street riots are widespread across Scotland, give them their independence.

    2. X_Sticks says:

      Pie in the sky. That’s all they have to offer and the pie will never materialise. Don’t get fooled again. Vote Yes.

    3. mogabee says:

      Well, that should focus some minds.

    4. The Man in the Jar says:

      I am surprised that I must have missed the article that is linked to the first time round.

      Click it and be afraid, be very afraid. 🙁

    5. Tartan Tory says:

      A NO vote is going to see only two things happen with regard to Scotland, regardless of the Westminster hue:

      1. Barnett revision with an expected £4Bn cut in the Scottish block grant.

      2. A REDUCTION in devolved powers! Anyone who thinks that devo-max will come from a No vote is deluded. Westminster will be doing their utmost to ensure that the chance of Scotland attemting to break away again will be nailed shut. Just like a dog that is given the freedom of the garden, the day after he tries to jump the fence is the day he finds himself in a cage.

      I know what I’m voting FOR – even the uncertainties. The No’s don’t even have the first clue about what they are voting FOR.

    6. The Rough Bounds says:

      Reading about that bunch, Labour, Tory and Liberals, and how they are all working together reminds me of that old saying:

      ”Ask Jock Thief if I’m a liar”.

    7. Robert Louis says:

      Labour could promise Devo-Max to Scots with a NO vote, and it would be meaningless.

      ANY new powers would require the election of a Labour majority Government at the 2015 election (unlikely), together with House of commons and Lords approval. Considering the hostile rhetoric and unabated, one sided, Westminster inspired political terrorism directed towards Scots recently, I cannot see ANY new powers ever being approved in London.

      So Johan Lamont of Labour can promise anything she wants. It is meaningless. If you want the Scottish parliament to have more powers, you need to vote YES, anything else is a wasted vote.

    8. liz says:

      As each day passes it becomes more and more apparent that we would have to be mad to vote No.

      After Yes – hopefully – things would settle down quickly and we would no longer have to listen to ignorance from the media as would have our own.

    9. Stevie Mach says:

      Er, how many Labour MSPs does it take to change a lightbulb?
      After arguing with light for also illuminating the SNP, they decide to sit in the dark and argue about what wattage of bulb illuminates just enough and no more. But then nasty Westminster Labour flicks the switch and turns off the power.
      Ultimately, whatever SLAB comes up with is pie in the sky. Let’s hope they all implode sooner rather than later.

    10. Paul Martin says:

      Think we all need to proceed with caution with these kind of stories and remember that a lot of games are being played here. The PCS vote a week or two back was a good example of Labour/trade-union/media black arts being deployed to spin the outcome as a letdown for Yes.

      The Scotsman/Farquharson in particular has been very keen to cheerlead for a Scottish Labour devo-max offering as the No consolation prize. It suits the Scotsman and others to present this as a struggle of the Scottish Labour Party to exert their control over the “devo-max” agenda and to be seen to put down Westminster-led opposition. Now we all know this is just another confidence trick… but it allows them to run a narrative where Scottish Labour has come out on top of the debate, a triumph of Lamont’s strong leadership (stop laughing at the back…). Then they can laud her and push the (half-baked) devo-max line until September.

      Like I say, bullshit alert… This close to the March conference there will be enough agreement from senior UK Labour figures on the (ahem) powers that Labour will offer at their conference. Expect The Scotsman and others to hail the outcome and carry Lamont shoulder high from the auditorium with subsequent endless gush on SLAB devo-max and her “triumph”.

    11. Luigi says:

      Lord Purvis was on the radio this morning, still plugging that old federal chestnut. He did not seem to realize that events have left him and what’s left of his party so far behind, they are now our of sight. He had no answers at all, despite being treated quite softly by Gary Robertson.

      Is Lord Purvis really so deluded, or is he just keen to hold on to the ermine?

      He is either an absolute dope, or a complete fraud (or a bit of both).

    12. Barontorc says:

      The Barnett Formula is going at the earliest opportunity come YES or NO and the parsimony of a pre-conditioned and now morbidly embittered Westminster system, which incredibly includes our very own and eternally shamed Stockholm Syndromised Scottish MPs (which is being very kind to them), will ensure Scotland hits the poverty buffers in more ways than one, if NO leaves it up to them.

      Only a YES will stick two fingers up to Westminster and we’ll be Barnett-less, but one of the wealthiest countries in Europe as rUK, (which is a complete ‘one kingdom’ misnomer),slips all the way down the greasy pole crushed by a huge debt stupidly accumulated just to preen itself. Crazy economics!

    13. haud on the noo says:

      Paul Martin says:

      Like I say, bullshit alert… This close to the March conference there will be enough agreement from senior UK Labour figures on the (ahem) powers that Labour will offer at their conference. Expect The Scotsman and others to hail the outcome and carry Lamont shoulder high from the auditorium with subsequent endless gush on SLAB devo-max and her “triumph”.

