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The Great Devo Con

Posted on November 26, 2014 by

Two interesting comments from last night’s Scotland Tonight.

So that’s good to know.

Let’s be generous for a moment and assume Sarah Boyack just suffered from a slip of the tongue (although it was interesting that none of the three other people onscreen corrected or questioned her). That leaves us with Jim Murphy’s ever-evolving position on the devolution of income tax.

Let’s see if we can nail it down as concisely as possible.

1. Barnett currently sees Scotland given more money per head from the Treasury than most other parts of the UK, to the tune of about £1200 per head, or 16% more than the UK average spending per capita. (Scotland actually more than pays for this “subsidy” in extra contributions, notably from oil revenue, but we’ll leave that to one side for the moment as it’s not the point under discussion.)

2. Each £1 in revenue that Scotland collects for itself should therefore strictly result in the reduction of the block grant by approximately £1.16, as that’s the premium Scotland currently receives.

3. This would clearly leave Scotland significantly worse off. The only way to reduce that shortfall (other than large tax increases in Scotland) would be to INCREASE the size of the Barnett premium on the remainder of the block grant paid by Westminster to Holyrood each year.

(This will be extremely unpopular in England, and likely to increase the pressure from Tory and Welsh MPs for a future revision to Scotland’s detriment.)

4. In that scenario, in reality NO new tax powers are being devolved. Scotland will be exactly where it is now – it’ll have the ability to subsequently increase or decrease taxes, but it’s getting that ability anyway from the already-passed Scotland Act 2012, due to come into effect next year.

(Which, contrary to popular belief, does NOT stipulate any maximum increase. The “devo nano” proposals which are still Labour’s official position, regardless of what Jim Murphy says, would in fact REDUCE the flexibility of Holyrood’s tax powers compared to the 2012 Act.)

5. The same scenario also destroys the idea that Holyrood will be any more “accountable”. Westminster will be paying to maintain the status quo, because if Holyrood keeps taxes exactly where they are now, nothing will change (except that there’ll be some expensive and complicated new bureaucracy running an extra tax office). Holyrood can just sit on its hands.

In short, if what Jim Murphy told us last night is true (which is of course a very large assumption), the whole premise of devolving tax will have been a charade. There will be NO “new powers” at all, just the old 2012 ones with a different label attached. The people of Scotland are being taken for mugs.

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  1. 26 11 14 13:41

    The Great Devo Con - Speymouth

92 to “The Great Devo Con”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Did anyone in the right mind expect anything but?

    Westminster politics is totally based on obfuscation, lying and mind games.

  2. Dinnatouch says:

    These little Freudian slips seem to be becoming more common amongst Unionist politicians.

  3. Brian Powell says:

    Perhaps the new paper will give an equally real and lucid appraisal of what is happening, with suitable eye catching headline, rather than the pass on statements that the other MSM does.

    Possibly, “They are lying to you Scotland!”

  4. Roslyn says:

    It wasn’t a slip of the tongue. The agreement that created the Smith Commission specifically states that neither state (Scotland/rUK) should be better or worse off as a result of the powers agreed on. The implication is (leaving aside the England subsidises Scotland myth) that if Scotland gets to be better off as a result of any new powers, then rUK might end up worse off that can’t be allowed to happen. What everyone is happily ignoring is that devolving income tax only, with a subsequent cut in Barnett will make Scotland worse off, but with a lot of happy little politicians who’ll claim we got what we wanted.

  5. Craig Patrick says:

    Jim Murphy

    “ We will not only meet our promise on more powers for Scotland, we will exceed it .It is a clear signal to Scotland that we have changed, that we get it, that we will stand up for Scotland and that the Scottish Labour party that I lead will always put Scotland first.”

    John Cruddas, Labour’s policy review chief, said that “Mr Murphy’s comments were not the party’s official position”

    Which one is lying ?

  6. Brotyboy says:

    Jim Murphy’s hand up at his mouth doesn’t need a psychologist to interpret.

  7. DougtheDug says:

    I’m not sure if I follow your reasoning on the funding.

    Scotland will be funded to the Barnett formula. i.e Central Government will use the same formula to work out Scotland’s funding as before.

    It’s still the same amount of money and the same block grant. The only difference will be that instead of all of it coming directly from Westminster, part of it will be diverted through HMRC.

    Everything is based on the idea of “Fiscal Equality” across the UK. Everyone gets the same amount of Central Government funding and if there’s a small variation then Central Government decides that variation.

  8. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Devo Nought

  9. Free Scotland says:

    I’m always suspicious of men who sit with their legs crossed: look at Murphy.

