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Wings Over Scotland

The historical debt

Posted on April 03, 2014 by

When presented with the evidence that Scotland has been a huge net contributor to UK finances ever since the discovery of North Sea oil, Unionists sometimes protest “Ah, but what about the 260 years before that, when Scotland was just a poor wee backwater with no industry that was bankrolled by England after the Darien disaster?”

(Because most of them don’t actually know the first thing about Darien.)


And after this morning’s story, we thought it might be worth checking a few more of the official UK government figures for Scottish revenues and expenditure, up to the point where the Treasury stopped compiling the figures lest they get too embarrassing.

So thanks to yet another alert reader, that’s what we did.

The figures below come via the National Library of Scotland. If you click on the images you’ll download an Excel file which includes not only the charts but also the URLs where the data can be found. The picture they paint is an eye-opening one.


NB Irregularities like total spending in most years not adding up to 100% are due to discrepancies in the way the UK government reported the figures, with different sums being given for the same years. This is most likely due to exceptional items of spending which wouldn’t have been treated as part of the normal accounts.

And below in graph form:


If you add those numbers up, the total gap between the money Scotland raised and the amount it got back in spending over the 22-year period at the turn of the 20th century is just under £562.2 million. That’d be a not-insignificant sum in 2014, but if you convert it from 1911 prices (the midpoint of the period) it equates to a mind-boggling £56.1 billion, or a little over £2.5bn a year.

That’s far more even than the subsidy that oil-rich Scotland sent to Westminster over a similar period between 1979 and 1997 – a mere £1.5bn a year.

We can’t offhand think of any reasons why the situation would have changed markedly for the next 20-odd years, so whichever way you slice it it looks like Scotland has an awful lot of credit banked when it comes to divvying up shares of the UK’s huge debt.

It seems to us like we’ve coughed up enough for “Imperial Services” by now.

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6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 03 04 14 22:05

    The subsidy myth debunked! | The 'Soopa' Blogger

  2. 20 04 14 23:07

    Naw, ye cannae have a dream, that’s a positive thing. | A Greater Stage

  3. 28 05 14 12:04

    If it wasn’t for the oil… | Are We Really Better Together?

  4. 30 07 14 22:50

    No Will be Forever Too | A Greater Stage

  5. 08 09 14 22:35

    Meeting a living legend | Are We Really Better Together?

  6. 16 09 16 22:40

    The Article 50 Directive | A Wilderness of Peace

192 to “The historical debt”

  1. G H Graham says:

    Can some of the columns be explained in more detail?

    For example, adding columns 3 and 4 doesn’t always match the sum in column 2.

  2. Rod Mac says:

    It just makes me even more determined to ensure a YES in September.
    We all need to share this with as many people as possible.
    As usual Rev excellent piece of work ,although I am sure the Scotsman ,Daily Record and Daily Mail along with BBC will tell everyone about this now it is out there.

  3. RogueCoder says:

    Theiving BASTARDS!

    Double page ad in Metro to draw voters attention, Rev? With up to date figures from GERS this could be very enlightening to Scots.

  4. Capella says:

    Wow! Blowing away the cobwebs of lies and deceit again Rev. We’re on a perpendicular learning curve this year but it is soooo rewarding.

  5. Croompenstein says:

    Lord Monckton should be worth a few Yes votes. Is he related to Jerry Sadowitz?

  6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The XL spreadsheet in Mac outlook XLS, does not open out except as a table of commands.

    Me stoopid?

  7. Alan MacD says:

    Gold Rev, Gold!

  8. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Think Clockwork Orange.

  9. Thepnr says:

    Robbed of our Manufacturing & Industry fund as well as our Oil fund!

    How many toffs have Scots paid for to go to Eton and Harrow?
    How many Mansions and Palaces have we built in a foreign country?
    How many Lords and Earls have we cloaked in Ermine and Gold?

    Robbing bastards gave us foodbanks!

  10. Andrew Morton says:

    Worth pointing out that current day figures charge the National debt interest charges back to Scotland in GERS but back then they came under the heading of Imperial Services.

  11. Alan MacD says:

    Would be great to see that graph over the whole century… Possible?

  12. Andrew Morton says:

    @Alan MacD

    Unfortunately they stopped recording these figures after 1921. One can only guess the reason. ????

  13. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Here is a daft analysis but:

    If we had that table but reduced to simple explanatory points in The Metro, would the BBC and the Dead Tree Press ignore it?

    Why do I think that they are desperately looking to put case for YES but under local constraints they are “forbidden.”

    A brouhaha around this finding, handled as a common or garden news story might project this into the `angrysphere and the hands of our friends in the MSM?

  14. heedtracker says:

    What’s new? Even HS2 London to Birmingham rail cost to Scotland needed a Freedom of Info thingee to get them to tell how much Scotland will pay. When you watch Stairheid Lamont in action or BBC in Scotland news, its pretty clear they think we are suckers just asking to be bilked again.

  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Andrew Morton

    When did Ireland break away?

  16. Nick Heller says:

    Those Westminster subsidy junkies have probably been spending it all on fancy paint;

  17. Dinnatouch says:

    Some seriously creative accounting in 1909; 49% spent in Scotland, 69% spent outwith Scotland. I don’t think even Alistair Darling could manage that.

  18. Jean says:

    The establishment will not like this info being highlighted and shared…they are unhappy we can no longer be kept ‘in our place’. More power to your elbow Stu but I trust you have upped your personal protection alongside that of your upgraded servers.

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    Scotland – Ripped-off R Us.

  20. Papadox says:

    So what: a still don’t like that Alex Salmond. Am votin naw fur ma faither and grand faither cause they worked fur aw this money doon the pits.

    Where would we be if the imperial English didn’t subsidise us?

    This scum wants me to hand this shit onto my great gran children. THE ANSWER IS NAW.
    I intend setting them FREE. You parasites have had enough from me and my family so f*** off and suck the life out of someone else. FREEDOM!

  21. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I will say what I said yesterday, but in spades, these last figures would have been collected one, two or even three before and anybody remember the end of the First World War (date, not personally Handclapping) and the Tanks in George Square and Glasgow?

    A home fit for heroes, rent hikes and tanks?

  22. M4rkyboy says:

    I remember someone posting a list of all the Govt functions in England compared to Scotland,Wales,NI.
    Basically Scotland had 1 dept(DFID),Wales had 1 dept(DVLA) and NI had zero depts.
    The list in England was huge and kinda identified the ‘non-identifiable’.

  23. Murray McCallum says:

    But, but, look, but Scotland can neither survive with its volatile oil liability or without it.

    Well done to the person who found this source and the excellent summary in the article. In every year since 1900 until records were purposely stopped in 1921 Scotland subsidised rUK. I think that constitutes a trend.

    Btw Scott Minto’s article on Darien is a good read.

  24. Ross Andrew says:

    I just sent this link to a unionist friend of mine and he was left speechless

  25. The Man in the Jar says:

    Lousy Lying Thieving Scum! The whole damn lot of them.

    And Better Together want you to vote for more of the same.

    You must be stark staring mad or have lived in a cave for most of your life to vote for these parasites.

    PS @Bugger (The Panda) at 7:06. What’s Monkton got to do with Glasgow Subway? 😉

  26. Craig P says:

    It is likely that graph of surplus would have dropped dramatically. 1921-22 was the point the industrial economy dropped off a cliff. The 1920s had the highest emigration from Scotland of any decade on record (source: Devine, the Scottish Nation 1700-2000) as Scots left to find work elsewhere. Only production for the Second World War kept Clydeside going a bit longer.

    Now it is counterfactual to ask, ‘what if the surplus from the decades around 1900 were invested in Scotland rather than being exported: would the subsequent crash have been so bad?’

    BUT it is highly pertinent to ask the same question about the surpluses from the decades around 2000.

    A lesson from history, take from it what you will. But here’s a question: are we going to face a future crash tied to a political system that prioritises London above all?

  27. call me dave says:

    Renfrew Town Hall debate just starting. Good stream watching it now. Sillars and McKee.

  28. James123 says:

    Scotland shouldn’t take any of the UK’s debt, they’ve been robbing us for over a century.

    Be interesting to find out why Scotland’s revenue went up by 500% from 1916 to 1921, anyone know?

  29. Juteman says:

    They haven’t just been taking our wealth every year, they have kicked us in the balls and called us stupid wankers as they did it.
    And some of them are Scots.
    Proud Scots, but still Scots.

  30. Brian Powell says:

    The Unionists; Labour, Conservatives and LibDems must know this. they knew about the McCrone report and all the other scandals.

