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The outstanding balance

Posted on February 10, 2019 by

We had an interesting exchange with Scottish Labour MP Paul Sweeney this week on the deathless lie that is the “fiscal transfer” – the £10bn or so that Unionists rather startlingly insist the rest of the UK generously donates to Scotland every year out of the goodness of its heart, just for the pleasure of our company.

As you can see, the debate was of a high intellectual standard.

But to be fair it got a bit better than that, and because Twitter is now such a hopeless mess to try to follow a thread in, we thought it merited running through again.

According to GERS – which Unionists inexplicably insist on treating as a guide to an independent Scotland’s finances even though everyone including them knows it isn’t – Scotland currently pays around £3.5bn a year on servicing the UK’s public sector debt.

And that’s a little odd if you stop and think about it, because the Scottish Government has almost no borrowing powers, and until very recently Holyrood was only permitted total cumulative borrowing of £500m (now £1.75bn).

So how on Earth could it have racked up so much debt that the interest alone comes to £3.5bn a year? And the answer is of course that it couldn’t and it didn’t. The debt interest figure in GERS is Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s debt, as Paul Sweeney eventually admitted.

In other words, Scotland is subsidising the UK’s debt repayments by billions of pounds every year, even though Scotland didn’t run up any of those debts.

Ah, say the Unionists, but the UK spends more money per head on Scotland than it does in most of the rest of the UK, so effectively we DID run up that debt, because the UK gave us more than it received from Scotland in taxes and we owe that money – not to international banks but to the UK.

(In other words, they’re saying that the “fiscal transfer” of that extra expenditure by the UK is a loan that Scotland is paying back, which is exactly what we said in the first place and which Sweeney flatly denied.)

The problem is that that isn’t true either.

As alert readers of this site will know, the eminent (and extremely Unionist) economist Prof. Brian Ashcroft calculated the cash balance between Scotland and the UK back in 2013, in an attempt to prove that Scotland HADN’T effectively had its oil money stolen by Westminster. And unfortunately for him, he discovered that in fact it had.

When he calculated the data as far back as records are available – and he deserves credit for publishing his findings even when they turned out to be the opposite of what he was hoping for – Ashcroft found that up to 2012, Scotland had contributed £68bn more to UK coffers than it had received back in spending, including both the Scottish block grant (controlled by Holyrood) and all spending by Westminster “on behalf of” Scotland.

Ashcroft noted that Scotland had received back 95% of the tax revenues it generated, which inescapably means that the other 5% was a net subsidy from Scotland to the rest of the UK – rather than Scotland being subsidised BY the UK as Unionists constantly assert.

Now, in real terms that £68bn surplus would be worth a lot more. UK government expenditure “on Scotland’s behalf” includes a considerable amount of spending on things Scotland didn’t ask for and didn’t want, like a contribution of several billion pounds towards the Iraq war. And since most of the surplus was accrued early in the period, it would have earned billions (probably many tens of billions) more in interest, investment income or other economic returns.

(For example, if some of it had been spent on infrastructure projects, they could have been delivered far more cheaply than the murderously expensive PFI schemes that Labour and the Tories used to pay for them.)

But let’s be really generous to the Unionists and assume that Scotland’s rainy day fund would have stood at just that bare £68bn at the start of 2013. What they tell us now is that oil money is in the past, the milk is spilt, and present-day Scotland runs a deficit so we’d still be broke and paying billions in debt repayments.

But we know the sums for that claim and we can check them, using only their beloved GERS. So let’s get the calculator out.

According to GERS – and let’s always keep in mind the many significant flaws and irrelevancies of the document – Scotland accumulated a total notional deficit from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2018 of £54.7bn.

(We should also remember that the period covers a huge and very unusual oil-price collapse, and is therefore a lot worse than the “norm” for Scotland. For comparison, the previous five-year period saw a total shortfall of £30.2bn, not much over half of the 2013-18 figure. Of that £30bn, over £17bn was interest payments on the UK’s debt, making the “real” deficit a modest £2.6bn a year.)

So if we’d started 2013 with a £68bn surplus, we’d still have a minimum of £13.3bn in the bank (in reality far more, but remember we’re being as generous to the Unionists as possible here).

And since with no debt we obviously wouldn’t have been paying any debt interest, we’d also have saved £16.5bn in the same period (see the first table in this article), bringing Scotland’s total bank balance to a healthy £29.8bn surplus.

And that, readers, is the reality of the “fiscal transfer”. Far from being a leech on UK finances, Scotland is still – even after a decade-long financial crisis, the PFI burden and with oil revenues close to zero due to spectacular UK mismanagement – nearly £30 billion in the black. We’d be one of the most economically healthy nations on the face of the planet.

Every penny of that £30bn is cash that Scotland has subsidised the rest of the UK with rather than keeping it in Scotland and spending it on stuff WE want. Every penny we pay towards the UK’s debts is money effectively being stolen from Scotland on an annual basis. But if we point that out, we suddenly become evil greedy monsters.

That, readers, is what Unionists mean when they talk about “pooling and sharing resources”. There IS a fiscal transfer between Scotland and the UK, but it goes in the opposite direction to the one you’re constantly told it does. Scotland doesn’t owe the UK a penny, but sends it billions of pounds every year to help it out of its self-created financial mess.

And if you ever actually get Unionists to engage in debate, they’re forced to grudgingly (and usually accidentally) admit it, which is why they almost never do engage in debate. We’d like to sincerely thank Paul Sweeney for being the exception, even if he didn’t mean to be.

