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Wings Over Scotland

The inverse miracle

Posted on August 21, 2019 by

We really can’t be bothered with having the GERS “debate” again, in which all the same people make all the same exactly opposite spins on the exact same data. Minor annual fluctuations aside, the core reality is the same as the one we repeat every 12 months, and serious economists on both sides of the political divide still treat the figures with the disdain they properly merit.

One such person is Richard Murphy, and in an excellent piece today he posted a version of this graph which did catch our jaded eye. It purports to show the share of UK debt supposedly accounted for by Scotland – which has, let’s remember, just 8% of the UK’s population – in each of the last 16 years, and which immediately prior to the SNP’s 2011 majority stood at almost exactly that of our population share.

(Which is itself a gross calumny against reality, but let’s stay focused.)

How very remarkable, some readers may feel, that the extent of Scotland’s supposed responsibility for the UK’s debt should have rocketed so very dramatically at the exact point when independence became a live political question.

It does rather make you wonder why the UK government, scraping as it is for every penny of possible savings, seems more and more desperate to hang onto Scotland as the terrible economic burden we become on the rest of the country grows ever heavier.

Truly, our partners in this great equal and bountiful union must be the most generous and forgiving people on Earth. We don’t deserve them.

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    1. 21 08 19 14:56

      The inverse miracle | speymouth

    139 to “The inverse miracle”

    1. Robert Peffers says:

      Well, Stu, perhaps we do deserve them and will continue to deserve them until enough of us decide we have had enough of them – soon I hope.

    2. Sinky says:

      You can be assured that Richard Murphy won’t appear on any peak viewing TV programmes to explain what is wrong with GERS.

      This sums it up.

      In a leaked memo the then Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Lang wrote “I judge that [GERS] is just what is needed at present in our campaign to maintain the initiative and undermine the other parties. This initiative could score against all of them.”

      I acknowledge that things have moved on since then. But let;’s still be clear what GERS is about. Its aim, as is the aim of almost all UK government-produced data, remains to prove that a financial services elite produce most of the value in the UK and that as such the interest of those with wealth, based in the City of London and largely living in the south-east of England, must have priority in all matters, including tax, fiscal policy, regulation and more besides.

      The rest of the country must behave as supplicants to ask for their mercy and goodwill for the handouts that they are offered. And GERS in this form really suits their purposes very well.

    3. A C Bruce says:

      But..but, surely it’s all true?

    4. mogabee says:

      We truly are blessed. Honestly we are, no really!

      Bollox to every single chancer trying to make out that Scotland has a huge deficit whilst unable to borrow to run the country!

    5. Peekay says:

      You don’t think, I mean, you don’t really think they might be cooking the books do you?

    6. Ian Caldwell says:

      Who are the serious economists on the pro-union side of the divide you’re referring to? Surely not the on-line pet food salesman?

    7. Macart says:

      Neatly done by Mr Murphy. 🙂

    8. Malcolm McCandless says:

      Mathematicians and statisticians always treat upticks in graphs of derived data as suspicious. Either the presnter of the data is fooling themselves or attempting to fool others.

    9. Doug Bryce says:

      That is a great graph!
      GERs is flawed for number of well documented reasons.
      FWIW : I have 2 major complaints.

      1) Scotland doesn’t have full fiscal autonomy. Spending strictly set by Barnett forumla. Tax raising powers limited by design. Holyrood has no control over its supposed deficit (even if there was an obligation to balance books).

      2) Comparing supposed deficit of devolved-Scotland with UK doesn’t makes sense. The two sets of figures are compiled using entirely different rules and metrics. Conveniently no GERs figures are ever produced for England alone for comparison 😉

    10. Tam the Bam. says:

      Douglas Fraser,when asked on the John Beattie programme how approx. 8% of the UK population could be responsible for approx. 54% of the UK deficit stated….”because the reported figures state this” (not a verbatim quote…but words to that effect).

      I mean…what?…..WHIT!!!???

    11. Balaaargh says:

      What in the actual F***!

      I’ve read Murphy’s article, it is simply stunning in completely destroying any credibility in these figures.

      Surely, the yoons have finally jumped the shark!

    12. Arbroath1320 says:

      Doesn’t it make you proud peeps?

      I mean to live in a country that is filled to the gunnels with nothing but Benefit scroungers, allegedly, and yet at the same time to live in a country that is paying more and more of the UK’s debt caused by the Tories borrowing more and more money for their pet from far less see in most cases.

    13. robertknight says:



    14. Millsy says:

      I am moved to tears at the sheer unselfishness of the rUK in subsidising us ungrateful Scots .
      We truly do not deserve such saintly neighbours !

    15. Martin says:

      Aye, Tam, Douglas Fraser’s performance was embarrassing. It’s always fun though when discussing with uber unionists to pretend GERS isn’t meaningless pish. You can then say “ah yes, I see from these figures Scotland would be about 45bn a year better off without Westminster.”

      Because that’s another entirely reasonable interpretation of this utter nonsense.

    16. Ken500 says:

      The Scottish economy being totally mismanaged by the Westminster imbeciles. A total of £20Billion a year lost or misappropriated. £4Billion a year Oil revenues lost because of Tory high taxes when the price had fallen. £3Billion lost on tax evasion. £1Billion+ lost on Trident and redundant weaponry. £Billion on loan repayments not borrowed or spent in Scotland. HS2 and Hinkley Point a total waste of money.

      Scotland can borrow very little. Cannot borrow £5Billion to. Invest in growth in the economy. If Scotland sold it’s surplus fuel and energy instead of putting it on the grid. It would be worth £8Billion a year. Scotland pays more for fuel and energy because it is colder. Despite being in surplus and nearer the source. A lack of parity.

      The Oil, fishing and farming industry mismanaged by Westminster imbeciles.

    17. Capella says:

      Kudos to Richard Murphy. He is the only economist I know of who has the courage to publish the facts. His explanations of the Scottish budget and the total absence of reality in GERS is well worth hearing.
      Journey to YES for those who haven’t seen it:

    18. thingy says:

      Ditch Scotland and spend an extra 350 million a week on the NHS.


    19. dakk says:

      ‘our partners in this great equal and bountiful union must be the most generous and forgiving people on Earth.’

      Or the most dishonest,devious conmen scroungers on the planet.

      Yes that’s the british for you alright.

    20. MajorBloodnok says:

      My estimate yesterday for Scotland’s deficit as a percentage of the overall UK deficit this year was 110% (i.e. 2 x 55%). But seems to me that 55% is precisely the figure whoever came up with the deficit number was aiming at.

      And what a familiar 2014-ish percentage that is, which proves to me that yet again all the UK Govt is doing is trying to troll us.

    21. Clapper57 says:

      Maybe the Yoons should be careful howling so loudly about how much we, the Scots, are draining the UKOK’s finances ….cause some of those rabid , and clearly willingly uninformed, Brexit patriots in Engerland might just turn their attention onto ANOTHER union that ain’t working for them….just saying….one lives in hope…

      A lie eventually …..has to backfire…on the very ones who promote THE LIE….oh sweet irony of UKOK…at last I’ve found you…Lol

    22. Sinky says:

      At £62.7billion Scottish Government revenue is enough to cover all devolved spending, as well as all pensions and social protection.