    They are without moral compass, character or integrity.

    I said a year and a half ago that one of the reasons Darling was running around in such a desperate funk, was that with Independence the ‘books’ for the UK would be opened and we would see what had happened to the finances.

    The books are being opened now. The Unionist politicians should have their faces rubbed in this.

  31. Molly says:

    I’m not voting for Independence because of the past, I’m voting for a future but my God, now I know why ‘they ‘ never taught me Scottish history at school!

  32. Onwards says:

    Even before WW1, the difference is astounding.

  33. Andy-B says:

    Wow! I’m flabbergasted to realise that the economic drain of Scotland’s wealth has been going on even as far back as 1900, and possibly even longer. Looking back at old pictures from the Mitchell Libraries virtual website, to see the destitution and squalor of cities like Glasgow and then realising that resources had been drained away to London is heart breaking.

    No wonder London was considered one of the largest cities in the world at the turn of the century, one wonders just how much Scottish revenue contributed to, London’s infastructure and architecture of the day.

    It makes one wonder if Scotland had been independent, would we have the intensity of the social ailment that plague us today, sadly we’ll never know the answer to that question, but a new chapter full of hope can be written, when we vote yes in September.

  34. Andrew Morton says:

    @Bugger, the Panda!

    I think Ireland left in 1921 or thereabouts.

    These figures should be approached with a degree of caution as they aren’t the same as the GERS figures, however I think the point is that the money, whether spent on or for Scotland’s benefit or not, it wasn’t spent in Scotland, so it didn’t generate jobs and spending here.

  35. Murray McCallum says:

    I think the post 1916 surge in government revenue may be down to changes to taxation – both increased rates and participation. This trend would apply across the UK.

    I’m not an historian so please anyone chip in.

  36. MolliBlum says:

    Well, let’s not forget this either. A report in the Telegraph (1965). I’m almost certain somebody posted it here on WoS a while back, but couldn’t find it… scroll down a wee bit for the jpg of the actual article on the right, asking how come Scotland’s revenues for 1952-53 were c. £410 million, but only £207 million were spent there…The article points out that “no official reports… have been published in recent years”

  37. Papadox says:

    No wonder the English elite and masters don’t want to answer questions or debate in Scotland. They just have a kick at us collect the money and f*** off back to their counting house to see how much the stupid jocks have coughed up for the funds for their keep. B******* ! F****** B******* !

  38. Arbroath 1320 says:

    That’s a great piece of information you’ve put up here Stu. I fully expect this information to be plastered across the front pages of all of tomorrow’s newspapers.

    Wait a minute there’s a newsflash just come in…what’s that the papers refuse to cover this story on the grounds that it helps the YES campaign with their fight for independence. Surely not! Whatever will they think of next…:P

  39. msean says:

    What exactly is Imperial Services? Sounds like the British Empire version of a standing charge 🙂 .

  40. HenBroon says:

    “Be interesting to find out why Scotland’s revenue went up by 500% from 1916 to 1921, anyone know?”

    Don’t mention ze war.

    Shipbuilding was then at it’s peak due to the 16-18 war. They soon sorted the Clyde out though

  41. Andrew Morton says:


    Imperial services include the cost of the armed forces, government, civil service, servicing the national debt, national projects (e.g. the cost of building all those triumphalist buildings in Whitehall).

  42. HenBroon says:

    Sorry 14-18 war. Trying to beat the pedants!

  43. Clootie says:

    I wonder how many times this data has been discovered.

    I think of all those early nationalists uncovering the truth, hand printing posters, winning a few converts. Generation after generation fighting to get the truth out. It has been there in books and documents time after time doomed to gather dust because the media would not touch it.

    Once again I must praise the internet for making the difference this time. These facts show the real history of the union.

    I can only imagine the frustration those early dedicated Scots felt knowing the truth and unable to get it out in order to educate the nation.

  44. caz-m says:

    O/T For all you speed readers. Scottish Home Rule 1913.

    Just read this bit of history from the 1913 Scottish Home Rule Debate in Westminster. See what you make of it Rev.

    The language used is very similar to today’s warnings from the English Establishment.

    We haven’t moved on, they still think, as they did then, that we are dependant on them to survive,

    Also, even in 1913, they were warning us of border posts being set up.

  45. msean says:

    The news after a yes vote when all this stuff and probably a lot more we don’t know about yet comes out should be fun to watch.Obviously they don’t want the books opened.

  46. JLT says:

    This is another argument that grates with me. How poor, illiterate wee backward Scotland was such a basket case of a nation, that it had to be bailed out by rich England and shown the ropes on how to do things.

    Complete …bunkum!

    Anybody here who has never heard of the ‘Darien Project’, then go and read up on it quickly in Wikipedia. You might also want to learn up on the ‘English Act of Settlement 1701’ and the ‘Alien Act of 1705’. The fallout from Darien (thanks to William of Orange (our King) who let the Scots down badly by making sure that no English colonies traded with the Scots (aye …that was our ‘good old’ King. Good King Billy …who shafted the Scots BIG TIME! …just so he could avoid a major war with Spain and France)).

    Seriously …if you don’t know this …make a cup of coffee, sit back, and spend an hour reading up on all of what I have mentioned. You will seriously be doing yourself a huge favour by learning a massive and key bit of Scots history. If you want a wee bit more …learn about the Benefits of the Scottish Reformation …especially the bits on schooling. Changed everything …and made us what we are! A very clever people.

    What people should realise is this. Even prior to the Darien Project, Scotland had a very good education system in the Lowlands (the highlands however, were a different case). I won’t go into too much about the aftermath of Darien. It was bad, William treated us rotten, half our Nobles betrayed us further. The Union happened thanks to them.

    Even after the Union, Scotland was a much more enlightened and literate country than compared with England.
    Because of those educational values, many Scots acquired jobs within the firms and companies all over Britain (the brain drain begins), and one thing should be noted …the effects of the Union were not felt in Scotland for many decades. In fact, some argue that it was only because of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Culloden in 1745-46 that England was given a fright, that it had to invest seriously in Scotland to stop such uprisings from ever happening again.

    The true age of Britishness really is the golden period on 1760 to 1820, when it might have been considered where Scotland and England were of equal status. Edinburgh and Glasgow flourished (first, thanks to the tobacco, sugar and cotton in the Americas) and then India and the Far East (post 1776 – American Independence). Wars with Napoleonic France and a rising German power house began to see the sun set on Britain’s glory age. And after World War 1 …nothing was ever the same again.

    But let’s make one thing very clear. England may have created the ‘Empire’, but it was the Scots who ran it …and ran it very hard and extremely successfully. If it wasn’t for the people of Scotland, believe me; it would have been France who would have been the World’s Hyper Power for 200 years. England got extremely lucky by having a union with Scotland at the right time. They never got luckier. They benefitted from a nation that was highly literate; willing to travel, follow the money; and ran a vast Empire that stopped another from dominating it.

    Scotland saw her children emigrate on mass during that period. At the time of Union, it was 8 million English to 2 million Scots (4 to 1). In 300 years, our population has gone from 2 million to only 5 million. England has gone from 8 million to 53 million. You think that is bad. Ireland once had a population of 9 million! Thanks to the famine and clearance, Ireland’s population today is only 6.3 million. Their population went down in the millions!

    So …Scotland has paid her share. She owes no-one.

  47. Gary says:

    This is the kind of thing that makes perfect sense when you see the figures. We were the “Workshop of the World” and worked in poor conditions living short lives due to our living and working conditions. The fact that they have spent so long perfecting their subsidy junkie argument may well turn round and bite them on their proverbial arse, when independence comes the public in England will expect higher standards because they won’t be sending us money, when in fact we won’t be sending it to them. The politicians will have some fancy footwork to do to explain this..

  48. msean says:

    @Andrew Morton
    Thanks,thought it would be something like that.I look forward to seeing a few London landmarks being taken down and moved to Scotland.Tower Bridge,Buckinghame Palace,Wembley Stadium…

  49. Harry says:

    This should be dynamite but why do some of the columns not add up and why do some of the percentages often come to less than 100% and occasionally over 100%?

  50. gerry parker says:

    And when we do find out all of the skullduggery that has gone on over the centuries, we should proclaim it to the world and shame them.

  51. KOF says:

    Hen Broon says:

    “Sorry 14-18 war. Trying to beat the pedants!”

    You mean the 1914-1919 war, of course. 😉

  52. Cankert Callan says:

    Dear god, you’d have thought at one point Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant or Peter Capaldi would have stopped that treat ever having existed!