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    589 to “The outstanding balance”

    1. mike cassidy says:

      Loved this from Weegingerdug on Gavin Williamson

      “Now he wants to send an aircraft carrier that won’t be operational for another two years and which doesn’t have any planes off to the South China Sea where it has no business being, so it can be a sitting target for the Chinese”

      But what Weegingerdug doesn’t know is that the sailors are already being trained Chinese Opera style to dance on the deck while chanting

      ‘Feck you, Fu Man Chu. You’ll take your opium like a man!’

    2. Proud Cybernat says:

      “The question is why are there still some independence supporters who do not realise if you are reading, hearing or seeing material from a Britnat source then there is a very high probability it will be lies.”

      If they support indy and vote for indy then move on – their vote’s in the bag. We need to focus on those who are not presently indy-minded but who, with some facts and persuasion, can be. Analysing your navel as to why some indy supporters believe BritShit is just a waste of time and energy.

      We need to win the next IndyRef and that means converting some of those PSBs who previously voted NO. They’re the demographic that need to made aware of the BritNat lies to covert them to YES.

      Stop filling your time focusing on irrelevancies.

    3. jezza says:

      Awe naw

      Engurland winning something in 1966 is now the news headline story.

    4. Cactus says:

      New page approaching…

    5. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Les Wilson,

      3- 5 years for Scotland to be Indy.

      This is feasible in the context of an agreed de-coupling, similar to what was proposed in the White Paper for Indy 1.

      But it needs either another Indy Ref, or GE (with Indy as the deciding manifesto point) or legal action to enforce Scottish Sovereignty.

      In a No Deal Brexit / with the likelihood of a State of Emergency being imposed and the Scot Gov mothballed…. all those options are pie in the sky.

      You are very right in asking – what’s the plan? is there a plan? when does the plan kick in?

      And on that point I don’t think you or I are going to get an answer.

      Just so folks can give it some thought, in a state of emergency Terrible May has some draconian laws on the books (she won’t even need Henry8 to help with this one) for locking down the internet.

      And if you are hoping that there will be a Wee Blue Book along soon to blaze a trail the way it did before… if it can be printed, it will not be allowed to leave the factory, and people will be breaking the law in distributing it.

      Scot Gov say, and no doubt are – preparing for the logistical realities of a No Deal (as much as they can foresee, and lets be honest, if they are in any way good at it, England will pilfer). But are we? is the Yes Movement prepared, prepared to keep information flowing in the event of a martial shut down.

      These are valid concerns and they are getting closer every day.

      Brexit is a modern day coup, by the already rich, and so far, their plan is bang on target – no matter how utterly mad it looks from the outside.

    6. Col says:

      Just watched indycar Gordon Ross. Couple of things came up. Westminster closing the Scottish Parliament and also a majority of Scottish MP’s or MSP’s declaring Scotland independent without a referendum.
      I don’t think people realise Westminster could literally be about to enact a coup upon Scotland. I do wonder what the public feeling would be on such a thing happening. Obviously the media would go into overdrive telling us it’s not a coup and needed for reasons…
      Also brought up was that if Scotland did walk away Westminster would try to annex parts of Scotland. What are the implications of such a thing happening? Could England really expect to run its nuclear arsenal in Scotland but an annexed part? I think no is the answer to that.
      It’s getting more and more obvious now how high the stakes are here. Westminster literally can’t afford to lose control of Scotland and I fear it will go to very desperate measures to attempt it doesn’t.
      Looks like the poo is about to hit the fan big time. There’s a number of ways this could play out of course but whatever happens I think we’re in for a bumpy ride.

    7. starlaw says:

      BBC’s new channel has but one purpose and one purpose only, to deliver the Gospels of the Tory leadership to the unbelievers in the North of the realm. BBC believe that the great unwashed in the northern parishes will sit down and be mesmerised by the words of the BBC and will be enlightened by the message and become followers of the one true Deity in the Palace of Westminster and buy a license . . . This is the word of the Lords

    8. ScottieDog says:

      @Col
      I think that’s why the snp are playing a very patient game.
      Sometimes ‘don’t do something just stand there’ can be a useful strategy.

    9. starlaw says:

      col says 11-22

      The geography surrounding Faslane makes annexing it would be almost impossible as a simple blockship across the Rhu Narrows would render it useless. England would have to invade the entire west coast of southern Scotland, the rest of the world would not stand idly bye.

    10. manandboy says:

      Britain’s Defence Secretary, Gavin ‘Tarantula’ Williamson, lives apparently, in the same fictional world as James Bond.

      The Tories are lost inside their make-believe world of greed, wealth and power, a world where the poor, the destitute and the disabled are a drag on Tory ambitions for themselves and the elite’s of England’s Ruling Class.

      Scotland’s No voters are also living in their own make-believe world, in which the kind and generous people of England pay for Scotland’s schools, hospitals and all our other public services, because Scotland is so poor, don’t you know.

      No voters have a pile of pennies all waiting to drop, but all held back by relentless brainwashing, soon to be increased by the New BBC Scotland Channel 2.

      Isn’t Scotland so lucky to have kind, generous England as our neighbour.

      Vote SNP every time. Together, we will gain our Independence.

    11. Famous15 says:

      Calm down folks.

      England would never annexe parts of Scotland. France,Germany and a non Trump USA if not Russia and China would be delighted to help Scotland. We are too coy in realising how important “wee” Scotland is in dominating the North Atlantic.We of course would not use this domination but the other parties would make damn sure an imperially minded England would not do so.

      So peace and sanity is restored.

    12. Golfnut says:

      @ Closing Holyrood.

      Holyrood is a building, it just happens to be a custom built unit for Scotland’s elected legislators. But its just a building, the legislators can use any building as a Parliament, closing Holyrood achieves nothing in itself.

    13. Golfnut says:

      Indy in 3 to 5 years.

