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The kingdom of the blind

Posted on March 10, 2014 by

It’s Monday, so it must be time for Gordon Brown to lumber into the independence debate again. The man who was the least popular Prime Minister of the last 50 years magically transforms into a respected elder statesman when the British left is desperately trying to lend some progressive gravitas to the floundering No campaign in the wake of a series of ill-judged right-wing interventions from Tory ministers and millionaire business tycoons.

besthibs

So we suppose we’re obliged to spend at least a couple of minutes examining the latest pronouncements of the man who so famously ended boom and bust.

Brown’s late submission to Scottish Labour’s hopelessly-compromised and toothless Devolution Commission is made up of six key points. Let’s take a look at them, as outlined today by the Courier.

1. “A new UK constitutional law – backed by an historic document equivalent to a bill of rights – to set out the purpose of the UK as pooling and sharing resources for the defence, security and well-being of the citizens of all four nations, including a commitment to alleviate unemployment and poverty.”

In other words, the robbery of Scotland by Westminster is to be not only continued, but actually enshrined in law.

2. “A constitutional guarantee of the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, backed up by a constitutional lock that prevents it being overruled or undermined.”

A completely meaningless gesture. There’s no such thing as a “constitutional lock”, even if there were to be a British constitution in the first place. Any law can be overturned by any government if it wins a vote in Parliament (and sometimes even that isn’t required). No administration can ever bind the hands of its successors.

3. “A new division of powers between Scotland and Westminster that gives Holyrood more powers in employment, health, transport and economic regeneration.”

“Jam tomorrow.”

4. “A new tax sharing agreement that balances the commitment of the UK to pool and share its resources with the need for accountability to the electors in all the places where money is spent.”

See (1).

5. “New power-sharing partnerships to address shared problems on poverty, unemployment, housing need and the environment which, Mr Brown argues, cannot be addressed unless the Scottish and UK governments work together.”

See (3).

6. “A ‘radical’ transfer of powers downwards from Westminster and Edinburgh to local communities.”

An attempt to gerrymander the SNP out of power, since Labour has already admitted it has little to no chance of achieving it through elections for the foreseeable future.

And that’s it. The grand “vision” is the same old vague promise of “more powers”, backed up by some arrant, unachievable nonsense and a naked attempt to cheat a democratically-elected Scottish Government out of control, all put forward by a man who describes himself as an “ex-politician” but who still plans one more trip on the Westminster gravy train, despite the fact that he almost never actually shows up in Parliament as it is, being too busy racking up lucrative speech work for his “charity”.

A straw-clutching fluff piece in the New Statesman today tries to make great play out of the fact that Brown’s comments come under the guise of the entirely fictional “United With Labour” rather than “Better Together”, which is a mark of the frantic spin being applied to the intervention.

But the truth is that the No camp is now firing randomly into the darkness in panic. It’s tried John Barrowman. It’s tried seizing pathetically on four words that David Bowie couldn’t even be bothered to deliver himself. It’s even fallen back on Alan Titchmarsh. We suppose that by those standards, even a worn-out old has-been viewed through rose-tinted glasses doesn’t seem like quite such a despairing throw of the dice.

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      Two stooges enter, and promptly exit, stage right | Alister Rutherford

    126 to “The kingdom of the blind”

    1. Dougthedug says:

      What Gordon’s actually talking about in points 1 and 2 is a written constitution for the UK which would make it much more difficult for a Westminster Government to take away powers from or over-ride a Scottish Parliament.

      Does anyone seriously think in the event of a No vote that Westminster is going to spend hours, days, weeks, months and years on sorting out a written constitution for the UK just for Scotland’s benefit when as far as they’re concerned there is absolutely no point in having one?

      There has been no pressure from England to get one and Scotland can safely be ignored after a No vote.

      Gordon’s in a little elder statesman world of his own just like the always irrelevant Ming.

    2. Scott says:

      Hi Rev have you seen this one.
      A war game to be held its code name “PESTONIA” Its make-believe scenario is stopping a nation separating from a larger power by force just another Westminister slur on the Scottish people.I saw this in the P&J.

    3. yerkitbreeks says:

      I reckon Gordon’s on that new Viagra and prune juice diet – he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.

      His contribution will definitely boost YES

    4. steviecosmic says:

      The first thing I thought this morning when I read that was: The only thing that could have reasonably prevented Scotland from having this referendum is if there was a written constitution declaring ‘Britain’ as one indivisible nation state….and now they want one, disguised as a magnanimous gesture, but actually the best thing they can think of to prevent this ever happening again if there’s a no vote.

      They’ve been touting home rule and federalism with the Lib Dems for a hundred years and it has NEVER come to pass, what’s so different now? With the referendum over and a no vote secured, there is absolutely no political pressure for them to deliver anything except a neutered Holyrood. With zero appetite at Westminster for any further meaningful constitutional change, Browns proposals may well take another hundred years to pan out.

      This is however, perhaps one of the most deceitful acts perpetrated by a Scot on his own country since 1706. Brown is proposing to tie Scotland’s hands permanently to London; just so he can ride the Westminster gravy train a little longer. I believe that is the very definition of ("Tractor" - Ed).

    5. chalks says:

      Anyone got the archived web address of Iain McWhirter’s latest rant that was in the Sunday Herald yesterday?

    6. bill telfer says:

      Do the Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath folk know how much he is paid?

    7. bookie from hell says:

      constitutional lock(straight jacket)

      always worth reading the small print

    8. galamcennalath says:

      All these jam tomorrow possibilities – if Brown is serious, why didn’t he promote them when he had the power to push them through Westminster? We’re not stupid, this is all just nonsense to deflect from London’s record to date. It is that record which the Union should be judged on, not ideas blowing in the wind.

    9. Gillie says:

      Gordon and Ming have no relevance and no credence.

      Gordon Brown worst PM in living memory and equally bad Chancellor.

      Ming Campbell worst Lib Dem leader in living memory, and that is really saying something.

    10. jon esquierdo says:

      Brown has been accused of being a tax cheat as he claims £10,000 per week expenses from his so called charity. Brown is a con man who frightens pensioners

    11. MajorBloodnok says:

      I’ve been toying with the idea of getting DayZ on Steam, where you have to survive in a idyllic yet dystopian countryside populated only by on-line adolescent bandits and randomly generated zombies.

      Well, with Blair McDougall, Alistair Darling, the MSM and the BBC we’ve been fighting off the bandits, and now with Gordon Brown and Menzies Campbell the zombies have clearly arrived. I knew that axe would come in handy eventually…

    12. kininvie says:

      Point six: For ‘local communities’ read ‘Labour-controlled cooncils’

    13. YoungNED says:

      Which new powers over health is he planning to devolve to the already operationally independent NHS in Scotland?