      ## Broad shoulders indeed..

    14. Barry Blust says:

      Up and down, around and around, issues come and go. At the end of the day all this shouting comes to two roads. YES is a vote for Scotland and her people. NO is a vote for London rule.

      No way around it… this is exactly what you are deciding.

    15. Paul Martin says:

      If the LibDems are serious about their Minging federal solution, then in the event of a No vote, will they make their federal proposal the price of agreement with the Labour party ? Or indeed, the Conservative party ? Just how and when would they use their possible coalition leverage to make it happen, given that they don’t have the numbers to implement it on their own ?

    16. Illy says:

      “The Scottish Parliament can’t just give itself more powers, they have to be granted by the UK Parliament”

      Come on Stu, you know that’s not true.

      Hollyrood could issue a unilateral declaration of independance, if that’s not a government just giving itself more powers, I don’t know what it is.

      Of course, doing that would rule out any further devolution, which would kill sLab’s easy campaigning issue in Scotland. Maybe they’d actually get some policies of their own if that happened?

    17. galamcennalath says:

      … and something else which will follow from a No vote. London will do it damnest to make it as difficult as possible to ever have another Independence Referendum. They won’t get caught out again and give us a second chance!

    18. Illy says:

      @PaulMartin:

      You really think the LibDems are going to have any say after the next general election?

      I’ll be suprised if they get any MPs.

    19. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Illy

      “The [Scottish Parliament] could issue a unilateral declaration of independence.”

      And see tanks massing around Holyrood and in George Square overnight.

    20. Proud Cybernat says:

      Funny how the Unionists in Westminster can clique together to say No to a currency union in advance of the Referendum but that same clique cannot band together to say YES to further devolution in advance of the Referendum. Hmmm… I wonder why that is?

      I mean, they have shown they can work together when it is to Scotland’s detriment but when it is something that is to Scotland’s benefit there is no such cross-party consensus. Such double-standards must surely demonstrate to any person in this country that Devo-Max is nothing but a pipe-dream and a fistful of empty promises.

      If the Westminster Unionists wanted to give Scotland’s parliament further significant powers then Devo-Max would have been on the ballot paper. But they removed that option. That tells you right there what their intentions on further devolution are. There will be no Devo-Max or anything remotely approaching it if we vote No. They have given us all the significant powers they intend to give. Period.

      There is only one way the people of this country can obtain the powers for our parliament that we desire. Vote YES – Vote Devo-Super-Max.

    21. Robert Kerr says:

      The message we must get across is

      “Power devolved is power retained”.

      This is the real “uncertainty” of the status quo/devo max etc.

      A sword of Damocles hanging over Holyrood. For all time.

      Unless we vote YES.

    22. Paul Martin says:

      Thats largely my point Illy. The LibDem’s can’t implement UK/Scottish federalism on their own, no chance they’ll have the numbers at a 2015 GE – or indeed any GE in my remaining lifetime. But they *might* still possibly hold the balance of power one way or another. My question to them is simple, will they make federalism the price of any UK coalition arrangement they enter into ? Because if they don’t, then all these Ming commissions are exposed for the space-filling time-wasting exercises that they undoubtedly are !

      I’m as cynical as you on that – but I want *them* to articulate their strategy for obtaining this century-old federal outcome…

    23. gerry parker says:

      @Illy,
      Problem with UDI is what it does for international relations. Ian Smith’s Rhodesia failed because even though it was a rich country, it had no international standing after UDI.

    24. Training Day says:

      Paul Martin is correct. This is another set-up to allow Lamont’s fudge to be presented as a triumph for ‘Scottish’ Labour. There will be no serious analysis conducted by the MSM on the proposals emanating from the Labour conference. Instead, the MSM and the BBC in particular will hammer the line that a No vote means ‘devo max’ with Labour until September 18th.

      When Labour renege after a No vote, as they will do – even if we accept the ludicrous propostion that Middle England will elect Milliband – it will be too late. We will have been fooled again.

    25. Claire McNab says:

      @gerry parker: Rhodesia’s UDI failed not because it was unilateral, but because it was an apartheid state with no democratic legitimacy. It was therefore subject to widespread sanctions. I find it rather troubling that you would even compare the two.

      A more relevant example is Slovenia’s UDI, which is gained widespread and prompt international recognition.

    26. Papadox says:

      Don’t know where the idea of devo max if we vote NO comes from?

      Unless any promise is made in writing you are being very nieve and gullible to accept someone’s word for it.