      I think people get a bit bogged down in the detail. Confusing executive power with administration.

      Day 1, ( day after indyref or whatever other means ) executive power has been taken back by the people of Scotland. That’s it, negotiations on the transfer of administration follows and a strict time limit should be agreed, 6 months, no more.

    14. manandboy says:

      ScottieDog says:
      12 February, 2019 at 11:25 am
      @Col
      “I think that’s why the snp are playing a very patient game.
      Sometimes ‘don’t do something just stand there’ can be a useful strategy.”

      Yes indeed, a crouching lioness isn’t being afraid or inept, but simply getting ready to pounce – and just at the right moment – when the prey is off-guard. With Nicola, Scotland is poised, ready to make its move for Independence.

      Shame about those who are desperate to rush in and spook the prey. They just don’t get it. Perhaps they are just too impatient. Living with impatience, or with someone who is very impatient is difficult. Believe me.

      The lioness also has patience.

    15. Morgatron says:

      Help- whats the issue connecting to the site with Wi-Fi, im having to login through 4g and it’s doing my dim brain in! Want assistance appreciated!!

    16. Dr Jim says:

      Six weeks of this still to go and a thousand scenarios still to be flung at everybody and aren’t the irresponsible media loving inventing what people say or distorting peoples words in every conceivable direction so as to confuse and upset as many people as they can

      I find television media the worst of the bunch these days just regurgitating the newspapers as news when clearly most of the time newspapers print opinion and not news but poor old Joe and Joan public don’t know the difference so swallow it all up as fact because it’s on the Telly so it must be true

      Last night I watched with interest SKY news Press preview in which Stig Abel and mad mental Carole Malone argued with each other over the merits of Labour supporting papers and Tory supporting papers opinions on everything then both agree that the papers were all telling lies anyway

      Oh how they laughed

      And that’s all fine if they tell people it’s a comedy show to fill in time, but uninformed people believe it to be news

    17. Nana says:

      Link to latest Gordon Ross on facebook. Scroll down for start of video

      https://m.facebook.com/indycargordonross/

    18. galamcennalath says:

      Now here’s an interesting idea …

      An anti-Corbyn billboard has appeared in his constituency criticising his lack of Brexit leadership.

      https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/jeremy-corbyn-targeted-by-brexit-billboard-next-to-arsenal-stadium-1-5888709

      … perhaps that’s a tactic we should be deploying. Billboards in the constituencies of hopeless BritNat politicians in Scotland highlighting their shortcomings and voting records!

    19. Capella says:

      How can they declare martial law – whose army? The troops are off to invade China and Russia and Venezuela as well as the “peacekeeping” forces in Syria and Yemen.

      Manandboy – here’s that Daily Mail article archvied for info but I personally can’t be bothered reading yet another sex smear story from those wonderful people who brought you Salmondgate.

      http://archive.fo/gc3XP

    20. Phil says:

      galamcennalath says: 12 February, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      “… perhaps that’s a tactic we should be deploying. Billboards in the constituencies of hopeless BritNat politicians in Scotland highlighting their shortcomings …”

      The best course of action is usually the positive one. The YES message should be positive.

      Billboards? Yes, but laud the local constituency independence candidate(s) rather than dissing local BritNat(s). Or, as part of the growing Led By Donkeys movement generalise the message into “Lead the Donkeys Out the Door”.

      And, what animal sums up the positive message we want to project? Use that animal as the counter to the donkey.

    21. Petra says:

      Is this “3 -5 years for Scotland to be Indy”, spouted by a wee wummin in the US, going to be perpetuated constantly on here? It’s extremely misleading to say the least.

    22. Shinty says:

      Col says @ 11.22am
      “Also brought up was that if Scotland did walk away Westminster would try to annex parts of Scotland. What are the implications of such a thing happening?”
      _______

      This was brought up before 2014 and dealt with then. Funny how they dig up the same shite and expect a different outcome.

    23. Cubby says:

      Proud Cybernat@11.08am

      “Stop filling your time with irrelevances”

      Thanks for the advice.You are of course entitled to your opinion.

      The point being if there are people who are still not clear about the extent of Britnat propaganda who are Independence supporters then what can we learn to improve how to get the message across to no voters if we cannot get that message across to all Independence voters.

    24. frogesque says:

      We have to patient but ready to hit the ground running the moment the starting gun is fired.

      Like any worthwhile endeavour it means practice and training. Know your area, be ready to drop leaflets ( where are they?!), paint your yes stones and leave them to be found, man ( or women) Indy bridges, join marches, talk to folk when dog walking or at the mother-toddler or pensioner’s club.

      Whatever it takes, be prepared, know your stuff and get out there. It won’t be won in front of a keyboard!

    25. Shinty says:

      ” Petra, I agree. If people would actually watch the fucking interview instead of parroting British Nationalist rag garbage, they wouldn’t be so out of touch.

      (but, then again, they probably know that)

    26. Lenny Hartley says:

      Mogatron Think of Wos in a cloud, your device has issues connecting to the cloud not Wos.

    27. Abulhaq says:

      Re the HMNB at Faslane, the Cypriot experience is enlightening, particularly as the cold war with Russia refreshes
      https://newint.org/features/2017/05/01/caught-in-the-middle/

    28. Cubby says:

      Petra@12.39pm

      Sturgeon of course never said anything like the Britnat media are making out. People need to hear her actual words. It goes back to my point why do Independence supporters keep falling for the same trap of believing Britnat sources. The Britnats are just trying to demoralise the Yes movement.

    29. manandboy says:

      Rachel Sylvester, writing in The Times.