  53. Truth says:

    To put the 1921 figures in some perspective, Scotland’s level of taxation was five times that of Denmark and eight times that of Switzerland.

    Details can be found in this 1931 edition of the Glasgow Herald:,9082214

    (Scroll down highlighted column until you come to “NATIONAL CLAIMS”. You can read more about Elma Campbell in the next column along too.)

  54. WallaceBruce says:

    And I thought Wonga was a recent phenomenon!

  55. CameronB says:

    Perhaps hey stopped collating the figures because the wheels were coming of the capitalist cart at roughly the same time?

  56. Andrew Morton says:


    There are occasional items of expenditure/ revenue which are exceptional which may have affected the totals. They are not significant. Also, there was a different system of reporting pre 1909 and the figures from 1901 to 1908 have been adjusted to the same basis as the later figures.

  57. HandandShrimp says:


    Imperial Services also includes the extended civil Service that ran the Colonial Office and associated bodies.

  58. Andrew Morton says:

    @Truth 8:18 pm

    Fascinating read and once again saying pretty much the same things we are saying now. We are not a new phenomenon! I was particularly struck by the reference to people of all parties sinking their beliefs in the common cause.

  59. call me dave says:

    Renfrew debate.

    First time I have seen Jeane Freeman and heard her speak and she’s brilliant. A real asset to YES who talks about what the ordinary folk relate to.

  60. Fallow glass says:

    This has to be publicised!

  61. Macart says:

    The UK state and establishment, then and now – thieves and liars top to bottom.

    We vote yes we’re done with it all. We don’t need them to feel kinship or loyalty to the people of these islands or define who we are. We don’t need their ‘broad shoulders’ to manage our resources and leave our people to starve. We don’t need them to sit at ‘big tables’.

    We simply don’t need them at all.

  62. CameronB says:

    I might be wrong but didn’t the ‘Darien Project’ have to fail so the the South Sea Company could achieve monopoly on trading routes to South America. It also ensured English control of strategic coaling ports e.g. the Falklands Islands.

    Craig P – Snap, though you went in to more detail. 🙂

  63. Clootie says:

    I think they stopped showing the data due to the rise of the early home rule / nationalists.

    These were the early days of a Labour Party with a spine. People were starting to challenge the data and that would never do!

    I don’t think I will be the only one seething at this affront to democracy.

    Better Together my arse.

    Wish I had a punch bag!

  64. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    Not even going down the road of the N.I. problem… but the headline on this article: “…devolved powers could be returned to Westminster”, is yet another reason why a nation should be in charge of its own affairs! Ultimately, devolved powers could…could conceivably, in the last resort, be undevolved, cos London has the final say… no brainer on Sept.18th, fellow Celts. NO MORE KOWTOW! ..

  65. orkers says:

    Monckton was sacked by Farage in 2013 although he is still in the Party.

    Information from Wiki.

  66. Thepnr says:

    No matter what the “Imperial Services” covered it should never have amounted to an average 70% of total revenue from Scotland. That figure is just so ridiculous when things were so bad in Scotland itself for the workers.

    Here’s a taste of life in the early 1900’s. This is actually from a set of revision notes published for school pupils in Glasgow but was the most succinct description I could find.

    By 1900 Britain was one of the world’s richest and powerful countries mainly due to the industrial revolution. However most of this wealth was in the hands of the upper class and growing middle class of bankers, merchants and factory owners.

    The role of the government was limited in the 1900s they had to provide control of the workplace, minimum standards of public health, limited education and limited help for the poor who deserved to be helped.

    The governments in Britain believed in Laissez faire, (that is leaving things alone and not interfering). Individuals were responsible for their own life. Although the government had passed laws in the before 1900 to control conditions and hours in the mines and public health laws were passed to stop diseases like cholera, many people in government believed poverty was people’s own fault.

    Poor Law system
    • Poverty led to appalling living conditions. The housing of the poor in 1900 was overcrowded, dirty, damp and disease ridden and their diets were poor. Due to laissez faire ‘help’ was limited.
    • The poor law system meant people had to proof they were poor before they were allowed into the poorhouse.
    • Life was made so unattractive that it was less likely to be chosen than the lowest paid job.
    • If you were fit you would not receive help, only the disabled, widows, deserted wives with children and orphans had the right to help.

  67. Silverytay says:

    Has anyone heard anything from Ronnie recently , I know he was having trouble with his computer but it has been a wee while since we last heard from him .

    If there is no word from him by Monday I will try to nip down to the Airdrie branch meeting to find out if they have heard from him .

    Sorry for going O/T Rev

  68. Kenny says:

    Stories like this should be punted to the MSM as press releases. “‘rUK has historical debt to Scotland,’ claims Cybernat-in-Chief” sounds like a great headline to me. If the MSM doesn’t run with it, pick a widely read newspaper that will take your money and put in a full page advertorial showing the figures. Or get a billboard somewhere. All that money saved on the subway campaign has to go *somewhere*, right? 😉

    Incidentally, it might be interesting to see what happens if newspapers refuse to take a pro-indy ad. Newspapers are free to pick and choose whose money they take, of course, but if they won’t cover it as news and they won’t allow it to appear as a paid ad, isn’t there then a demonstrable information gap in the process that the Electoral Commission might want to look into?

  69. Steven Luby says:

    Oh I would just love for this kind of stat to be waved at the beginning of every meeting of negotiations after a Yes Vote.

  70. Robert Peffers says:

    @Clootie: 3 April, 2014 at 7:53 pm
    “I wonder how many times this data has been discovered”.
    Well, Clootie, put it this way. I’ve been around the independence movement since I was a wee boy in 1946. Unlike most Scottish Children I had a wonderful history teacher, (thank you once again Miss Igo). I used to find great interest in, “Speaker’s Corner”, at the foot of The Mound and took great interest in listening to people like Canon Kenyon Wright, Dr McIntyre, Wendy Wood, Willie Wolf, Willie MacRae. Some of this stuff was known about way back then. I’ve, off and on, attempted to pass on such information but there is so much, shall we say,“Creative Accounting”, by Westminster. It makes the overall picture far too extensive to see it all at once. Thus we only get brief glimpses of wee bits here and there. It is still going on, of course. For example the “Grid Connection Charges”, of over £20 per kilowatt from Northern Scottish generators while subsidising Southern English generators by over £3 per kilowatt. That alone is £100 million per year from us to them.

  71. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The Man in The Jar

  72. colin mccartney says:

    small point – but important to us republicans – Monckton is not a LORD, and has been told so many times –
    he is just a swivel eyed loon like so many others !!!!

  73. caz-m says:

    O/T Slightly

    But still to do with funding.

    During PMQs at Westminster today, someone mentioned the state that the Welsh National Health Service was in,

    And Cameron’s reply was that his question should be directed at the Welsh First minister for reducing their NHS budget in Wales by 8%.

    My point being that the whole of the UK “regions” are dependent on their Westminster pocket money to survive on.

    And if it’s not enough, then, tough.

    Every penny raised in taxes in the UK is for the sole purpose of keeping London affluent, financially and structurally.

    As for the good people of Wales with their under funded NHS, well, who cares.

    Not the London establishment anyway.

  74. David Agnew says:

    If the Tories are shit on the heel of Scotland’s shoe, UKIP are clearly the shit stains on the kerb stone.

  75. Peter A Bell says:

    Why are the figures for 1915 and 1916 identical? Why do some of the percentages add up to a lot more than 100%, and some a lot less? Too much for rounding errors, I think.

  76. gerry parker says:

    I’ll pop up to Airdrie tomorrow morning and check it out.

  77. Sue says:

    I thought wealth and power were the main points of Empire, and the resources of the controlled countries flowed back to the mother country. Britain should have been raking in dosh from all over the pink-map world.

    Hence, why did Scotland have to pay for “Imperial Services”? Surely the cost of running the Empire should have come out of the net benefits of having the damned thing in the first place?

    I wonder how much England, Wales and Ireland were paying for imperial services in the same years.

  78. Phil Robertson says:

    Not sure what you are trying to prove. During the period of the table above, the UK was fighting a war. I dare say that it is where a significant chunk of the money went.

  79. Silverytay says:

    Thanks Gerry , if he is still having trouble with his computer I will try whispering sweet nothings in the better half’s ear to see if I can scrounge an old Mac off her .

  80. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Peter A Bell

    Slide Rules

    Just joking!

  81. velofello says:

    My oh my, who would have believed! Thanks also to JLT for some useful data.My modest effort has been to chart population growth. In 1911. Scotland was 13.9% of the UK population,In 1971, circa when North Sea oil was coming on stream 11.2%, and now 8.5%.

