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The insatiable howl of the fat cats

Posted on November 14, 2013 by

I never understood why everyone hated Maggie Thatcher. Perhaps I was too young. Born in late 1980 I had no direct experience of the unemployment and closures of that decade, whilst the Poll Tax marchers were simply nuisance crowds who blocked the roads. Stuck on the No 14 on Argyle St, I just ate my Monster Munch and asked mum “Why aren’t we moving?” 


To me, Maggie was just a puppet on Spitting Image with mad eyes. She was funny, clubbing the other ones with her handbag. I never felt the hatred for her that everyone else in Scotland seemed to have. Even now – older and, dare I say it, well educated – I don’t hate her and just felt embarrassed by those morons whooping and jigging in George Square on the day of her funeral.

The rage of the 1980s simply passed me by. Thatcher and CND and the miners’ strike belong in the same distant era as Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Young Ones and the Sinclair C5. So these days, you could forgive me for feeling a mite confused, because the 80s are here again. Only this time, there’s a much nastier sting.

Unemployment is back, rich boys are in charge, what little industry we still have is threatening to close and picket lines are on telly again. We could be back in that troubled decade, were it not for the blessed absence of perms and neon leg-warmers.

We have to accept unemployment now. It’s here to stay, because the Government desires a level of joblessness. Those beneficent post-war pledges of full employment now seem so rosy and impossible: why would a government ever want full employment, when having a constant pool of surplus labour means big business can grow fat, fat and fatter still?

Unemployment keeps down wages and means companies will never need to offer better conditions, as there’s always a luscious pool of excess labour from which they can take their pick. No need to tempt anyone in with decent wages or conditions when desperate workers are beating down the door. People compete with one another, scrambling for the right to stack shelves or mop floors, falling over themselves to be allowed to don a jaunty McDonalds cap or a tabard.

What’s the alternative to working for such trashy wages in these appalling jobs? To go on the dole and wait for something better, perhaps? Yet the Government have made that option so unpalatable that only the truly desperate or sick would try.

Iain Duncan Smith is moulding his policies with the Victorian Poor Laws squarely in mind: make the welfare life so unpleasant the thought keeps people awake at night. It’s no longer a safety net, but a hostile deterrent to keep the poor in line and force them into the maw of big business.

But big business may not want you. “Thank you, we have quite enough”, they say when you apply for their bare, grim McJobs. “We’ve got graduates stacking our shelves and lots of sick people answering our phones, and your mum and sister and limping grandmother are cleaning our floors. We’ll let you know when we need someone else.”

The flaw in this almost-comic pantomime villainy is that there’s a whopping fat fly in IDS’s ideological ointment: there are no jobs to which you can direct the unemployed, no matter how terrified of the alternative they are.

People who’ve read my previous columns will know I once had a harsh attitude to the unemployed. In Glasgow, where I live, there is always call-centre work. It’s hideous, depressing, low-paid work but the fact remains that these jobs are available and – believe me -they will employ anyone, as a giggling agency worker confirmed whilst arranging an interview for me with the Response company.

“Just don’t wear trainers”, she said, “and the job’s yours.”

Last month I did an experiment. I applied for call-centre jobs. I sent out innumerable applications and got not a single reply. Not even a patronising “Thank you for your interest” email. Simply dead silence. A few years ago, had I applied for these jobs, my mobile would have been flickering with constant calls and my inbox choked up with immediate requests that I come in for an interview. These days, there’s nothing.

The one certainty of work is gone. Not even Response would invite me for an interview. Before they would offer work, freely and ridiculously, to every no-hoper and desperado in sight. It was once common to see recruitment agency reps, desperate to soak up more and ever more call-centre staff, handing out flyers at train stations. You could spot their damp, spattered leaflets flapping on lampposts – come and work for us!

Even that, now, has gone.

But how to create more jobs without drying up the precious pool of surplus labour and making the fat cats howl? A far easier solution is to demonise the unemployed. Rather than admit defeat and incompetence and pitiless stupidity, the government blames “lazy skivers”, whilst the Daily Mail gleefully skips along behind them spitting out headlines about low-life scrounger Britain.

Soon the unemployed, blameless in creating the economic disaster which befell us all, are so despised that nobody will speak for them. And when nobody speaks for you, you’re defenceless. Surplus labour is no longer surplus – the clever trick that Maggie Thatcher never thought of was to put that surplus to work, only for nothing.

With forced labour, in the form of the icily-named “Work Programme”, you can create a sort of full employment, except with none of the drawbacks for profit-hungry bosses. Because actual jobs are just as scarce as they were in the 80s, yet there’s still a terror to threaten workers with if they demand pay rises or pensions or rights or all those inconvenient margin-reducers: a new kind of “unemployment” where you still have a job, but no wages.

Soon the logical outcome of this ideology will emerge. It makes no economic sense for businesses to employ people in minimum-wage jobs when they could sack them all, then plug the gaps from the ranks of the newly-unemployed for nothing. The fat cats will get even more of the cream.

Let’s just hope we’re not here when it happens.

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    143 to “The insatiable howl of the fat cats”

    1. Nkosi says:

      What happens when all the “people ” are desperate is that they revolt. It will be messy.

    2. Sneddon says:

      Eventually no one has money to buy the shit they sell. Capitalism eh? You’ll hear the screams from the condems when the professional  jobs start getting done by claimants such as umemployed lawyers, teachers, social workers, HR, engineers et al.  If I had to do workfare I’d be planning ways to rip off the bastards who ’employed’ me.  We can avoid this by voting YES and electing parties signed up to the Common Weal principles.

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      Is the one with the blue face Alistair Carmichael?

    4. Morag says:

      Millions the other day for an orange diamond.  Millions more yesterday for a painting of Lucien Freud (sorry, three paintings).

      That’s what the surplus money hoarded by the fat cats gets spent on, while minimum wages have to be topped up by social security.

      Trickle-down my arse.

    5. Atypical_Scot says:

      Agreeing in part – the bit that I can’t get my head round is the wanted excess unemployed. 
      If (big if) the UK had full employment, there would be more tax, and less benefits – a Tory paradise no less, everyone happily buzzing about 9 – 5, money in the hipper and down the high st buying lots of VAT-able commodities.
      But that’s not the case, and Thatcher is still to blame. Not only for the privatization of societies mainstay industries, but along with the US in the main, globalisation. Globalization means you can get the profit you want from your product by legally outsourcing labour from the cheapest – and usually most unethical – country. No minimum wage, safety rules, pension schemes, insurance worries for Mr corporate, no sir.
      The problem with the government is they are big business, they want big profit, and if you are not one of them, you are obsolete, and if you require benefit, you are an on-cost. Take for example the current unemployment benefit sanctions. stage 1 = two weeks no money, next two weeks half money. that equals £200 (rounded down for next sum). The number of sanctions from Oct 2012 to May 2013 was 533,000. That’s £106,600,000 cut from UK plc losses. 
      This type of barbarism is symptomatic of the gross ignorance expressed by Thatcher that the trickle down effect will save those at the bottom of the pile. She envisaged a permanent profit for the UK from this idea, with enough money to serve at least near enough in welfare for those who didn’t jump on the pink tie bus. A part of the equation which has evidently been wiped off the chalk board for quite some time.
      So whilst we allow corporate companies the luxury of existence in our society as legitimate practice, we will have people exploiting the practices that profit allows.

    6. Seasick Dave says:

      Trickle-down my arse.
      I’m just about to start my tea, Morag.

    7. Spout says:

       Reject the Westminster Neoliberal Duopoly that will continue to blight our lives – Vote Yes.

    8. Sneddon says:

      Sorry Julie but OT but it will make you and others  happy reading this.
      It cheered me up 🙂

    9. Jen says:

      Good article, tin hat though for this but Scotland voting yes does not guarantee that the Work Programme will end nor the sanctions regime.  We would likely use the same system until changes can be made.  This depends on who is in government and its compounded by many people believing that this is fairly acceptable.  The majority of the population does not care, because it does not affect them. 
      I am a similar age to the writer of this article but I remember living in poverty as direct result of Maggie and her kind.  
      If Scotland votes No to wait for change from Westminister, I fear for the future.  
      Many people now are so stressed and finding it hard to cope that the health costs are going to be huge in the future.  The younger generation are going to struggle to pay for their futures and the demands of an age population. 

    10. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Atypical_Scot –
      ‘So whilst we allow corporate companies the luxury of existence in our society as legitimate practice, we will have people exploiting the practices that profit allows.
      Aye. This is the crux.
      We allow it. Remember Orwell’s anecdote about watching the wee lad leading the huge cart-horse? The horse has no idea how much power it possesses.
      So long as we allow that exploitation to continue, it will happen, and worsen, as surely as night follows day. If we don’t get up and fight these bastards – and we know who they are – we face perpetual serfdom.
      It’s really as simple as that. The question is – how best to fight them? Independence is just a first step.

    11. Atypical_Scot says:

      Good point. In general, people still swallow the story that there’s nothing that can be done about the problem. To change the environment, people like Ratcliffe et al need restrained.  How one implements this, is hardly straight forward.

    12. Jen says:

      Sneddon says:
      14 November, 2013 at 5:35 pm
      It cheered me up 
      Me too, sounds like there campaign information was not clear enough

    13. Vambomarbeleye says:

      Well said or should that be written.

    14. Atypical_Scot says:

      @Ian Brotherhood;
      If a company had to be part owned by the employees 50%, part owned by all the people 25% and 25% owned by the bosses, that would be a step in the right direction. In a world where corporate business is legal, it would be hard to ban them entirely, especially as the capitalist superstructure we have now includes everything and the oil companies.

