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The judgement of silence

Posted on January 06, 2016 by

We suppose we shouldn’t technically be surprised that today’s newspapers carry no analysis whatsoever of Kezia Dugdale’s big speech yesterday detailing Scottish Labour’s first big election pledge – a £6000 handout to first-time home buyers.


After all, current polling suggests Scottish Labour have about as much chance of exerting any influence in the next Scottish Parliament as Lemmy has of posthumously winning the Eurovision Song Contest, so it doesn’t really matter if Kezia Dugdale promises every voter a free unicorn made of diamonds and glitter.

Still, if only for the mental exercise, it’s worth taking a look in detail.

The pledge is that Scottish Labour will give £3000 per person to any first-time buyer taking out a mortgage, to help them with the deposit. That’s in addition to the UK government’s Help-To-Buy ISA, which provides a 25% bonus to any savings people make up to a maximum of £12,000 (ie the maximum bonus is again £3000 per saver).

What that means is that a first-time-buyer couple who managed to get £24,000 together for a deposit would receive a free handout of another £12,000 from the two governments – £3000 each from the UK government and £3000 each from Labour.


Dugdale wasn’t very clear about how exactly it would work. It’s certainly not just a scheme whereby the Scottish Government would match the bonus paid by the UK government from the HTB ISA. In Labour’s example (see the graphic at the top of this page), the couple’s ISA savings of £7200 only qualify for £1800 of help from the UK government, but they get £6000 from the Scottish one.

(As far as we can make out – and we wouldn’t want to bet our lives or hats on this interpretation – the qualifying criteria for the £3000 bonus will be savings of £3000. This is FOUR TIMES more generous than the UK government plan, which requires savings of £12,000 for a £3K bonus.)

The likely effect this would have on house prices seems, well, predictable. It’s not really so much a giveaway to the buyers as to the sellers. But it’s just one of a whole raft of bewildering aspects of the policy.


1. The biggest, of course, is that Labour plan to pay for it using the money “saved” by keeping Air Passenger Duty the same as it is now. Seemingly the barrage of exasperated ridicule the party endured last time it spent fantasy APD proceeds, as countless people tried to explain to it that keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money, hasn’t deterred them.

2. For a party that’s spent most of the last five years attacking the SNP over “middle-class freebies” on prescription fees, winter heating allowances, council tax freezes and university tuition, it’s inexplicable that its first big pledge is a huge giveaway to those exact same people.

Poor people, whether unemployed or on minimum/low wages, can’t afford to save up thousands of pounds for a deposit. They can barely make ends meet as it is. The people who can afford to save that kind of money are the better-off.

(Ironically, poor people often CAN scrape together a few hundred pounds for a budget holiday to relieve their misery for a few days every year. If APD isn’t cut, they’re the ones who won’t get any benefit. Effectively they’ll be paying a tax on their holidays to subsidise buying houses for the middle classes.)

3. Of course, all this is somewhat moot as keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money, so we still don’t know how Labour would fund the giveaway.

4. In Labour’s own example the couple, with help from the two schemes, manage to get together a £15,000 deposit, more than half of which (£7800) has been paid by a free gift from the taxpayer. This isn’t actually enough to put down a 10% deposit on the average Scottish house, which now costs over £160,000.

(Of course, first-time buyers would probably be buying something less expensive than the average, but in lots of parts of Scotland, including big cities where most people live, the average price is higher than that anyway.)

It’s also unlikely that a bank being asked to give someone a 90%+ mortgage is going to be impressed to hear that the buyers saved less than half of the deposit themselves, as it doesn’t bode well for their ability to make the repayments.

[EDIT: The average deposit for first-time buyers in Scotland is in fact £21,000.]

5. Fortunately that’s less important than it might otherwise have been due to the fact that keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money, so it’s doubtful Labour could ever implement the policy.

6. There are further technical questions, some outlined here by an alert reader:


7. Although the finer details are in many ways irrelevant, because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.

8. There were 27,700 homes purchased by first-time buyers in Scotland in 2014. If we assume that most of them were bought by couples, we could take a pretty reasonable stab that something like 50,000 individuals were involved. At £3000 per head, that’s £150 million – £25m more than the SNP’s plans to halve APD will cost, before the costs of administering the scheme are taken into account.

Scottish Labour would therefore have a serious shortfall in the required funding, even if the scheme doesn’t increase sales, which it presumably would (that being its whole purpose), and even if it didn’t drive up house prices to the point where people still couldn’t afford them anyway (which it almost certainly would).

9. In reality, however, the shortfall would be much bigger than £25m: it would be at least £150m, because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.

10. A plan almost identical to this one was proposed by the SNP in 2007 before the credit crunch, but dumped in 2008 after a public consultation because pretty much everyone (including Scottish Labour) thought it was a stupid idea, largely because it would push up prices. We’re not sure what’s changed since then.

11.  Unless it’s that Labour are confident they have no chance of winning, and can therefore safely make pledges they could never carry out because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.


 Other than that, though, the plan seems a surefire winner.

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  1. 06 01 16 13:43

    The judgement of silence | Speymouth

  2. 08 01 16 10:57

    Throwing it all away | Scotto Voce

  3. 17 01 16 16:59

    The shifting foundations - Wings Over Scotland

  4. 10 01 17 15:37

    Oil and Grants | Young Team For Independence

216 to “The judgement of silence”

  1. yerkitbreeks says:

    I suspect the Herald and BBC are following your analyses, since their articles/progs are at last latching on to the APD hole and other inconsistencies you have repeatedly highlighted.

  2. Martin Wood says:

    “because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.”

    but Labour have done the sums…
    and the newspapers say it’s true…

    can’t I just disconnect my higher brain functions and just believe in Kez?

    I mean…what’s logic, arithmetic and reality got to do with something as important as being able to afford my dream home?

  3. Not only should Kezia be +explaining where the money is to come from and what the consequences of her policies will be.

    Its also about time she apologised for the housing crisis her party helped to create by continuing with the Tories right buy policy.

    This not only saw the loss of affordable social houses available to rent but also saw unsustainable housing bubble that created the housing crisis she now bleats about.

  4. winifred mccartney says:

    and labour says the snp help the middle-class – show me a young couple who can save £200 per month – NUMBER ONE PRIORITY – last week it was education or the nhs – have they realised the snp are doing a good job in bad circumstances with tories in power – much better than england with strikes on the way in hosptals. Labour and their magic money tree hopping from branch to branch and falling off every one of them – they never learn.

  5. Dan Huil says:

    Labour in Scotland and their BritNat apologists building on plans which are fundilymundilynonsensicallyfoundationly.

  6. Jim says:

    these first time buyer initiatives are usually not that expensive. It is a weird one to start with unless we get a McTernan style barrage of non-sensical policies.

    There is already a first-time buyer policy which is incredibly good – something like 25 percent interest free loan. I think that approach makes more sense than a cash handout. Labour’s policy might work if they just provided the whole deposit for very cheap properties in undesirable areas for first-time buyers. It would probably cost the same per person. These guys are talking about approx 15k deposits.

  7. Mark says:

    As Stu points out 27,700 loans were given to first-time buyers by Council of Mortgage Lenders members in Scotland in 2014. But as the Council of Mortgage Lenders website says, its members are responsible for 95% of all mortgage lending in the UK. The total nembet of first time buyer mortgages granted in Scotland is therefore likely to have been even higher than 27,700, making Labour’s promise even more expensive! This is an ill-thought scheme designed as a bribe to voters.

  8. BrianW says:

    I honestly thought Kez was taking the ‘Herald Approach’ with this policy and only making it available for 15 minutes, then retracting.

    So it really is a story.. jeezo!

  9. Dr Jim says:

    They should have asked Kezia’s Daddy to do the counting for them, he’s a teacher you know,

    Probably quite good at sums

  10. Doug Daniel says:

    So just to confirm: are you saying that keeping APD the same as it is now does or doesn’t give you any more money? You’ve not really made yourself clear on that one.

  11. Peter Craig says:

    I don’t suffer from Migraine headaches.

    I think I’m getting a Migraine.

    “because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.”

  12. Macart says:

    And the peak of their aspirations for all these super duper pending powers? APD is the answer to all their policy problems and they haven’t yet worked out its really not.

  13. Bob Mack says:

    Epic fail Rev. You obviously used an “ordinary” calculator to do your sums. When will you learn to use the Labour quantum calculator to work out your calculations?

    In the land of Labour even the impossible is possible. Even if you don’t have enough ,then at some point enough will come along in the nick of time to bail you out and allow you to fulfill your guarantees.

    That is how it works. John Swinney fell into the same trap as you Rev. Careful planning, prudence in distribution of resources ,thinking of equality. All wrong!!

    I have some “magic beans” that I am willing to sell courtesy of Kezia, guaranteed to make dreams come true.

    You know it makes sense.

  14. velofello says:

    Kez: apprenticed to Foulkes, deputy to Murphy – be judged by the company you keep.

    Not one word of her earnestly expressed, heart-wrung proposals do I believe.

  15. Stan Free says:

    I’m 46, I live in my third house, not bragging, it’s just the way it is. Where is my incentive to vote for Labour?

  16. Itchybiscuit says:

    SLab: ‘We promise a shower of rain for every heid if we’re elected to govern in May’.

    That’s about the only promise they’ll be able to keep.

  17. Nation Libre says:

    If you put this idea out without telling which party was proposing it, most people would immediately think it was a Tory idea

    Labour should be getting hammered on this stupid idea for the above points and I can add a few more

    1 How can you not agree with free university for all but back a scheme like this. If free prescriptions, free bus passes, free education, free elderly health care and a council tax freeze benefit the rich, how come handing couples £6k of taxpayers cash isn’t?

    2 The only way to make housing more affordable is to provide more housing or reduce demand. Increasing what people can pay just increases house prices (as noted above). That’s what happened when they removed the 3 x salary max loan value

    3 By my rough calculations, for £150 million a year you could build approx 2000 additional houses per year (say average £75k each) for social housing with reasonable rents. This would have the effect of reducing the need for private rentals, reducing buy-to-let property purchases which in turn would gradually reduce or reverse private property prices

    4 Should a left wing socialist party of the people be more interested in escalating a housing bubble that BoE’s Carney has been warning against rather than building social housing?

