The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The Slightly Tubby Quiz Of The Year

Posted on December 29, 2015 by

It’s time to find out just how alert you really are, readers.


The answers to each of the 24 questions below about Scottish politics in 2015 can be found in Wings articles. But no Googling – we’ll know.

[WpProQuiz 1]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

567 to “The Slightly Tubby Quiz Of The Year”

  1. Tam Jardine

    SCOTTISH BLOCK ANNEX (George Younger, 6th Jan 1986)

    Page 1 is a simple bar graph of Public Spending by Department (Percentage increase in cash terms of main UK gov depts 85/86-88/89)

    All the figures vary between 5% and 15% increases with the excecption of DOE (dept of Environment) which is hammered with a 10% drop, Education & Science looks like a 1% increase. The Scotland figure of a 0.3% increase is seen in context of much higher increases to the other 10 deparments. 12th lowest spending increase out of 13.

    The list of concessions made in the 1985 PES (Public Expenditure Survey) are the cuts conceeded by George Younger to satisfy the Treasury for spending years 86/87, 87/88 and 88/89. I will list these – as 86/87, 87/88, 88/89

    Cumulative effects of “invisible” reductions made since 1980: £46M, £66M, £66M

    Reduction in bids fo Electricity boardss EFLs: £44M, £56M, £29

    Reduced entitlement to revised Economic Assumptions for local housing: £8.7M, £20.7M, £9.6M

    Cuts in budgets linked to cost effectiveness studies: £7M, £7M, £15.5M

    Switch to AEG for Domestic rate rebates to offset effects of revaluation: £15M, £0M, £0M

    Moratoriums on Regional Development Grants: £5M, £9.9M, £1.1M

    Switch to ODA for Aid to Trade programme: £1.3M, £4M, £4M

    Switch to DES for training of Engineering & Technology students: £1M, £1M, £0M

    Switch to OAl to support Scottish Arts Council following local government reorganisation: £0.6, £0.6, £0.6

    Consequentials of capital overspending by English local authorities (Estimated): £100M, £100M, £100M

    Total cuts to block grant each year: £228.6M, £265.2M, £225.7M


    During the 1985 survey, the following invisible reductions to the Block, additional to those (invisible reductions) conceded in earlier years (since 1979/80) were given up:

    £5M, £10M, £10M

    These figures are the most that can be conceded without incurring an unacceptably high risk of detection. By the end of the present Survey period the aggregated effect of invisible reductions to the Scottish block since 1980 will be £342M. By 1978 (HE MUST MEAN 1988), the baseline will be nearly £70M lower than it would have been if no invisible reductions had been made. This is about 1% of the baseline.

    If no invisible reductions had been made but the size of the baseline had been adjusted each year to match population changes the baseline had been adjusted each year to match population changes the baseline would have been higher than it is at present.

    The Secretary of State conceded the additions to the Scottish block arising from the application of the revised economic assumptions to PES provision for local authorities’ rate fund contributions to their housing accounts.


    (I will now summarise the results of the 1985 Public Expenditure Survey):

    All public expenditure is planned to increase from £134.2B in 85/86 to £148.7B in 88/89 representing an increase of 10.8%.

    The SoS block and non-block programmes excluding the concessions listed was planned to go from £7.4B to £7.65B- a modest 3.4% increase.

    If we factor in the concessions that George Younger agreed to in the PES the SoS block and non-block programmes was planned to go from £7.4B to £7.42B ie an increase of 0.27%.

    So the increase of all public Expenditure in terms of percentage was 4000 times that of the Scottish increase. Still got that Better Together feeling?

    “The effects of the concessions on the Secretary of State’s programmes are as follows:

    A. growth in 1986-87 (compared to 1985-86 outturn) has been cut from 5% to 1.9% ie to virtually half the growth planned for the UK as a whole

    B. growth in 1987-88 (compared to 1985-86 outturn) has been cut from 3.5% to 0.1%; the proposed growth for the UK as a whole is 7.2%

    C. growth in 1988-1989 (compared to 1985-86 outturn) has been cut from 3.4% to 0.3% or less than one-thirtieth of the growth planned for the UK.

    In proportionate terms therefore and with the exception of the SoS for Trade and Industry, no other cabinet Minister has made a larger contribution to maintaining the Government’s expenditure plans on an even keel. (The SoS for Trade and Industry has made larger concessions by virtue of reductions in the external finance of nationalised industries, principally British Steel and the Post Office).

    Phew- done. I will post this up and come back to it.

    I would like to point out that this letter was sent to the Prime Minister BEFORE all the discussions on the Needs Assessment and reducing Scotland’s block grant took place in 1986.