    14. DaveyM says:

      Let’s not forget that as well as having ‘abolished’ boom and bust, he also claimed to have “saved the world” at a memorable PMQs…

    15. Andy Nimmo says:

      Hey Gordon…Gie’s a loan pal..Ah promise to pay it back next week.
      Oh shit Sorry Gordie me old mate. Ah’m a bit skint but ah’ll definitely gie ye it back next Friday.
      GordiE…Hi..Yeah ah ken ah promised to gie ye that money 5 years ago.. but ah forgot clean about it.. but ah’ll just get it over to you right away son.
      Gordon Who… About a loan fae 10 years ago. No ye must be mistaken pal..AH always pay ma debts and anyway ah dinny ken anybody called Gordon Brown.

      Gordon Brown is telling the Scottish People to ignore HIS failures but to give him another chance to keep his promises.

    16. Robert McDonald says:

      If I remember correctly the Act of Union used the phrase “In Perpetuity” and yet here we are on the brink of shredding it – Hooray!

    17. seanair says:

      Sorry Rev. Stu I must be too thick to see the link between GB and GB (or is that it?).
      G. Best had lots of faults which led to his death, but we can remember his outstanding ability on the field (his field), whereas G Broon in his field (politics), can only be remembered for classic errors and humungous debts which we are still paying for.
      Loved that Hibs strip, and George’s short time at Easter Road….

    18. Geoff Huijer says:

      A despicable, self-serving, aloof, money-grabbing, leech of a man.

      Also, the epitomy of all that is wrong with the voting system when such a man can be voted into power; if only the electorate knew what they were voting for eh?

    19. toshtastic says:

      this article bounced me back to your ‘thieves of devolution’ article – glad it did

      the whole COSLA issues and the proposals coming this month for SLAB to devolve powers to councils reeked of a power play to me, just wasnt sure exactly what was involved in it.

      any chance of expanding on this when SLAB finally produce their plans?

    20. Jason F says:

      There’s no such thing as a “constitutional lock”, even if there were to be a British constitution in the first place. Any law can be overturned by any government if it wins a vote in Parliament (and sometimes even that isn’t required). No administration can ever bind the hands of its successors.

      Exactly, Westminster remains in charge – but it’s worth betting that not one journalist will bring up this point.

    21. Gillie says:

      Can we no’ just tell Gordy PFI Broon and Ming th’ Minging just to F*** O**.

      Surely the House of Lords beckons.

    22. MajorBloodnok says:

      At least on GMS this morning Gary Robertson was giving Ming a relatively hard time – asking him directly how more devolution would be delivered and what it would consist of (“this will be determined by the power of greyskull, er, I mean consensus!”) and also when it would be come about (“of course I can’t say when these powers will be delivered!”).

      That’s the thing about zombies – superficially frightening but really with no substance, or indeed fully functional brains or internal organs.

    23. Robert Peffers says:

      First off this is utter twaddle. Read the actual words.
      U-N-I-T-E-D spells United.
      K-I-N-G-D-O-M spells Kingdom.
      So they are talking about an assumed set-up, of what they so often describe as, “Britain”, but is “The United Kingdom”, which is legally a bipartite union of equally sovereign kingdoms. In 1706/7 there were only two British Kingdoms. The English one had three countries having annexed the Princedom of Wales in 1284. and all of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1542. The loss of the Irish Republic in 1800/1 did not add, (or remove), any kingdoms as being a Republic, there were none to add or remove. There were then in Britain, and still are, three non-United Kingdom, “Crown Protectorates”. Westminster is legally elected as a bipartite United Kingdom. It most certainly is NOT legally elected as a de facto Parliament of the COUNTRY of England devolving The COUNTRY of England’s powers to the three other countries. It is not legally a four country union either. Scotland is not just a country. Scotland is a full equally sovereign Kingdom. A Kingdom and Country in which the people of Scotland are legally sovereign – unlike the other, three country, partners in the United KINGDOM who constitute a three country, KINGDOM OF ENGLAND that is a, “Constitutional Monarchy”, in which the Crown legally owns everything, including the crown’s subjects, but whose royal powers are deputed to the state. Where’s the Scottish Legal Eagles when you need their voices? There was, in 1603, no Union of the Crowns – just one monarch with two independent realms.

    24. Is there a link to that P&J article?

    25. dmw42 says:

      The 7 dwarves were in a cave when it suddenly collapsed.

      Snow White was worried for their lives, until she heard a voice from inside the cave saying, “I think Gordon Brown was a great Prime Minister”.

      “Thank fuck” says Snow White,”at least Dopey’s all right!”

    26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “First off this is utter twaddle. Read the actual words.
      U-N-I-T-E-D spells United.
      K-I-N-G-D-O-M spells Kingdom.”

      That’s as far as I got, Robert. PARAGRAPH BREAKS, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.

    27. Murray McCallum says:

      Gordon Brown could come up with the idea of the century and the fact is no one in England would listen to it or give him the time of day.

      In the event of a ‘No’ vote these are the very people that need to agree any changes to the UK “constitution”.

      UK constitutional changes are as popular as cold baths. I would imagine the media would have a great time rubbishing any proposal that could in any way be perceived as giving benefit to Scotland after a ‘No’ vote.

      Gordon Brown had the chance to transform the UK when he was PM. He really did blow his opportunity in so many ways.

    28. frazer allan whyte says:

      Gordon Brown – a pm who went bust before anything could ever boom and a co-conspirator with war criminal Blair and now,like him, a shameless nest-featherer. The Liberals who have been promising Home Rule for more than a century and led now by an admitted barefaced liar and Tory stooge.Why would anyone dignify these creatures of darkness with more than the minute or two necessary to show them the door? By their mere existence as “leaders” they show how corrupt and bankrupt unionism is and also how sad it is that there are still people giving creedence to what they say.

    29. Mark says:

      It’s because (1) has not happened, and will not, in the foreseeable future, happen that I will be voting Yes. To describe that as the ‘robbery of Scotland’ is anti-progressive. To describe the current situation as ‘robbery’ might well be true. But not a properly redistributive system.

      The Rev also makes an error in his comment on (2). The UK has a constitution – indeed, a written constitution. It’s not written down in a single document, but that does not mean it does not exist. But, yes, there is no such thing as a constitutional lock.

      I just do not believe Gordon Brown. The government of which he was a leading figure, and of which latterly he was the leader, failed to do any of this apart from deliver the first stage of devolution, in 13 years of government. What makes him think we would believe that his party, let alone any of the others, would enact these proposals? In particular, (6) – with which I am in wholehearted agreement, unlike, apparently, the Rev – is never going to be delivered by the main UK parties. And by ‘never’, I don’t mean ‘not in the foreseeable future’ – I mean Never.

    30. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

      @ MajorBloodnok

      I agree. I listened in admiration this morning to Gary Robertson tackle the wittering Ming.

      GR – All you’re offering is hot air.

      MC – Please don’t interrupt my hot air.