      “The principle of ‘learnt helplessness’ is used by elephant trainers to keep the animals that tower over them meekly tethered. Elephants that tried and failed as babies to break free of the rope that ties them to a post, will not even struggle to escape when they are fully grown. But they would of course be able to break the rope if they only tried. ”

      England – the elephant trainer.
      Scotland – the baby elephant.
      No voters – many won’t even struggle to escape because they learned when young that Scotland is tied to England and that it is impossible to break free economically from the Union, because Scotland is poor and needs England to pay for everything Scotland needs, like the NHS, schools and other public services.

      Learnt helplessness – another piece of British Brainwashing.

    30. Bill Hume says:

      Ah yes, the old argument. Does England subsidise Scotland or is it the other way around?
      The vast majority of Independence supporters have already made up their minds as have the vast majority of the hard line no independence for Scotland voters.

      The problem is that these are not the people we need to persuade to vote yes next time.

      No amount of statistics are going to persuade these ‘soft no’ people because they are not that interested in facts or figures.

      We need to look to Clackmannanshire for the answer. It’s motto is “Look Aboot Ye” That is what we should be asking of those undecided and soft no voters.

      Point out that we live in a country surrounded by oil and gas, with wind, wave, tidal and hydro power generation. So much so that we export energy to England.

      We also live in a country that produces more food than we need and indeed exports much of our produce.

      We have some of the oldest and best universities in the world and a highly skilled workforce.

      Then point out that we have food banks, people living rough on the streets, child poverty, potholed roads and the worst old age pension payments in Europe.

      Most people ignore statistics but if we can open their eyes to the reality of Scotland as it is in 2019 it may be more effective.

      So lets get out there and try to tell folk to “Look Aboot Ye”

    31. Lenny Hartley says:

      Ronnie Anderson if i archived it the poll would not work i guess you dont want revenues to go to newswuest well you better stop reading the national then !!!

    32. Nana says:

      I have posted the FM’s interview four times now and I’m seriously wondering why I bother providing links on here.

    33. geeo says:

      Liked the lioness analogy by mandandboy there.

      Optimal success for a lioness comes when the prey is less than 30 yards away, and distracted, like for example, head down feeding/drinking or looking in other direction from the Huntress.

      Sometimes, when stalking closer is not an option, the lioness stays still and silent, and allows the prey to come to her, before breaking from cover and delivering a decisive and fatal attack.

      That sounds a lot like the indy tactics at the moment.

      Treeza wandering towards the indy lioness (Nicola) distracted by events elsewhere, and will not see it coming when it does, and when it does happen, it will be short and decisive.

      The only difference is the animal prey is driven to distraction by a need to fuel its body, treeza is drive to distraction by her arrogance to fool aw’ body.

      Now, that said, i do not believe for a second that Treeza and the establishment forces have ‘forgotten’ about Scotland’s impending threat to their precious union, quite the opposite in fact.

      I believe the fear of Scottish independence drives every step of WM’s disasterous ukexit (just for you RP:-;) ‘strategy’ .

      WM gov has tried desperately to ‘force’ the hand of Nicola and the SNP so they (WM) can see what the SNP/Scotsgov plans are.

      They need to know this so they can try formulate a counter plan to spike our guns while they have time.

      In other words, WM needs us to go early while they still have time to adjust the ukexit strategy to harm Scots indy strategy.

      The clock is indeed ticking to no deal, but it is also ticking against WM in relation to the as yet unknown Scots indy strategy, especially if that strategy is required for WM to know, to enable THEM to plan a suitable counter strategy to our indy plans.

      It is killing WM not knowing our plans, because until they do, treeza HAS to keep kicking the brexit can down the road towards March 29th.

      A few people have expressed concerns about time running out and fear what WM may do after brexit day to hinder Indy strategy using foul means.

      But what if the Indy Strategy is this.

      A couple of weeks before March 29th, Scotsgov announces a referendum to be held on xyz date.

      However, a caveat is also announced, namely that if agreement of a Section 30 is not in place within ONE WEEK then the Scotsgov shall reserve the right to put a protective political dissolution motion to Holyrood to End the treaty of union, further caveated with the promise to hold an affirmation referendum, in order to assertain the settled will of the Legally Sovereign Scots people on the issue.

      In other words.

      1. Announce a referendum and date.

      2. Give WM one week to agree S.30.

      3. Dissolve the union. (If point 2 not agreed).

      4. Hold referendum without S.30 order.

      Referendum question could be as follows:

      Q. Do you the legally sovereign people of Scotland want:

      1. To affirm the political dissolution of the Treaty of Union.

      2. Instruct us, the Scotsgov, to enter into negotiations with WM to try negotiate a new Treaty of Union which is acceptable to the People and country of Scotland.
      ………..

      I suggested this as an outline of a possible plan of action way back in August last year, and it had as you would expect, mixed responses.

      I still see nothing wrong with it, as it addresses most of the difficult issues we are facing today as we approach march 29th.

      Such a plan is reasonable (to protect our Scottish interests) to implement, and in my opinion would be well received by the international courts should we take our case there.

      If Scotsgov (and Holyrood, as our reconvened 1707 parliament) cannot protect the best interests of Scotland at a time such as now, when on earth can they ?

      Now, i am not suggesting the above is what i think should happen, bar no other idea, it is just something i believe is reasonable to suggest as a possible plan of action.

      What the SNP Scotsgov have in mind may (probably will be) be totally different and 10 times better, after all, they know the finer details of what is required better than me.

      The day is indeed coming soon, when we will know our fate.

    34. auld highlander says:

      Look aboot ye.

      Would you rather spend the rest of your lives on yer knees under London rule or stand up and be free.