  10. Morag says:

    What a weird thing to say.

  11. desimond says:

    And the winner, of the Scottish Referendum 2014 is


    Up you come and collect your award folks…you fair played a blinder.

  12. Valerie says:

    I immediately thought at that part last night – Murphy I s laying the path to say – gee folks, we would have loved to have full tax raising, but that would have adversely affected Barnett, so we fought to save Barnett. Look how good we are.

  13. Auld Rock says:

    Let’s also not forget that all tax paid by workers, working off-shore will still go direct to the treasury and will not be available to the Scottish Government due to the N.Sea being that mythical Westminster creation the ‘FIFTH’ Country/Region of the UK. We need to ensure that we are not further conned over this.

    Auld Rock

  14. Derick fae Yell says:

    There is an advantage in said expensive tax office.

    We would then have a tax office – one less thing to set up. One less hurdle to full Independence. It’s as important that Revenue Scotland administers an taxation(rather than HMRC doing it and returnign the dosh north)

    Ditto if welfare powers are devolved. Some of this is about institutions, building the institutions of statehold, and maintaining the direction of travel

  15. chalks says:

    I called this over two years ago.

  16. galamcennalath says:

    They can say what they like. If Milliband says it, then it might be policy. Within the UK Labour hierachy, the North British sub-branch administrator has no power.

    But, that’s not actually the point. Too many Scots believe that they have influence and their utterings are of consequence.

    The people of Scotland are being taken for mugs.” … it worked in the referendum, clearly SLab think it will work in WM2015.

    The real problem is Scotland’s dreadful media let them go unchallenged.

  17. Jim Mitchell says:

    If as big Jim claims Labour has changed, when he gets the big job, will he issue a public apology to the scottish people on labours behalf for them getting it wrong in the first place?

  18. Brian Powell says:

    Throughout the Referendum they said Barnett was never an issue.

    That is the problem created by MSM never questioning them about what their statements meant, they could talk shit then and now and many people won’t be able to make a comparison.

  19. Brian Penn says:

    Re Dougthedug.
    I too don’t get how you jump from point 1 to point 2, surely the reduction of the block grant will reflect the amount of income tax collected and not a 116% reduction.

  20. Stoker says:

    Brotyboy says:
    26 November, 2014 at 12:07 pm
    “Jim Murphy’s hand up at his mouth doesn’t need a psychologist to interpret.”

    Yip, i picked up on it immediately, along with his finger moving up closer to his mouth – clear indications of a liar. Especially when you combine it with the defensive position of crossed legs. Despite his feeble attempt at trying to appear relaxed and open with his right arm spread out across the back of the couch, the rest of his body language speaks louder than words.

    I’ve become a bit of an expert ever since becoming a massive fan of ‘Lie To Me’.

    Re, Boyack – When is she going to grow up and learn to speak properly instead of constantly trying to sound trendy? If you’re reading this Ms Boyack, give it a rest and grow up. You are neither trendy nor impressing anyone. When you open your trap you are coming across as insulting, patronising and just plain thick. Try listening to yourself, you’re becoming as irritating as your branch manager, Skeletor.

  21. R-type Grunt says:

    I suspect that the Smith Commission will offer the moon… to local councils, thus bypassing Holyrood altogether.

  22. Footsoldier says:

    No answers will ever be extracted from experienced politicians if their interviewers do not challenge them. Lightweights like John Mackay do not seem to have the ability to think on their feet when answers require scrutiny.

  23. DougtheDug says:

    @Brian Penn

    The UK Government will work out Scotland’s block grant as before using the Barnett Formula.

    They’ll then work out the total amount devolved taxes that will be collected in Scotland (at UK rates) and make it up to the Barnett value they’ve worked out by using a top up grant.

    The Barnett formula won’t change and neither will the amount that Scotland gets from that formula.

  24. gillie says:

    John Cruddas has obviously been reading the newspapers.

  25. starlaw says:

    I watched that interview last night and paid heed to all three of their body languages, they were not happy in each others company, If this is what is being foisted on the Scottish people then today was a good day to join the SNP ! I did.

  26. Macart says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I reckon that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Basically dress the already agreed upon 2012 Scotland Act (or as close to that as they can get away with), up in a fancy new set of clothes, pitch it to the public as ‘new and improved’, then call it job done.

    ‘Course the fly in that ointment would be a really sizeable number of pro indy MPs winging their way to Westminster in May. 😉

  27. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Brothyboy 12.07,Am glad you,ve noticed to the coaching mannerisms of the Smurf,what with Baillies huffin & puffing yesterday they,ll try any trick Not even a moist tear in her ein.