      Scotland’s “deficit” includes: £3.3bn removed from Scotland’s accounts for UK military, £3.16bn to service Westminster debt, £1.71bn for UK ‘service costs’, £989m for ‘international services’. And £303m for “EU transactions ”

      A £9bn reminder this is a picture of Scotland largely run under Westminster.

      Excluding London and South East, England has more than twice Scotland’s GERS deficit! Wales and Northern Ireland even worse which backs up Richard Murphy’s analysis of the bloodsucking City of London financial sector that determines Westminster economic policies but gets taxpayers bail out when it goes wrong.

    23. Col says:

      As a supposed equal partner in the union isn’t it a bit strange that Scotland can never get access to the accounts we contribute to but England has full access?

    24. CameronB Brodie says:

      “Truly, our partners in this great equal and bountiful union must be the most generous and forgiving people on Earth. We don’t deserve them.”

      Yes, this is the best of possible worlds that Scots live in. It is irrational to either imagine or strive to bring about a better existence.

      European Public Accountability Mechanisms
      Comprehensiveness of national regulations in the 5 accountability mechanisms

    25. Mike Lothian says:

      Are they reporting this in the rest of the UK? I mean there’s only so many times they can get away with telling the other parts of the UK how much Scotland is paid for by them before they want us gone

    26. Martin says:

      Ken500 says:

      21 August, 2019 at 1:33 pm
      Scotland pays more for fuel and energy because it is colder. Despite being in surplus and nearer the source. A lack of parity.

      The Oil, fishing and farming industry mismanaged by Westminster imbeciles.

      Almost right Ken. We pay more because we’re further away from the arbitrary “centres” the National Grid uses to set top up rates (hint, they’re all in England). Even though we’re closer to where the power is produced. Because….BritNat.

      Really the only way to get a true grasp of what’s happening is to reassess post independence. But even a fool could see that there’s no incentive based on GERS figures for rUK to keep us. Yet they’re so very keen to…

    27. Mike Lothian says:

      Maybe instead of campaigning in Scotland for Independence we should be campaigning in the rUK to let us go

      Without the “love bombing” and the funds raised in the rUK for Better Together 2, we’ll have a much better chance of getting Independence

    28. Cubby says:

      You don’t have to be an economist to see that GERS is great big plate of Britnat propaganda mince.

    29. Confused says:

      This GERS exercise is a fraud, an exercise in mathematical sophistry. It’s also one of those things almost no-one is going to read for themselves and so will accept the interpretations of it made by approved media commentators.

      That graph is a good one, but we also need some solid one-liners, e.g.

      – why should SCOTLAND pay the INTEREST on ENGLANDS CREDIT CARD?

      something like that.

    30. Thomas Valentine says:

      In this murk ye’ll aa hae need o Craig Murray. He’ll ken mair than maist whit ither wee traps, hurdles an caltropes thae’ll hae fur us.

    31. Doug says:

      If GERS is correct [!] then it’s proof the union with England is seriously damaging Scotland’s economy.

      Today’s r1diculous deficit percentages are so OTT even British nationalists are shying away from declaring them. Well, apart from the usual eejits like Davidson, James Kelly etc.

    32. Clapper57 says:

      @ Mike Lothian @ 2.04pm

      “Without the “love bombing” .

      Hi Mike…I think their LOVE campaign might just BOMB come BT2, the sequel,..frankly it will be more of a pathetic plea, post Brexit, for us to be BITTER together than BETTER………..Lol

    33. kapelmeister says:

      Westminster makes Scotland’s supposed debt take a hike.
      If we are being ruled by such malign fiction makers it’s time for us to tell London to take a hike.

    34. Robert Peffers says:

      @Cubby says: 21 August, 2019 at 2:08 pm:

      ” … You don’t have to be an economist to see that GERS is great big plate of Britnat propaganda mince.”

      It’d make as great banner, Cubby, “England getting fat on mince from Scotland”.

    35. Merkin Scot says:

      When they pockle the figures they are trying to have it both ways. Listening to shortbread Radio at lunchtime it seemed that the only way they can sustain this is by saying that these are SG figures – something which is ‘true’ but ‘not entirely true’ in context.
      Fortunately, the people who live here are a bit more knowledgeable than the average radio presenter with a Westminster script to follow.

    36. Aikenheed says:

      Any wingers in England willing to write to their local paper in outrage at the subsidy Scotland “is given”.
      That should set things going nicely

    37. mountain shadow says:

      The three Celtic nations with approximately 15% of the population of the UK are apparently responsible for over 150% of the UK’s annual deficit.

      This means that England is running a huge budget surplus which would be unique amongst its peers in the current financial cycle.

      Any Economist or Statistician within any credibility would see that these figures are complete rubbish.

    38. Doug says:

      A bit of an Irish view:–945253.html

      TBH I’m just trying to see if I’ve archived it right.

      Belated thanks to Brian Doonthetoon, CynicalHighlander [cantbebothereditus – me] and stewartb from previous thread.

    39. CameronB Brodie says:

      “Schumpeterian fiscal sociology” is a component of strategic particularism, a.k.a. morally grounded democratic judgement. Subsequently, it is essential to the maintenance of open, liberal, society. However, Schumpeter’s world-view was not free of cognitive bias.

      Why Schumpeter got it Wrong in Capitalism,
      Socialism, and Democracy

      ….The power of Schumpeter’s argument was immediately apparent to his contemporaries. By both supporting capitalism and predicting its inevitable demise, Schumpeter established himself as a true iconoclast. He moreover abandoned the two central intellectual reference points around which the capitalism-socialism debate had traditionally turned: on the one hand philosophical arguments concerning the validity of historical materialism, and on the other hand economic arguments concerning the viability of the command economy.

      Having no need for general theories of history, Marxian or liberal, Schumpeter rejected the former pure and simple; and being quite confident in the ability of the socialist economy to operate efficiently, he sided unequivocally with Enrico Barone and the socialists in their famous dispute with the arch-defenders of private property, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Misses.

      Yet if, with Schumpeter, we define socialism as collective property and planning by public authority (Schumpeter 1942, p. 415) then his major thesis has not been historically vindicated. Indeed, not only does capitalism continue to flourish, but state socialism in this traditional sense is ever more harshly questioned even in societies which have historically been its most passionate supporters.

      In Schumpeter’s words, socialism is ”that organization of society in which the means of production are controlled, and the decision on how and what to produce and on who is to get what, are make by public authority instead of by privately-owned and privately-managed firms.“

      Where did Schumpeter go wrong? The answer to this question is of more than theoretical interest. Indeed, addressing this issue may clarify both the future of democracy and the probable nature of the next series of challenges the capitalist economy is likely to face.

      In this paper I shall suggest the following explanation of Schumpeter’s error. Schumpeter’s attention in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy is singlemindedly focussed on one question: under what conditions can creative and effective leadership emerge in political and economic systems? For this reason, his discussion of socialism vs. capitalism ignores the traditional terms of debate (the morality of private property, the feasibility of state planning, the role of market vs. plan), and evaluates the survivability of the two systems solely on the basis of their ability to generate competent and innovative entrepreneurship.

      Similarly, Schumpeter defends political democracy not on the traditional grounds of protecting liberty and generating decisions reflecting the general will, but rather on its capacity to generate competent and creative political leadership….

    40. Clapper57 says:

      I seen yon Tom Gordon slating Nicola about GERS no show…wtf has it got to do with Nicola…surely his wrath should be directed at Steven Gerrard….after all he IS their manager….DUH !!!