    It seems to me that Dugdale is continuing a realignment of Labour in Scotland much like Murphy tried where they are now more focused on moving centre right to appeal to Tory voters

  18. galamcennalath says:

    “Labour … have no chance of winning, and can therefore safely make pledges they could never carry out”

    That is what worries me in the run up to May.

    If the object is not to win, but to deny the SNP a majority, all sorts of pledges will be made and supported by the compliant media.

    The real question has to be … how many gullible Scots out there still haven’t accepted the reality of Unionism?

  19. Anagach says:

    Do you think that any Unionists reading might get the idea that keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.

    Ach well, there is always hope.

  20. drawdeaddave says:

    Labour say it, the media push it without proper scrutiny, eventually it’s shot down in flames, but by then the headlines out there & some folks believe it. Labour policy is being punted in the same style as Labours SNPBAD..

  21. David Brown says:

    I’m not sure that I am following you Stuart, are you saying that keeping APD the same as present doesn’t actually increase the available budget for the Scottish Government?

  22. Walter Scott says:

    Vote for Labour & we’ll give you three grand. That might have got the voter’s attention when Scotch Labour weren’t the laughing stock they are now. These days though people see it for what it is. A desperate lie. Some people listened to Labour when they told us to vote No because the alternative would cost huge redundancies in HMRC (now huge redundancies forecast) Reduced investment in renewables & inevitable job losses ( & lo it came to pass even though we voted No. If three grand had been promised by Sturgeon it would be Front page with screaming headlines… SNP Mortgage Black hole Lies. I wish Scotch Labour would just Fuck off & realise we don’t buy their cynical politicking anymore

  23. chic says:

    It is obvious what has happened here is an SEO policy, that is supposed to remain hidden, has been accidentally rendered. . .

    I blame the incompetent techs.

  24. Hugh Kirk says:

    Where’s the extra money going to come from Kez? “because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.” But I’m sure you’ve worked the numbers and your convinced your self that they all add up but you can’t convince me “because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.” And here’s another thing, we just don’t believe you.

  25. Dan Watt says:

    Which couple nowadays is managing to save 100 quid a month each?!

    Another non starter from Labour.

  26. Not Convinced says:

    I’m confused … I though they intended to use the money magically generated by not cutting APD to fund help for people caught by the “bedroom tax”? Or is it the case that not cutting APD will magically generate ?£2 of extra revenue for each £1 that APD currently raises?

    Hmm … I wonder if SLabour’s next policy announcement will be a truly mahoosive increase in public spending which will be funded by not cutting income tax to 0%?

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    If Labour can govern Scotland for decades as if North Britain with a tourist holiday name, it sure as hell can conjure up magical budgets.

  28. Walter Scott says:

    Not many of us paid much attention to APD before Labour started to treat it like a Turbocharged EuroMillions Diamond Mine. Why don’t they use it to build a Golden Palace for themselves.

  29. TD says:

    Housing is a pretty good example of a market operating in a reasonably pure form – like in an economics text book. There is a supply and a demand. The price is set when a balance is struck between a buyer’s ability to pay and a seller’s willingness to accept a price offered. There is a competitive element to the housing market – when a house sells there may well be several prospective buyers whose offers will have been rejected because they were not as high as the winning offer.

    Picture a scenario where there are, say, five prospective buyers and they all really want the house so they offer the maximum they can afford. If the government gives them £3,000 each, they will all increase their offers by £3,000. The same buyer will win the competition – but that buyer’s offer will be £3,000 higher. So the real winner will be the seller who gets £3,000 more for their house.

    But it’s worse than that – because the seller in our scenario is probably looking for a bigger and better house. And that seller now has £3,000 more to spend on that new house. So our seller will be able to make a higher offer on the new house as will all the other people making an offer for that house. So the price of that house goes up as well.

    Where does it stop? The only people who really benefit from this are people who are selling a house but not buying a new one. So that is middle-aged children whose elderly parents have died leaving them a house to sell, for example. Are the red and blue tories really arguing that this is a priority for spending when money is tight?

    If we really want to make housing affordable, we should increase the supply of housing (i.e. build more affordable housing) and stop spending public money on artificially inflating the price of existing properties. Anything else is economic illiteracy.

  30. Dr Jim says:

    Note to the Dugdale family:

    Dinnae gae Kezia the family cow for God sake

  31. Chitterinlicht says:


    shakes head

  32. Skip_NC says:

    This may seem totally O/T but it does relate to the witterings of a Labour politician. Apparently, Tom Harris thinks MPs should be rude to constituents. He was on Soapbox a wee while ago. I’m in my sickbed and can’t paste a link.

    Mr Harris, I think you are a Grade A, top quality arse. Is that rude enough for you?

  33. brian says:

    Not cutting APD does give you more money cos Jackie Baillie and her accountants said so, so there.

  34. Donald MacKenzie says:

    I am NOT cutting down on anything upon which I spend my money.

    Could you therefore advise me as to how I can spend the extra money that I will have? Answers can be submitted here via WoS.

  35. geeo says:

    My son and his girlfriend have been saving for a couple of years now.
    £100/month each funny enough. !

    I told him about this proposal and he just looked at me and laughed.

    “Why am i bothering to save, wait till nearer May election and labour will just hand me the keys to a house surely”

    Must get his cynical sarcasm from his mother….?

  36. Soar Alba says:

    Well this takes the biscuit!
    Labour are now offering bribes for votes. That is all this is.
    There is no thought behind it about consequences. Labour are not interested in consequences.
    Consequently, they are irrelevant as a party.

    There are 30 pieces of silver on offer for your vote.
    Each piece of silver is worth £2k.
    Only fools will take this seriously, but the sad thing is that Dugdale believes there fare plenty of fools about.

  37. macnakamura says:

    Do the couple have to be resident in Scotland / on electoral roll etc ?

    Does the property being bought have to be in Scotland ?

    Stupid questions, one would think but I would be grateful if I would be reassured.

  38. Lollysmum says:

    The buyers who needed help to get the mortgage are usually the first to lose their property when recession hits

  39. Karmanaut says:

    This reminds me of a Douglas Adams book in which the dumbest section of a population are told that the world is going to end, and so they must all venture out into space to colonise another planet.

    But after they arrive on the new planet, they discover that the rest of the population has, incredibly, decided to stay behind on the “doomed Earth”.

    The settlers decide to recreate the civilisation they left behind. So they create a currency to pay for things. Lacking any printing presses, they decide to use leaves.

    But because there are so many leaves just lying around everywhere, everyone becomes fantiastically wealthy.

    Inflation skyrockets.

    To solve this problem, they burn down all the trees.

    If Douglas Adams’s interplanetary settlers had started a political party, I suspect it would be very similar to Scottish Labour.

  40. Capella says:

    Do you mean to tell us that keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money?

    I’m astonished.

  41. Soar Alba says:

    Apologies – last line ‘fare’ should be ‘are’.

    One further comment:
    Dugdale has said that her party is responding to the big issues of the day and wants to help people get on the property ladder with a boost for aspiration. This is not the big issue of the day. Some of the big issues are poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

    Labour, when in power, did nothing to help people with social housing. The SNP’s approach is to start a new generation of council house building, which is much more affordable for ordinary citizens and also puts pressure on private landlords. This also in turn keeps prices in the private sector from spiralling out of control, which is the real problem.

    The SNP have a sensible and responsible strategy, while Scottish Labour continue to try to buy votes by offering. Money, as ever, is their God.

  42. Nigel Oneuk says:

    Labour says this, labour says that…………..

    Why continue to publicise the witterings of these long dead buffoons, for heavens sake!

  43. t42 says:

    it’s a Little Britain sketch:”Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don’t look around the eyes, look into my eyes…”

  44. Mark says:

    According to this Herald article ( the number of first-time buyers in Scotland had become higher by November 2012 than at any time since the end of 2009. Since then, the numbers of first-time buyers has increased even further, with a 16% increase in Scotland in 2014 according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. There are several schemes already in place in Scotland to assist lower income first-time buyers (

    These schemes are targeted at lower income buyers, unlike Labour’s proposal, and they give better value for money to Scottish taxpayers since the state gets back a percentage of the value of houses bought under these schemes if they’re sold on later (

  45. Lesley-Anne says:


    So wee Kezia plans to keep A.P.D. the same as it is just now while doling out £thousands to middle income earners to help them buy a wee hoose. 😉

    I guess this explains why she never replied to my tweet yesterday asking if doling out all these parcels of £3,000’s she was planning to RAISE A.P.D.. 😀

  46. Murray McCallum says:

    Imagine Labour having control of the Scottish government, our finances and future prospects.


  47. Auld Rock says:

    Hey come on guys and gals cut SLAB some slack, remember they’re using Jackie Baillie’s book – ‘Jackie’s Guide to Simple Arithmetic’.

    Auld Rock

  48. ahundredthidiot says:

    After the wee boy said, for all to hear, that the Emperor had no clothes on, SLab all lined up and to a man and woman said that he was………and they said it over again, and again and again.

    Just hoping and wishing inside that we’d all just go away.

  49. Famous15 says:

    There was me O/T praising Gardham on agreeing that Labour lying on flooding and SEPA (there was no cuts to do with flooding and flood protection is not the responsibility of SEPA) however he let himself down on education when he said he had even forgotten how to decline Latin verbs. One,of course, conjugates a verb.

    Gardham did raise an interesting point on the new tests which the Scottish Government are determined will not be turned into league tables.Gardham suggested a FOI request could force that information to be published.

  50. michael diamond says:

    More policy on the hoof, anyone who believes this load of old p**h needs certifying!.

  51. David says:

    All it does is artificially inflate house prices for the duration of the policy this discouraging poor from taking the plunge on a mortgage. The housing problem is about supply and demand and private greed. Let’s build homes, keep them in public hands and let families live in them.

  52. GrahamB says:

    I see they are encouraging the use of ISAs, which are a form of tax avoidance. Is this only allowable if you have no SNPbad connections?

  53. mogabee says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea.

    Unicorns. Diamonds. Glitter. I mean, who wouldn’t want them?

  54. Martin says:

    Top stuff as always Rev. My only criticism goes O/T and involves your quoted text. Ever the pedant, polyamorous mixes Greek and latin, and is therefore sloppy (yes, yes, I know- television etc.)

    Polyphilia or multiamoury please, people.

