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The drained pool

Posted on February 19, 2016 by

It’s curious that as the Scotland Bill negotiations deadlock drags on, well beyond its original deadline of 12 February and now hurtling headlong towards the extended 23 February one with no sign of progress on the horizon, that nobody is remarking on one of the most striking facets of the new devolution proposals.

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Remember “pooling and sharing”, readers? Whatever happened to that?

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The problem for the Unionist parties is that the No campaign was fought on a fundamentally dishonest premise. They insisted that “pooling and sharing” was the best argument for staying in the UK, yet at the same time promised that if people voted No, they’d then dismantle that pooling and sharing as quickly as possible (in the name of “faster, safer, and better change”).

Because if you make Scotland responsible for raising the bulk of its own taxation, and warn that there’ll be no bailouts from the UK if it makes a mess of it, you’re not pooling and sharing anything. You’re doing the exact opposite: ringfencing each individual part of the UK’s resources and saying that everyone keeps their own stuff.

This site has long argued that “full fiscal autonomy” is in fact the worst of both worlds – Scotland having all the expense and risk of raising its own taxes from a lower tax base, but without control of its own resources and with all the important levers of the economy still being locked into UK policy, which by pretty much universal agreement is run for the almost exclusive benefit of London and the south-east.

But while that may be a matter of opinion, what FFA (or any significant degree of it) definitely, unarguably is is a dramatic reduction in “pooling and sharing”. The central argument of the No campaign – one which “goes to the heart of why we are better together”, in its own words – has had the plug pulled.

We’ve recently struggled to see why the Scottish Government is even bothering to fight for the Scotland Bill powers, which to our eyes are a straightforward political trap. But perhaps it’s only when you drain all the water out of the pool that you can see the mess at the bottom of it clearly.

If and when a second referendum comes along, the “pooling and sharing” argument will be dead, killed not by the SNP but by the people who created it. There will be almost nothing left that the UK still pools and shares, precious little “solidarity” for whatever’s left of the Labour Party by then to try to flog.

So we can just about see why the SNP might be ready to take a short-term gamble on some booby-trapped powers to put themselves in a stronger position for a second referendum. But it’s harder to see what the Unionist parties get out of it. The amount of money involved is peanuts to the UK, and their original plan to use the scheme to destroy the Nats forever looks scuppered by the utter ruination of Scottish Labour.

The Vow and the subsequent Smith Commission were the result of Unionist panic as the polls converged in the run-up to the referendum. It could be the case that they just made a rod for their own back in haste and can’t find a way out of it that doesn’t look too obviously like a massive betrayal.

Or it could be that they’re counting on the “powers” to leave Scotland so much worse off that independence will look more economically unviable. But when Better Together V2.0 won’t be able to offer “pooling and sharing” as an alternative second time around, the people of Scotland may well conclude that if they’re getting screwed anyway, then they’ll have nothing to lose by doing it on their own terms.

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    1. 19 02 16 12:43

      The drained pool | Speymouth

    218 to “The drained pool”

    1. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      “Pooling and Sharing”

      Is that not when we share Scotland’s abundant resources and it is pooled down into the South-East of England?

    2. Bobajock says:

      Here was me thinking that Britnats might see the con. They don’t seem to and simply carry on spouting Fear+.

      What they fail to see is that its their choice that is lighting up the useless truth of the ‘union’.

    3. Dan Huil says:

      The longer this Vow farce continues the more Cameron and Westminster are seen as lying, conniving scum. They hoped to trap the Scottish government; but Westminster is now caught in its own web of deceit.

    4. mr thms says:

      I think the most interesting thing is the joint negotiations between Scotland/UK and UK/EU both have at their core the benefits system..

    5. David Wardrope says:

      Just about to read this but had to say, that is a fine picture at the top of the article. Closet urban explorer in the midst (that would be urban explorer of a modest nature, and not in fact an explorer of urban closets…)

    6. Grouse Beater says:

      For pooling and sharing read, fooling and scaring.

    7. ClanDonald says:

      The first time that SLab realise their beloved pooling and sharing is nothing more than a worthless cliche is probably when they read this post.

      Utterly clueless. But they’ll never throw in their Union Jack patterned towel because their loyalty is to the UK Labour Party, not the people of Scotland.

    8. Ken500 says:

      Setting up a tax system in Scotland is essential for FFA/Independence. Tax revenues going into Edinburgh will eventually give FFA /Independence. Ie once the money is in Edinburgh refuse to fund projects like Trident, illegal wars etc.

      Tax Laws could be enforced in Scotland. HMRC is not fit for purpose. The crooks in Westminster support tax evasion and higher taxes in Scotland for projects, not supported by the majority in Scotland. The Scottish gov can’t put a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, to make Scotlan healthier. Or cut 60% Oil tax revenues to save jobs. The price has fallen 75%. Google pays 3% tax. The first step to FFA/Independence is a tax system in Scotland.

      The EU carry-on is laughable. Incredible. Scotland losses £10Billion to the UK Union which could be better spent. Scotland pays £1Billion for EU membership which all comes back. £1/2Billion in CAP payments, rest in shared Defence costs and EU Grants. Scotland could access more EU renewable Grants (blocked by Westminster) and higher CAP payments taken by Westminster.

      Westminster will have to agree the Scottish Gov terms or there will be another Indy Referendum.

      What is wrong with a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink. A sugar tax to keep people healthier. Getting rid of obsolete £170Billion Trident. Stop illegal wars causing a migration crisis. Give Aid and trade. Cutting 60% Oil tax would support jobs in the UK and less Oil & Gas would have to be imported putting up the balance of payments deficit and the debt.

    9. heraldnomore says:

      On an accounting forum which I frequent at times, in response to a very sensible article on developments on taxes in this part of the world, here’s the first contribution from the profession:

      “Let’s just get rid of the divisive North British Regional Council and all this nonsense. We are a single country and the taxes should be the same across the whole country.”

      Trying hard to keep my finger from the Report button…

    10. Dan Huil says:

      Pooling and sharing Veruca Vows

    11. Graham MacLure says:

      As time goes on i believe that the analysis of the Referendum by the “Bookies” was absolutely right in that they knew the Establishment would blag it’s way to a win with flimflam, but does not have either the will or resources to back it up.
      The ramshackle Union is now more precarious than ever and it looks like the date “Predicted” by the “Bookies” odds of around 2020 could well be close.

    12. katherine hamilton says:

      I think that is well evidenced with Mr. Hands assertion, repeated as recently by Breakfast News this morning. He is reported as saying (sorry, I paraphrase) that the SNP government can’t take on tax raising powers and expect the rest of the UK to take all the risks.

      There are no “broad shoulders”, there is no and will never be “pooling and sharing”.
      This for me is clear evidence that once again it’s divide and rule or if you like- ” you’ve made your bed, now lie in it”- as we say up here.

      No to the Scotland Bill. If (IF!) the hounds of hell come down on Sweeney’s head,so be it. Those of us who support Independence have heard it all before and are now immune to it.

      The proposals are disingenuous at best.

      Again, many thanks for all your efforts.

    13. Alastair says:

      Sorry to contradict you Stu but the Holyrood devolution committee letter sets a deadline of today the 19th so the committee have the weekend to analyse any settlement before the already dairied meeting with Mundel and John Sweeney on the 23rd.

    14. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Years ago, talking about impending recession, Warren Buffet: ‘It’s not until the tide goes out that you discover who’s been swimming in the nude.’

      The Pig-Annoyer, Murphy, Jabba, Rennie, Dugga and all their BTUKOK buddies, ‘as nature intended’, thrashing about, gasping for air…nice!

    15. Craig P says:

      We are to pool our superior resource base and share our inferior income base.

      The fact that income tax is the only tax to be devolved (and only partially, and with caveats) shows clearly what the unionists aim to get out of it. To keep skimming where our performance is superior and get the SNP to take the flak for hitting people directly in the pockets.

    16. John Walsh says:

      Conservatives have been used to baffling Poor Labour Stratagists . Now trying to pull the wool over the SNP’s eyes in these negotiations . For example devolving Welfare to Holyrood will cost £450m + in set up costs plus £200m running costs the WM treasury offer SG £50m. Now why do they think we should except that? Think we are daft.

    17. Giving Goose says:

      Interesting stuff and when you mix in the following scenarios from a EU Referendum

      http://tinyurl.com/zmf853e

      (Apologies if someone has posted the link from the Telegraph)

      You get…?

    18. Brian Powell says:

      Robin McAlpine of RIC argued that SG should use every little power that came along to show how much of a failure the UK, and the provisions of devolution, were.

      Seemed a risky strategy but we now see the contortions the LabCons are going through to not be seen to be the authors of ‘Smith powers’ (it’s the SNP’s fault) and die by association.

    19. Laukat says:

      If the current negotiations fail does it not also mean we have hit the limit of how far devolution can go?

      When you have all parties saying that the Scottish Government is correct on how this should be financed it would make it very difficult for the unionist camp in a future referendum to offer jam tomorrow unless the UK government capitulates which would be electoral suicide in England.

      Might very well be a win/win situation for Independence supporters

    20. De Valera says:

      At least when the next referendum comes round, nobody except Ian Smart and Simon Pia will take Gordon Brown seriously.

    21. Big Jock says:

      In essence the unionists want Swinney to sign up to this, and for Scotland to fail. This is what Slabour dream of. They are so dishonest they want Scotland to fail in order for them to regain power.

      If you listen to the narrative of the average unionist. It goes along the lines of. Scotland is a failing nation propped up by Westminster, that would collapse without subsidy. This is how they view their own country and they want people to vote for this shite!

    22. Ken500 says:

      The Tories are a bunch of conceited, criminal amateurs. A disgace. The Press is illegally controlled by tax evading Non Doms supported by Westminster.

    23. Dr Jim says:

      Pooling and sharing with Scotland was “GOOD” now it’s “BAD”
      Pooling and sharing with the EU was “GOOD” now it’s “BAD”

      We should just leave England to not notice they’re going broke while they’re at the cricket and London and it’s money men get richer at the expense of the bewildered migrant haters

      Scotland votes IN (EU) and then gets OUT (UK) to get back IN (EU) but with a better deal than when we were IN (BOTH)

      Make sense? I think so

      You’ve got to feel sorry for the Welsh they get no say in sod all, English democracy just gets done to them without a whimper of choice
      We are suffering slightly less of that now that we’ve got good at democracy

      All hail the Sturgeonator and her vile gang of Sepa Rats

    24. call me dave says:

      The Tories certainly pulled the UK plug on the ‘pooling and sharing’ so leaving the Scottish labour and lib/dem fish gasping for survival.