      You need a GURENTEE. Not a belief, feeling, idea,

    27. Bigbricks says:

      The problem for Labour in this (and thus, obviously, for Johann Lamont et al) is that there’s really no such thing as “Scottish Labour”. It’s simply a branch run by the main organisation in London, and has no power to offer anything without the approval of London (indeed, no power even to venture an opinion in a discussion without previous approval). And as others have ably pointed out, that permission isn’t about to be given, and even if it was, would be contingent on the unlikely event of a majority Labour government in Westminster, and of that government keeping its word. Assuming that unlikely event occurred, it would still be a minimal and grudging release of some central powers, with the major decisions on how we live our lives reserved to Westminster.

      We have the choice of voting for our hopes and ambitions (i.e. YES) or being cowed into voting because of our fears, i.e. for the status quo. But the status quo is actually a fluid situation which will only worsen as the Barnett formula is scrapped, the NHS in Scotland is dragged into line with the semi-commercialised NHS in England, we throw money into Trident and banker’s bonuses, and austerity bites even deeper.

      In other words, we can vote no in the sure and certain knowledge that things will get significantly worse, and our democratic voice in this will be weakened. Mmm – really tough decision, isn’t it?

    28. Peter Macbeastie says:

      @ Illy… indeed, I thought that given the election results that put in an SNP majority a UDI would be a possibility, but I also realised it was a possibility they wouldn’t go for, and for pretty much exactly the reasons Grouse Beater states.

      And, of course, little snags like international recognition and treaty negotiations would also likely have been a wee bit of a problem.

      That said; I liked the idea, personally. :)Just sensible enough to not want the chaos that would have followed.

    29. gillie says:

      Well Devo-something-or-other could have been on the ballot box, but all the unionist parties gave that a body swerve. Everyone and their dog knows Westminster hasn’t got the stomach to give the Scottish parliament more powers.

      History tells us that whatever the unionist parties come up with at this very late stage will be seen as very half-hearted proposals, more empty promises and extremely unlikely.

      A NO victory will cast Scotland into the constitutional wilderness with Scots having no power to tackle Westminster austerity being forced onto our communities.

    30. gerry parker says:

      @Claire McNab.
      It was a white minority government, rather than an apartheid state, there is a difference.
      I don’t think you could ever consider Rhodesia and it’s neighbour to the south as being similar.

    31. heedtracker says:

      Why don’t they just offer teamGB the exact same things that the SNP do here in Scotland? Its that all mighty middle England swinging vote that’s further right than Labour wants to admit. So we have St Thatch, Major, Bliar, Broon and now Flipper Darling giving speeches at the Scottish Conservative conference. What a surprise that was, not.

    32. caz-m says:

      The doom laden tribe at Better Together still think that we believe we will get loads and loads of “jam tomorrow”.

      Unionist politicians from north and south of the border think they are talking to some kind of naughty school kid. Telling us that if we behave ourselves then we can our favourite toy back to play with.

      They are also trying the “jam tomorrow” con-trick with the good people of Wales. Telling the Welsh Assembly that they will get more powers “soon”.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-24763988

      The London Establishment, supported by the Labour Party and Johann Lamont, will tell you any amount of lies just to get them over the line in September.

      We have come to far now, the majority of Scots will accept nothing but Independence.

      Vote YES.

    33. Illy says:

      Oh, I know UDI isn’t a particularly good idea, it’s probably the only thing other than a no vote that could cause EU membership troubles, for one thing. (The only reason for it to even be considered is if Westminster are being obstructive after a yes vote, and even then, it’s better as a threat than actually doing it)

      I was just pointing out that it is possible for Hollyrood to just give itself more powers, but only in a way that Lamont will never support.

      I always find it amusing when she suggests doing something that isn’t possible under devolution, but is possible under independance.

      If Westminster tries to send tanks to Holyrood… Well, I wouldn’t be suprised if that happens anyway. I would hope that not many people would follow those orders, or would be “present but idle”. It would certainly give us a list of people who shouldn’t be in the Scottish Defence Force.

      Also, does anyone feel like going through Lamont’s rants from last weeks FMQs and pointing out and explaining everywhere she got her facts wrong or was spinning things massively out of proportion? I couldn’t listen to all of it, because she just wouldn’t accept that she’d been misinformed about what Standard Life had said. It was embarrassing how she refused to understand what a contingency plan is.

      Or if anyone knows where to get a transcript of it, I might try myself.

    34. Macart says:

      Devolution, the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving…

      … Westminster ultimate control of pretty much everything that matters.

      You want change people? Real change? The kind of change that re prioritises spend, tax, reflects social values and returns a government you vote for?

      It really, really is as simple as voting yes. We really can have those things y’know, its not even up for debate. What policies individual parties enact or want is neither here nor there when it comes to this referendum.

      We can have representative government.
      We can have a constitution.
      We can have a parliament which derives its powers from popular sovereignty.
      We can lose the disgrace that is Trident from our waters.
      We can use our current UK fiscal contributions for whatever we decide reflects our needs, our requirements. Solutions for our problems.