  28. Calum Findlay says:

    Aside from income tax, I wonder if Smith will recycle the Calman proposals of Air Passenger Duty and Aggregates Levy that were dropped by Westminster?

  29. galamcennalath says:

    DougtheDug says:

    “They’ll then work out the total amount devolved taxes that will be collected in Scotland (at UK rates) and make it up to the Barnett value they’ve worked out by using a top up grant.”

    So the SG could cut income tax rates here to attract business and generate jobs, and the Barnett block grant would make up the difference?

    I can hear the angry howling of backbench English MPs already.

    Alas, I believe the opposite is WM’s agenda. They want to reduce Scottish public spending and/or force Holyrood to increase taxation. That will have the dual effect of reining in ‘subsidy junkie Scots’ and put Holyrood is an unattractive light with Scottish voters.

  30. galamcennalath says:

    Sorry, didn’t say quite what I meant. Yes, they could work out UK rates and then make up the difference that way. And, cutting wouldn’t be made up. No way would Scotland be allowed to have lower tax, that’s what they don’t want to be the outcome.

    I still think the object is to set up a trap where Holyrood is forced to either cut spending or raise taxes. With FFA we could cut some taxes to boost the economy.

  31. Robert Peffers says:

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not the case Scotland’s per capita share is greater due to Scotland having more devolved functions to finance from within her block grant? When we gain another devolved function are not the funds to finance it also transferred from the UK Treasury to the Scottish Parliament via the block grant?

    Putting that another way, Wales has less per capita funding as Wales has fewer devolved functions to finance from within her block grant. People who know more than I can perhaps explain how, for example, education and/or transport in Scotland are financed as devolved functions if not via the block grant funds?

    When Westminster began to charge tuition fees in England it resulted in a large cut in the Scottish Block Grant as treasury funding to English Education was transferred from the treasury to the student. As this idea applies to all devolved functions previously administered and funded by Westminster then it follows that the Scottish per capita funding must be higher.

  32. HandandShrimp says:

    I am keen to see the Smith report, I thought the Command Paper was poor and relied too heavily on Labour’s Devo SFA. If Smith looks like the Command Paper then this will have been a waste of time. If it does cover tax, and a broad range of taxes at that, plus welfare then perhaps we will have something interesting to get our teeth into.
    I did hear a whisper that DWP were looking at staff transfers to the Scottish Government…we shall see soon 🙂

  33. AuldA says:

    The same flimflam over and over again.

    @BtP: how was your trip back?

  34. boris says:

    In Westminster McCann signed up to very many groups and committees and is by result kept very busy with these activities which observers may conclude have no direct bearing on the needs of his constituents. His jacket is hanging on a shuggely peg and it is entirely possible he will not be returned to office next year. With luck. Have a look at his record. Not good reading.

    McCann is facing a breach of the peace charge over an alleged altercation with a schoolboy leaf-letting for the Yes campaign before last month’s Scottish independence referendum. Michael McCann, 50, allegedly confronted a 17-year-old boy and his girlfriend as the pair campaigned for Yes Scotland in his East Kilbride constituency.

    There has been a demand for a criminal investigation into the planning process of one of Scotland’s biggest councils after a BBC investigation revealed relationships between a millionaire developer and senior politicians. The investigation reveals allegations that Michael McCann, the new Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathhaven and Lesmahagow, has had an undeclared relationship with local property tycoon and Labour donor James Kean.

  35. ronnie anderson says:

    Murphy gets it, the Slab gets it,what they did get but ignored ( we hate SNP )was that a Independent Scotland could set its own Financial agenda,but put party & (their gravy train)before the Scotish People.

  36. tombee says:

    Sorry OT forgive me Rev,

    Reading my NATIONAL this morning I found page four enjoyable, and enlightening. Particularly the editorial, and the comments of Mr Andrew Reid of Cove, relating to Income Tax Devolution.

    Having digested that, and the many other comments, my eye was drawn to the Clarifications and Corrections column.

    It set out the NATIONAL’S complaints reaction policy giving contact information should a complaint be found necessary. It also gave a contact facility should a complainant not be satisfied, where arbitration could be sought.

    It struck me, that if all of the ‘BRITISH’ state leaning RAGS were to, responsibly, (there’s a laugh), follow that ethic. There would be no room for the shit they print. Not if they were obliged to print retractions and correct errors or clarifications daily.

  37. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Fine and quite unseasonally warm in TLS now.