      Only the SNP have the ability to swim and breathe air since the referendum.

      Don’t worry though, Glen Campbell on Radio GMS has a gut feeling that a deal will be struck as no party will want to go into the next election with the fiscal framework unresolved.

      I’m stewing some plums for later on, hope Swinney is doing similar darn Sarf!

      PS:
      Swinney might ‘sneak a deal’ while CMD has his back turned in Europe proffers the Herald. 🙂

    25. Bob Mack says:

      To be fair they did not say who would have the pool. We must remember that most pools have a deep end and a shallow end. We have the shallow end in Scotland.

      Still we can dream.

    26. Andrew Haddow says:

      Scottish resources are pooled, shared with the wealthy of SE England, then trickle down into offshore tax havens.

    27. Clydebuilt says:

      Rev. Stu. Aye I’ve been wondering what’s going on both sides of the negotiations. Good analysis of a confusing situation

    28. paul gerard mccormack says:

      The drowning pool, more like.

    29. mogabee says:

      That’s just the thing Stu. They cannot continue to use “pooling and sharing” hence the reason that “bile and anger” is now the order of the day!

      Many of us have noticed the marked increase in anonymous twitter accounts which are belting out the old cliches from before the Indyref and trying to “engage” and distract.

      In all the time I’ve been on twitter I can’t remember having to block so many..Aye, they’re angry. 🙂

    30. David says:

      No doubt the wallet driven voters were the ones who tipped the balance in favour of no. Their cautionary approach has achieved nothing except that the less stupid and more observant among them can probably now see that their no votes were a waste of time. I believe in the next time because many who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing can now see that the union has as much likliehood of protecting their narrow, selfish interests as the rocks going into meltdown on a Scottish Summer’s day.

    31. james says:

      I expect that Swinney will get his way on No Detriment, but not on set up costs etc.
      A clever unionists would agree to everything with 5 yearly reviews in the expectation that at each review it will be shown that comparable tax generation in Scotland has under-performed rUK.
      The challenge for the Scottish Government will be to out-perform rUK, which is possible and if achieved will be a strong argument for independence.

    32. Bob Mack says:

      Can’t help but remembering Thatcher and Healey hiding oil revenues under the Official Secrets Act to protect the Scots from themselves.

      Thinking of George Younger refusing Barnett consequentials to prevent our public services from getting too big.

      Thinking of Labour sending back £1.5 billion in grants because Scotland had nothing to spend it on.

      They certainly saved us from ourselves right enough. Good to share.

    33. In today’s daily stranger Prof Jim Gallagher an article
      headlined Sleight of Hand about the fiscal frame work.

      At the end of the article he wonders if the SNP want a deal because without a referendum after the Holyrood election which they wold lose, they would then have nothing to talk about.

      So maybe their aim is to reject the fiscal framework, whatever is offered and so derail the new powers in the Scotland Bill.

      Then they can argue about powers not exercising it.

    34. cearc says:

      Andrew Haddow,

      Spot on.

    35. mealer says:

      Has our conquering hero threshed those pesky foreigners into line yet?

    36. Albaman says:

      Aye, those “broad shoulders ” eh,
      What they did not tell us (for obvious reasons ) was that those shoulders are set at 120dgs, AND are Teflon coated.

    37. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rev Stu: says –

      “the people of Scotland may well conclude that if they’re getting screwed anyway, then they’ll have nothing to lose by doing it on their own terms.”

      Ouch! That kind of reminds me of the words credited to old Confucius:- “If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it”.

      Though I do have grave doubts that the old Chinese wise man would be daft enough to ever have said such a thing.

    38. Alison Rollo says:

      Seems to me we’ve been filling up the pool and they have been enjoying sharing it!! Guess who got the lion’s share?

    39. Big Gav says:

      Westminster doesn’t just have problems pooling and sharing with Scotland the North of England gets a really raw deal too.

      Subsequent governments centralized spending policies damage the entire UK, if Scotland were to become independent it’s likely that the voices in the north of the England would get better heard in parliament, it would be a boon for our friends in the north. As far as I can see our “solidarity” seems to mean our tacit compliance in a system that marginalizes our Northern Allies rather than liberates them.

    40. Robert Peffers says:

      @Grouse Beater says: 19 February, 2016 at 11:57 am:

      “For pooling and sharing read, fooling and scaring.”

      The only problem is that London does all the pulling of resources to London and the Scots do all the sharing of Scottish resources with London.

    41. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

      Apropos , above: Never let an accountant near any fundamental moral, philosophical, constitutional, innovational question.

      Them and their fellow bean counters – the stats gals and guys as well as the (un)civil servants – tend to be sociopaths fixated on the minutae of personal gain and social stasis and couldn’t/wouldn’t head-but a non-money-making/ego-enhancing/fiddling with the figures opportunity unless bunged a major bob or a dozen or some form of slavered after “professional” acclaim (accountants the worst of the lot with the others jooking about like a Muppet just behind them).

      Let them know their places as simple but vital recorders of the data, and not get ideas above their station (the real deals excepted).

    42. Giving Goose says:

      Re Alison Rollo

      They also shit and piss in the pool.
      And we have to swim in their mess.

    43. Fergus Green says:

      I just can’t see ‘fooling and scaring’ working second time around.

      Fool me once…..

    44. orri says:

      The problem with pools of the type shown are that they have a narrow end and a deep one. Guess which end we’re at and what happens when the water level drops.

    45. Fergus Green says:

      I realise Swinney is cleverly painting the Tories into a corner with the negotiations, but there is still a part of me that fears the SNP will still compromise. That would be a huge mistake.

    46. DerekM says:

      Aye Rev spot on,you know the real bizarre thing is that if they had kept their promises they would have crushed the indy movement and saved their precious union,but then we are talking about westminster who are in it for themselves and would not know fair if it jumped up and bit them on the ass.

      I honestly cant see the logic behind stifling a potential powerhouse that could make sterling strong,its not just a betrayal of the people of Scotland but of England,Wales and NI as well.

      Or maybe London is just scared that Edinburgh would take over as the “big city” in the UK.

      But all that is irrelevant now they have made their choice to screw us over once again,it really could have been so different they got a chance to redeem themselves and failed miserably,well no more chances.

    47. R-type Grunt says:

      @ heraldnomore

      Accounting forum? Haud me back!

    48. Robert Peffers says:

      @heraldnomore says: 19 February, 2016 at 12:00 pm:

      “We are a single country and the taxes should be the same across the whole country.”

      How on Earth, heraldnomore, can someone qualify as an accountant who is so badly educated that they cannot read two simple words in basic English?

      What exactly does the numptie think is meant by the title, “United Kingdom” of Great Britain & Northern Ireland?.

      It is not, “The United Country of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”, nor is it, “The United States of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”.

      It is exactly what it claims to be – A Kingdom formed from two former independent Kingdoms that contains four countries and two former independent kingdoms.

      Neither is it either Great Britain, Britain or the British Isles. It is called a kingdom and that is just what it is.

      I hope the guy is better at numbers than he is with words. Mind you going be the tax arrangements overseen by accountants I am not surprised if the call the digit 9 zero.

    49. Fred says:

      Thanks for pooling & sharing this anyhow!

    50. @Alison Rollo says:
      19 February, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      I think a more appropriate description would be,
      we’ve been filling up the pool with our resources and they have been enjoying draining it!

    51. scottieDog says:

      Pulling and shedding our resources is what they do best.
      Indyref 2 needs to be fought on a sovereign currency

    52. Macart says:

      Yeah, pooling and sharing has worked out marvelously so far.

      Still, when a second referendum is called, I’m sure folk will thank better together and HMG in an appropriate fashion.

    53. Big Jock says:

      The really sad part of all of this. Is that 55% of our so called countrymen and women fell hook line and sinker ,for the deception and duplicity.

    54. Robert Peffers says:

      @Giving Goose says: 19 February, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      “Interesting stuff and when you mix in the following scenarios from a EU Referendum

      http://tinyurl.com/zmf853e
      “.

      Interesting indeed, Giving Goose.
      We only needs look at that first picture to know the mind set of the author.

      They depict a Scottish Saltire to represent Scotland but a Butcher’s Apron to represent England.

      Same old myths, “UK/England/Britain/The Country”., all mutual and synonymous in the minds of the weak minded Yoon fools.

    55. Henry hooper says:

      “This site has long argued that “full fiscal autonomy” is in fact the worst of both worlds – Scotland having all the expense and risk of raising its own taxes from a lower tax base”

      If FFA is everything except defence and foreign affairs…what’s the lower tax base?

    56. Macandroid says:

      The “Dead Pool”!

      Slightly O/T sort of.

      Is there a constitutional expert on board who can say whether or not EVEL breaks any of the terms of the Treaty of Union or Act(s) of Union?

      We need out asap.

    57. orri says:

      Slightly off topic. The thing that bemuses but does not surprise me is the emphasis on the SNP being somehow responsible for the decision to pass an application to fly the Irish Tricolour to commemorate the Easter rebellion to be voted on by the full council in North Lanarkshire.

      The local politics are such that it shouldn’t shock anyone from the Coatbridge or Airdrie area to find that it only got that far because of support from a Labour councillor. The hilarity is that in trying to appease the local voters it puts Labour in the position of supporting/commemorating the opening act of what turned into a bloody fight for freedom.

      The idea that the SNP are backtracking on it seems to imply that they came up with the idea in the first place rather than just passing it on with the agreement of some Labour councillors. Having done so it’s probably best that they simply abstain and let Labour decide for themselves. Voting for or against will be used against them. Labour are the ones in control at the moment. Let them decide.

    58. Christian Schmidt says:

      I think nobody of the unionist side ever thought through what ‘pooling and sharing’ could or should mean. It sounded good, it may swing some votes, so it was used. They were after all expecting the pro-independence parties to self-dissolve as soon as the referendum was won, so most likely didn’t give much thought to any of this.

      Now the negotiations are led by the Treasury. Their position is determined by two issues: Firstly they do know that RUK would be worse off without Scotland so they are against independence. Secondly they have a big problem with their overall budget numbers (because austerity just does not work), so they are desperate to squeeze every penny from anywhere they can. Note that again there is no long-term or strategic thinking involved.