    31. Macart says:

      There is absolutely zero chance of a UK written and codified constitution. On that alone the warning sirens and klaxons should be going off.

      Moving on. 😛

    32. bookie from hell says:

      another question for James naughtie/darling

      gords constitutional lock,who holds the keys?

    33. steviecosmic says:

      I’m sure social media will be alight in due course revealing this ‘intervention’ for what it really is: a massive confidence trick to keep the Scottish Mafia feeding at the trough in Westminster.

      Utterly despicable.

    34. Illy says:

      “Point six: For ‘local communities’ read ‘Labour-controlled cooncils’”

      Don’t you mean Labour-Conservative coalition-led councils?

    35. Stuart Black says:

      “People who care nothing for their country’s stories and songs… are like people without a past – without a memory – they are half people.”

      Aye, Galloway, I’m looking at you!

    36. Big Jock says:

      So if we vote yes do we get rid of Alan Titchiarse.That’s got to be slogan for the Yes campaign. Anything that gets that annoying little Yorkshire man off our screens has to win.

    37. Papadox says:

      @Robert Peffers says:

      Sorry Robert, we were extinguished in 1707 and therefor an extinct specie. As stated by HMG in 2014 re their lawyers, and the EBC. So it must be true! Were nobodies child, nobody wants us they just want the oil and the land.

    38. Kev says:

      And why would Westminster listen to a member who is only there about 10% of the time?

      On a happier note, I woke this morning to a big, shiny new Yes billboard outside – the big ad campaign has finally kicked off..

      Also, the indy debate at Strathclyde Uni between Humza Yousef and Anais Sarwar produced these results:

      Pre-debate: Yes: 52% No: 41%
      After: Yes: 68% No: 20%

      http://yes2014.net/2014/03/10/strathclyde-yes-at-68/

    39. Papadox says:

      Big Gordy’s big idea revealed:

      Once we’ve scammed our cut of the loot we’ll send f*** all to Holyrood and send it straight to Aberdeen and Glasgow councils! they’ll know who to pay off after they take their cut. Give that SNP the finger.

    40. Tamson says:

      Brown and Ming are, of course, old pals. It’s no surprise that they intervene in the debate on the same day.

      Remember that they conspired on 2007 to prevent an SNP/LibDem coalition at Holyrood. A coalition that could have put Scotland where they claim they want fit to be 7 years ago.

    41. bunter says:

      An ex UK PM, touring the country spreading fear amongst our elderly over their pensions, now trying to deceive the electorate for no other reason than to protect the Labour party’s interests and continue the gravy train for his pals.

      Its now clear what Labour want in the event of a NO. The plan is to make it impossible for Scotland to have a referendum again, and to bypass Holyrood and hand more powers over to their pals at the likes of GCC.

    42. Luigi says:

      It looks as though Gordon Brown is taking on the role of Alex Douglas Hume in 1979. I don’t fancy another broken promise, followed by 20 years of mess. I want to see something better in my lifetime.

      And who is to believe this man, who resided over the greatest economic disaster for 50 years, who sold half of the gold assets for now useless derivatives, who ordered aircraft carriers with no aircraft, and who dipped into the public pension pot?

      Who is to now believe the worst prime minister ever, the man who caused so much social disintegration and economic damage?

    43. Patrick Roden says:

      I don’t need Rev to dissect Gordon Browns statements to be honest,

      The fact that it’s Gordon Brown uttering it, convinces me it’s a lot of dishonest shite!

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      So Ming offered nothing but waffle and some gratuitous Godwin about the SNP being a totalitarian regime for having its own policies.

      Gordon? I mean what the hell is going on in Labour? He seems tobe banging one drum, McCann another and Johann is banging a pretend drum while Alistair pretends he isn’t with any of them.

      Some of Gordon’s proposals (and at least he has talked about some) sound very like Devo Max – that which they didn’t want on the ballot paper.

      If all of the above doesn’t make you go what the hell give me the Yes box to tick what will?

      Meanwhile cue a lot very annoyed rUK types going “What the beep is going on? We were told the annoying Jocks would be bayoneted after a No vote”.

    45. Doug Daniel says:

      The problem with the idea that unionist parties will decide to devolve lots of powers is that they see Westminster as the default power base, meaning any power that gets devolved has to have had the case made for devolving it – if there’s no explicit reason for devolving it, then it remains at Westminster. As far as the typical unionist is concerned, Holyrood should ONLY get the power if Scotland would do something different from Westminster with it.

      In reality, the default power base should be Holyrood, and everything should be devolved except where a case has been made NOT to. Obviously those of us here would say there’s no case for ANY powers to be at Westminster, but I’ll bet even folk who claim to just want “devo max” would go along with this way of thinking – after all, they claim to trust Holyrood more than Westminster. We shouldn’t need to demonstrate why Holyrood needs a certain power in order to get it devolved.

      That’ll never happen though, because it would require a complete reversal in the way people see the union. Labour would need to start treating Holyrood as the primary parliament, rather than as a dumping ground for councillors who didn’t make the grade for Westminster.

    46. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Even if Brooner believes every single word he says, and believes implicitly that Westminster would pass these ideas just to keep Scotland in the union there’s still one small fly in the ointment.

      Westminster has to agree to his ideas.

      Westminster is bloody unlikely to do so.

      More powers for Scotland? Better tax arrangements? When the power and taxation all flow into Westminster? Why on earth would they give that up after a no vote? A no vote would be the signal to Westminster that Scotland didn’t care what happened to them anymore; we would get nothing more than we have right now, and in all probability, it would actually be less than what we have right now.

    47. Grouse Beater says:

      Hapless Gordon, doyen of failed politicians, desperate to redeem his discredited career, decides to come to the aid of his homeland, the same one he turned his back against when it demanded greater powers and constitutional reform, the chancellor who encouraged the financial tsunami to comes our way…

      … he asks us to trust him now?

    48. bookie from hell says:

      George Galloway –Scotland –no culture(my jaw dropped hearing that for 1st time)

      culture def
      1.
      the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

    49. proudscot says:

      Stuart Black, I fully agree with you about Galloway. I regard him as an odious, Saddam-supporting lickspittle and a ("Quizmaster" - Ed) who seems to take a delight in talking down Scotland at any opportunity.

      Like all egotistical self-publicists, Galloway genuinely doesn’t realise just how much he is disliked and derided by the vast majority of his fellow Scots – despite the evidence of his last failed effort to get himself elected to the Scottish Parliament, which institution he never fails to denigrate in his rants.

    50. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      So, he wants us to sign up to a Catalonian type constitutional relationship with the central government.

      That is working really quite dandy in Spain, so I am told by the Basques and Catalans.

    51. Scots Anorak says:

      Agree with the arguments, but not with the bad taste of the post title.