    George Younger was moved to SoS Defence 3 days after it was posted and Malcolm Rifkind took over.

    This letter was written during the 2nd best year for oil and gas tax receipts ever. The best year (peak oil and gas) was the previous tax year.

  2. yesindyref2

    Last one, honest.

    It occurs to me that some Labour supporting rag night vow to run a real spread on something like this in an attempt to discredit the Conservative party with upcoming Holyrood elections to prevent them taking 2nd place.

    I guess Ruth’s defence would be to call on her Westminster representative to insist on an inquiry of some sort in his current role as SoS overseer of Scotland, and perhaps he wouldn’t obey his theoretical party leader. It could get bluidy. Popcorn time.

  3. gordoz

    DON’T BOMB SYRIA – PETITION; Cannae believe how hard this has been only 27 sigs required for 100,000 target – come on folks?

    Get some mates to sign up

  4. Ken500

    Thanks for that Tam Jardine.

    Confirms what people in Scotland has been saying for years.

  5. jdman

    Hugh Berkley
    “Sorry Stu, I deleted the HTTP bit at the start of that URL and it’s somehow back, I know you hate that, sorry Dude, feel free to delete ”

    No Hugh you did the right thing, the very fact that you took out the http// prevented the videeo Embedding” the http// automatically reattached itself

  6. heedtracker

    Fantastic slice of UKOK hypocrisy Labour style in rancid The Graun, end the year as they all started, very stinky crew our imperial masters

    “New Year honours list 2016
    A knighthood for Lynton Crosby: government under fire for political honours
    New Year honour for Australian election strategist once referred to as a rottweiler is outrageous, says Labour”

    Nothing for one of the greatest athletes in the world, who just happens to be a Scot, who may have voted YES.

    “Scots ace Andy Murray snubbed for OBE after missing out on The Queen’s Honours List” says the bettertogether creeps at the Record


  7. Martin

    Well, I was rotten.

  8. Effijy

    Effijy says:

    Update on now requiring only 25 more signatures before the Bells to reach the First Minister’s target of 100,000 to stop bombing Syria.

    If you have any mates in the United States, or know of someone in Aus who would help a good cause, Please send them the link below!

    Many Thanks to everyone who has helped to add new names to the
    First Minister’s petition below. We are now only 65 signatures
    away from the 100,000 target with one day of the year remaining.

    So if you have a Brother in Anstruther, or a Friend in Lands End, who hasn’t signed, please send the link below to them!

    The First Minister’s petition to stop bombing innocents in Syria is still 104 signatures away from its 100,000 target.

    The numbers isn’t increasing now yet we are so close.

    We must show our support for Nicola, the Party, and the people of Syria.

    If you have a Grand Dad in Baghdad, a Sister in Bicester, or a Niece in Nice who hasn’t yet signed this petition, Please send them the Link below!

  9. Tam Jardine


    Indeed- however it is shocking seeing this in black and white.

    I had no idea Barnett consequentials had been given away by the Secretary of State for Scotland. Cuts totalling some £720 million over 3 years during a period when overall spending in the UK was increasing by 10.8%, directly after the peak of the oil and gas bonanza were not enough for the Prime Minister- she disregarded (initially) George Younger’s pleading case that he had cut more than almost any other department, and he was moved on.

    She wanted to have a needs assessment in order to build a case to further reduce the Scottish block grant MUCH FURTHER but it was deemed too dangerous and difficult to do so. And the voices from the back-benches desperate to slash the Scottish budget were not aware of the secret programme of cuts to the tune of £720million in the period discussed.

    At a time when morbidity and mortality rates in Scotland were much higher than anywhere else in the UK.

    There would have been few people aware of the hidden cuts – Thatcher and the officials at the Treasury were aware of them and wanted to press on with a Needs Assessment. Younger and then Rifkind were aware of the hidden cuts and they were against any further reduction.

    I said it last night- this is way beyond cost cutting- it is the kneecapping of the Scottish economy for ideological reasons. Planning for significant reductions in growth as policy.

    And during this period George Younger’s offical figure for spending increase made public was 7.9% to the UK figure of 10.8% when the actual increase was 0.027%!

    No wonder he lied! I haven’t read David Torrance’s biography on George Younger “A Life Well Lived”. I wonder if any of you twitter users could ask David if he wants to do a rewrite?

  10. Bill McLean

    I remember Singapore (1958-1960) when it was run down and ramshackle – guess who was running it then?

  11. Dr Jim

    Should anyone Scottish accept an honour from the British establishment for recognition of whatever services to the state or crown or does that mean you’re not Scottish anymore having been assimilated and bought by the Borg Queen and her Tory drones

    Too harsh?