    59. yesindyref2 says:

      OT
      I post on the Herald and being careful don’t get that many comments deleted. I was extra careful with a comment to make sure it followed the rules but crtiticised the article and guess what, it was deleted. Here, the article headline, is why:

      “Jenny Hjul: Nationalists seek a power of veto on broadcasting to crush dissent”

      I guess Cockers & Co don’t like their jaundiced views to be contradicted.

    60. Camz says:

      I really believe that any future indyref will have to be a fair way away.

      The majority of No voters are of a given point of view and they get their news and opinions via the state broadcaster / MSM. That won’t change anytime soon.

      It will take years for the print media to be diminished completely (if at all), and it will take years for the BBC to get round to any form of Scottish six and it be free from establishment bias (if ever).

      I imagine the quicker fix will be the natural wastage of those that voted No, as they were predominantly the oldest of the population. On that basis, I think five years or ten years from 2014 will be markers to watch for over 65s polling on indyref.

      Who knows. Maybe as successive generations get older, they get more ‘frit’ and change to No anyway (hope not). It’s a sad thought that it could mean that the older Yes voters probably won’t see it happen, but it’s probably more likely than Westminster doing anything good for Scotland in the meantime.

    61. galamcennalath says:

      Henry hooper says:

      “If FFA is everything except defence and foreign affairs”

      Would be really get full economic levers with FFA. I doubt it.

      What about debt repayments? Scotland’s share is about £4b a year. As long as we are within the UK, FFAed even, WM will expect our contribution.

      However, with Indy, there are a lot of negotiations concerning historical contributions, division of joint assets, and continuing state status for rUK. This IMO would result in a much lower debt burden.

      Then there is defence. the White Paper suggested Scotland would pay about £1b less per annum. With FFA, this won’t happen.

      I do see FFA as worst of all worlds. It will never happen.

    62. carjamtic says:

      Beware of the dark Westmonster pig/toad lickers bearing gifts,they will do a John Travolta before they have to make good.

      Mind you,things is no going to well for them,if fact,you might say,if they dinnae hae shucks they’d droon 🙂

      Soar Alba

    63. yesindyref2 says:

      OT

      Sorry, this is an important article and I’ll read properly comment later, as I possibly have a different view.

      I love irony, and this is it, having a posting deleted on that Herald article: “Jenny Hjul: Nationalists seek a power of veto on broadcasting to crush dissent” and having my comment deleted, hence crushing dissent. This is my reply to a regular poster who replied to my post before it was deleted:

      “Well (X), the headline is “Jenny Hjul: Nationalists seek a power of veto on broadcasting to crush dissent”

      but the power of veto was exercised on my posting to crush dissent. “

      We’ll see how long that posting lasts …

    64. heedtracker says:

      Its toryboy pay back. Scotland’s just a region of the UK, a fractious one which will be punished.

      Is there anything in the Westminster toryboy mindset that even suggests a blue tory git like Cameron wouldn’t be furious at having to beg, plead and weep to the Scots to make us vote NO?

      Look at the sneering red tory malice that drips from likes of Murphy, Lord Foulkes or the Pacific Quay mob.

    65. Les Wilson says:

      In truth the ” sharing and pooling” idea, is well pushed by the Unionists, to rob Scotland blind. Many of us have long known that to be fact.

      They have perfected the idea by making it sound good, good socialistic mantra, but in practice is a one way street for the benefits of our resources to end up in Westminster’s coffers.

      We have rarely got anything good from our Union with England, that seems hell bent in remaining to be the case.

      It will get worse as time goes on, as they no longer have the robbed resources of other countries to fund their needs. It is time for divorce or we will become an impoverished wasteland with all resources gone, left with few ways to enhance the lives of our peoples. The time is now, or reap the consequences.

    66. heraldnomore says:

      @Robert Peffers

      I know Robert, but you should see the next comment beneath said article. It is along the lines of ‘all the additional rUK costs of administering all this devolution should be deducted from Scotland’s share’, and on and on.

      My lip is shredded from being bitten, my head sore from battering off the brick wall, then I remember where it is the Daily Mail sells and the BBC broadcasts with impunity.

    67. Robert Peffers says:

      @De Valera says: 19 February, 2016 at 12:12 pm:

      “At least when the next referendum comes round, nobody except Ian Smart and Simon Pia will take Gordon Brown seriously.”

      Oh! I can think of a couple more. Alex Rowley and Gordon Brown.

    68. Bob Mack says:

      @Orri,

      Correct. It was the idea of a Labour Councillor,who are now trying to back peddle on the issue due to pressure from the Lodge and sevco fans,
      The SNP are not keen now to give in to this pressure,and given that the Queen herself has decided to mark the event,it rather makes the position of those complaining look out of touch with the person they call their Monarch.

      If it’s good enough for her,then it’s good enough for them to whom they swear allegiance and servitude.

    69. Movy says:

      I agree with Fergus Green above. In my opinion it would be a huge mistake for John Swinney to compromise. I also think that Hands has made it pretty well impossible for John Swinney to compromise; by flying off, then apparently sending a take it or leave it message from France, he’s effectively made that an impossibility since most of us accept, since we do believe that John Swinney is trying to get the best deal for Scotland, that whatever is on the table is detrimental to Scotland.

    70. heedtracker says:

      Has there ever seen such incredible liars before, like Gordon Brown and the UKOK media in action?

      And all of it to keep control of their Scotland region

      http://www.channel4.com/news/gordon-brown-scots-being-offered-home-rule-within-uk

    71. Les Wilson says:

      yesindyref2 says:

      ” crushing dissent?”
      Is that not what Westminster uses the BBC for?

    72. CameronB Brodie says:

      “Pooling and sharing”? Feckin’ utilitarianism, innit?

      Sounds good in principle and perhaps works on paper but it’s an eighteenth century approach to political economy that seems unable to cope with the demands of Britain, let alone a post-modern, globalised society living in the digital age. It’s also based on some rather dodgy moral philosophy, IMHO.

      Back in the real world, why should I be happy that house prices in London and the stock-broker belt have skyrocketed? Why should I be pleased that the City of London has had a bumper month? These appear to be the measure of what is morally correct macro economic policy, though I’m not getting any of the cream. In fact, UKOK plc. is one of the worst places to live in the developed world, if your hopping for a bit a cream and a chance for a bit of social mobility.

      Britain is a legacy of traditionalism that is held together by fear and nepotism. Please don’t allow emotional attachment to something that never was, cloud your view of what needs to be done. Not for any nationalist ideology or xenophobia but for the children.

    73. seanair says:

      I can understand Brown and Darling keeping quiet at this time, but I am amazed that Lord Smith has nothing to say about Cameron tearing to pieces his Commission’s final report. What was the point of having a Commission if Westminster is dead set on ignoring it?
      It’s not as if Lord Smith has to keep quiet to get his seat in the HoL, so why the silence? Is he on holiday?

    74. Puzzled Puss says:

      Since the Scotland Bill seems to me to be at worst, a Trojan horse, and at best a packet of peanuts, I can’t say I’m losing much sleep at the prospect of the failure of the current negotiations.

      Such a failure will simply serve to crystallise in the minds of waverers the realisation that Devo Max was never on the agenda. The choice is between the horrors of the status quo and Independence.

    75. pmcrek says:

      The plan is as follows, if the Scottish Government accept the current proposals, the SNP will be blamed for any knock on cuts while the establishment promote the fallacious notion that the devolved Government in Scotland is now one of the most powerful in the world and no further devolution is needed.

      If the Scottish Government reject the current proposals then the establishment will blame the SNP for the failure to deliver the vow and in two years time pundits will be on the airwaves asserting that the SNP were offered devo max on a plate and refused it. This false assertion will be mostly unchallenged in much the same way that conflating the AV referendum result with PR is currently unchallenged.

    76. CameronB Brodie says:

      P.S.
      It doesn’t work because economic and political power “pools” and doesn’t like to share (see: democratic deficit).

    77. Robert Peffers says:

      @Fergus Green says: 19 February, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      “I just can’t see ‘fooling and scaring’ working second time around.

      Fool me once.”

      Yer kidding, Fergus, history shows the Establishment down south have been fooling the rest of Britain since before Christ was born and Scotland in particular.

      They fooled and threatened us into this bloody union in the first place and the very worst of them all have balways een London Scots., “Sicna paircel o rogues in ae nation”.

    78. Giving Goose says:

      Re seanair

      I’m sure Lord Smith was sat down in a room, with a wipe board, pens and bacon sandwiches to order where they mapped out the possible scenarios.

      Being a Lord and therefore a loyal lacky to the Establishment, Smithy would have gone along with whatever he was told to do.

    79. Scott Borthwick says:

      I’m really looking forward to finding out what our share of the oil struck near Gatwick is going to be.

    80. yesindyref2 says:

      @Les Wilson
      Yes, which makes her article even more ironic. Definately in the Cochrane mould, he could have spat her out himself (I think it’s an Irish expression).

      My reply still there, I wonder at times if the Herald monitors this forum to check what people are saying about it.

    81. snode1965 says:

      Fiscal negotiations between Swinney and Hands have just broken up….no deal.

    82. Mick Calder says:

      Thanks Rev, this has been my thought process throughout the negotiations.

      Scotland didn’t vote for new powers to be transferred, it wasn’t on the ballot, so the SNP shouldn’t feel beholden to accept terms that would result in a bad deal. Also they are absolutely right to stand their ground because people voted (not I) for the pooling and sharing of resources which means that the rUK should be coughing up as we’re *ahem, ‘Better Together’.

    83. Nana says:

      Well certainly our ‘pool’ of whisky is helping the coffers of wastemonster

      http://archive.is/M8fvG

    84. call me dave says:

      @snode1965

      Thanks for that!

      I’ll wait for Swinney & Sturgeon to say why.

      Re my plums earlier… they’re done:
      Plenty time to simmer UK ones till next week.

      I’t’ll be on all the stations soon.

      Meanwhile that’s 0 for 1 for Cameron maybe 0 for 2 later on.

    85. Jimbo says:

      They probably meant pulling and sharing.

      They keep trying to pull the plug on us, we have to keep sharing our resources with them.

    86. Effijy says:

      You misheard, they said “Pooing and Shelling”.
      They Phoo Phoo everything we say, Sh*t on us
      And Bomb our budgets.

      Can anyone advise if Murdoch has decided
      On the result of an EU Referendum?