    15. Andy-B says:

      Good piece Julie, and sadly depressingly true.
      The Westminster Government are doing their best to, to drag Scots down to the depths of despair, the only chink of light is independence, and a chance to start afresh.
      Heaven help us if, we don’t prevail next year, for Westminster will punish Scots profoundly.

    16. Thepnr says:

      We need Independence. This article was so depressing but it need not be that way. It will take time but we can leave this behind us. Please vote Yes. 

    17. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Atypical_Scot –
      Agreed. Any such process has to be gradual, but it must at least go in the right direction – offering incentives to giant corporations to come to an independent Scotland may sound good to institutional investors, but it’s hardly music to the ears of those who’ll end up working for nothing, with zero union representation, zero-hour contracts etc.
      One toty example, as raised by Richie Venton at Tuesday’s SSP meeting in Irvine – even the wind and water-generated power/profits finds its way into private hands. If anyone has the right to any ‘profit’ generated by these resources, isn’t it us? Why doesn’t the SG commit to complete public ownership of these things? What is the moral basis for giving away these assets to profiteers (nay helping them with handouts?)
      It’s high time we stopped appeasing these gangsters – they’d happily steal our eyeballs and come back for the sockets because that’s what they do. Yes, they’ve got their place-men in Westminster, and not a few of them are Scots, but they’ll find it much harder to evade public opinion when they no longer have a bolt-hole 500 miles away.

    18. clachnaben says:

      The neoliberal project ostensibly is about economic efficiency but is in reality about anti-democracy. All the free market true believers who for the last 30 years have sincerely believed in the economic efficiency and theoretical trickle down benefits have been duped so much that they couldn’t see the absurdity of trying to maintain a mass consumerism paradigm on low paid non-union jobs. The Anglo-American neoliberal project’s mandarin leaders and their US neoconservative leadership allies simply fear democracy. Even to the extent of causing economic chaos rather than reappraising their ideology.

    19. Sneddon says:

      Jen _ I don’t think it will be hard to stop workfare, ATOS in an indy Scotland.  People have just to vote for parties that don’t support these policies, it’s that simple.  In the interim from 2014-2016 I imagine those policies will be suspended in Scotland while the welfare sysem is being subject to negotiation as those companies such as ATOS will know there days here are numbered and anyway they signed a contract with the UK govt not the new Scottish one so any pre exisitng contract is null and void.  From the DWP worker in Scotland perspective I’m sure that they and their trade union will be working to minimise the effect of the rules in the interim.  Any company using Workfare will also have to consider the implications. I’m alreadt boycotting stores I know that use workfare, those that do in the interim between a YES vote and the first SG election are going to come under a lot of extra pressure to offer those people real jobs.

    20. David Smith says:

      I was interested in your in your parallel between ‘then’ and ‘now’, Julie. It was only the other day that I was trying to sum up the way I feel about things and the phrase that came into my head was that in a great many aspects based on my personal experience of then, today is like ‘1980 on steroids’.

      Even in the upper working/lower middle professional classes there is an atmosphere of doom and fear in many workplaces, my own included, where people are watching their backs and fearful of anything they might do to catch the wrong sort of attention from above. There is almost a tyranny afoot now where the poor, sick and unemployed have been so demonised an increasingly abused that working people are beginning to live in terror of joining their ranks. This must have been what it was like during Stalin’s Purges, if we haven’t quite reached the overtly murderous stage as yet.

      So much fear and so little hope, it’s no wonder that so many people are taking their own lives now.

      I would suggest; to gain a measure of how bad the problem is becoming, following Network Rail’s Twitter feed to see that hardly a day passes now without at least one person dispatching themselves under the wheels of a train. 

      We should pray that enough Scots wake up in time to see that we at least have a ghost of a chance of escaping this bleakness next year. It may actually save some lives! 

    21. ayemachrihanish says:

      Julie, Then entre the Labour Party – specifically the Labour Party in Scotland.
      Their focus – cultivate unemployment and poverty – blame everyone else for the cause – then capture the votes of the confused and deluded.
      It’s not their fault and not easy for the confused and deluded to see what’s going on – the Labour Party in Scotland are weapons’ grade experts at insidiousness.
      They fragment the solution to the economic progress and social mobility – and spend a fortune doing so. The aim? Have an impregnable fortress to progress – there are 33 different agency’s in Glasgow competing to keep people out of work – all that happens is they pass people from one agency to the other until dejected they plead for employment – but – as you correctly point out – we still haven’t created any jobs. So there are no jobs, just a well developed fortress of fragmented self interest!!            
      Poverty is Power!
      Progress is Evil!!
      If evidence is needed – just reread/ listen to the recent bile of Ian Davidson…

    22. lumilumi says:

      Powerful stuff, Julie. Thanks for the article.
      I first got thinking about this issue when I worked for a charity in the late 1990s, and the Finnish government had a scheme for school leavers who didn’t get a place at uni/college/apparenticeship, and also “difficultly employable” (= usually people with slight learning or other disabilities or people with mental health issues).
      The board of the charity I worked for was quite blatant about it. Why would we employ a secretary for you (=me, the executive director) and pay for it from our own budget, when we can take on an endless supply of these 6-month “interns” for free, the government pays them the minimum wage, at no cost to the charity.
      It of course made perfect “business sense” for the charity but I felt very uncomfortable with it. The three interns that went through my hands during my time there were absolutely wonderful people, did a wonderful job, and did get valuable work experience – even learning some basics of the world of work, like be on time, don’t answer the phone “Yo!” etc. I was very strict and stern about these things, then having coffee and cake together, or even going to the pub after work. I wrote glowing references for them. (More glowing than the charity wrote for me when I resigned…)
      But these wonderful people were discarded at the end of the six months for another free intern. I hated the leaving parties because I would’ve wanted to keep every single one of them.
      I remember thinking, even back then, that this can’t be right. That it skews the labour market, usually to the detriment of the most vulnerable in the labour market.
      All government schemes offering “work experience” or whatever are taking away real jobs from real people. They’re just pandering to the greedy super-capitalists, who want to have the all benefits of a healthy, well-educated, skillful workforce and a functioning infrastructure without having to contribute anything towards it themselves.
      This makes me so angry!

    23. Juteman says:

      Douglas Fraser telling lies on Reporting Scotland. He just made a remark about Portsmouth closing, and the work moving to Scotland.
      There is NO work moving to Scotland from Portsmouth!

    24. Atypical_Scot says:

      @Ian Brotherhood;
      I agree that profit should become ours however, the size of the buy out is a concern. It would be in breach of EU law just to take it all off the companies, and is a question that I hope to raise with Colin at a future Dundee meeting, as the SSP are pro EU.

    25. caz-m says:

      Just listened to that fat unionist bastard “I’m John Mackay” on STV warning of chaos in Police Scotland.

      All about how it would struggle to save 1 £Billion.
      What they didn’t tell you was that the report was out of date and that the savings of 1 £billion has to be made between now and 2026.

      Its that important that wee “I-pad Rhona” is deticating a full show about it tonight.

      Not a mention of Labour MP’s or the “bedroom tax”.

    26. clachnaben says:

      The unionist party leaderships and their camp followers have gone along with the Thatcherite dream of making London the great financial services gated community for the rich and powerful while the rest of the UK is merely regarded as servicing it. Scottish oil revenues and soon Scottish renewables and Lancashire fracking revenues going straight to the Treasury and hardly benefitting their areas of origin. Did anyone see the start of the documentary series about London West End musicals the other night? With producers talking about how wealthy London audiences expect bigger and better musicals with more and more amazing special effects. To the extent that top West End musicals now cost about £10 to £14 million pounds to produce. One nation Britain Ed Milliband? Yeah right.

    27. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Can anyone remind us how much the boss of ATOS got last year? I’m sure the figure was posted yesterday, but canny find it…

    28. Ian Brotherhood says:

      And one other thing – ever wondered why we’re constantly told that employers look kindly on folk with a track-record of doing voluntary work? 

    29. clachnaben says:

      “Douglas Fraser telling lies on Reporting Scotland.”
      Same as any old night.

    30. Sneddon says:

      A Typical Scot – there are ways around the EU law an example being Network Rail, in effect a nationalised company, only shareholder is govt.  Ways and means, the same as govts in all EU countries are doing. Another way is local authorites to set up muncipal generating companies as I understand many of the Acts setting these up in the late 19th/early 20th century where never rescinded. 🙂

    31. Bill Fraser says:

      @juteman that is not strictly true. They have brought forward the redundancy and the unfinished work that was allocated to Portsmouth is to be finished on the Clyde. Brutal for everyone concerned.

    32. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Oh-oh, here comes trouble…someone just told Delia about Sarwar, and she’s not happy…

    33. Macandroid says:

      Sneddon @ 5:35
      Stuttering start.
      “unfortunately we did not seem to maximise our reach to the intended audience at this afternoon’s event!”
      In other words we are incompetent and we f**ked up!

    34. Atypical_Scot says:

      Aye, if we find a way to fund the buy out, it’s basically plain sailing there after. The amount of profit sooked up by shareholders is what has brought the west to the brink of total collapse. Many vested interests in many different pies will require some serious political wrangling.

    35. alexicon says:

      Just for your info Julie, Thatcher had the uncanny knack of making it personal. 

    36. Juteman says:

      But there isn’t any actual work now at Portsmouth being moved to Scotland, is there?

    37. Derek says:

      lumilumi – I hadn’t noticed the connection until you pointed it out! A friend of mine moved to Oulu (having married a Finn) and ended up doing this. I got the impression that your job is, at least, matched to your skills. In his case it was useful, as he made contacts in a foreign country.

    38. Bill Fraser says:

      Rev Stu,
      I do remember the eighties, in the late seventies I was a mature student, studying accountancy and economics. I knew that there would be three million unemployed if she implemented her policies ( five million really because two million were hidden in various schemes and incapacity). I was lucky when i left Uni I got a job but that legacy ( unemployment is a price worth paying ) is still with us. She allowed the market to run free at a time when Sterling had appreciated due to North Sea oil.