      That is what a yes vote absolutely guarantees.

      A vote for devo whatever guarantees you precisely nothing.

    35. gerry parker says:

      @Peter Macbeastie.
      I’m attracted to the idea too, but it would need to be an option only if they drag us into another conflict on the world stage, postponing the referendum in the process.

    36. Grouse Beater says:

      How long before we see leaked a memo from a disgruntled member of the Union for the Inane campaign stating his “deep” – as in fat fried – concern for the predicted loss of the Referendum by a “projected small minority.”

    37. heedtracker says:

      Scrap Trident, dump student fees, tax the City, Tobin tax etc. Future PM Milliband is not for turning but they must have some clue why SNP Scots.gov is so electable, despite relentless UKOK media assault.

    38. Claire McNab says:

      Of course it would completely unthinkable for Westminster to use force against a democratically-elected parliament in these islands which unilaterally implemented a democratic mandate for independence.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_general_election,_1918 never happened, did it?

    39. Fairliered says:

      If the unionists are really going to offer devo max, why don’t they offer it now?
      They don’t have to wait until September 19th.

    40. Steve B says:

      @Illy

      All proceedings in the Scottish Parliament are transcripted into the Official Report, so you should find what you are looking for in:

      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/OfficialReport.aspx

    41. Molly says:

      The minute the Labour Party agrees to further powers (if it does) at Conference, why don’t we get a petition to get it in black and white, the exact terms?
      No wriggle room, no quietly forgotten and fade away,no jam tomorrow, let’s hold them to account as we know the media won’t.

      In amongst the fantastic amounts raised for pro Indy sites,,there is a more important outcome. For anybody committing one pound or even thinking about it ( as proven by Obamas campaign) is engaged.

      Never again will anyone engaged in this Referendum settle for placemen ‘telling us’ this is as good as it gets. Whatever party.

      Ordinary people are looking around them now and seeing how turgid and in some cases , inept the people who have been in charge over the years and more importantly in a place of trust,have been and are now thinking,nope this is not good enough , you know,what we want better.

      That’s why the Jimmy Hoods and Take your pick (there’s quite a long list)have been so poor for democracy, rather than see a bigger picture, they’ve sat on their hands, filling a role , that they are not equipped to fulfill-

      For example, last week somebody wrote about Willie Bain , being exasperated about the poverty in his constituency, so apart from keeping Labours numbers up, what exactly are you doing about it Mr Bain? Maybe the people who voted for you, expected you to have an idea?

      The genie is out the bottle and it can’t go back in now, whatever the vote( hopefully yes obviously) no party,no media, no establishment can make empty promises, there’s too many have woken up and we’re not going away.

    42. Boorach says:

      Another problem with UDI is that while it may work in a country which doesnt have any land borders with the other party this is not the case with Scotland and the UK.

      Also to make it work the country breaking away would have to have it’s own tax collection system, it’s own military and police force. Indeed everything required to make a country work would have to be self contained and within it’s own boundaries and controlled by it’s own Government.

      UDI in Scotland is a non-starter while the military is controlled from Whitehall and all taxes are collected by the Treasury

    43. Papadox says:

      After a NO vote it won’t take the proud pseudo Scots long to find out they were conned by their unionist friends. When the austerity measures are applied to these proud people they will wish they had chosen their friends more carefully. However they will be reminded “you voted for the union” and now we have you where we want you there will be no more voting to control your own lives.

      You lot really are to stupid, and we are going to make you very poor. (Except for your politicians)

      Just get down on your knees and be thankful.

    44. heedtracker says:

      @Boorach, vote NO Guardian makes good start the vote NO week point with what happens if Tories lose next UKOK election because of Labours Scottish MP’s. Its what Flipper Darling and McDougall etc are fighting for but the picture fury of Tory England defeated by the disloyal separatist Scotch? CiF Torygraph servers will meltdown.

    45. Greannach says:

      If Sincerity Jim feels the need to up his profile with this load of twaddle, it suggests that No Better Together UKOK have seen some pretty dismal polling figures that the rest of us haven’t.

    46. Welsh not British (@welshnotbritish) says:

      We have this down here all the time. Labour AMs are free to say whatever they want knowing full well their MPs will nebver agree to it and then when questioned the Labour MPs just blame the Tories.

      And our media plays along with it all.

    47. wingman 2020 says:

      Fort Westminster is in a panic. Their Better Together Generals are failing to turn the battle.

      Its only the BBC and MSM that are defending and holding the Unionist Fort. A few well aimed cannon balls and even these walls will tumble.

      I suspect that many unionists are sensing that the nationalists are moving closer to the city walls of their hegemonic, establishment stronghold.