    52. Linda's Back says:

      For the vast majority of the last 70 years successive Westminster governments have been enthralled by the city of London and have done nothing redress the balance in favour of the rest of the UK. Some partnership in the fourth most unequal country in the developed world. Labour had 13 years to address this but did nothing.

      Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, to Mansion House (20th June 2007 from HM Treasury Web Site)

      “So I congratulate you Lord Mayor and the City of London on these remarkable achievements, an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London.
      And I believe it will be said of this age, the first decades of the 21st century, that out of the greatest restructuring of the global economy, perhaps even greater than the industrial revolution, a new world order was created.”

      Yet the run on Northern Rock took place on 14 September 2007 just three months later. How could that have possibly happened?

      But after the bail out of the first UK Bank Northern Rock, Gordon Brown told the Institute of Directors on 30 April 2008 that he said he understood that Britain’s tax regime must remain competitive. “We have cut corporation tax twice and I want to go further,” he said. “We will reduce the tax again when we are able.”

    53. Dick Gaughan says:

      Well, that’s it for Darling then. Better Together has made such a burach of the whole affair that Gordie the Galoot has to be wheeled out of the crypt to try to salvage something.

      Realising that the relentless negativity of Project Fear has become a total disaster, they’ve obviously decided to break the umbilical cord to the Tories and go it alone by offering a bit of jam tomorrow in the hope of stemming the haemorrhage of the core Labour vote. In the course of which Darling has been quite spectacularly hung out to dry.

      Doomed to failure, of course. For a start, I doubt if Gordie bothered to run it past Labour HQ in London for their approval – if he did, it’ll be the first time Gordie ever cleared anything with anybody. And the English Tories are going to crap all over anything which looks like they’re giving more crumbs to those scroungers north of the border.

      Mince Pie in the Sky, to be forgotten about on 19th September in the event of a No vote. Move along, please.

      By the way, did anybody else observe the terrified expressions of Magrit and JoLa sitting behind Gordie while he gave his “pacing caged tiger” performance?

    54. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      Point 6 is really a plan to reorganise Scottish local government & Holyrood, such that power ends up in as many Labour controlled councils as possible.

    55. bunter says:

      Aye Dick, I saw that broadcast and what an array of soor coupons. It was like they were attending a funeral. Spose they are, the UK’s.

    56. Andrew Morton says:

      @Chalks

      For some reason, the page won’t archive. Here is the text.

      I’m beginning to wonder whether this isn’t becoming just a little counterproductive for Better Together. This relentless procession of finance companies, business bosses, Tory politicians all lecturing, scolding, tut-tutting and shaking their heads. You can’t have the pound, we’ll take our ball away. Your money won’t be safe because we’ll take the banks. We’ll try to destabilise your cross-border pension funds – don’t expect any co-operation from us. If you don’t do as you are told, we’ll take your passports away and have you kicked out of Europe. We’ll put up the price of food in the shops, and your mobile phone charges, and your insurance rates.

      Eventually people are going to ask themselves: who exactly is running this country? Who are these people to make these threats? Who elected all these financiers and captains of industry? Bob Dudley, the boss of BP who earned $8.7 million last year, heads a firm that isn’t even British any more. Since when did we allow banks to make our political choices for us? The degree of direct political involvement by big business in this referendum campaign is unprecedented, and deeply disturbing. It is reminiscent of Latin America in the bad old days, of US dirty tricks and Yankee colonialism.

      Normally, companies avoid taking political sides in Western democracies, because, well, they are supposed to be democratic countries. And it can damage business. As I noted last week, a lot of Scots – Yes and No voters – will be taking their money out of ­Standard Life and RBS and shifting to Barclays, whose chief executive recently said he would at least try to make any arrangement work. And Ryanair has become the airline of choice for thousands of Scots, after their canny boss said: yeah, sure, whatever.

      I can’t speak for the Labour Party in Scotland, but I can tell you how it looks to many of their voters: an unpopular front with the discredited Liberal Democrats, the loathed UK Tories and the City of London. It’s these daily hectorings about the irresponsibility of independence from the finance houses, Alliance, Standard Life, RBS, Lloyds – the very people who nearly destroyed the UK economy out of unrestrained greed – that sticks in my personal craw. Being lectured on public responsibility by banks is like being lectured on childcare by paedophiles.

      A campaign that is based almost entirely on fear is a campaign that has lost the argument. Correction: it hasn’t lost the argument on the Union because it hardly bothered to make it in the first place. A few platitudes about Team GB and Nelson Mandela from David Cameron in his Olympic speech does not amount to a reasoned case or claim of right. Then the dambusters took over. I defy anyone to compare the New Statesman lecture from Alex Salmond last week in London with what we heard from Danny Alexander in Edinburgh.

      A lot of people dislike the First Minister, and perhaps with some justification. He can be a bit full of himself. He was fairly criticised for equivocating on whether he would cut the top rate of income tax in Scotland if it was still in place in England – though just imagine the threats that would have come from all those business interests if he had. But the point is that the referendum isn’t about Alex Salmond or the SNP running Scotland – it is about the right of Scots to run Scotland and choose the government of their choice. Right now, Scotland is being run by the City of London and the UK political establishment.

      This conflation of the personality of Alex Salmond with the case for Yes is the disingenuous means by which the left in London has sought to ally themselves with financial corporatism against Scotland. Ah – he’s just like the rest of them, “shovelling even more wealth to the elite”, tweets Owen Jones, the BBC Question Time’s favourite tame lefty, clearly knowing and caring nothing about what has been happening in Scotland. Like ending means-tested prescriptions, scrapping tuition fees, promoting childcare, resisting the bedroom tax, and defending policies such as free personal care. You would think the left in London would be glad there was an alternative political space opening up in which it is possible to challenge the neoliberal consensus.

      And come to think of it, which party actually did press for the abolition of university tuition fees? It was the SNP, and it was opposed by the Labour Party in Scotland, which regards these policies as part of “the something for nothing society”. Salmond told the New Statesman audience last week that Scotland doesn’t want to be a part of a country that is dominated by the anti-immigrant, anti-welfare, low-tax government of which Danny Alexander is a leading figure. He tried to spell out how Scotland could be a beacon of progressive policies that could counter the relentless drift to the right of the city state of London which now dominates the UK, and as even Vince Cable said, is sucking the wealth out of the rest of it.

      One of the most chilling experiences I have had recently was at an NHS Scotland conference last week on welfare reform in Scotland. The impact of the UK Government’s welfare reforms is devastating – especially on the many Scots with disabilities the bedroom tax is causing huge hardship, food banks are running on empty and, as our report shows today, poverty has returned to Scotland in a way I could never have imagined a decade ago.

      George Osborne is planning to push through another £12 billion in cuts to people who are workless through no fault of their own. And there is nothing that the Scottish Parliament can do about it because it doesn’t control welfare – or taxation, or the huge oil revenues that flow to the London exchequer to finance Boris Johnson’s grandiose schemes. Politics of envy? Damn right.