    How on earth can a North Sea oil bonanza result in a drop in % population in Scotland?

    My view is that the Establishment are going for broke. They will invest UK income in London for as long as they have the opportunity, to create their city state, to protect themselves and their wealth, and to hell with England north of Watford, Wales and Northern Ireland. We in Scotland have an escape route by voting independence.

    I don’t subscribe to beggar my neighbour so following independence we will need to look towards the UK citizens beyond London’s Establishment to cooperate and live equitably together. Without Scotland’s independence we are powerless.

  82. Holebender says:

    Apologies if anyone has already posted something like this.

    “Poor wee Scotland” used to manufacture the majority of the ships and railway locomotives in the world! We have always been rich.

  83. Muscleguy says:


    Be interesting to find out why Scotland’s revenue went up by 500% from 1916 to 1921, anyone know?

    Don’t know for absolutely sure but I would lay money it was devaluation of Sterling in order to make it easier to pay war debt that was accruing to the US in particular. Fairly standard practice, makes your export earnings cheaper but they bring in more money.

    It’s being tried now by QE but is not working so well because the UK as a whole has a bad trade deficit that if you recall was just found to be worse than expected (coincident with the North Sea downturn stimulated by Osborne’s tax raids most likely).

  84. seanair says:

    KOF says
    You mean 28th June 1919? ????

  85. ronnie anderson says:

    HI,All I,m here, dont panic malfunction of Laptop,haveing
    to use steam driven PC

  86. JLT says:

    CameronB says:

    I might be wrong but didn’t the ‘Darien Project’ have to fail so the South Sea Company could achieve monopoly on trading routes to South America.

    I’m not too sure, Cameron. What I do know, is that Darien caused William and England huge problems. William had usurped the throne from James VII (House of Stuart and catholic to boot) and thus upset the Catholic world (especially France, Spain and the Vatican). Suddenly, having one of his Kingdoms provoking a potential enemy in Spain would have been the last thing he would have wanted. With Scotland laying claim and creating a colony in Panama, it no doubt had the Spanish seething. In all context, it was probably no surprise that William’s English advisors told him to tell his English and Dutch colonies to boycott all trade with the Scots.

    As you say, the South Sea Company would gain hugely from such an act from William. From what I can find online, I found this wee snippet:

    The Darien scheme failed partly because it was under-capitalised. The English Parliament and Court combined to block English and Hamburg investors from committing to the project. This was because the English East India Company felt that the Darien Company was infringing its charter.

    ‘Infringing it’s charter’ …this to me sounds like what I have always thought; that William was a man on the make. He may have been King over 3 Kingdoms (England, Scotland and Holland), but England’s colonies were by far greater and richer. The above extract suggests therefore, that nothing should interfere with the trading riches of England. It should also be noted, that the Dutch Empire also began to wain after William became King of England. He EVEN turned his back on his OWN country! All his interests were on making England the key power. Why? Because it was the richest of his 3 Kingdoms …and thus, he could immerse himself in it!

    This is something I would really love to see taught in schools post-indy should we win. I want the people in this country to be taught the proper history of William and the Glorious Revolution. Sure, the Glorious Revolution paved the way towards constitutional monarchy, and ended supreme rule by Kings and Queens, but the ruthlessness and self-serving attitude of William needs to be told too. He ended the ambitions of two nations (crushing one so badly that it was forced into a union). William did nothing for the Scots; he couldn’t have cared less about them. This man WAS OUR KING …and he treated the Scots with sheer and utter contempt.

    If John Knox had been alive, he would have thundered against William, Knox believed that anybody who tried to bring Scotland low; be it a Saintly King or a meanly knave, would be an enemy to Scotland …and William was a Scottish King who did indeed bring Scotland low.
    Presbyterian John Knox would have HATED William of Orange. Hated him! This is why I don’t quite get it when so-called ‘Presbyterians’ wrap themselves up in the colours of Orange, and think that Presbyterianism and Orange are one and the same. They are most indeed not.

    That is the one thing that would end a lot of the bigotry within our nation …if people were taught properly that William invaded Britain; stole the throne from his father-in-law (he was married to King James’ daughter, Mary. Not a lot of people know that, and it’s a bit of a shocker to them); that he ended the power of Holland; shattered Scotland …just so he could wallow in power and money. This is one person who needs his character totally re-evaluated in an Independent Scotland.

    Apologies for going off topic, Cameron, but yes, I would say that your assumption on the South Sea Company would be correct.

  87. BigRik says:

    I have read Parkinsons Law, which was written in the 60s,talking about the huge departments in Whitehall. I can only imagine how top heavy they are now with Non-Jobs, Consultant Pencil Under-Manager and the like, that’s where all our cash goes , making sure Sebastian and Jocasta can afford to send Tarquin to Eton.

  88. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ianbrotherhood, I have a raffle prize I hope you have
    a book of raffle tickets

  89. Stevie says:

    Scotland has ALWAYS contributed more than it got back – when Burns was a tax collector, the money collected was used to fund the Napoleonic wars. We have been tied and financially raped for 3 centuries – only a fool bends over when it is possible to stand up straight.

  90. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    O/T (but maybes not entirely) – Guardian Books Blog piece of today on the relationship between Scottish writers and English readers and London publishers.

    (It’s by a Scot !!!!)

  91. JLT says:

    wain …wain …wane (aargh)…wrong bloody wane!

    Should be ‘that the Dutch Empire also began to wane after William became King of England.

    How I miss the edit feature!

  92. Muscleguy says:


    I expect we are both part right, a combination of more taxation and sterling devaluation upping export earnings.

    I grew up in NZ and my Father worked for NZ Rail. They were all pensioned off or museum pieces by then but ALL the steam locomotives bar one or two had a brass plate with ‘Made in Glasgow’ on them. Still plenty about some still running for excursions and some in museums gleaming away still. It certainly made an impression on a wee Ayrshire boy getting used to life in the South Pacific.

  93. Capella says:

    @JLT 7:53 “The true age of Britishness really is the golden period on 1760 to 1820, when it might have been considered where Scotland and England were of equal status.”
    Not so golden for the people advocating reform and transported to Australia for their efforts. See Thomas Muir of Huntershill in the book “Handful of Rogues” by Hector McMillan. Muir’s story is so amazing it should be a film. His speech at his trial became a standard text in USA as a model of political argument for freedom. Cut no ice with the hingin’ judge – Braxfield though. Robert Burns mentions this too as it was a cause celebre in the 1790s. Shortly after this, the Irish parliament was dissolved in a similar move to the Union of 1707.
    Just mention this as you are interested in history. Dick Gaughan has a song about Thomas Muir too.

  94. David Dwyer says:


    I produced this website, and widget based on the latest set of GERS going back to 31/03/1980. Would be great if you and others could share it.

    People forget how wealthy and industrious Glasgow was as the so called 2nd city of the Empire.

    Not that it helped much when you consider the depravation, squalor, low life expectancy that has flowed ever since from a lack of investment and the subsequent opportunities that might have brought.

    Add to that Dundee with Jute, Jam and Whaling, the list can go on and on.

    The Transport Museum in Glasgow is a great source of information on the huge diverse range of endeavours and industry that Scotland was involved in.

  95. Sandy says:

    It is like shooting fish in a barrel with facts like this.

    Did anyone notice Nick Clegg during his comprehensive demolishment by Nigel Farrage, trying to fall back on the same arguments about UK / EU , as the unionists are currently trying in Scotland? We would be weaker and poorer without the EU yadda yadda.

    I look forward to an Indy Scotland publishing yearly figures that utterly shame the rUK. As it stands now the Westminster figures are massaged way beyond the last inch of their lives by corrupt governments desperate to try and prove we can afford nothing at all.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics.

  96. Andy says:

    Wasn’t it Bernhard Ingham (not Lord Monckton) who said the Scots whinge like trampled bagpipes?

  97. Linda's back says:

    This info should be circulated in press and TV at the start of the First World War celebrations.

  98. Sue says:

    Hi Ronnie, glad you’re back with us.

    Thanks to whoever posted the link to the Spectator Archive on Home Rule. Plus ca change, and all that. Sorry can’t get my tablet to do a cedilla.

  99. Tattie-bogle says:

    Robbing bastards

  100. Croompenstein says:

    Why have I never heard the story of Thomas Muir and the Scottish Martyrs?, FFS thank God for this debate and WOS is opening my eyes..Thanks go to all the posters on this site, all I got at school was crop rotation and motte and bailey f*ckin castles et al!!

  101. ronnie anderson says:

    @Sue,thanks Sue ,thanks all I will see you,s tommorow night, this PC/keyboards dain ma nut rite in so I wont be posting,as much.

