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The SIX key facts about GERS

Posted on August 24, 2016 by

We originally wrote this article in March, in response to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (better known as GERS) figures for 2014-15. We’ve updated it to take account of events since that time, of which there’s been one rather major one.

Today saw the publication (just five months after the 2014-15 GERS) of the 2015-16 stats, which are again triggering a convulsive orgy of “BLACK HOLE!” articles across the media, as every Unionist in the land falls over themselves to portray their own country as a useless scrounging subsidy junkie without actually using the exact words “too wee, too poor, too stupid”.

And once again, everywhere you look there’s a “Proud Scot” screaming about how the figures – showing an essentially unchanged “deficit” despite an almost £2bn fall in oil revenue – destroy a case for independence that those same people have spent most of the last four years stridently insisting never existed in the first place.


So let’s recap the truth about Scotland’s financial books. Because for all the complex arguments, mad graphs ludicrously pretending Scotland is a less viable nation than Greece or Latvia or Cyprus or Malta and endless arrays of incomprehensible charts and tables, there are (now) only six things you really need to know about GERS.



GERS is a really, really terrible advertisement for the Union.

Scotland has been part of the UK for 308 years. It’s had its own parliament for just 5% of that time. Even now, almost all key economic levers – taxation, welfare, immigration and many more – are directly controlled by Westminster, as is a huge chunk of “Scottish” spending. If the economy is a mess, 95% of that mess happened on the UK Parliament’s watch.


UK governments of all political shades have had 300 years to get Scotland into a healthy shape. They’re now telling us that they failed spectacularly in that responsibility, but that it’s somehow Scotland’s fault, so we have to leave them in charge to fix it. Maybe if we give them another 300 years they’ll get it right.



GERS was deliberately designed from the outset by the UK government to make Scotland (and the non-Tory parties) look bad.



This fact was revealed in a leaked memo from the Scottish Secretary to the Prime Minister. But when Labour came to power in 1999 they did nothing about it, because they thought they’d control the Scottish Parliament forever no matter what, and therefore it couldn’t really hurt them. It would, however, still help to make the SNP and independence look bad, which suited Labour fine.

When the SNP took over at Holyrood they managed to improve GERS a bit, but there are still major issues – partly because the UK government refuses to give the Scottish Government access to a lot of important data – and as a result much of it is total guesswork.



The “£15bn black hole” in GERS screamed across every newspaper this week is a fallacy, because the target balance of a government is not zero.

Almost every country on Earth – except for a certain oil-rich nation of 5m people bordering the North Sea which isn’t Scotland – runs a deficit. Governments don’t operate like households, which at some point have to balance the books and pay off their debts. Under normal circumstances governments always run a deficit because that’s how you create growth.

So you never have to fill that “black hole”. The only issues are whether the deficit is too big to service the debt payments on, and whether it’s permanently big (a problem) or goes up and down (generally not a problem). Scotland’s is the latter.


In 2010 the UK’s deficit was a bigger share of GDP (11%) than Scotland’s is in the latest GERS figures (10%), but nobody said it proved the UK wasn’t a viable independent country, because most people aren’t self-hating morons desperate to portray their own nation as a financial basket case. As long as the deficit isn’t ALWAYS that high you’re fine, and Scotland’s is usually much lower.

(And remember – the UK, which still controls around 40% of Scottish spending, doesn’t just generously gift Scotland the money to plug its deficit because it loves us so much. It takes out borrowing in Scotland’s name, whether it’s for stuff Scotland actually wants or not. Scotland gets no say in whether it wants or needs nuclear submarines or giant aircraft carriers or not. London makes the decision and puts it on Scotland’s tab.)

If a sustainable deficit is (say) £10bn and your actual deficit is (say) £12bn, then the size of the “black hole” you need to address in a bad year – by generating extra income, borrowing or reducing spending – is £2bn, not £12bn. But that makes for a much less dramatic newspaper headline.



GERS – by the universal agreement of everyone except Unionist politicians and the Scottish media – has no bearing whatsoever on the finances of an independent Scotland.

That’s a fact which just can’t be repeated too often.


To name but one extremely significant example, an independent Scotland’s balance sheet would be massively affected – to the tune of billions of pounds a year, a huge chunk of the deficit – by the details of the independence settlement and in particular how much UK debt Scotland agreed to inherit.

It’s highly unlikely, for all sorts of reasons that we’ve explored in detail on Wings previously, that this would be a straight per-capita share, and a more realistic figure – half that or less – would instantly reduce the deficit to a degree that would have, for example, more than balanced the drop in oil revenues this year.

When Ireland gained independence from the UK, it negotiated an agreement which gave it none of the UK’s debt whatsoever. If Scotland – which has a very strong negotiating position – were to do the same its “true” deficit (see Fact 3), even in a very bad year like 2014-15, would be almost wiped out at a stroke.