  55. Dr Ew says:

    So, just to be clear, what you’re actually trying to say is: “keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money”?

  56. scotsbob says:

    The really serious question here is why have the media not done this kind of analysis?
    It’s become really irritating to see them just regurgitate Labour PR handouts without any analytical process.

  57. Graham MacLure says:

    Not much point in doing anything with the housing market until land ownership/tax and planning sorted out and that will be after independence.
    No surprise that Labs latest wheeze is a sure fire recipe for house inflation as that is the policy of all 3 Tory Parties.

  58. Jack Murphy says:

    OT. STV News on Twitter:-

    Further job losses at The Herald.

  59. Doug McG says:

    TD 2.34pm You are correct that any money given to buyers will simply increase the selling price , but the money does not stop at the sellers , the loans made by banks can be geared off this extra cash so that at higher levels the extra £3000 per person can grow exponentially in our debt based system. All subsidies end up in the wrong pockets , the best thing for buyers is for prices to fall , watch the sky falling down when that happens!

  60. frogesque says:

    Jack Murphy says:
    6 January, 2016 at 4:13 pm
    OT. STV News on Twitter:-

    Further job losses at The Herald.

    Don’t wish job losses on anyone but it’s small wonder the Herald is in terminal decline. The Kilted Englishman will probably be next to announce more redundancies.

    If I were in either of those two ‘Houses’ I would seriously be scanning the ‘Employment’ sections.

  61. Clapper57 says:

    “The Judgement of Silence”

    If you are known as one who keeps digging holes….and also known as one unable to know when to stop digging…..perhaps you may be JUDGED for not knowing when to be SILENT.

    Walk away from the holes Keiza and put the spade down.

    Take the abacus away from Jackie.

  62. Luigi says:

    Looking at this latest attempt of the red tories to be clever, one of their favourite words comes to mind:

    Black Hole

    The corporate media seem to love this word (or at least they did in 2015), so let’s use it against them:

    Labour’s Black Hole

  63. Legerwood says:

    Am I right in saying that APD has not yet been devolved?

    If the SNP is in power they intend to bring in a replacement tax by April 2018 that would equate to a 50% cut.

    When it is devolved clearly Labour have no plans to replace it or cut it but are planning to spend it at least 3 times over on everything from Education to housing deposits.

    However, they seem to be assuming this will be extra money BUT if the block grant is cut in line with what the Treasury thinks will be the income from APD at the current rate then there is no extra money.

    In fact there might be less – all those couples saving for a deposit so they can get their £6000 won’t be able to fly away on holiday so income from APD goes down. Airlines cut flights from Scotland and airports lay off workers because of drop in passenger numbers. Well done Ms D.

  64. Craig P says:

    Using the SLAB calculator, you get extra money by not cutting tax.

    So… and I think this might just work… let me type it into the SLAB calculator… yes! If we *pay* people to go on holiday, we can fund the whole NHS from the extra money saved on APD!

  65. TD says:

    Doug McG 4:21 p.m.

    I agree – if the government stopped interfering in the money side of the market with tax subsidies and the like, but did interfere by simply building more houses either directly or by encouraging the private sector to do so, then prices would fall to levels that people could afford.

    There is a role for government in ensuring that people have a decent place to live, but just throwing cash at the problem is not the right thing to do. It is lazy, inflationary and has undesirable consequences such as housing bubbles, negative equity and even financial crises such as we had in 2008. People forget that the global financial crunch had its origins in debt associated with overvalued property. The blue tory UK government and the red tory labour opposition in Scotland seem to both be in favour of stoking those fires again.

  66. Lesley-Anne says:

    Just come across this from Stu’s *ahem* favourite *cough* newspaper. Unfortunately the video is missing from the archived version so I’m putting the un archived version up.

  67. Hamish McTavish says:

    @ Luigi 4:32pm

    The problem with (budgetary) black holes is that you first need to have a budget.

    Regrettably none of the Holyrood opposition parties are required to prepare any form of alternate BALANCED budget with which to compare their version of “we’d do it better” with the ruling party’s one.

    It seems about the right time for the SNP to pass a bill in Holyrood requiring the opposition to have their own budgets available for inspection and criticism if they want to continually carp on about the lack of funding for this, that or whatever.

    I’d then like to see the FM and young Mr Swinney ask pertinent questions of Wee Wullie, Ruthie and Kezia when they moan about underfunding virtually everything.

  68. Al Dossary says:

    The Labour party should just offer to plant a magical money tree for every person in Scotland if they win the next Holyrood elections.

    It would be just as likely to be believed by the general populace as this pish. Spud Murphy’s £1600 for every young person did not work, so let’s up the ante to see if the some are gullible enough to believe it say the party of the un-electable.

  69. James Barr Gardner says:

    A Cracker Rev Stu, hammer, nail, head, in one, totally awesome hammered!

    Labour totally fecked, lying through their teeth! No change there, eh?

    Still no time to be complacent, get the Vote out, SNP X 2.

    Remember Folks nothing beats like excess, let’s stuff the rainbow Toalies barstewards and make it happen!

    2016 is going to be the year that Scotland will truly belong to the People of Scotland!

  70. frogesque says:

    @ Lesley Anne 4.51

    LBC Alex Salmond: Mean tweets.

    So no one has to get dirty via the Herald!

  71. robert Kerr says:

    Thanks Frogesque.

    I made a NY resolution not to access the Herald on line, Stuck with it an d shall continue to do so.
    Thanks too to all the folks who use archive for their links to the gutter-press.

    I have not accessed the north briton on line for a year.

    SNP x 2 for SP16

  72. Graham MacLure says:

    Doesn’t look as if the bloke doing the newspaper series of articles on each rejected Red Tory ex MPs will get to the end of the list.
    This article by Murray Ritchie gives an insight into the workings of the newspaper.

  73. galamcennalath says:

    RE Herald job losses.

    All print media is finding life hard in the face of online competition. However we all know some are nose diving faster than others!

    By driving away readers, because of following a biased narrow and increasingly unpopular agenda, management/owners are letting their staff down very badly.

    These workers’ jobs are being sacrificed for an ultimately lost cause. Utterly disgraceful.

  74. Gary45% says:

    Dipity is probably getting confused with the Saf East.
    We are constantly told the recession ended a few years ago,
    where in reality it has never ended.
    She will be getting sound bites from London HQ, which will go to show they are totally delusional also.
    “Government Leaders” north and south??????? you decide.
    The national debt is constantly rising thanks to the greed in London and the Saf East, its easy to stick £200.00 a month in the bank, if you are borrowing it from somewhere else,to make yourself look affluent.
    Its time Dipity and Glumbo Baillie woke up to reality.

  75. JLT says:

    Whoever submitted Point 6 – seriously …well done LOL. I am applauding you from my seat right now!! Well done!!!!

    I would love to sit Kezia down with that list and hammer away at her. The 10 questions raised are straightforward, so there should be no humming, hawing, looking up into the air for the magical answer, or just do what Kezia usually does, and that is have her mouth speak for her brain.

    Seriously …if we have another ‘Leaders Debate’ somewhere in April, then if I were Nicola Sturgeon, I would just take those 10 questions in with her on a piece of paper, drag the argument around to housing, and wait for Kezia to walk into a trap of her own making. At that point, I would expect our First Minister to unleash a fury of those questions and kill Kezia’s political career in a five minute sitting. A serious battering live on TV could be the end of Kezia.

    And yet …once again …she has done this to herself. She has been warned countless times on this site, about coming up with ideas that don’t quite fit the bill. Time and again, she has allowed others to pass her half-baked ideas that are deemed as ‘policies’, and in which, rather than having trusted analysts tear through it to see if it stands up, she just accepts that it is gospel, goes ahead, engages mouth …and the rest is car-crash TV.

    Will she ever ever learn? And more to the point …will she survive May?

    Only God knows.

  76. Jimbo says:

    All you Labour politicians and Unionist media journalists (who we all know read WOS), pay attention and make a determined effort to absorb this:

    Keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.

    Labour politicians and Unionist media journalists need to stop lying to the electorate.

  77. jdman says:

    STV Attack an SNP msp for an ill-judged comment about for his there is no crisis in the North sea” but have absolutely NOTHING to say to George Osbourne?

  78. Lesley-Anne says:

    Got to admit frogesque there were a few choice quotes there from oor Alex.

    “It’s called the off switch dammy!”

    Pure dead class! 😀

  79. Lesley-Anne says:

    I know that this site very rarely permits hilarity. 😀

    However, this was just too good to let go by without a wee mention. 😉

    Trump the Mump
    he had a wee bump
    this led to a lump
    when he landed with a thump

    Trump the Mump
    swallowed a pump
    when he told Scotland go clump
    oh dear pair wee Trump!

  80. Dorothy Devine says:

    Anyone got up to date circulation figures for the Herald , Scotsman and record?

  81. Jimbo says:

    Maybe Labour and their tame media hacks are of the opinion that we are not genetically programmed in Scotland to figure out that keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money?

  82. Gary45% says:

    I am genuinely sorry to hear about people losing their jobs at the Herald. I take no pleasure in anyone losing their job, but they went to bed with the devil,(their decision) so can’t blame anyone else.
    They had a lot of decent journalists, who became very blinkered, if they had done honest writing rather than following their editors, they would not be in this situation.
    No doubt Indy followers will get the blame for their demise.

  83. Iain More says:

    Keeping the Union wont actually give us any more money. Keeping the Union is going to mean more and more cuts which equals less and less money.

    It is almost like that supermarket telling you that you saved so much money but you haven’t because well you spent the money. I think I will go get drunk!

  84. Jake Gittes says:

    There was a time before the referendum when the Herald tried to be reasonably fair to the YES side but within an overall Pro UKOK stance.

    I got the feeling they were hedging their bets and were aware of how well YES was doing in Glasgow. Their endorsement of NO on the day was qualified by a cry for Devo Max, which if undelivered the editor thought would constitute betrayal.

    We all know what has happened since but the Herald instead of becoming more sympathetic to YES / SNP has become more overtly Unionist. The death of Ian Bell making this even more complete.

    It’s difficult to know what Newsquest are thinking. If they think by creating a Scotsman Lite it will balance with the National/Sunday Herald/Evening Times it may make some kind of commercial sense for them. But if so they forget one thing.