  38. terry says:

    In some ways the result of a minor defeat (40-49%) was perhaps the worst result possible for Scotland. In the 30%s or lower then indpendence might have been considered a dead isue by the establishment. As such we would have been pretty much left to muddle along as we have been doing as biddable, union-respecting Scots – a people too scared to run their own country. But the 45% who voted Yes in the face of an overwhelmingly bullying and manipulative media campaign rattled our imperial masters. Scotland got “uppity” – just like those miners in the 80s -and we all know how they were punished.

    I hate to be pessimistic but I can’t help feeling that we are going to get srewed over even worse than before by their lies and manipulation – just as this article illustrates. And if you think we can trust our imperial masters just take a look at Exaro News – an award winning journalistic site. That will give you a flavour of what type of people are running the UK – and what a No vote got us.

  39. Dr Ew says:

    I’m afraid I couldn’t be arsed watching last night’s heavyweight trio tussle for the post of North British branch officer, but I’d love to hear if anyone – anyone at all – asked the quarter of a billion pound question:

    How do you expect to raise £250 million from 16,000 income tax payers, Jim?
    (or maybe)
    What is your source for that figure, Jim?
    And while we’re about it, Jim, can you tell us what happened in the past three weeks to change your mind so completely on devolving full income tax powers?

    I’m guessing nobody did, which begs another question:
    Are Findlay and Boyack serious about taking this man on? Don’t those contesting a prized position of power (ahem) want to question the assertions of the other contenders?

    And finally, while I wasn’t really expecting Big Bad John Mackay to pursue the pertinent points, I have yet to find one single media outlet (present company excepted) that has asked any of these questions. Most disappointingly, and despite today’s editorial supposedly addressing this very topic, ‘The National’ hasn’t asked this or any of the several other pressing questions that urgently need to be put to the anointed one.

    P.S. Perhaps, @Free Scotland, the entire press corps are sitting with legs crossed.

    P.P.S. As am I, now I think of it.

  40. No no no...Yes says:

    The problem for the three baby amigos is that their attempt to lie to the people of Scotland may have worked in the past, but thanks to Wings their days are numbered.

    I agree with other comments about body language. Kudos to John Mackay for actually asking Murphy if he had been speaking to people on the Smith Commission. If you watch Murphy’s reaction he wriggles like a worm on a hook and goes into blinkblink mode, just like Darling did. Methinks he is trying to hide something.

  41. One_Scot says:

    I am having a lot of problems communicating with Sainsburys. Does anyone know what their position is with regard to selling The National.

  42. Lochside says:

    With the Referendum behind us, I hoped that the msm would abate in its one dimensional propaganda programme masquerading as analysis.

    More fool me. The last couple of days have highlighted the complete utter moral and professional bankruptcy of the msm operating in this country.

    Displaying ineptitude, unprofessionalism at a level scarcely credible, to a gradually awakening population, which had been beguiled for generations into believing that these organs imparted ‘truth’.

    Incredibly,at every level, all newspapers and all t.v. narratives vomited a deluge of lies and black dis-information, interspersed occasionally by tokenistic ‘YES’ contributions. Even Goebbels would have baulked at the naked hostility displayed.

    What we now can conclude unequivocally is that the present management and staff on the print and broadcast media ( with obvious noble exceptions) are nothing more than hired whores pimped by foreign owned business interests entwined in the Neo-Lib British State.

    Every day we are presented with an illusion of democracy. A circus of trained seals asking prepped questions of hollow men intent only on filling their pockets with our gold and keeping ‘Scotland the colony’ subjugated by an never-ending pantomime of political gibberish.

    They see us as sad dupes to be manipulated and lied to. Murphy and Baillie’s crocodile tears exemplify the total disdain they hold us in.

    These people, in the past, would have been tarred and feathered and tied to a rail and beaten with sticks to the edge of town.

    Showground Tricksters and men selling bogus elixirs no longer exist, but their modern day equivalent hucksters infest the Unionist parties.

    But as long as we remind the unenlightened that human nature does not change. We can point out that these parasites are still there posing as SLAB Politicians.

    The huge elephant in the room is still the BBC and increasingly STV. How can they be challenged?
    The BBC can and must answer to our political leaders: NS and the Scottish Gov based on breach of the BBC Royal Charter for Impartiality .The STV can be challenged only commercially. The latter is achievable quite quickly…boycott advertisers, after all it’s working with the DR. The former, the BBC must happen soon and I urge all SNP members ( of which I am one) to pressurise MSPs, MPs and councillors to rain down criticism on this malign source of lies.