GERS is also totally irrelevant in the context of independence for a second crucial reason – the entire point of independence is to NOT keep doing everything in Scotland the same way it’s been done in the UK.

Scotland’s needs, strengths, weaknesses and priorities are different to those of the UK in all sorts of fields. Despite obvious similarities it’s a fundamentally different kind of country – much less densely-populated, with different industries and demographics and a different idea of its place in the world.


So it would almost certainly want to significantly rearrange its spending in ways so numerous and far-reaching as to change GERS out of all recognition.



GERS takes no account of Brexit.

The most dramatic change of circumstances in Scottish politics since March, of course, has been nothing to do with the price of oil, but the fact that in June the UK voted to leave the European Union.

The “status quo” position represented by GERS is now even more irrelevant as a comparison to an independent Scotland, because the choice on offer in any second indyref will almost certainly be between an independent Scotland inside the EU, and a Scotland that’s in the UK and outside the EU.


The impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy is impossible to measure, but what everyone on all sides seems to agree on is that it’ll be bad. (Which is why all five Parliamentary parties in Scotland campaigned for a Remain vote.)

Data published by the Scottish Government yesterday suggested that the damage could range between £1.7bn and £11.2bn a year. There could of course also be economic downsides to remaining in the EU while the rUK left (depending on Scotland’s trading terms with the rUK), but it seems highly likely that the net balance of staying in the EU would be significantly positive for Scotland.

The point is that GERS factors in none of that, and is therefore an even poorer guide to an independent Scotland’s finances than it was already, by a long way.


Unionists desperate to use GERS to rubbish an independent Scotland’s finances sometimes admit its flaws, but defend it by saying it’s the only data we’ve got to go on. That’s like saying you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow so for want of anything better you’ll base your plans around your horoscope in today’s Daily Star.

And, y’know, that’d make you an even bigger idiot today than it did in March.

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  1. 24 08 16 14:57

    The SIX key facts about GERS | speymouth

  2. 27 08 16 22:09

    The Devolution Settlement for Scotland makes as much sense as a Rube Goldberg machine – Max Memos

  3. 06 09 16 03:29

    Talking Scotland down for a living – IndyRefNews

  4. 06 09 16 19:50

    Talking Scotland Down? It’s worse than that – IndyRefNews

74 to “The SIX key facts about GERS”

  1. Bob Mack says:

    I am very fond of my neighbour, but I would not like to pay my money straight into his bank account and depend on him giving me pocket money and paying my bills.
    Especially if I found out he had appropriated large chunks of my property as his own

  2. ClanDonald says:

    You sometimes forget how much you hate the corruption and dishonesty of Westminster.

    GERS day is a useful reminder 😀

  3. Macart says:

    The only sensible thing you’ll find to read on the subject anywhere today.

  4. Walter Scott says:

    The most damning thing is that the most successful Union in the world’s history means that Scotland is still reliant on the country it formed a union with would by any measure prove beyond any doubt that it has failed. It has brought some Scot’s to believe they will forever be in need of help. It has corrupted our self confidence, our culture, our political ambition, the way we see ourselves in relation to other countries.
    Unionist politicians who lie to their fellow citizens telling them they are unique in so far as being just too incapable of running a country should have the guts to tell us their real reasons for condemning us to a future of sponging like parasites.
    Forget the hapless airhead Kezia Douglas, for the future of lying, politicking, sectarian standard raising Unionist with a capital L for loyalism the loathsome Ruth Davidson will be there to do her country down. Labour could be out of power for a generation if ever. Is this our future? Stay in a union that dictates we are never in profit & our opinions on self determination are rubbished by every opposition party, newspaper and broadcaster? Boris after Theresa?

  5. call me dave says:

    I live in Fife…happiest part of Scotland…the blethering overheard in the cafe this morning confirms it as I was having my toast. The Celtic in Europe game being ventilated (how close was that?) or even blowing a Scottish raspberry (PHARRPH!) at Tesco, (how very dare they!)

    But… SFA about GERS, not a jot or a whisper or a worry about how Scotland can’t get hold of the steering wheel or the pedals just a wee smile and a blank stare, with one saying “GERS aren’t in Europe yet Dave”.


    Thank goodness you and others here are on the case. Excellent work again. 🙂

  6. One_Scot says:

    I don’t know what the answer is, but if the SNP don’t come up with a way to deal with the Yoons controlling 100% of TV news and 99.9% of print news, then they are always going to be falsely portrayed in a bad light regarding GERS.