  12. Dan Huil

    Good article on Scotland’s floods by Dr John Robertson

  13. Bill McLean

    yesindyref2 1024am – John McLellan is also ex editor of the Hootsmon. He left 3 or 4 years ago to become press officer for the Tories in Scotland. A decent, if misguided man who was probably taken into the realms of unreality by his education at one of Scotland’s “top schools”. The Scotsman accelerated it’s flop into the shitter when he left! Donb’t know what he is doing now!

  14. Hugh Barclay

    Nice one @Jdman I’m always wary posting on here, Stu tore me a new one last year for my bad spelling/grammar :-0 you know what he is like lol, anyways cheers for the info 🙂

  15. Alex Beveridge

    Dr Jim @11.35 am.

    Not at all. I believe it was the actor Albert Finney who said on refusing a knighthood, that these “awards” only prove that we still live in a society riven by class, where if you are a good boy, or girl, and toadie up to the Westminster establishment, and play by their rules, even if it means denigrating your own country, you get your reward.
    But the biggest laugh for me is to hear the Labour party complain about cronyism. I remember back to the times of Harold Wilson, and Lord Gannex. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  16. heedtracker

    The Scotsman accelerated it’s flop into the shitter when he left! Donb’t know what he is doing now!

    Next gen hootsman toryboy’s are oddly childlike. Maybe that’s what loyal Scotch yoons often are, with lots of UKOK SNP bad tantrums, eg and anyhoo

    euan mccolm Retweeted
    Oliver Moody ?@olivernmoody 1h1 hour ago
    Oliver Moody Retweeted Richard Dawkins
    Proud to work for a newspaper that is almost read by @RichardDawkins. Oliver Moody added,
    Richard Dawkins @RichardDawkins
    If The @Independent and The @Guardian sink any lower, I’m going to have to take @TheTimes, even though it is a Murdoch paper.
    8 retweets 16 likes
    Reply Retweet 8

  17. TD

    Dr Jim @11:35 a.m.

    My answer to your question is yes they should if they are imperialist unionist proponents of patronage. And unfortunately, there are still some of them left in Scotland. It makes total sense for a Better Together type to accept a gong (British Empire Medal, Order of the British Empire etc.). But if you are a democrat, believe in self-expression, support independence for Scotland and do not believe that patronage is the right way to run a country, then it is hard to reconcile acceptance of an “Honour” with your values.

    It’s most unlikely that I will ever be offered an “honour”, but if it were offered I would not hesitate to refuse it. I would also take delight in doing so very publicly.

  18. Kenny

    Trying to destroy one part of the country?

    Trying to pit Geordieland against pampered Jockistan?

    How very “unionist” of all the Tories!

    The only genuinely “unionist” commitment I ever heard was in 2015 when Nicola Sturgeon said that the SNP would never vote on any matter that would ever hurt the good and decent ordinary people of England, Wales and NI.


    “Pooling and sharing” = asset-stripping!

  19. cirsium

    @ Tam Jardine – thanks for the links and the comments.

    The attitude displayed in the documents reminds me of this quotation from General James Wolfe
    “I should imagine that two or three independent Highland companies might be of use; they are hardy, intrepid, accustomed to a rough country, and no great mischief if they fall. How better can you employ a secret enemy than by making his end conducive to the common good?”

    The quote is from 1751, the documents are from the 1980s. The pillage continues in 2015.

    Vote SNP/SNP in May 2016

  20. galamcennalath

    Kenny says:

    “How very “unionist” of all the Tories!”

    I reckon the term Unionist only really applies to Scots (and Northern Irish) who wish to remain in a Union with England.

    Tories at WM, are not Unionists, they don’t want to be in union with anyone. They are Imperialists and want to control Scotland as an effective colony. And, “asset-stripping” of colonies is what Imperialism is about.

  21. call me dave

    Lots of good work going on searching through the archives of the Thatcher years. More power to your elbow…and I will read all the links over the next few days.
    However I’m sure it will only confirm (for us who were there) what we knew already. 🙂

    A jaundiced poke at the 56 and a final howl of despair at the moon this year! Fills a half page in the Hootsman though!

    We are allowed to say more ‘pish’.

  22. Petra

    Tam you’re doing an amazing job on here. A real New Year ‘gift’ for us all. Thanks for that. I would love to help but I’m totally ‘bogged down’ with things to do / people needing help at the moment. If my situation changes soon I’ll give you a hand.

    I know that Stu has an article on here outlining how the Scots have been subsidising England / the South of England from day one. I would like to see one article covering all of this data, information from Business For Scotland, McCrone Report, Stolen Seas etc, etc to be used for reference, to print off leaflets and so on.