  102. JLT says:

    Capella says:

    @JLT 7:53 “The true age of Britishness really is the golden period on 1760 to 1820, when it might have been considered where Scotland and England were of equal status.”
    Not so golden for the people advocating reform and transported to Australia for their efforts.

    Oh, I totally agree, Capella. The poor remained poor, even though money flowed into Scotland. My point there, revolves around the money that transformed Edinburgh and Glasgow into very rich cities as much as London. Having worked in both Scottish cities; just walking through them is an architectural delight. You can see that a lot of money was poured into setting up these cities. From the Merchant Quarter in Glasgow, to Edinburgh’s New Town. Taking time to study these buildings in their neo-classical form is something to truly appreciate. I always find something new when driving around Edinburgh city centre.

    However, If I get a chance tomorrow, I may just go looking for that book in Waterstones on Princes Street. Just noted it down on my moby. Thanks again, Capella.

  103. theycan'tbeserious says:

    Rev. Can you get these made up as flyers/poster and issue them to wingers/Yes activists throughout the country for mass distribution? Would be happy to pay again…the people of Scotland need to see how damaging being part of the uk is to Scotland and its people.

  104. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @ronnie anderson –

    A raffle prize?!

    We should really be discussing this in Off-topic, but, as it happens, I do have a book which I bought for my daughter last week. She didn’t use it.

    Give us a clue then…??

  105. caz-m says:

    I don’t know if the April edition of the YES newspaper has been printed, because that newspaper would be a good outlet for letting “joe public” read this information.

    If it’s too late for the April Edition, then how about the June Edition.

    If YES Scotland are reading this then maybe they could get in touch with the Rev.

  106. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “During the period of the table above, the UK was fighting a war.”

    Um, not from 1900 to 1921 it wasn’t. Anyway, how would that change anything? Scotland was fighting the same war.

  107. JLT says:

    Thanks go to all the posters on this site, all I got at school was crop rotation and motte and bailey f*ckin castles et al!!

    You jammy soan-so …you got motte and bailey. That’s one more than what we got! We just got taught the runrig system and sheep breeding! After that …World War 1 and the Russian Revolution. 5th year was on the rise of Communism and the Nazis and the aftermath (1919 to 1963).

    That was my Scottish History …the bloody runrig system.

    I swear …if this nation becomes independent, then I’m going to be a teacher. I’m determined to pass the History Degree I am studying at present, and I WILL study Scottish History …and then I’ll bloody make sure that the bairns are taught the proper history of their nation.

    Damned right!!

  108. pro-loco says:

    O/T but on the lines of intellectual arguments for scottish independence here is a left of centre view from south of the border:

  109. Indy_Scot says:

    Ladbrokes suspended over 55%. Is that good or bad.

  110. KOF says:

    seanair says:

    “You mean 28th June 1919? ????”

    Yes, the formal end of the WW1 was 28th June 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Why do you think so many war memorials in Scotland have 1914-1919 inscribed on them?

  111. Croompenstein says:

    @JLT & Capella – I kid you not I have learned more about Scotland’s history in the last 6 months mainly through WOS and posts by yourselves and others..The genie is out of the bottle and it ain’t going back in. i knew very little of Darien, Act of Union, Alien Act, riots over the union etc etc this robbing blind of Scots in B&W. Again, thanks go to this site and posters such as yourselves

  112. JLT says:

    “During the period of the table above, the UK was fighting a war.”

    Um, not from 1900 to 1921 it wasn’t. Anyway, how would that change anything? Scotland was fighting the same war.

    Hmmm… That could be open to interpretation, Rev.

    Britain had just fought an ugly war in South Africa (Boer War), and with the threat of German ascendancy (better warships, better army, global interests), the British to a degree may not have been at war between 1901 to 1914, but they were preparing for a possible fight. When it did happen, Britain also had to fight a civil war in Ireland (1916), and even in the aftermath, in which they had a heavy presence in Ireland with divisions such as the Black and Tans. They also contributed to the Russian Civil war helping Kerensky and the White Army up until 1922.

    How much money may have spent either side of the WW1 (up until 1921-22) in preparation for war, suppressing rebellions or aiding other wars …well, who knows!.

  113. caz-m says:


    Listen to you boastin about the history education you got at school.

    The first time I saw the date 1314 was on a banner at a Scotland game at Hampden.

    I thought it was a train time from the Central.

  114. Thepnr says:

    Until you see the new price it could mean either. I have a sneaking feeling though that it is very, very good. I smell a new poll.

  115. saporian says:

    Breaking news. Gordon Mathieson reveals on Scotland Tonight that the the 5 Red Road flats that are being demolished at the opening of the Commonwealth Games are not occupied. THANK f*** FOR THAT!

  116. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Indy_Scot –

    Ladbrokes suspend over 55%? Was this online?

    The bookies’ behaviour has been truly bizarre – can’t make any sense of it at all at all…

  117. caz-m says:


    Potential 1 Billion views going to be watching the demolition.

    Who’s up for droppin a Wings banner off one of the roofs.

  118. Thepnr says:


    Ah, but can you trust them to be telling the truth?

  119. Lanarkist says:

    These figures, whilst welcome, are not really a surprise. Everyone with an interest in our Nation and it’s ability to survive must have had a feeling that we were being lied to, manipulated and fleeced when every year statistics relating to a England and Wales were published and advertised widely in the media. Why not the figures from Scotland for comparison?

    Even as a youth it niggled me to have no comparison, no way of judging how we were performing in context with the wider world. Why?

    Labour and Tory took turns each to obfuscate the figures and sell us the lie that we were subsidy junkies whilst robbing us blind. A strange strategy containing within it the danger of seriously undermining our productivity whilst maintaining our dependence on the Westminster system so as to prevent interest in Independence.

    Asset stripping and Industrial vandalism in the 80’s marked the point when they thought they did not have to keep up the pretence and had the power and finance in the City of London to ignore the Golden Goose of Scotland, when the balance tilted to the destructive side without the counterweight of Social Conscience.

    Why would we vote to be in a club that despises our contribution, makes a joke of our Culture and history, bleeds us dry, ignores our ingenuity and asks us to pay premium rates for a very second class service.

    Time we cancelled our membership!

  120. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Croompenstein says:
    Why have I never heard the story of Thomas Muir and the Scottish Martyrs?

    One place where stories like that of Thomas Muir and of the 1820 Martyrs have long been told, either through permmanent exhibits, or temporary exhibitions of artefacts, is the Stirling Smith Museum, under curator Elspeth King.

    Always worth a visit, and worth keeping an eye on their programme:-

  121. Fiona says:

    But the UK is always fighting a war…..

  122. saporian says:

    Mustn’t give them ideas or they will be rounding up the cybernats into the flats.

  123. Indy_Scot says:

    Yes it’s online, but I can’t seem to use a link.

  124. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Will we all bring our stickers for swapping tomorrow evening at the Counting House?


  125. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @saporian –

    Approx 20 years ago I was driving a black cab in Glasgow. I was crap at it and only lasted a few months.

    Anyway, one day I got these three young Chinese folk, two girls and a guy, in Buchanan Street bus station.

    ‘So, where are you going?’

    The guy shuffled forward to the edge of the seat and said, ‘Rerrocoa.’



    ‘Sorry. Again please?’


    Oh, FFS! I asked him to hand me the wee piece of paper he’d been furtively checking – it said ‘Red Road Court’ – one of those high-risers. They were students, and that was their accommodation. I’ve often wondered how they got on.

  126. seoc says:

    Immediate reparations, public apology – or keep your pound and your debt!

  127. Arbroath 1320 says:

    David Dwyer says:


    I produced this website, and widget based on the latest set of GERS going back to 31/03/1980. Would be great if you and others could share it.

    As well as your ‘ticking bombshell’ David there is also this site.

  128. Free at 63! says:

    @ the pnr 8.53pm.

    Had to download to read. Parallels with what is about to happen if we vote No?

    Taught in St. Roch’s from 1998 – 2003 and they are among the poorest pupils in Glasgow but the most empathetic and generous.

    Slightly O/T If you want real insight into how the British (English) establishment thinks just watch ‘Kim Philby – His Most Intimate Betrayal’ on iplayer. BBC2 9pm last night and tonight – so many parallels and absolutely no change.

    We have to vote Yes.

    Looks like good news from Ladbrokes – was going to ask for odds on over 60% and 70% when I put my Grand National line on tomorrow.