      And what was the Unionist response? Danny Alexander coming north wagging his finger, and warning: “the currency decision is final” – and anyone who doesn’t get it will be sent to the back of the class and held after school. Well, here’s a message to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury: the currency decision, Mr Alexander, will never be final, because it is not in the UK Government’s gift to make it. The pound is common property of the UK, not London’s toy balloon.

      As for the threat on cross-border pension schemes – the EU is on the point of announcing that it wants to see a lot more of them. His pensions warning was just another nasty little scare, like mortgage rates, Europe, food prices. And don’t think this scolding, contemptuous tone from the London financial establishment will somehow disappear if Scots obediently vote No. We’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks about power and how it is distributed. The campaign has revealed the true face of the Union. They may win the referendum, but they’ve lost Scotland.

    57. Linda's Back says:

      Under 13 years of Labour Government the gap between the richest and poorest WIDENED THANKS TO GORDON BROWN’S TORY POLICIES

      Along with Alistair Darling Gordon Brown bankrolled the Iraq War and Trident nuclear weapons of mass destruction; Doubled the 10p Tax band for the poorest while wealthy Non-Doms get off with limited tax bills; Fatally relaxed regulation of the Banks; Scotland’s Oil Revenues used to pay off his debt mountain; Use of expensive PFI / PPP method of finance; Sky high fuel duty; and Imposing student tuition fees.

      And we expected to treat this guy with deference as some kind of expert voice.

    58. Robert Louis says:

      So, what we have developing is this;

      If you vote NO,

      British Labour in Scotland may promise you some meaningless new powers, whilst removing powers from the Scottish Government to hand to Labour run (and corrupt) councils.

      Gordon Brown may promise meaningless powers different to ‘Labour’, and will enact legislation to remove the opportunity of an independence referendum ever happening again.

      Libdems may promise you meaningless powers different to ‘Labour’ or Gordon brown, but as we know, the Libdems have a track record of lying.

      Tories may rather vaguely promise you more ‘responsibilities’, but not more powers.

      Given that in any event each of of the above would require firstly a Westminster parliamentary majority plus a willingness of a majority of English MP’s to agree to such changes, the whole discussion is pointless.

      The only way in which there could be more powers with any certainty following a NO vote, would be if there was a third question – something which unionists gleefully rejected – or if Westminster was to enact legislation in advance of the vote which could become law immediately following a NO vote.

      None of this will happen. As soon as there is a NO vote, Scotland will be roundly ignored, ridiculed and pished on by Westminster for another 300 years, (or more likely until the oil runs out). Only a YES vote puts Scotland in the driving seat, nothing less will do.

    59. scottish_skier says:

      As far as the typical unionist is concerned, Holyrood should ONLY get the power if Scotland would do something different from Westminster with it.

      Correcting that for you Doug:

      As far as the typical unionist is concerned, Holyrood should ONLY get the power if Scotland would do the same as Westminster with it.

    60. proudscot says:

      Grouse Beater, it should also be recalled and repeated as often as possible, that this was the man who couldn’t get the name of “Scotland” past his gritted teeth, when asked by an American journalist whereabouts in Britain he came from. Instead he infamously replied, “I come from the North of Britain”.

      Now “North British Broon” thinks he can once again transform himself into a caring Scottish politician, entitled to lecture us on how we can in turn be transformed into obedient little Brits, with lots of undeliverable little devolved “powers”. Powers which would have to pass the impassable barrier of Westminster!

      A pity he didn’t argue this case with his then boss Bliar, who famously sneered that the devolved Scottish Parliament, which he was against incidentally, would only have the power of a “parish council”! Shades of Billy Connolly’s “Wee pretendy parliament” indeed.

    61. Papadox says:

      If after a NO vote in the referendum, Westminster votes not to allow any more referendum on Scottish independence where does that leave us. Even if all the Scottish MPs voted against. (Hypothetically)

    62. Stuart Black says:

      @proudscot: I think he’s insane, myself. 🙂

      Shinty seems to annoy him to an unfeasible degree too.

    63. Pin says:

      Scots Anorak is right. Please change the title

    64. Clootie says:

      Anyone who remember 1979 has to keep telling others about it.
      We have clear and recent evidence that they cannot be trusted.(including the 40% manipulation by Labour)

      The McCrone Report demonstrates their lack of openess and honesty.

      Scotland do not fall for this crap again – this is your last chance!

    65. Jamie Arriere says:

      Oh my God, words almost fail :

      3. says new division of powers between Westminster & Holyrood with more for Holyrood, which under 5. they have to share again with Westminster to tackle common problems, before devolving them down to local communities.

      Incoherent, smoke-and-mirrors, half-baked Bollocks!!

    66. creag an tuirc says:

      bookie from hell I wonder if George thinks Palestine has any culture? He has oodles of bullshit lined up if you try to compare Scotlands situation to any other nations, ones he’s fervently supported in the past.

    67. Gillie says:

      The recipe for jam tomorrow.

      1. Boil a big pile of Westminster shyte and pish for a 100 years.

      2. Add in flavour of choice Labour, Tory or Lib Dem.

      3. Pour proposals into political jam jars.

      4. Store in dark cupboard at Westminster for perpetuity.

    68. Jamie Arriere says:

      ” Brown argues, cannot be addressed unless the Scottish and UK governments work together.”

      From the man who barely spoke to the First Minister after his election in 2011 for nearly a year. WTF does he know about “working together”?

    69. lumilumi says:

      @stuart black 1.13pm

      Jeesh!

      I felt sorry for that Irish Gareth (lately of Kent) trying to gently put the case for a national culture other than “British”.

      George Galloway didn’t get Gareth’s point at all. Instead, he hectored on and seemed to see the annihilation of any distinctive Scottish culture as a good thing.

      “Nobody wants shinty!”

      But apparently it’s OK for Ireland to have Gaelic football or hurling because they’re independent… Rather makes the case. Distinctive Scottish culture would be better off in an independent Scotland.

      It disgusts me when George Galloway makes out that everybody in Scotland shares his narrow-minded and bigoted views.

      My internet connection gave up at Galloway ranting that he doesn’t give a damn about Robert the Bruce.

    70. chalks says:

      Thanks Andrew!

    71. M4rkyboy says:

      Gotta agree with others,the title is out of order.

    72. Stuart Black says:

      “My internet connection gave up at Galloway ranting that he doesn’t give a damn about Robert the Bruce.”

      Probably a good thing for your blood pressure. 😉

    73. Jim T says:

      For goodness sake people, PLEASE stop using the word “were” when the perfectly good word “was” is far more appropriate, and (in most cases) grammatically correct!

      Rant over … and breathe.

      Thank you.

    74. Training Day says:

      ‘None of this will happen. As soon as there is a NO vote, Scotland will be roundly ignored, ridiculed and pished on by Westminster for another 300 years, (or more likely until the oil runs out). Only a YES vote puts Scotland in the driving seat, nothing less will do.’