    35. Les Wilson says:

      Dr Jim says:
      Thanks Jim for your thoughts on that. As you say, there consequences would be on them also. Also, I doubt they would have the man power, but they are also now introducing “private security companies to help make up numbers.

      Still, the mayhem it would cause would put themselves in danger, they certainly would not want that.
      So fingers crossed, that it will not happen.

    36. Shinty says:

      Nana says:
      12 February, 2019 at 1:00 pm
      “I have posted the FM’s interview four times now and I’m seriously wondering why I bother providing links on here.”
      ————-

      Please keep posting Nana, you’re doing a grand job keeping us up to date. Most of us would be lost without you.

    37. Shinty says:

      @ auld highlander

      Well said. Live on you knees or Stand and be free.

    38. Dr Jim says:

      Theresa May comes to the HOC to yet again make a statement on when she’ll next make a statement containing the same information as the statement she’s making now on when she’ll next make a statement

      It is in fact Groundhog day or did we say that already or is deja vu, no it must be gr

      Aaargh!

    39. Abulhaq says:

      The mindset that divided Ireland is still the core of the British establishment worldview.
      Attempts to divide and possibly annex cannot be ruled out. We are dealing with an unreconstructed imperialist entity which considers Scotland an integral territory of considerable strategic importance in the evolving global situation.
      We need an assertive Scottish nationalism which is prepared to face up to a system, supported by left and right, ruthlessly pursuing its own integratist interests. The rules of this ‘game’ have nothing to do with ‘fairness’.

    40. galamcennalath says:

      Guy Verhofstad …. “I know that within the Tory party the hard Brexiteers are compared to the leaders of the French revolution. I think Gove is Brissot, and Boris Johnson is Danton, and Rees-Mogg is compared to Robespierre. We should not forget that the efforts of these men were not appreciated by the common man they claimed to represent – because they all ended up on the guillotine. So that’s important to remind them. “

      The loony right no doubt think they will be able to blame everyone but themselves if Brexit goes horribly wrong. I wouldn’t be so certain!

    41. Giving Goose says:

      For those following the ongoing story that is Goebbelsgate (i.e. the deliberate seeding of the BBC QT audience with wannabe Nazis), I recommend viewing the pics available online of the Livy Flute Band members.

      Is it me, or are these people channelling their inner fetish for SS uniforms? The only thing missing is the SS lightning bolts on the lapels.

      From an amateur psychologist point of view, is there not something rather sinister, yet at the same time rather sad and pathetic about the parlour game dressing up that the Orange/Unionist fraternity engage in? Or am I being harsh?

    42. Ghillie says:

      Nana. Thank you =)

      Now. Have a lovely day xxx

    43. Ghillie says:

      Nana, watched our FM’s interview. Thank you =)

      I certainly would not have seen it elsewhere!

      And our Nicola quietly goes about impressing the World on behalf of Scotland.

      I do appreciate how our leader of the Scottish Government is treated with respect outwith the UK.

      It is refreshing!

      And enlightening.

      Having to post the interview several times is a test of your patience and I so appreciate that effort!

      But there are some folk who just resist hearing good stuff about Scotland. Sad but eventually your efforts probably do pay off! Always worth the effort =)

    44. Dr Jim says:

      Nana is tireless in producing these links for us all here and with great patience so that we are able to read more information to both arm and justify our position on Independence so from me to you Nana (wee clappy handies)

    45. Petra says:

      @ Shinty / Cubby

      The people in question probably have watched the interview Shinty and you’re right Cubby the BritNats are trying to demoralise us.

      Nicola Sturgeon has a plan however she’s not stupid enough to spell it out to all and sundry. As she’s said already, on *numerous* occasions, she’ll make a move when the Brexit fiasco is clarified to ensure that her *plan* isn’t scuppered before she can get it off of the ground. She couldn’t make it much clearer than that. If Big T comes out with “now is not the time” again that’s when Nicola et al will probably involve UN and / or EU Courts. When it’s clear that a majority of the sovereign people of Scotland want Independence, one way or another, the initial process is NOT going to take 3-5 years at all.

      It’s high time that the scaremongering and demoralisation taking place on here was nipped in the bud. We know that we face a lethal enemy, we’re not daft, but some of the “ideas” being bandied about now are absolutely ridiculous.

      ……………..

      Nana it must be totally exasperating and tiring having to constantly repost links on here, but don’t let them get you down. That’s what they’d love to do because along with Stu you’re a great big threat to them. More than anything they’re running out of time now. Great news for you in that you won’t have to work so hard for much longer X

    46. ben madigan says:

      @ Giving Goose who remarked on “the parlour game dressing up that the Orange/Unionist fraternity engage in?”

      See here for an analysis of what the orange order “uniform” really signifies

      https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-orange-order-a-pseudo-military-organization/

    47. Luigi says:

      Can I just remind people that the last few minutes before a battle are always the longest.

      There is not long to go now. There really isn’t.

      However, it will feel like an eternity. 🙂

    48. Petra says:

      To counter the negative we have the informative and positive. So looking on the bright side, thanks to all who contribute so well to this site.

    49. Petra says:

      @ Giving Goose / Ben Madigan ……”OO Uniform.”

      Ha ha ha. You’ve got to laugh at them especially when you see them marching along, full of self-importance, tooting away on their flutes and banging on that big drum of their’s. If you’d to suggest sending them out to the Middle East to fight for Queen and Country they’d be off like a shot.

    50. Morgatron says:

      Kenny Hartley,
      Cheers, i think my head is in the clouds.!!

    51. euan0709 says:

      There is a good article on Page 26 of the “I”Newspaper which says that JK Rowling is teaming up with Toni Blair’s mates to form a centralist Pro European Party.
      It is thought that Rowling will bankrolling it or fund a think-tank !