  129. Thepnr says:

    @Calgacus MacAndrews

    Bring any badges, stickers and cards you’ve got, we can swap 🙂

  130. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Freeat63 –

    I asked Ladbrokes for odds on 60+ and 70+ last week, but they had none. Over-55 was the best they could do. (7/1)

  131. Lobeydosser says:

    Might be better with the butchers apron, would’nt like to see the saltire being blown up 🙁

  132. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Ian Brotherhood says:
    The bookies’ behaviour has been truly bizarre – can’t make any sense of it at all at all…

    The poor bookies have been trying to follow the way BT have been acting.


  133. Grouse Beater says:



    In my house we have a mystery guest I’ve yet to meet called Yuffti. Sometimes my family refer to him affectionately as Yuffti Ge’There, or Yuffti See’it.

    I think he might be a refugee from Afghanistan.

  134. John D aka Nkosi says:

    Sorry for O/T but fuktard cochrane is lambasting the Scottish Government over the tragic death of the young schoolgirl Keane Wallis-Bennett, what’s more he could not even name her.

  135. caz-m says:


    True, wouldn’t want to ruin a good banner.

    I was thinking of the 1Billion viewers.

    Surely between us we can think of something.

    Think of the publicity opportunity, the potential for letting the world know we are here and we want Independence.

  136. Thepnr says:

    @Free at 63!
    I totally agree, I believe this truly is modern day popular political philosophy in the US and UK.

    Back to a time when it was everyone for themselves, no welfare, no health service, totally subservient to those “born to rule”.

    We are on that path, crazy eh! George Osborne doesn’t think so, look at him smirk as he talks about caps on welfare.

    Where is the objection? that’s the big question, it certainly isn’t Labour. I hate the Labour party now, in fact I’m disgusted. Are you reading you stupid bastards???

    YOU conned me, I will never forgive you. Halfwits, yes you too Mr(sticky man) Murray.

  137. twenty14 says:

    1 billion viewers – c’mon Rev you must be working on a cunning plan

  138. Famous15 says:

    In the fifties I remember an SNP pamphlet called Scotland the Vassal State covering this kind of information.
    A number of Scottish Institutions recite as truth that Scotland pre Inion was an economic basket case. Not true! Read ,for example,the intro on the Royal Botanic Gatden Edinburgh web site and its description of Scotland in the late 17 th Century. Who wrote that historic nonsense.
    As for the above figures could we not offer them up as our contribution to the celebration sorry commemoration of the First World War!

  139. caz-m says:

    Labour Party Policy is to keep people deprived, under educated, badly housed, under paid, ill informed,
    so the people are grateful for crumbs that are thrown to them.

  140. Molly says:

    The year 56% was spent outside of Scotland , was the year my great Granny had to go to the ‘Parish’. Her husband was dying of TB, their two children aged 4 and 5 ( my Granny) were put into the Faichney in Perth. She had to feed and nurse her husband and repay the loan to the Parish. Their story didn’t end well but sadly not unique.

    As the wee man from Liverpool in Ken Loaches film states,”we were running an Empire , yet we were all living in squalor”.

    Jlt, he’s not my cup of tea, but David Starkey was on last week explaining the role of one John Churchill and his role in the whole William of Orange monarchy shenanigans. It might still be on demand .if you tune out its Starkey , it explained to me (although didn’t change my view of Winston Churchill) how nepotistic the establishment is.

  141. Cactus says:

    @everybuddy –

    See you all in the Counting House tomorrow evening.. a very warm welcome to any visitors staying in Glasgow tonight.

    Pop by after work, if you’re at a loose end 🙂

  142. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    caz-m says:
    Potential 1 Billion views going to be watching the demolition.
    Who’s up for droppin a Wings banner off one of the roofs?

    It’s probably already being sponsored by Viagra.

    … or BT.

  143. caz-m says:

    @Ian Brotherhood says:
    The bookies’ behaviour has been truly bizarre – can’t make any sense of it at all.

    Your right there Ian. Betting company “Winner” is still offering 1/6 on a NO victory. Strange odds.

    Oddschecker website,

  144. Ananurhing says:

    A pal of mine tried to put £100 on Scotland winning the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Seriously. Wouldn’t take his bet.

    Have a great time at The Counting House tomorrow. Jealous as hell, wish I could be there. Maybe next time.

    I hope these historical debt figures will be in the Little Blue Book.

  145. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Calgacus –

    You may well be right.

    Say, for example, you’re a wee independent bookmaker with just a couple of shops, a family firm that’s been going forty, fifty years. (I’m not even sure that such places exist now.) You know how people in your community think, how they see the world, what their take on certain things is. That must affect how you deal with them, and what numbers you’re prepared to offer.

    But people’s perceptions change all the time. If that hypothetical independent bookie starts getting queries from punters about the referendum when they only ever normally stick a couple of quid on a horse or the football, he’s going to get curious, and he’ll quickly make it his business to find out why they’re asking. And he won’t get that information from the MSM – he would have to come here.

    No bookie ever turns away anyone’s money – that’s their income! There has to be a very very good reason for Ladbrokes to suspend a specific ‘special’. The wee independent guy, clued-up after reading WOS for a couple of hours (especially the type of stuff in this and very recent threads) might offer his regulars a price for 60+, even 80+, but he’ll do so on the basis that he knows those punters are hoping he doesn’t know what they do. The big guys? The Ladbrokes, Hills, Power etc? They just don’t have that intimate contact, and it shows – it’s quite clear that they don’t fully trust whoever it is they’re listening to OR they have information we don’t. (I’m inclined to believe the former.)

    Right now, if I was that wee independent guy? I’d be offering no more than Evens on Yes winning at 55+, and if I was feeling really generous I’d try to tempt them with 3/1 for 70+. (But that’s just me, and I’m hopelessly biased of course…)

    A straight Yes win? Right now, 1/7 at best. ‘Labour in Scotland’ is over, and the whole BT project looks doomed.

  146. Cyberniall says:

    We could use projectors to project images of Better Together on “Rerrocoa” and watch it crumble to the ground. A wings phoenix would then rise out of the dust cloud into a sky of fireworks…majestic as fUK

  147. Capella says:

    OT apologies but here is an example of a dire scenario illustrating the “benefit” of Devo Max, being played out in NI today

  148. Aidan says:

    This article could be a mind-changer for some people.

    For a moment, I thought it was Malcolm McDowell in the bowler hat, then realised it was one of Nigel’s droogs.

    How about this for the ceremonial destruction of Red Road? Five buildings, five huge faces projected – Mount Rushmore-style – onto their facades: Thatcher, Blair, Brown, Cameron, Osborne.

    15 seconds for them to descend to their places in history.

  149. Thepnr says:

    Were back under attack again, so Cybermiall forgive me if I’ve got your name wrong as your post at 23:27 has disappeared.

    Anyway I think that’s a great idea, do you have the skills or know someone that does. I don’t have a clue about projectors but someone reading this will.

  150. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @caz-m –

    Just saw your last post there, and it’s interesting you quote that price – that’s very nearly the exact opposite of my wee hypothetical.

    It’s really quite amazing – talk about blue pills, red pills?!

    Having said that, I’m sticking whatever spare dosh I can on us winning, regardless of what they offer: I plan to spend my winnings on detoxification and general self-improvement, at some point in 2015.

  151. Thepnr says:


    That’s a better idea, imagine switching them all on 5 minutes before the detonation and leaving them there. I do know a little of the demolition guys they would still bring them down at the nominated time.

    Think of the cheer!

  152. Craig says:

    Unfortunately, the Scots were willing participants in the slave trade, colonisation and imperialism, hence the contribution to ‘Imperial Services’.

    I hope an independent Scotland can redeem itself by providing significant help to development projects in former colonies.

  153. Thepnr says:

    Bedtime, work the morra and then a long drive to Glasgow, so I’ll leave you with this:

    SNP’s independence plans put 50,000 jobs at risk

    Businesses which have expressed concern over independence and the number of workers they have based in Scotland:


    Shell – 2,500[1]

    BP – 2,500[2]

    BAE Systems – 3,600[3]

    Standard Life – 5,000[4]

    RBS – 12,000[5]

    Lloyds – 17,000[6]

    Aggreko – 575[7]

    Barrhead – 800[8]

    Scottish Widows – 3,000[9]

    Blackrock – 550[10]

    White House Products – 22[11]

    Alliance Trust – 200[12]

    Mackies – 60

    Babcock – 1,700[13]

    Weir Group – 600[14]

    TOTAL: 50,107 employees

    Well? According to the Tories ALL these companies MAY take ALL their employees out of Scotland if we are so stupid as to vote Yes. Hahahaha.