    I remember in the lead up to the Referendum (or shortly after) the Queens grandson, Peter Philips, got involved in the ‘England subsides Scotland’ fray by quoting (complaining about) what the Scots get re. Barnett on Twitter. Maybe copies of what you’ve unearthed Tam or a final article by Stu (if he does such a thing) should be sent to Queenie, Charlie, a number of Politicians, Rifkind, every key newspaper in the land, all UK Councils, the UN, EU and so on: maybe someone somewhere will do something about it ….. Publicise the Truth????

    I would imagine that Alex and Nicola are looking into this. Could they apply for reimbursement of all money ‘stolen’ from us plus 8% interest, lol? The ‘stolen’ money we now know about, that is!

  23. Proud Cybernat

    Come on folks. NEARLY THERE.

    Only 7 – aye, SEVEN – signatures needed. If you haven’t already done so then please sign the ‘DON’T BOMB SYRIA’ petition:

    We can get this over the line in the next 30 minutes. Let’s do it.

  24. gordoz


    That’s much better just 7 sigs to go now folks

  25. gordoz

    Doh !

    Sorry Proud Cybernat

  26. Tam Jardine


    Thanks. I am just about at the limit of what I can do- really need to take the bairns out for a bit!

    A few of pertinent questions I would like to get an answer to:

    How long were the invisible cuts detailed by George Younger in place? What was the accumulated value of those cuts?

    How many years were Barnett consequentials refused by Scottish Secretary of States? George Younger gives details of 3 years and estimates £100 million per year but how long did this continue and what was the value of money refused by Secretary of States for Scotland?

    Finally, by what process did Alan Travis receive prior information on the data release? He posted the article at 00.01am on Wednesday 30th December so the information was presumably in the public domain for a mere 1 minute by the time be posted the article.

    So who briefed him in advance on the data release? From what I have read the David Willetts information was guff- maybe newsworthy but he was nothing back then- a 30 year old aide! So that is pushed into the public sphere as a diversion from letters by George Younger and Malcolm Rifkind detailing how Scotland’s growth was being systematically destroyed in a targetted, ideological mission.

    The Guardian need to tell us why they chose that piece or rather who chose that piece to run with.

    The actual meaty stuff that I have tried to expose here has been completed ignored. A media blackout- welcome to UK 2015!

  27. Proud Cybernat

    WELL DONE, Wingers!!!

    ‘Don’t Bomb Syria’ petition at 100,000 and can now be heard on the floor of the HoC.

    Give yourselves a big pat on the back, Wingers. The people of Syria deserve much better from this country.

    Over to you, Nicola…

  28. Tam Jardine

    Tam – of course the Guardian ran with the ‘pampered Scots’ angle. It pisses us off but more importantly it reinforces the idea down south that Scots are subsidy junkies.

    An official archive release is the release of secret documents and the ‘honesty’ involved gives them an authority (I never doubt the truth of what George Younger writes to the PM even though within his letter he admits to misrepresenting (lying) to the electorate about the spending figure.

    So even though at first glance the David Willetts story is embarrassing for the tories it is actually useful to:

    A reinforced the subsidy junkie myth

    B it attacks the independence movement

    C distract our attention from the much more important documents released

    D For the guardian it’s a win win for all the reasons above plus they also get to write a piece ostensibly attacking the conservatives.

    Who really gives a fuck about 2 letters some 30 year old parliamentary aide wrote 30 years ago?

    Proof that Scotland was systematically robbed and lied to throughout the eighties? Hidden on plain sight.

  29. ahundredthidiot

    If my wife doesn’t get her arse off that goddamn iPad and sign the Syria petition, I swear to God I’ll divorce her!!

    Going into major pest mode now

  30. Scot Finlayson

    Probably been mentioned already but Nicola is going to be on the STV Hogmanay extravaganza (for those who still have a live broadcast television licence),hosted by Elaine C Smith.

  31. Bob Mack

    @Scot Finlayson,

    Looking forward to it. The Unionists are doing somersaults on twitter,saying it is proof of subtle mind control techniques by the SNP to increase their popularity.Seriously!

    I must remember to go to SNP hq for my annual service and replacement motherboard.

    Please remember to wear your tinfoil hats after 10.00 pm to avoid repeat programming!!!!!

  32. Thepnr

    @call me dave

    OMG just read that Scotchman article. The article itself was a pile of pish but the comments BTL hahahahahahahaha. Peeing myself 🙂

  33. ArtyHetty

    Tam, indeed the myth about Scotland living off the rUKok, is designed to divide and rule.
    The contempt from my English friends towards Scotland stems from that myth. If you mention tuition fees or prescription charges, you can see them seethe inside because they think they are subsidising these things, while they have to pay twice for them, via NI and tax then at the counter.