    52. Morgatron says:

      Apologies, Lenny H.

    53. Cubby says:

      Nana@1.00pm

      I looked at your link Nana – that’s why I thought why are Independence supporters taking the word of a Britnat source and not looking at what she actually said. I assume it was also broadcast on CNN.

      Keep on linking it is appreciated.

    54. Petra says:

      @ euan0709 at 2:43pm ……”Jakey Rowling – New Political Party.”

      I read about this in the National, Euan. Seems that Labourite Jakey can’t stand Corbyn. She prefers the politics of mass-murderer, Blair.

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/17422702.rowling-in-talks-with-former-blair-adviser-on-new-centrist-party/

      …………..

      Good one Proud Cybernat (3:06pm).

    55. Tatu3 says:

      Geeo @ 1.03pm says

      “1. To affirm the political dissolution of the Treaty of Union.

      2. Instruct us, the Scotsgov, to enter into negotiations with WM to try negotiate a new Treaty of Union which is acceptable to the People and country of Scotland.”

      My worry re question 2, would be that the soft “no’s” and the ones that were persuaded by Devo Max in 2014, would go for this, and we would lose again.

      I have read, possibly on here, a while a back that the second question could say something more along the lines of would you like to be governed by another country?

    56. Fionan says:

      manandboy says:
      12 February, 2019 at 12:52 pm
      Rachel Sylvester, writing in The Times.

      For the truth about how the baby elephants are reduced to a state of learned helplessness, see iScot December issue. Rachel Sylvester obviously doesnt bother too much to research her articles. Using Scotland in analogy as a baby elephant really doesnt give much hope for indy ever. There are no ropes to break, just chains.

      Next time you see an elephant in captivity, look at the deep scars on its legs, ears, trunk and mouth from when it was chained, being beaten with metal poles with sharp tearing hooks on the end which are also used to rip the inside of its nose, mouth and ears in the brutal phajaan training process, which is continued with nails hidden in the palm of the handler’s hand when the tourists are around, to surreptitiously control the elephant.

      Yes, Scots have been brainwashed into accepting a lot of abuse, but few reach that state of learned helplessness. Still, there’s no doubt that may and company will initiate a phajaan process for Scots once we exit the EU and no longer have human rights. Then we may experience true learned helplessness.

    57. Capella says:

      @ Nana – finally got round to listening to the Nicola Sturgeon interview. Well worth a listen, thanks, and to save you linking for the 5th time, here it is again for anyone who missed it!

      https://www.pbs.org/video/first-minister-scotland-nicola-sturgeon-discusses-brexit-nnr/?fbclid=IwAR1_tECNdLr38x3hYJYDySjOl-NrujgxgsH61OlZWrUQxCt1Lz9o89jUqgQ

    58. geeo says:

      Tatu3

      You miss the point in option 2.

      Entering into negotiations is a long way from agreeing terms of a new treaty of union.

      As i said “a treaty of union ACCEPTABLE TO the people and country of Scotland”.

      WM could never agree to our terms, so a new treaty would never happen, but the promise to enter negotiations will have been fullfilled.

      Scotland would remain independent.

    59. Cubby says:

      Geeo@1.03pm

      @It is killing WM not knowing our plans, ……..”. Exactly, Britnat’s heads must be exploding as they are kept guessing. No wonder they want Sturgeon to say what her plans are and try to put pressure on her by winding up the independence movement.

      Time will tell if we are being led by a modern day Bruce or a bunch of Charlie’s.

    60. Thepnr says:

      @Proud Cybernat

      That was very clever. Good choice of soundtrack too 🙂

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5t63H3LGDg&feature=youtu.be

    61. Would the EU recognise a Universal Declaration of Independence if one was issued by the Scottish Parliament on March 29th? We have MEPs. Are any of them asking the question?

    62. Cubby says:

      Ian Blackford calls the Maybot a liar in the HofCommons. Who would have thought it a British Nationalist that tells lies.

    63. Cubby says:

      Proud Cybernat@3.06pm

      You are good with the graphics etc.

    64. Cubby says:

      Euan Macpherson

      What does “universal ” mean? Please don’t say that it is a typo and you meant unilateral.

    65. Iain 2 says:

      We have to be solid and strong in these troubling times.
      We are in the final collapse of the brittish empire and the britnats will try to pull every dirty trick in the book.
      We can take comfort in that every country in the world is watching England commit national suicide.
      We can also know our friends in the European Union and United States will keep the britnats in check or they will be denied access to the world markets.
      The britnats must be really desperate to save the richest 1% from the EU prying eyes.

    66. Clootie says:

      Quite a list of posters telling us “what we should do next ”
      If you don’t mind I’ll stick with the SNP and Nicola as our best chance for success.

      Those who don’t like that should stand for office instead of bleating about it on here.

    67. CameronB Brodie says:

      “Yes, Scots have been brainwashed into accepting a lot of abuse, but few reach that state of learned helplessness.”

      Was it not around 20% of the electorate who would never vote for self-determination under ANY circumstances? The SiU mob obviously fill some of that space but I’m thinking more of the OO and other sundry knuckle-daggers.

    68. Thepnr says:

      All a bit quiet again, I hope this might bring a smile to your face but sad to say I think the ignorant caller was Scottish.

      https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/angry-brexiter-hangs-up-brexit-ferry-contract/

    69. Arthur Thomson says:

      I watched Nicola’s interview and it is patently obvious that she isn’t going to make a move before the outcome of Brexit is clear. Of course that runs the risk that if the timing is wrong the British will act to use threats, aggression and acts of violence to close down the Scottish Government and the independence movement. That is central to their predatory philosophy. People who think nothing of incinerating people in other countries are not going to balk at imposing themselves violently on peaceful neighbours.

