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Wings Over Scotland

The opposite of information

Posted on March 10, 2016 by

Good luck with this one, folks:


All clear now?

The deficit is £11.9bn, or 7.8% of GDP, or “nearly 10%” of GDP if you arbitrarily remove one source of income from it (Why oil? Why not exclude tourism, or whisky, or sales of shortbread and Jimmy hats?), or it’s £14.9bn, or £16.9bn, or 10.3% of GDP by “one measure” (which one?) if you include a corrected mistake that the Guardian – for it is they – may or may not have been including in the first paragraph.

We’re not even sure where the £14.9bn comes from. The first paragraph of the report talks of expenditure of £68.4bn versus income of £53.4bn, which is a gap (already measured to one decimal place) of exactly £15bn.

We can’t tell where an extra £100m has vanished to, but it’s quite a lot of money to misplace as a rounding error – it’s the sum the SNP say the new Council Tax charges will produce, or what Labour say they’ll get from hiking the top rate of income tax, but Severin Carrell has just lost it down the back of a calculator.

(Are the £14.9bn and the £15bn even referring to the same thing, or does one include capital spending but exclude oil and Andy Stewart records? We don’t know.)

By this point we’ve also been told that Scotland’s tax receipts are 8.2% of the UK’s (so what?), and that spending is £12,800 per head. So in the space of a couple of hundred words we’ve measured stuff in pounds, percentages of GDP (with and without capital spending, and with and without oil), percentages of a different country’s spending, pounds per head and multiples of another country’s deficit.

Later we get public spending (but not income) measured as a percentage of GDP and compared to the UK’s for some reason, and we get told that oil, once $110 a barrel, “has since” fallen to $30.


That’s technically true but unmistakeably implies that $30 is the current price, when in fact it’s currently $40 – a whopping 33% higher.


It’s rather like saying “Partick Thistle led against Aberdeen on Monday night but then Aberdeen equalised”. That isn’t a lie, it did happen, but it omits the fairly crucial piece of data that Aberdeen went on to score another goal and win the match.

All of the figures in the Guardian’s GERS report are facts (we think). The paper has unleashed a veritable torrent of what is, strictly speaking, information. But it’s such an unbelievable mess of confusing, conflicting comparisons of apples with oranges and bananas and helicopters and giraffes that anyone trying to make sense of any of it will recoil in bewildered horror and come away knowing less than they did at the start.

The kindest explanation is that it’s spectacularly appalling writing. The more cynical one is that it’s a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead. We’ll leave you to make your own minds up as to which applies.

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  1. 10 03 16 15:43

    The opposite of information | Speymouth

132 to “The opposite of information”

  1. handclapping says:

    It looks as if it could do with a good editor.

  2. Dan Huil says:

    The more britnats obfuscate the more obvious their deceit. People of Scotland won’t be fooled by britnat bullshit.

  3. Taranaich says:

    We’re not even sure where the £14.9bn comes from. The first paragraph of the report talks of expenditure of £68.4bn versus income of £53.4bn, which is a gap (already measured to one decimal place) of exactly £15bn.

    Deeper in the report it extends to another few decimal places:

    £68.377bn – £53.443 bn = £14.934 bn

    The rounding up and down of the former and latter doesn’t quite make up to a full decimal point, which results in the difference rounding down to 14.9.

    If there’s one thing I’ll never forgive No voters for apart from the obvious, it’s in making me continue to do maths.

  4. I assume it is written to confuse and mislead,

    but since it is the Guardian it`s more than likely that it was just badly written,

    Guardian hacks are world famous for being terrible writers,who write for their own ego instead of trying to inform the reader.

  5. Great piece up to the dig at Partick Thistle ..lay off the Jags …and their 3 minute brain fart !!

  6. Lanarkist says:

    In a previous article or possibly a TV interview he said that, unlike people on the street, he understood the figures in GERS!

    Glad he passed on his insight, in depth understanding and full command of the relevant facts so that us undereducated simpletons could gain some leverage to understanding his important overview then. Isn’t it!

    An erudite example of the core principle of GERS, to obfuscate, confuse, manipulate and deflect and leave us more confused than when we started.

    Sev Carroll is a god send for Unionist Media in Scotland, someone prepared to confuse for reward and undermine his fellow citizens for profit.

    A brazen patter merchant!

  7. Ken500 says:

    The Oxbridge clique

    Cameron and Clegg put the Robocops in to smash up the mail room and threaten the Editor, for telling the truth. Since then the Oxbridge replacement, has told nothing but a pack of lies. ‘the facts are sacred’. Aye right. London luvies, in love with themselves.

  8. Murray McCallum says:

    WTF is it about Scotland’s economy that bits are left out and others added that we effectively have zero control over?

    Also, the commentary on our economy seems to be narrated in a Russell Grant horoscope style. There is always a danger!

  9. Clarinda says:

    I keep attempting to enter a piece that our valiant Rev Stu critiques with withering efficiency for the “Gobbledygook Prize” but I’m struggling as my choice is invariably trumped by yet another contorted pile of nonsense. Today’s ‘masterpiece’, however, is a very strong contender.

    Not so much a “good editor” handclapping (3.15pm) – as a good shredder.

  10. NormCash says:

    Hmmm…..let’s be generous and say that the “oil income” figure used here is 10% of the total UK oil income. According to this article, OMITTING this figure accounts for a (roughly) 2% deficit rise from 7.8% to “nearly 10%”. Would that therefore mean that – all other things being equal – if Scotland were to have 100% of the oil income the deficit would FALL by 18% putting us some 10% in the black? (I know this is back of a matchbook arithmetic, but you see what I’m getting at).

  11. Robert Graham says:

    I was very surprised Brian Taylor of the renouned BBC letting the cat out of the bag letting everyone know the source and author of the GERS slight of hand Magic trick was indeed Ian Lang and pointing out the reason for this little political con trick . Mabye he has left the dark side .

  12. SteveM says:

    Reminds me of a Malcolm Tucker moment…

    “Stats, percentages, international comparisons, information. E-mail them FUCKING WADS of information! And tell them to get their heads around it before they put pen to paper, or I’ll be up their arses like a fucking Biafran ferret, right? “

  13. Capella says:

    Stat fatigue has set in. The quote above is incomprehensible. A simple postcard or poster with a pithy statement that says, “We don’t need oil to have a thriving economy, just freedom.” or better words to that effect would be handy.

  14. Wulls says:

    if you cannot blind them with brilliance. Baffle them withbullshit.
    Does the GERS figures include excise duty which is credited to Engerlund?????
    Does it include corporation tax which is paid wherever a head office is ????
    I honestly don’t know nor does it explain what is included and what isn’t.

  15. K1 says:

    The kindest explanation is that it’s spectacularly appalling writing. The more cynical one is that it’s a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead. We’ll leave you to make your own minds up as to which applies.

    I’m opting for a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead by a spectacularly appaling writer.

  16. HaggisHunter says:

    It’s the McCrone report again.

    Had my brother on the phone yesterday, a soft No voter, saying Scotland is doomed. I reminded him that info came out of the Brit media, and Norway has £800 Billion in her banks, while we have a 8% stake in the UKs £1.6 Trillion of debt.

    This is what the Brit media is up to, shake the confidence of the Scots, and let us eat of Humble Pie!

  17. Arbroath1320 says:

    I think what we ALL must never forget folks is what Jim and Margaret Cuthbert wrote in their article GERS: Where now? This was linked to by Stu on a previous article.

    From the article by Jim and Margaret there is one piece that stands out early on that, in my view, should ALWAYS be remembered whenever you hear a unionist babble on about GERS.

    The motivation for producing the initial GERS was political. GERS had been commissioned by the Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Lang: and this is what he said about it, in a leaked memorandum to John Major:
    “I judge that it is just what is needed at present in our campaign to maintain the initiative and undermine the other parties. This initiative could score against all of them.”

    I think the author of this goobledegook from the Guardian is an excellent example of why.