      Me bad……again.

    41. Clootie says:

      When you overplay a hand, exaggerate the spin, scream ridiculous numbers it becomes obvious to all that you have always been lying.

    42. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I just looked in on the Guardian’s website, to get their take on the GERS figures.

      Of course, as normal, no below the line comments are allowed, and also, as normal – the lovely and untalented Severin Carrell manages to distort the figures into another SNP Baaaddd story.

      But, I am at a loss to work out what Derek Mackay was doing and saying – unless of course, Carrell was distorting his comments, but, to me he seems to be giving this load of shite credence.

      Yes, he makes the point about the GERS figures having no bearing on our economy post-independence, but, why doesn’t he just say: these figures are pure shite, they are estimates and in any case, GERS figures are designed to make the SNP look bad.

      The SNP needs to go for the jugular when faced with this soret of Unionist pish. I despair.

    43. Old Pete says:

      GERS are pure crap and mean nothing for an Independent Scotland.

    44. Gullaneno4 says:

      Take the overheated London and SE England regions out of the equation and the UK seems pretty well balanced.

    45. Doug Bryce says:

      “Excluding London and South East, England has more than twice Scotland’s GERS deficit!”

      Does anyone have link to that information ? An obvious flaw in GERs is the lack of comparison to be made with Scotland / England / Wales / NI.

    46. call me dave says:

      There was an inference from Fraser early this morning on shortbread that such a ‘Scottish deficit’ would fall short of the criteria for entry into the EU.

      Didn’t catch the whole sentence pertaining but (Scotland had 6% whereas the UK figure was 3%)?

      But I don’t think the EU will worry about a country that’s got all the fish, electricity, oil, excellent education standards etc etc and a good government.

      Not long now win or lose. 🙂

    47. call me dave says:


      Just caught that quip. Excellent!

      On the ball 🙂

    48. Clootie says:

      I cannot understand why the SNP sit back and let this crap be issued year after year without comment.


    49. call me dave says:

      Jings! Forgot to post this.

      Is the Holyrood voting system a unionist conspiracy?

    50. kapelmeister says:

      Davidson tweets with joy that Scotland has the highest deficit in Europe at 7%. Then she accuses the SNP of criminal negligence.

      But Ruth, whatever the veracity of your claims, have not Tory Chancellors been in charge of Scotland’s economy for the last 9 years?

    51. jfngw says:

      I see Ruth Davidson is tweeting from her bunker in celebration of how shite Scotland is in the UK union. They do seem very gleeful when they can put Scotland down, best day since the 12th July in Ruth’s books.

    52. PictAtRandom says:

      I think I smell something. Is it hydrocarbons? Or maybe malt whisky, seed tatties, mutton, salmon,barley, haddock, shellfish, overheated power lines or overheated economists?
      (With just a hint of raspberry jam tomorrow.)

    53. Tam Fae somewhere says:

      GERS is produced from estimates provided by Westminster folks.

      Would that be the same people that got immigration estimates wrong by 16% as per news today? Estimates with scale of error should never be used for anything…..

    54. Frank Gillougley says:

      The long and the short of it is that:
      (Sorry for shouting)

    55. Clapper57 says:

      @ kapelmeister & jfngw

      Hi Peeps, Ruth Davidson tweets…..cue the rolling tumbleweed.

      I wish I was as politically impotent…oops sorry meant politically important as Ruth Davidson…where the PM , government ministers and Tory voters hung up oops sorry meant hung onto my every word.

      A political heavyweight…funny how Tank girl has now Tanked…Tories be now like “Tanks for the memories”…but we Tories now tanked up on power very much tanks to Brexit…and no tanks to Ruth…Tories…the party who like to omit the ‘H’ from the word Thanks….’H’ representing Hated party and tanks being a sarcastic association with Tank girl pin up Ruth D…the former PM in waiting…Ruth as PM meaning she was Prime Machiavellian…way past her prime but still hoping…she be a spent force and her tweets be like so desperate they be laughable….BLol for Ruth the Mooth….a star har har who rose to the giddy heights of metropolitan hacks imaginations but who has now fallen down, as per, into the gutter politics that she feels more comfortable living in…..she no tweet she troll…she bad…again and again and again and again etc etc etc

      What was that song again ” This time I almost made it “with line “This time I almost made it came so close”…not f***ing close enough though Ruth….was it…think Ruth is close to having to ‘surrender’ REALITY in her UKOK…wee shame that…after her neverending ‘No surrender’ Tory branch pro UKOK campaign messages on TAP…pro UKOK messages that are now well and truly doon the DRAIN now and SINKing…don’t think she will be able to WASH away her troubles Lol….she be dirty burdy as she no likey Bojo so Tory people no likey Ruthy cause she got big Moothy…me bad …again….but so she.

    56. Terry callachan says:

      Big party to celebrate brexit, to be held in Amsterdam

    57. Clapper57 says:

      @ call me dave @ 3.25pm

      Hi C M dave, it is… what they call …an open goal…ooo err back o the net…..Lol

    58. CameronB Brodie says:

      It is easier to concede to a lie than contest it. Especially when the majority of the press and media are dedicated to undermining your political opinion. That’s no excuse though and still leaves Scotland at the mercy of xenophobic and authoritarian English nationalism.

    59. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Socrates MacSporran @ 15:01,

      So, Sevvy is still serving up his usual Labourite colonialist pish. You would think that even he by now would realise he’s batting on a losing wicket. What a waste of column inches.

      As to the SG’s insistence on backing the GERS figures, it’s one of the great political mysteries of our time. Maybe it appeals to the SNP leadership’s continuing need for respectability. Or something. All it needs =ahem= is more “fine-tuning” of the sources. Or something. (Which will never come, given the deliberate political nature of the beast. Even NI has more convincing direct access to the sources.)

      If only the SNP would at least come out fighting and declare that all GERS does is (obviously) prove the level of gross mismanagement of Scotland under UK control. But maybe they feel they are somewhat implicated. A clever ploy: make the victim feel part of the problem.

      GERS is unfit for purpose. Doom-laden numbers of false solidity from the dismal science which the media absolutely love to grind through masochistically to the exclusion of everything else. Drowning reality with fake accounting.

      I agree with DMH, a far more convincing approach is to make direct comparisons with other similar-sized countries, and which typically don’t have anything like the resources we have. Moreover, that’s very easy for folk to assimilate.

      Since this is going to be a prime attack vector by the BritNats in the coming IR2, we need to get an alternative framing well in place before then. And we (hopefully) don’t have much time.

    60. Muscleguy says:

      As Prof Murphy says that debt figure now accorded to Scotland is simply ludicrous. Anyone with half a brain can see that Scotland being responsible for over half of the UK’s debt is a nonsense, an absolute complete and utter nonsense.

      I suspect they hit the statistical uplift button on the Treasury computers way back and they don’t know how to turn it off in a credible way or nobody pays any attention and they’ve let it run and the rate of increase is such that we will be responsible for all of it in about 5 years time.

      It is an insult to my intelligence is what it is. It is an insult to the intelligence of anyone either not a blithering idiot or a mendacious spinner of tosh (and seller of dogfood). This almost looks like one of his graphs but at 54% of the UK’s entire debt even Ooor Kev must take pause, does he have no self respect?