    There are only so many elderly Unionist newspaper buyers around and they get fewer every year. Their only untapped growth sector is younger more pro YES population groups.

  85. Harry McAye says:

    Dorothy Devine – Daily Record average monthly circulation for November 2015 was 181,144. That’s down 10.83% on November 2014.

  86. Edmund says:

    As a potential first-time-buyer, I have, very reluctantly, opened a Help to Buy ISA.

    All these government interventions do is bid up prices further. Give buyers an extra 3k deposit and watch house prices immediately rise 15k.

    The only reason I’ve opened an account is because the government is going to give everyone else 3k no matter what I do. House prices will probably rise a great deal more than 15k, and I’ll be stuck renting. Without access to the government bribe I’ll be out of the running completely.

    If Kezia wants to help the victims of the housing crisis then this is the worst thing she could possibly have proposed. My parents didn’t need government schemes to buy their house, and they did it on one salary. My grandparents spent time in council houses and were very happy. The fact that those opportunities have disappeared in just one generation is an indictment of successive governments’ destruction of any chance of social mobility.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised considering it was Gordon Brown and Labour who mucked up the housing market in the first place by letting prices treble in the run up to 2008.

    Help to Buy is a disgusting right-wing invention designed to make bitter old home-owning Tory voters in the south-east feel ever richer and funnel ever more money into the pockets of bankers. By the time anyone has qualified for their ‘bonus’ houses will be unaffordable again anyway.

    It would be tragic if Scotland started pursuing similar policies. Please don’t.

  87. yesindyref2 says:

    Jings the Herald is annoying with its deletions. There’s a poster keeps posting about Bothwell’s company making all sorts of totally flabbergastingly incorrect allegations – and they get left in. My reply that says he doesn’t have a clue and should learn to read a set of abbreviated accounts, gets deleted. No ruder than I just wrote there.

  88. yesindyref2 says:

    @Doug Daniel
    I can confirm that the Rev is confirming what he already confirmed and I’m sure you confirmed for yourself, that it confirms that the APD not being cut does not confirm that there is more money because the confirmation is in the conformation of the revenue in the second instance spent four times each day by Kezia Dugdale from extra revenues that it is confirmed not to exist by the Rev’s previous confirmations.

    Must be a lot of Catholics around somewhere!

  89. robert graham says:

    this current crop of wizzos that are the Labour party seem to imagine because it’s been so long since they had anything remotely to do with running this country that the folk here in jockland have had a collective memory loss , they wish everyone would forget , little things like in their last term , building six yep 6 houses , like the little over budget wee parly building , like the Edinburgh tram fiasco,like the failed Glasgow airport link , like and not least PFI the gift to the scottish nation that even today keeps on giving , thank f/k this lot have been kept well away from the till and for good reason lets try and keep it that way for all our sakes even Labour voters , i mean why heap more misery on the afflicted.

  90. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Jack Murphy.

    Here’s the archived version of your Herald job losses story from STV’s Twitter. (Archived from the STV web site.)

  91. Gary45% says:

    Trump the Mump,
    was going for a dump,
    whilst on the golf course,
    he tripped on a stump.

    Trump the Mump,
    looked at a bit of a loss,
    because the people of Scotland,
    couldn’t give a toss.

    He tried to blame the ferret,
    perched on his bunnet,
    who quietly squeeked,
    “it wisnae me that done it”

    Trump the Mump,
    blames the Menie estate,
    he should have built a bigger gate.

    Trump the Mump,
    says SNP bad,
    how very sad.
    Trumpety Trump.

  92. Lesley-Anne says:

    Ye gawd’s … what the Feck have I started here then Gary? 😀

  93. Flower of Scotland says:

    I woke up on Jan.1st with an enthusiasm to get Scotland to Independence as quickly as possible.

    So, I’m sorry that I have absolutely no sympathy with Herald journalists or workers. You could have stood up for your country or moved.

    I live in an area, where there are lots of English people. I’m half English myself. They deliberately came to Scotland, and admit it, to get pensioner freebies, but voted NO in the referendum.

    My New Years resolution is to argue more for my country,s Independence, which will be difficult, because I’m not naturally argumentative.

    The Herald journalists deserve everything that happens!

  94. yesindyref2 says:

    Just read the postings about the Herald job losses.

    It’s not good news. The Herald whatever its bias has been a quality newspaper at times, and even now does some good articles, though they’ve become fewer and fewer. During the Ref it’s ot so much that it was one of the best, it’s that it was perhaps the least worst.

    It’s sheer rank stupidity and arrogance, and though Leask used to be a good journalist and still is at times (and probably a yesser), it’s his attitude to criticism where he rejects it with contempt “we’re in the industry but what do we know?”, and that of others who just totally ignore it, has been their downfall.

    It’s not just pro-indy and pro-SNP readers they’ve hacked off, it’s Corbyn supporters as well and there’s a good few of them in Scotland. But the neutrals must be totally gob-smacked at the stupidity of the bias of the articles, and the very poor low fact level of the writings. If only they’d listen.

    In my business I’ve had a few quite severe criticisms in my time and I’ve learnt from every single one of them. The customer isn’t always right, but there’s usually some justice in what they say, even if it’s to improve your product descripotion to make it clearer. Ignore your customers, at your peril.

  95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Why continue to publicise the witterings of these long dead buffoons, for heavens sake!”

    Something to do, innit?

  96. Ken500 says:

    DR average monthly circulation – 180,000 – divide by 30 days = 6,000+ a day? and falling.

    The Herald/Times deserves everything it gets. It’s policy is to reduce business. The lies cost Scotland £Billions.

  97. One_Scot says:

    And he’s probably got a 10 inch wanger as well, but unless you see it you will never know.

    Facts I can do with, speculation and hearsay not so much.

  98. Lesley-Anne says:

    I live in an area, where there are lots of English people. I’m half English myself. They deliberately came to Scotland, and admit it, to get pensioner freebies, but voted NO in the referendum.

    I know the feeling FoS. There are loads of English down here in Dumfries and Galloway, quite a lot of whom are PRO independence but sadly like you we also suffer from the greed of the English moving to G & G to acquire their freebies only to vote NO!

    I am convinced that these freebie grabbers are the main reason we lost in 2014. Still as they Karma cones to those who wait!

    WE will overcomes these greedy freebie grabbers and WE will win in the end!

  99. Effijy says:

    I think I see Dipity Dug and Labour’s next move?

    1. They will add 1,000 extra Nurses.
    2. They will negate the next round of Tory Cuts for the lower paid households.You know those cuts where they supported Tories.
    3. An extra £1,000 for each Primary School Pupil.
    4. Extra Funding for Local Authorities.
    5. An extra £6.000 for couples purchasing a new home.

    Now the way their Brains work, they will wait until the Tories strip Scotland of another few £Billion and pretend that this
    figure is a plus on the balance sheet.

    Job done! You then renege on all of your promises. as normal, borrow extra money to soften the blow of the new cuts, and pay one of your rich backers an interest rate of 600% for the next 20 years.

    Gordon Brown is familiar with this type of PFI.
    He can keep you right!

  100. geeo says:

    Sorry in advance…?

    Fundily mundily,
    mundily fund,

    Bumbily stumbily,
    stumbily bum,

    Grumbily grumpily,
    grumpily grumb,

    come and grab some….!

  101. mealer says:

    Ken500 7.37
    That’s not how it works,I’m afraid.

  102. Albaman says:

    Labour obviously hope the “young” voters don’t check out the sums, and just vote for what they are tolled is a great saving when buyjing the first house, unfortunately for Labour, and fortunately for the uninitiated , there is a web site called “Wjngs over Scotland”!.
    How’s the protest with the Herald going Rev?.

  103. ArtyHetty says:

    This Slab scheme, well, a benefit to the better off, stinks really. If it’s not means tested they are giving free money to anyone able to afford to have a few thou in the bank and wanting to buy a house. There will plenty of well offs whose mummy and daddy will just give them the cash and then it’s topped up nicely to the detriment of the very poorest.

    I know it is far fetched but when do slab ever talk about helping those at the very bottom.
    I remember Brown spouting stuff about a so called redistribution of wealth, we all know how that went!

    A sweetener for the middle classes, with a very bitter taste for the people just struggling to afgord food on the table and on zero hours contracts etc.
    Gtf slab.

  104. Ken500 says:

    Stamp tax duty was reduced for properties under £250K last year. Average house prices £200K. Less for average first time buyers. The SNP Gov are building affordable houses.

    Small semi bought in 1975 – 12K – Joint (low) income £5K – 2K saved. 2 x joint income mortgage – 10K Higher interest rate

    Today – Average joint income £45K – 3 times joint income – £135K + deposit – small semi/flat Lower interest rate.

  105. cearc says:

    I expect the Herald’s sales will improve now that they are publishing a daily interview with someone who was trounced at the election. That’s bound to appeal to a large audience?

    Kezia, what to say?

    Oi, where’s our soup of the day?

  106. Andy Fletcher says:

    O/T Saw an interesting piece on CNBC by a Managing Director by name of Matt Portillo. It extrapolated an oil price prediction for year end from current price, stock
    levels, 40% fall in investment in production etc He predicted rising demand and falling production producing a price around 70 dollars in November.

  107. Ken500 says:

    Is it monthly or daily circulation 180,000? Or are the figures over calculated. Why aren’t the figures quoted daily as the same person is likely to be buying or reading daily.

  108. Petra says:

    Stu’s comments at No 11 just sums it up:

    ”Unless it’s that Labour are confident they have no chance of winning, and can therefore safely make pledges they could never carry out because keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.”

    They KNOW they can’t win so can offer the Sun, Moon and Stars to anyone who’s still daft enough to be duped by them.

    When the SNP had a similar proposal Labour MPs didn’t want to know about it, so what’s changed?

    SLab have already outlined a number of ways in which they’ll spend the magical, elasticated APD money, so which one is it?

    Have they outlined how much this is going to cost us … taxpayers? Do they have any idea of the numbers of people who would / could apply …. that would jump on the bandwagon? Does this ‘buy a house in Scotland’ scheme apply to people living in rUK?

    More than anything this just highlights once again that SLab are totally out of touch with working (many non-working) class people who can’t save one brass penny. The only bank many of them will ever visit is the food bank.