    Lets get Boothman and McQuarrie removed. They’ll get their titles and awards from a greatful UK. So don’t feel sorrowful for ("Tractor" - Ed)s such as these. But let’s do it soon!

  43. desimond says:


    On Sunday Politics, Gordon Brewer did laugh out loud and call Jim Murphy out for “Talking for a full minute and failing to actually come close to answering my question”

    The response…Jim, Neil and Sarah all turned round and lambasted Brewer for having an agenda of trying to make them look bad!

  44. Jim McIntosh says:

    O/T – A bit disappointed with the National this morning accepting Jim Murphy’s statement that the 50p rate will add an additional £250M.

    According to the guardian there are approximately 20,000 people in Scotland earning over £150K. If the average is £250K (which is a high estimate) that’s an additional £5K each. Giving a total of £100M.

    Can anyone answer why this figure was accepted as gospel.

  45. Macnakamura says:

    Arising from previous ……..

    1. ” Kudos to John Mackay for actually asking Murphy” ………..just a little. It was the wrong question. He should have asked if he had been given info or words to that effect not had he spoken to anyone on the Smith commission.

    2. Sainsburys near queen St station sold me The National yesterday.

  46. Jim McIntosh says:

    @Dr Ew

    Sorry we were asking a similar question at the same time ????

  47. wingman 2020 says:

    Murphy is producing three soundbites to try to resuscitate the Labour vote in Scotland:

    1. SLAB are going to reintroduce the 50p tax rate in Scotland.

    2. SLAB operate separately from Milliband and London.

    3. SLAB support maximum devolution but will accept the Smith Committee recommendations.

    On point 1. He knows this can and will never happen without the same tax position in England, and even if it could, taxing high paid Scots has a marginal return. The only value in it is the political rhetoric for Labour.

    On 2. Despite his bravado and braggadocio, Murphy will have no authority or legitimacy from which to defy London Labour or Milliband.

    On 3. Murphy claims he has not talked to anybody regarding the possible Smith commission outcomes. This is nonsense and patently untrue given that his candidacy for the Labour Branch Office role is going to be enormously affected by Smith recommendations.

    So what we have from labour is a desperate SPIN to attempt to recapture the more gullible and less well informed in Scotland. It is marginally more complex than their staple ‘Vote SNP get Tory’, but no less shallow, dishonest and desperate.

    And as many have said before, Scotland’s MSM is wholly culpable for (and complicity in) allowing Labour to con the working class electorate.

  48. desimond says:

    @Jim McIntosh

    This raises a question that occured to me the other day.
    While The National claims to be a Paper supporting Independence, it isnt actually a paper NOT supporting Unionist parties is it?

    Are we expecting them to disect and embarrass as the Rev does with his articles or are they going to report news as given while producing additional Independence friendly features.

  49. manandboy says:

    Murphy has a key role in Milliband’s plans to win GE15. As Labour’s new leader in Scotland, it will be Murphy’s job to return as many Labour MP’s to Westminster.
    A daunting task and one in which he is going to need all the help he can get.
    But when asked by John McKay in the clip if he is getting any help from the two Labour Reps on the Smith Commission, he says “No”.
    I’d bet my house he’s lying.

    I’d also bet that Darling and Brown are both telling the truth in their comments about devolving Income Tax. Brown is most succinct when he said simply “It’s a trap.”
    Why would they lie against Murphy as they walk out the door of the Commons and head for the Lords?

    Having said that it is much more difficult to understand what McTernan’s overall strategy is. Even more puzzling is how Labour and the Tories are working together to quell the post Indy uprising in Scotland.

    If I was their chief strategist, I would be making the case for a Tory/Labour coalition after GE15 simply because that would take care of everything – apart from Milliband’s ambition to be PM.
    But the upside is massive.
    Sort UKIP, sort Holyrood, screw Scotland big time, sort the EU Referendum.
    Red & Blue Tories in a WM fusion – it’s the only safe bet.
    Just a shame about the voters.

  50. terry says:


    With regards to Sainsbury’s – I’d a busy day yesterday so didn’t get a chance to go buy the National until 7pm. I don’t do Sainsbury’s anymore but out of interest I swung by my local branch – Berryden in Aberdeen. There was quite a big pile of them left. Whether this was because they were put out later in the day or their clientele has a large amount of No voters (which I would imagine they do) I don’t know. But that branch did have it on sale. Even the paper being there serves a purpose – it’s a visibility thing and No voters will see it. Reading it makes you feel good and seeing a paper respoond to readers’ remarks (one example is quite rightly addressing the omission of Shetland on the cover of the first edition) makes you feel empowered. It’s a start – but I think a very good one. I wish it was a bit longer and though not my cup of tea they do need to get the TV, puzzles and a bit more sport in there to attract a larger audience and those that do not access info via such an informative site as this.