    61. JMD says:

      I never watch, listen to or read any msm output on news, politics current affairs etc. Only watch RT for news and use this and a few other sites for Scottish and other global news. As far as I’ve gleaned from on here the msm coverage of GERS is entirely predictable.

      But also on here and elsewhere I’ve never seen or heard of any robust response from the SNP calling out GERS for what it is. Yes of course it wouldn’t be broadcast on msm but it would at least let the support know that they’re on the case with it.

      If not, why not?

    62. ahundredthidiot says:

      SNP should start attacking this sort of misinformation

      They would do well by starting with referring to the UK Government as the ‘Westminster Regime’ every time they give a press conference…..and refer to their utterances as Fake News.

      Attack is now the best form of Defence.

    63. Stevie says:

      Note the plateau after the Indyref 1 No vote and then the upsurge after the EU ref and possibility of Indyref 2 !!

    64. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      cynicalHighlander @ 16:42,

      O/T Did you also perhaps notice that adjacent posting on your link re a possible new direct ferry connection between Rosyth and Eemshaven in Friesland/Netherlands? That is a development entirely “below the radar” so far. Has anyone else heard of this already?

      The ability to dodge bottlenecks on the Channel crossings is clearly an attraction, and as another source observes, also with an eye to future independence. With one wee hint that the SG may be involved somehow. Hmmm…

      Besides, all the Dutch sources refer to “Schotland”, none of this UK/England mealy-mouthing. (Well they also have old trading links with us.)

    65. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      me @ 17:22,

      Oops, that’s Groningen/Netherlands. (Didn’t realise that was a distinct region of its own. Now I do!)

    66. Daredevil says:

      Westminster should cut the burden that is Scotland loose and use the money they save every year to mitigate the pension age increase that is currently being proposed by the Tories.

    67. Cubby says:

      Can I suggest to Mr Campbell that he does what he said he would do last year – namely, repeat post last years debunking of the GERS propaganda.

      This GERS nonsense needs showing up again for the propaganda it truly is. The fact that Westminster inflicts such ignorant propaganda on Scotland is a measure of the abuse handed out from London.

    68. Clapper57 says:

      @ Robert J. Sutherland says @ 5.26pm

      Hi Robert…just heard from them… they forgive you…they asked me to tell you to “don’t do it again”…or you will be put onto their special naughty bad step… situated in a distinct region…me there just now..cause me bad……again.

    69. Hamish100 says:

      £7 Uk billions spent for a train that’s not going anywhere.

      I take it we get our share back in due course? – of course not.

      It’s the financial rule called


    70. CameronB Brodie says:

      GERS is simply the tip of a very large berg of Torydum, a.k.a. the economics of exploitation and illiberal social organisation and practice, a.k.a. British nationalism. Given there is more than one nation involved in this exploitation, enabled through an uneven distribution of political power and a piss-poor constitution, this exploitation has an inescapably colonial dimension to it, even though Scotland is not a colony, apparently.

      Tax Sociology
      Sociopolitical Issues for a Dialogue with Economists

    71. Bob Mack says:

      Only God knows how much we will owe if the indy supporting figures get any higher.

      Might need to visit the posh pawnbrokers

      They might even produce a special GERS . Can we be responsible for 100% of UK debt? No doubt they will try.

    72. Rick Guthrie says:

      For years to help the Rotterdam gridlock Holand has ask Scotland to open up its ports but alas eUK declined .stating security of oil wells would be at risk.

    73. tartanpigsy says:

      GERS is a trap, a myth, and a damn right disgrace to our resource rich, character rich, innovation rich country.
      I want out of this stinking corrupt Union that denigrates us at every opportunity.
      I like many on here do what I can, contribute what I can, and support what I can, to get us out.
      Please support this current effort to supply merchandise and revenue to our next independence campaign. Remember every pound donated now will be worth approximately £5 to Yes groups come the next campaign. We really need to make some progress, the balance for the production and freight costs will need to be paid in the next fortnight so the flags leave on time to beat the Brexit customs snarl up.
      Please donate and share as much as you can, and thanks to everyone who already has done.

    74. Ken500 says:

      GERs has been rebuked by SNP members for years. Alex Salmond was instrumental in getting the McCrone Report uncovered. Minsters of devolved administrations have to follow the Westminster line in reserved matters. There is a code of conduct,

      GER is debunked all the time. The SNP members are responsible for debunking GERs and other matters. There have been Independence publications for years. The National often publishes articles calling the Westminster lies out. Anyone who still believes GERS accounts must be living in a cave.

      HS2 might be cancelled. Monies should have been spent in the North and Scotland reducing rail times and improving services. To reduce rail times throughout Britain. They take 1/3 more than in the south, Better conductivity to rival flight times.

    75. brewsed says:

      If you go to

      And select
      Theme 1 Public expenditure and monitoring

      On the next page, select:

      A Critique of GERS: Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland

      Cuthbert, J.R., Cuthbert, M.: Fraser of Allander Institute Quarterly Economic Commentary, vol 24, no.1 (1998).

      This paper is a critique both of the detail in GERS, and of the way GETS is commonly used.

      Which opens a Word document. In it you will read, ‘The results [GERS] are inherently inaccurate and subject to potential bias’.

      Nuff said.

    76. geeo says:

      Has anyone told the English voters that Scotland has wasted over £1TRILLION on absolutely nothing (deep fried mars bars and stockpiling old recipe Irn Bru maybe?) and causing 10 years of crushing Austerity in dear old England ?

      And WM ‘let’ us do it..!!

      But hey, precious Union, so shhh, people of England.


    77. CameronB Brodie says:

      The governance of Scotland, under London’s domination, can’t be justified other than through strong cultural relativism and narcissistic, exclusionary, British exceptionalism. Subsequently, contemporary British nationalism would appear to lack substantive moral foundations. The SNP are attempting to advance the policy of Scottish independence, from within such a social and legal environment. They may be making a pig’s ear of crucial legislation, but they are playing a rigged game with movable goalposts and a blind referee.

      Tax and the Governance Dividend

      It is now widely believed that taxation contributes to the quality of governance. There are a number of variants of the broad argument. The most general proposition is that, if governments are dependent on broad general taxation for their incomes, they will, for reasons of self-interest, be more responsive to the needs of their citizens and more likely to allow citizen representatives to share in governance.

      From a broad historical perspective, that argument is probably valid. The political interactions between states and citizens over tax revenues are however considerably more complicated than this. Governments can proactively use their control over the revenue collection process to divide their citizens into different, competing groups, and thereby increase governments’ own bargaining power relative to their taxpayers.

      This dimension of the politics of taxation systems has received relatively little attention in the substantial literature on the topic. This paper summarises and illustrates the ways in which governments can use patterns of public spending and tax exemptions to protect themselves from the potential political influence of organised taxpayers.

      taxation; politics; public spending; tax exemptions.

    78. Heaver says:

      We don’t deserve them.

      Or “We don’t deserve England leeching off Scotland”.

    79. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Dan at 5:56 pm.

      You asked,
      “@ BDtt – Is this the normal size of an archived link using / waybackmachine?”

      The internet archive’s url is made up of their own url, a number of some sort, then the url of the original page. In this case, it is the length of the Courier’s url that makes the link uncomfortably long.

      Here’s the link for the archive of my old website which is no longer on the web but was captured by the archive.