    They blame Scotland, at least in part for their situation in being ripped off big style, by UKok unionists.

    When the truth is revealed regards this report and letter, there will be a rush to the polls and people will be clamouring to vote yes en masse. I just hope it’s not too late by then, we are teetering on the edge and with this destructive, backward regime in wastemonster, that is not going to improve anytime soon.

  34. ArtyHetty

    Re; Bob Mack

    Wow, I wonder who the SNP are getting the mind control techniques from. Lol.

    Hmmm, no doubt it’s what the unionists are familiar with, mind control, but they don’t realise all you really need is to be a decent, honest, open and intelligent political party to attain the popularity and support that the SNP have now.

    Mind control, love that, coming from the sheep who follow their masters, the rich toffs down in westmonster.

  35. Papadox

    Don’t bomb Syria. Well done one and all.

    To all the Anglo Sotch naysayers. “There’ll always be an Engerland” tae piss on ye from a great height ENJOY.

  36. Lochside

    Hats off to Tam ‘Doonhamer’ Jardine for all your sterling dedication to grubbing through the detritus of Tory Britkok machinations.

    For those of us of a certain vintage, who lived through the Thatcher years and who could see clearly what decimation of our industry and people was being perpetrated by these Imperial monsters led by this middle England zealot… Most of this information is of no surprise…so the question has to be what happened to that generation of Scots who voted ‘yes’ in ’79’?

    Why did that generation not vote overwhelmingly ‘YES’ in 2014? They experienced what the Tories did,although did not have access at the time to the dirty dealings behind the scenes, now revealed in their ugly detail… but somehow they allowed SLAB to delude them into believing that it was the Tories only that were the criminals.

    Was it because we had and still have a media that hid McCrone, that hid the theft of the 6000 sq miles of Scots offshore territory; a SLAB narrative hammering away at old Brit loyalties because of the war and the concept that it was ‘selfish’ to want our true share of the oil resource;and the constant brainwashing of our supposed inferiority and inherent economic poverty status in the UK?

    This has to be the answer, as to why the 60 pluses in our population need to be reminded of what they resisted back in the 80s.

    A further factor to consider is that well over half a million of our people left this country during the last generation to emigrate abroad and to England. The English and ruk emigrants who have replaced them are lukewarm at best, and resistant at worst to our cause as demonstrated by the percentage of ‘NO’ (around 72%) in the REF.

  37. galamcennalath

    @call me dave

    Re Scotchman, Pish indeed!

    I think our guys and gals have been very active at the Westminster.

    A better assessment of the last seven months would be to point out that the CorpMedia is more interested in making up smear stories than reporting the activities of our duly elected representatives!

    However, let’s face it, the SNP are not going to change government policy at WM while Labour squabble in the sawdust allowing the Tories can vote through, or vote down, anything the want.

  38. Robert Peffers

    @Tam Jardine says: 31 December, 2015 at 2:26 am:

    “I have been turning this over in my mind- George Younger was destroying the economic growth of Scotland by cutting for the entire decade during this period when Scotland was propping up the rest of the UK.

    Great Work, Tam, Mair power tae yer pencil.”

    Mind you set this all into the context of the times and it is realised there were other underlining factors that had been going on for many decades. For example the, (then), normal Boom/Bust cycle. In this the bust resulted in Westminster restrictive, anti-Inflation actions that were instantly applied to the entire United Kingdom.

    Trouble with that was the boom always began in London and spread slowly outwards. Just as it was beginning to be felt in Scotland the London economy began to overheat and Westminster instantly applied the brakes to the entire UK.

    So Scotland never really had any benefit from the booms but suffered all the busts.

  39. Scot Finlayson

    @Bob Mack

    There was a rumour of Nicola singing at some point in the programme,Scotland the Brave,

    Hark, when the night is falling
    Hear, hear the pipes are calling
    Loudly and proudly calling down through the glen
    There where the hills are sleeping
    now feel the blood a leaping
    high as the spirits of the old highland men

    Towering in gallant fame
    Scotland my mountain hame
    High may your proud standards gloriously wave

    Land o’ the high endeavour
    Land o’ the shining river
    land o’ my heart forever
    Scotland the brave,

    or maybe I just dreamt it.

  40. Fred

    Mebbes the time has come to scrap so-called BBC Scotland, it’s just a unionist mouthpiece.

    Keep Alba, sack the rest!

  41. Tam Jardine


    Thanks man, it has been weird looking into the murky depths. Depressing at times, but also quite interesting.