    Off to buy today’s copy – yippee!

  51. desimond says:

    ‘If Labour put up the tax rate to 50p then I will leave the country’Michelle Mone (Tomorrow)

    Tomorrows headlines Today from Yesterdays Yesterday!

  52. Onwards says:

    The fair thing to do would be to adjust the Barnett formula, so the starting position is the same assuming no change in tax rates.

    Otherwise, a far broader range of taxes and powers need to be devolved to compensate for any Barnett Shortfall – by giving the ability to compete and grow the economy.

    Complaining about income tax powers being devolved gives the impression that we don’t want any change, and will leave us open to ridicule.

    We should be campaigning all out for MAXIMUM powers, not giving the impression that we are now backtracking on income tax.

    That is just the start. One more step to independence.

  53. Jim McIntosh says:


    If all they are going to do is take press releases given by the party hacks and print them they’ll be no better than any other rag and I’ll just stop buying the paper. I was hoping for some analysis of the information, if not in the article itself at least in the editorial. Feel a bit let down frankly.

  54. chalks says:

    ‘One_Scot says:

    26 November, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I am having a lot of problems communicating with Sainsburys. Does anyone know what their position is with regard to selling The National.’

    I bought today’s National in Sainbury’s, just like I did on Monday.

  55. desimond says:

    Jim McIntosh

    Maybe just baby steps and all that. Fingers crossed they grow into it. They should hire Stu as a consultant to advise….Rev. Stu Cambell B.A ( Bullshit Adviser)!

  56. Valerie says:

    I wish moaning Michelle would just get on and leave already, attention seeking sad git.

    She said she would leave if there was a Yes vote, then announced she was leaving anyway. Boring.

  57. What I think will happen is whatever Smith says about powers devolved. It will go to parliament and they will debate and amend and add clauses and amend again. They will come to some agreement on the 25th January. This will be to quieten the Jocks down before and through the GE15. Then the Party in power will shaft Scotland.

  58. manandboy says:

    Apologies to Wingman – how it pays to read earlier comments.

  59. When asked by the interviewer if he (Murphy) had been told anything from someone on the Smith Commission. Murphy’s denial – you can see in jis body language he was lying. I have no doubt about that. Hand to the mouth (sign of hiding the lie) shake of the head, voice quietens. He lied.

  60. One_Scot says:

    Thanks, just joined Sainsburys Energy, trying to work out if I need to jump again.

  61. michael says:

    Oh how the No voters must be cheering.

    The risk was too great, I understand, its better to keep what you’ve got than to reach out and strive for something better.

    They prefer to keep us as we are and live in a Scotland where Labour fight to ensure we are no better off. Hip hip ho f**king horray.

    Every time I see Jim Murphy he seems to project some sort of calm inner rage that freaks me out. He seems lost of emotion. Maybe Indy will set him free.

  62. heedtracker says:

    It’s alll going to make Labour in Scotland core vote of the 45% vote anyone but them, no matter how hard the BBC/Record try to fool us.

  63. jackie g says:


    Some of Nicolas land reform proposals.

    Holyrood legislative programme On land reform, Ms Sturgeon says Scotland’s land “must be an asset which benefits the many, not the few”. She says proposals of a land reform will be outlined next week. Among the plans are:

    Powers for ministers to intervene where the scale of land ownership or the conduct of a landlord is acting as a barrier to sustainable development.

    Establishment of Scottish land Reform Commission
    Measures to improve transparency and accountability of land ownership.

    Action to ensure charities holding large areas of land are under obligation to engage with communities
    Removal of business rate exemptions of shooting and deer stalking estates.

  64. Tattie-bogle says:

    I just watched the clip in front of my 13 year old and she said “what ,did i just hear that” she then followed on with “is that one of those english tory thingmy’s”

  65. wingman 2020 says:


    “Red & Blue Tories in a WM fusion”

    Informally and behind the scenes – collusion for sure.

    Formally and visible – No chance. Impossible.

  66. wingman 2020 says:


    “Apologies to Wingman”

    None sought or needed. 🙂

  67. Wee Jonny says:

    Brotyboy says:
    26 November, 2014 at 12:07 pm
    Jim Murphy’s hand up at his mouth doesn’t need a psychologist to interpret.

    And did you see that Boyack never looked Main Stream Murphy in the puss as she was talking to/about him? They’re all lying bastards but as per the meeja let them away we it.