  18. Ian says:

    ‘Since the first oil produced off the north-east coast of Scotland arrived for processing onshore in the summer of 1975, more than 43bn barrels of crude have been pumped. That crude has been worth around £1.4 trillion – a figure greater than the country’s entire (UK) national debt – based on an average oil price over the period of $50 per barrel. Total tax receipts from oil and gas production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) since 1975 have exceeded £330bn but that figure doesn’t reflect the worth of the industry to the Treasury. The North Sea supports the employment of around 450,000 people in the UK, all of whom pay income tax.’ – Telegraph 4/9/15

    ‘Despite some predictions that oil production in the UKCS should have dried up 15 years ago, there are still thought to be billions of barrels of crude that can be economically extracted at a lower profit. According to last year’s Wood Review of the North Sea there are between 12bn and 24bn barrels of oil that could still be pumped in UK territorial waters. That is equal to as much as £788bn in revenue and a possible £100bn haul in tax receipts for the Government before the region’s riches are entirely exhausted.’ – Telegraph 4/9/15

    ‘A new industry report goes even further and estimates that these recent investments represent only a fraction of a 100 year oil boom for Scotland’s Atlantic Margin. The report, commissioned by Oil and Gas People, the world’s largest oil and gas industry jobs board, with support from North Sea oil and gas industry experts, conclude that untapped oil and gas in the West Coast will last for at least 100 years, with a whole value of more than £1 trillion.’ – Oil and Gas People 3/9/14

    So along with Agriculture, Banking & Finance, Computing, Construction, Education, Electronics, Medical Services, Fishing, Food & Drink, Forestry, Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, Shipbuilding, Textiles, Tourism and Transport, having all that oil and gas also as part of Scotland’s economy is a real bugger.

  19. jimnarlene says:

    The thing the unionist “press” and commentators forget is, if Scotland is such an economic basket case; their blessed Union ain’t working for the benefit of all parties to that Union.

  20. Capella says:

    Agree Arbroath 1320 the key words there are “maintain the initiative and undermine”. That’s what the Unionists are committed to doing, maintaining the initiative and undermining the Scottish Government. I think we can safely say that GERS is tosh.

  21. Ruby says:

    All clear now?

    Yes! It’s clear that reading articles by Severin Carrell is not a good idea.

  22. Muscleguy says:

    To be fair this sort of trope is commonplace across the media. In reporting on science and medical stories it is rife and often the only way to understand is to find the original academic paper and read it first hand. Often when you do that you find the media article has cherry picked one remark and ignored the caveats and that it is not the main finding of the research and can even be refuted by it. No matter if a headline is sought.

    But mixing up your units and measures is par for the journalistic course. I think it must get taught as a way of giving the text ‘variety’ or ‘style’ in the same way that repeating the same word too often is bad writing if alternatives are available.

    A lot of academic prose is tedious to read because the correct terms are used ad infinitum for reasons of absolute clarity. Try writing a report on say a gene knockout (-/-) vs heterozygotes, one gene copy knocked out, one intact (-/+) vs wild types (but only wrt that one gene) (+/+). Add in a transgene you have introduced to analyse the knockout effects better and you get technical term word salad. Been there, done that, made the transgene, published in Nature (where you are very restricted for space). That one had Latin muscle names as well.

    Often what is needed to bring clarity and why such things exist in the academic literature is condense it all into tables and graphs and such, things newspapers are very, very loath to do. Such things can spare a thousand words but cannot be used in the popular media.

  23. Proud Cybernat says:


  24. Ruby says:

    All clear now?

    Yes! It’s like Groundhog day in the BTL comments on the Severin Carrell article.

    What is not clear is:

    Why is Scotland not able to be an Independent country like all other countries?

    Why if Scotland is such an economic basket case are RUK voters/politicians and even the Quee begging us to stay?

  25. Steve Bowers says:

    Mon the Dons and WTF is that Guardian pish, jeez min

  26. Arbroath1320 says:

    Just for future reference Haggis Hunter I think you might enjoy, sort of, this wee article about Norway and its Sovereign Oil Fund.

    Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund posted a 2.7% return on investments in 2015.

    The fund, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, noted that the gain equaled to $38.98 billion or 334 billion Norwegian kroner. The total value of the fund stood at $854 billion or 7.474 trillion kroner.

    This equates to again of £27.42 Billion which is around 75% of Scotland’s pocket money I think. The total value of the Norwegian Sovereign Oil Wealth fund now stands at around £614 Billion … if my maths are correct. (I was using 12.1819 Kroner to the £ here)

  27. Ruby says:

    Ooops I missed the n off the end of Queen.

    I’m a bit confused about the Queen’s stance on Brexit! If she is in favour of Brexit does that mean she is in favour of IndyRed2?

  28. One_Scot says:

    What the Scottish people need to learn or come to realise is that Scotland being Independent has nothing to do with whether or not we have oil.

    You either want to live in a normal Independent country, or you don’t, it is that simple.

  29. Iain says:

    The more the msm and bum lie, the less the aware half of Scotland believe them. Their referendum lies have come home to roost. They continue to spout their rubbish to a dwindling and increasingly sceptical audience. Their propaganda is no longer working and they don’t know what to do?

  30. DerekM says:

    Smoke and mirrors the lot of it but the big fact is out ,there is no hiding it economically we are better independent because they are incapable of understanding the needs of Scotland and that oil is a BONUS if we had ever got any of it.

    Here we sit on a renewable power house and they are still talking about digging shit out the ground and nukes they are quite certifiable in my opinion.

  31. yesindyref2 says:

    Oil revenues this year were £1.8 billion credited to Scotland, and apparently next GERS year (2015-16) will be £0.1 or £0.2 billion.

    I’m looking forward next Referendum to Alistair Darling and all the Unionist media telling us all that “oil is a volatile resource”. In fact I insist on it, as it can only go up from there! So every time they talk about deficit which 90% of them don’t understand anyway (they think the gap between the UK and Scotland IS the deficit), we can remind them that “oil is a volatile resource”.

    They’re also not going to be able to tell us that Scotland is too heavily dependent on that volatile resource, as currently it’s now what, 2-3% of Scotland’s GDP, and next year would be 0.2%?

    So let the Unionists have their day, every dog has one. But with a correspondingly higher growth in onshore revenues such as we can look forward to, they’ll soon be barking up the wrong tree, or barking something anyway, like barking mad.

  32. David Mills says:

    Was that not the very point of GERS in the first place to present a set of statistical data to be sighted to discourage those with a hankering for devolution/independence and it the data is presented Jin as many formats while maintaining a lack of cross comparison the better.

    GERS is not so much a work of economics or statisticians but the work of lesser Gorden Rummy type but for dogs. A cooked up #@+#?ng dogs diner.

    Sorry, statistical data should clear consistent and comparable GERS is no of these.

  33. orri says:

    Also keep in mind that Westminster, especially the HoL, have deliberately and systemantically interfered in and prevented Scotland from expanding it’s renewables industry. They also kiboshed carbon capture inatives. If Scotland wanted to rebuild at least some of it’s heavy industry then cheap electricity would be the way to go. Other than that having surplus it can sell to the National Grid would certainly help balance the books.

  34. One_Scot says:

    All these facts and figures are irrelevant, they apply to the way Westminster runs Scotland and not how Scotland runs Scotland.

  35. Legerwood says:

    I note in the article the quote from Mr Salmond that Scots would be £500 better off under Independence.

    If I remember correctly it was Danny Alexander who countered this by saying we would be £1400 better off if we stayed in the Union. How then can we have a £15 billion deficit? Surely some mistake.

  36. Sinky says:

    Some real information on Scotland’s finances

  37. Matt says:

    Wasn’t it Tuesday night that Partick played Aberdeen?

  38. Glamaig says:

    Listened to a wee bit of Scottish Parliament today. I heard the SNP talking Scotland up and telling it like it is, but all the others in whiny voices (now who could that be) saying how shite their country is and how lucky we are to have those nice generous Tories down south to subsidise us and take our worthless products off our hands. What a bunch of lying shitebags.