    87. Alan Weir says:

      @ Rev Stu:

      “This site has long argued that “full fiscal autonomy” is in fact the worst of both worlds – Scotland having all the expense and risk of raising its own taxes from a lower tax base, but without control of its own resources”

      I think this argument overlooks the fact that FFA means lots of different things depending on the fiscal framework it is set in. The UK is fiscally autonomous but it makes financial transfers over and above commercially mandated ones such as payments to bond holders or receipts from countries it has lent to. For example, it pays in to the EU and receives a rebate, these payments the results of political haggling and agreement.

      In the same way, a fiscally autonomous Scotland might transfer money to rUK it has no legal obligation to, e.g. £3-4 billion a year to cover interest on UK debt the Scottish govt didn’t run up. Or it could to the contrary negotiate transfers in the opposite direction: e.g. the union dividend promised if we voted no or compensation for the giant mis-selling of oil. Note also that Greenland and the Faroes are fiscally autonomous but receive net transfers from Denmark, as I understand it.

      The most important thing about FFA is that it would show fearful No voters that the sky won’t fall in if we pay our own way in the world, run our own pensions etc. And then it makes the next step to full independence very small. The only folk who won’t take it will be those who think it imperative that Scotland have no voice in the world, no seat in the UN, no commissioners in the EU, no say in whether our troops engage in foreign wars, no way to stop another country putting nuclear bases on our soil etc. There will be people like that, but not 50% or more of the population. It’s the best route to a win in IndyRef2.

      So FFS, Rev Stu, reconsider FFA!

    88. Papadox says:

      1707 The only people who were allowed a vote on Union were our “leaders”? Unelected of course and bribed to sell their country and people into WESTMINSTERS pocket.

      2016 Our “ELECTED” leaders should be allowed to dissolve the undemocratic Union of 1707. NO REFERENDUM REQUIRED. we elected them.

    89. One_Scot says:

      ‘Fiscal negotiations between Swinney and Hands have just broken up….no deal.’

      But, but, that can’t be true, the Daily Record said the ‘Vow’ had been delivered.

      http://archive.is/ogZNr

    90. snode1965 says:

      Alan Wier. Most reasonable folk would probably agree with you on FFA, but as the break up of today’s negotiations expose, we aren’t dealing with a reasonable UK establishment.

    91. galamcennalath says:

      FFS! It’s not about compromises, or one side or the other ‘shifting’ … it’s about Cameron delivering the bloody Vow and related promises!

      If the Unionists no longer respect the outcome of IndyRef, why should anyone else?

    92. neil allan says:

      I thought you Nats were opposed to pooling and a sharing? But it turns out you are desperate to hang on the comfort blanket of Barnett. ME TOO.

    93. Alan Weir says:

      @ snode1965 3.31

      ” Most reasonable folk would probably agree with you on FFA, but as the break up of today’s negotiations expose, we aren’t dealing with a reasonable UK establishment.”

      Indeed: UK would not agree willingly to a reasonable FFA deal. It would depend what cards the SNP had and was willing to play: given a strong mandate for FFA (or something close) after May, a willingness greatly to extend EVEL (which would not be unreasonable, if we had control over fiscal matters), perhaps the Tories would agree to FFA. If not, have to fight for it or for as much we can get with a step up to extra-parliamentary action, mass rallies and other forms of public protest at least (old style Wembley invasion but of Whitehall??), if sufficient support for such can be found.

    94. Luigi says:

      In 2014, many NO voters thought it was just too much of a risk voting for independence and so they took, what they thought was a safer plunge, for status quo/devo max. What they did not realise at the time, as they dived off the board, headfirst, was that the union promise pool was shallower than expected, and rapidly draining:

      Ouch!

    95. CameonB Brodie says:

      neil allan
      I think the phrase you are looking for is “squid pro ro”.

      Groovy baby. 😉

    96. DerekM says:

      @ Alan Weir

      Alan this is westminsters idea of FFA,FFA can only be given not taken,and when you are dealing with a shower of bastards like westminster that is not going to happen,your idea of what FFA devomax or what ever you want to call it will never be the same as theirs.

      FFA or devomax is a lie used to keep control not devolve,there is only one way forward for Scotland and that is full independence anything else will be a con.

      And today has proved that go on John tell them to feck off and shove their crap bill where the sun dont shine no detriment or no deal,in fact tell the yoon twats to go back to the drawing board and fulfill their promise to the no voters in Scotland because its them thats being shafted not us Yes voters we knew this would happen.

      The irony is we are the ones standing up for the no voters of Scotland who wanted devomax after being promised it in the infamous vow,but probably just as well because if you left it to Scottish unionist politicians they would roll over with their begging bowls out for any scrap thrown at them,and would have probably signed our childrens futures away for their own self interests.

    97. frogesque says:

      Well done Swinney and the team!

      What now Cameron? Tanks on Carlton Hill?

      Hope the EU tell the pig botherer to GTF as well.

    98. muttley79 says:

      @Rev Stu

      This site has long argued that “full fiscal autonomy” is in fact the worst of both worlds – Scotland having all the expense and risk of raising its own taxes from a lower tax base, but without control of its own resources and with all the important levers of the economy still being locked into UK policy, which by pretty much universal agreement is run for the almost exclusive benefit of London and the south-east.

      I was under the impression that the proposed Scotland Bill was the worst of both worlds, not FFA. Under FFA, Holyrood would have control of just about every tax (bar VAT, or at least portion of it and one or two others), we would have all welfare powers, labour market laws, broadcasting etc. The downside is we would still have to pay for inflated defence costs because of Trident.

      I am of the opinion that we would be better with FFA, because it is very close to independence, plus I think there is a massive psychological barrier between the present status quo and independence for the electorate in Scotland. Remember to achieve independence we are going to have to move away from the Barnett formula at some point. I am concerned that we may get stuck where we are at the moment. That said I don’t think Westminster will ever offer us FFA anyway.

    99. Alan Weir says:

      @ neil allan 3:55 pm

      “I thought you Nats were opposed to pooling and a sharing? But it turns out you are desperate to hang on the comfort blanket of Barnett. ME TOO.”

      Scottish Nationalists are all in favour of pooling and sharing. We are in favour of continuing the pooled organ donor transplant arrangements we have with the Republic of Ireland, for example, unlike, it would seem, Gordon ‘British Organs for British Bodies’ Brown pooling arrangements common across networks of European states, e.g. in Scandinavia. We are in favour of solidarity with the working classes of Dublin and Cork and not just Derry and Derby, like you BritNats. More generally, We are in favour of pooling and sharing certain resources across the EU and EEA (and beyond).

      It is British Nationalists who refuse to pool and share with Scotland unless we agree to be ruled by England (which is what rule by a parliament answerable to an 85% English electorate amounts to). All we seek is equality for the Scottish people and parliament with the other small nations of Western Europe. You BritNats hate the idea of equality for the Scots because you are still stuck in a 1690s BullyBoy model of nationalism: Big nations swallow up their smaller neighbours, that’s how the world should be ordered according to you guys (at least as regards England and its neighours, excluding RoI if you are Jim Murphy or George Galloway).

    100. Nana says:

      @frogesque

      I saw a tweet earlier that Osborne was in on the talks.

      and so far regarding the EU negotiations…

      France-and-belgium-demand-take-it-or-leave-clause-to-avoid-second-renegotiation-in-event
      http://archive.is/xXFX2

      Greece-veto-threat-puts-pms-eu-deal-in-peril
      http://archive.is/IKx5w

    101. Les Wilson says:

      Pooling and sharing?
      How do they explain that Scotland is the only country in the world to find huge oil deposits, but are no better off? Hmmm, familiar to us but have never heard a Yoon, being asked to answer it.

    102. frogesque says:

      @ Nana

      Interesting, thanks (smiley thingy!)

    103. Bill McDermott says:

      Anent Cochrane’s biddy, I see that Jenny Hujl is now editor of the Fish Farmer magazine. I wonder how her politics will go down within the sector – not very well I suspect.

    104. One_Scot says:

      Are all you Yoons really that thick.

    105. DerekM says:

      @ neil allan

      Neil what part of its our money dont you get,a comfort blanket more like a jaggy hairy auld dirty tarpaulin with lots of fecking holes in it that some dog has pissed on.

      But its our money,so tell me Neil when you get your wages do you give them to your father and he gives you half it back then complains because he is subsidizing you while spending the other half of your money on nice things for himself,no i didnt think so and if he did would you still stay in his house hmmm.

    106. Marie Clark says:

      Can’t get any of the archive links to open this afternoon. Is it just me, or is anyone else having problems?

      It’s a damned pest, Nana’s links are aye guid.

    107. Dan Huil says:

      britnats would love to see Scotland suffer financially. The Scottish governement has done the right thing. Westminster and media britnats will, of course, blame the Scottish government but in so doing they will further increase the political differences between Scotland and England.

      better together?!

      united kingdom?!

      Hilarious.

    108. call me dave says:

      Well we puckered up our lips and refused to take the medicine.

      They can hold our nose right enough and force feed us but all Scotland should know the score and get ready for the future to come.

      A rocky road ahead and tin hats at the ready but George can snort all he likes.

      Swinney just has to whisper ‘No detriment’

      Not heard any of our representatives speak yet.

      Surely Sturgeon should be heard in full soon without BBC sound bites or a voice over.

    109. John Edgar says:

      The UK government through the Treasury does pooling and sharing – actually I meant pulling and sharing. It pulls the resources, tax yields etc from Scotland and shares out austerity. Gordon Brown cannot spell.

    110. Bob Mack says:

      Full Fiscal Autonomy??

      Even the current talks on devolution of SOME POWERS started with an opening Westminster gambit of Scotland losing £7.5 billion.Not far off a quarter of its budget from Barnett .

      Imagine what FFA would have them doing.. The problem of who gets what revenues and where and why would take forever. We know that there would have to be an untangling of major proportions,with a partner who does not want you to achieve that very thing.. They need the camouflage of complexity to hide everything they can.

    111. frogesque says:

      @ Marie Clark, Nana

      Nana’s links worked fine just after posting but not now . . . odd?

    112. Nana says:

      @call me dave

      Seems Ozzy has snorted in Nicola’s ear. Poor woman what she has to put up with…

      https://twitter.com/nickeardleybbc/status/700719215557353472?lang=en-gb

      I’m sure we will hear in good time but no doubt the unionists are spinning anyhow.

    113. Nana says:

      @Marie, both links working fine for me. Not sure why you are unable to see them.

    114. mike cassidy says:

      Pooling and Sharing

      was drowning not waving.

      And as I have said elsewhere –

      all the SNP have to do is put rejection of the bill in its manifesto.

      Let the people decide.