      And don’t anyone imagine that the quiet spoken one would have any objections. I have always thought that the Soviets and the British have a great deal in common.

      If that situation arises I would not expect a major reaction from the Scottish population. I have always supported Scottish independence and I know from years of personal experience the hostility and aggression of the British towards it. In the face of British Government threats and aggression we Scots will sit tight and wait for better opportunities to destroy our enemy by peaceful means. We have no choice because, unlike the British, we are civilised people. Unlike the British we see their actions in destroying other people and we are appalled. Unlike the British, we value the safety and wellbeing of our children above fascist pride.

      The support for independence in Scotland is now rock solid and I believe it will continue to grow. If the British move to close down the movement for independence then the British in Scotland are going to have to live in a country in which growing numbers of people despise them – potentially at a time when the Great British are discovering the reality of making trade deals with people across the world who are as predatory as they are and have very good reasons to loathe them.

      But I have not yet given up on the possibility of enough decent English people rising up to reverse the British Brexit shambles. They have the numbers we don’t have, they just need a leader to emerge – fast!

    70. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thepnr
      Ouch. 🙂

      Geoffrey, performance art, a stick-on SiU member, in the slightest way competent to determine Scotland’s future?

      #BetterTogether

    71. Dr Jim says:

      Well it must be my age or I banged my head or something but after going to the supermarket and having a look at the papers and which papers were printing this misrepresentation of the *Nicola Sturgeon says Independence story* it isn’t for our benefit to annoy us, it’s to annoy the Yoons to get them riled up into hate mode to get the action started

      I swear sometimes by brain just slows right down to 100 Yoon watts, which is just as well or I’d never have got that, so I suppose in a way being thick can sometimes be a blessing, although I wouldn’t want to live like that it’s thoroughly embarrassing

      I looked round and everything to make sure nobody noticed

    72. Petra says:

      You’ve got to laugh. Not allowed to call anyone a liar in the Commons when it’s choc-a-bloc with them ….. and worse …. murderers, paedophiles, gropers and thieves, etc, etc.

      Watch the obnoxious Scottish Tory Stephen Kerr giving it laldy.

      WATCH VIDEO: ‘Ian Blackford calls Theresa May a ‘liar’ during heated Commons exchange.’

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/17426625.watch-ian-blackford-calls-theresa-may-a-liar-during-heated-commons-exchange/?ref=mr&lp=1

    73. twathater says:

      As ECHOED by many on here , PLEASE keep up the links NANA your work and commitment to Scotland’s self determination future is greatly appreciated by us anoraks

    74. Dr Jim says:

      Re LBC

      Yeah, we’ve got to take the blame for our Scottish thickos as well as England has to admit to theirs

      The saving grace I suppose is that considering thicko percentages are equal by population England’s got more of em by numbers

    75. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      euan0709 @ 14:43,
      Petra @ 15:22,

      Hmmm, I’m wondering when we’ll see screaming headlines in all the papers and reports on the BBC about “Labour civil war”.

      Any second now, I should think. =grin= Just like the Tory one.

      (But people are noticing anyway.)

    76. Robert Louis says:

      Regarding the Scots parliament. It can be held anywhere suitable. Holyrood is just a building. From 1999 to 2004, it was held in the Church of Scotland general assembly building on the mound. So, even if they close the current building, it can be convened elsewhere.

      I am of the opinion, that London might attempt to close the Scots Parliament upon brexit, with or without a deal. They will say this is in order to unify international trade negotiations or such similar rubbish.

      We should all be keeping an eye on it, come brexit night.

      Ten years ago, I would have thought the idea fanciful, that London would try such a thing, but this current English colonial government is quite, quite out of control. Just remember, they actually went to court to try to prevent MP’s getting a vote on the brexit deal, and are planning full dictatorship powers (which they dress up in a pseudo official manner by calling them ‘Henry 8th powers). They also went to their pretendy ‘supreme’ court in London, England, in order to retroactively steal powers from the Parliament of Scotland.

      So, in my honest opinion, the current English colonial government is likely to do all kinds of irrational and frankly undemocratic things. They are totally out of control, driven by a hard-right dogma, which is getting more and more blatantly racist with each passing day.

      Such a move would backfire in Scotland of course, likely increasing the demand for independence overnight. Look at Madrid and their utterly barbaric behaviour against the democratically elected government of Catalonia. Last year, Spain showed the whole world that it had never really moved out of the dark ages. A backward, fascist state, worshipping a brutal murdering dictator who died in 1976. The world looked on with horror at the fascist bully boys from Madrid beating defenceless pensioners and little old ladies. Their is nothing civil about Spain’s Guardia Civil.

      Did any of that halt the desire for independence for the nation of Catalonia? No. Once that flame is lit, it can never be put out.

      London might try to close the building at Holyrood, but they will not extinguish our Scots Parliament. Indeed such a move would likely make the Parliament stronger, and at the same time show the whole world what a bunch of bullies, the English Government is..

    77. yesindyref2 says:

      @Dr Jim
      You could be right. I think we quickly got the hang of it, her reply being to a specific question. But the unionists are frothing even about 5 years, let alone 3 or less 🙂

    78. ronnie anderson says:

      Aye Tereza the strong and stable LIER well done that manny .

    79. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Arthur Thomson @ 4:59 pm

      I saw Nicola’s interview on CNN and didn’t find it particularly remarkable. She’s still keeping her powder dry, as she must – nothing new there.

      As for England and Leave, it’s clear that the more public opinion shifts toward Remain, as it is doing, the less likely it is that Dis-May* will be inclined to give people a new say. All in their name, of course. That’s the reality of the corroded “democracy” they have these days.