    If SLab had wanted to do anything constructive at all they would have pushed for greater devolution in particular in relation to welfare and employment during the Smith talks: But Aw Naw they were too busy trying to undermine their number one focus in life at every turn, the SNP, to the detriment of everyone living in Scotland. To be honest their hypocrisy just makes me feel sick: That and the fact that the corrupt union media (their pals) just spouts their garbage verbatim and never question the viability of any of it at all.

    @ Lesley-Anne says at 7:54 pm ”I live in an area, where there are lots of English people. I’m half English myself. They deliberately came to Scotland, and admit it, to get pensioner freebies, but voted NO in the referendum.”

    ”I know the feeling FoS. There are loads of English down here in Dumfries and Galloway, quite a lot of whom are PRO independence but sadly like you we also suffer from the greed of the English moving to G & G to acquire their freebies only to vote NO! I am convinced that these freebie grabbers are the main reason we lost in 2014. Still as they Karma cones to those who wait!”

    Lesley-Anne approximately 74% of rUK locators in Scotland voted NO. That’s well over 300,000 people.

    I read one of Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s (Chief Executive – Business for Scotland) articles and he stated that it was they that lost us the vote and I can well believe it.

    A case of want your cake and eat it.

  109. Lenny Hartley says:


    It’s a daily average. I seem to recall it was over 225k ave per day a couple of years ago, but it lost out in a race to the bottom with the Scum which took over as Scotland’s highest selling paper.

    The National mentioned on its anniversary that it was selling 13k a day. The Regional figures in which the sales of the Herald, Sunday Herald and Hootsmon should be out in the next month, it will be interesting to see how much they have collapsed. Hootsmon are down below 25k per day now.

  110. Rock says:

    Like many other posters, I am confused as to why “keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money”.

    I am waiting for it to be clarified in headlines in The National (The Herald’s cash cow) tomorrow.

  111. Lesley-Anne says:

    I just hope are celebrating all the cost cutting that is coming down the line now they are safe and secure in their distorted, disfunctional, broken union Petra.

    This was one reason I was rather unhappy about the two year gap between announcing the ref and it actually happening. Still we all live and learn don’t we … I hope!

  112. Ken500 says:

    DR Sales still not many out of 4Million? potential. How many are given away?

  113. call me dave says:

    Another trounced ex MP gets an airing. 🙂

    “The reason I’m putting myself forward to stand is because I believe Scottish Labour is the best vehicle for change in our country.
    I recognise it’s a difficult time, but I’m optimistic about what the Labour party has done in the past, what it can do in the future and I’m optimistic about what Scotland can be under a Labour administration and that’s what I’ll look forward to being a part of,” he said.

  114. Clootie says:

    …we would have been celebrating the official Independence Day in a few months 🙁
    Always remember Labour denied us that prize

  115. Thepnr says:

    @call me dave

    Mr Sarwar, speaking to The Herald as part of a widespread survey of ex-MPs, decided to return to politics last October and is standing on the Glasgow region list at May’s Scottish Parliament elections.
    On his chances of being returned to Holyrood as an MSP, the politician was confident. “I’m an optimist. There’s always room for improvement, but I’m campaigning for success,” he said.

    That’s that then. Labour trounced on the list vote in Glasgow with No MSP’s. who in their right mind from Glasgow would vote for Anas Sarwar, he of the “dodgy dossier” to become an MSP.

    Here’s Nicola grilling him during the live referendum debate on STV.

    Nae answers! Toerag.

  116. davidb says:

    @ CMD

    And indeed Anas will be elected – if he is in the top half of their list.

    Anyway, it is interesting to observe how many readers/posters grasp fully how markets work, at least in relation to housing. Perhaps there is hope for Tank Commander Ruthie in the post independence Scotland after all.

  117. Glesca Keelie says:

    National papers, mostly are losing about 10% readership per year. Some at 16%. Sunday Times actually gained a few readers.

    I did the sums for the D** R****a couple of weeks ago, and at that rate, and by 2023,they will be doing 76,000 a day. I wonder what their fixed costs are. High I hope. Very high.

  118. Dr Jim says:


    Thing is the oil comment really wasn’t that ill judged
    Oil production is up and Oil and Gas themselves said there was no crisis only difficult times and there is a definite long term future in that business

    This was a wee twisted effort by STV at the behest of probably (Stephen Daisley) Labour to get in a wee SNP baad story but they couldn’t go full bore on it because the MSP is a hell of a nice man and he’s disabled blind

    Plus it’s a stupidly weak story about a load of well off oil workers who have mostly returned to their countries of origin otherwise we’d have 65.000 folk signing on in Aberdeen plus the ones who were already jobless, and that’s clearly not the case

    It’s all a bit like when they shout about the 8 thousand workers at Faslane but only about 500 are actually local workers living in Scotland the rest are naval military personnel and wouldn’t be sacked whether Trident was there or not

  119. Valerie says:

    That alert reader had me at “polyamourus relationships”.

    Never forget to tell whoever will listen – SNP are the only party to have the brains, and the principles to repeal Right to Buy of council housing.

    Cameron is introducing law to end public sector tendencies at 5 years, to keep everyone on a constant treadmill of seeking housing, costs of moving, upheaval. No doubt it will massage the waiting list figures.

    Not sure where he is with the threat to open Housing Association properties to buy, another pillage of public money.

  120. Lesley-Anne says:

    Never liked that earsehole Thepnr and watching that clip again I remember why.

    What a two faced, lying, hypocritical, arogant, ignorant, self important nasty little shite!

  121. John Young says:

    OT After WW2 there was a housing shortage and part of the response was the rapid construction of ‘prefabs’ – factory built single storey temporary bungalows. These were highly controversial at the time but Churchill was strongly in favour of Prefabricated Housing and tens of thousands were built. They were expected to last for only 10 years but they proved very popular with some still in use today.

    It took a minimum of 40 man-hours to assemble the two bedroom houses complete with plumbing and heating although the prefabs were also full of asbestos and had corrugated iron roofs.

    I would love our Scottish government to devise a way where we could design, produce and build half a million modern Scottish Prefabs to house our homeless, the refugees and anyone who needs a home.

  122. mealer says:

    I believe Labour are balloting members just now to pick candidates for the regional list MSPs.Perhaps that’s why Sarwar is getting this free publicity.

  123. heedtracker says:

    Nothing in good old rancid on Kezia speech for greatness either. Very odd lot, UKOK attack propagandists.

    Big rancid Graun thing on Trump maybe pulling his near on billion quid Scotland investment, which is scary, if it wasn’t for the fact that the goon’s been promising this mega investment for near on a decade. Sturgeon and referendum inevitable gets a good kicking in BBC etc but nothing from Rupert Carrell. Funny that.

  124. Ken500 says:

    54,000 deaths a year in Scotland – 30,000 houses? 16,000 houses are built a year. 5,000 by Gov.

    46,000 houses? + empty houses.

    150,000 people are on council waiting lists – 50,000 families?

  125. K1 says:

    I would love if you just had an article headlined: ‘Labour: Say No More’

    And the body: ‘Keeping APD the same as it is now doesn’t actually give you any more money.

    Just for the laughs…obvs 🙂

  126. Dorothy Devine says:

    Thanks HarryMcAye for the information – most excellent.

    And thanks all others for additional info.

  127. Ken500 says:

    The 65K Oil jobs lost could be worldwide. 45K quoted for the UK supply chain. The Aberdeen/shire figure quoted recently was up (50%) from 1K to 2K. Still low unemployment level for the region. There will be increased fishing industry jobs. The quotas are up.

    The UK Gov take is 75%. 50% production take – plus 25% tax. That never gets reported.

    It is now reduced to 60% 1st Jan, 2016. That may make a difference.

  128. Ruby says:

    cearc says:

    Oi, where’s our soup of the day?

    Ruby Replies
    Did you not make enough broccoli & stilton to last two days?

    Warning this post is about soup

    Pea & Mint Soup

    Step one as usual fry up some frozen onion in pot
    Boil kettle
    Put stock cube of choice (ham might be good) in bowl with clove of garlic add some boiling water and whizz up with stick blender
    Add this to onions
    Add salt & pepper
    Add packet of frozen peas and cook for a couple of minutes.
    Remove from heat.
    Add a couple of spoons of mint sauce and whizz up with blender. Taste and add more mint sauce if necessary.

    Garnish with a swirl of yoghurt & a drizzle of spring onions or chives.

    This soup goes well with the thick end of a plain loaf.

  129. Lesley-Anne says:

    Just tweeted and Facebooked that suggestion K1. 😀

  130. Luigi says:

    Hamish McTavish says:
    6 January, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    @ Luigi 4:32pm

    The problem with (budgetary) black holes is that you first need to have a budget.

    Well, we can figure out their budgets for them. Once the red tories and the other unionist parties publish their manifestos, it should be possible to estimate their figures for them, you know, like they always do for ours!

    They wouldn’t like that, would they? Right up em!

  131. Ken500 says:

    Losing 10% readership a year. 18,000 a year? Chronic. A journo a year will get the chop. They decide their own fate.

  132. carjamtic says:

    ‘The sun shines on a dug’s arse,every once in a while’…..just not today ;-))

  133. Petra says:

    @ Jack Murphy says at 4:13 pm ”OT. STV News on Twitter:- Further job losses at The Herald.”

    I actually feel extremely sorry for many of these journalists who have no power or control over what their editor (bosses) dictates. Some of the more decent and enlightened must head home every night feeling totally demoralised, frustrated and depressed. Even more so if they have a mortgage to pay and a family to feed.

    Their stress levels, especially now, must be going right through the roof wondering if they’ll be next in line for the chop, for example next for the chop because some wee, egotistical numpty wants to score points, play games, against Independence supporters (at least half of the population in Scotland) …. and not realising that many anti-Indy individuals can see right through them too.

    We know that the Internet has made a massive difference to their sales but some of this could have been avoided if they had just made a name for themselves as being a newspaper that reported the news in an honest and unbiased way. Imo, that wasn’t too much to ask for from a journalist / newspaper.

  134. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Lesley-Ann (9.32) –

    I was scrolling from bottom-up and imagined that some fierce internal battle had broken out:

    ‘Never liked that earsehole Thepnr and watching that clip again I remember why.’