  68. I have little doubt that all interested parties attending the Smith Commission are reporting back to their controllers but suspect that only SLab are using the information to try to gain some creditibility having totally lost contact with peoples reality.

    Be assured Slab is all about Labour first and foremost, which means Scotland’s interests will come a poor second. You must always remember that every arm of the state is there to maintain the status qua and will undermine anything that threatens that.

  69. msean says:

    Interviewing 3 people,where everyone knows Lundin has already appointed their preferred manager,pointless.

    Voting NO has allowed Westminster to punt Scotlands interests off to an unelected Lord,and we can guess how that will turn out. We’ll get powers that are meaningless and expensive,just to torpedo Holyrood,to make it appear useless.

  70. muttley79 says:

    Serious question here: instead of getting a block grant, why does Scotland not get taxes devolved up to the level of the block grant (which is around £25 billion a year?)?

  71. wingman 2020 says:

    A different way of looking at Barnett?

    Scotland’s Population Density 68/km2 x £10,152 = £690,336 (per km2)

    England’s Population Density 263/km2 x £8,529 = £2,243,127 (per km2)

    London’s Population Density 5285/km2 x £9,435 = £49,863,975 (per km2)
    (Not Barnett per se)

    Scotland gets on average 30% of England’s spend per square km.

    This shows that the more densely populated areas win out from economies of scale. This is the reason that Scotland’s infrastructure is so impoverished and ‘second-class’ to England.

    Now to be fairer, we can compare Scotland and England’s total land areas.

    England 132937.69 km2 x £2,243,127 = £298 Billion
    Scotland 80239.47 km2 x £690,336 = £55 Billion

    Scotland is 60% of the size of England.
    Scotland gets 18% of the funding that England gets.

    Since 1978 Barnett has worked on population figures, and Scotland’s population growth is half that of England… Hence its been a downward spiral of Economic migration and infrastructure impoverishment of nearly forty years.

    So while we are told we are ‘too poor’ and yet ‘being over generously funded’ … We are in fact being ‘asset stripped’ as a country.

    Our own resources and assets are taken and we are given limited amounts with which to regenerate our economy.

    Barnett is a scourge on Scotland.

    The only positive thing about devolving income tax is that it confirms there are no reasons not to devolve ALL tax revenues to Scotland.

    Let Scotland get on with the tax of regeneration using our own resources. Labours ‘pooling and sharing’ has impoverished Scotland while enriching these same MPs. Bought and sold by Barnett gold has a certain ring to it.

    *Wales and NI are excluded.

  72. Dr Ew says:

    @ desimond says:
    ‘If Labour put up the tax rate to 50p then I will leave the country’ – Michelle Mone

    Michelle Mone also said she was going to leave if Scotland became independent. Like most of the great millionaire patriots, if they don’t like the democratic will of their beloved country they threaten to fuck off abroad.

    Make sure the door doesn’t hit your fat arse on the way oot, Michelle.

  73. wingman 2020 says:

    And why is this man a member of the Smith Commission?
    Adam Tomkins- Glasgow University law professor.
    “Extensive research show that 79.2% of Scottish Nationalists would like the English bred out of the world.”
    “Scotland will be torn apart by this referendum. Expect bloodshed.”

    Have a read. And expect nothing from the Smith Commission thats positive or good for Scotland.

  74. Dr Ew says:


    I couldn’t follow why you brought up East Kilbride MP Mick McCann. He’s a thug with form I know only too well, but didn’t understand his relevance to this thread.

    Have I missed something?

  75. Marga says:

    Wingman – the Barnett formula looks like a nest of worms – see this report of Swinney in 2009 taking to the House of Commons Select Committee on Barnett Formula Contents. Seems that density of population is not the only thing it doesn’t take into account:

  76. Jim IVY Morris says:

    Barnett will not be messed with because it will mean taking back the +24% which Northern Ireland enjoy at the moment. The you will really see some unhappy Unionists.

  77. Tackety Beets says:

    Glad to read above we do not need to wheel in Geoff Beattie , we can all see Smurph’s body tells us he is a liar !

    Barnet Formulae V Income Tax yet keep the status quo financially ? Makes the exercise a complete farce !

    Smurph’s say ” Full Devotution of income tax “.

    I say ” Devolution of Full Income Tax “.
    I can’t imagine any of these guys lifting Slab without more lies .
    How bad has it got when they can’t do anything without a wee lie thrown in for good measure.
    We have a big struggle ahead to avoid the whipping from WM we all predicted .