      The battle for Independence has indeed shifted entirely to the grassroots, to the estates, to the ordinary people…

      …against the establishment, Westminster and the MPs.

      And the more they bombard Scotland with propaganda, the less we trust them to do anything right for Scotland.

      We are going to destroy this faux democracy and discredited union through online truth.

      Overly dramatic? Perhaps. But its a great analogy. London is the Old Castle of power and the serfs live outside.

    48. wingman 2020 says:

      Can we get a cartoon of the embattled Fort Westminster with AD. JL and others on the battlements?

    49. wingman 2020 says:

      Trust is the lynch pin of this debate. The union continue to destroy it, we need to maintain it.

    50. bookie from hell says:

      send a coalition of YES MPs 2015 Westminster election from Scotland

    51. bookie from hell says:

      but we won’t need to as we won 2014

    52. MochaChoca says:

      Wouldn’t DEVO-MAX quickly lead to the divergences in the Scottish and rUK economies which the gruesome threesome have only just used as the reasons for ruling out a currency union?

    53. Taranaich says:

      In the event of a No vote, UDI would only be thinkable if it became the less reckless option compared to remaining in the UK. Thing is, remaining in the UK is becoming more and more reckless by the day. There’s going to come a point where it would be more damaging to the people of Scotland to remain in the UK than it would be to risk the political dangers of UDI – if the UK actually repeals the Human Rights Act, for instance, which is the sort of insanity which led to what’s happening in Ukraine right now. The question is, are we going to let it come to that point?

      A Yes vote means we can get out before UDI becomes the sane option. We’re already stretching it as it is being an oil-rich country where one in three children are in poverty, the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world, a government which colluded in countless human rights abuses and illegal wars, and the third most unequal developed country on the planet.

      How many people are starving and dying right now, because the possibility of a peaceful resolution is in sight? What a spit in the face to those people it would be for a No vote to triumph, only to see Austerity continue to erode away our rights and wellbeing, to see even more people suffer and die as the fight for independence or even the deluded hope of devomax continues, when it could have ended in September. And if it truly gets to the point where UDI is preferable to a UK gripped by riots, corruption, greed and disaster, how many more will have suffered and died before people realise the chance that was squandered on 18th September? How many will realise, ruefully, that maybe it would’ve been better if the SNP just declared UDI upon election in 2007, for all the difference it would’ve made to the lives of those Scots?

      What’s the alternative? A great movement by the English Left that should’ve been happening for decades after Thatcher, resulting in turmoil and upheaval all across the isles as the Coalition’s private security forces (you don’t think they’d stoop to having the police defend them, do you?) suppress the desperately poor & hungry lashing out in their despair? Or are you still putting your hope in Labour and the Liberal Democrats?

      We’ve put up with promises for 30 years. Enough is enough.

    54. wingman 2020 says:

      There are many different values and feelings:

      Happiness
      Pride
      Fairness

      And so on…

      But the biggest feelings across all of Scotland after a NO vote would be

      Shame
      Duplicity
      Resentment

      And nobody will admit to voting NO. They will all claim to have voted YES.

    55. mogabee says:

      This referendum campaign was designed to take the people strongly with it towards a yes vote.

      That’s why UDI not considered seriously.

      That’s why it had to be grass roots.

      That’s why it will be YES!

    56. call me dave says:

      gerry parker and to

      @ Illy

      “The [Scottish Parliament] could issue a unilateral declaration of independence.”

      And see tanks massing around Holyrood and in George Square overnight.

      Can I add that Davidson and Gordon Matheson would be sitting in the tanks. I share your sentiments but not a goer I’m afraid…yet!

    57. HandandShrimp says:

      Give tax and welfare to Holrood and that leaves foreign policy and defence with Westminster. Not surprised Scottish Labour MPs are worried 😉

    58. heedtracker says:

      Yoohoo from Aberdeen and village idiot/Labour councillor has just declared UDI from FM Salmond

      http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/local/alex-salmond-warned-he-s-unwelcome-on-aberdeen-council-property-1.249947

    59. Flower of Scotland says:

      O/t
      So at the beginning of a new week we have the ridiculous scene of Haig in Kiev ( getting huge coverage on all Tv and radio channels ) warning Russia that it had better behave ! Laughable !
      Then there,s all the coverage of Pistorius et al trial ! WHY ! It’s news , but day on day coverage !
      Well that seems to take up most of tv and radio ,s time except for a wee story about Scottish racism on a football player on the BBC web site . Yeah , let’s stream that round the world !!
      Vote YES and get shot of Westminster and the BBC all at the one time !

    60. Papadox says:

      In the event of a NO voteI think there will be celebration and triumphalism in the palace of Westminster for a while, until they discover the gold chalice they thought they had win is indeed a poison chalice. We ain’t going anywhere we will still be here!