  39. Bob Mack says:

    Figures never lie.

    A man and two friends go into a shop and see a DVD selling at £30. They each contribute £10 to buy it and watch it that night.

    After they leave the shop owner realises the DVD was on sale and should only have cost £25. He sends his assistant after the men with £5.

    The assistant is greedy and decides to keep £2 for himself ,but give the three men £1 each.

    So, the men have in effect paid £9 each for the DVD. 3 x £9 = £27.

    The assistant got £2.

    Total= £29.

    Amazing what you can do with numbers.

  40. That how they like it. It’s smoke, very thick smoke, so no one can ever see through to the truth.

  41. ScottieDog says:

    Unfortunately, we are all being sucked in by Margaret thatcher’s framing of the deficit.

    What we need to realise is that the govt deficit is our surplus. If we turn that around and consider George orborne’s intention to run a govt surplus of say 3%, that means we as a whole will have a deficit of 3%.. (Assuming imports match exports)

    So what’s best? A govt deficit or a private sector deficit? Well compare the levels of debt of the two sectors.
    Govt debt sits around 80% GDP.
    Private debt is around 350% of GDP.

    Also consider that the govt can buy up its old debt ( it did this to the tune of £375 BN in 2012 via the Bank of England’s asset purchase programme).
    The private sector can’t do that.

    So what’s best more private debt or more govt debt?!

    As for the difference in deficit north and south of the border. Much of the reduced deficit is down to the higher earnings/tax take associated with the banking casino.

    This was the banking casino which was bailed out by… Joe public. So WE contribute to that yet gain nothing from it.

    Also bear in mind the amount of money flowing into the city from around the UK each day in interest payments to banks sits at around £190, 000. Banks create money from nothing and lend it out at a cost of interest. This makes up all but 3% of our money supply.

    Yes the UK govt pays out welfare – corporate welfare.

  42. Dr Jim says:

    It’s my car and I want to drive it

    Have you ever had that next door neighbour who’s a dick telling you what you need to do with your grass, your fence,your flowers and by the way he knows a guy who could get you a better deal on a new car like his

    And all you want to do is say Fukc you and go away, but he lives next door and he thinks he knows better than you about Fukcing everything and he still won’t go away because he’s an arrogant Bastirt

    Then one day you see the moving van and he’s leaving and your next door neighbour on the other side tells you “Aye that guy was up to his neck in debt and his house is being sold out from under him to pay the back mortgage he’s a right dick did you no know”

  43. K1 says:

    When I watch fmq’s it’s Rennie that stands out as the most weasly, condescending little nyaff…Tavish Scott though is a supercilious prick, did ye see him mocking Nicola when the camera panned back to Rennie as she was telling him what a hypocrite he was?

    Aye, the lib dems a bunch of Toryboy suck ups, the only thing they’re good for is being Tory austerity conduits…bunch a tubes the lot of them.

  44. Dr Jim says:

    @Bob Mack

    Figures never lie

    Really like that a lot

  45. Sinky says:

    Usual BBC idea of balance in Scotland on Question Time to-night

    Four unionists (including two Tories) against two Indy supporters.

    Given the polarisation of opinion in Scotland and 50% support for SNP they should have had an Indy sympathetic non politician in order to have a balanced panel. Then there is the arch UKOK chairman who will never mention UK’s massive debt or challenge unionist assertions.

    They would dare try that in febrile EU debate in England.

  46. Proven liars like the labour lib dems and Tory’s should not be allowed to stand again for any public office by law and I include our abundance of unionist the elections in May

  47. ScottishPsyche says:

    If GERS are the Scottish Government’s best estimate based on the information available to them, they have to keep hammering home the caveats and omissions in information they receive. This has to be repeated every time the Yoons howl ‘it’s the SG’s own figures’.

    One of the hopes I had was that George Kerevan being on the Treasury Select Committee might have had more access to our true financial picture.

    However, since it seems to be acceptable now that Sir Nicholas Macpherson and his successor are able to manipulate information with impunity, I believe we will never get the true picture.

    It is staggering that Yoons continue to accept GERS as the only figures that matter but, of course, they suit their agenda.

  48. Arbroath1320 says:

    Just in case anyone missed FMQ’s today here is the link. 😉

  49. K1 says:

    red Tory
    yellow Tory
    purple and blue
    all of them wanting to fuck over you…

    I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too.

  50. Arbroath1320 says:

    Sinky says:
    10 March, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Usual BBC idea of balance in Scotland on Question Time to-night

    Four unionists (including two Tories) against two Indy supporters.

    Methinks you have miscounted there Sinky. I believe the correct figure is FIVE unionists. I think you forgot to count Dimblebum in the group of Bampots, oops sorry unionists. 😀

  51. shug says:

    I hope the recent fund raiser keeps you going
    Now you need to think of one to specifically raise the profile of wings so the no voters start to follow or indeed anyone with an interest in the truth.
    Wings needs to become standard reading and a marketing plan is required

  52. Macart says:

    Consider my mind made up.

    Unless a full and comprehensive set of accounts are published on Scotland’s finances, with references to ALL resources, revenue streams and expenditure, then GERS will remain what it always was, an HMG propaganda exercise.

  53. Stephen McKenzie says:

    The trouble is they think folk are stupid enough to believe this £15bn pish.

    I heard Good Morning Scotland presenters mocking John Swinneys bullish comments as regards the GERS figures.

    Good for them, but just where has your audience and reputation gone over the years? The Cochranes, Carrolls and that ever trendy John McLaren – why does he look like someone’s mother from the 70’s, can drone on all the want but very few folk are really listening anymore.

    I will turn on to see if Jackie Bird comes away in one of her more serious interviews with the line “Lets call it Apocalypse Now..”

  54. Arbroath1320 says:

    Just for a bit of fun.

    Anyone who wants to play around with graphs might like to try the O.E.C.D. site out.

    If you select the Topic header you can then select a specific topic to look at in closer detail where you can detail which countries you want to look at. It can make for some interesting viewing. 😀

  55. shug says:

    The key question for no voters looking ahead to the coming election is has London provided good governance of Scotland.

    If the answer is yes then clearly their no vote was correct.

    However I would make a few observations

    1 fifty years ago Scotland was manufacturing almost 50’/, of the world’s shipping with all the infrastructure that involved

    2 there was a car and truck manufacturing capability and there was the infrastructure to build the Forth bridge

    3 over 30 of these years Scotland was also the 13 largest oil producer in the world

    4 today we have none of the above and nothing to show for the oil and you can’t drive a mile without hitting a pot hole

    5 in the same period Germany rebuilt her industry after the war. So did Japan and Korea. London too has seen it’s economy grow significantly

    So the question is has London rule really worked for Scotland? Have they done a good job and should they be retained in power

    I think the answer is self evident

  56. The UK Government,advised by Goldman Sachs who have their financiers and accountants embedded in most world governments,

    is £1,665,994,100,000 in debt,which does not include the state pensions that they owe us and have already spent,

    £52 billion a year in interest,

    and the Yoon and his/her miserable hack has the effrontery to criticise the SNP`s financial judjment.

  57. galamcennalath says:

    Re Queation Time. How about, when in Scotland, having the debate chaired by Alex Salmond for a bit of balance?

    No less prosperous than UKOK England First Dimbleby.

  58. Derek Henry says:

    I’m the monopoly issuer of £’s.

    I’ve just given every adult in Scotland £100.

    I don’t need anyones £’s they are worthless to me as they are not backed by gold. If I need anymore £’s I will just create them from thin air on my keyboard.

    When I Spend all I do is credit accounts and get the goods and services I Need in return to run this beautiful wee country.

    If anyone gives me £’s I’ll burn them. I’ve decided to burn them to control inflation.

    I’ve decided to tax every person £150. By doing so I’m now running the right wing household budget surplus dream.