  7. Yet Brian Taylor, or his voice over, spouts this £15 billion Black Hole shit on today’s BBC News Where We Are State Broadcast as though they were tablets in stone.
    That quivering little oik Mundell is given a spot confirming that Independence and Scotland’s economy are well, shite.
    STV (ITN’s equivalent of the News Where We are) opened with a ‘£14.8 Black Hole’.
    I have no doubt at all that we are living in an English colony controlled by willing Natives, prepared to decry, lie, and destroy Scotland the nation.
    Ruth Davidson is afoot today, and according to the MSM ‘will say’, and will feature on News Where We Are tonight, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow evening, and the next day, and the next.
    I have no problem in asserting that the Brit Establishment is no less smothering than the regimes of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Papa Doc, Idi Amin, or Assam.
    Images of the Establishment are every where. The Queen,(portraits, statues, on our feckin’ stamps) her kids and grandkids, Corbyn, Dugdale, Davidson, Rennie, May, Johnson, flood our TV screens, our newspapers, and social media sites.
    We are subjugated. The Iron Heel Oligarchy rule over us.
    Get used to it. They can say or print any old propaganda that they like.
    It is the gospel truth in Winston Smith Land.
    I detest this band of mercenary hacks. Taylor knows fine well that GERS is a farce, yet churns out the nonsense he did at lunchtime without faltering.
    Shame on him and my fellow Scots for lying about our native country.
    No, it’s not ‘only politics’. People are still dying due to Tory Cuts.
    Beyond contempt. I shall celebrate their demise greatly.

  8. heedtracker says:

    Unionists like Dr NO! here are having the time of their UKOK lives though, GERS is accurate, we’re bust, Scots are too stoopid, poor, small. Listen to the yoons of the UK next time. All of them, red and blue tory, totally dodging economic reality. And this one WoS blog explains exactly why too. Funny that.

    Scott Arthur ?@DrScottThinks 2h2 hours ago
    Scott Arthur Retweeted

    We tried to tell you
    The SNP Gov does not question the accuracy of the data and can use other sources.

  9. Fred says:

    And @ Bob Mack, keeps telling U over the garden fence that you’re a basket case.

    Excellent Stu!

  10. scotsbob says:

    Why do I frequently see Scotland’s finances given both with a share of oil revenue and without a share of oil revenue, yet I never see UK finances shown without oil revenue?

  11. Macart says:


    There is no answer, not as far as we are concerned. The SNP as a party in its own right, as the party of Scottish Government, or as the the predominant party of Scotland’s representation at Westminster could do anything about it either.

    When it comes to media bias only two things count – mahoosive amounts of cash and legislative competence. Last I checked there were no multi-billionaire media moguls queuing up to back Scottish independence and ALL legislative powers governing the media were retained by Westminster.

    Look at it the other way round though. With all of the big cannon on their side, why haven’t they won? Why has the direction of travel inexorably been away from the union? It may be slow and gradual, but vote by vote its only going in one direction. The only difference a non partizan media would have made is the speed of the process.

  12. heedtracker says:

    As tory BBC led vote NO blitz on us cranks up to 11 today, if we are so stupid, poor and small, why did they promise The Vow 2014? All that lovely devo-max and federal UK goodness turns into a 2016 Scots cringer’s shrieking match of NO. Here’s probably the greatest liar in Scottish history explaining what Scots would be getting for their NO,

    Crash explains how we were “heading for Scottish home rule” and “something quite close to federalism.”

    Wonder what changed. Oh yes, they won. England still owns and runs Scotland.

  13. Neil Cook says:

    Why doesn’t the SNP with all the additional revenue from the members create its own TV channel on freeview showing a news channel even if its only for 4-6 hrs a day to dispel all this shit. I cant believe how naive they are on media applications and the use of.

    They may as well bend over and kick their own arse, its political ineptitude to let the media get away with it. I’ve said before that they need to appoint a Chief Political officer and all questions directed at him through a press conference. As for the media not getting access to Politicians the answer would be they are getting on with the job they are supposed to do and not answering your shit questions

  14. Proud Cybernat says:

    BBC Reporting Scotland on GERS:

  15. Dan Huil says:

    GERS is a joke. It was a tory construct invented solely to aid the tories’ political chances in Scotland. It failed. It continues to fail.

  16. neil says:

    Using GERS figures to prove that Scotland’s economy would be ruined by independence is like telling someone who has their feet chained together that they wouldn’t be able to walk if the chains were removed.

  17. heedtracker says:

    Poor old Crash. Two chums chat UK stuff in their Scotland region, one hard core yoonster, t’other tory STV yoon propagandist.

    Also very sneaky headline by these toryboys as Crash hardly gets a mention, but their The Vow fraud is all his fault. Lets not dwell on the vicious frauds at the Daily Record what published it all, the BBC vote NO Scotland hysterics that blasted it all at us, and ofcourse the three main party leaders what actually signed their historic The Vow shyste on Scots 2014.

    Although they did all deny ever signing Daily Record The Vow scroll of England’s right to rein over us, natch:D

  18. Cherry says:

    We long for the day that the MSM will tell the truth about our Country. It’s never going to happen…only by the people standing up and saying enough is enough can we expose this propaganda. Only by making our collective voices heard showing this corruption can we ever have a media we can trust. Some people say…the SNP/First Minister must do something about this…how? Nicola had a press conference yesterday…did you see it? The only reason I know it happened is because I read it on Twitter.