      It’s the way the internet archive has always done it. The Courier and the Tully tend to get as much of the page headline into their url as they can.

      PS: watch out for an email from me in the next hour or so…

    80. Dougie Bee says:

      The best Acronym for GERS I have seen so far is..
      Greedy England Robbing Scotland..

    81. galamcennalath says:

      UK media manipulate and spin on everything.

      BBC, ” German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested an alternative to the Irish border backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – could be found within 30 days”

      Telegraph, “Angela Merkel welcomes 30 days of discussion for a plan to replace backstop – Angela Merkel has suggested a solution to the backstop could be found within the next 30 days. “

      CNN, “Merkel delivers Brexit ultimatum to Johnson on UK PM’s first visit to Berlin – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to come up with a new plan for Brexit in 30 days.”

      Think it would be safest to go with CNN’s version!

    82. Col says:

      Maybe they are realising Scotland won’t be around to pay for their hs2 now. I’d like to think so anyway.

    83. Dr Jim says:

      Scotland gets a share of the UKs Scottish oil says the BBC, and they say it without a hint of irony

      Then they say the share Scotland pays for the UK armed services is more per head of the population than of any other country with a similar population (in fact it’s almost x2 as much as Ireland), again not even the blink of an eye as they say it

      The BBC don’t mention how much Scotland pays for Trident
      The BBC also forgot to mention Scotland’s *contribution* to infrastructure projects in England that the UK deem as a benefit to Scotland

      The BBC forgot to mention that infrastucture projects in Scotland are not deemed to benefit England so therefore England makes no *contribution* to those, except when they’re embarrassed into it

      The BBC bring on the new Sec of state against Scotland (Alister Jack) to point out how rubbish Scotland is and it was a joy as soon as he opened his very own big mouth and words came out

      Independence is a dead cert if they keep putting this guy on the telly, I can’t see a single Scottish soul NOT hating this Doofus Elmer Fudd, even without his huntin shootin wifle for the Wabbits

    84. Fireproofjim says:

      Dr Jim
      The HS 2 rail project is such an infrastructure project. Currently costed at £80 to £100 billions and under review.
      They have already spent £8 billion of which about a billion has come from Scottish taxes. It will never reach Scotland and is designed to connect London with Manchester and Leeds.
      Union benefit as usual all for England.

    85. misteralz says:

      For those of you that don’t speak Dutch, Google Translate Will probably get you close enough:

    86. misteralz says:

      D’oh! First sailings by the end of October, all going well. That date can’t be a coincidence. The infrastructure exists around Rosyth, and it sure as hell exists in The Netherlands…

    87. Bill McLean says:

      o/t Living in Birmingham now and signed up for the digital version of the National yesterday. All OK yesterday – just now when I tried to open it it is unavailable – anyone know what is going on?

    88. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’m getting into my stride now, I might stay the night. I’ve just found a recent fiscal sociology study of authoritarianism and regime resilience. It looks quite relevant and I might post some later, but here’s some other stuff to help folk decide if they feel fit enough to survive austerity-driven Brexitania? Or whether economically inept (white) English/British nationalism fits their moral self-conception?

      State Capacity, Reciprocity and the Social


      This paper explores the role of civic culture in expanding state capacity by developing a model based on reciprocal obligations; citizens pay their taxes and the state provides public goods. Civic culture evolves over time according to the relative fitness of civic-minded and materialist citizens.

      A strong civic culture manifests itself as high tax revenues sustained by high levels of voluntary tax compliance and provision of public goods. This captures the idea of government as a social contract between the state and its citizens. The paper high-lights the role of institutions and common interests in the emergence civic culture.

    89. Marcia says:

      A forensic accountant is what is needed to examine the UK accounts to determine what Scotland is being charged for. I cannot see how 8% of the UK population could have such a large deficit when Scotland according to HMRC is a net exporter.

    90. Boudicca says:

      misteralz says:
      21 August, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      D’oh! First sailings by the end of October, all going well. That date can’t be a coincidence. The infrastructure exists around Rosyth, and it sure as hell exists in The Netherlands…

      YES!!!!!!!! OH and me have been talking about this for ages. Looks like all that glad handing Nicola has done with the EU is paying off and we can do two fingers to Westminster. O joy! ?

    91. Graf Midgehunter says:

      galamcennalath says: 7:06 pm

      “UK media manipulate and spin on everything.

      BBC, ” German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested an alternative to the Irish border backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – could be found within 30 days”

      Telegraph, “Angela Merkel welcomes 30 days of discussion for a plan to replace backstop – Angela Merkel has suggested a solution to the backstop could be found within the next 30 days. “

      CNN, “Merkel delivers Brexit ultimatum to Johnson on UK PM’s first visit to Berlin – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to come up with a new plan for Brexit in 30 days.”

      Think it would be safest to go with CNN’s version!”
      OR as Merkel DID say:

      “Merkel considers a solution to the Ireland problem possible. The backstop was only intended as a transitional rule. So far, it has been assumed that a final solution will be found in the next two years. “But maybe you can find them in the next 30 days, why not, then we’re a whole bit further,” she said.”

    92. Dan says:


      Well either a forensic accountant, or Karl Pilkington’s superhero character who’ll call GERS out for what it is!

    93. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      CameronB Brodie at 4.20

      Exactly, Cameron. Arguing with these distortions when you don’t have a balanced media only gives them oxygen.

      Turn the argument on them. Say this is surely evidence that the union is destroying Scotland’s economy. If accurate they are surely the result of Scotland being part of a bust UK economy.
      Then remind folk of UK’s national debt of £2,000,000,000,000 (and double that if you include personal and business debt).

    94. doug_bryce says:

      Why the hell is Ruth Davidson re-tweeting Blair McDougall?

      x3 times in one day. McDougall is a Labour political activist. Red and blue tories joining forces to deny Scotlands right to self determination. British nationalism alive and well : #BITTER_TOGETHER

    95. Phronesis says:

      The social contract is being shredded. The planned destruction of all elements of the welfare state that were hard won over many decades accelerated by Brexit,extreme wage inequality, tax cuts for the ridiculously wealthy, tax havens and injustice here,

      ‘The public rightly expects candour from us, and we are simply unable to reassure patients that their health and care won’t be negatively impacted by the UK’s exit from the EU. For example, despite welcome ongoing engagement with DHSC, we still have significant concerns about shortages of medical supplies. Delays at our borders could exacerbate current supply issues and create the very real possibility that life-saving medication and devices are delayed from making it into the UK’

      ‘…economic inequalities persist as CEO’s continue to enjoy pay awards 117 times larger than the average worker
      An annual assessment of FTSE 100 pay packages, released today, shows that median pay for chief executives fell by 13% between 2017 and 2018. However, the average (median) CEO salary of £3.46 million a year is still more than 117 times that of the average (median) UK full-time worker earning £29,574. In addition, 1,394 ‘key management personnel’ across the FTSE 100 are paid an average (mean) of £1.5 million each’

      ‘The numbers are mind-boggling: $70,000 per minute, $4 million per hour, $100 million per day.That’s how quickly the fortune of the Waltons, the clan behind Walmart Inc., has been growing since last year’s Bloomberg ranking of the world’s richest families…Even in this era of extreme wealth and brutal inequality, the contrast is jarring’

      ‘we explore Jersey’s poor showing in the OECD’s Better Life Index and ask why Jersey’s spending so much money on improving its bad image instead of setting up public registers of beneficial ownership information’

      There is another way and Scotland will grasp that thistle. Intelligent government can future proof the economy for the benefit of all citizens and the common good- nationalising assets and resources. Localised government acting in the national interest,

      ‘The aim of the oil fund is to ensure responsible and long-term management of revenue from Norway’s oil and gas resources in the North Sea so that this wealth benefits both current and future generations. The fund’s formal name is the Government Pension Fund Global’

    96. CameronB Brodie says:

      re. the distorted and prejudiced media environment the SNP operates within. Here’s one that might be of interest to FUDs who see the alt-right when they are looking at ethical rationalism. You don’t think I’d be contributing here if I didn’t think the site owner was a democrat?