    Every person in Scotland recieved £100 and now have to pay £150 in taxes.This means nobody can now spend, save and invest. Infact they will have to borrow and get into debt to meet their tax liabilities. Looks like private debt is going to go through the roof.

    I’ve changed my mind I’ve decided to tax £100 instead.

    Yipee, I’m now running a balanced household budget.

    Oh dear, nobody in Scotland can still spend, save or invest. At least they are not going into debt.

    I’ve changed my mind again. I’ve now decided to tax £20.

    Jings. I’m now running a nightmare budget deficit it even sounds bad.

    However, the people of Scotland are now dancing in the streets. Each has £80 they can use to spend, save and invest however they choose.

    I’m fine their taxes are worthless to me. I’ve burned every £ I Recieved. Exactly like the Bank Of England does in the reserves every night.

    Oh how I Wish I ran a deficit of £15, 000, 000, 000.

    What I Learned when I was running this beautiful wee country was my deficit spending had to be large enough so that the people of Scotland could

    a) Pay their taxes in £’s

    b) Buy what goods and services their families need in £’s

    c) Save and invest in £’s

    The accounting fact goes like this.

    The government deficit = the private sectors savings to the penny.

    Financial savings by every individual and entity that is not part of the UK government. That includes households, businesses, residents and nonresidents, as well as foreign corporations and foreign central banks — all of which are casually called “the private sector. was increased by £80.

    Not an ounce of gold insight.

    If I ran Scotland it would be a great wee country. I would set up our own central bank that issued our own currency and burned it’s taxes exactly like the Bank Of England in the reserves every night.

    No doubt the fixed exchange rate zoomers would have something to say about that. But I would use a floating exchange rate that they have no idea how to as their text books are 50 years out of date.

    Ignore the propaganda and framing an independent Scotland would be a fantastic place to live. As long as those in charge knew how the simple double entry book keeping operates at a central bank.

  59. Arbroath1320 says:

    Macart says:
    10 March, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Consider my mind made up.

    Unless a full and comprehensive set of accounts are published on Scotland’s finances, with references to ALL resources, revenue streams and expenditure, then GERS will remain what it always was, an HMG propaganda exercise.

    I posted this link on the previous article but think it may useful here.

    As you may recall Macart, Westminster has an unusual liking to adding costs to Scotland (and other regions) of infrastructure projects under the auspices of we ALL benefit. 😉

    Well I’m thinking that they do something similar with the regional deficits, specifically those adhering to London and the South East in the attached link. Westminster must take a proportion of London and South East deficits and *ahem* include them into the Scottish figures because as we all know … we ALL benefit from these deficit figures! 😀

  60. JLT says:

    Our wonderful Scottish media; howls of joy as they finger point at Alex Salmond and shout out ‘£15 Billion Black Hole!’

    And yet …here we are in a Union where the National Debt is £1.6 Trillion. We have been in austerity since 2008, and yet, that debt has continued to climb. £800 Billion in 2008; now £1.6 Trillion eight years later. What will it be by 2020? £2 Trillion? £2.5 Trillion? When does the Greek-style austerity finally get implemented by Westminster to try and stop Sterling imploding and taking us all with it?

    And yet, what does our Media do? Bleat about £15 Billion pound.

    I know which one I would rather have.

  61. Derek Henry says:

    Osborne spent £650.29 billion and collected £572 billion in taxes last year.

    Which means in reality last year’s budget deficit of £78 billion ADDED exactly that amount to the financial assets — the savings — of the nongovernment sectors of the economy.

    This is not ideological or political it is an accounting fact. Deal with it.

    Not £97 billion or £75 billion, but exactly the difference between what was spent and taxed by the government.

    Financial savings by every individual and entity that is not part of the UK government. That includes households, businesses, residents and nonresidents, as well as foreign corporations and foreign central banks — all of which are casually called “the private sector. was increased by £80 billion.

    The accounting fact goes like this.

    The government deficit = the private sectors savings to the penny.

    The government deficit added a total of £80 odd billion in net financial assets — financial savings — to the private sector.

    Government deficit spending has to be large enough so that everyone can

    a) Pay their taxes in £’s

    b) Buy what goods and services their families need in £’s

    c) Save and invest in £’s

    Which is why as a country we have ran budget deficits for nearly 300 years !!!!

    On aggregate a balanced budget or a surplus would not allow us to do b) and c) unless we used our savings we already had or borrowed and got into debt to meet our tax liabilities and saving desires. Which is why Osborne always fails to meet his targets time and time again.

    What did we all do with these savings ? Well most of us done b) and c).

    And because one persons income is another persons spending if we done b) then this would end up back with the government via taxes. Which means c) is just currency that has not been taxed yet.

    So what does this mean for our so called national debt then ?

    The national debt is just all of our yearly deficits added together which is currently around

    £1.6 trillion.

    Which in reality using the formula above should really be called our National savings.

    Over time our government debt has added a total of £1.6 odd trillion in net financial assets — financial savings — to the private sector (you and me).

    There is £1.6 trillion out there that has not been spent by us yet. It is our wealth and our national savings. It is not debt it is ours. We have all worked bloody hard for it.

    So where is it all. What have we done with our national savings ?

    It’s HERE !!!! on page 2.

  62. Derek Henry says:

    As Stephanie Kelton ( economic advisor to Bernie Sanders)says in her first economic paper ever written.

    The Reserve Effect:

    When the government spends it writes a cheque on its account held at the Bank of England. The cheque is deposited into an account of a commercial bank. The commercial bank reserves rise by exactly the amount of the cheque as the Bank Of England debits the treasury account and credits the account of the commercial bank for the size of the cheque.

    Fact 1: Government spending increases aggregate bank reserves.

    Therefore, when the treasury receives funds into its account at the Bank Of England the reverse is true. For example if a tax payer sends a cheque to HMRC. The tax payer’s bank and the banking system as a whole loose an equivalent amount of reserves. As HMRC deposits the cheque into the treasury account at the Bank Of England.

    Fact 2: The payment of taxes decreases aggregate bank reserves.

    So if the government ran a daily balanced budget whereby the government spending was offset by taxes. There would be no effect on bank reserves.

    However, this is impossible to predict with the millions of transactions that happen daily. This can vary by £millions. Government spending and taxation will never off set themselves. This causes huge problems for the Bank Of England. As commercial banks are required by law to hold an amount of reserves against some fraction of their deposits but earn no interest on reserves above this amount. Therefore the commercial banks would prefer not to hold substantial excess reserves.

    Fact 3: Government spending will leave them with more reserves than they desire and taxation will leave them with fewer reserves than is required.

    This is where the overnight interbank market comes into play. This allows commercial banks to rid themselves of excess reserves or get hold of reserves that they need. When there is excess reserves in the system caused by government spending the commercial banks will attempt to lend reserves in the interbank market.

    Which also means when there is a shortage of reserves in the system due to taxation. Commercial banks will look to get hold of reserves in the interbank market to meet their requirements.

    The problem is when at the start of the day they all had an equilibrium of reserves. Lending reserves will not help them to get rid of the excess reserves. When the system is flush with excess reserves there will be no bids for the excess. Which means the overnight interest rate will fall to zero.

    Likewise when a shortage of reserves persist nobody will be willing to sell what reserves they have and if they do it pushes the overnight interest rate higher and higher.
    This process does not only effect the overnight interest rate as it is the anchor for all other interest rates.

    Fact 4: Government spending and taxation put different kinds of pressures on the overnight and other interest rates. By adding or draining reserves. Although some commercial banks might be able to eliminate their shortages or excesses it is impossible for the banking system as a whole to do so.

    The only way the banking system as a whole can do this is if the government steps in to do the adding and draining of the reserves for them. They do this by selling or buying government bonds.

    In order to keep a positive overnight interest rate, either the Bank Of England or the treasury would be forced to sell bonds to drain excess reserves. Commercial banks who do not earn interest for holding excess reserves would be falling over themselves to exchange non interest reserves for interest bearing treasury bonds.