    Only WE THE PEOPLE can change this…by passively nodding our heads and saying ” ach it’s just they lying journalists” we are aiding and abetting them.
    We have got to get ourselves out on the streets…people power…thousands of us flooding the streets or outside of their propaganda establishments…tipping off the Russian press or Euro press, if the Scottish press won’t cover it I’m sure outside agencies will. We have to do it again and again and again, once in a while is not enough we have to protest like never before. Project fear has upped its game, so must we…our young people 16+ have to get involved as should our older folks, all ages must gather together…it’s the only way we can bring this MONSTER down. Nicola has said it many,many times that the people will be the voice that she will listen to. We are trapped by our own in-action. Remember the poll tax and the miners the Suffragetts…they all had to March collectively to have their voices heard…so must we.

  19. James says:

    Presumably the day after independence most things will be unchanged from the day before. The ownership of companies won’t change, who you are employed by won’t change, and (hopefully) Scotland’s ability to trade within and without the UK won’t change.
    What will change is how how the public sector is financed. Government expenditure and revenue will be crucial.
    Active debate on how spending and tax generation are brought into balance is a must for a successful indyref2 campaign.

  20. wull2 says:

    Why does wings not crowdfund a TV channel of its own to tell the truth and promote the wings web site.

  21. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Cherry (3.32) –

    Hear hear.

    Glasgow Green, Sep 18th.

  22. Iain says:

    Thanks for that, a cool breeze on a roasting (i.e. full of roasters) day.

  23. Artyhetty says:

    Basically the Scottish government have both hands tied behind their back, and are working very hard trying to do what they can. Given that 100% of the so called media are intent on keeping Scotland shackled for their establishment paymasters, it’s a wonder that there is so much support for independence.

    At the shops just now didn’t see much, if anything about GERS on the front pages, mostly about Nicola possibly or even probably calling a new referendum soon. Hmm, well with that message as front page news, and then the ebc telling folks what a basket case Scotland is economically, just to confirm, how very bad the SNP are by calling for independence under such dire, catastrophic circumstances, jeez.

    We really must be better together then. ?

  24. Onwards says:

    What amazes me is the obvious glee from many unionists when there is any perceived bad news for the Scottish economy.

    Why on earth would they expect their parties to be trusted with controlling the Scottish economy from London, when it seems to be in their interests to run Scotland down ??

  25. Hamish100 says:

    There has been 1 or 2 folk on a previous post saying we should leave the criticising of the state broadcaster and the other tools to websites like this and for the SNP government be excluded from criticising because they would be attacked unfairly!!!
    They are already if folk haven’t noticed.
    If we really want independence the SNP and the other groups must firm up in their TV and radio interviews and challenge the interviewers direct as to their sources etc. Being nice and placid to foreign owned papers and the state broadcaster HAS NOT WORKED just in case no-one’s noticed.

  26. laukat says:

    I’m interested on why the Scottish Government have brought this forward to August. The more I think about it I wonder if there is some strategic thinking at place. Given recent rises in oil you would expect by March 2017 to be better than August 2016 so there must be another reason for bringing it forward.

    It to show a view of Scotland’s economy before Brexit hits and any deterioration form this point on is now effectively down to leaving the EU? or could it be so the next figures are not due until August 2017 and hold a referendum between now and then to reduce the effect during a campaigning period or is it laying the ground for a wider economic case that outlines a Scottish Currency removing the need to take the debt and so making GERS defunct?

  27. Proud Cybernat says:

    I wonder what Jackie Bird on BBC Misreporting Scotland will tell us tonight about GERS? Can she be trusted to give us ALL the facts?

    You decide:

    Another vile cybernat production.

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    Onwards: “What amazes me is the obvious glee from many unionists when there is any perceived bad news for the Scottish economy.”

    Enough adherents to the exercise of free will draw attention to the colonial parallels with that ‘little naked fakir’* Gandhi.

    (* Winston Churchill)

  29. Dr Jim says:

    I can’t take it any more I’m giving in, giving up, stopping my activities for Independence and I’ll never want to be Independent again because of all this bad news the “BBC and Unionist Party” have told us

    So how do we vote for this party then because you never see their name on the ballot papers, are they affiliated or independents…what’s that you say, they’re only newsreaders, gosh! I was sure they were a political entity

    I must be really gullible to have been fooled so easily,
    how embarrassing

    Better not give up wanting Independence then

  30. Stu Mac says:

    Good article on Common Space about this:

    Re the post about setting up an SNP station on Freeview – it would be expensive to run and would get few viewers, certainly few non-SNP supporters viewing.

    Yes I know BBC Scotland is Labour TV but many non-aligned viewers don’t realise this. Maybe the thing to do is save the most outrageous lies – with proof – and broadcast them when SNP gets TV space before elections.

  31. Dan Huil says:

    GERS is a Westminster invention. Says it all, really.