    115. frogesque says:

      Nana, at least Nicola didn’t have the pig bothered poking things in her ear.

    116. Marga says:

      OT, sorry, but over in Catalonia pooling and sharing isn’t on the menu, even watered down: it’s the start of state prosecution of the Catalan parliament’s Speaker and MPs alledging personal criminal responsability – for forming and/or participating in a parliamentary study committee on the Constituent Process. (In English).

      http://www.ara.cat/enTC-Ministry-Forcadell-Constituent-Committee_0_1525647609.html

    117. call me dave says:

      @Nana
      Your links are working Ok with me.
      Talks to go on over the weekend.

      https://archive.is/9PhOK

      FGS! Partick Thistle V Aberdeen postponed. 🙁

      Snooker… or golf only options . Oh well!

    118. Robert Peffers says:

      @Scott Borthwick says: 19 February, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      “I’m really looking forward to finding out what our share of the oil struck near Gatwick is going to be.

      I’ll tell you exactly, to the nearest penny, what our share of the oil off Gatwick will be – exactly the same as that struck in the North Sea adjacent to the entire Scottish Shoreline.

      Zilch, nought, none, zero and f-all. It all comes from Extra-Regio-Territory and we all know that belongs to the UK. All Scotland gets is the Scottish Block Grant and that has nothing whatsoever to do with oil or any other commodity that belongs to the UK. The Block grant is only concerned with the Barnett Formula and nothing else. Not even the mythical 8.4% some Scots were fooled into believing Scotland gets. We get none of the revenues.

    119. Jimmy says:

      I asked a while back, and I understand it may be of no interest, but Scotland sends all it’s food down south to be packaged and then sold back to us from the retailers. It would be interesting to know how much of the 70% of goods sold to Scotland form the rest of the UK is actually made in the rest of the UK. I buy Scottish products, and other things from Amazon etc, but Amazon etc are not UK companies, that I know of, unless there UK base is registered in the UK. So, how many goods does the UK actually sell us, that are made in the UK. Imports not included, as we could, Independently, import goods ourselves.

    120. Bob Mack says:

      @Jimmy,

      This happens a lot..Revenues raised by way of VAT etc all go to Westminster.
      exactly the same with Whisky. Revenues from alcohol attributed to English ports who never made a drop of the stuff in their life. Corporation tax paid to Westminster by drink and food industry. We make or grow the stuff but Westminster takes all the revenues as most head offices are based down south for the big multinationals who own these companies. Only they know the exact amounts.

      Kind of problematic to try and find out verified figures independently.

    121. Macart says:

      @neil allan 3.55

      You yoons (see what I did there) were paying attention to the Scotland Bill debates last June, right?

    122. Petra says:

      @ Seanair @ 2:33pm ……… Lord Smith

      Seanair I read not so long ago that he’d had a heart attack in a public place (Glasgow / Edinburgh?). CPR was carried out on him and he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

    123. galamcennalath says:

      Macart says:

      ” yoons … paying attention”

      ROFLMAO

      The idea of Yoons knowing what goes on a WM is absolutely hilarious 🙂

    124. Gary45% says:

      Radio Scotchland this morning a lassie was talking about how great the Londerland transport system was.
      I don’t think it was in her brain cells, or the usual ” EBC North morons” that Scotland has paid a handsome amount for the “UKs Capital” transport infrastructure, which is one of the many reasons why ours is behind that of Engerlands, that is why we will always be treated as beggars in this pathetic wee Island.
      Independence is the only answer for a better Scotland, and then the rest of the UK can go drown in its own pish.
      Scotland Invented the modern world and gets no credit for it, perhaps its because we were in our box for all those decades? well no more.
      I do find Crash Broon videos very funny for some strange reason!!! maybe its because he looks like a caged Baboon/Buffoon in heat strutting from side to side, throw him a banana and watch him roll about rubbing his arse up against a tree.

      Westminster and the Saff East, “The TICK of Europe”.

      Pooling and Sharing “BOLLOCKS”

    125. Onwards says:

      “We can just about see why the SNP might be willing to take a short-term gamble on some booby-trapped powers to put themselves in a stronger position for a second referendum”

      If there is no leeway on the Tory position, I can see this happening.
      The SNP accepting a flawed deal as a FIRST STEP only.

      But they would have to leave income tax at the same rates to prove their point. Fine by me. They would have a timescale of around 5 years I reckon.

      At that point people would see they were right, and the Tories have tried to handicap the Scottish economy with limited powers and a declining Barnett Formula.

      Independence will be the only logical solution.
      FFA is pointless in comparison.

    126. handclapping says:

      Ah yes pooling and sharing, the very basis of insurance. But what to do if the insurance company is going bust, liabilities north of £1.7 trillion?

      Don’t pay the premiums, dummy! SNP x 2

    127. Marie Clark says:

      frogesque and Nana,

      I don’t know what the problem is, something weird going on. I keep getting ” webpage not available, connection refused”. Yet Call Me Dave @ 4.56 archive link opened easily. Whit!

      I can see that I’ll hiv tae ca’ oan the services o a granwean tae hae a look. I’m no that technical.

    128. Dr Jim says:

      @neil allan

      Comfort blanket! comfort blanket is it! Jeez!!!

      And another thing, if somebody else tells me the Greens are a political party I’ll swallow my face, sorry Greenies but Naw!

      Greenie policy nutshelled: We cannae burn ony mair oil captain…..The end!… A whole party fur that, it’s not on is it, you can get better and more policies from Primary 5
      It’s just that I met one today and…Oaghhaargh brain melt

      OK I give in I sound like Donald Trump, but Jeez!!

      Away to stick my head in my Sporran to avoid the rocks getting chucked at me

    129. Dr Jim says:

      BTW i’ve still got some powers left….. offers?
      EU votes to rent going cheap, Cabinet Minister Dolls? what would you like them to say…any phrase

      Final few days, when they’re gone they’re gone

    130. galamcennalath says:

      The Tory objective is to reduce the influence of the Barnett Formula over time ie. reduce money returned to Scotland.

      Which is of course why they lied about it in the Vow.

      ” … continuation of Barnett allocation for resources…”, they Vowed.

      Tories lied, BT lied, WM lied, the Vow was a lie. Some of us always knew. Sadly enough Scots believed it.

      The way forward now is for the SNP to compaign from a crystal clear position. Deliver what was promised, NOT Smith, NOT homeopathic Smith aka Scotland Bill. Clearly set out what was promised (it’s all on record). Then it’s deliver what you promised or we no longer accept the outcome of IndyRef since neither does WM.

    131. Grouse Beater says:

      On the death of Harper Lee, a quotation from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird” applicable to Scotland’s aspirations:

      “I wanted you to see what real courage is; it’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

    132. Les Wilson says:

      Jimmy says:

      Jimmy, I have no idea of the actual figures but what I see is lorries trundling north 24/7 with all manner of stuff, the M74 and M8 are always full of them.
      So they have a huge market on their doorstep.
      The figure would be huge, to match the number of their lorries.

      The figure will be very big due to the monopoly (yeah, bar Aldi and Lidl ) of UK supermarkets here.
      The threat of them leaving during Indy was a total hoax, (Tesco said they would stay)

      They would have lost a fortune and cripple businesses across
      England who supply them.
      Then there are other suppliers of, well, near everything you can imagine. Yet of course any taxes are paid to Westminster.

      There are so many ways they have a grip of us, it would take years to untangle what we know, they do, then add the ones we are unaware of yet.

    133. David Mooney says:

      Just noticed the Scotland Bill negotiations don’t even warrant a headline for Reporting Scotchland.

    134. yesindyref2 says:

      @Alan Weir
      Totally endorse your posting though I’ll still do my own later. I don’t think many on the pro-indy side have pointed out the pros or cons of FFA as they / we want Independence.

      Even the Scotland Act 2015 is a step in the right direction, there’s little doubt in my mind the SNP actually want it, and not only can use it, but know how to. But it truly does have to be no detriment as it’s not only the opposition would be howling for Swinney’s blood, there’d be a good few on the pro-Indy side too. It would finish the SNP for May.

      I don’t really want to say anything about what the SG (SNP) could so with the Scotland Act 2015, nobody really seems to have gone into any depth – which is good. I daresay the SNP have, all the same. We may hear more in the goodness of time.

      But Sturgeon made a key speech two or three weeks back which passed relatively unnoticed, In it she said she would use the next parliamentary term to build a stronger Scotland, push for more powers, and work towards FFA, and I think she said, with a view of moving Scotland towards Independence – that at least was implicit in what she said. There seems to me to be some intention of a Referendum in 2021, anyway, regardless of EU and any other trigger beforehand.

      A few powers here, a few powers there, an FFA here, more readiness overall, a lot of negotiations started, progressed and even maybe concluded, perhaps actual control over the decision of whether Scotland should continue to provide to the common pot for defence and foreign affairs, and Independence practically happens with nobody noticing.

      Except us, of course!

    135. Les Wilson says:

      Marie Clark says:
      I got that too when I tried Nana.s links. Yes, it is far from normal, and it is suspicious.

    136. Nana says:

      @Marie

      The first link at 2.45 is from the P&J, 2nd at 4,18 from the independent and 3rd from skynews. So you can probably still get the stories on their websites.

      Ps I’m not very tech minded myself. I rely on hubby to fix any glitches for me.

    137. Capella says:

      @ Marie Clark archive links open for me OK. I normally right click and then “open link in new tab”. No problems so far. I use Chrome browser.

    138. Dr Ew says:

      “This site has long argued that “full fiscal autonomy” is in fact the worst of both worlds – Scotland having all the expense and risk of raising its own taxes from a lower tax base, but without control of its own resources and with all the important levers of the economy still being locked into UK policy…”

      Almost precisely the point made by Caroline Lucas MP – after close consultation with Patrick Harvie – during the Westminster debate on FFA last autumn, and yet many BTL on here and elsewhere were spitting vitriol at the Greens.

      It’s absolutely true that the MSM spin endlessly vile and vindictive “SNP Bad” stories. Endlessly parroting “SNP Good”, however, only serves to drown out worthwhile, intelligent debate on the future of independence and how to achieve it.

    139. frogesque says:

      @ Dr. Jim 5.52

      If yer floggin’ Cabinet Meenister Dolly’s, can Ah hae industrial size bunnet pins wi’ ’em?

    140. Marie Clark says:

      Les Wilson, oh so it’s no just me then. There is something very weird going on here, and you’re right Les, it is suspicious.