  78. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Wingman 20.20 at 4.42

    There is no point in discussing the Barnett Formula unless it is firmly recognised that the “identified public spending” that comprises the figures makes up only about two thirds of the Government spend. This shows higher levels of per capita spend in Scotland because of Scotland’s geography and the cost of providing services in a widely dispersed country.
    Same sort of figures could be provided for the West Country, north Wales or Cumbria for instance.

    The other third goes in Government procurement. If procurement spending is factored in as it should be it would show over sixty percent of government spend in the South East of England and Scotland getting less than half its share of procurement spend. A real figure on per capita Government spend in the UK would show London and the South East as the main beneficiaries.

    This is probably beyond the understanding of the average MP.

  79. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I assume that full devolution of income tax means that the tax raised stays in Scotland and doesn’t go to London for asessment. Does anybody know?

  80. I suspect the tax raised in Scotland through income tax will see the exact same amout of money being withheld from the lump sum of the barnett formula.

  81. Alan Findlay says:

    I like the idea of us getting less than promised; the bigger the our economic crisis the more radical will have to be our solution.For starters why can’t we demonstrate intend by bringing a bill to Holrood nationalising all the land, water, utilities in Scotland. One of the reason people get paid too little is because other get paid too much out of the public purse; why not pay head teachers the same rate as teachers etc..

  82. katie says:

    Hahaha, that should be the new Slab slogan…… ‘ We want to make sure that Scotland is not better off!’ Or to be more truthfull, ‘ We want to make sure that Scotland is worse off!’

    Great campaigning slogan for next years general election!!!

  83. Rock says:

    “The people of Scotland are being taken for mugs.”

    Leaving aside the 40% British nationalists, the other 15% who voted No are being taken for mugs because they are mugs.

    Add to that many of the Labour voters who voted Yes but will now vote Labour in 2015.

  84. Chic McGregor says:

    OT slogan for Faslane:

    You got your ‘Togetherness!’
    Don’t blame us, we voted Yes.

  85. wingman 2020 says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill

    I dont disagree with you…. But while the battle is fought on Barnett figures it makes sense to challenge them. I do understand that the picture is worse for Scotland.

  86. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Rock at 10.49

    No they wont. Labour has lost them. Not only have they lost them they are now deeply despised by many of them.

    Over many parts of Central Scotland the SNP has now replaced the Labour party

  87. CRAIGthePICT says:

    Something about the way Snake Murphy denied having spoken to Smith Commission screamed out that he knew for sure Smith would recommend 100% income tax devo. Shifty bugger.

    It’s in his defensive posture, his guarded hand over the mouth, in his tightlipped answers, in the timber of his voice……oh yeah and he’s lying untrustworthy sh*t.

  88. Keith Hynd says:

    Just having a quick skim over the Smith report I read this;
    87. In line with the approach taken in relation to the Scotland Act 2012, if such a tax
    is introduced by the Scottish Parliament to replace Air Passenger Duty (APD), the
    Scottish Government will reimburse the UK Government for any costs incurred in
    ‘switching off’ APD in Scotland.
    That sounds very much like, if the Scot Gov stop APD then the cost of that action must be reimbursed to the UK Gov !!!!
    “PIG IN A POKE” is my opinion.

  89. Ali says:

    Watch Murphy afte he is asked if he has been speaking to people in the Smith Commission. He answers, “No”, but then he closes his eyes. Classic ‘tell’ – he is lying. Maybe something to watch for in future.

  90. Ann Rayner says:

    Availability of the National. I have had no problems getting the National from either Sainsburys or local shop but I went to a Tesco yesterday as I happened to be passing and could not find the National so I asked an assistant. She went to consult someone, then came back o tell m that they did not stock it because of management policy.

    So I went to the info desk and returned my (unpaid for) basket and told the it was now my policy not to shop at Tesco. Can anyone confirm this policy or was it just a one-off by one store manager? If it I company policy, I will certainly be boycotting Tesco and would urge other Wings readers to do the same.

  91. Rock says:

    Dave McEwan Hill,

    “No they wont. Labour has lost them. Not only have they lost them they are now deeply despised by many of them.

    Over many parts of Central Scotland the SNP has now replaced the Labour party”

    I very much hope you are proven right.

    But do not under-estimate the British establishment, and do not over-estimate the 15% mugs who voted No.

  92. Absolutely agree and this real. This would clearly leave Scotland significantly worse off. The only way to reduce that shortfall (other than large tax increases in Scotland) would be to INCREASE the size of the Barnett premium on the remainder of the block grant paid by Westminster to Holyrood each year.

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