    This one phrase crops up time and again in official documents: “Star Chamber”. Never heard of it- this is the sub committee- the cabinet within the cabinet where ministers and secretary of states like George Younger would be put under pressure to slash budgets. A couple of places it appears on the net, it is described as being like an arm wrestle.

    The main purpose seems to be to systematically drive down spending- the idea being any concessions you make to a rival’s departmental budget, the more pressure on your own budget being slashed. This is where Scotland would be isolated and most vulnerable through a SoS for Scotland who was alone and completely outnumbered by English ministers.

    It appears to be a committee (held once a year?) named after the original star-ceilinged room in westminster where the original Star Chamber meetings were held.

    Thatcher revived this and then Cameron brought it back.

    It sounds like the most powerful body in the land although, as I say,I have never heard of it and I can’t imagine many others have.

    What are the origins? According to Wikipedia, the Star Chamber was an English court of law which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (ca. 1641), and was composed of Privy Councillors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters.

    At its height it had the power to summon and punish juries for returning unfavourable results. So under Thatcher this English, pre-union King’s private court has morphed into the post union supreme body ruling over us all.

    Not sure if anyone else has any info.

    By the way Lochside- trust you are are safe and well… flooding sounds much worse than usual but you will be well clear. It sounds like it is confined to the sands albeit threatening the houses on the Maxwelltown bank (which I can’t recall happening before but apparently did flood that side in the 80’s)

    Have a guid Hogmanay

  42. Lochside

    Interesting and teasing hint from Prof Eamonn O’Neill on John Beattie’s show on EBC…a media challenge in the offing to take down or challenge at the very least BBC and STV?….any ideas?

  43. Phronesis

    @ Tam Jardine
    Excellent research and analysis- it is really important that the current economic model bestowed on Scotland from WM within this asymmetric Union is understood in its historical context.

    Very heartening that the Syria petition has reached 100000 signatures.

  44. Brian Doonthetoon

    Hi Tam J.

    A HUGE bag of mint kudos for all your trawling through the archives!

    There’s a line in your post above,

    “The main purpose seems to be to systematically drive down spending- the idea being any concessions you make to a rival’s departmental budget, the more pressure on your own budget being slashed.”

    That reminds me of an episode of ‘Yes (Prime?) Minister’, where departmental budgets were being discussed. The upshot was that the more cash a department got, the more ‘power’ it was perceived to have, through being able to increase their number of staff. So I guess there would be much rivalry and backstabbing going on.

    Onnyhoo, I think this clip (nothing to do with the above) illustrates, vividly, the Westminster establishment mindset.

  45. Lollysmum

    Tam Jardine/YesIndyref2
    Where did you find download links on the National Archives site? I’ve gone through PREM/19/1922 pages & can’t find any anywhere. All I get is an image file viewer but even looking at individual pages on full screen they still aren’t that easy to read particularly the handwritten notes on some of the pages.

    YesIndyref2-re OCR If you have updated to Acrobat Reader 11 on your pc, you can copy text out of a .pdf document into a Word document which is why I wanted the download files. You can also use AR11 to highlight sections of text in the .pdf -a very useful function for me.

  46. Tam Jardine

    Brian Doonthetoon

    Hi Brian. The clip is almost too accurate.

    One thing I have been mulling over- how the revelations of the last 24 hours impact on the indy debate. We all knew/know what the tories were and are- so what is new?

    I read on the guardian the same argument over and over again:

    “The problem for an independent Scotland, with oil prices where they are, is it would be considerably poorer.

    At least for a number of years Scotland would need drastic cuts to public spending, way beyond what is currently on the table.”

    They want to weld the viability of an independent Scotland to the oil price like a cut-and-shut motor. It has an air of truthiness about it- and the idea of a black hole has been reeinforced again and again.

    But wait a minute- it is now documented that during peak oil and tax revenues:

    -we been subjected to invisible cuts hidden from the public that represented 10 times any change that could have been justified from population decrease

    -our Secretary of State for Scotland refused Barnett consequentials to the tune of £100 million a year we were due to English overspending (for a minimum of 3 years)

    -the economy of Scotland was being destroyed as a planned policy of reducing growth through cuts

    -the spending increase in Scotland was 0.027% as a result of these cuts whilst overall spending in the UK was sitting at 10.8%. We were told by Younger the spending increase was over 7%.

    So here’s a thought- lets get out of a union where our country’s affairs are controlled by another country whose leading sect is proven to have been waging ideological economic warfare on the people of Scotland, robbing us blind and deceiving us, who have decimated our heavy industry and manufacturing base.

    Lets get the fuck out of that arrangement and then we can worry about the price of a barrel of oil.

    Enjoy your Hogmanay Brian. We’ll get there in the end.