    The reverse is also true in order to lower the overnight interest rate they would be forced to buy bonds back from commercial banks to add to the reserves. Commercial banks who get punished for not holding enough reserves would be falling over themselves to sell their non interest reserves for interest bearing treasury bonds.

    As you can clearly see from these daily operations between HM Treasury, The Bank Of England and the commercial banks. It is impossible to do a reserve drain ( taxes and issue bonds) before a reserve add ( government spending and buying bonds). It is impossible to do it in reverse.

    The Treasury always spends first and collects taxes later ( how else would tax payers get their hands on £’s to meet their tax liabilities)

    Infact, taxes are not capable of funding government spending when they are paid using high powered money ( by cash or cheque in a fiat money system) In order for HM Treasury to “get its hands on” the proceeds from taxation it must place these funds in the treasury account at the Bank Of England. As it does and as described above the banking system as a whole loses an equivalent amount of desired or required reserves immediately. The equivalent amount of high powered money is destroyed.

    Similary, reserves are drained and high powered money is destroyed immediately when the treasury issues bonds. In contrast government spending from the treasury account creates reserves and injects the equivalent amount of new money ( M1,M2 etc and high powered money.)

    Fact 5: We can quickly conclude from the operations that the adding and draining of reserves is used to control the overnight interest rate. Fiscal policy is to do with determining the supply of high powered money. Both taxation and bond sales drain reserves from the banking system. Neither provide the government with money with which to finance its spending. Both taxation and bond sales lead ultimately to the destruction of high powered money.

    An analysis of reserve accounting clearly shows that all government spending is financed by direct creation of high powered money. Bond sales and taxation are merely alternative means by which to drain reserves/ destroy high powered money.

  63. Tinto Chiel says:

    My father’s perennial response to such gobbledygook was: “I see said the blin man”.

    Still fuming at the “Scottish” Daily Express headline I glimpsed today: “Scotland the poor man of Europe.” The expressions Bamber Gascoignes and Massey Fergusons don’t do their journalists justice.

  64. Returnofthemac says:

    Oh no! “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. Frank mcabiscuit just on Scotland Tonight about 1500 job losses from Glasgow District Council. He is blaming the bad SNP government. Naw Frank, look further afield, Westminster to be exact.
    Of course don’t expect Labour Frank to comment on the freezing of the Council tax or subsidising the cuts that Councils have to make, SNP bad.
    Don’t worry Frank you won’t have to worry about making these decisions after 2017.

  65. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Derek Henry: great stuff.

    The gobbledygook I was referring to was in the Rev’s quotation!

    Unfortunate juxtaposition.

    Pax vobiscum.

  66. ScottieDog says:

    @Derek Henry
    MMT tends to get the neo-liberal heads spinning.
    We’ve still got the head of the CBI saying that the govt is like a household and has to ‘balance the books’ or generate surplus – the worst thing we can do.

    We need to get the SNP to start adopting this thinking. Maybe when Stephanie is finished with bernie’s campiagn she can work with swinney and co! My fear is however that the SNP are very much in the mainstream judging by some of prof Stiglitz’ recent comments.

  67. Sinky says:

    BBC National 6 news repeating Labour’s claim of £500 millions cut to local authorities without mentioning the £250 extra for social care or £160m for education attainment or Glasgow’s reserves or money wasted over equal pay claims

  68. Macart says:


    Most of us are aware of the origin of the GERS document and the idea of the clusterf**k methodology used. The idea of a set of figures reflecting a snapshot of devolved legislature’s finances is a wizard way of blurring lines.

    No one, other than HMG, has a full and complete picture of all revenue streams and contributions, mainly because all revenue streams and government competences directly applicable to the control of the wider economy are in the remit of Westminster.

    No such set of papers is produced by the Scottish government, or indeed is in their remit to do so. The Scottish public have no clear and transparent way of discovering just what state their country’s finances are in.

    Spooky, but there you go. 😮

  69. Derek Henry says:

    @ Tinto Chiel


    It’s simple stuff really when you understand the accounting fact.

    The government deficit = the private sectors savings to the penny.

    It’s the fiscal conservatives and so called left wing progressives that make it difficult.

    By selling the lie we still work from a gold standard and we operate like a household budget.

    Millions fall for the lie though.

    Things are changing though as Stephanie has Sanders ear in Wshington she is telling Bernie how the accounting works in reality.

    Here is her website some great articles on there.

    Stephanie is telling Sanders how it all works

  70. Derek Henry says:

    @ Scottie Dog

    It’s criminal aint it.

    We left the gold standard and fixed exchange rates but never updated the text books.

  71. CameronB Brodie says:

    Whoever wrote the Guardian’s GERS report, apparently wasn’t able to decide which of the measures of wealth was the most significant. Alternatively, they were unaware of how meaning is created and how meaning is communicated. Perhaps an introduction to semiotics? 😉

  72. Inverclyder says:

    At Councils all over Scotland there will be shredders working overtime as Red Tories across the land start or continue to destroy the evidence.

    Expect IT systems to mysteriously lose information too.

    Wait and see.

    Their cards are marked. Tick Tock.

  73. Clootie says:

    …I find it sad that many of my fellow Scots accept the myth that we are too poor and stupid to manage our own affairs.

    However to hear the leaders of Labour, Tories and LibDem politicians pushing it at FMQs today makes me angry and I hope many more of my fellow Scots join me in giving the a clear response via the polling station in sevreal weeks time.

    What other country would tolerate politicians running down its citizens while having the audacity to ask for their vote?

  74. ScottieDog says:

    @Derek Henry
    Also very good on govt deficit v surplus..

    We have to change the narrative. By arguing over who would have the bigger deficit we are buying into the Friedman-thatcher economic myth.

  75. Bob Mack says:


    Yes I agree. They praise the staff at the emergency services,then run them down for failing to meet targets.

    They call the voters robots and cult members,but want their vote.

    They criticise their own country again and again and again,for being “dependant” on the benificence of our neighbour. We could have had over £300 billion in our coffers from oil but our benefactors down South took it and used it for their own ends.

    It is not the Scots Nats who are programmed, it is themselves. Whilst we look to improve the life of all citizens,they seek to further impoverish the poor,to give tax breaks to those with enormous wealth, and to say or promise the most outrageous things to con the ordinary man.

    SNPX2. Give them the answer they deserve.

  76. Provost Sludden says:

    @ jimnarlene

    My thoughts exactly. Right at the start of the Referendum campaign I would probably have been a No voter. But as time went on and all we heard from Better Together was how much of a shitehole Scotland is, I thought “well thats the blessed and almighty Union that’s made it a shitehole”.

    SNP x however many it takes to get us out.

  77. galamcennalath says:

    There really only seems one argument for maintaining the Union. It’s not exactly a positive case for. That solitary argument requires that Scotland cannot possible be a viable country outside the Union. Thus the present Yoonfest over some very dodgy statistics.

    The counter, of course, is to put a good case that an Indy Scotland, run for the benefit of Scots, is in fact as viable as any other Northern European country.

    Then the Union has nothing left to stand on.

  78. Croompenstein says:

    OT – Would you get a load of this! Brits abroad are ex-pats not deerty steenking immigrants… from 46:00 > 49:55

  79. Ghillie says:


    I’m with you on this one Cappela @ 3.39pm:

    ‘We don’t need oil for a thriving economy, just freedom!’

    Nicely put = )

  80. Ken500 says:

    UK raised £572Billion – (minus) £54Billion raised in Scotland = £518Bilion divide by 11 (11/12 of UK pop)
    = £47Billion (pro rata)

    £78Billion of borrowing in the rest of theUK – divide by 11 = £7Billion (pro rata)

    £47Billion + £7Billion = £54Billion (pro rata)

    Scotland has to give £4Billion from £54Billion raised in Scotland to UK Treasury
    to pay off their debt. Scotland has to pay £4Billion (from taxes raises in Scotland) to pay for money not borrowed or spent in Scotland. That £4Billion invested in Scotland could grow the Scottish economy.