      Indeed, Robert. The mentality that says that following a No vote achieved by coercion, threats and bullying Westminster will be eager to reward a Scotland which has capitulated to said threats with more powers is one of the enduring mysteries of this campaign. The bully, having battered you into submission, does not immediately set about building up your self-esteem.

      I mean, I understand why the MSM promote this narrative, but anyone possessed of a modicum of intelligence must surely recognise the absurdity of the vote no, get more powers proposition?

    75. Papadox says:

      Big Gordy’s Big Bore in:

      Magrit & Jola looked right pissed off as big Gordy strutted his stuff. Hope they weren’t there as the dolly birds to brighten up big Gordy’s stage, it failed. A wonder if big Gordy new who they were and what they were doing there.

      Ming the magnificent looked demented and sounded wandered, they should retire him to save his dignity.t

    76. chalks says:

      Jim T – I weren’t aware of anyone doing this?

    77. Kendomacaroonbar says:

      @ Jim T

      Are werewolves still allowed ?

    78. Arbroath 1320 says:

      I’ve just watched the BBC news channel drooling at the mouth over the Great Gordo the Magnificent and his ‘major announcements’ about the flavour of jam he is promising tomorrow, despite the fact he has absolutely no power to offer anything!

      Unfortunately I only got as far as seeing the first few frames of the news item before scrambling for the mute button. Thing is I don’t know what was worse, getting dizzy watching the Great Gordo walking incessantly back and forth across the stage or seeing his numptyettes sitting behind him with faces like they’d just been slapped with a wet fish! 🙂

    79. Look Skye Walker says:

      Give us a great big smile, Gordon!
      The face that launched a thousand “Yes” votes:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26510735

    80. Look Skye Walker says:

      Smile, Gordon, smile.

    81. Craig P says:

      “New power-sharing partnerships to address shared problems on poverty, unemployment, housing need and the environment which, Mr Brown argues, cannot be addressed unless the Scottish and UK governments work together.”

      This is the one that gets me. It is only because we are bound to a legislature that cares nothing for these issues that we cannot do much about them.

    82. Jim T says:

      @chalk & @kendomacaroonbar

      Thank you for noticing 🙂

      There is at least one in the postings above (no names, no pack drill) and I noticed our revered leader also slipped in an errant “were” under point 2 of his top of the page epistle. I can only assume that his extreme exposure to the meejah outpourings has found a weakness in his otherwise fine armour.

      Sorry, it’s just one of my OCD grammar twitches/tics/moments

      Nurse …. more of the pink medicine please!

    83. muttley79 says:

      I just read this article by Jonathan Freedland in the New York Review of Books website. A section says:

      Privately, well-placed Nationalists reckon a narrow defeat is probable—and they insist that will be no disaster. If the Yes side gets more than 40 percent then, they say, a new process will begin—negotiations with London over greater powers for Edinburgh, for the enhanced devolution known as “devo max,” which most believe would have comfortably gained 70 percent support had it been on the ballot. Scots themselves might groan at that prospect, bracing themselves for the “neverendum” endured by the people of Quebec.

      Please, please tell me there is no senior, well placed Scottish Nats who believe this? Surely not?

    84. seanair says:

      Arbroath 1320

      Numptyettes–I like. But they also look like harpies–“ugly winged bird-women” (that goes for BBC Jackie too).

    85. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Why is the tiltle of the post bothering people? Is it because the second part of it is missing? ie, The one eyed man is King.

      It is not a slight directed at GB, it is, imho, directed at the supposition that we should somehow be in awe at the wisdom being passed down to us, and thus grateful. Aye Right!

    86. Training Day says:

      @Muttley

      ‘Privately, well-placed Nationalists..’

      That’s journalistic code for ‘I’ve just made this up’.

    87. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day

      You would have to hope so. Surely no senior Scot Nat would think we will get anything at all from a No vote. Does not bare thinking about.

    88. bald eagle says:

      seanair

      is harpies not spelt with an E just asking like

    89. Whiplash says:

      @Stuart Black

      Listened to George Gallowy’s rant there.
      Always thought Adele was white.

    90. SquareHaggis says:

      Priceless clip on the bbc just now of a paragraph of rancid Broon fluff using all kinds of hand gestures n stuff, whilst in the backgrund wifeys curran and lamont look on like a right pair o deflated boom & bust.

      Naebdy, but naebdy is goin to buy this, you couldnae gie it awa.
      He’s a convincing liar but ONLY if the auld hearin aid gets left in the car.

    91. seanair says:

      bald eagle

      The word you are thinking of has 2 e’s.

    92. Taranaich says:

      Something that just occurred to me (but I don’t doubt everyone else has already come to this conclusion): BT make a big huge song and dance about various billionaire tycoons being pro-UK, as if that’s supposed to convince the 870,000 Scots living in poverty to vote No.

      Yet at the same time, BT claim that they don’t even have a fraction of the Yes campaign’s “war chest.” So surely it follows: IF the likes of BP, Shell, RBS and more truly support Better Together, then why does it seem none of them are willing to contribute their money to ensure a referendum victory?* Are they saying the might of multinational corporations are as nothing compared to the coffers of the SNP government? Are the Weirs richer than the oil and bank industries of the United Kingdom combined?

      Or are they actually not quite as committed to the Better Together cause as BT might hope, and simply sticking to what seems the most stable outcome according to the polls – like they did in 1979 and 1997? Seriously, if Bob Dudley and Ross McEwan are truly pro-Union, then why are BT in such dire financial straits that they have to beg for money in every email they send?

      *save the likes of Ian “I’m sure the Arkan was an alright chap” Taylor, naturally, even BT realise publicizing links to a Serbian war criminal might be a bit counterproductive.

    93. Ian Mor says:

      The Herald 02 September 2013

      http://tinyurl.com/q3bvswl

      This is obviously just Gordon rehashing his same “United with Labour” speech (See above)

      The man who introduced us to Atos and the Bedroom tax and didn’t want any devolved powers for Scotland, was on similarly rambling and delusional form back in September.

      “I believe it makes sense now”

      Yet, strangely enough, not at any time during his tenure. Must have been one incredible Damascene conversion.

    94. lumilumi says:

      So Gordy is (or wants to be seen as) advocating some sort of a written UK constitution? Probably one that makes Scotland a region of the UK for ever and ever.

      The upside of that threat is that the Westminster Parliament will never agree to any written constitution. It’s proud of its antiquated unwritten shambles of a way of running a country and will note vote to change that.

      Now, about giving more powers to local councils… I’m all for local democracy but it has to be carefully thought through. For instance, the STV system of electing local councils in Scotland is just bonkers. For instance, if a council seat becomes vacant (resignation, death), there’s a by-election.