  32. louis.b.argyll says:

    The graph in KEY FACT 5, clearly shows our potential being stunted, by England’s growth.
    The line dips suddenly, corresponding with when the land was stolen from beneath our feet.
    What else but to emigrate, before democracy,any uprising would create further oppression.

  33. Iain More says:

    Well I have been out the back of the house hacking at the weeds since it is a glorious day here. I blame the SNP for that. Well I thought I would do it before the BBC does.

    I have thus avoided the BBCs anti Scottish hate tirade. I will be going out for round two of the weeding shortly. I have no desire to accidentally stumble across any BBC sneers or Yoon TV Aberdeen sneers either.

    I have in the course of weeding avoided running into a neighbour I don’t like as he or they insist on piling up debts and then dumping them on me. Yet they fatly refuse to accept responsibility for their gross economic mismanagement and still insist that foreign military adventurism is okay and spending gazillions on a weapon system that will never get used is somehow affordable in their economic model.

    No it is fair to say that I detest that kind of neighbour!

  34. K1 says:

    Stu Mac, direct link to Craig’s blog for same article you’ve linked to…the more hits for him the better too…needs spread far and wide same as this article from the Rev.

  35. Robert Louis says:

    We all know that GERS is a sham used to make Scots think Scotland is too poor, too wee, what I really want to know is this, why do Scots so-called ‘journalists’ line up on days like this to literally rubbish their own country on the basis of dodgy numbers?

    Do these people really hate their own country, Scotland, so much? Are they just thick and unable to grasp that Westminster is literally cooking the books? Are they just literally brainwashed.

    Seriously, I doubt their is any other country in the world, where its own citizens would queue up to rubbish their country, on the basis of figures from a not very friendly Government in a different country.

    As for Andrew Neil, well, look, you could give him gold carat, 100% impartial definitive proof that GERS is rubbish, and he would still enjoy rubbishing his own country. A classic cringing London unionist Scot. But he’s only ‘one of them’ whilst he joins in with the ‘Scotland is rubbish’ and full of ‘chippy jocks’ jokes. I’m serious, Ive lived in London, and you’ll be ‘alright’, provided you indulge their xenophobic and racist attitude to Scotland. But, as I was always told, they are just joking when calling you a ‘whinging Scotch git’.

  36. K1 says:

    Here’s the Askthe FM and cabinet EU nationals event from August 17th in case anyone has missed this too.

  37. Ken500 says:

    Scotland raises £54Billion in tax revenues. The UK raises £515Billion. The rest of the UK raises £461 = £42Billion pro rata. (11/12 pop). The rest of the UK borrows and spends £75Billion + £20Billion black hole. = £95Billion

    The deficit in Scotland is (approx ) £1Billion on Trident, £1Billion no tax on ‘loss leading’ drink. £4Billion on debt repayments Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend. £3Billion on tax evasion. £4Billion lost in Oil revenues. Westminster taxing Oil sector at 60/80% when the price had fallen 75%. (Osbourne). Westminster policies. Total £13Billion.

  38. Inverclyder says:

    Groundhog Day!

  39. Fred says:

    On Shortbread this afternoon, some Durham professor has decided that the bones of Scottish prisoners taken at the Battle of Dunbar,who were marched to Durham & imprisoned in the cathedral there where they perished due to disease & malnutritian & were discovered in a mass grave, are to be re-buried in Durham. It was hoped that they would have been returned to Scotland. The decent thing to do is apparently not what the professor thinks appropriate. He stated that they showed no signs of trauma at all! As if the Cromwellian forces maltreated prisoners?

    Lest we forget! General George Monk, who was present at Dunbar with Cromwell, sacked & destroyed Dundee, captured 60 ships & massacred 1200 men, women & children. An atrocity only exceeded by that in Drogheda. These events were no less than the kind of genocide experienced in Bosnia & were the prelude to the first enforced Union with England, why do we hear nothing of Dundee?

  40. Gary45% says:

    Cheers Stu, You make it easy to understand, even for a thicko like me.

  41. call me dave says:

    Just heard radio shortbread’s Lucy Adams put the boot into Glasgow Govan with the rogue landlords and the problems with ‘to let’ property and linking into SNP bad… Nicola Sturgeons constituency.

    No compulsory purchase orders, de-registered landlords still operating, deposits being stolen, ghettos and foreigners. 🙁

    Quite a hatchet job there Lucy, whose rapidly becoming just as well known as Bradford is/was on the Scottish Health Service.

    Poor response from the Glasgow Council guy too, all in a day’s work for Auntie though.

  42. Hamish100 says:

    Well we kind of knew it wasn’t Scotland’s oil but I didn’t know it was China’s!

    Maybe we should build wee artificial islands around the North Sea.

    Just proves how unimportant North Sea Oil and Gas is. The Tories in Englandshire sell it off.