  81. ArtyHetty says:

    I watched FMO’s and as people here have said, why is it that the unionists revel in talking down their own country?

    In Westmonster, they argue on policy, they don’t say, and what a crap, useless, incapable basket case of country we are into the bargain. Yet in Holyrood, the unionists, having nothing positive to offer Scotland, base their arguments on how incapable they think Scotland is. What would their stance be if they were in power?

    Something like, we are doing a fab job, but Scotland’s still crap anyway, or would they start saying what a fantasticly run and functional, successful country Scotland is. Somehow I doubt it, to them, Scotland will always be sh***e.

    What do they want? What do they want Scotland to be? Why do they stay, if they think it’s such a disaster?

    Given that Scotland has been shackled to westmonster for 100s of years, how can the unionists justify their negative view, and their negative political decisions? As N. Sturgeon pointed out, Scotland has been stripped bare on their watch via westmonster.

    Why are these anti Scotland unionists, in Holyrood able to continue collecting a nice big wage for undermining their own country, day in day out.

  82. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Why are these anti Scotland unionists, in Holyrood able to continue collecting a nice big wage for undermining their own country, day in day out.”

    Sadly, ArtyHetty, the answer is practice.

    But the times they are a’changing.

  83. jdman says:

    Permission to lose the will to live …SIR?

  84. Bob Mack says:

    The latest on twitter is the Unionists trying to quote Swinney as the originator of “too wee too poor too stupid” . In fact he did create that statement. Is it true?

    Quotes from Lamont,Foulkes, and Dugdale today at FMQ’S, prove that those are the exact sentiments that these Unionists attribute to Scotland. They may not have invented the phrase,but they do give it credence.

    They try to play with words,but this time they are trying to climb a greased pole.

    SNPX2 in May

  85. ScottieDog says:

    Indeed, and if you think how many viable economies there are throughout the world with a much smaller population than the UK where there is far more equality it makes you wonder what their argument actually is?

    Are they saying as per the ex ex SLAB leader that we are genetically incapable?
    They are backing themselves into a corner.

  86. ronnie anderson says:

    Please form a orderly que & reserve your seats for the Handbasket ,it getting chilly wie nae Oil tae burn.

  87. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    How cynical can the yoonies get? They latch on to the GERS figures like vultures onto a carcass, yet brazenly ignore the reality that a large chunk of “our” deficit is caused by Westminster mismanagement and effective theft to pay for matters which benefit us not one miserable iota!

    For example, being “Better Together” is not only saddling us with the infamous cost of renewing Trident, but also in due course the enormous cost of renovating the Palace of Westminster, which is materially as decrepit as the political system which fills it. There are plenty other examples besides.

    It’s a cruel double trick, like forcing someone to walk up an escalator that’s moving downward, then beating them for their deficiencies and mocking their aspiration to turn the thing round!

    Yoony doublethink sometimes makes me like to choke. But journalists-turned-propagandists like Carrell apparently fail to realise that more and more people here are getting wise to their tricks, so all they are succeeding in doing is destroying their personal reputation and that of their profession.

  88. Kirsty says:

    Why do they always insist on doing reports on Scotland’s revenues excluding oil and gas? They’re in our territories; you can’t exclude them! Why not exclude people aged between 30 to 45, or the farming industry or anyone who’s left handed instead? That’d make about as much sense. Why do they even waste our time with this when it’s clearly Dallas – who shot JR level nonsense? (That’s rhetorical; we all know why they do it).

    I’m not going to bother going over the maths of why the MSM/Unionists are creaming themselves over nothing and spouting their usual lies – it’s all been thoroughly debunked already. I would just say for the millionth time that I can’t understand why the meeja continue to whine like frat boys at a party who’ve had their beer taken off them when we tell them to sit down and stop embarrassing themselves by typing such nonsense as fact. It’s sheer hyperbolic, slavering, Full Moon level nutjobbery. My God. No wonder the MSM in Scotland are done. It’s thoroughly well deserved too.

    I’ve never seen a better advert for independence though. If things were really as bad as the meeja are trying to lead us to believe, should we really be letting the same clowns who’ve been in charge of our economy for 300 years deal with it any longer since they’ve been clearly been inexcusably incompetent? Of course not. If we were as bad as Greece, etc. as they would like us to believe (eh, we’re not!) then surely, as an independent nation who therefore had full control of fiscal powers and who could make reactive changes when required, we could do no worse than Westminster have and could only do better.

  89. louis.b.argyll says:

    “..What do they want? What do they want Scotland to be? Why do they stay, if they think it’s such a disaster?”

    Good point, and add –

    Do they think they will live forever?

    Probably not.. So..

    Do they think their doomed political establishment will outlast the independence movement?

    See Declaration of Arbroath.

  90. That’s the usual Severin Carrell standard.

    Thistle game was Tuesday not Monday but sadly Aberdeen did indeed go and win it.

  91. Provost Sludden says:

    As regards FMQs
    Ruthie has a little tank but she also has a little plank (Wullie Rennie).

  92. Arbroath1320 says:

    So the pressing question for tonight folks is this. 😉

    In the up coming 5 versus 2 BBC Question Time popcorn show at 10:50 tonight what will be the first question? 😉

    Will it be on the E.U. and waste the first 30 minutes or so or will it be on GERS and be dead and dusted in under 10 minutes? 😀

  93. Derek Henry says:

    The main reason that Osborne’s and Carney’s supply-side approach is flawed is because it fails to recognise that unemployment arises when there are not enough jobs created to match the preferences of the willing labour supply. The research evidence is clear – churning people through training programs divorced from the context of the paid-work environment is a waste of time and resources and demoralises the victims of the process – the unemployed.

    Imagine a small community comprising 100 dogs. Each morning they set off into the field to dig for bones. This field is owned by the private sector and they bury 95 bones.

    Some dogs who were always very sharp dig up two bones as usual and others dig up the usual one bone. But, as a matter of accounting, at least 5 dogs will return home bone-less.

    Now imagine that the government decides that this is unsustainable and decides that it is the skills and motivation of the bone-less dogs that is the problem. They are not “boneable” enough.

    So a range of dog psychologists and dog-trainers are called into to work on the attitudes and skills of the bone-less dogs. The dogs undergo assessment and are assigned case managers. They are told that unless they train they will miss out on their nightly bowl of food that the government provides to them while bone-less. They feel despondent.

    Anyway, after running and digging skills are imparted to the bone-less dogs things start to change. These dogs now find bones and come back happy. However, there is still at least 5 dogs who are boneless. We start to observe different dogs coming back bone-less. The bone-less queue seems to become shuffled by the training programs. ( who make good money out of this contrick)

    However, on any particular day, there are still 100 dogs running into the field and only 95 bones are buried there!

    It’s obvious the government needs to step in and make sure there are 100 bones buried in the field.

    So how do the government pay for these extra 5 bones ?

    Simple. They simply create the bones from thin air by crediting the field !

    Let’s call this

    Full employment via a Job Guarantee

  94. Almannysbunnet says:

    This report is like a corporate media version of “the infinite monkey theorem”

    Various UKOK hacks sitting tapping keys at random have produced a barely coherent GERS analysis.

  95. Tam Jardine says:

    Some great comments on here tonight. The guardian piece is simply a mishmash of selective nasty sounding stats guddled thegither like George’s Marvellous Medicine followed by the predictable stirring of the pot by the plastic cassandras of the opposition.

    Analysis there is none. Attempting to place the stats in some kind of context there is none. Understanding the economic picture behind the statistics or the methodology of the statistics there is none.

    Scottish labour, the tories and lib dem politicians quoted all campaigned like mad to lock us in this bleak situation rather than attempt radical action, and opposed giving us the tools to perform any meaningful changes to the Scottish economy. This uncomfortable contradiction is so far from Severin Carrell’s article that I feel he would ponder masturbating farm animals in print before he would examine this somewhat glaring hypocrisy.