  135. handclapping says:

    Lesley-Anne says: (9:32 pm)

    Never liked that earsehole Thepnr and watching that clip again I remember why.
    What a two faced, lying, hypocritical, arogant, ignorant, self important nasty little shite!

    That is not how we talk about each other on this site, LA, I think Thepnr is quite nice really all things considered 😀

  136. handclapping says:

    @Ian Brotherhood


  137. Hamish100 says:

    My pal from Oban sent this link. It appears the snp bad crap is reaching into all areas.

    One for you.
    “snp’s 4 sticky fingered MP’s”

  138. Fireproofjim says:

    John Young,
    I agree with you concerning the need for a modern prefab.
    I remember that the foundations roads and drains were put in, then a couple of trucks arrived, each with a half house, all kitted up with bathroom module and fitted kitchen. Very modern and the envy of all, and assembled in a few hours.
    They were mostly pre-built in redundant aircraft factories, hence the extensive use of aluminium and the carefully planned spaces.
    I have often wondered why we still build houses by piling one brick on another, just like the Romans did.

  139. Harry McAye says:

    Ken500- Sorry for the confusion, I wrote it down from the relevant website as “average monthly circulation” but clearly that is an average daily sale for that month. That is what it said, though.

  140. Thepnr says:

    Noticed that myself Ian Brotherhood 🙂

  141. Lesley-Anne says:

    Glad I managed to bring a wee samirk to your faces Ian and Handclapping. 😀

    Just seen paper front pages on SKY News and Telegraph, I think, has the news that Trump is threatening to withdraw £700 Million from the UK. The UK??? Last I heard his *cough* threat was all about *ahem* Scotland! 😀

    Oops. I’ve just realised. This MUST be what they meant by this being better together cause we can pool and share. So WE get the loss of £700 million and Telegraph gets to claim they are UK losses. 😀

    One final wee ditty.

    The latest on the UK debt is:

  142. Lesley-Anne says:

    Just for those discussing houses on here tonight. Could these become the 21st century prefab homes of the future? 😉

    One bedrooms can be completed within 3 days while 3 bedroom homes take an exordinately long 6 days. 😀

  143. Onwards says:

    There were figures recently showing how much the Scottish economy has benefitted from large government infrastructure projects, including the new Forth bridge.
    There is a large multiplier effect as money from contracts and wages is spread throughout the local economy.

    That’s why it makes sense to invest money in building more affordable housing.
    Giving money directly towards a deposit doesn’t have anything like the same multiplier effect.
    Supply has to be increased to keep housing affordable.

  144. ArtyHetty says:

    Re; John Young@9.34

    In fact are kit houses not hugely expensive and quick to asemble. Not sure as I am no housing expert! I do look at the SNP website and Scottish Housing news when there’s time, they are building but it’s going to take a lot to catch up with the shortfall that liebour and tories left us with.
    I guess the Land reform act also has a part to play in this.

  145. Valerie says:

    Kit houses are relatively good value formoney. The issue is more about the price of the plot, and running services in and how far away they are.

    Quite a few self builders around, and there is support out there.

    The whole land ownership thing comes to the fore again.

  146. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Just completed this questionnaire about indyref-related Scottish media. Interesting stuff, and the compiler is doing it as part of her dissertation.

    The type of thing we really should be well reflected in, and it only takes about 10 minutes.

  147. frogesque says:

    Land reform, build a New Town, modern standard kit homes with gardens, reasonable rent, not for sale.

    Plenty of land at Ravenscraig site and I would also create one between Perth and Inverness with easy access to the dualled A90 when completed.

    We have to stop pissing about on this, it needs forward thinking by good brains.

  148. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Post-war pre-fab, still standing in Dundee (Harrison road).

  149. Why not prefabricated homes built in a factory to a modular design with a basic start-up module which can be added to as, and if, the family grows or can afford more space? Given our climate, houses built in factories and assembled on site would seem sensible.

    Ikea built some cheap homes some years ago, but haven’t heard any more about them.

  150. Morgatron says:

    Next time im skint, just gonna buy my messages with all that spare APD i have lying about the hoose!

  151. Graham MacLure says:

    Lesley-Anne 10.45

    I remember the Prefabs quite well and I consider it a lost opportunity as had we continued with building high quality houses in controlled conditions our housing stock would be in much better condition now. After all a Huf Haus is a prefab!

    ArtyHetty 10.51

    I live in a “Kit house” and worked in the building industry. I would say that the major down side of our present timber frame building is that too much work is carried out on site. I also believe that the masonry outer leaf does nothing to improve the efficiency of the build or the insulation of the house.

  152. Lesley-Anne says:

    Did you look at the website I linked to earlier Dorothy?

    I think these homes look absolutely stunning. 😉

    Stick one of these noiseless wind turbines in the garden and a few of these printable solar panels and the homes will be almost totally self efficient in electricity I reckon. 🙂

  153. Petra says:

    @ jdman says at 6:27 pm ”STV Attack an SNP msp for an ill-judged comment about for his there is no crisis in the North sea” but have absolutely NOTHING to say to George Osbourne?

    Anyone else absolutely scunnered with STV? In the last few months it’s become very biased, practically on a par with the BBC, and I wonder who’s behind it? If anyone has any spare time please phone / email them with complaints as this has to be stamped out.

    @ Lesley-Anne says at 9:32 pm ”Never liked that earsehole Thepnr and watching that clip again I remember why. What a two faced, lying, hypocritical, arogant, ignorant, self important nasty little shite!”

    Lesley-Anne I can’t get my hands on the data right now but he was RIGHT at the TOP of the expense claim list at Westminster just ahead of Murphy (7 of the top 10 Labour MPs). More than anything, as per SLab way, didn’t seem to give one whit for those he was supposed to represent.

    His father, Mohammad Sarwar multi-millionaire, was another BIG expense claimant. He was in the news for claiming almost £100,000 to cover mortgage interest that he paid from a Swiss bank account. His cash-and-carry company had a turnover of around £136m a year, (data from years ago), so he really needed to rob taxpayers blind.

    As I said in an earlier post Anas Sarwar, millionaire, is a prime example of all that’s wrong with Labour in Scotland. Kezia Dugdale chunters on about public schools whilst promoting Sarwar who attended Hutchesons Independent Grammar School (fees around £10,00 a year). The school with links to the BBC (Hutcheson Grammar – BBC News School Report 2015).

    Then she’s got the brass neck to expect poverty stricken Scots to save £200 a month. Mingling with the wrong type of people such as Sarwar and Lord Foulkes seems to have created some kind of confusion or bi-polar type condition. In other words she’s lost the plot.

  154. Achnababan says:

    oh jist drop it noo Rev – yer jist bein cruel tae a half wit

  155. Lesley-Anne says:

    I think the phrase we are looking for here Petra is “like father like son!”

  156. cearc says:

    I agree with the pre-fab building.

    The money saved can be used for decent sized plots so that people can have a proper garden.

    We need a major building boost along the lines of the post-war building. Only by building plenty of good social housing will we ever have private houses that are actually affordable.

    Of course limits on lending preferably 3+1. Lending multiples have more influence on house prices than supply and demand. There was a huge price hike following the change from 3+1 to 3+3)on the grounds of equality). This also led to an increase in need for creche provision as so many parents could not afford for one of them to stay at home to look after their babies.

  157. Paula Rose says:

    (O/T I’m going to Aberdecadent at the end of the month – all excited)

  158. Peter Barjonas says:

    Who is this “Lemmy”? Wait a minute, who is this Kessie…Kezia? Just Found my night-cap and warming pan and then this? Am I out of touch?

  159. Bill Hume says:

    Completely off topic, but I’ve had a bloody awful day (and a few sherbits)….
    I look at Scottish Labour and I’m reminded of ‘Mike the headless chicken’.

    Go on, google it. You know you want to.

    p.s. sorry for any spelling mistakes…..I’ve had a few.

  160. Almannysbunnet says:

    I spent my first 17 years of life in a prefab in Aberdeen. Nothing bad to say about them, even had a gas fridge back in the day when nobody had fridges. Can’t remember ever being cold even though there was an inch of ice on the inside of the widows in winter. From a practical point of view they took up too much valuable land for the councils. The footprint of our prefab now contains a 3 story building with six two bedroom flats.
    There is no reason why modern factory built housing could not be produced in this country. The Germans are experts at it.
    I read a story recently about a “dilapidated shed” that sold in London for close to £1m. It was a prefab not unlike the one I was brought up in. I never realized I had been living the life of a millionaire 🙂

  161. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hoi, Bill Hume!

    I mentioned ‘Mike the headless chicken’ yesterday!

  162. TJenny says:

    Ian Brotherhood @ 11.02 – saw that survey on WOS Twitter and completed it. Pointed out that one of the qs asking about which newspapers you accessed before the ref, had the National on the list, which obvs wasn’t available then.

    I also stated that the BBC/STV + gutter rags’ outpourings were just 24/7 #SNPBad (the yoons hate that hashtag with a vengeance – good!) or SNPVeryverybad and had not relented since ref. 🙂

    Hope I haven’t made the readers’ eyes bleed.

  163. Lesley-Anne says:

    Brian Doonthetoon says:
    7 January, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Hoi, Bill Hume!

    I mentioned ‘Mike the headless chicken’ yesterday!

    Now now children calm down it’s only a commercial.

    Remember we work to the “share and share alike” on here! 😀

  164. Bill Hume says:

    Sorry Brian, must have missed it. I’m off to bed before I fall down.

  165. Petra says:

    Can anyone imagine the hammering the SNP would get in the press if they decided to build pre-fabs?!

    @ Ian Brotherhood says at 11:02 pm ”Just completed this questionnaire about indyref-related Scottish media. Interesting stuff, and the compiler is doing it as part of her dissertation. The type of thing we really should be well reflected in, and it only takes about 10 minutes.”

    Thanks for that Ian. EVERYONE should take the time to complete this questionaire. Tell them what you think of the biased media. Lists of newspapers (that you buy) to tick or not. Boxes to fill in with your views of the media and so on.

  166. Petra says:


    I’ve just found out tonight that Lord Alistair Darling, Baron of Roulanish, is in fact Baron of Breaclete in Great Bernera (an island off the coast of Isle of Lewis). Aaaaaahhhhh!!!!! Aaaaaahhhhh!!!!! Pulling my hair out now.

    Born in London and brought up on the east coast of Scotland so why Great Bernera? Why? Why? (oil off the coast?).