      N.B. Humans aren’t rational creatures, we tend towards emotional irrational-ism. Critical thinking can help though, to better ground our actions in moral reason.

      A Theory of Political Accountability and Journalism


      Journalism is widely believed to be crucial for holding elected officials accountable. At the same time economic theory has a hard time providing a straightforward explanation for the phenomenon of “accountability journalism”. According to the common Downsian reasoning, rational voters should not be willing to pay for information out of purely instrumental motives because the individual probabilities of casting the decisive vote are typically very low.

      We show that this rationale does not apply when a group of voters shares a common goal such as accountability and information is delivered via mass media. In contrast to the pessimistic Downsian view, rational voters can have a considerable willingness to pay journalists for the provision of instrumental information in these scenarios. Our model thus reconciles the rational voter approach with the common perception of journalism as a watchdog that holds elected officials accountable. We also show that competition does not lead to more information and accountability, and that entertainment can crowd out informative media content.

      Keywords: accountability, elections, information, media

      P.S. Prof. Gerry Hassan is a FUD, in case I’ve not mentioned it. His ethical being appears poorly defined, from where I’m looking. 😉

    97. Balaaargh says:

      Great find on the Rosyth ferry service. For those trying to figure out how to get the translation, I’ve archived a copy here:

      I’ve also emailed them to ask if they have an English version available as this is the kind of news we want to spot from the rooftops.

    98. Balaaargh says:

      *SHOUT. SHOUT from the rooftops.

    99. HandandShrimp says:

      I have every confidence that the data in 2020 will show that Scotland is responsible for not only all of the UK deficit but that of Italy and Spain also and therefore it would be irresponsible to let Scotland back into the EU.

      I do wonder though if there will come a tipping point when the numbers are just too silly to be believed by anyone other than Willie Rennie.

    100. Col.Blimp IV says:

      £12,600,000,000, that’s a lot of dosh, must be about two and a half grand each … every year, who would have thought that the English were so generous?

      All of you who have a social media presence that is visible to our southern benefactors, should send them a cyber thank-you note.

      Don’t forget to remind them about the all FREE STUFF that we are getting … Prescriptions, Personal Care for the Elderly, University Education, Great Big Toll-Free Bridges, the box of Government Goodies when you have a new Baby, Subsidised Ferry Boats to the Islands and anything else you can think of.

      If they are half as philanthropic as the Unionists make out – they will be begging you for your PayPal account number, so they can send you a wee Union Dividend.

    101. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’ll not bore folk with any more fiscal sociology, so here’s that study on authoritarian resilience I mentioned. Replace Communism with British nationalism, and you’re half way towards understanding.

      A Fiscal Sociological Theory of Authoritarian Resilience:
      Developing Theory through China Case Studies

    102. Boudicca says:

      Here is the English translation of the Dutch. Enjoy!

      The Scottish company TEC-Farragon has advanced plans for a ferry service between Eemshaven and the Scottish town of Rosyth, near Edinburgh. With this the Scots prepare for the approaching Brexit.

      The ferries will mainly transport cargo, but can also carry a large number of passengers and cars. The Scottish shipowner confirms this after reporting by RTV Noord.

      TEC-Farragon has already chartered two ferries for the boat connection. The intention is that in time the ships will sail daily between Eemshaven and Rosyth. The ferries will probably dock in Eemshaven at the Sealane Terminals quay. That company recently set aside 6.5 million euros for the construction of a new cold store. The harbor quay has also been extended by one hundred meters.

      The route of the ferry between Scotland and Eemshaven – RTV NOORD
      The Scots drew their eye on Eemshaven because of its favorable location in relation to important markets for the Scottish whiskey and wood industry, such as Germany, Denmark and Italy. TEC-Farragon also mentions the good infrastructure in the area as a big plus.

      Alternative port
      The Scots were looking for an alternative port on mainland Europe after the ferry service to Zeebrugge expired in 2010. Since that time, Scottish companies have been using the port of Dover in southern England. From there, goods are transported via Calais to the rest of Europe. But now that Brexit is approaching, the Scots want a direct ferry connection with Europe.

      Margaret Simpson of the British freight transport organization FTA: “The political situation is uncertain at the moment. That is why the Scottish government thought it was a good idea to find an alternative to the ports in southern England.”

      According to documents leaked by the British government this week, account is taken of months of chaos in the port of Dover, should it come to a no-deal brexit.

      Tourism incentive
      In addition to freight transport, TEC-Farragon also expects to use the ferry service to appeal to tourists, not just Dutch people but also Germans and Danes. The connection becomes an alternative to the ferry from IJmuiden to Newcastle, a crossing of almost 16 hours. The boat trip between Eemshaven and Rosyth will take around twenty hours.

      According to plan, the first departure should take place at the end of October. It is currently being investigated how the ships can dock in Eemshaven under changing (weather) conditions. A customs office for passengers still needs to be built in the port itself. The parking options are also being investigated. Director David Kellas of TEC-Farragon calls the end of October deadline ‘ambitious’. “But we are also an ambitious company”, he says.

      Confirmation of port company
      Groningen Seaports does not want to comment on the plans for the new ferry service. “We never make statements about contacts, only about contracts. But of course I will not deny these plans either,” said logistics manager Erik Bertholet.

    103. bookie from hell says:


      1+1= -6

    104. Col.Blimp IV says:

      I wonder if you can save up your Union Dividend and claim it in cash, at the end of the tax year.

      A married couple with two children would be due about £10,000.

    105. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Boudicca @ 21:10,

      Thanks for that (and very well done too).

      I just found another (very recent) one on this side of the water:

    106. Sinky says:

      Disappointed to say the least that BBC Scotland Nine News doesn’t appear to be having a proper debate on the GERS figures rather than filtering the figures through Douglas Fraser’s pro Unionist lens.

      Obviously Conservative Central Office doesn’t want any of their spokespersons to be challenged on the figures and what they mean.

    107. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      me @ 21:35,

      Sorry, that should have been archived, and somebody it seems already has:

    108. Harry mcaye says:

      Had a Twitter exchange with Stuart McIntyre of the Fraser of Allander institute where I asked if he believed it was true that we have 54% of the overall deficit of the UK. He said something along the lines of “if you believe that you should change your reading matter” ( the tweet has mysteriously disappeared). Funny that Alister Jack MP, Rachel Hamilton MSP (Con), Record editor David Clegg and the Telegraph’s Simon Johnson have all said this as fact today. The latter two are regular “journalistic chums” of Brian Taylor after FMQs.