    Here’s my wee daft yes-voter’s take on these GERS figures. The great article by Dr Craig Dalzell earlier this week touched on the population dynamics. Scotland’s population grew in the financial year 2014-2015 by 0.356%. The rest of the UK’s population grew in the same period by 0.806%- ie increasing at 2.26 times the rate.

    When all of the stats are viewed through the per capita prism, even those which are by and large completely meaningless, the fact that Scotland’s population is growing significantly more slowly than the rest of the UK it seems a complete no-brainer that the economic position will look worse.

    I am no economist but it strikes me that large value revenues like VAT, income tax, national insurance, council tax, fuel duty, tobacco and alcohol duty etc are driven by the working population rising.

    Many of the expenditures have a much less direct link to the working population rising or even the general population rising. Defence spending has absolutely nothing to do with the population level. Costs associated to policing and even healthcare are clearly linked to the population but it is not as directly linked- you build a hospital and the costs of that hospital do not simply increase if the population increases even though more people in the area will inevitably use it. What happens is that a resource becomes more efficiently used until a tipping point is reached where extra staff are required, or an extra wing is needed or they build a new hospital.

    Describing oil revenues per capita is the most meaningless thing of all when the tax revenues are not shared per capita at all.

    Expenditure figures on GERS will always be worse per capita than the rest of the UK as it is a far less dense population- over 5 times less dense or more sparse.

    With our population falling behind the rest of the UK with regularity for the last 100 years infrastructure is far less efficiently used. Expenditure and revenues when viewed per capita will always look more favourable when the working population increases- the only exception being oil revenues which look better and better as the population lags behind.

    It is a wonder the GERS figures look as healthy as they do when you consider the population changes.

    Now- who has had control of the only real levers of population increase for the last 300 years? Clue: NOT the Scottish Government- who are now being pilloried for the inevitable consequences of our populations relative decline.

  96. Phronesis says:

    ‘It is clear that there is within Scotland more of a shared vision and values- a vision of the country,the society,politics,the role of the state; values like fairness,equity, and opportunity…

    If the UK continues on its current course,imitating the American model,it is likely that the results will be like those of the U.S.- where the typical family has seen its income stagnate for a quarter of a century,even as the rich get richer…

    The difficult question that Scotland has to face is thus not about arcane issues about monetary arrangements or economies of scope, about the minutiae of the short- run gains and losses, but whether Scotland’s future- it’s shared visions and values,which have increasingly deviated from those dominant south of the border – will be better achieved through independence’
    Joseph Sitglitz ‘The Great Divide’

    Thankfully it’s no longer a difficult question and the correct answer as Scotland heads towards independence will be delivered at the ballot box in May and beyond.

  97. Arbroath1320 says:

    For those with an interest in this economics thingy. 😉

    In tomorrow’s @ScotNational Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp @theintelligiser – GERS figures show Scotland needs independence

  98. heedtracker says:

    Carrell’s a ferocious yoonster but he knows his very creepy phoney progressive liberal hypocrite market,

    ” Murdo Fraser, finance spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said the figures “shed new light on the SNP’s deception before the referendum. During that referendum debate, the SNP was warned repeatedly by us that they were overestimating the future value of oil.”

    will make Graun readership hearts skip a beat. No one is even trying deny that England will be diminished when they do finally lose control of their Scotland region but that’s too bad. Nothing’s for ever.

    But lets keep another country running Scotland, for their free money n shit. So glad to not be a toryboy red or blue in England but the proud Scot buts just beggar belief. They should include them in GERS, production % of Scotch cringers, terrified of paying their own way, running their own country, grovelling and a sneering at progress you cant stop.

  99. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Please form a orderly que & reserve your seats for the Handbasket ,it getting chilly wie nae Oil tae burn.”

    Nae probs, Big Rons, I’ve goat ma wee Primus and my William Wallace thermals.

  100. scottieDog says:

    It’s hugely frustrating listening to the fallacious arguments of the neo-liberals. I can personally see friends with glints in their eyes as they slap a copy of a mainstream paper in front of me exclaiming “there that’s it settled. Scotland isn’t a viable nation”

    Getting through to such people is like persuading pre-copernican physicists that they had it all wrong about the stars orbiting the earth.

    The best way is to show people how we can generate economic activity without the £. We need to start innovating with a nationwide currency. It can be done and a paper issued by the new economics foundation last year describes it in detail.

  101. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Now- who has had control of the only real levers of population increase for the last 300 years?”

    And of all the economic levers, TJ. This is the perfect answer to all this UKOKian GERS nonsense: if we’re shit, your wonderful Union has made us so.

  102. heedtracker says:

    The more cynical one is that it’s a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead. We’ll leave you to make your own minds up as to which applies.

    By the looks of BBC Question Time tonight, everyone in Dundee has changed to No Thanks. So there is no confusion in that city of YES. Its another BBC miracle of democracy and I have never seen so many tories in one place in Scotland. Must be the elusive shy tory of the Scotland region.

  103. heedtracker says:

    Are there any actual Dundonians?

    Are Dundonians extinct or have they all moved to get a good job in Montrose? Even chrome spell check turns them in to Indonesians.

    The lost tribes of Bonny Dundee.

    Just when you think BBC sleaze bags couldn’t get any more corrupt.

  104. K1 says:

    Fuck me…this is a complete stitchup…it’s a nawbag convention on qt, there to attack the possibility of another indyref. As many have asked on Twitter: is this Dundee? Yes city?

    This is air domination by BBC within a Yes stronghold. Fucking bastards. It’s all about ‘shredding the case for independence’, that’s what this is.

    Who the fuck is this audience??

    Watch and learn: THEY ARE FUCKING CRAPPING IT.

    Their internal polling must be worse than we thought.

    I want Rennie, Davidson, and Harvie GONE in May. Can we do this please?

  105. scunner says:

    Jeez, QT is a Yoonie beatdown.

    Where the hell did they find the audience? Surprised Dr Scott isn’t there with his “SNP are Disgrace” bawbaggery.

    John Swinney struggling to get a point across without Ruthie or Dimblebum interrupting.

    Shouting at the telly

  106. NiallD says:

    Question Time – what a f***ing disgrace. This is an SNP Bad Propaganda programme. Yet to hear a Dundee accent in the crowd, and in the city of Yes only one voice from the audience seems pro Indy.

    Where did they find all those posh Tories?

    SNP x 2.

  107. K1 says:

    Just about every fucking voice from the audience is an English No voter? Who the fuck are these people?

  108. K1 says:

    Pure SNP BAD on full volume…utter fucking pish spouting turd polishing wank socketry on stilts.

  109. heedtracker says:

    Where did they find all those posh Tories?

    They have come together in Dundee tonight so that YES voters may now apologise to them.

    They are rather annoyed at Scots who had the temerity and damned cheek to vote YES and get the fuck away from them but they will graciously accept our apology, maybe.

    SNP X 2:D

  110. Tam Jardine says:

    Getting a wee bit overcome with indyref nostalgia- takes me back to all those loaded audiences and panels in 2014. Not sure if Kathy doesn’t look familiar from the campaign? Anyone help me out?

  111. heedtracker says:

    Well that was BBC horrible. Swinney shouted down, audience stuffed with tories, out right lies from Davidson and Rennie and the Torygraph just as grotesque as his revolting organ. Job done.

  112. Tam Jardine says:


    True dat. What a fucking disgrace. Am off to bed.

  113. Cherry says:

    Jeez that was awful! I’ve had a fight with my husband coz I lost my temper with all those yoony loonys!!

    John never had a chance, wanted to punch that Holy Willie and it’s true…you can put lipstick on a pig. Need to lie down and let my blood pressure come down from the ceiling.

    Aged I’m beiling!