      Nana and Capella, thanks for the advice and I will try what you both suggest. But as you will see from Les Wilson’s post he is having the same trouble as me.

    141. yesindyref2 says:

      @David Mooney
      It wasn’t in the Herald until late this morning, though they have covered it this afternoon when the talks didn’t succeed (some progress apaprently).

      What I did do was post about it in any even slightly relevant article, and would and will continue to do so until I’m banned. After their editorial when they came out for NO on the basis of “extensive new powers”, and that they wouldn’t let Westminster get away with it unless they honoured their commitment, their performance to date hasn’t been great but at least they have covered it.

    142. Marie Clark says:

      After my last post @ 6.42, I went back to Nana’s archive posts from earlier that I couldnae open, to try out the advice that others had offered me. Lo and behold guys, they all opened as normal this time.

      I hiv nae idea whit in the name o the wee man his been gone oan here. A frustrating afternoon trying to find a way to open the links with nae luck. Now as if by magic we are back to normal.Jings, crivens and help ma boab richt enough.

      Thanks for the links Nana. I see Cameron not doing too well then.

    143. Lollysmum says:

      Nana & Frogesque
      Just checked all the archive links that I followed & read earlier today. None are working now. This happened a couple of weeks ago & it was due to the site being down for a while.

    144. DerekM says:

      I was having the same problem yesterday Marie,i cleared my browser cache and it seemed to work fine after that,dont know if that solved it but is worth trying to see.

    145. Valerie says:

      Pig botherer General cancels cabinet meeting tonight, as he has sweet FA to tell them.

      What a battle, what a negotiator, what a mug.

      The other 27 countries must be sniggering behind his back.

      Still, it’s bread and circuses.

    146. Lollysmum says:

      Just tried again & the links are working now.

    147. yesindyref2 says:

      That’s funny. I don’t disagree with the article as an argument, in fact I applaud it. I just disagree with the arguments in it.

    148. Nana says:

      @Marie
      Glad you got to read the links.Try clearing browser cache at least once a week. Also when I have a gremlin in the works I switch my computer off for a few minutes. Usually does the trick.

      @Lollysmum

      Just checked the morning links from previous thread, all open for me. I don’t know if the site was having problems today.

    149. Petra says:

      All of these wee slogans, with no substance whatsoever, such as Better Together and Pooling and Sharing were conjured up to brainwash people.

      ”Keeping slogans short and simple makes them memorable, which holds them in the mind and so perpetuates their force. Repetition hammers them home, not only making them easier to recall but also, when spoken by authority figures, giving them legitimacy and requirement.”

      http://changingminds.org/techniques/propaganda/slogan.htm

      When you cut to the chase England has never shared with Scotland at all. Haven’t even returned an equitable share of all that’s been looted from Scotland and wheeched down south. There never has been such a concept as pooling and sharing and there are zillions of examples to support that view, such as Trident risk to the Scots / jobs for the English.

      Every decision that’s ever been made in Westminster has prioritised England’s (London / South) well-being / best interests and then as an afterthought they’ve handed out just enough to shut our mouths / keep us afloat …. and even that doesn’t apply anymore.

      I’ll never forget seeing a young boy on television who had attended some sort of pre-Referendum debate. He wasn’t up for being duped and ‘cut right to the chase’. They (think it was Darling) were discussing being Better Together if we voted No. The boy said something along the lines of ”if we haven’t been Better Together up until now why should we believe we’ll be Better Together in future”.

      That was it in a nutshell so to speak, attempts to indoctrinate snuffed out, and as Grouse Beater pointed out earlier the essence of their ‘pooling and sharing’ con slogan was more about ‘fooling and scaring’.

    150. Nana says:

      @Valerie

      This looks to be about Cameron’s level, he may be asking them to change the hippos for pigs in order to seal the deal.

      https://twitter.com/Berlaymonster/status/700721293520457728

    151. yesindyref2 says:

      OT
      I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of the Smith Game. It was a gift from the Gods the moment it was announced, and the only thing the SNP had to do at all was get the “no detriment” agreed to which happened on Day 1 probably by Smith (it was the substance of my submission, and was included in quite a few others I read), all the SNP had to do was sit down, admire the scenery, examine the ceiling, whistle tunelessly, not walk out for any reason, agree to the report virtually whatever was in it, and then pursue it and the Scotland Act diligently but also genuinely. Amendments for FFA, of course, rewording here and there, of course, fiscal framework, well, duh.

      Brilliantly played, and more important than the General Election, though that helped a lot. Swinney is Cool, and Sturgeon just puts the support and Heat in when needed. But it’s been a long 18 months, for a win-win thing that’s actually managed to pick up a few more wins along the way. Including the Scottish Conservatives being so thick they didn’t join the Labs and Libs in supporting Swinney! What a dumb move.

      Hopefully it won’t be long before the jackpot.

      I’m off for milk.

    152. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Please come over to O/T for some Friday Night Frolics – some of us will be selecting topical tunes, especially those relevant to Cameron’s doomed ‘Battle For Britain’.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/off-topic/

    153. Macart says:

      @Yesindyref2 7.23

      🙂

      The whole point of the the Smith roadshow.

    154. Petra says:

      O/T

      Journalist Eva Bartlett: “I’m Back From Syria. The Media Is Lying To You!”

      Such as the BBC – British Bullsh*t Corporation (her term) and Lyse Doucet BBC’s Chief International Correspondent; aid cover up for arms; lies and demonisation of Russia – Assad; human rights groups?, Saudi and Zionists.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUyJV6YaSWY

      ”UK Government breaking the law supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, say leading lawyers – Amnesty International.’

      http://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/12/uk-government-breaking-the-law-supplying-arms-to-saudi-arabia/

      ‘Balance of Payments’

      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/02/18/balance-of-payments/

    155. Thepnr says:

      In my opinion there will be no agreement. Neither side it seems appear to want one. I can understand the SGs position and why it would want to avoid a bad deal. I can’t though understand Westminsters apparent reluctance to close a deal.

      From what I have read the two main stumbling blocks are the argument by Swinney that under the current offer Scotland stands to lose £3.5B over the next ten years, chuck in the initial set up costs dispute of say £0.5B and it looks like the squabbling is all about around £4B or £400 million/year over the next ten years.

      Considering that UK government total revenue for 2015 was £667 billion. They are arguing about 0.06% of total UK revenue. Not 6% not 1% but 0.06%. Sounds too daft to be true.

      http://www.ukpublicrevenue.co.uk/total

      Who then really wants an agreement?

      Doubt it is Westminster else accommodating the SG position of this paltry sum wouldn’t be an issue. There at it, but for the life of me I can’t begin to understand as to why.

      My best guess is that the whole charade is in order to give Westminster more propaganda to feed our media with in the run up to the Holyrood elections. The manual has probably already been written.

      That’s seems pretty weak but just can’t think of a better idea.

    156. Robert Peffers says:

      @Jimmy says: 19 February, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      ” … I buy Scottish products, and other things from Amazon etc, but Amazon etc are not UK companies, that I know of, unless there UK base is registered in the UK.

      Yes, Jimmy, Amazon has a base at Dunfermline and that means it must have a legal Registered Head Office in the UK. What, though, it does NOT mean is that they pay their proper whack of UK tax.

      What these big international companies do is they operate, (within the law), to offset profits and losses across international borders.

      So, for example if the have a big trading loss in, say, The Republic of Ireland but a bigger trading gain in the UK then they claim tax relief in the republic and offset some UK profits to the republic.

      Here’s a good BBC explanation:-

      (Sorry I cannot archive from this machine.)

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20560359

      So although they operate all over the World they only pay minimum tax in tax havens.

    157. Thepnr says:

      To put the 0.06% figure into perspective. It’s like not buying a £20,000 car because you can’t agree on a £12 discount.

      Surreal.

    158. Robert Peffers says:

      @Bob Mack says: 19 February, 2016 at 5:14 pm:

      “”We make or grow the stuff but Westminster takes all the revenues as most head offices are based down south for the big multinationals who own these companies. Only they know the exact amounts.”

      The Establishment has a very hard neck, Bob Mack. They operate arguably the biggest legal tax fraud in the World.

      They account the entire United Kingdom’s oil & gas revenues as being earned from, “Extra-Regio-Territory”, and taking the entire revenue as UK Treasury revenue.

      The truth is that 95% of the UK oil & gas extraction comes out of Scotland’s Territorial Waters. Yet they are presently screaming their heads off because such as Amazon, Starbucks and Google do much the same trick of classing big profits in countries with high taxation as earned by their own companies in low tax havens.

      Two faced gits.

    159. DerekM says:

      @ Thepnr

      Its all about not losing face Thepnr,the Britnats must always win the argument or seem to win it through bare faced lies and deceit its what they have always done to every country they ever occupied.

      And if you look at the Revs twitter feed you can see how angry they get when they dont get their way,whats even funnier is the Scot Britnat zoomers havnt figured out yet that the SNP just saved them money lol

    160. Robert Peffers says:

      @Nana says: 19 February, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      ” … I don’t know if the site was having problems today.”

      Such sites have to do a bit of, “Housekeeping”, just as you would, “Defrag”, your Hard Drive.

      They usually do it in the wee sma hours when things tend to be a bit quieter but sometimes they have to have a quick sweep-up when they are very busy.

    161. woosie says:

      Styfumbler’s pitch in Brussels is quite ironic. Why should uk pool and share with its neighbours?

    162. call me dave says:

      Swinney warns there are just days left to get a deal in Holyrood funding talks.
      ——————————————————————
      He hopes that CMD doesn’t have to show up personally to negotiate!

      No pressure then Hands and Osborne. 🙂

      https://archive.is/fI1Cb

    163. Sandy says:

      What now, Brown vow…..

    164. yesindyref2 says:

      @Macart
      Yes, and Cameron’s under the hammer.

    165. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “What exactly does the numptie think is meant by the title, “United Kingdom” of Great Britain & Northern Ireland?.

      It is not, “The United Country of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”, nor is it, “The United States of Great Britain & Northern Ireland”.

      It is exactly what it claims to be – A Kingdom formed from two former independent Kingdoms that contains four countries and two former independent kingdoms.”

      You are the numpty living in the 19th century, obsessed with your kingdoms and our right to be “British” after independence.

      The United Kingdom is a political state.

      It does not matter if it has a monarch putting the final signature on agreements or a president or a dictator.

      “Kingdom” means absolutely nothing in today’s political terms.