      He who laughs last etc.

    61. Ian Brotherhood says:

      SSP Public meeting, tonight, Ayr Town Hall.

      ‘The Socialist Case for Independence’ – Colin Fox, Jim Sillars. 7.30 kick-off, but best get there a tad earlier if you want to be sure of a seat.

    62. Morag says:

      I do worry that people will believe this guff. If we had real control over all our tax revenues, pensions and social security, we could repeal the bedroom tax and the other measures introduced at Westminster that hurt the poor. We could slow down or stop the increase in the state pension age. We could increase the amount of the state pension, which is one of the lowest in Europe. We could invest in infrastructure. We could do more to encourage inward investment.

      And who believes that this wouldn’t cause huge resentment and bitterness in England? Much of that resentment would be aimed at the political party that had given us these powers. The mantra would be that we’re subsidised and living the high life on this supposed subsidy. What party is going to line themselves up for that sort of treatment?

      Indeed, what party is going to hand powers to Scotland that amount to almost everything the Scottish voters have just voted not to have? To give Alex Salmond almost everything he wanted – as a “consolation prize”?

      But many people don’t, or don’t want to, see it that way. Because something (devo-max) seems sensible to them, they believe that Westminster will see the light and magically deliver. I just despair over that mindset.

    63. Heather McLean says:

      The Man in the Jar says:
      “I am surprised that I must have missed the article that is linked to the first time round.

      Click it and be afraid, be very afraid. ”

      I seem to have missed that as well and I keep all the Wings articles in a folder on my PC – strange?

    64. John H. says:

      O/T.
      Someone on here I think it was, some time ago, suggested asking DK’s the question.”If, Scotland was an independent country now, voting on September 18th on whether to join in a union with England, would you vote for that?”

      I tried that at the weekend, and the effect was amazing. It forces people to concentrate on the choices they have. “No way” was a common response.

      People have to realize that by voting no, that’s exactly what they are doing.

    65. Cymru Rydd says:

      Slightly O/T but with more Labour figures now coming out for YES, how long do you think Labour Party in Scotland can hold the line on things?

      Surely they must be starting to think about a post YES scenario, when they would need to put up canidates for the 2016 Scotland election? And surely, they can’t leave this until AFTER Yes, since that would be met with complete derision by the people of Scotland?

      I wonder if one way ahead for Labour in Scotland is to ditch Joanne Lamont over the next few months and elect a new leader who could possibly have a more nuanced approach to things? Maybe even stand on a position of allowing his/her colleagues in Holyrood to take up their own positions on independence? It would obviously be very difficult for such a new leader to be able to represent two contradictory viewpoints, but surely even that would be better than the complete car-crash that is Joanna Lamont’s leadership at present?

      Surely that’s the pragmatic way ahead for Labour, and one which at least leaves the door open for them post a YES vote?

    66. wingman 2020 says:

      @Molly

      You are exactly right. Too many have woken up. Things will change.

    67. Robert Louis says:

      UDI, whilst sounding nice, is full of difficulties. It is rarely a good idea.

      It is vitally important to have a democratic mandate for independence to be recognised by other nations and the UN, hence the referendum. If however, London acts foolishly, and decides to ignore a YES vote, then in those circumstances, the Scottish Government would be wise to declare UDI immediately.

      However, let’s hope that such a scenario never evolves, and Westminster keeps its part of the Edinburgh agreement. Although given their recent inflammatory anti-Scottish rhetoric, I find it hard to trust them on any level.

      As soon as a NO vote is delivered, it will be business as usual for the Westminster mob, including Labour. All promises will be reneged on.

      If Westminster is sincere about major extra powers with a NO vote, they could if they so wished enact Westminster legislation prior to the vote. If a NO vote happens, then the legislation would take effect, and if there is a YES vote, then the legislation becomes irrelevant.

      I am willing to bet, that there will be NO extra powers legislation enacted prior to the referendum. Thus, we will know that there will be NO extra powers, period.

      Only a YES vote will SECURE more powers for Holyrood.

    68. gerry parker says:

      @Call me Dave,

      I shudder to think what Gordon Mathieson would be doing in a tank..

      😉

    69. Bruce Wallace says:

      OT, just looked at Facebook there’s reports of a fighter jet flying low over Hamilton around 3 hours ago, did anyone see it, its out of the norm, sorry but I’m a skeptical fecker

    70. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Well I’m so happy for Labour that their promise of jam tomorrow is working so well. What’s that you say…it isn’t! Well I’m astonished, no really I am. 🙂

      I really do wonder at times if Labour are actually capable of making ANY decisions. The way they are carrying on at the moment I have grave doubts about their ability to even make a decision about whether to have a cup of tea or coffee! 😉

    71. galamcennalath says:

      I would wager London has its poisoned chalice ready to impliment in the event of No.