      The result of that was that exporters lost their markets, the equipment bought up and shipped abroad, we lost the investment, the skills and the exports. Westminster is doing nothing and will do nothing to fix this but the Scottish Government is on the right track. It will take a long time, decades in my view, but it is a path worth taking. I will not benefit but my Grandchildren will, they need and deserve this opportunity because of the debts that Westminster has piled upon them by allowing the banks to run riot, globalisation and by bailing the banks out and imposing austerity policies that are ideological in nature. What has happened to society because of this has diminished all of us, whether or not we were lucky enough to have work.

      The whole of society suffered and is suffering because of that woman, so sorry, I am bitter.

    39. caz-m says:


      Frazer is possibly the most despicable man at BBC Scotland. A real evil and twisted piece of work. I find it hard to look or listen to him.

      He is on my tv for as long as it takes me to change the channel.

      On this occasion he might be right. I think Govan is getting a large section of the aircraft carrier to build that would have been built at Portsmouth.

      The yard will close next summer and the section that was to be built there will be built in Govan.

    40. Doug Daniel says:

      Great article as usual, Julie. Just a shame it isn’t fiction.

    41. Bill Fraser says:

      @juteman yes the control towers for the aircraft carriers were binge built there.

    42. Alex Taylor says:

      Please have a read at Mark Steel’s article below before you describe those celebrating her death as morons. People wre dying and communities decimated  while you ate your Monster Munchies.

    43. Juteman says:

      Thanks for the clarification guys.
      I simply don’t trust anything that man says.

    44. Juteman says:

      I was a moron that celebrated too.
      That witch had me stealing crops from farmers fields to feed my young family.

    45. jim mitchell says:

      O/T But with good reason, from the report of Better Together trying to set up on Bute,
      which was reported earlier.
       Kayleigh Harvey, the Better Together campaign organiser for central, west and south Scotland and Glasgow, organised Wednesday’s meeting,
      Think about it, if they only have one organiser for that size of area and population, it explains an awful lot about their  ‘organisation’

    46. Murray McCallum says:

      If the objective is to ensure a better share of rewards in organisations, we could look to some kind of a “salary cap”. I think this concept could work in larger organisations. The cap could be based on the average wage of low-medium wage employees in the organisation. The cap would be a factor of this average.
      The success of larger organisations is generally less down to the CEO, Chair and Board but more to the general management and wider workforce. Seems to me that too much financial reward has been coveted by boards of directors. This has resulted in them being out of touch with their workforce (and even shareholders).
      The board of directors in larger companies would therefore have to look to using profits to first raise the wages of their wider workforce before setting the reward for themselves. It’s a bit like the Inuit concept of dividing food – the person doing the cutting gets the last piece.

    47. Some the above concerns over profit, corporations and how they will soon be allowed to sue governments that don’t bend to their laws, etc were covered in this video link I posted here.

    48. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      Thought provoking article Julie.
      While on the subject of corporate looting, the TTIP…
      Update from the US side on the connected TPP…

    49. john king says:

      I think Julie McDowall born in late 1980 (same year as my youngest daughter)
      you need to think about the jobs and people you disparage “they will employ anyone”
       your comment is about as insulting as it can possibly be for people who do a damn hard job on low wages and sit day after day taking abuse from ignorant people like you who know nothing,
       I have worked for 15 years for a company who on the whole treat their employees well and expect a hard days work from the people they employ (surprise surprise)  in all the time I have posted on this site I cant remember when I was so angry at a blog ,
      How dare you demean me and people you cannot possibly understand who because there are no other jobs, (Maggie saw to that) we sit daily taking personal abuse because someones tv or broadband has had temerity to stop working.
       Let me tell you something about myself sweetheart,
       in the eighties I spent nearly all of my time working in England,
      to feed my family I had no choice because no real jobs existed in my area,
      so taking Norman Tebbits advice to “get on your bike” (look it up chuckles) 
      I took the highroad and spent my early family life working hundreds of miles from my young family because the alternative was to languish on the dole while thatchers children judged me,
      My children’s early life was of their father appearing once a month for a couple of days, and taking them out in a hire boat on Loch Tay and such like, only to steal out of the house at 2am on a monday morning to drive 400 miles south again to where the work was, and after an 7 or 8 hour drive find myself in Cheapside or The Bank (London) or any number of places where the money (was/is) to install floors for the growing number of banks and companies cashing in on the Klondike that was London 1982, meanwhile my wife with three small children was left to deal with the day to day life I should have been dealing with, such as when I called her to see how everyone was to find her on a stepladder painting the house,
      I would leave such a call home with a heavy heart which made me feel like I had somehow let my family down,
      I spent all of my children’s childhood working away from home for a month at a time and only seeing them for a couple of days a month.
      Until I developed a contact dermatitis acquired from the epoxy resin I used in the flooring which meant I could no longer do the job that I earned a good living from and  fed my family so through no fault of mine I found myself unemployed,
      I was fortunate enough to find an (agency )   job working night shift in an electronics factory, which was a decent job, but after only a few months I had one of my children wake me from my sleep (late afternoon) to a phone call to say my services were no longer required no explanation given, your sacked,
       so I went back to the same (agency) who quickly found me a job with a call center (no names no pack drill), with whom I found a home and was soon taken on by them , since then through thick and thin I have stuck with that company, that was 15 years ago, to this day I still take calls in spite of many opportunities to move on I still work for them ,
      and to have a person who was born the year our poor country became subject to the tender mercies of Thatcher disparage a job I take pride in fills me with disgust, 
      how dare you 

    50. David Milligan Lvss says:


      I’m quite taken with this wee article and especially the comments.  Of course everyone is angry but anger doesn’t get you anywhere.  You need solutions.  One solution would be to have mass civil unrest but what does that achieve but messed up streets and fewer employers along with a fair number of people hurt or worse.

      The solution is staring us in the face, we already have the beginnings of it and the lady that wrote the piece touched on it.  What makes Scotland special?  What is it that we’ve got that gives us the “edge”?  Well that’s an arguable point.  What we have is a bright population who, if given the chance can make a business successful and we also have highly skilled workers who have been forced to take contracts around the world due to the lack of opportunity at home.  Those contractors, engineers and scientists may initially enjoy living and working abroad but after a few years many of them wish that they could earn the same money in Scotland as they do abroad and be with their families.  We also have students leaving university with degrees and when they can’t find suitable employment, generally head abroad.  That is heartbreaking for their families.

      The way to ensure that we have those opportunities right here requires independence as a prerequisite.  We need that first so that the right set of circumstances can be put in place.  
      The first thing that needs to happen is to set up the country so that it’s easy for large companies to invest and settle in Scotland, that entails setting the corporation tax and a grants system that has them queuing up at the door.  By doing this we’ll create a large glut of opportunities and the exact opposite to what the author was describing where employees were knocking down the door trying to get in.  As the number of opportunities grows so will the wages of people all over Scotland and the younger population will suddenly find that getting a job is much easier.  

      I would recommend that we have a simple rule (or law) that says if a large company wants to set up in Scotland a proportion of local people have to occupy positions on the board or top level management to deal with employer/employee relations the same as other European countries who seem to have much better company/staff relations than we ever had. 
      We all need to realise that the large employers are necessary if we want a vibrant, fairer and more equal society.  All we need to do is attract enough of them and the stupid situation we’re in right now will dissipate and improve.  
      If we don’t embrace large employers moving into an independent Scotland, we will find ourselves back in the same place that we were without much progress and then all we could hope for is that the oil revenue would last for a long, long time because we’d need it unlike as expected where it is a bonus. 

      Just like you, I want and need independence for Scotland but we need to look at the practicalities of what we’ll need to do so that Scotland becomes the kind of place that we all know it can be.
      Some of you may not like what I’ve written but if you don’t, can you tell me another solution?  Scotland needs jobs – lots of them.  Where will they appear from?

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss 

    51. scaredy cat. says:

      My God. That’s depressing.

      My son, a graduate in his early 20’s with experience of bar/restaurant work, sports coaching and call centre work is currently waiting to hear from Response.

      I hadn’t heard of them but he was dreading being successful because of their reputation, despite being desperate for a job. I know he’ll take any job if it’s offered, but he’ll be miserable there.

      What a waste of our young people’s talents.

    52. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @John King
      A powerful comment – thank you for sharing.
      In Julie’s defence however, she was a call centre worker in a previous life –

    53. Keef says:

      Nice Julie.
      I was one of the ‘morons’ celebrating Thatcher’s death. When someone callously enforces a poll tax on your country which was not only immoral, it was illegal (act of union – no tax shall be levied on one country that is not levied on the other). She introduced this tax a full year earlier in Scotland. That gives you an idea of how much hatred she had for Scotland. Her Falklands war and the crushing of the unions with help of Murdoch was horrendous to live through.
      You might not have felt the effects Julie. It would be nice if you could do some reading on this era and perhaps gain a sense of how bad it was in Scotland. Although your article highlights the plight of the unemployed now; your lack of empathy and understanding for the generation that went through the Thatcher era spoils this piece and (to me) makes you sound like you neither understand nor care as to what transpired as that evil women ‘raped’ Scotland.

    54. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You might not have felt the effects Julie. It would be nice if you could do some reading on this era and perhaps gain a sense of how bad it was in Scotland.”

      She didn’t say it wasn’t terrible. She said she had no personal sense of it. Not the same thing. And you can’t get that kind of thing from reading about it. To feel the visceral hatred so many of us feel for Thatcher, you had to be there, and be old enough to take some notice of politics.