      Belgium is a kingdom. Do you ever hear anyone referring to it as a kingdom?

      Australia and Canada are dominions. Do you ever hear anyone referring to it as dominions these days?

      Well may be you do – from other pub bores like yourself.

      In political terms, the UK is a state and it is a country, just as Belgium, France, Germany, Australia and Canada are, whatever their internal arrangements.

      Make a leap into the 21st century for god’s sake.

    166. frogesque says:

      Rock, not just pedantry, Robert Peffers explains the LEGAL niceties of the definitions belonging to the United Kingdom.

      Scotland is legally an equal partner, not an English Subject.

    167. seanair says:

      Petra
      Never heard this, and surely it would have been all over the rags and EBC.
      Perhaps a way to give Smith an excuse for not having his say on the much reduced Commission report.
      Thanks anyway.

    168. Chic McGr says:

      EU negotiations. Biggest laugh for me today was the Beeb reporter talking about ‘English Breakfast’, ‘English Lunch’ and ‘English Dinner’, followed by video of the meeting with plates of croissants.

      But then I’m easily amused.

    169. Macart says:

      @Yesindyref2

      Said it from the start dads, all that was required was that Westminster acts as its nature demands. Having secured a narrow win in the referendum, the establishment parties fell over themselves to put both the SNP and the Scottish electorate in their place, jockey for position in the upcoming general election. They were so busy crapping all over the SG in both the Smith Commission talks and the press, they didn’t notice the bridge of jewels they were walking across.

      Its not and never has been enough that independence is right in principle, the population, all of the population needed to see why it is necessary. Why the political union of parliaments is ‘detrimental’. 🙂

      In the aftermath of indyref1 all that is required for this to be demonstrated is that Westminster be Westminster and they have duly obliged.

    170. Lenny Hartley says:

      Rock

      Their is a numpty that thinks he knows about Scotland’s legal position and it certainly is not Mr Peffers

      just Sayine

    171. CameronB Brodie says:

      OT but not completely, as Britain is largely responsible for the creation of Israel (the draft of the Balfour declaration was penned by none other than leading Fabian ‘socialist’ and exponent of concentration camps for innocent civilian populations unreasonable enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Viscount Milner. Well, apparently the UKOK Establishment don’t wish to join in with the rest of the world, in draining Israel’s pool of ‘race-based’ exceptionalism.

      Why would we want to talk about Zionism?

      Well, the Yes movement was an example of “civic nationalism”, where as Israel’s ill treatment of the indigenous Palestinians is an example of “ethnic nationalism”.

      Some might think Matthew Hancock is a fucking disgrace, I refrain from comment. Just goes to show though, Red or Blue Tory, Britain will always choose Israeli nationalism over human rights and and the rule of law.

      In-you-face utilitarianism? On stilts perhaps?

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-democracy-is-dead-long-live-the-ethnic-cleansing-with-impunity-of-the-palestinian-people-by-apartheid-israel/5508925

    172. tartanpigsy says:

      People- Rock is a Troll, simple.

    173. boris says:

      The new deal – UK & N Ireland and the EC. Statement earlier this evening

      “One-to-one talks have been ongoing for the majority of the day.The original aim had been to conclude the deal at an “English breakfast” meeting. However, this became an “English brunch”, then an “English lunch” and has now been delayed to an “English dinner.”

      Nice to know.

    174. AngusMan says:

      Pulling and sharing, the broad shoulders of UK, true or false, the UK will use the lie anyway. After all, when did the truth ever get in the way of the UK government.

    175. stephen says:

      Cameron on UK deal “We have got the best of both worlds”.Anyone heard the phrase before.?

    176. Graeme McCormick says:

      Scotland must plough its own furrow on public revenue. Let’s be imaginative and create our own sources of revenue so our government has the option of compensating our tax payers for the imposition of taxation by the UK.

      All our land has never been properly used as a source of public revenue. Impose an annual ground rent on every square metre and we can more than raise enough to live differently and better.

    177. davidb says:

      EU deal! Piss in our times. Why did he bother?

    178. Ian Brotherhood says:

      As a wee toty teensy exercise, why don’t we ‘all’ listen to BBC North Britain News at 11.00 p.m. and then swap notes on what’s ‘really’ happening re Cameron, Euroballs, Swinney ‘No-Detriment’ etc…

      Just the once?

      The running-order should be interesting, if nothing else.

      🙂

    179. msean says:

      Westminster loves to delay,delay, delay hoping that everyone goes back in their box and lets them carry on as before. It takes years to get anything done through that place for a reason.

      Let them drag it out if they want,then return with a new mandate from the people after the Holyrood elections.

    180. Rock says:

      frogesque,

      “Rock, not just pedantry, Robert Peffers explains the LEGAL niceties of the definitions belonging to the United Kingdom.”

      Who cares about those niceties?

      The fact is after 300 years Scotland remains a colony.

      A colonised people claiming to be “sovereign”.

      Are Scots that stupid?

    181. Iain says:

      If Scotland is a legal partner to the United kingdom it is time to dissolve the partnership. The Scottish nation has moved on, it is time to end the deal. The union is no longer in the interests of the Scottish people. We can no longer afford the union, there are to many poor people in our country. We can no longer afford to subsidise the U.K. We have to progress to a proper nation state as soon as we can. When England votes for Britexit, then is our chance to have an another referendum. Failing that we should just recognise that the people of Scotland are sovereign and respect their rights. We are different from the people of England, who are subjects of queen elizabeth.

    182. heedtracker says:

      UK media propaganda boots up for the pig fancier tonight. TV says Cammers has 7 year child benefit block, he’s blocked the EU from tax and regs on the City spivs and EU must leave out UK in future more integration saying stuff of, there to fore, yada yada.

      Good night for the City then, great night really. There goes any chance of actual tax on the City banksters like Tobin. How the fcuk do the biggest spivs in the world keep getting away with it, asks noone in teamGB media.

      Rejoice

    183. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Just for the record…

      BBC North Britain News At Eleven PM:

      1. David Cameron secures deal. EU Leaders agree ‘special status’ for UK. DC (only voice included) asserts that UK will be in ‘the driving seat’, and be ‘in’ the bits of the EU that ‘we want to be in’, and ‘not in’ the bits that ‘we don’t want to be in’. (So, that’s that sorted…)

      2. Negotiations between the Scottish and UK govts have made ‘some progress’, but no deal struck yet. David Mundell (the only voice included) expresses optimism.

      3. U.S. airplanes have continued airstrikes against Libya/Syria/Wherever, flying from Suffolk.

      4. The Forth Road Bridge re-opens.

      5. Scottish serial killer’s ashes have been disposed-of in the North Sea.

      6. Famous author Harper Lee is deid.

      It was all done and dusted in three minutes…

      🙂

      And that’s the ‘news’, where we are.

    184. crazycat says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      So, who gets to decide which bits “we” want to be “in”?
      Can I decide not to be in TTIP?

      No? Thought not.

    185. CameonB Brodie says:

      Ian Brotherhood
      The half-life of BBC broadcasts has yet to be calculated. Are you a danger seeker or are you sure you know what your doing? Do you have the correct ticket to handle that sort of material?

      #concerned

    186. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Crazycat –

      Come on now, aren’t you maybe being a wee bit harsh on the PM? He’ll surely give us all the nitty-gritty detailed stuff as and when he’s back home in Blighty, away from those blasted foreigners!

    187. crazycat says:

      @ Ian

      Nitty-gritty? I can really do without that! 🙂

    188. Valerie says:

      Not sure there is an EU deal, I bet they have just agreed wording on items they will bring forward for a vote.

      The vote will be delayed until after June, then they will boot it out.

      Bojo hovering in the wings, on a zipwire.

    189. Onwards says:

      Thepnr says:
      19 February, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      In my opinion there will be no agreement. Neither side it seems appear to want one. I can understand the SGs position and why it would want to avoid a bad deal. I can’t though understand Westminsters apparent reluctance to close a deal.
      ——–

      Most Tories never wanted a deal in the first place.
      The Vow was a last minute panic situation.
      I suspect they want the SNP to refuse a deal, especially one with 100% devolution of income tax.

      Because once Scots start paying their income tax to the Scottish Government then independence is well on the way. Paying your income taxes to Scotland builds loyalty to Scotland. People would buy more Scottish products. Constant demands for the remaining taxes. Constant ‘grievance’.

      In their eyes, it’s better to get Scots thinking they are better off subsidised, and the SNP went along with it. Taking advantage of the current oil price drop – A lucky situation to ward of this devolution lark. A few more years of nice comfortable Barnett subsidy will hopefully put an end to their dreams of independence once and for all. Small price worth paying in comparison to all the hidden subsidies they bring to the table and Scotland is a nice little feeder zone for London.

      I would laugh if the SNP took a flawed deal as a tactical move.
      Watch them panic as they realize we now HAVE to get far more powers soon or vote for independence in a few years to avoid the Scottish budget entering a long relative decline.

      We might be slightly worse off at first, but staying in a bad devolution deal will be far worse compared to the long term benefits of nationhood.
      Independence becomes a far easier sell at that point.

      The Tories are playing a game of bluff and trying to get away with no further devolution at all.

    190. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @crazycat –

      Your concern is noted, but I find it distressing to see such cynicism in one so young.

      Please allay your qualms- The Fearless Cameron (for it is he) will bring home the bacon, one way or another…

    191. Effijy says:

      Just to be clear Camy Pid lover has restated that the UK
      wants to keep the pound and doesn’t to lose England’s identity
      within a super integrated Europe. Absolutely Nothing new there!

      In order not to show him up to be a prat, on the understanding
      that he will promote staying in Europe, he can tinker with some welfare benefits a few years down the line.

      It is everything that he wanted from Europe to the same degree that the Vow has been delivered.

      The King’s invisible clothes are in fact just a bare arse!

      Who would want to be a small nation joined to a larger group of nations when everything that they vote for is forced upon you?

      Well Camy says its good for Scotland in the UK, but bad for
      England in Europe??

    192. Big Jock says:

      Apparently Cameron has been seen at Heathrow frantically waiving a piece of white paper saying. “I have deal Euefa have agreed to let Chelsea into the Champions league next year, even if they finish 4th”.

      He went onto say:” This is a great day for British football”.

    193. Nana says:

      So they’ve had their English breakfast, English lunch, English tea and English dinner. All round ‘English’ deal

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-factbox-idUKKCN0VS2SH

    194. crazycat says:

      @ Ian

      That’s what I was afraid of (the bacon).