  47. Tam Jardine


    There seems to be 2 ways of reading- if you go to this link:

    then you can either view the file using their ‘image reader’ which it sounds like you are using (and I also found hard to use) or you can add the file to basket, continue to basket and then follow the prompts. That way you can download it.

    Its a checkout but the files are free. Hope that helps.

  48. Lochside

    Guid New Year to you Tam J and your family. Like you I no longer dwell in the Queen of the South. But I’ve not seen flooding the like of on the Sands this week since I was a laddie. Year after year the shops and pubs get washed out..but indomitable as ever they get on with it.

    A weird metaphor for our struggle, I guess. Fortunately our home toun is moving in the right direction in the journey to self determination.

    Re. The Star Chamber…I remember a Michael Douglas movie from the 80s which had this title and was about a secretive cabal carrying out their own definition of ‘justice’….sounds about right?

    Anyway, lets all raise our glasses to victory in the New Year and to getting ever closer to a free Scotland. Alba Gu snooker loopy!

  49. cearc


    You’re a ****** (whatever). You got me hooked on trawling through these papers!

    The thing I found interesting in the first file is that their main concerns are hoping the EC don’t spot their mendacious cheating and hoping that the electorate don’t.

    Everything else (like actual policy or outcome) is a balancing act, subservient to those two aims.

    It’s more like plotting a crime than running a country. (I know, I know…)

  50. yesindyref2

    @Tam “What to do with it”

    Ah Tam, a totally evil thought came into my mind while out having a cigarette, nearly made me a choking smoker.

    Set up some sort of formal commission / enquiry, and put Ian Davidson in charge of it.


  51. X_Sticks

    Tam, that’s a great piece of work you’re doing there.

    There’s the makings of a great Wings article in there. I hope you’ll consider writing something once you’ve finished the research.

    Have a guid New Year – you and all other wingers too, of course.

  52. Tam Jardine

    cearc & yesindyref2

    It is kind of addictive and I have been neglecting other stuff for the last 24 hours reading and posting stuff.

    I have reached the point where I have posted loads of stuff on this thread and will give it a few days and see if anyone in the media runs with it, or if any of the SNP make noises.

    The questions are straightforward from what I can tell:

    How long were the invisible cuts detailed by George Younger in place? What was the accumulated value of those cuts?

    How many years were Barnett consequentials refused by Scottish Secretary of States?

    What was the total value of consequentiuals refused by the Secretary of States for Scotland on our behalf?

    Who briefed Alan Travis at the Guardian in advance on the data release and why did he chose that piece rather than the far more significant letters from George Younger and Malcolm Rifkind?

    Finally- what do prominent tories like Ruth Davidson think about the tories waging an ideological economic war on Scotland, led by the office of the Secretary of State for Scotland?

    And if there is no interest I will either fire off some emails to the SNP or get my finger out and put something together to submit to Stu- I am back to work on Saturday so suddenly go from having loads of spare time to none so I was hoping someone out there would pick this up.

  53. Tam Jardine


    Thanks- see the reply I just posted.

    And a guid New Year to you to brother

  54. Patrick Roden

    So…speaking to a friend tonight and we get on to the subject of how rotten the Scottish MSM is,

    I ask her if she’d heard that the Scotsman newspaper had started allowing scammers to advertise in their paper.

    She hadn’t of course (she isn’t all that ‘informed’) but she was shocked and said they surely can’t do that!

    Well I continue you would hope they wouldn’t but they have lost so many readers over the past few years, they have become desperate.

    I then ask her if she knew that if you pay the Scotsman they will allow you to spout almost anything (especially if it’s SNPBad)

    Eh??? you have to pay them to write an article! aren’t they supposed to pay you?..she replies.

    Well, of course, I say, that’s what newspapers used to do, but that filthy anti-Scottish rag is so short of money, they will print almost anything you want as long as you pay them…of course the article can’t be pro Scottish or anti -British, but anything attacking Scots who want self determination will definitely get published.

    wow she says…that’s disgusting!

    yep…they certainly are…

    I know people from that filthy rag read Wings,

    Yet another person has found out the truth about the garbage that you print every day..

    Won’t be long now, tick tock.

  55. K1

    Well done Tam, you unearthed ‘pay dirt’, still raging…about the fact of no coverage in the mainstream of any of this.