    55. Atypical_Scot says:

      @John King;
      Brilliant. There has never been a better example of how the notion of trying hard is defied by the law of profit.
      I want to send you some flowers…,    …inexplicably. 🙂

    56. muttley79 says:

      @David Milligan
      Is it not the large corporations that are a big part of the problem though?  Why should we bend over backwards to make things easy for them if we get independence?  We should be looking to develop and grow our own businesses, and not the already dominant mutinational corporations imo.  We are partly in the state we are in because these companies have been dictating their agendas to national governments all over the world for decades.  These companies do not produce a more equal society, in fact it is the exact opposite.
      On the comment in the article about the people celebrating Thatcher’s death being ‘morons’: I am afraid that is uncalled for.  I personally did not like it when it happened.  However, this was a PM who referred to opponents as the “enemy within”.  Moreover, she wanted to crush trade unions, not reform them, but actually destroy them, according to recently released government documents (as an article in the Guardian a wee while ago revealed).  Thatcher was also the PM who visited the injured after Hillsborough, telling them and bereaved families that they would get the truth.  It took around 25 years for this to happen…She automatically took the side of her precious SYP, the same force who attacked the miners at Orgreave.  She almost certainly also got Douglas Home to lie about us getting something better if we voted No, just before the referendum in 1979.  Thatcher and her big American pal, Reagan, were the political leaders who launched Neo-Liberalism on a large scale.  Massive inequalities consequently followed.     

    57. Paula Rose says:

      1980 – halfway through my degree course, had to leave the UK when I finished in order just to get work experience, my chances in my own country having been trashed by Neave, Ridley, Thatcher and the rest of that economically illiterate bunch.

    58. reginald says:

      I am a bit of a radical and a leftist and no supporter of Margaret Thatcher. I have lived all my life in Glasgow housing schemes and worked in low paid jobs.but I regard it as a personal truth that Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister that had the most beneficial long term affect on my lifestyle.I am the owner occupier of my former council house and I scraped together any available savings to participate in the many privatisations.I  have delivered SNP leaflets in the Sandyhills area and marvel at the very fine former council houses.If we are endeavouring to make an honest assessment of Thatcherism we are surely obliged to accept that millions benefitted.As to long term affects of privatisation and the the sale of council housing stock Chou-en-Lai would doubtless have opined it is far too early to come to any conclusion. 

    59. Linda's back says:

      jim mitchell says:

       Kayleigh Harvey, the Better Together campaign organiser for central, west and south Scotland and Glasgow, organised Wednesday’s meeting,Think about it, if they only have one organiser for that size of area and population, it explains an awful lot about their  ’organisation’

      They don’t need to be organised as MSM / BBC are doing their work for them in that anti Indy /  SNP / Alex Salmond stories get massive coverage whereas stories that reflect badly on BT/ Westminster / Labour are largely ignored.,

    60. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      It appears that the whole audience a the Bute Better Together launch last night were from the Bute YES team

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “we are surely obliged to accept that millions benefitted.”

      Yes, of course they did. At the expense of their own children and grandchildren. The sale of council housing was good for individuals, but directly led to the housing bubble and the crash it caused. Insanely inflated property prices are this country’s ruin, and they wouldn’t have happened without Right To Buy. We’re all paying now for the bribes given out to tenants in the 80s.

    62. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @David Milligan Lvss –
      I appreciate the points you took time to make so clearly, but I fear that the goodwill required to enact the changes you recommend has gone – there is scant trust between unions and employers, and little respect from the general public for either.
      John King’s moving account of his own working life (@ 7.55) highlights the awful conundrum most of us face – one which has been becoming more acute in recent decades, and was purposely accelerated under New Labour’s maintenance of anti-union legislation.
      Grangemouth has set a precedent which other big outfits will have taken careful note of – any privatised utility or vital asset can now simply hold a gun to their own head and dare the SG not to do their bidding. The Big Six already operate as a de facto cartel with impunity. It could hardly be more blatant – point is, they don’t even have to pretend otherwise any more.
      A glimpse into the mindset of these people was provided by the heir to the Johnson & Johnson family fortune – he’s a brave young dude. It’s worth a watch, but if you haven’t time, please make sure to at least check out a bizarre one-man, walking, talking advert for revolution called Cody Franchetti at approx. 44 mins 25 secs: You can imagine Cody trying his shite in Glasgow –
      ‘I live to be served.’
      ‘Is that right Cody? Mon outside man, I want to explain something to you, pal…’

    63. Theunicorn says:

      let us not forget that the houses which were built before the on-slaught of very high levels of inflation have been paid for many times over by the original and subsequent tenants. Inflation is the key tool governments use to reduce public debt and then the properties are sold off to the very same group of people who had e paid the original cost of the debt off in the form of debt. Aint capitalism just pure ded brilliant.

    64. muttley79 says:

      You say you are a left winger and radical, then you say you benefited most from the rancid leadership of Thatcher?  Privatisations were designed, and still are, to enrich people in the short term, while public assets get sold off at a fraction of their real value.  This leads to poorer services, ala the railways, energy, and now almost certainly the Royal Mail.  This leads to more inequality and an horrendous society.  Can you not see this?  I am astonished at your post…

    65. Sneddon says:

      reginald – we already see the effects of former council house sales all around us .  The homelessness, the unsuitable housing for families, the private sector rental sector taking billions in housing benefit from our taxes.   Your former council house was built with everyone ele’s taxes for ALL to use . Your house was built with no intention to be sold but the tories thought house owners would vote tory and therefore reduce labour’s hold on local authorites.  If anyone wants to own a house I say (like me) get a fucking mortgage and buy a private sector house and not a fomer council one whose price to you (with discount) was subsidised by everyone else’s taxes.  Thankfully buying a council house is no longer an option in Scotland.  In addition many council house buyers have sold their house and moved out and many of these houses were bought by private landlords to rent out to people who can’t get a council house because the councils had no access to the funds raised from the sale of council housing to build more.   The money from council house sales went straight to the treasury.For you to try and claim it was a long term benefit depends on your own point of view and not by any meaningful measure of success for the wider community.

    66. Theunicorn says:

      ps  tried to edit my post but it didn’t work. It was supposed to say in the last line “in the form of rent”. 

    67. handclapping says:

      and thanks to the incompetence of Westminster all the extra profit the fat cat amkes from the use of many hours zero pay workfare scroungers is not even taxed.
      Wonderful what we Scots will put up with.

    68. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The most important effect of council house sales (at prices lower than it had cost your local council to build them with our money) was that all council house building stopped.  The councils could not justify spending public money building neccessary public housing which they then had to sell at a huge loss and not even get a fraction of the money back. All the best council housing was sold; all the less desirable were left with the council. There were no longer affordable houses left available for young couples and the less well off.  As a shortage of affordable housing added to the value of house sales many people bought their council houses just to resell them and made huge and ridiculous profits on what had been public assets bought by our money. 

      I don’t blame any body for buying their house for a price that was probably about 20% of its actual cost. But it was and remains a social disaster and Thatcher’s silly attempt to take power away from Labour councils and turn folk into Tories.
      Thatcher’s understanding of economics was virtually nil and she paraded prejudices as policies throughout her rule. She initiated the deindustrialisation of Britain by closing struggling industries while our competitors like Germany sorted theirs.
      Scottish Oil revenues disguised her dangerous inepetitude

      That the British economy is now hugely dependent  on financial services is her legacy (and a Labour party destroyed by Tory Tony Blair). We make little any more and we are sucking the whole of Britain dry to rescue the London speculators whose stock in trade is not manufacture but making money out of money and debt. They don’t need manufacturing in Britain. They make money by investing in low wage activity and they find that more easily elsewhere.
      Thatcher was the most unpopular PM in British history until the Falklands saved her and made her a national hero (but not to those who recognised that that sinking of a warship that had surrendered and was in full retreat and the drowning of 300 sailors on it was a war crime).
      Sorry for the rant. I don’t very often get angry.

    69. Richard Bruce says:

      john king says
      Well said John! Expressed my own views expertly. My first experience of unemployment (after 14 years of continuous employment), was thanks to that horrific woman and her damned government.

    70. Ann says:

      With regards to Portsmouth, I work for BAE Systems.  Hopefully I will be able to let you know more about the situation at the dockyard sites as we usually get a flow down from top to bottom once announcements have been made.

    71. Keef says:

      I never said she didn’t say it was terrible either Rev.
      It was her insensitive pop at those of us who went through the shit and felt that celebrating her death was one small way of bringing some sense of relief from the misery she caused that was annoying.
      I suggested she read up on the era so that “perhaps” she may gain a sense of what it was like.

    72. jim mitchell says:

      Linda’s back. Perhaps you misunderstood me. I am all to aware of the part played by both the BBC and the rest of the media, the point I was trying to make, at least to those who were either new or still unaware of how things work, was that we have suspected for some time that Better Together had trouble getting troops on the ground, things like these confirm what we have suspected and probably also go some way to explain the feelings of desperation that have emanated from much of what the NO’s have said and done, this should be encouragement to all of us on the YES side, were it needed, not only to keep working but where possible to increase our efforts.

    73. Paula Rose says:

      @ Dave McEwan Hill xxxxxx

    74. Rod Mac says:

      Dave Hill not sure about Thatcher being most hated PM ever ,Toom Tabbard Broon runs her pretty close.
      She at least has the excuse of being a Tory ,he portrayed himself as a socialist and a son of the manse with a moral compass.
      In my book he is the most loathsome creature ever to spew out of Scotland .

    75. Ian Brotherhood says:


      Scottish Socialist Party initiate Peaceful Protest at Labour Deputy Leader’s Shameful Failure to vote for Bedroom Tax Abolition

      Friday 15th November
      3pm onwards
      At Anas Sarwar’s Office, 9 Scotland St, Glasgow

      The Scottish Socialist Party is appealing to all those who detest the Bedroom Tax to join a peaceful protest outside Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Anas Sarwar’s office, to express their disgust at his failure to attend the debate in Westminster on Tuesday and vote for the abolition of the tax.