      I’m older than you, by the way. Off to RIC tomorrow, so crack of dawn start – good night.

    195. Ian Brotherhood says:

      It’s almost the ‘witching hour’, so why don’t we try again?

      BBC Radio Scotland News at midnight – anyone fancy doing their own list, and we can see how it compares to the last one?

      Last time – soundbites for Cameron and Mundell…

      Same again?

      Wee bit tweaking here or there maybe?

      Reaction from any SG people, maybe?

      Let’s see…

    196. Capella says:

      O/T but about the EU.
      Craig Murray spells out the motivation for Cameron’s EU odyssey. Protect the City of London from regulation. It’s what I think Nigel Farage’s UKIP party is about (City commodities trader).

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/02/cameron-fights-to-make-the-eu-worse/

      Of no benefit to the rest of us.

    197. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rock says: 19 February, 2016 at 9:43 pm:

      “You are the numpty living in the 19th century, obsessed with your kingdoms and our right to be “British” after independence.

      The United Kingdom is a political state.

      Yes! Dear! There! There! There!

      Now I’ll say this as politely as is possible to do under the circumstances.

      I’m not the one with the obsession but you do indeed seem to have more than one obsession. One of them being a tendency to attempt to denigrate others on this forum who do not share your somewhat strange and totally unsubstantiated views.

      Now! In the first place, as far as I can recall, no one has ever denied that, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland”, is a, “Political State”.

      Neither have they denied that The United States of America, The United States of Mexico, The Republic of Ireland, and of course The USSR, Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia or Somalia. are all Political States and that last, (bolded), batch are actually dictatorships.

      Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, Republicanism, Dictatorships and Kingdoms are just a few of what are termed, “Political States”. There are even Religious political states and not just the Vatican.

      So there you go, Rock. Your ideas of what comprises a Political State, in the context of your insulting and abusive post are utter and complete pish.

      The United Kingdom of Great Britain is legally claimed to be a, “Constitutional Monarchy”, and also claims to be, “A Democracy”, both of which are forms of political state.

      Then we have the United States of America – A single country and a political state that is composed of many states. While the United Kingdom is a Monarchy and a political state composed of many countries.

      And you have the sheer stupidity to call me an obsessed numptie but the truth is if it were not for congenital idiots like you I’d have no need to so often repeat the same truths over and over again.

      How many times do you need to be corrected that The United Kingdom of Great Britain is neither Great Britain nor Britain? How many time must you be told that The United Kingdom is legally a Constitutional Monarchy and that the United Kingdom is not a unified country?

      Now do not bother to directly address me again on this forum. I will be ignoring you from now on.

    198. Petra says:

      I’m beginning to think that Rock and Robert don’t actually disagree with each other at all but just focus on their so-called differing points of view. Robert focuses on historical, legality (reality we know but unknown to most) and Rock focuses on the current reality (thought to be the case by some / most?). They should really just call a truce and get on with fighting for Independence … independently …. together.

      Cameron can claim to have won whatever or not. Will he win? At the end of the day what most English people want is an end to emigration from the EU and more so from further afield. They don’t give a sh*t about child benefit etc. That’s just a ‘side effect’ of the whole kit and caboodle. They want to close borders. They want to regain sovereignty and in doing so the child benefit etc will just disappear.

      The Tories in England are like Labour in Scotland (maybe most politicians) in that they don’t actually ask the people, voters …. plebs, what they want or how they feel at all. They seem to live in some kind of ‘I know best’ bubble. I reckon that bubble, their bubble, is going to burst very soon as the plebs have had enough.

    199. Capella says:

      @ Robert Peffers
      Well said! I certainly appreciate your insights into the constitutional set up of the United Kingdom. If only the majority could realise that it is up to us to decide whether we want to continue with this abusive relationship.
      Keep on posting Robert. Sooner or later the penny will drop and your contribution will be crucial.

    200. Chic McGregor says:

      Hmmm. Since my earlier post has still not appeared I will repeat it as a test:

      The biggest laugh I had today was when the BBC repoter talked about ‘English Breakfast’, ‘English Brunch’, ‘English Lunch’ and ‘English Dinner’ to be followed by a video clip of the meeting where the table had a couple of plates full croissants.

      But then, I’m easily amused.

    201. Capella says:

      For anoraks. The Wikipedia entry for Nigel Farage is a catalogue of spiv philosophy which is invisible to the normal media outlets.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Farage

      Read at your peril.

    202. Dr Jim says:

      I’m glad we get to keep the £pound “That nobody at any time ever said we wouldn’t” (That bit shouted really loudly)

      Just by saying stupid stuff like that Cameron makes a mockery of everything else that comes out of his dumb mouth
      All he needs now is to dress up like Richard the Lionheart in the movies wave a sword and hope the confused English folk fall for this pish (Or does he?)

      But if you put your master spy head on for a minute, how about, it’s all a big con between Camerons team and the SNP to achieve the desired outcome for both countries by England voting out of the EU Scotland voting IN, a grievance Referendum takes place, the break up of the UK achieved without Cameron losing face and the bonus ball England gets back to playing cricket without fear of the nasty furriners or the greedy Scots

      Everybody wins, no harm no foul and we don’t have to invade England as planned after all and not a drop of blood shed by anyone

      Best of all the Americans give us 50 billion squid to let them leave their Subs in Faslane for a couple of years and let them keep their bases in our beautiful country

      Isn’t owning property everybody wants a great thing

    203. Grouse Beater says:

      This weird, gruesome, but entertaining: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-4OE

    204. Onwards says:

      With a deal agreed we can now look forward to wall to wall TV coverage of UK focused politics in the run up to the Scottish elections..

    205. Petra says:

      Dr Jim one thing for sure is that an Independent Scotland will be calling the shots re. Trident.

      A MULTI BILLION pound deal with the US for whatever terms the Scots lay down. Westminster out on their ar*e. Short term or longer if it suits us …. readying for chasing the nukes out and replacing the whole area with Scotlands new military establishment.

      A wee Trident agreement with the US, short term, could absolutely fill, STUFF, that old 8 billion black hole that Osborne … non economist .. low level history degree nonentity .. says stuffs Scotland. With monies over and WELL above 8 billion (a drop in the ocean for the US) I reckon with Independence we’ll well and truly STUFF Westminster and well they know it.

    206. Ken500 says:

      The PR farce is over. Cameron has achieved absolutely nothing, apart from keeping London as a tax haven and the UK one of the most unequal part of Europe.

    207. Ghillie says:

      Thepnr, I think you are right that at least Westminster does not want an agreement to be reached.

      I recall that immediately before the Referendum vote that Christopher Choop, Tory backbencher, objected to the ‘Vow’.

      Choop said that it had not been brought before parliament and therefore meant nothing and that he and others would do everything they could to block it ever being implemented.

      So, is that what we are seeing being played out now?

      Hand’s holiday disappearing trick certainly beggared belief.

      At the very least it all smacks of extreme contempt of Scotland. The BUM might not be giving this much coverage but I do think the folk are noticing.

    208. davidb says:

      @ Onwards

      But last night they were having an “English” dinner. They will have wall to wall Union Jacks and argue about England’s place in the EU.

      I think a lot of the yoons are British, but they are certainly not English.

    209. Macandroid says:

      Petra

      Agree about the effectiveness of slogans.

      How about “the streets of London are paved with Scottish gold”?

    210. Robert Peffers says:

      @Petra says: 20 February, 2016 at 12:30 am:

      ” … The Tories in England are like Labour in Scotland (maybe most politicians) in that they don’t actually ask the people, voters …. plebs, what they want or how they feel at all. They seem to live in some kind of ‘I know best’ bubble. I reckon that bubble, their bubble, is going to burst very soon as the plebs have had enough”

      That, Petra, is hitting the nail.

      What is evident is that the electorate and the elected to office see the matter from different viewpoints. The electorate just happen to be legally correct and the elected legally wrong.

      The legal situation is that the electorate elect members to any legislation to be their, (the electorate’s), servants and spokes persons.

      In practice the elected members have made themselves our masters and they see us as their captive slaves.

      Until such times as the elected government is legally put in their proper legal place little will change.

      This is why the SNP have succeeded in gaining a majority government in Scotland – they alone treat themselves as our, and Scotland’s, servants. In other words we are electing those people to office that are looking after our best interests instead of what is best for them and the SNP party.

      The right solution has been proposed several times but has always been resisted by Westminster elected members. The solution is for the electorate to gain the power to recall, and deselect, any elected to office person the electorate deems not to be representing their best interests.

      Then watch things change as they dance to our tune not we being forced to dance to theirs.

      Which brings us back to Rock and the views he/she holds.

      Legally the government is composed of our elected servants but in practice we are being treated as their slaves.

      Rock just goes along with the same views as the elected members and gets upset when anyone, like myself, states the legal truth. Does he/she imagine I don’t know the difference between reality and legality?

      The reality is that until the electorate, or as you dub them, The Plebs, assert their legal right to be the masters, the elected to office members that we elect to represent us will continue to see themselves as our chosen masters.

    211. chris kilby says:

      Pooling and sharing? Give and take, more like. We give, they take!

    212. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “Now! In the first place, as far as I can recall, no one has ever denied that, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Ireland”, is a, “Political State”.”

      Who said this only a few days ago?

      “It is NOT a country and can only loosly be described as a state.”

      For all practical purposes and as far as the whole world is concerned, the UK IS a country and it IS a state.

      Your obsolete and irrelevant 17th century definitions, as if they applied today, are nothing but pedantry.

      None of the German states are independent or ‘sovereign’, but they have far more powers than ‘sovereign’ Scotland.

      Whenever you flog your dead horses of ‘Kingdom’, ‘Sovereign’ and like Gordon Brown, ‘North Britain’ before and after independence, I will correct you whether you like it or not.

    213. Rock says:

      Robert Peffers,

      “The reality is that until the electorate, or as you dub them, The Plebs, assert their legal right to be the masters, the elected to office members that we elect to represent us will continue to see themselves as our chosen masters.”

      Pray, tell us how the plebs will assert their ‘legal right’.

      As I had predicted long in advance, the ‘plebs’ failed to force the resignation of the disgraceful lying Carmichael.

      If we can’t even get rid of that scum, how on earth can we get rid of the purring queen?

      The legal position is completely irrelevant to Scotland’s situation. It has not helped us for 300 years and it is not going to help us now.

      The Scottish legal system is rotten to the core and the vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

      The only practical power the plebs have is to vote SNP in increasing numbers.



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