    109. Robert Peffers says:

      @JMD says: 21 August, 2019 at 5:00 pm:

      ” … But also on here and elsewhere I’ve never seen or heard of any robust response from the SNP calling out GERS for what it is.”

      So every year at this time we get the very predictable unionist crowing that Scotland is a drain upon the UK/English taxpayer. Then we also get a myriad of people wondering why the SNP never bother to point out loudly that the GERS Figures are a joke.

      The point being that if anyone is numptie enough to believe a word or figure of the Gers Figures then that person is far too stupid or uneducated, (or both), to understand any protests the SNP could possibly make.

      So, for all those outraged about those BAAAADDDD! SNP people who don’t bother to contradict the idiocy that is GERS just consider that if you are claiming the GERS figures prove other than Westminster are liars, cheats and stupid then you don’t know the truth.

      If, however, you do know the truth yet think the SNP should be shouting it from the rooftops then consider this – if someone is claiming the figures are correct then that someone is either very stupid or is maintaining the lies in the hope there are still people out there who really are stupid enough to believe the GERS figures.

      In either case nothing that the SNP cares to say, (even if they get the chance), is going to make the slightest bit of difference.

      For those they would be speaking to are either the unionists telling the lies or idiots who cannot count or just don’t want to know.

      So why waste the time and effort for nothing? There are people out there who think the World is flat and Global Warming is a propaganda – how do you convince them the figures are wrong if they cannot see it from the published figures?

    110. Thepnr says:


      Check the state of this piece by Douglas Fraser that’s just appeared on BBC Scotland webpage.

      It is a bit bit of backtracking that Scotland isn’t that bad after all, more in the middle when compared to other regions of the UK so it is according to Duggie.

      All the money is freely distributed from London don’t cha know, for the benefit of the poorer regions. It is the cringe writ large in Duggie, he makes a meal of quoting “Professor” Jim Gallagher who is nothing of the sort, just another mouth for the Unionists and has been well exposed.

      To be honest, this is a pathetic defence of GERS Douglas Fraser and I know that you know it is. We certainly know it.

    111. Sinky says:

      As expected no forensic examination of GERS on main BBC Scottish Channel. It is an outrage that the figures cannot be challenged or even put into context in the only Scottish current affairs programme.

      Worth reading Richard Murphy’s views on the 2019 figures.

    112. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Peffers at 10.02

      You are exactly right. Any time the SNP might waste arguing about GERS figures merely gives them oxygen in the anti Independence media.

      The response is very simple. “So you are confirming that the union has destroyed the Scottish economy? All intelligent people already know that.”

    113. Sinky says:

      BBC ONE Scottish News has just stated that GERS is “Independence statistics” Time to complain

      Time SNP elected reps got on top the the GERS argument and study the Norwegian Petroleum Taxation system

      which produced £11 billion last year while the UK raises only £1.4 billion for almost similar production.

    114. manandboy says:

      GERS isn’t the problem, after all, it’s just another piece of lying propaganda from Westminster, home of the globally exceptional English Ruling Class, and residence for a great deal of the worst corruption anywhere on earth, starting with plundered foreign assets, tax evasion and money laundering.

      Nor are the GERS figures difficult to refute or argue against, as, and others, have done comprehensively – and been ignored by the Unionist media.

      No, as others have said, the very disappointing problem about GERS is the way the SNP leadership and the Scottish Government have consistently failed miserably to get the message out across Scotland that GERS is mince, and is a piece of Westminster’s malevolence toward Scotland.

      We all have our own blind spot, but the SNP seems to have quite a few.

      If the SNP Scottish Government was a golfer, then they would be guilty of regularly missing six inch putts. And a few of lesser distance.

    115. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      manandboy at 10.34
      Yes.We know.That’s why they are miles ahead in the polls.

    116. Hamish100 says:

      What’s the real cost of being unable to use parts of Scotland due to military activities?
      The cost of nuclear weapons and its transportation?
      The loss of revenues from Scotland when labour gave a part of Scottish territorial waters to England
      Scots employees earnings being accrued as English based tax earnings e.g. WHSmith, military pay

      Naw the figures are guff +/- 20%

    117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Brilliant copy of the National coming out tomorrow.

    118. Cubby says:

      The main things that GERS proves every year are:

      1. The media in Scotland are a criminal entity controlled by a foreign country.

      2. Some people in Scotland are still so sadly misinformed and stupid that they believe the GERS nonsense,

    119. robbo says:

      Where’s ma fecking Giro, Amber Rudd?

      I need this near £2k to go on a bender at weekend!

    120. CameronB Brodie says:

      To be frank, I’d find hard to justify GERS as being compatible with the moral and ethical practice requirements of liberal democracy. Well, it wasn’t designed as such, according to Ian Lang anyway. So those that attempt to justify GERS, would appear to be undermining democracy. There you go, that’s yoons eh? And parties in government that are caught between a rock and a hard place.

      How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy
      Democratic Legitimacy

      The chapter discusses concepts of legitimacy and different ways of translating a concept into measurement. It argues for a balance measure of legitimacy relating demands and evaluations of a variety of democratic characteristics and compares it to a product and a proportion measure of legitimacy.

      The balance measure is applied to twenty-nine countries analyzing the legitimacy of the liberal, the social democratic, and the direct democracy visions of democracy. Results show high legitimacy of the reality of liberal democracy and lower legitimacy for the social democratic and direct democracy vision in Europe. On average, Scandinavian countries are at the top and a number of new democracies at the bottom of legitimacy perceptions of their citizens.

      legitimacy, balance measure of legitimacy, evaluation, demand, visions of democracy, democratic characteristics

    121. Black Donald says:

      That chart is the best illustration of the fact that GERS is pure anti Scottish propaganda I have ever seen. I hope it can be included in the Wee Blue Book 2.

      Anyone who still believes GERS is just negligent and gullible. Disgraceful behaviour from the U.K. government. Almost racist. No doubt there will be big awards handed out to the “civil servants” responsible for this nonsense.

      I suspect Scotland does have a deficit. It is caused by being in the union. I believe it is caused by the large percentage of spending attributed to Scotland that is spent in England. This spending generates tax receipts (income tax, corporation tax, vat etc) which are attributed to England. England gets a surplus as a result and Scotland gets a deficit. A consequence of independence is that this deficit will start to evaporate from day one, as money is increasingly spent in Scotland, and will soon become a very substantial surplus as oil revenues are included. Greatly increased employment and salaries in Scotland will also result.

      I look at Scotland and then I look at Norway.

      We have food banks. Our main arterial Road is still a single carriageway that kills about a dozen Scots every year.

      Norway, by contrast, has a $1tr oil fund. They are planning a $47 billion coastal highway. The engineering is fantastic.

      Meanwhile the UK, with Scottish oil revenues, is squandering about £100B on a railway that does come near Scotland. A pathetic waste of money. Railways are a 19th century technology.

      How they have the nerve to produce this propaganda GERS nonsense is just beyond me. They disgust me. As do the unionist politicians, press and television who parrot nonsense onto the Scottish public. Shame on them.

    122. CameronB Brodie says:

      Black Donald
      I consider GERS an example of scientific racism, or the distortion of scientific method and empirical reality, with the aim of dominating and excluding cultural out-groups.

    123. chicmac says:

      That is completely mental.