    What connection does he have to the place? I’m bl**dy raging as I love Great Bernera, visited every year since I was a toddler and have friends and relatives living there. Every last one voted YES in the Referendum.

    God I can’t bear to think of that man (man?) having anything to do with the place. In the middle of nowhere and a perfect little haven: Heaven on earth. Just pushed my hatred of Westminster up a notch or ten. Their slimy tentacles are everywhere.

    And this doesn’t do the place justice at all.

  167. Chic McGregor says:

    @Peter McCulloch
    “Its also about time she apologised for the housing crisis her party helped to create by continuing with the Tories right buy policy.”

    And SLAB’s enthusiastic support for council stock ‘sell off’ to private housing associations.

    Even by alleged lefties like Malcolm Chisholm who came through to Inverclyde to support the ‘sell off’ in the local referendum.

    We in the local SNP opposed the ‘sell off’ but did not have the resources to get the message over even although GHA was already a disaster.

    We warned that 3000 council properties would be bulldozed. This was ridiculed by the ‘sell off’ lobby but turned out to be a wild underestimate in the long run.

    BTW I put ‘sell off’ in inverted commas because in Inverclyde’s case the council actually paid an amount of money for each property transfered to the HA.

  168. TJenny says:

    Petra – hi, did you see my comment at 12.31? Also, I selected ‘other’ and listed WOS rather than selecting ‘online news websites’ as I didn’t want them thinking I was accessing BBC/STV, Telegraph etc online.

  169. Still Positive. says:

    @Ian Brotherhood: did the survey. Would have been good if she had asked how long you wanted Scottish Independence before you voted ‘Yes’. She is young though and I’m not really critising her.

  170. Petra says:

    @ TJenny says at 12:52 am ”Petra – hi, did you see my comment at 12.31? Also, I selected ‘other’ and listed WOS rather than selecting ‘online news websites’ as I didn’t want them thinking I was accessing BBC/STV, Telegraph etc online.”

    I did the same Jenny (Wings everywhere) and when I filled in the boxes where you could add additional information I crammed in loads of data (backed by facts) about the BIAS of the BBC, STV and a number of newspapers such as the Daily Record. I also mentioned that I get my news from Wings, daily, and check, double and triple check what I read on here. I think they’ll get the message.

    Interesting that they listed Wings, Bella and so on. The ‘WORD’ is getting out there.

  171. TJenny says:

    Petra – I wonder how many Wingers will complete it? There are a fair few thousand readers of this site, it could get a massive response. 🙂

    Do you remember the Q with pro indy websites you’d heard of and I ticked all except Kiltr – what is that? Sounds like Grinder for Scotsmen in kilts, maybe it is. 🙂

  172. cearc says:

    I read somewhere today that Cameron’s definition of ‘affordable’ for London is £450,000!

    So we are subsidising people who can get and afford a mortgage over £400k.

  173. TJenny says:

    cearc – have you completed the survey that Ian B posted the link to at 11.02pm? It’s about the media. You’ll enjoy it I’m sure. 🙂

  174. K1 says:

    I too filled in the survey, like everyone else, put a lot of information in about the bias etc, also that The National wasn’t in production before the referendum…like others, highly recommend doing this survey…

  175. TJenny says:

    K1 – clearly we’re all deserving of our WOS Alert Reader badges. 🙂

  176. Lesley-Anne says:
    Did you look at the website I linked to earlier Dorothy?

    Agree, Lesley-Anne, they look great, but not sure they would look so good, or so neat and green, in our climate. There is (was?) a place in Fife where I once visited an eco home built from tyres with a ‘wall’ at the front made of clear plastic bottles to let in light. The tyres were covered with mud, inside and outside. A small wind turbine on the hill behind provided power and sewage disappeared through pipes to a reed bed, with other waste water being used in a greenhouse.

    Not suggesting that as a solution to the housing problem, but shows there is new thinking available on alternatives to the usual timber frame housing. With such a need for housing, innovative solutions should be considered.

    Builders seem keen to build four bedroom houses for selling to people with no family, both husband and wife working flat out to be able to keep up the mortgage payments. The Danes seem to live in smaller houses where the limited space is made to work well for them. We need to have a rethink of our housing ideas.

  177. K1 says:

    Aye…we are that TJenny, we’re aren’t known as the most enlightened electorate in the entire world…fur nae reason…I over state fur the the sole purpose and effect of the decringing of the Scots 🙂

  178. call me dave says:

    FGS! The clunking fist and me are in agreement!

    Shurley schum mishstake. 🙁

  179. K1 says:

    Ah don’t even have to click oan that link to know you are referring to the article in the Herald about Broon and the In Ref Vote call me dave. He disnae dae ironae disae 🙂

  180. cearc says:


    I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Will you be at the Aberdeen meet-up?

  181. call me dave says:

    Prof Curtis hints the Lib/Dems could be given less BBC air time in the elections.

    Aye choke them off but let Rennie appear as the warm up act.

    Nice picture of Wullie but I keep hearing those words….
    I wanna tell you a story!

  182. TJenny says:

    K1 – Wingers have got anti cringe for Scotland. 🙂

  183. TJenny says:

    cearc – unfortunately not as I can’t do overnighters, so I can’t make it to all those faraway places with strange sounding names like Inverwotsit and er, Aberdeen. 🙁

    Hope you all have a great night, which kinda goes without saying at a Wings gathering. 😉

  184. K1 says:

    Tjenny, Aye I suppose we are the ‘anti cringe brigade’ richt enough 😉

  185. cearc says:

    call me dave,

    “The Trust is holding a public consultation on election guidelines prepared by the BBC, and anyone is welcome to make submissions. The Trust will make a final decision in February.”

    Do you (or anyone else) know the link for that?

  186. cearc says:

    Broon ‘n’ Foulksie, what a team!

    How embarrassing for the yes vote.

  187. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Used to be in the oil industry. Can’t sign on as I have a small pension from my military days. Lots of others in similar boats.
    Oil situation will not improve for at least another two years.
    At $35 a barrel why are we still paying so much at the pump.

  188. yesindyref2 says:

    Good articles in the National about Sturgeon’s Indy Ref statement. That really steadied the boat, while the different parties and political views rightly putting their own politics on it.

    Looking good, but it needs the likes of Wealthy Nation to step up and do more to put the Conservative angle and start wooing the Conservatives, especially with Davidson angling to be THE hardline Unionist party.

  189. Robin Barclay says:

    There is one thing that I haven’t seen mentioned and that is the fact that Stamp Duty has been increased on homes over a certain threshold. Perhaps Sliebour have thought they can drive up house prices in an attempt to increase the amount of Stamp Duty that would be taken back from it. Again, this would not serve the people who need assistance any better.
    I might just be talking p@sh though. I must stop reading Kezia’s slaverings

  190. Ghillie says:

    Is it that they are trying to attract the Lib Dem and Tory vote in Morningside again?

    That worked well for SLAB before.

  191. Breeks says:

    Kinda off topic but not…
    I would hope that an Independent Scotland might be alert enough to recognise just how orchestrated our love affair with owning property actually is. We managed to get along fine for centuries with minimal property ownership, and property ownership is not a bad thing in itself, but do the maths.
    Calculate how much of your mortgage goes to your lender. Multiply that by the number of mortgages on your street; number of streets in your town, number of towns. See the problem? There are billions of our hard earned wages which once upon a time lubricated our local communities which is now hoovered up from these communities and removed never to be seen again.
    Our properties are also spectacularly overpriced, and modern construction timber frame is the epitome of maximised price for minimal substance. It is criminal.
    The whole business of property ownership is a massive con, and has turned our banks into fat cat monsters, and our population chained into the slavery of life long debt but conned into believing their lives can’t be secure without it.
    For all of those paying through the nose for a ‘modern’ property with a 50 year shelf life, sooner or later, it’s going to end in tears.
    Property ownership in the UK is a basket case absurdity. Scotland would do well to break away from the insanity and the sooner it does so the better.

  192. Ken500 says:

    Over time Mortgage is cheaper than renting, because the money comes back in value/added security. Short term – renting is cheaper more cash flow. Social housing rent is cheaper but houses are pay off (double) by rent after 25years. Council houses which are standing empty for long periods (or hard to let) should be sold off after 25 years. They have been paid off double/treble through rent. They can be brought back into the housing stock with improvements.

    If the Gov keeps on building 5,000 houses (rent) a year and more house come available through death/building. . There should be no housing shortage in Scotland.. It is the same conditions to house purchasing as it has been for over 40 years. It is easier now because mortgages are more easily available. Lenders must be making a profit because double is paid back on a Mortgage. £80,000 Mortgage – £160,000 is paid back. People complain about house prices going up, but ‘owner occupiers’ are often only getting back what they have actually paid in repayments + interest. Sometimes less with inflation. Depending how long they live in the property. A cycle. (recycle?) Houses are being recycled. Property ownership is enshrined in Human Rights Law.

    A person who believed in Independence(?) did not vote because their daughter/partner did not get to buy their council house. Despite the daughter, a teacher, getting a £50K education? and in a relatively (10% higher remuneration) job for life? They could well afford and were buying a house.

  193. Alan Mackintosh says:

    There are some companies here in Scotland manufacturing pre fabs. Here in Inverness MAKAR fabricates SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) made with Timber, cellulose insulation, and finished externally with Larch Cladding. These are delivered to site and put together with a crane. I was working next door to one of these in early Dec. The house went up in 3 1/2 days, wind and watertight.

  194. Ken500 says:

    Scottish planning Laws can restrict cheaper land (plots) coming up for sale. Restrictive building permission. If they do build industrial estates why are landscaping not included as a condition of planning. Instead of massive ugly building springing up randomly.

    ACC are building a carbuncle of awful proportions in the City Centre. a grotesque development. How it got through planning regulations is a mystery. Against majority wishes and the public interest. Costing £Millions (debt) of taxpayers money to ruin the City centre. A colossal mistake. It was better how it was before and that was bad enough. Unionist/Green did it to spite the SNP. That is the mentality. Instead of continuing the UTG project which would have enhanced and pedestrianise the City centre and was fully costed for less and had majority backing.

  195. K1 says:

    Breeks, couldn’t have articulated your comments re property ownership and what it has achieved in terms of debt enslavement for people, for most of their live’s, better myself.