    Just by chance at Inverclyde today. Looking across the Clyde watching a nuclear reactor floating down the Clyde. Of course it carries nuclear missiles able to kill millions. Great to be britannica –now how could I spend £5million on a wee bauble for Japan Olympics. Wee are skint I tell ye! Thanks to London.

  43. Fireproofjim says:

    It seems a long time since any authoritative opinion poll on the YES/NO situation.
    The Brexit vote, the collapse of the Labour Party, the Tory upheaval and the Gers figures have given considerable food for thought.
    Does anyone know of plans for such a poll. We must be over 50% now.
    Still, I want us to be patient until several polls show us over 55%. This is our ONLY shot at Independence.

  44. mogabee says:

    And boy oh boy, does the press contain a full complement of idiots!

  45. call me dave says:

    What a picture what a photograph… stick in your family album.

    Thought I was seeing double but no!… it’s just a coincidence Funny old newspaper world! 🙁

    Mundell just been on shortbread telling us politely that the UK is subbing all us Scots £1200 a year and just eat your porridge.

    Geez! Off to bed early tonight, might as well, porridge made and poured into the top drawer, it’ll be set by morning Mr Mundell. 🙂

    Tomorrow is another day.

  46. “It takes out borrowing in Scotland’s name, whether it’s for stuff Scotland actually wants or not. Scotland gets no say in whether it wants or needs nuclear submarines or giant aircraft carriers or not. London makes the decision and puts it on Scotland’s tab.”

    That being the case, would there not be a case for an independent government to declare those as ‘illegal debts’, made without the knowledge and consent of the people, to benefit the ruling classes, not the general population? Or am I simply stating the obvious?

  47. Luigi says:

    Macart says:

    24 August, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Look at it the other way round though. With all of the big cannon on their side, why haven’t they won? Why has the direction of travel inexorably been away from the union? It may be slow and gradual, but vote by vote its only going in one direction. The only difference a non partizan media would have made is the speed of the process.

    Indeed. The yoons are bricking it big time – why else would they ramp it all up so soon after BREXIT, with a referendum a good 1-2 years away at the earliest? Yep, they are terrified that since BREXIT, independence may be gaining some traction with soft NO voters. For all the media bombardment, it is clear the establishment is on the defensive – they are throwing everything at us, just to hold the line. Since 2014, that line has been under intense pressure and its only a matter of time before it crumbles and they have to form another line (federalism – just wait for it). The media has managed to slow the movement to independence, but only temporarily and at great cost. In slowing the soft NOs from coming over, they have also super-hardened the YES vote. A solid 45-50% that will never accept the union, combined with at least 25% candy floss soft NO, is the stuff that yoon nightmares are made of. It’s all coming to bear. Half of Scotland is lost to them already. A quarter of the remaining does not love the union very much and they are having to fight increasingly hard and dirty, just to stay afloat. Definitely, not a good time to be a yoon. My heart bleeds. 🙂

  48. Tinto Chiel says:

    Thanks again for the simple explanation, Stu, and the vital update.

    If we lived in a normal country a journalist would write a documentary about this and it would appear on TV to explain GERS clearly to the population. Wonder why this doesn’t happen in North Britain?

    It’s just like Fred’s question, “Why do we hear nothing of Dundee?” And don’t mention The Highlands post-1946, nothing to see there.

    I was in Durham Cathedral with my wife a good few years ago (magnificent place) and we listened to the deacon as he gave his wee spiel, which was very interesting. When he came to the bit about the Scots in the cathedral, an Estuarial Dahn Saffer who hadn’t obviously been listening, piped up, “Oh, what did they steal?”

    The guide, who had been talking to us both before the tour and knew we were Scottish, seemed to enjoy explaining to this prize plank that they were prisoners and that many had starved to death on Cromwell’s orders.

    As Bugs Bunny used to say, “What a maroon!”

  49. Tinto Chiel says:

    “1746”, obvs.

  50. Meg merrilees says:

    Hamish @5.18pm

    “China is taking over Scotland’s oil” !!!!!
    Article in the Times yesterday:

    Apparently they are buying into North Sea oil big-time and are now extracting about 200,000 barrels a day as a result of George Osbourne’s ( remember him – the Companion of Honour) tax cuts also making big profits – 114% – from Tory tax cuts.

    Hate the way we’re always shafted by the Tories!

  51. scottieDog says:

    It’s funny no one talks about the uk’s stock of debt £1.6tn and who the net be beneficiaries of that have been.

  52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Because while our crowdfunders do well, they don’t get very close to the millions that that would cost.

  53. Arbroath1320 says:

    So Westminster, namely the Treasury, deigns it acceptable to show the Scottish Government SOME economic figures, NOT all just some mind 😉 , and leaves them to make up a report based on these figures and a great deal of guesswork. 😉

    The MSM/BBC (especially)/SKY etc go apeshite about how poor Scotland is and that it can not possibly survive becoming independent. Unfortunately for them, and to great hilarity for us, is the concept, completely lost on the unionists, that wee Ozzy the Towel Folder said, more than once, in 2014 that ALL debt belonged to Westminster up till the point Scotland became independent. As far as I can recall no one has yet hat the guts, or the backbone, to put their head above the parapet and repute this statement. 😀

    As many others have stated, quite correctly, the publication of the GERS report only highlights ONE insurmountable fact … Scotland continuing, as part of the broken union, is actually suffering greatly. Only full independence can save Scotland from this continuing disaster.