      If we, for the sake of argument (I know), accept the figures they give, then even just for the three Celtic nation deficits cited (and I am certain there are many regions of England in deficit as well) Scotland only accounts for 36% of that by their own figures.

      Have they lost their minds completely?

    124. CameronB Brodie says:

      I described Torydum as “the economics of exploitation and illiberal social organisation and practice, a.k.a. British nationalism”. My bad. It is the philosophy of economic exploitation and illiberal social organisation and practice, a.k.a. British nationalism (see the full-English Brexit).

      Democratic Accountability, Political Order, and Change: Exploring Accountability Processes in an Era of European Transformation

    125. Maolbeatha says:

      Is there anyone that does an almost line by line breakdown of the GERS figures?
      A kind of “show me your working” style, like a teacher.
      Someone impartial.
      On the face of it Scotland made 62.7 billion but spent 75 billion.
      Ok. On what exactly?
      It might be useful to see where the money came from and went to?

      Also what changed? in the figures that caused the apparent deficit to increase so rapidly from 2011-2012

      I know the figures are estimates, almost guesses but the pro union side are having a field day with this and to answer with “the figures are worthless” seems a weak counterargument, no matter how true.

      The figures changed in 2011-2012, why?
      Scotland made 62.7 Billion, from where?
      Scotland spent 75 Billion, on what?
      Where does the Block grant of 30 odd billion come into it?
      If Holyrood cannot accrue debt how can it spend more than it has?

      I have a feeling having good answers to these questions is going to be important over the next wee while.

    126. PacMan says:

      re: Proposed Ferry service to Eemshaven

      Tweet is from Kajsa Ollongren who according to Wiki the Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands:

      Same she has egg on her face as according to this article:

      The Scotsman understands that TEC Offshore is in discussions with the Scottish Government over helping to secure a £35-40 million loan for the ferries that could be used by the company on the route, with the scheme described by one well-placed source as not “feeling too realistic”.

      Instead of listening to Dutch media, she should have been listening to unbiased truth Scottish media, LOL.

    127. PacMan says:

      GERS figures. According to them, every one of us Scots is sitting on dole, drinking champagne and eating caviar in golden cups and plates courtesy of the state.

      Total fantasy figures.

    128. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      A significant statement in Richard Murphy’s account sums up the whole fraudulent basis of GERS.

      “The first is that there is a massive bias in financial services in the UK that the Tax Justice Network has recently pointed out. This means value is extracted from Scotland and recorded in London.”

      The GERS figures may or may not be accurate. But they bear no relationship whatsoever to any economic decisions an independent Scotland would make. As long as we are part of the UK we will be charged for a share of lots of UK expenditure and debt.

    129. fletch49er says:

      Whilst on the other hand we see thr UKGov complain and vilify every penny being sent to the EU.

    130. Cubby says:


      If you look back to a year ago on this site Wings carried out a full debunking of GERS as he has done previously. He seems to be bored telling the same message year after year.

      The good answers you want are all there. Scotland did not spend £75 billion. The Scottish gov spent its budget about £33 billion the remainder is spending by the UK gov. Some of the UK spend is valid spend on Scotland the rest is just a joke. The UK can define any item anywhere as UK infrastructure and most of this is in England so you end up with Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland paying for HS2 and roads in England. Scotland also pays more for defence spending than any other comparable size of country and this does not include our bill for Trident.

      Westminster controls these figures and the Westminster controlled media control how they are presented. Once you understand what they are doing you realise what an outrage it is.

      The ONLY DEFICIT IS A UK DEFICIT. This atrocity of reporting is a propaganda machine designed to say England supports Wales, N. Ireland and Scotland.

    131. gus1940 says:

      If one takes a walk along Princes St. it is difficult to find a business that isn’t HQ’d south of the border.

      It would be an interesting exercise to examine just what happens to all the tax paid/generated by said businesses and whether or not it is attributed to Scotland.

      Presumably the income tax collected re employees will be attributed to Scotland as they will have S tax codes.

      What about NI, VAT, Rent, Rates and Corporation Tax.

      When said businesses publish/submit their accounts are the relevant taxes in respect of the above split between their Scottish operations and their total taxes?

      The same pattern of business ownership applies to all High Streets and out of town shopping centres in Scotland.

    132. TheItalianJob says:

      If we had had Full Fiscal Autonomy (UK Establishment would have never agreed to it despite various Labour promises dating back to the turn of the 20th Century) it would have had Scotland in an unenviable position financially to the rest of the U.K. Its financial position would have embarrassed England.

      Just read the McCrone report and get the truth about Scotland’s true fiscal position.

      GERS don’t interest me as they are a pack of made up figures and lies about the true financial worth of Scotland and what it contributes to the overall U.K. economy.

    133. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      gus1940 at 9.51

      Well over half the revenue any supermarket collects on its sale of alcohol is in fact tax. Is that registered in Scotland or at the head office in England? We are talking about a vast sum of money here.

    134. Garry Henderson says:

      I don’t trust Westminster with anything why would I trust them to tell me what the financial state of Scotland is?

      GERS are made up figures for political gain and should be treated as such.

    135. scunner says:


      “on dole”

      We can laugh here but it never fails to grind my gears when Unionists state supporters of Independence are all on benefits. As we’re all supposed to be unemployed English-hating morons they obviously feel that us being thick as mince means they don’t need to argue the case for the Union. Swiftly sidesteps having an actual debate, with facts and the like. Which they’d lose.

      A GERS tale.
      Although I’m not on Twitter I track the utterances of independence-minded souls. This years GERS-mas had the usual yoon moon-howlers out with their “these FACTS kill indy stone dead” “why won’t you Nat Krankie morons listen” etc.

      Ashamed to say I got tricked into clicking through to a YouTube of K***N H***E doing one of his graphs.

      Now I’m always open to reasoning and a well-presented case. The yoons were retweeting what purported to be an explanation of how it is that Scotland racks up 50% of the UK deficit.

      What the vid actually contained was a boring wank simply parroting, through graphs, the statement that we rack up 50% of the deficit.
      Let’s not bother with critical analysis, a bit of economic theory, some facts, some breakdown. No, let’s make a video for the Nat thickos, with pictures ‘n’ colours, of the ludicrous assertion made in GERS, ‘cos they don’t do big words.

      Why do the Yoons think this guy has any credibility whatsoever?
      Why would such a video “prove” anyone’s case?
      Sidestep the debate. Which they’d lose.

    136. Oblong says:

      Afraid I don’t find this graph at all impressive. This is just the mathematical consequence of a rapidly shrinking denominator.

      The U.K. budget deficit was ~10% of GDP in 2010. It is now roughly 1.5%. Any roughly static deficit for a single region would grow in percentage contribution 7-fold just because of that, even if nothing changed, and in the case of Scotland oil revenues have dropped significantly over the period due to lower prices.

      There is nothing anomalous about seeing such a large percentage contribution at all. If the UK budget deficit fell to 0.1%, and the Scottish budget deficit was 0.2% of U.K. GDP, then Scotland’s contribution to the U.K. budget deficit would be 200%. But both are such low numbers that it doesn’t matter.

      Richard Murphy is a joke, not a serious economist (and in fact not really an economist at all; he is an accountant trying to be a political economist, which is a different thing). He has an incredibly poor grasp of even basic economic concepts. The independence movement isn’t doing itself any favours by associating with him.

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