      The protest has been initiated by SSP candidate in the Glasgow Shettleston Council by-election, TOMMY BALL – a constituent of Mr Sarwar’s.

    76. handclapping says:

      When you pressed the Submit button in righteous wrath you amde me look a twit. It would be nice to have a facilty other than the Rev to correct misposts.
      I’ve often wondered about MT’s liking for Pinnochet and how she was saved by Galtieri’s “unexpected” invasion of the Malvinas and whether there was a connection.

    77. EKindy says:

      @ Dave Mcewan Hill.
      Dont stop at peoples own council houeses. Folk purchased their parents and in-laws houses indirectly. I work in a large factory where quite a few have their places in the sun in Spain and Portugal etc funded on the back of it all.
      A lot of these folk that were lucky to have continuous employment and benefit from what was a terrible time for an awful lot of people now seem to have distanced themselves completely from reality and dont seem to accept that a lot of people have a poor outlook.

    78. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Talking about Thatcher’s right to buy council houses at knock down prices:

      Great Tory housing shame: Third of ex-council homes now owned by rich landlords

      Hmm .. rents are sky hight these days too.

    79. mealer says:

      What about differentials? In an independent,fairer Scotland,what percentage of a teachers wage should a cleaner get?

    80. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Rod Mac
      She achieved ratings lower than any Broon ever managed. Broon managed to cling onto the affection of a significant section of left wing vote who thought he was grumpy, misunderstood,didn’t deal well with the media etc etc but was a dedicated socialist nonetheless and the more the media attacked him the more obstinate this support in him became. Don’t forget the Tories needed a coalition to beat him
      Thatcher actually managed to make a majority of the Tory Party dislike her at two separate points in her career and it was the Tories that did her in.   

    81. john king says:

      I want to apologize to you Julie for my outburst,
       but you can see from the emotion I expressed,
      this fight is not some ephemeral argument that will go away, this is real and we WILL  get an answer,
      “You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand”( Robert Louis Stephenson)
       my argument was not with you but the total injustice of what was done to my country and I sometimes conflate that with my own experience (I wonder why?) but again I apologize for my outburst, PLEASE  do not let it prevent you from making future posts. 

    82. Bill C says:

      o/t sorry Labour Delete Entire Pre-2010 History From Their Website 
      Acts like a Tory, swims like a Tory, must be a Tory!

    83. CR says:

      @Julie, your article was very thought provoking, thank you. 
      @jon king, I’m with Atypical_Scot, I want to send you flowers too.  Thanks for sharing your story, it made me cry.
      I’m one of those New Scots that people talk about from time to time.  I moved to Scotland in the late 80s after almost ten years of Thatcher.  She changed every corner of this country beyond all recognition.  I grew up in a world that had not really heard of ‘Neo-Liberalism’ and that would have been horrified by the ‘Britain’ that we now live in.  That country wasn’t perfect, it was very far from that, but the sheer unashamed greed that now pervades so much of life was not in existance.
      My dad was a Londoner, a true cockney, he would have been absolutely disgusted by what his city has become, the world that he knew no-longer exists.  Because of Thatcher, because of Blair and because of so many people who embraced their ideas and ran with them and made things far worse than the architects of this vile political system could have dreamed. 
      By the time we moved to Scotland all anyone ever talked about down south was house prices, or how much they earned or what their latest gadget was.  I saw real racism, not the claptrap that people like Carmichael winge on about, I mean being called a ‘n****r-loving whore because my friends were black, or seeing them beaten-up, by the police and dragged into custody via ‘sus’ laws.  It was vile and we couldn’t wait to leave.
      My husband is half Scots and wanted to live here, because he liked the Scots ethos and values and wanted any children that we might have to grow up in a culture that wasn’t all about money.   To me then, Scotland seemed almost old-fashioned, but welcoming and friendly too.  I’ve never experienced any racism here, not once in 25 years.  I’ve worked in mental health and the public sector and met some wonderful passionate, caring people and I’ve also seen brilliant, capable kids leave because there is no work for them and nowhere to live even if they could get a job.
      But slowly, in the last few years, since the SNP became the government I have seen things change.  The values that brought us here still exist and yet the devolved areas of public life, whilst still cash-strapped have human values at their core.  I mean the mental health act, or the social care act, that engrain these values in our public life.  Or the reformation of the education system and the implementation of the Curriculm for Excellence.  There is a way to go in these areas, but the core intentions are so very good.   And financially we are doing okay too on the whole.  But we have the potential to do so much better, if only we could do it for ourselves.
      I’ve been a long time coming to the yes vote, because of my history, my Welsh childhood, my English father and my Irish grandfather, I am probably the epitome of ‘Britishness’.  I would have definitely voted for Devo max and couldn’t believe when Cameron took that option off the table, didn’t he realise the risk that he was running!  Well I now think that he was either too arrogant or too stupid.  He and his ilk didn’t understand Scotland and they never will.  
      For a long time I was a don’t know, I would never have voted no.  But I wanted more information, I went on Better together sites with questions that were never answered I watched everything I could on MSM and couldn’t quite square what I was being told – nats are nasty, nats are scary, nats are anti-English etc, with my experience.  I also couldn’t understand why Alex Salmond was being demonised, because he might not be perfect (who is!) but he and the SNP have done a pretty good job on the whole under appalling economic conditions. So I went online.  I read what I could on the Yes Scotland site, and I searched and found Bella and National Collective and Newsnet and of course Wings.
      On this site, I have read some wonderful stories and met some wonderful people, who are supportive and understanding and here because they care.
      Scots will vote yes in 2014 and they will do it decisively.  Because there are a lot of people like me, people who were not particularly political, who didn’t pay that much attention, who watch Strictly and listen to the Archers and worry about the school run, because these people are waking up and asking questions and all that Better Together can provide is faux patriotism and bile.  And that just isn’t good enough. 
      I truly believe that Scotland has a chance to do things differently and if anyone can do that it’s us.  Don’t give up, don’t let the media or the bitterness of the no campaign stop you.  I think the SNP are doing a brilliant job, they are keeping the debate civil, measured, polite, they are converting people one at a time and they have been here before. They have done this before, there was a no campaign against devolution, the SNP were going to be decimated in 2011, yeah, right. They did it then and they and the Yes campaign will do it in 2014 with the help and the support of all of us.
      Thanks to all the people on here who helped me come to my decision through sharing your stories and through your compassion and humour and huge thanks to Rev Stu, for running this site.
      Question Time will be on soon and I have no doubt that it will be unbalanced and horrid, and people will be upset.  That’s why I wanted to share my story before then. Because despite a biased media and some very selfish, vicious Politicians with far too large a platform to preach from, we’re winning and I think we all need to remember that in the months to come.
      C x

    84. jahoca says:

      I like what I’ve read of Julie’s material and look forward to more. Some thought provoking comments too. When I read John King’s post though I had to take a break. It doesn’t take much to bring back the feelings of injustice and powerlessness that made the 80’s such a dark time.
      I have to say I try not to submit to hatred or anger at Thatcher and her legacy. As someone said it gets you nowhere. But dammit it just wisnae right and sometimes it can seem like nobody today remembers what fair play ever was. The idea that the crowd now in Westminster could show Thatcher some tricks is nothing short of chilling. 
      Again, this is a good article and I’m sure Julie sees fine that for many Thatcher was more than just the mad puppet.

    85. Robert Kerr says:

      Don’t hate. it destroys from within. 
      However the Thatcher who should be your target is Denis. The totally evil affable smarm behind the scenes who made their money.

    86. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Mealer –
      ‘What about differentials?’
      What do you suggest?

    87. schrodingers cat says:

      sorry rev,
      a post I made on the guardian on one of roy greenwoods articles about the demise of johnstone press

      sorry roy
      i like your articles, i truly believe you are one of the more enlightened journos in the guardian. i just cant get enthusiastic about johnstone press. a group financed by the better together millions to toe the line come hell or high water
      my advice to anyone who works for them, they are being funded at a loss for the BT campaign and regardless of what happens on the 19th of sept 2014……you guys are toast. even the no campaign cant be bothered about their fate, and to comment on your article
      meanwhile, in the real world ron, the scottish labour party couldnt be bothered to turn up and vote against the bedroom tax, perhaps in journo land this is not important, but for everyone else in the social media, that is all that is important.
      give my regards to all of the journos about to lose their jobs, my heart goes out to them, but when the value of the scotsman drops below the value of worthless, inline with its present input, (once upon a time the scotsman was the only newspaper i bought) wings over scotland will crowd fund its purchase for a song and turn it into a proper newspaper . I hope you wll consider coming to work for it then. by the way Roy, you dont need to work for these papers, good quality journalism can be funded by social media, ask the rev stuart

    88. Paula Rose says:

      ooh goodie mealer again!

    89. schrodingers cat says:

      O/T again
      question rev,
      if you can crowd fund a poll, something the bbc cannot do, and you accept that in social media, you lead they way, what more can be done
      I listened to a radio broadcast you posted the other day, very interesting, but how long do we bitch about gordon brewer bbefore we do something about it? web tv is the way to go and unless we challenge the existing media we will always be pissing against the wind
      rev, you have gathered a lot of good will, how much good will does it need for us to challenge the bbc in visual media? with all due respect to the other posters on wings, nns etc, how do we challenge the bbc? how much will it cost. I am not a millionaire, but i believe enough in an independent scotland to go into debt for this cause, and i believe others will follow. how much will it cost……………..when will you start the find raising for it? there are potentially 350000 yes supporters who, while may not be able to contribute finacially, i think they could be mobilised to help our cause.
      we will only get one chance at this.