      They will devolve some tax powers, but also scrap Barnett and cut the block grant greatly. [As discussed above.] They will force future devolved Scottish governments into a very nasty corner where the we will be forced to heavily cut public services or have income tax above the UK level.

      Without control of the taxes which matter, Scotland will become a real sh*t show. Their punishment for getting ideas above our station.

      DevoMax means Full Fiscal Autonomy ie. devolve ALL taxation and scrap the block grant completely. That will definely never be on offer. I note the media are banding the phrase DevoMax around to mean much less.

      Committed YES supporters already know real power only comes with Independence. It’s those NOs who are gullable enough to believe after-No will still bring progress, who need to be educated and persuaded. NO will be a disaster!

    72. gordoz says:

      O/T Does any polling company actually canvass hard copy in the street anymore ?

      If its via the internet Im sure they can all ‘sift-out’ or select parcticipants to suit the desired outcome; prior to opening up to individuals.

      Wonder if there would be any value in old fashioned street survey to compare with dubious polls online ?

      Just wondering if perhaps Uni of West of scoltand would be interested to do such a study etc?

    73. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day

      “There will be no serious analysis conducted by the MSM on the proposals emanating from the Labour conference. Instead, the MSM and the BBC in particular will hammer the line that a No vote means ‘devo max’ with Labour until September 18th.

      When Labour renege after a No vote, as they will do – even if we accept the ludicrous propostion that Middle England will elect Milliband – it will be too late. We will have been fooled again.”

      This is how it almost certainly will pan out in the event of a No vote. The MSM will definitely get behind SLAB more powers charade from now on (they will ramp it up anyway).

    74. gerry parker says:

      @Bruce Wallace.
      Heard it over Coatbridge.
      Not a regular occurrence, but low flying jets use this route to get up to the highlands occasionally. Had them pass Cumbernauld airport many a time.

    75. Edward says:

      Bruce Wallace
      Do you have a link to that Facebook story?

    76. Gayle Smith says:

      Last August during the Edinburgh fringe I was told by a very assertive middle class twenty somthing woman that she and her friends were all voting no because Labour will give Scotland more powers when they win the general election.

      I asked her where she got her information from and she said she had heard their Scottish leader say it. So there you have it friends, the positive case for the union summed up in one sentance. It must be true because Johann said so.She even had the nerve to tell me in patronising tones it called Devolution Max you know. Let me say for avoidance of doubt this is never a wise move.

      Too said she was aghast when I turned the heat on her would be an understatement. I told her that not only was only too well aware of what their little scheme was called I also as a university graduate with Geography and Politics Honours Degree to my name know why they won’t deliver it, she was completely astonished. I think some people underestimate me at their own risk. I mean come on I was raised in a working class area of Glasgow so lets just say I know how to handle myself in debates and left her with this little gem.

      Devolution is like a loan you may take out to address a certain issue and it may even work for you for a while. However be in no doubt the banker can change the terms and conditions at any time, and should the lender decide to do so they can reclaim that loan in full at any time. Only Independence can save Scotland from the cruelty of a Westminster parliment which if it has ever served Scotland has done so purely by accident.

      Devo Max I think not. I wouldn’t trust Labour to deliver a can Pepsi Max and believe me Scotland will pay a heavy price if we are gullible enough to do so.

      Best Wishes
      Gayle X

    77. Edward says:

      Anyone seen the latest poll offering from STV?
      STV commissioned IPSOS MORI
      and showed 57% for No and 32% for Yes
      based on 799 certain to vote

    78. Bruce Wallace says:

      @Edward

      It was a friend that posted it, heres what their message says “FFs a fighter jet just went past… how loud are they, dgs shit themselves…”

      “I thought a plane was crashing, went out & it nearly deafend me…. my dogs were out, shouldve seen them run in”

      Prob nothing??

    79. Wp says:

      Edward: re poll, hard to fathom such a change recently in the the last few polls. We seem to be losing a lot of ground,whereas on the street I find the opposite.

    80. Macandroid says:

      @ Illy
      First Minister’s Question Time 27/02/14

      Every last word here:

      http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8968&mode=html#iob_80939

    81. JOHN KING says:

      ” Such double-standards must surely demonstrate to any person in this country that Devo-Max is nothing but a pipe-dream and a fistful of empty promises.”

      I can for the life of me why we would want to drink of such a poisoned chalice as devo max anyway,

      we might as well commit hari kari right now, the westiminster mob would twiste the knife as soon as the Scottish parliament had tax rasing powers and immediatly remove the Barnnett formula meaning the SNP would become the most toxic brand in politics because they would have no choice but abolish all the advances they have made in free tuition prescription charges, care for the elderly and all the while raising taxes to make up the shortfall in the block grant, devo max would be manna from heaven for SLAB.