    As far as the whole deficit argument goes it is my considered opinion that either the BBC/SKY/MSM so called economic commentators who continually spout that GERS proves Scotland can not go it alone are either complete imbeciles, arrogant, liars or a combination of all three. Apparently an independent must NEVER do anything differently from what it, and especially Westminster, currently does regarding financing. Yeah right oh Bubba. Keep taking your meds Bra! 😀

  54. Stormchase King says:

    Attention all air traffic – this is Glasgow Tower with an urgent warning along the clyde corridor. Expect elevated convection and windshear.

    Unconfirmed reports coming in that Jackie Bird demonstrated VTOL during the BBC Scottish six. Expect stormy backwash.

  55. CameronB Brodie says:

    Hocus Pocus alakazam, Scotlands’ ambitions obscured in yoon flan
    Hocus Pocus alakazam, a united Scots consciousness to defeat colonialist plans

  56. kailyard rules says:

    Call me dave @ 5:15

    It’s Govanhill where the rife Rachmanism exists. Not Govan.

    That’s Sunny Govan, where Labour Guru Corbyn will be pontificating this week at old Govan Parish. Invited by the Jimmy Reid Society.

    Jimmy will be birlin.

  57. McDuff says:

    As I have said before we need MASS demonstrations at Pacific Quay and throughout Scotland, bringing city centres to a standstill, demanding the truth from the MSM, causing embarrassment to Unionist politicians, attracting international attention. But it has to be thousands and thousands of people, those who truly want independence must make the effort and turn up at demonstrations or I fear all will be lost.
    Another great one Rev.

  58. Effijy says:

    Rev! You have worked your socks off on putting all this information together.

    Thank you, and very well done!

    You really should be funded entirely by the Scottish Government. You are the only source of truthful information that I have access to.

    I’d probably still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy if it came down to the BBC and what is being passed off as newspapers.

  59. Gary45% says:

    Attention Yoon Trolls.
    Economical with the truth, facts and moral standards.
    Just watched Shortbread Shi*e from tea time, EMBARRASSING.
    The Brass necked Burd, must be a new species only seen on Empire TV. Twitchers beware, talking of twitchers only Fluffy spotted, no Ruthie Jong UN, disappointed.
    Printed off the GERS facts above to hand out to citizens tomorrow.
    BBC your Tea is oot, why listen to you when WOS gives the FACTS.

  60. Gary45% says:

    Totally agree, Mass Demo at Pathetic Quay needed, there will be absolutely NO coverage on Empire or even STV (Shi*e Television)
    You Tube and RT at the ready?

  61. Stu Mac says:

    Even Bella are getting in on this:

    Good to see a few outlets putting this kind of analysis out.

  62. Proud Cybernat says:

    Proud Cybernat and Mrs Proud Cybernat with Bells On will be there on the 18th Sept. at Glasgow Green.

    BBC – GIRFUYs. Your day of reckoning is coming.

    The people of Scotland WILL be heard and WILL see you OUT.

  63. CameronB Brodie says:

    Re. GERS. What about the human factor?

    It should no longer be necessary to point to the significance of the semiotic theory of space and place. You can ask Mr. H @ the BBC what that means but in case he has not boned up on the subject, I think I have the pedigree to do the honours.

    The semiotic theory of space and place relates to how we perceive our surroundings and how this shapes our activities and so shape our surroundings. It’s all very chicken and egg but it basically tells us that the more autonomy a place has, the more like new activities will evolve within the place. This is due to the new significance the place will have in space.

    GERS, as a means of understanding Scotland’s economy, is only slightly more evolved than Melanesia cargo-cult science. Those who pimp GERS view the world through primitive eyes.

    Cargo Cult

  64. yesindyref2 says:

    @Stu Mac
    Thanks for the Bella link. Good article, and I’ve read the methodology as well recently. In fact there’s one now for 2015-16.

    What gets me about the ScotGov GERS section is that while there are the tables themselves, and the methodology used, there’s no reasoning given for using the methods, no commentary about how accurate or inaccurate they might be, and most importantly, no plan given for how they might be improved for next year’s GERS, and the one after.

    But more than that there’s no analysis of how much reality could vary from the estimates – either way in some cases. Some of the changed methodolgy has in fact made the apparent situation worse as far as Scotland’s position. Well, this is correct, some estimates of revenues will be high, or UK expenditure on behalf of Scotland, low.