  154. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    Yes, I know – mentioned it at 8.48 !

  155. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Thepnr says:
    That’s a better idea, imagine switching them all on 5 minutes before the detonation and leaving them there.

    The BBC TV commentator would say:

    “Viewers in Scotland look away now …”


  156. CyberNiall says:

    @Aiden @Thepnr

    Think of the drama if it is a Sochi ring dilemma and Thatcher is left standing!

  157. rab_the_doubter says:

    I was reading through the text of ‘Scotlands Scrap of Paper’ and something interesting caught my eye on p42-43 (forgive me if you already know this). I wasn’t aware of it but Keir Hardie was a staunch advocate of Home Rule for Scotland and was planning to introduce a Bill on Home Rule in 1914. Unfortunately WW1 intervened.

    As they’re all so keen on envoking the memory of Keir Hardie in their emails maybe someone should tell the Scottish Labour Party.

  158. CyberNiall says:

    …And all because the engineers hadn’t factored in the structural integrity of a “Yes 2014” sticker.

  159. caz-m says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    I caught the over 55% bet on Tuesday, £100 @ 6/1. Seems I just caught it on time.

    I would liked to have came along tomorrow, but being TT everyone else ends up on this imaginary planet except me.

    And best behaviour all round coz the lot of you are representing over 300 000 Wingers.

  160. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Rab the Doubter –

    Aye, and who was Hardie’s mate when he was establishing the Labour Party? R. B. Cunninghame, who later went on to help create the National Party of Scotland in 1928.

    That’s why the ‘Tartan Tory’ jibe is such shite, and should be treated as such, regardless of who repeats it.

  161. G. Campbell says:


    “I took some simple sticker books with me for the kids and I’m sure the refugee camp is now peppered with stickers of Peppa Pig and Cars.”

  162. rab_the_doubter says:

    Just can’t wait to see tomorrow’s Guardian / Scotsman headline – ‘Evil Cybernat Plan to Sabotage Commonwealth Games’.

    The projection idea is great, just wonder how well it would work in daylight though. I’m thinking that something could also be projected onto the buildings which appear in the background on Reporting Scotland.

  163. rab_the_doubter says:

    @G Campbell

    “I took some simple sticker books with me for the kids and I’m sure the refugee camp is now peppered with stickers of Peppa Pig and Cars.”

    That gets my quote of the day nomination.

  164. K1 says:

    Thepnr, As that list is populated with some of the same businesses who issued the same warnings, arguments in ’79 and ’97, could some sort of fact sheet be posted that shows this. Easier to just instantly reference the usual suspects, and just as instantly debunk their phoney impartiality credentials. Be a great flyer?

  165. kendomacaroonbar says:

    @Rab t d

    Laser projection can be quite effective during daylight…just saying like 🙂

  166. rab_the_doubter says:


    Weapons of Mass Projection?

  167. Anne Lawrie says:

    Fascinating reading! Can’t we ask for our money back – with interest? After all, Margaret Thatcher said in 1990 “We English, who are a marvellous people, are really very generous to Scotland.” I’m sure she would have been the first to insist that we are treated fairly!

  168. Gazza says:

    Get rid of the leeches once and for all!

  169. X_Sticks says:

    Good to see you back Ronnie, Gerry & Silverytay were about to descend on you to check up, nice one guys.

    I wish I was coming to the do tomorrow, but I see Kevin at Independence Live is going to try a bit of broadcasting, so might get to ‘be there’. Hope so.

    As for the weird bookies odds – might it be they are being leant upon to keep No looking good, but their business acumen is screaming Yes is going to win. How far will the establishment go? It’s one thing to keep the polls artificially high for No, but bets cost money.

  170. hetty says:


    If you can get hold of Kier Hardie’s ‘speeches and writings’ it is an excellent read.
    His experience’s of working down the mines as a child, and his views of the utter inequality of the class system was paramount to how he wanted to change things from within. Photos of him are telling in that he looks really quite sad and downtrodden. One man just could not fight for justice for ordinary people. We are many and will not give up!
    Viva Scotland!

  171. Holebender says:

    Re Ladbrokes suspending the betting, it could just be because they are changing (shortening) the odds. Just before last Christmas I put a bet on Yes getting over 55% with Ladbrokes (@ 12/1) and they immediately suspended the betting. A little later the 55% bet was available again, but at 9/1.

    What odds are they offering now?

  172. Barney Thomson says:

    I’m a bit uneasy about the headings of the two end columns in the Excel spreadsheet above. “Imperial Services” money was not all spent “outside” Scotland as it included large sums for the Armed Forces, Civil Service, National Debt repayments, roads, etc., an unquantifiable amount of which would have been spent in or on behalf of Scotland.

    All the bits of Imperial Services cash relating to buildings in Westminster, London based Civil Service (much higher then) and the Foreign and Colonial services obviously were spent elsewhere.

    It’s almost certainly impossible to establish what (probably small) element actually did find its way back to Scotland but to say it all didn’t is not strictly true.

  173. Anthony Armstrong says:

    Am I to assume that the years where the %’s add up to more or less than 100% years of surplus and deficit.

  174. call me dave says:

    Glasgow Sceptics Debate:
    Should Scotland be an independent country.

    Really good.
    Jackson Carlaw. Jackie Baillie. Patrick Harvie etal
    Jonathon Shafi 31mins in excellent for YES.

    Hope link works.…/

  175. call me dave says:

    Glasgow Sceptics Debate:
    Should Scotland be an independent country.

  176. Alba4Eva says:

    Brilliant from You choob…

  177. Seasick Dave says:

    G Campbell

    Fantastic find!

    As if the poor refugees don’t have enough mental stress as it is.

    What an unbelievable hypocrite.

  178. SquareHaggis says:

    That bowler hat reminds me of a tunnocks tea cake.

    L@@K a squirrel!

  179. Andrew Morton says:

    Barney Thompson 1:56 am

    As I mentioned further up the thread, these figures aren’t the equivalent of GERS and must be treated with caution. If you listen to the voices of Scots of the time, their point was that the bulk of the money that wasn’t being spent locally was being spent in England. So although England also contributed a large amount to Imperial Services, most of that money was being spent in England as well as money drawn from Scotland and Ireland. Imagine if all that money had gone on spending in Scotland instead!

    It shows that even back then (and probably for a long time before) the outlying areas of the United Kingdom were viewed as additional sources of revenue and manpower for the greater south east.

  180. Capella says:

    @Tim Criced i Gymru
    Apologies, must have missed your earlier post on the NI situation. I agree it illustrates the futility of going down the Devo Max road.

  181. Barney Thomson says:

    Andrew Morton at 9.08 –

    I totally agree. The lack of reinvestment was huge, thus the relative shift of population away from Scotland compared to England and Wales and the lack of social progress in many areas.

    My concern was going too gung-ho with the bare figures without some qualification. Better Together and their henchmen are experts in inaccuracy and negative spin. They would certainly ensure that any slight weakness in the figures would obtain maximum coverage.

  182. We will never discover the true wealth of Scotland until we become an independent country, and then it will amaze all of us.

  183. Andrew Morton says:

    One or two posters have pointed out that the figures in some years don’t add up to 100%. Ive looked at the figures for one year (1917) again and while, in the Revenue Account, Scotland is shown as contributing £58,600,000, in the Imperial Account, the corresponding figure is shown as £61,978,000. The figures for England and Ireland are correspondingly higher too. I suspect this is due to borrowing and the additional £3.3 million is Scotland’s allocated share. We’d really need an accountant to go through all the figures to give a full explanation but I don’t think it would change the main point.

  184. Barontorc says:

    Ladbrokes latest odds:-

    This morning a YES vote 45%-50% is getting 4/1, which of course will mean a NO victory as a 50/50 exact draw is highly improbable.

    If Yes votes are 50%-55% the betting is 6/1 and if YES votes are over 55% this is showing as 5/1.

    They are offering a YES victory as 7/2, which to me will be a daft bet as it’s either going to be 50% -55% or over 55%, which is 6/1 or 5/1, but it looks like they are still hoping on a NO success by only offering 1/5. The betting movement however is with over 55% now down from 12/1 to 5/1, so its all going the right way.

  185. CameronB says:

    Re. the historical debt; shocking how imperial colonialism works, eh? The same PROCESS is being performed today by the RTPI. See, to make slavery socially acceptable in polite society, you have to dress policy up as ‘progressive’ FABIAN-ISM.


    Re. projection on to the towers. Lovely idea but I doubt you will be able to get close enough. I remember a woman getting killed by flying debris in Dundee, when they brought down one of the old power station chimneys over 20 years back. I think she was over a mile outside the exclusion zone.