    90. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ schrodingers cat
      Nice one!

    91. Papadocx says:

      Excellent piece by Ian mcwhirter today in the herald. Divide and conquer! Set the natives against each other and let London ruling classes plunder the pockets of the ordinary people. Let the natives laugh at each others prejudices and encourage their insecurities, fears and lack of self worth. We need London we can’t do it ourselves.
      While they use, abuse and plunder our country. Daft jocks, are we? We will see!

    92. schrodingers cat says:

      apologies, i should have provided a link to roy greenwoods article in the guardian

    93. John king  ,You owe me a apologie tae I having the temerity tae take umbridgeat not haveing a TV/Internet service   at the start of the   Referendem  debate  Am sittig here on my Tablet as my  Internets down again / &again      Good piece   JULIE   but  be more informed  on Thatcher  era

    94. Keef says:

      Schrodingers cat.
      There was this a while ago:-
      Have not heard anything since.
      I do love your idea of seizing the moment and going all out for a web based media channel though. Leave no stone unturned in the drive for a YES vote is the mindset we should all be harbouring.

    95. X_Sticks says:

      Julie, I think you are right. The government, the employers and their shareholders are on a mission to drive our incomes down. I think they want the global wage to converge.
      Cheap labour means greater profits for the already wealthy. They have no intention of sharing it around. The irony is, if the global income were equitably shared there would be more than enough for everyone. What a different world it would be.
      I have to say that Margaret Thatcher was the first person I ever actually hated. Really hated. She is the reason there is abject poverty in many areas in Scotland, Wales and the north of England. She, and her love of the easy money from banking, is the reason we are in the mess we are in. Call me a moron, but I celebrated her demise. I never thought I could hate anyone the way I hated Thatcher but then along came Blair.

      Ian Brotherhood says:

      “Independence is just a first step.”

      Never a truer word Ian. Independence is not an end, it’s a beginning.

      I hope for a Scotland that will stand up against the greed and corruption of capitalism. A Scotland that will enshrine the rights of the individual and thier wellbeing. A Scotland that has a conscience.

      None of these things can be accomplished under the rule of westminster.

    96. Tris says:

      I didn’t celebrate when Thatcher died. I was not one of your “morons”.
      It was, as far as I could see, a merciful release for her from a life of pain, ill health and senile dementia. (She apparently had to be told on a daily basis that Denis was dead.)
      I’m not normally a vicious or hate filled person, and I was too young to really know about Thatcher, although I was certainly around at the time. But I didn’t celebrate her death, because I wished her at least another 20 years of the misery that she went through in the last 10 years of her life (albeit in very considerable luxury).
      The misery that that woman caused during her time as a politician, and the filthy effect it had on the politics of the UK through Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron, has ruined the lives of so many people. I watched as people died inside. Relatives, friends.
      My only consolation for her relatively early death at 86 is that I have a belief that she will be roasting in hell right now.

    97. REV,  wie  aw they  papers  ie J / Press  any  ssecondhand  printers  available  WINGS  PRINT

    98. kininvie says:

      That was wonderful reading. Thanks. Maybe you could ask Stu if he wants to use it for his ‘perspectives’ series? It needs a wider audience.

    99. Brian says:

      Question time debate from Portsmouth first question to panel, is the decision to shut down Portsmouth because of the threat of independence. To be fair ed davey fair until pressed further, this could get interesting.

    100. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie re CR’s comment (9.43) –
      Hear hear.

    101. Thepnr says:

      Wonderful post, appreciated.

    102. schrodingers cat says:

      bear in mind folks, when you see the credits roll after every TV show,
      the director
      the editor, the presenter, the camera man, the rdiactor, the outside reporter and his sound man and camera man.
      we funded 30k for the rev to contue this site, a shoe string budget in reality, we funded a poll, a few grand, but prof curtice did point out it was the first political crowd funded poll in scotland………has there ever been another in the uk or anywhere else?
      i would hate to think that our efforts her will be nothing more than an exercise in ” preaching to the converted” this must not happen. more than a few commentators have castigated us for spending too much time online and not enough time in the streets, I plan to do both, but i would not dismiss what we are good at, social media,,,,,we need to have a visual presence, we need a wings newsnight and a reporting wings scotalnd and a scotland wings tonight. We have the poeple to fill the airwaves, maybe the better together politicians wont want to appear on the show, but if it is good enough, and enough peolple watch it, they may have no choice. we can do this, we must do this, if we want to win, we have no choice
      i pledge 1000 quid, albeit from my credit card, to start this fund. rev. please run with this. i think this task must fall on you. I can think of no one else who can do this.
      ps feel free to pledge

    103. X_Sticks says:

      Thanks CR, it’s people like you who make me proud to be Scottish.

    104. schrodingers cat says:

      @ keef, thanks for your support m8
      i believe

    105. Pauls says:

      I would have thought that the primary rationale for Wings over Scotland is to help win independence?
      The principal problem is the majority of the scottish electorate are either NO or Don’t Know’s. Time to face up to that
      Historically, internationally, undecided voters shy away from radical views and communism/hard line socialism is universally unappealling – the predominant view of the posts on this thread.
      So you can exercise your right to indulge in ‘communist rants’ ( a significant portion of people will see it as that ) but it runs the very real risk that Don’t Knows will be even more  defensive and reject one set of political values because of another.
      Depressing how few will differentiate between the 2 – WoS = Indie = communist
      The DK’s will only be won over if they are reassured by the economic case ( and there are hard questions to be asked there). Socialist regimes and vibrant economies are percieved to be mutually exclusive.
      Time to choose – vent all your frustrations and bitterness out on this website or take the long term view  and be prepared to moderate any views which can adversely affect your cause.

    106. schrodingers cat says:

      Tris says:

      re thatcher………..
      I dont care about ancient hisrory
      I want to win
      I believe

    107. schrodingers cat says:

      The principal problem is the majority of the scottish electorate are either NO or Don’t Know’s. Time to face up to that
      i am, time to step up and put your money where your mouth is. we dont have tory millionaire sponsors, time to step up to the mark
      mony a meikle maks a muckle
      we need to fight them at their own game
      and yes, we can
      I believe

    108. schrodingers cat says:

      “The DK’s will only be won over if they are reassured by the economic case ”
      the DK’s will be won over by us
      I promote doorstepping but also social media. ps we are good at social media, why not play to our strengths?
      ps, im speaking to the people on this social meadia thread

    109. Paula Rose says:

      Dammit guys and dolls – new readers eg Pauls xx doll, we’re going to have to go over the economic case again! Me want ratlets.

    110. schrodingers cat says:

      feel free to watch question time from portsmouth……….enjoy
      but are they asking the questions you want answered?
      dream on
      you can continue to foam at the mouth ot do something about it
      for a group of people who funded their own reporter, the rev, who crowd funded an opinion poll,
      if it is not you guys……………..then who?
      carpe idem mes amis, if you cannot move this social media on, albeit a ground breaking phenomenea,………..then no one can. what will you do with this succes? wings is ground breaking and it scares the sh1t out of all of the media, where do you go from here? are you content to stand still?
      I believe
      yours sincerely
      the cat

    111. schrodingers cat says:

      no shortage of rats……or ratlets
      me……….i prefer the clangers
      I believe………do you?

    112. Paula Rose says:

      @ the pussy – oh yes!

    113. schrodingers cat says:

      i am over verbose
      but in a nut shell
      “going all out for a web based media channel though. Leave no stone unturned in the drive for a YES vote is the mindset we should all be harbouring.”
      thanks keef

    114. schrodingers cat says:

      Paula Rose says:
      14 November, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      @ the pussy – oh yes!
      you better believe
      ps, i am no pussy
      i am the no campaign’s 11th dimensional nightmare

    115. Capn Andy. says:

      David Milligan. That’s well put.
      In order to solve a problem, you should try not to look at the problem, but look at the solution. In this case, the solution is to vote YES.

    116. @John King – thank you for your apology. I am not belittling call centre workers; I’ve been one for most of my working life. I said they will take anyone, which is true, but that doesn’t mean they don’t also have some brilliant, clever and talented people working for them. They most certainly do and this is part of the reason why they infuriate me. It makes me almost ill with rage to think how many of our people are trapped in these awful jobs. My last call centre had two PhDs working in it, plus countless other talented people who, for a million different reasons, found themselves stuck there with no way out due to the recession. I am sadly an expert on the call centre life and am writing a book on it as my small way of fighting back and dragging their dirty working practices into the light. 
      @scaredy cat – I hope your son doesn’t have to stay long at Response and that he soon manages to find something he deserves. I’ve worked for almost every call centre in Glasgow and Response and Serco are by far the worst of the lot. 

    117. kininvie says:

      I think you are wrong (and I’m saying that from what you would probably regard as a fairly right-wing perspective).  I’ll tell you for why.  When did you last see any question about the future shape of Scotland raised and discussed on any BT site? The only debate about what a future Scotland might look like is happening in the pro-indy online world. OK, some people here may be frothing Socialists (yes, Ian, looking at you mate :-)) but I want to hear their thinking, because I know that ultimately they want the same thing I want – a fair and prosperous independent Scotland, even if they are coming at it from a different perspective. And the more I listen and debate, the more I think ‘yes, there’s a point there’.
      Your idea that we should all keep quiet and not frighten the horses is, IMO, exactly the way to lose. For the first time in my lifetime in Scotland, people are being forced by the referendum to wake up and think how things might be different. Once the idea is planted, there’s no going back. See, we all have different ideas and political philosophies, and some make sense and some don’t, but the point is to have them, and talk about them, and argue them. Because only an independent Scotland will give any of them any meaning.
      And I’ll say a final thing, even if it’s an old-fashioned one. The overwhelming thrust of what the pro-indy side is putting forward is a moral, not a political, vision. The hate-figures are not those who take a right or left stance, but those who put their own interests before those of others, or those who condone injustice because there’s nothing to be done about it. And, frankly, if we all shut up and keep quiet, we have to ask ourselves why bother…

    118. Paula Rose says:

      @ schrodingers cat – sorry love but I wanted to get my comment in quick, scientific words are sometimes a wee bit tricky.