    But there’s no analysis of the likes of corporation tax, and no explanation of what “economic activity in Scotland” might actually mean, Is it turnover, sales, profits? Or is it as I saw somewhere, employment. Which could be 0 if Scotland was serviced from Manchester say, via the M6 and M74 with overnight stops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen by the Manchester office staff. I do know that happens.

    I read Stu’s article above. I also read Kevin Hague’s article. The irony is that even when they contradict each other, both are right at times. And that just shouldn’t happen.

    That is a failing of the communication about GERS by the Scottish Government, and it needs to be put right. Pronto. I wish I’d known about the GERS consulation made prior to GERS 2015-16, I would have tried to find the time to make a submission. It would have been critical, along the lines above.

  65. Muscleguy says:


    What are you waiting for? For some other bugger to get the Yes polls over 55% for you? What is stopping you getting out there, ideally with others, and campaigning for Yes to make those poll numbers move because we shoved them?

    Whose permission do you need? The Yes campaign is now independent of anyone else and organising on its own. RIC is moving here in Dundee, we are going to go a canvassing again.

    The next referendum campaign is likely to be short, we need to move opinion in ADVANCE of the calling of the referendum. Nicola has expressly stated she won’t call one until the numbers move and we have to demand it.


    A line from an old Pink Floyd seems apposite:

    Nobody told you when to run
    You missed the starting gun.

  66. Fi says:

    Thanks again Wings, bringing the truth to us, backed up with fact, slapping the self-serving morons in the face. I rely on this site for news, keep up the great work 😀

  67. Petra says:

    @Cherry at 3:32PM ……

    Absolutely spot on Cherry. We, thousands of us, have to become totally pro-active … on the streets. In every village, town and city. More than anything over and above carrying the Saltire get data onto placards and banners to debunk the lies and myths.

  68. Macart says:


    Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier Luigi.

    Oh, and they have good reason to be ‘bricking it’.

    These boneheads have set in motion an almost inevitable series of events with their cack handed EU referendum.

    1. The result of the EU referendum is constitutionally incompatible with the result of the independence referendum as far as the Scottish electorate are concerned. If no middle ground can be found, it will require a second independence referendum to square the constitutional circle.

    2. There are between a 130-150K EU born residents living in Scotland. (Last census I could find the number was 134K) Depending on how brexit talks progress, and we appear to be looking at hard brexit, that is a LOT of potential pro YES votes.

    3. The economic effects of Brexit have yet to hit. Mainly because brexit hasn’t been triggered and no one knows how the UKs trade and international political standing will be affected as yet. Probably ‘not good’ is a safe bet. That WILL be passed on to every household the length and breadth of these islands.

    4. As it was, HMGs record on delivery regarding pledges and assurances from indyref 1 left them with a hard hill to climb for any future indyref. That is to say a 100% failure rate highlighting a complete betrayal of the result of 2014. Not to mention their media’s ongoing treatment of both the Scottish electorate and our representatives. Now? Now the hill is looking a bit more mountainous.

    So yes, they do have plenty of good reasons to feel nervous about now. After everything they’ve invested, the harm they’ve casually dished out to their own electorate and readerships? The best they have to offer is ‘your country is so shite it couldn’t survive without aid, but stay because we love your whinging, subsidy junkie, quaint little ways’. Super argument they have there.

    In short, they have no intention of changing the record. Its the only one they have left.

    I’d be worried too if I were them.

  69. Kenny Edwards says:

    You are quite right Wings, I am being assaulted by self-haters taking the GERS report and waving it in my face as evidence of Scotland’s poverty of riches & prospects. Thanks for your very well informed and timely rebuttal.

  70. Jack Murphy says:

    This GERS stuff MUST be really serious. 🙁
    Last night at teatime BBC Northern Branch had Douglas Fraser,Brian Taylor and Jackie Byrd all in the shoogly studio at the same time.
    I wondered what my next door students were laughing at—it was the doom-laden trio from the BBC—the students quickly changed channels.

  71. Thomas Valentine says:

    Is GERS getting just to be another “Iraq Dossier” only for Scotland. It gets sexed up more every year and where I once treated with some value. Now its just stuff other people made up.

    Anything that when you ask to look closer at your told it’s a secret is drivel.

  72. Gordon says:

    We’d be quite rich if we could get rid of London overheads. Let’s start with Trident and follow with the Lords.

  73. Folks – GERS does nothing to serve us, so stop looking at it. Look at the other Scandinavian countries. Find BETTER figures. Find ways of countering it. All the above is a tad inward looking.

  74. Geordie says:

    The fact 5 graph appears to blame the union in 1707 for limiting population growth outside of England. First, Scotland’s inhabitable areas are disproportionately small; much is mountains, mooorlands and heaths. Second, the graph shows the impacts of famines and migrations that England never experienced. In Scotland the Scottish legal system allowed landlords to replace tenant farmers by sheep. If the Scots had adopted the English legal system after the union, Scottish tenant farmers would have had more rights, and the “clearances” might have been much reduced.

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