      By-elections are an integral part of the undemocratic FPTP system but they don’t work in a PR environment.

      Say a ward elects 5 councillors. Party A, with the highest % of the popular vote gets 2 seats, party B with the second highest % of the popular vote gets 2 seats and party C with the third highest % of the popular vote gets one seat. All fine and dandy and roughly in line with the popular vote.

      Now imagine if a party B councillor resigns. There’s a by-election – which will be won by party A because they command the highest popular vote. Then, unfortunately, a party B councillor dies. There’s a by-election – which will be won by party A because they command the highest popular vote. So now the ward has 4 party A councillors and no party B councillors and the proportionality is destroyed.

      The way to fill vacant seats in a PR system – in order to preserve the proportionality – is to promote the runner-up on the resigned/dead representative’s list. As is done regarding Holyrood “list” MSPs. Christian Allard became an MSP after the list MSP above him, Mark McDonald, resigned in order to contest the Aberdeen Donside constituency (FPTP) by-election.

      One other thing about local councils having more power. There needs to be a national “minimum standard” as regards council services. Richer councils can then offer more and better services but residents of poorer council areas shouldn’t be left behind.

      In Finland the councils collect local income tax and are responsible for most of the service provision but have to adhere to national standards. Local councils get money from the central government, poorer councils more than richer, but the local income tax also varies. It’s not a perfect system, and it’d require quite an intellectual leap for anybody used to the British system to think of things in this way.

    95. Appleby says:

      “an historic”

      Burn in the fires of hell. 😛

    96. Vincent McDee says:

      Just for the sake of triviality, in the BBC report on Broon this two paragraph can be found:

      “Scotland is already due to receive new powers over income tax from April 2016, when the UK Treasury will deduct 10p from standard and upper rates of income tax in Scotland, giving MSPs the power to decide how to raise cash.

      But Mr Brown suggested letting the UK government decide the first 5p of income tax and giving responsibility over the next 15p to Scotland was a “fair way” of raising 40% of the revenue of the Scottish Parliament in Scotland.”

      Can anybody explain to me how do you eat the later?

      Should I use fork&knife, spoon, chopsticks or is it fingerfood?

      I’m totally astonished and bewildered at what it really means, or if it has a meaning at all.

      Please help.

    97. bald eagle says:

      lumilumi

      you are better at this than me want to swap sides

    98. David says:

      I agree with Alan Mackintosh, this article’s title is a very apt use of the saying “in the kingdom/land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. Look at the wiki page, especially at the second interpretation,

      “Even someone without much talent or ability (Gordon Brown) is considered special by those with no talent or ability at all (No Campaign, BBC, JoLa, take your pick!)”

      http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/in_the_land_of_the_blind,_the_one-eyed_man_is_king

      So that’s 2 FOR the title, 3 AGAINST, and umm 87 UNDECIDEDS, all to play for!

    99. SinnerGirl says:

      It all sounded so much more reasonable when he presented it in Glasgow at lunchtime.
      And I had to stop myself from laughing out loud when Johann said it was “astonishing”. Not just once but twice in the same comment.

    100. lumilumi says:

      @ bald eagle

      Swap sides? I’m confused. 😀

      I just watched that clip of the Great Gordy.

      What’s with the pacing back and forth? Is it to make him look “dynamic” or is it to distract from the pish he’s uttering?

      Westminster and Holyrood must work together blah blah blah… Well, Gordy, tell that to the Westminster Parliament. They seem the ones reluctant to co-operate. BTW, Holyrood could work very well on its own in an independent Scotland.

      Also, what’s with the cheer(less)leaders Curran and Lamont sitting in the background? Presumably they weren’t there for decorative purposes only but delivered a few words, too?

      Let me guess…

      Curran: blah blah furriner blah blah furriner blah blah and the Scottish Government must answer questions why it didn’t inform the furr… Scottish people of the nuclear leak!

      Lamont: I’m ashtonished.
      (Regrettably Ms Lamont was unavailable for further comment.)

    101. CapnAndy says:

      I love this business of ‘Constitutional Lock’, it’s been nicked off Cameron with his ‘Three way lock in’ for pensions. Do the idiots not realise that it makes them sound like timeshare salesmen.
      On that thought, thank heavens the No campaign doesn’t hire real timeshare salesmen who may just manage to sell us the 52 weeks per year as part of the UK.

    102. Derick fae Yell says:

      Parliamentary Question. Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much in public duty costs allowance has been paid to each former Prime Minister in each year since 2010; what the limit is of the public duty costs allowance for former Prime Ministers; when that limit was last reviewed; whether the public duty costs allowance is payable in addition to their parliamentary allowances to former Prime Ministers who remain Members of Parliament; what audit is undertaken of claims made under the public duty costs allowance by former Prime Ministers; what checks are made to ensure that claims against the allowance meet the criteria for funding from the allowance; what guidance is provided to former Prime Ministers on claiming from the public duty costs allowance; and if he will place in the Library a copy of that guidance. [189655]

      Mr Maude: The amounts paid in 2011-12 and 2012-13 are as follows:
      2011-12
      Gordon Brown £114,998.17
      Baroness Thatcher £109,191.00
      John Major £115,000.00
      Tony Blair £115,000.00

      2012-13
      John Major £114,996.00
      Gordon Brown £100,315.68
      Baroness Thatcher £74,087.76 [deceased so only a part year]
      Tony Blair £115,000.00

      The current limit for the PDCA is £115,000. The limit is reviewed on an annual basis.

      Former Prime Ministers will continue to receive the PDCA if they are a sitting MP, provided they are not serving as Leader of the Opposition.

      Claims are processed by the Cabinet Office and form part of the annual audit of Cabinet Office expenditure.

      Gordon Brown an “ex-politician”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24755543

      Gordon Brown has turned up to just 13.3% of votes since 2010

      http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Gordon_Brown&mpc=Kirkcaldy_and_Cowdenbeath&house=commons

    103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Gordon Brown an “ex-politician”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24755543
      Gordon Brown has turned up to just 13.3% of votes since 2010
      http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Gordon_Brown&mpc=Kirkcaldy_and_Cowdenbeath&house=commons

      I know. Those links are already in the piece. DOESN’T ANYONE EVER CLICK – [shoots self]

    104. bald eagle says:

      lumilumi

      ignore my last post this piece of crap is playing up again
      its all over the place

      im sitting reading wings and getting stuff appearing without touching the keyboard

      will get claire to fix it when she gets home

    105. lumilumi says:

      @ Derick fea Yell

      I’m astonished that Gordon Brown hasn’t claimed the maximum free money on offer. He did quite well in 2011-2012, only missing the target by £1.83 but then slipped and left a shortfall of £14,648.32 in his purse.

      Glad to see, though, that Tony Blair has dutifully claimed every penny.