    You’re braver than I am if you go for it. 🙂

  186. Robert Peffers says:

    A Very Bad Marriage

    Scotland, is Europe’s oldest country, first recorded as an individual country by the Romans in around 54BC, but has really only been a settled and united country since 1237 with the, “Treaty of York. This agreement between the Scottish & English monarchs settled the Scottish/English borders.

    In 1263 the Scots defeated the Norwegians at Largs and, in 1266, Norway ceded The Western Isles to Scotland with the Treaty of Perth. However, by 1292 when Scotland had tragically ended up with a crisis of royal succession, when Alexander III died at Kinghorn and was succeeded by Queen Margaret, (Maid of Norway). However, in 1286, the Maid of Norway was drowned in a shipwreck as she arrived in Scotland and, “The Rough Wooing”, began.

    Scotland had, foolishly, asked her next door neighbour, King Edward I, to help solve the problem of the disputed line of succession. So, “Next Door”, saw a chance for a marriage between the two countries, Remember, though, that in those days a husband inherited all of a wife’s goods & chattels, (the wife becoming a mere chattel too). Edward I granted the Scottish crown to John Balliol, at Norham on Tweed, in England, in 1291, and he, “Toom Tabard”, (empty coat), was crowned King of Scotland in 1292.

    In 1295 Robert Bruce, (grandfather of King Robert), died and King John Balliol signed a treaty with King Philippe IV of France and began, “The Auld Alliance”, a promise between them of mutual help to fight the English aggressor. In 1296 King Edward took revenge for that treaty by destroying Berwick and slaughtered most of its 15,000 population. The Scots were then defeated by English defenders of Dunbar Castle at the Battle of Dunbar and King Balliol abdicated at Montrose. Also, in 1296, Edward I removed The Stone Of Destiny on which generations of Scottish Monarchs were crowned. Later, in 1296, Edward I summoned all Scottish landholders to a parliament at Berwick to sign what is known as, “The Ragman Roll”.

    However, these things did not go down too well in Scotland and some fought back. By September 1297 William Wallace defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and a letter, sent by Wallace, and the Earl of Moray, to the Mayors of Lubeck and Hamburg said, “The Kingdom of Scotland has, by God’s Grace, recovered by battle from the powers of the English”.

    In 1298 King Edward I was avenged by defeating the Scots, led by Wallace, at the Battle of Falkirk. This was the first use by the English of, “The Longbow”. In 1301 Edward I was lodged at the Convent of the Dominicans(Black Friars), at Glasgow’s High Street, but the Scottish resistance continued and, at the battle of Roslin, in 1303 a Scots army of 8,000 routed an English army of 30,000 led by Sir John Seagrave. Also in 1303 France & England made peace which released more English forces to attack Scotland and in 1304 Stirling Castle, (the last of the free Scottish Castles), was captured by Edward I.

    The following year William Wallace was betrayed and handed over to the English. Wallace was brutally executed in 1305. Then, in 1306 one of the most significant events in Scotland’s history happened. Robert Bruce murdered the Red Comyn on the alter steps of the High Kirk of Dumfries. While this effectively settled the succession question it was to have terrible consequences.

    King Robert was outlawed and hunted. The Pope, the then international authority of those times, urged on by King Edward I, had King Robert I excommunicated. With Scotland’s King an ex-communicant, so also was the entire Scottish nation made ex-communicant and The Pope ordered that every church service held in England was begun by reading out a curse upon Scotland.

    King Robert I fought back and one by one the English held castles were won back for Scotland. In 1307 King Edward I died and King Robert pressed on winning battle after battle, including Bannockburn in 1314. In 1315 Thomas Dun, a privateer, sailed into Holyhead, captured an English ship and over-ran the island of Anglesay.

    Then in 1320, one of the most remarkable documents ever written was sent to the Pope in Rome, “The Declaration of Arbroath”. A document that is the basis of the legal system of Scotland to this day.

    The Pope ratified that document and, as the international authority, Scotland was accepted as an independent sovereign country, but with a difference that marks Scotland out to this day. As the King was ex-communicated he could not have the God Given divine right of Kings, (that is be sovereign). The Declaration not only declared Scotland free but it stated that in Scotland it was, “The People of Scotland”, who were sovereign, and they had the divine right of kings.

    Further, that, in Scotland, the sovereign people chose their leaders and could also dismiss them and choose another. The Scottish Monarch does not own Scotland, or the Scots people, but is their choice of leader and, “The protector of their rights”. Thus The Treaty of Union cannot legally transfer the sovereignty of the people of Scotland as, We have not until now been asked.

    The story now moves forward to the Union of the Crowns 1603, Before the Union of the crowns the Princedom Of Wales had become an English Princedom and the title was either held by the Monarch, or by tradition, by the Monarch’s first son. (The Statute of Rhuddlan, (1284)). All Ireland was also under the English crown by an act of the Parliament of Ireland, (Crown of Ireland Act, (1542)). Thus, when Jamie Saxt became also James I of England both crowns rested upon the one monarchs head but both Kingdoms remained fully independent.

    In effect a United Kingdom but, although James used the term the two countries resisted its use, but the Monarchy, and English parliament, plotted to have an accepted United Kingdom. To this end they re-introduced and added to the, “English Navigation Acts”. These were meant to restrict trade with England and the colonies by the use of only English ships and English Crews. These acts led to wars with several European nations and brought Scotland to her knees. With only English, or English crewed, ships able to deal with both Greater England, (Wales & Ireland), the Scots were at the mercy of English merchants. Not only did it decimate the Scottish Mercantile Marine but all Scottish export and import trade. You either paid what English merchants demanded for imports or did without. You either accepted what English merchants would pay for your exported goods or you let your food/or goods rot.

    This is what led to, “The Darian Expedition”, as a last throw of the dice for Scotland to obtain her own colonies. The English, aided by the Dutch, even fiddled that. The English promised that between them and the Dutch they would put up 50% of the funding for the Expedition. They pulled out of the deal after the ships and stores were bough and equipped, and the crews contracted and engaged. The Expedition was thus underfunded.

    The Expedition was doomed before it started. Then our joint monarch ordered the Royal Navy NOT to aid their common Monarchs Scottish people. There were Royal troops on the isthmus and these too were ordered NOT to aid the Scottish settlers. The expedition failed and Scotland’s rich landowners were made bankrupted.

    Now the story moves on and there were military threats and bribes. Also those English wars throughout Europe that the Navigation Acts caused had seen England with a massive national debt while bankrupt Scotland had NO national debt. This was when the Scot, Willian Patterson, set-up the subscription service to bail out the English Government that saw the beginning of the Bank of England. Thus us we had, “A rough Wooing”, followed by a,“A Forced Marriage”, and, “An abusive & unequal marriage union”.

    Now we are about to have a very public and messy divorce, and a divorce settlement. Like all such marriages the abusive and bullying partner never understands just why their partner finds it an unhappy marriage.

  187. antaeus says:

    Ahhh Nationalism and long historic grievance… That worked out well for Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and co.

    Why don’t we also throw in a few stereotype insults at the other side. That’s sure to rally people to the cause.

    Carry on debating century old grievances if it will make you happy… But the rest of the world has moved on.

  188. MolliBlum says:

    And we can go back further still, to this little gem recorded in Hansard, 1893:

    Sir Charles Pearson says

    “It appears to me that the financial relations between England and Scotland might be cleared up without going the length of granting a separate Legislature. I think you can have your roast pig without burning your house down. But are hon. Members opposite aware of the magnitude of this subject? It has been shown by the authority I have quoted that Scotland has been overtaxed as compared with the rest of the United Kingdom to the extent, in 30 years only, of £92,684,000, and during the same period Scotland has been underpaid to the extent of £39,000,000 more. So that the Government, before approaching this question, would have to recoup £131,000,000. This slightly indicates the difficulties that lie in the way, and I shall look with interest to see how the Government propose to deal with the matter.”

  189. Truthful says:

    Here are the recent figures from the website:

  190. Rob says:

    This data doesn’t really say anything. Most government spending back then was related to the running of the Empire. It’s not as if Scotland was being shortchanged on welfare spending or the NHS as none of that existed. It’s likely the rest of the UK’s tax money was going abroad too on things like the Cape to Cairo railway and the Navy etc.

  191. Simply put,Scotland has ALWAYS been a net exporter of food,England is and has been for hundreds of years a net importer.

  192. Graeme McAllan says:

    Croompensation, think he must be Jerry Sadowitz’s scary wee brother – just not as funny 😉

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