    119. Jim says:

      Good piece Julie, but there-in lies the answer.
      You grew up in the 1980’s and couldn’t understand why people hated Margaret Thatcher. However, her government was responsible for a 1000 Scots losing their jobs every day for a long period of time, in succession. Suicide even increased as did domestic violence and all the rest. Ship builders couldn’t receive government assistance because they couldn’t type 40 words a minute etc.
      British Steel sent their steel from the south of England to Germany for BMW marked “Gartcosh” just before Gartcosh was closed. Gartcosh was profit-making but production was transferred to a loss making plant south of the border.
      Kenneth WHF who was responsible for the steel industry at the time and is now again in the Tory government, had the audacity to say:” No-one can deny that Gartcosh is furthest from the European market place.” What he should have said was that no-one can deny that Scotland is furthest from the European market-place and shouldn’t have any industry, which is what they tried to achieve.
      Thatcherism was disgusting in almost every respect, but you are right, IDS takes the biscuit. He is evil incarnate in my view. 

    120. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Pauls (10.55)
      If you’re not an actual real-life idiot, you’re a troll. 
      Which is it?
      (Or would you like us to work it out?)

    121. Paula Rose says:

      @ IanB – oh goody, late night snack – come here Pauls.

    122. cjmasta says:

      When I think of the amount of Scots who have died in the gutter due to Thatcher steeling our wealth I wish I had gone to that party in George square.

    123. Jim says:

      You’re funny Pauls!
      Scotland contributes 9.9% of the UK treasury’s income and receives 9.3% of UK government expenditure: that’s £4.4 billion more than can be reasonably expected from Scotland as our fair share.
      When we cut out our £2-3 billion contribution in capital for the son of trident and the £200 million that Scots pay every year to maintain the monstrosity, that figure rises to £5 billion. We wont be paying for British nationalist vanity projects after independence!
      We also wont be paying our estimated figure of £4-6 billion for HS2 which comes nowhere near Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I’d much rather fund things that matter.
      And no. I’m not a socialist. I have a social conscience and was brought up to care about people.

    124. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Kininvie –
      ‘OK, some people here may be frothing Socialists (yes, Ian, looking at you mate )’
      No probs. I appreciate your humour, and take that as a compliment. The truth is, I’ve never ‘frothed’ about anything more than Ian Dury & The Blockheads, when I was a teenager.
      The only reason I was attracted to the SSP – and have returned to them after years of despondency – is because they’re the only party in Scotland who have ever articulated what I feel and believe. They continue to do that, and that’s why I’m sticking with them.
      ‘Pauls’ talks about ‘Communist rants’. WTF is he on about? If there have been any on this site I haven’t seen them, and I certainly haven’t posted any (not wittingly at any rate). I’m not even sure that I could define what a ‘Communist’ is. I’ve never read Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, or any of the ‘others’. Not in any depth, and certainly not so far as I could claim to feel affinity with anyone one of them.
      Just for the avoidance of doubt – modern ‘socialism’, as espoused by the SSP, is not some rehash of Soviet-style idealism of any strand. It’s about allowing free enterprise and innovation, encouraging small businesses by facilitating very low-interest loans from responsible banks who aren’t owned by multinational conglomerates. It’s about self-determination, self-respect, dignity. It’s about social justice – basic common decency.
      Yes, it’s ‘selfish’ in that sense, but anyone who resorts to such lazy stereotyping as ‘Pauls’ did above? – they deserve to be called out on it.
      If I’ve identified myself as a ‘socialist’ on this site? I am very thankful for the opportunity to do so. But it’s a gross and damaging generalisation to suggest that this site is ‘extreme’ in any way.
      I would suggest to ‘Pauls’, and other mischiefs who fancy venturing here, that they ditch clichés and stereotypes. They will not find fruitful ground otherwise, regardless of where their loyalties lie. 

    125. kininvie says:

      Just pulling yr leg my friend. I really, really appreciate your contributions, as you know. 🙂
      And – FWIW – Have huge respect for your party’s passion & dedication. Plus, love my late-night banter sessions on Twitter with comrades Sandra, Tommy & Liam.
      That’s how it should be, no?

    126. Aidan says:

      Clearly identifying and rejecting neo-liberalism as a harmful framework for our country’s macro-economic policy does not make anyone a communist.  Do you really think that the only possible basis for opposing the free-marketeering, welfare-for-the-rich, upward-redistribution-of-wealth model as pioneered by US-UK is some kind of grey, Stalinist nightmare? Talk about poverty of the imagination!  
      The main thing a YES-vote offers is an alternative to the idea that There Is No Alternative to what has been happening in the UK over these last few decades.  Many of the people who post comments on this site do seem to be inspired by a sense of this different road.  The land and the people have so much potential.  There are so many possibilities.  This is why the prospect of a small, well-resourced, politically and economically maneuverable country is so exciting.  What might we be able to achieve as a country?
      You will find that TINA is still very much at home in the Better Together camp, however.  They are relying heavily on a bedrock of apathy as they cultivate big doubts and little fears in an atmosphere of mass distraction.
      Come on, Pauls! A nearby parliament will be far more responsive to the will of five million people than a distant one answerable, in theory, to more than sixty million people (plus a large host of powerful special interests). An independent Scotland will be the 8th richest country in the world per capita.  To expect that we would not long remain the 4th most unequal in the developed world after we take charge of our own affairs is not unreasonable.  Social justice does not begin in communism, does not end in it, and does not have to pass through it unless the people of this country will it.  I just don’t see any kind of communism as Scotland’s future… but I do see a better, fairer future opening up to us… if we choose it.

    127. joe kane says:

      Ian Brotherhood,
      asked how much the French boss, Theirry Breton, of the French company Atos was paid last year. I hope this helps – 
      Atos Paid No Tax In 2012 Despite Boss Earning £2.3 Million
      13 Nov 2013

    128. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      ” never felt the hatred for her that everyone else in Scotland seemed to have.”
      I was a young father. I was made redundant, not once, but twice, under her “leadership”.
      Both times to make more profit for her mates in the City of London.
      Hatred isn’t really the word…

    129. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      All the old exasperation came to the surface again.
      But now, we have a voice: the poll tax was fought by people not paying it.
      The Bedroom Tax is taking money off people who can’t pay it.
      The Tory fuckwits don’t seem to realise that those people have votes.

    130. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @kininvie –
      Cheers mister.

    131. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      @ cirsium
      Thanks for the additional links on this, I have emailed someone at the Parliament to see if I can find out how things stand there.
      This transatlantic trade deal is a full-frontal assault on democracy
      Brussels has kept quiet about a treaty that would let rapacious companies subvert our laws, rights and national sovereignty – Guardian
      I will just put these links together here…

    132. Taranaich says:

      Julie, I’m only about 4 years younger than you, but even I think I was more aware of Thatcher than you were. Not a commentary on your intellect at all, just reflective of undoubtedly different circumstances in our earlier lives.
      I don’t think it’s a healthy thing to hate, but I do think it’s important to recognize clear evil where it exists. Understand I’m not talking about some supernatural or religiously-defined entity, something that should be spoken in hushed tones in nighted caverns: I’m talking about the very banal, mundane sort of evil that is committed every day by perfectly ordinary human beings. People may not be inherently evil, but they are certainly capable of evil things. And Margaret Thatcher did many evil things.
      Let’s put aside the devastation she wrought upon the poor people of Britain in her idiotic neo-liberal delusions, her homophobic and racist policies, and so forth. She openly condemned Nelson Mandela’s ANC as a “typical terrorist organisation” and supported the South African government during apartheid to the point of opposing sanctions. She ignored intelligence about the Argentinian buildup around the Falklands and scrapped the only fleet protecting the islands, starting the war when it could’ve been avoided entirely. She committed what is effectively a war crime in ordering the sinking of the Belgrano. She lobbied for the release of her friend Augusto Pinochet. She authorized the SAS to train the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. And then you consider that crime doubled in Britain under her watch…
      I didn’t celebrate Thatcher’s death because I knew that Thatcherism was alive and well: only one head of the Hydra, and hundreds more writhing and swarming in the shadows, ravening for a feast. She was just one part of a greater monster, of which IDS is another head. We’re not going to get anywhere celebrating any individual’s demise when another will just take their place: only when the monster of Neo-Liberalism is finally slain will I, for one, dance a merry jig.

    133. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      My, I was drunk.
      Still hate her though Julie.
      Will celebrate the anniversary of her death with a drink too. And a wee jig.

    134. CR says:

      @kininvie, @Ian Brotherhood, @ Thepnr – thanks for your comments, I wasn’t on Wings yesterday, so hadn’t seen these before now.  My comment was in moderation when I went to bed on Thursday night, but Rev e-mailed me and asked if I would do a Perspectives piece, which I’m writing now.
      @X_Sticks, thanks for you comment too and take it from me a New Scot, you have a lot to be proud of.  Scotland has been my home for most of my adult life and it is a wonderful place to live.  xx

    135. Pauls says:

      If you’re not an actual real-life idiot, you’re a troll.

      Which is it?

      (Or would you like us to work it out?)
      Curious about the delay between my post at 10.55 and your respnse at 11.47pm

      1 hours deliberation and that was the best respnse you could come up with?

      (To pre-empt an obvious response, my 2 day delay is due to an Ofsted inspection and moderation of GCSE coursework)

      If you can demonstrate you understand what a troll actually is, then your assertation that I am an ‘idiot’ might hold some weight.