    82. CU Tommy says:

      This just demonstrates how incredibly stupid the leaders of the labour party in Scotland are.
      They want to take on more spending powers, but without the powers to remove trident and control corporation tax, we would once again be dependent on Westminster to release the funds necessary to fund this welfare spending.

    83. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Bruce Wallace. Nothing new up here in the highlands. They fly here most days in the week, usually Tornados. Low? aye sometimes they’re lower than the house…

    84. JOHN KING says:

      Dammit
      I really wish I had read your post first galamcennalath
      but it just shows how close everyones thinking is here when we can all reach the same conclusion.

    85. SquareHaggis says:

      SOMETHIN IN THE AIR

      Funny stuff going on overhead last few months, late on, usually just after midnight. Nothing visible from the ground but sounds like a “drone”.
      Regular as clockwork. Anyone know if there’s a way to get a picture of something like that?

    86. chalks says:

      Even if the Barnett Formula isn’t abolished, we’re still fk’d…..as they’ll reduce the funding for the NHS in England/Wales…thus giving us less and having to take money from elsewhere to cover the cost……not to mention the next step in the eradication of the welfare system.

      I can’t see Scotland voting No though but these arguments are for the hardcore no voters, the ones that won’t listen to reason. Give them both barrel’s of the implications of a No vote and watch them squirm.

    87. SquareHaggis says:

      HUH HA,

      The wife (RotundHaggis) just gave me the answer :

      Want a picture of a drone, do a selfie 🙁

    88. Linda's Back says:

      Labour / Tory /lib Dem post referendum promises can be seen in the same light as the highly respected former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Sir Alec Douglas Home who told my parents (and the whole of Scotland) that if they voted No in 1979 a much better devolution settlement will come along.

      It had better not escape the public’s attention that Johann Lamont, Tam Dalyell and Brian Wilson all campaigned like the Tories for a no vote in 1979.

      Labour “the Party of Devolution” don’t make me laugh, their commitment to more powers ebbs and flows with the SNP’s standing in the polls.

    89. bookie from hell says:

      East Kilbride MP Michael McCann, who is due to become chairman of the Scottish parliamentary party in Westminster, warned that the devolution debate needs to be settled.

      “needs to be settled”(Scottish parliament didn’t work)

      give Scots something to stop independence

    90. G H Graham says:

      Any poll commissioned by or reported by the British Media is designed to nothing else but try & convince the audience that there is no point in voting for independence.

      Thus, the questions are rigged, the data is rigged or the outcome is rigged; just so long as it looks as if the gap between NO & YES is so large, it is impossible to overcome by September 2014.

      My advice is to ignore them all. They are a waste of time & money.

      Use your time instead to research the facts & spread the word, one undecided voter at a time.

      It’s probably pointless even discussing the referendum with die hard sash wearers, Rangers supporters, Conservative leaning types, those that listen to the BBC as if they were sitting on their fathers lap & those who think Eastenders is a documentary.

    91. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Alan Mackintosh says:

      Bruce Wallace. Nothing new up here in the highlands. They fly here most days in the week, usually Tornados. Low? aye sometimes they’re lower than the house…

      Count yourself it’s only Tornados Alan. When I used to work in the defence industry, many moons ago, I used hear stories about REAL aircraft ;), notably the Buccaneer. 🙂

      They used to say that if a Buc was flying at MORE than 50 feet off the deck the pilots got a nose bleed! 🙂

    92. scottish_skier says:

      Prof C “ipsos MORI’s polls now look like a bit of an outlier”

      Erm aye prof. They’ve always been…

    93. Alan Mackintosh says:

      1320; Aye had Buccaneers flying around too, and Phantoms. And before them Vulcans. There is a bombing range at Tain and the flight path circuit took them over Embo/Dornoch. The Vulcans were fantastic to see. Remember when I was planting trees on Loch Ness side, looked round to see a B52 flying up the loch. Looking out from the hill at the same height as it, then it powered up and lifted out of the loch and over the hills to the south of the loch. But best of all walking down Dornoch street when Mosquito flew over about 25 years ago. Think it was the only one flying at the time. Brought back 633 Squadron…

    94. With regards to the link posted by Steve B, a lovely little example of SLAB MSP intelligence:

      Johann Lamont: Only in Alex Salmond’s world is what Standard Life said today represented by what he has just said. A tried and tested path: denial, deception, delusion. [Interruption.]

      The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick): Ms Lamont, “deception” is not acceptable in the chamber.

      Johann Lamont: It certainly is not. It is not acceptable in real life, either. Standard Life—[Interruption.]

      The Presiding Officer: Ms Lamont, it is not acceptable in the chamber. Continue.

      How stupid does one have to be to not realise that the presiding officer is calling you out for inappropriate language?



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