      The English Government will try the same on us, of course, and for exactly the same reasons. But big difference: we have Nicola. However she (and we) had better have a plan to overcome that ploy, or we’ll be no better off than the sadly-deprived English.

      *Credit due to a letter-writer in the National.

    80. Daisy Walker

      don’t be surprised if those laws and regulations have already been passed.

      Apparently there are about 600 regulations which need to be ratified before the 29th March.
      According to Andrea Leadsom, there are various committees working flat out on passing these regs and have already passed about 400? of them

      (Apologies if I have those numbers wrong- the interview was on the radio this morning and I was only half listening until I realised the implications of what was being said.)

      In other words, many of our new POST-Brexit regulations have already been decided without our knowledge and we could already be in a position where we are automatically shafted at 11.01 pm on 29th March.

    81. yesindyref2 says:

      @Meg merrilees
      I always used to think that a DI (Declaration of Independence) was unlikely and undesirable without a referendum.

      I now think there’s an increasing chance of it, at, say, 11.01 pm on 29th March, with the announcement including the date of a confirmatory referendum.

      There, I said it 🙂

    82. yesindyref2 says:

      Or it might be at 10.59 pm pn 29th March, I can’t get my head around which is best.

      It would require courage and selflessness from Sturgeon, and would probably have to be preceded by a last firm request for a Section 30, to cover the legalities.

    83. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      yesindyref2 @ 18:15,

      Sorry to quibble, but don’t like your use of “last”. Nicola has not yet made any formal request for an S.30.

      But otherwise I agree, she will probably (feel she has to) make one, with a hard deadline attached. And have a Plan B ready in case of the almost-inevitable delaying tactics, with a UKGE in wait right after E-Day.

    84. Legerwood says:

      Robert Louis @ 5.25pm

      From the UK Supreme Court’s judgement in the Gina Miller appeal, para 146

      “”149. ble by the courts. ule In the Scotland Act 2016, the recognition of the Sewel Convention occurs alongside the provi sion in section 1 of that Act. That section, by inserting section 63A into the Scotland Act 1998, makes the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish government a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements, signifies the commitment of the UK Parliament and government to those devolved institutions, and declares that those institutions are not to be abolished except on the basis o f a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum. This context supports our view that the purpose of the legislative recognition of the convention was to entrench it as a convention. “”

      In this paragraph it states: “”…and declares that those institutions are not to be abolished except on the basis o f a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.””

      They cannot abolish the Scottish Parliament unless the people vote for that in a referendum.

      Sure they can emasculate it by removing powers from it but it would still exist and as such provide a focus for resistance to the actions of the UK Government.

      But not abolished without a referendum and UK Gov unlikely to hold one of those given how easily it could be turned into a referendum on independence.

    85. Yesindyref2

      It’s a tough call.

      several strands tonight – Olly Robbins suggestion that Brexit may be extended.
      T May offering a meaningful vote on the 27th/28th Feb – but then really getting too tight for time to pass regs. and Yvette cooper saying she will have an amendment in there.

      The latest thoughts are that if T May goes for a GE she would gain a majority and, as previously mentioned, she can ditch the DUP – tempting one.

      Also reading that she is possibly resigning after Brexit, in summer and would call a GE then to try and outmanoeuvre Boris.

      So many varieties and revoking and a People’s vote don’t even feature.

    86. One thing that might create bit of spanner could be this possible centrist party JK is supposedly planning with Blair.

      They would have to move fast but they are trying to form a pro-EU party.Can’t see it having life before Brexit unless a GE is called – shades of Macron’s new party.

      Could sweep up a lot of EU remainers and possibly those in Scotland who want to stay in the EU but not through Indy.

    87. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Meg merrilees @ 20:34:

      One thing that might create bit of spanner could be this possible centrist party JK is supposedly planning with Blair.

      Could sweep up a lot of EU remainers and possibly those in Scotland who want to stay in the EU but not through Indy

      Yes, the thought had occurred to me also. It’s a definite risk. A supercharged Vow-substitute “last refuge” for the hesitant.

      But also a double-edged sword for any actual election. Seriously divisive for Labourites. Not a good look. For WM FPTP they could hurt Labour just as the SDP did in the Thatcher era. And for Scottish AMS elections, stymie Labour in the constituencies and dilute them in the list.

    88. James Westland says:

      Re: Jakey’s new centrist party. Just a few observations

      1) The SDP still exist – they launched a “New Declaration” a few weeks ago. Unlike the old SDP, they are anti-EU

      https://sdp.org.uk/new-declaration/

      2) There *is* already another pro-EU, centrist party. They are called the LibDems.

      3) Sounds more like a “New Labour Party” thatn anything else, so as has been said, it’ll split Labour right down the middle, assuming that they can get the numbers of defecting MPs etc

      4) If it does result in a Labour schism, that will be brilliant news for the Tories under the FPTP system.

      5) Which then begs the question, People of Scotland, do you want continuing Tory rule for the foreseeable future? As it stands at the moment they could possibly get a majority at WM if there was an election.

      The big unknown from the Jakey proposal is what effect it would have on the Yes vote in Scotland. I suspect that the combination of Jakey and Blair would not be terribly attractive TBH

    89. Ghillie says:

      Meg Merrilees @ 5.58 pm

      Re the 600 regulations that have to be ratified by 29th March, many of which are already in place…

      I would expect that Joanna Cherry, at the very least, will be scrutinising those with great care 🙂

      I know that Philippa Whitford MP has already asked questions about the Brexit contingency plan to allow pharmacists to give people a different replacement drug in the event of a shortage without needing to consult their doctor!



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