      I am not a troll or an idiot because I express an opinion counter to your views. I will help you out by providing a relevent definition, otherwise the response may well take too long

      ‘In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people  by posting inflammatory extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community  either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion’ (Wikipedia)
      This forum constantly critises the NO campaign for its bile,negative outlook,lies, etc but it is just as predominant here – just as there are people capable of reasoned debate. 

      @ Jim for consistently accurate breakdown of the figures

      @ aiden for expanding on how his socialist beliefs underpin his hopes for an independent Scotland

      I am predominantly impartial to the issue of independence and originally started research into the subject in order to be better informed should the rUK electorate by asked to ‘ratify’ a seperation treaty in the distant future.

      (By ratify I infer that english politicians will be swayed by their voters and probably inclined to delay signing off on the myraid of treaties required for formal seperation – please don’t shoot the messenger for pointing out a future problem!)

      This research flagged 2 serious anomolies in the SNP model (EU membership and sterling)

      and I value Logic and Pragmatism, which meant yet more research which naturally meant I would come across both WoS and BT.

      One would hope that a lot of other people would follow broadly the same path. These hopefuls might reach the same conclusion I have – BT put forward very ‘slick persuasive arguements’ but are short on forum discussion.

      (If it helps the more sensitive you can subsitute sick perverted arguements instead’)

      WoS are more passionate which is likely to strike a chord but display an ability to interpret facts /events with a pro independence bias which often does not fully reconcile with known facts.

      I would offer one constructive critisism – they appear to have a subtle ‘gravitas’ which WoS doesn’t quite match. Prehaps a PR professional from within your ranks could analyse this aspect, comment and advise?  

      I mention all this as a precursor to rephrasing my original question – is WoS truly committed to converting the DKs or has it become a forum for the ‘converted’ congratulating each other?

      Whilst currently the numbers are stacked against you, the goal could possibly be achieved.

      (Luckily for you the electorate will remain completely indifferent to the real ‘killers’ of the economic arguement – moral hazard, capital flight, Shengen Accords, Lender of Last Resort, downgraded credit rating, borrowing for the Oil Fund, etc)

      But speaking from an impartial background, your forum will come across as too ‘hardcore’for many, so the DK’s will revert to the devil they know.

      Actually the apathetic in ANY country usually abstain which would appear to marginally favour the YES cause.

      So dismiss my comments and insult me if you wish, it’s a free country.

      (Well England is, anyway. Now THAT, Ian, is trolling)

      Or consider the input, take what is useful and consider alternative arguements which will sway me – on the basis that it will give you the ammunition you need to resssure DKs.

      Emotional rhetoric in itself is unlikely to get sufficient numbers to commit to the cause.

    136. David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot says:

      To those of you who have taken the time to respond to my comment “JOBS, OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURES”, I thank you.

      The equation is simple, at the moment there are too many people chasing too few jobs, if we turn that on it’s head by using the large corporates, then we’d have a situation where too few people were available to fill too many jobs.

      Being a socialist means that I want the advantage to be with the people not with the corporations and being a socialist, I can figure a way to ensure that the corporates that we’ll never be rid of can be attracted into Scotland and create a land of opportunity for the people living here.

      Of course I want our own home-grown businesses to flourish, however, if we want the process to take just a few years instead of a few decades then inward investment is the way to go.  To change our country we need to change the Scottish shrug into Scottish confidence.  To achieve that we need jobs that pay a good wage and lots of them.

      If any one of you can imagine a situation where we can get rid of the large corporates then I’ll do more than imagine, I’ll show you a Scotland where someone with a job is an odd occurrence.  

      If we can plan a way where we can use these large corporations in competition with each other for staff, the pay and terms and conditions will improve.  And if those corporations can’t find enough skilled people to fulfil their needs, we’ll see a re-emergence of block release as we did in the 70’s for people attending specific College courses or similar.

      It can be a win/win situation, we just need to look at the corporates in a slightly different way and instead of planning how to topple them, we look at how to use them for our benefit (the people’s) benefit.  There are many facets to this way of thinking and if you wish to debate them, please join me and others on “Scotland’s Big Yes/No? Debate” on facebook.  I’ll be happy to put more meat on the bones for you at any time.  We do need to discuss stuff like this, we need to be looking beyond the referendum to see what lies on the other side of independence otherwise we’ll land up in a similar situation to where we find ourselves now.

      I want a better, fairer, more equal Scotland and I’ll use whatever tools I can find to achieve that.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss 

    137. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “WoS are more passionate which is likely to strike a chord but display an ability to interpret facts /events with a pro independence bias which often does not fully reconcile with known facts.”

      Tedious smear. Unlike “Better Together”, we provide links to official and/or impartial sources for all factual claims, so that people can see for themselves rather than taking our word for it. Lies wouldn’t survive very long in that context.

    138. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Pauls (2.30) –
      Have read your last post three times, and cannot make sense of it.
      You appear to believe that WoS is a hotbed of hard-core socialists who indulge in ‘communist rants’, thereby frightening people. That’s an extraordinarily sloppy analysis which says a lot more about your prejudice than the political opinions expressed by any of the commenters here.
      You claim to be ‘predominantly impartial’ (an oxymoron) before asking for arguments which will help sway you. Why on earth would anyone want to spend time and effort ‘swaying’ someone who goes out of his way to offend and belittle with such lazy rhetoric?
      I shouldn’t have called you a T – Rev cautioned us against use of the word, and I regret using it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still believe it.

    139. Pauls says:

      @David Milligan
      an extremely pragmatic and well reasoned viewpoint – I shall watch with interest to gauge the degree of support it receives.

      @ IanB
      prehaps you could clarify why you are offended and belittled by the views I expressed – you have omtted to explain this, and in doing so are equally open to the charge  of lazy rhetoric.

      (I have quickly reviewed my posts and political debate aside cannot see anything inflammatory – I would welcome a 3rd party reviewing them and highlighting any problems)

      It is equally lazy to put words into my mouth – nowhere in my posts  have I used the words frightening people.

      I was thinking in the context of your ‘average ‘Don’t know’ surfing the site for the 1st time, not looking for anything specifically, just browsing. 

      He will see references to Neo-liberali delusions, messy civil unrest, tory fuckwit, full frontal asault on democracy (as well as valid comments and irrelevent references – to them, at any rate).

      Gartcosh would be a prime example – I had to be really paying attention and be be patient to see it’s significance. I would bet a lot of average guys either won’t or can’t.

      Some will embrace these viewpoints, but equally it’s not hard to see why a significant proportion would be bemused and bewildered. I happen to agree that cliches and stereotypes are lazy (as are soundbites), but the average bloke on the street doesn’t.
      Conciously or not he/she lives by them and the labels ‘loony left , ‘hardliner’ are typical of the labels some  will use. It’s hardly fair, it’s out of context but it is true 

      Why would anyone want to spend time swaying me? You don’t want to (I suspect that’s a given) but I contend you ‘need’ to – my mindset is very simular to the DKs

    140. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Where did you find the peculiar notion that the English electorate will be asked to ratify a “separation” treaty?

      The English electorate have absolutely no say in the matter (under United Nations protocols) and the right of self determination is universal under it. An agreement has been signed anyway and negotiations following independence will be of detail (sharing of assets,sharing of national debt, timescale for the removal of Trident, areas of cooperation in mutual interest, disengaging sensibly from some presently shared functions) ) and not about ratifying independence  

      Your use of the term “separation” indicates exactly where you are. You are contributing to a site which deals in intelligent debate and not the sort of infantile pish with which the Better Together folk assail the thick and the feart which is their target vote. 

      An elected Scottish government holds all the cards in independence negotiations anyway.

    141. Aidan says:

      I must have misunderstood you.  I thought you were worried that all the shouting about fairness or the lack of it within the Union – and the concomitant excitement around the possibility of better arrangements in an Independent Scotland – was frightening the horses and potentially harming the case for YES.
      Now I see you are saying that the case itself contains at least two anomalies (EU membership and sterling), and that you are aware of some “real ‘killers’ of the economic argument”: “moral hazard, capital flight, Shengan Accords, Lender of Last Resort, downgraded credit rating, borrowing for the Oil Fund, etc”.  
      You seem to be implying that these are burning issues that are being studiously avoided by the people on this site and elsewhere in the pro-Independence movement, yet not one of the things in your list is posed in the form of a question. You could have presented each one as a fact-loaded, source-referenced statement and fired it off as a challenge – but you haven’t.  Your only inquiry is whether Wings is committed to converting Don’t Knows or has become a place for YES-people to congregate and backslap. (It could be both! :-))
      From my point of view, most of the ‘killer’ issues over which you appear to be arching an eyebrow have been referred to and dispatched at some point on this site or elsewhere. Should people dig through your list, think of what YOUR problem with one, some or all of the items on it might be, and come up with ‘answers’ to questions you haven’t asked or challenges you never made?  

      Wouldn’t it be a better use of everyone’s time if you kept informing yourself using the wealth of material on this site and elsewhere? It’s a lot to investigate, I’ll grant you, but there are handy summaries and digests all over the place; and if you trawl through the comments that follow the articles, you’ll find them information-rich and littered with useful links amid all the backslapping and bonhomie.
      But, hang on, that’s a lot of work for someone who’s already indicated a degree of discomfort with all the ‘socialist’ froth they would probably have to wade through in order to become more comprehensively informed on the unassailable case for Scottish Independence.
      How about:
      They are sober and sensible, their arguments are detailed and well-documented.  You might even say they have ‘gravitas’.  And everything they say supports a YES-vote.   

    142. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Excellent contribution.
      All the questions being asked by the Better Together crew have been comprehensively answered. They are just playing the blind man routine – or playing the fool more accurately

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