    Clear the lot in May
    SNP X 2 EU IN

  114. Cherry says:

    Sorry typo gawd not aged! But I have aged in the last hour so maybe right 😉

  115. Liz g says:

    Does anyone know if the bus got out of Dundee safely???

  116. Jaygee says:

    The SNP should refuse to take part in any of these panel shows which are so biased on favour of the UK establishment. Five against one not counting the chair and and what appeared to be a majority english audience , in Dundee! of all places.

    Time for the SNP play the way their supporters would want and that is, get the gloves off and challenge the media.

  117. Still Positive. says:

    That QT was the worst I have ever watched – totally biased audience from a YES city with 2 SNP MPs.

    Audience clearly bussed in and with a few Labour plants in the audience.

    The woman who asked the question about NHS Trusts was clearly a plant as we don’t have trusts in Scotland.

    I was on FB with comments from my YES voting friends totally incenced with the programme as I was.

  118. ClanDonald says:

    That Question Time was another fine example of Tories and Labour working together to attack the SNP.

    It’s amazing how much influence Labour have over the BBC in Scotland, TWO of their failed candidates in the audience asking questions? UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE.

  119. AnneMarie says:

    I have not posted before but read the site every single day. I could not believe that QT tonight and put in a complaint to the BBC stating that this was the last straw and my direct debit is capoot as of Friday. I came on to Wings to see if anyone else was commenting an now feel like a normal human being again, reading that others also feel that there really was a dark side tonight on the programme. I was hiding behind my hands with the cringe. I have not witnessed such a low in all of the referendum and 2015 election programmes.

  120. Macart says:

    I’m guessing QT went as expected from the tone of the comments? They’ll never learn.

    The result of this ‘entertainment’? Enraged viewers.

    Here’s a friendly hint to policy wonks doing their usual scanning of indy sites. Maybe just me mind, but if you continue to insult and denigrate your opposition, your public, your viewers, readers n’ such, don’t be surprised when they respond negatively.

    For the past two days the public have watched elements of their union supporting political class and pretty much the entirety of their media celebrate the release of this year’s GERS fiction. Oh and yes folk are aware its an incomplete set of books, based on an incomplete set of finances and working to a deliberately convoluted methodology, but even putting that aside. What they’ve observed are these people, these institutions gloat, cheer, take pleasure and revel in the denigration of their own country. All for what? Constitutional and party political advantage? Tribal hatred of an opponent? The public themselves?

    How do you suppose that looks and plays to the wider public, hmmm?

    Do you think it looks edifying? Do you think people should be grateful for an economic model that paints a picture of a country incapable of tying its own shoelaces? Do you think its a grand idea to ‘apparently’ take a great deal of sadistic pleasure and entertainment from such a scenario?

    As I say, maybe just me, but why should the public vote for people who insult them, take pleasure in the act and are the authors of the economic model which produced such a ‘woe is me’ situation in the first place? Hmmmm?

    Were I you guys, I’d encourage your chain tuggers to take a step back and look around at what THEY have done here.

    Oh and, yes. That’ll be SNPx2 in May.

    Tick tock.

  121. Cath says:

    Ach, leave them to it. The only people really believing all this subsidy junky shit are those in England and, “well, you won’t mind letting us go then” is a useful argument for them come indyref2. It’s hard to think of any more backfiring propaganda than the Scotland subsidy junky myth. The day it disappears and is replaced fully with, “you’re selfish breaking away and taking all your wealth and resources” will be the day you know they’ve accepted independence is inevitable.

  122. heedtracker says:

    Macart says:
    11 March, 2016 at 3:11 am
    I’m guessing QT went as expected from the tone of the comments? They’ll never learn.

    Even the most proud Scot but BBC yoons will be waking up to that “oh christ we went too far last night” hangover.

    Fantastic fun for tory Britnats, they control the airwaves and the press but they don’t control the ballot papers.

  123. Breeks says:

    The longer the SNP does nothing about broadcasting, the more powerful and emboldened it becomes. It already has our Independence Referendum on its shabby list of battle honours.

    Every aspect of our daily lives is blighted by this propaganda onslaught. Take GERS; beaurocratic tripe you can manipulate to say whatever you want to say, but blast it through the biggest mouthpiece and suddenly it dominates the agenda.

    There are countries in the world where journalists risk their lives to alert the world of gross injustice or inhumanity, and every day they risk arrest, kidnapping, or a bullet in the back of the head. Here in Scotland our leaders are afraid to upset these “so called” journalists in case they say nasty things about us.

    Call a plebiscite. Ask Scotland’s people if we want Scottish News or Unionist propaganda. Give yourselves, our elected spokesmen, the democratic mandate to scrape these lice from our heads once and for all.

    Supplant their media monopoly. Sponsor underground and /or alternative news dispersal channels, and provide people with something to follow. They treat us a mere fraction better than Goebells maligned the Jews. It’s only a matter of time before it us, Scottish Nationalists who are the rats overflowing from drains.

    This is Scotland. We are raised like cabbages to believe that justice will always prevail, we have strong institutions which have our backs, and that our society is stable because there is a comfortable equilibrium to our affairs. It’s all bullshit. Scotland is the poor kid in the playground who get’s his lunch money pinched by the big boys and just doesn’t know how to make it stop. He’s scared to open his mouth because it will just make things worse.

  124. Macart says:


    You hit the nail on the head their heed.

    “oh christ we went too far last night” hangover.

    The establishment simply cannot, in their arrogance, help being who and what they are.

  125. McBoxheid says:

    If you must use a football team as an analogy, why not use the other Gers? What do GERS and Rangers have in common? They’re both 2nd class, use dodgy accounting methods and are talked about far to much 🙂

  126. Fred says:

    @ Heedtracker, “They don’t control the ballot papers!” They did in 2014.

  127. Stu Mac says:

    Matt says:
    10 March, 2016 at 4:58 pm
    Wasn’t it Tuesday night that Partick played Aberdeen?

    Actually it was Saturday and Aberdeen led by 2 goals with the Jags getting a late consolation goal. Better correct that Rev or the Yoons will be using it to prove your economic figures are wrong. 🙂 Did you get your report from the BBC?

  128. Effijy says:

    OK, we have firmly established that Westminster Government figures on everything that we have ever seen are wrong.
    People like the Office for Budget Responsibility, OBR,
    have admitted that they are rubbish at their job, and by God their figures back them up 100%.

    We also know that Westminster Politicians and Civil Servants are always willing to lie and manipulate any figures to keep the monies from Scotland rolling into their own purse strings.

    So with the above proven without any shadow of a doubt, and placed with a pinch of salt to stop it festering,
    if they were any elements of truth in their figures, all the debts and issues we have in Scotland are all from political decisions made by the English Parties and MPs, Not due to anything devolved to Holyrood.

    It seems to be agreed that every nation on the planet is in debt, so if an Independent Scotland had debt, we can work on it just like the rest of the planet, and we are bound to do a better job than the lying, cheating, corrupt corridors of Westminster.

    I am a proud man. Never had a loan, other than a mortgage, I work for what I want, and I work hard so I get it.
    I have family, friends, and colleagues in England, and there is no way that any of them put in more hours or effort than me.

    Give Scotland, my country, it’s independence, give me a look at your cooked books and I will service my debts, I will refuse any English subsidies.
    I will work to make my nation debt free, nuclear free, and free from neo-liberal corruption.

  129. mr thms says:

    “That’s technically true but unmistakably implies that $30 is the current price, when in fact it’s currently $40 – a whopping 33% higher.”


    It is 66% higher.

    Brent Crude Live today, has the price at around $50.

    Also in 2014/15 the exchange rate was around $1.70.

    Today, it is around $1.30.

    So not only has the price of a barrel increased by $20, you can buy more sterling with your dollars.

    Since 2014/15 oil and gas production has increased.

  130. Stu Mac says:

    Can I delete my post? I forgot I was linking to an article from months ago. Looks pretty dumb now. 🙁

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