    I never understood why everyone ‘fell’ for it, it is exactly as you describe: a massive con. When I think of the fair rents that people had back in the eighties, you could afford to etch out a good existence, and even save a little, because you didn’t have to worry about all the ‘hidden’ costs of owning the flat/house. Which so many people didn’t realise until any structural problems, say with roof repairs for example, occurred. The costs just spiralled, and now we know that part of the crash was caused by inflating the ‘value’ of property and lowering the ‘income’ criteria, resulting in poorer people with over inflated mortgages, struggling to keep up the monthly payments, when the artificial bubble burst.

    It’s an illusion that owning your home brings security, unless by security we mean having always to be in fear of interest rate hikes, and constantly at the mercy of bust and boom economics. As well as the upkeep and running costs. It’s alright if you’re loaded, but right now there are thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) who pray there isn’t an increase in the base interest rate, those who bought properties in the mid 2000’s are screwed if the BOE does that!

    But it’s the profiteering that really gets me with all this property business. Greed really was made ‘normal’, within society at large, with the creation of this ‘business’. It’s done nothing but add to and may well be a fundamental contributor to inequality between people.

    Even that it is called the ‘property ladder’ reveals its essence: those below ever striving to climb up to the heights of those above.

    I hope I’m not coming across as critical of those who own property, in and of itself it is the world we live in. But overall the results of this ‘market’ being created has caused and will continue to cause great social harm unless we really do tackle our housing problems with the core values of social inclusion and reduced inequality as central tenets of any policies enacted to address this chronic problem.

    In essence we in Scotland, have to enact a completely different housing model. Obviously we’ve made a start by stopping right to buy, but we need probably to look back to go forward, massive investment in social housing with fair rents re-established, Not ‘market rents’ would be a good start.

    Oooh…bit of a rant there…sorry for length of post folks .

  196. Cadogan Enright says:

    National has been great this week and the website improves all the time. Beginning to attract the trolls that infest SNP’s Facebook and other web presences, but not as bad.

    Seems to me that the Revs idea of killing off the trolls by blocking click bait could be added to by all sites blocking the most abusive Yoons who are unable to put thier case forward with reference to actual facts and logical reasoning.

  197. Ken500 says:

    EU membership costs UK 15Billion euros. – £12Billion (depending on exchange rate) but it comes back (Half) in CAP payments. shared Defence (attack) costs, Grants (renewables) and trade. 500million (pop) market. Scotland’s fish and beef is exported for premium prices to EU markets. Along with other goods. Whisky, woollen goods, food stuffs, music, literature, tourism etc. People can go and work or studying in the EU. Exchange students etc. Travel or retire.Reciprocal Health agreements. Excellent health care (but no so good aftercare). Good social and employment Laws. Protecting peoples civil/working rights.

    UK gets a rebate, doesn’t pay it’s way. Should pay 18Billion? Euros. Germany (pop) 80million pays 25Billion Euros. France (pop) 70million pays 20Billion Euros. Italy etc the same pro rata.

    Scotland gets the lowest CAP (farming) of any EU member as part of the UK. The EU gave Scotland an increased payment and Westminster took it and gave it to wealthier farmers in the rest of the UK. The Tory Minister actually said ‘Better Together’ when he was trying to justify the action. Parliamentary Channel.

    The smaller, poorer countries pay slightly less but are given support by the larger wealthier. countries. The migration crisis in Europe is caused by Westminster’s actions. Illegal wars and bombing the Middle East. Other countries in Europe have to pick up the pieces, costing £Billions.

    Scotland would pay £1Billion contribution but it would come back in increased benefits. It would cost nothing for membership. In or out of the EU. Scotland would be better off out of the UK Union. Cost £10Billion+ +Depopulated as a result of Westminster/Unionist policies.

  198. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Breeks at 7.04

    Exactly. This is the biggest reason for our damaged economy

  199. Robert Peffers says:

    Another 25 editorial jobs to go at the Newsquest owned Herald/Times group.

    This is the fourth lot of redundancies in just over a year. I wonder what has caused all that?

  200. K1 says:

    It’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery Robert, we’ll never know the answer! 😉

  201. Scott says:

    Alan Mackintosh says:

    Regarding this houses there is a company in Invergordon who build them on their site transport them on low loaders to site where they are assembled and occupied within days and they look great.

  202. Ken500 says:

    The 80’s had over 3 million unemployed and interest rates at 15%. Thatcher illegally and secretly destroyed the Scottish economy and depopulated Scotland, deliberately., Fair rents? The crash happened because Thatcher demutualised the Building Societies owned by the members. (who shared any dividends) and sold them off to the banks. Deregulated the Banking sector and lowered leverage (world banking Laws) from 25% of capital reserves to 13% of reserve/collateral. More risks. Thatcher/Regan etc. The right wing laissez -faire capitalists. The illegal wars, banking fraud and tax evasion still going on. HMRC is not fit for purpose. Brown/Blair should be in jail. Chilcot Report 7 years. It is an absolute disgrace.

    A majority in Scotland rejected all of it. Selling off utilities etc but were outvoted 10 to 1. Other
    countries do not carry on like this but Westminster does. Thatcher was secretly and illegally taking all the Oil revenues and building up London S/E and lying about it. Westminster lies and corruption, a political decision. Without Westminster interference there would be no housing ‘crisis’ in Scotland. There are adequate housing stock to go around with improvements. 5000 more Gov socially rented houses are being built each year. With deaths/new builds increasing. = more housing stock. Well built granite/stone houses last for hundreds of years.

  203. schrodingers cat says:

    Robert Peffers
    Another 25 editorial jobs to go at the Newsquest owned Herald/Times group.
    This is the fourth lot of redundancies in just over a year. I wonder what has caused all that?

    only a fool would predict the final outcome… but I think Leask is toast….

  204. Ken500 says:

    The plot thickens. ‘UKIP MP Douglas Carwell has had to fend off suggestions that he tried to kill off Nigel Farage’. This load of crooks are getting £1/2Millions ++ from UK taxpayers. Plus £Millions from the EU illegally funding a political Party for years with public money. Farage is allegedly bankrupt after his wealthy backers stopped financial support. Didn’t deliver the goods for the bribe. Can’t afford a new wheel?

  205. scottieDog says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Labour in its tenure allowed the banks to create £1 trillion and pumped over 50% into the mortgage market increasing the price 3 fold. None of that was addressed in the debates before the GE and yet this obscene power of the banks was the elephant on the room which all politicians are reluctant to speak of.

    Currently the govt is just using tax payers money to continue the ponzi scheme. When it burrs again, we pick up the tab

    Until we address money and the monopoly banks have on its creation we will continue to have the same problems of inequality

  206. frogesque says:

    @ Robert Letters

    No job losses are nice but I am tempted to think of blind termites in a dead tree press.

    I fear for the few honest ones, the others will prosper in advertising or spin as becomes their anything for a buck approach.

  207. frogesque says:

    ^ Robert Peffers

    Bloody tablet auto what’s it!

  208. galamcennalath says:

    Cadogan Enright says:

    “…. the most abusive Yoons who are unable to put thier case forward with reference to actual facts and logical reasoning.”

    I gave up about two years ago on the comments sections of newspapers.

    IMO Yoons lie on a spectrum from politely expressing personal opinions through to wild foul ranting.

    What they all have in common is a lack of substance. That is understandable because I have yet to hear ANY valid case for Scotland to stay in their Union.

    Their ‘best’ arguments tend be simply a matter of opinion. A good example would be to say that large states will be more secure from terrorism. However the opposite opinion that small states are rarely a target because they follow less aggressive foreign policies.

    It must be incredibly frustrating to believe in something which you find very difficult to make a case for! Then the worst of human nature kicks in and anger driven ranting begins.

  209. Big Jock says:

    Maybe RISE are just agents of Better Together!

    Use your second vote for them and achieve the square route of hee haw!

  210. K1 says:

    I hear you Ken500, I was over simplifying obvs, my point being about how we got suckered into becoming property owners Ken, and that it is a con.

    I appreciate the backdrop that you outline at the time in the eighties, much of which was secret and devious on the part of Thatcher et al, and also that SG have exceeded their remit of building 30,000 houses within the life of the current parliament. I don’t know though that this is ‘social housing’ Ken? My understanding is that it’s mostly private.

    Fair rents? Rent controls for those with leases that started before 1989, they still have fair rents (housing associations), and can’t be charged massive hikes in their rents yearly because of this. I think that’s were I was coming from when I stated this.

    I was one of those unemployed Ken, and from the pov of having lived through those times and maybe the tinted glasses of my youth and ignorance, it was possible back then living in rented accommodation, to manage in a time of crisis, than it would be during these times of crisis wi a mortgage to contend with on top of survival.

    There is not one property left in the west end of Glasgow that can be regarded as ‘social housing’. The private rents are off the scale, that’s what private ownership has done and doing: creating ghettos and adding to increasing inequality and that’s what I was ranting about.

    That’s all.

  211. Alan Mackintosh says:

    @Scott, Yep, I think you are refering to CarbonDynamic. They are based in Invergordon. Similar idea, SIPs made in a factory environment, fast erection (ooer missus)on site.

  212. Petra says:

    Nightmare housing situation, the Tory (and Labour way), south of the border.

    ”Tories push through crucial Housing Law at 3 o’clock in the morning ……. 65 extra pages of new Laws added at the last minute with no scrutiny”

    ChunkMark: ‘A wholesale power grab: Tories UKGov handing housing over to private developers+Vulture Capitalists’

    Chunky Mark: ‘OMG!!! The #HousingBill Armageddon on communities.. Peoples lives People’s Homes’

    ”No more homes for life”

  213. call me dave says:


    Just read your post from a while back on the thread.
    Is this what your looking for.

    15th Jan for the on-line EU one. Hope that’s it. 🙂

  214. Gary45% says:

    A bit of advice for anyone thinking of building a house.
    When you are shopping around for suitable companies, don’t just rely on fancy glossy websites.
    Find previous customers, and also their neighbours, who were living in the area when the construction was taking place.
    Ask them exactly what the situation was like during construction.

  215. David says:

    Why do Labour have to propose giving a major boost to house price inflation in order to try and win a few votes. Why not get serious about provision of social housing, affordable housing, secure tenancies and rent controls.

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