      What is it anyway that is so important that these former PMs do to the UK that the taxpayers should pay these kinds of sums to them? They presumably have their MP pensions or salaries+expences, and rake in the money for “public speaking engagements”. (I personally wouldn’t pay to hear any of them speak but apparently some people do, ho hum.)

    106. Morag says:

      I know what some people mean about the title, but frankly it would take superhuman restraint to pass that one up. And I really don’t think Stu possesses superhuman restraint.

      And it’s not funny or even “edgy” once you’ve explained it, guys.

    107. Les Wilson says:

      Well dissected Rev, usual good standard.

      What else do we expect from the myriad of Westminster Unionist Politicians who call themselves “Proud Scots”, they are “proud” to be on the Westminster gravy train no doubt of that.

    108. Derick fae Yell says:

      Yes, people do click the links.

      But it doesn’t hurt to put them in BTL as well. Save yer bullets.

    109. Robert Louis says:

      Robert Peffers at 1242

      Paragraphing aside, very well said. I and others have banged on about this for years. The concept of the ‘union of the crowns’ in 1603 was only ever that, a concept. It so happened one person inherited both the English and Scottish crowns. It did not unite the crowns.

      I agree with everything you said.

    110. jake says:

      Oh look,a big pig just flew by!

    111. liz says:

      Gordon Brown can say what he likes as even if the Lab get voted in at WM – he will not be listened to – he is yesterday’s man – he has no power.

    112. Peter says:

      Gordon brown deserves every bit of abuse he gets. He is a revolting bigot who funded the Iraq war and stated with no room for doubt that he would have done exactly the same as blair had he, gormless mcbruin, been PM at the time.

      I also remember his desperate attempts to become English. His favouritest sporting moment ever being a goal against Scotland. Vomit! And it was all wasted effort as his beloved English hate him.

    113. Simon says:

      “New power-sharing partnerships”

      In the UK, political power is like a cricket ball. It can be held, or given away. It cannot be “shared”.

      The English understand cricket so they get this, and are happy with the idea of monarchical sovereignty exercised through the Westminster parliament.

      The Scots have funny ideas about the “sovereignty of the people” and we let them amuse themselves with these fancies. They don’t get it, that Westminster is Sovereign.

    114. X_Sticks says:

      Excellent dissection Rev Stu.

      I’d love to see the whole thing. The little bit on the beeb had me pissin’ masel. All that strutting up and down with the clickety heels.

      Pie in the sky jam salesman with his gorgeous backing singers. What a hoot.

      I noticed the beeb didn’t run it as their main story. Wondering why. Too embarrassed? Possibly, it is that bad.

      Pressure over their ‘perceived’ bias? Trying to look a bit more impartial? Has the level of complaints having some effect?

      Overall the big jam tomorrow bomb makes me think their internal polls are not looking very good at all. There is palpable panic in the ranks of those with most to lose from a Yes vote.

      The Herald twitterendum, whilst not something I’d put great store in, does tend to put a smile on my face and can only be disturbing fro the No camp:

      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/twitterendum-how-your-tweets-and-our-stories-are-driving-the-debate.1394100272

    115. gordoz says:

      What was that film about Gordon Browns time in office ?

      ‘The Man who had his chance’ (and blew it… big time !)

    116. gordoz says:

      No wait a minute it was the other film –

      The Scot who would be a Brit !

    117. tartanarse says:

      On behalf of the city of Dundee, I would like to point out that George Galloway and Alan Cochrane are not typical.

      Both with Irish names too. I think both fellows ancestors would spin in their graves.

      BTW Mr Galloway, Scots eat Macdonalds, watch American TV and movies and listen to American music. They also wear American clothes and drive American cars to American supermarkets.

      America. Home of culture.

    118. tartanarse says:

      Oh, and Scots also die in American wars.

    119. Vincent McDee says:

      https://twitter.com/UnitedWthLabour

      It has 52 followers, but two don’t count because they are Bella Caledonia and Labour for Indy.

      How many people work for Gordo’s wife charity?

    120. rab_the_doubter says:

      According to Gordon we dont have an NHS Scotland. Perhaps someone should tell him.

      If he can’t get a simple fact like this right then what hope is there of the rest of his back of fag packet Devo plan having any truth.

    121. rab_the_doubter says:

      PMSL

      Vote no for a ‘vision’ – seriously? . If I want a vision I’ll keep taking the mushrooms.

    122. Grouse Beater says:

      Scottish socialists cannot support a strategy for independence which postpones urgent social and economic until the day after independence,” … “but neither can they give unconditional support to maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom – and all that that entails – without any guarantee of radical social change.”

      Gordon Brown (24) – Editor “The Red Paper.”

    123. Macandroid says:

      @ Stuart Black

      George Galloway audio – sickening!

    124. Bill McLean says:

      Tartanarse – surnames are a bit of a hobby of mine – neither Galloway nor Cochrane are Irish names. Both are Scottish and clearly Galloway is from Galloway, Cochrane is from lands near Paisley. Sorry to be a geek but as I say it is a hobby – very interesting too! SAOR ALBA!

    125. Grouse Beater says:

      Macandroid

      Galloway has regressed to the role he feels most comfortable, that of the punch-drunk pugalist.

      Alas, we need politicians like him; they sharpen our wits because theyre bullies; often they are right, but in time they get battle fatigue, in time truth gets shoved aside in preference to winning the argument.

      Listen carefully, for a socialist he has a frightening way of furthering capitalism. “What Scottish “culture?” Scots watch what English watch, we buy what English buy …”

      I wonder why, George?

      Tell you this, we’re not buying the cultural or economic status quo just because you think we should.

      Nor will our artists, sculptors, designers, composers, philosophers, poets, novelists, journalists, architects, artisans, farmers, crofters, arboreal specialists, plantsmen, because the spirit of a nation won’t be found in a boxing ring

    126. lumilumi says:

      @ Bill McLean 9.15am

      Thanks for your contribution re surnames.

      I think there’s something deeply wrong in classifying individual people by their surname alone.

      Sure, some names are “Scottish” or “Irish” or whatever, but people with those names didn’t choose them. It’s just an accident of birth. People with “Scottish” or “Irish” or whatever names may hold all kinds of political opinions. Scottish “Mac” names are spread the world over, it’d be silly to assume that they all shared the same political outlook because of the “Mac”.

      I have a very unusual surname and everybody with it is related to me (or married to a relative of mine) because they’re descendants of my great-grandfather. It’d be silly to insist that all of us with this unusual surname were politically unanimous. For one thing, some live in Sweden, USA, Portugal, Australia so they’ll be more interested in the national politics of their adopted countries than the domestic politics of their great-grandfather’s country.

      This scrutiny of surnames reeks of Brit establishment obsession with class. You know the type of thing. Was your family around by the time of the Domesday Book, and if it wasn’t, you’re nothing… Unless you’re very rich, in which case you might be allowed to the hallowed circle without a pedigree.



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