    Very much looking forward to you writing that article for Rev about this…then we can get the copies out there: before May (nae pressure 😉 )

    Have a good NY’s…and a wee rest the night 🙂

  56. yesindyref2

    Likewise. From what you got so far, I’ll maybe knock up an email as well and send it to my MSP, he’s the Convener of the Finance Committee, and in the peculiar position of having his wife as an MP 🙂

  57. yesindyref2

    Re the apparent Scotsman scammer thing, I had similar from the Herald a few months back after clicking on a “featured link” from a third party about Disney. Popup “you won a xxx if you do this survey”. It’s a well-known malware, though I forget now what. I was going to tell the Herald but couldn’t be bothered, they’d probably have denied it was their fault.

    Malware is epidemic.

  58. Tam Jardine

    Wow- last comment of 2015.

    Just read David Torrance’s tweet:

    “@johnmclellan making the important point that Scottish budget cuts proposed by Lord Willetts didn’t actually happen”

    Amazebaws- how fucking stupid can a man be. The cuts Willetts wanted didn’t happen because David Torrance’s hero George Younger had already cut hundreds and hundreds of millions from the block grant already.

    The tories were uneasy about cutting further because they were worried the invisible cuts including refusing Barnett consequentials would be revealed!

    What a doughball- has anyone ever been wrong on so many different levels before?

  59. Croompenstein

    @TJ –

    What a doughball- has anyone ever been wrong on so many different levels before?

    They simply don’t care Tam, they refuse to acknowledge what is right in front of their union jack eyes.

    PS – Thanks for your posts Tam..

  60. yesindyref2

    My comments in the Herald are still there on the McLellan article, no upvotes, no replies. This is a “good” time of year for these document releases. Many people are too busy festively to bother, politicians taking a break, and with the floods perhaps many are busy in their constituencies if there’s any flooding and evacuations.

    The Conservatives are tryiing to divert attention from the real stuff you found out, well, it’s up to us not to let them succeed.

    I would guarantee there’s been a few selective memos going around from the Conservative head office, via the PMs office, telling people to praise up the “good” parts, to hide the truth and reality. Some FOI requests might be fruitful, as might a few Questions in the House of Commons once it resumes.

  61. Tam Jardine


    And for your posts too…

    You are right about Torrance and his ilk. I know he reads Wings so this is the best way for me to communicate to him, if such a thing is possible.

    Damn, son, pick it up Davy. You’re an embarrassment.

  62. Croompenstein

    Cheers Tam, I’m oan BBC Alba and a few haufs.. Happy New Year to you and yours and all the super wingers esp oor Rev Stu 😀

  63. yesindyref2

    Torrance sees the signs there are problems, sees the facts, and then ignores them and comes to his own conclusions which, curiously, are remarkably similar to what they used to be. Evolution and adaptation are not his thing.

  64. Effijy

    Happy New Year All!

    My family recorded some of the New Year shows, and the EBC’s
    effort continues to go from bad to worse.

    The Big Ginger Bird has her usual moment of fame at the bells for
    services to the Union throughout the year.

    We have the same accordion and fiddle player as every other year,
    and a few other musical acts that they tried to upsell before their talent revealed their downfall.

    Their Hogmany show was as phony and as staged managed as their
    News Stories.

    The EBC also had some interludes from actors dressed as police officers, which I think was intended to be comedy, but I’m not sure? Was anybody?

    On EBC Radio Scotland they had the most un-cool “DJ” on the planet present their show for those who won’t pay their license fee.
    To call Bryan Burnett a DJ, a title used for for people like
    Stewart Hendry, Calvin Harris, Robin Galloway, and Tiger Tim
    is to say that the Vital Spark and the QE2 are the same thing.

    My whole family, of all ages, enjoyed the Elaine C Smith Show.
    A very talented lady of comedy, song, and character acting.

    I was very pleased to see a segment of the show dedicated to
    the First Minister, Her Mum, and her Sister.
    How very reassuring to see a sincere politician share her family’s New Year Stories and discover that they were so similar
    to those shared across the nation.

    Why would anyone want to be ruled by an Eton Toff with a Bullingdon Drinking Suit and an unhealthy relationship with a Pig’s Head, I will never know.

    As Cameron and Gideon are worth over £100,000,000 they will know more about Greek Mythology and Science Fiction that the lives of ordinary Scots, and probably cares a great deal more about them.

  65. Brian Doonthetoon

    Consistency of design, Ronnie.

    We use the same form of English for the badges, that Rev Stu uses for his posts.

    Previous ideas that got the bum’s rush were ‘Wings Ower Gowrie, Iye?’, ‘Wings Ower Weegieland, no?’ and ‘Wings Uvva Embra, Dentcha Know”.

    “Wings Over Somerset” made the cut but I understand there was only one Winger and several separats at that get-together.


  66. Brian Doonthetoon

    Just realised I’ve posted the above in the wrong page! Should have been in ‘off-topic’.

    I blame the ‘roostie nails’, coz I treated myself to bottle of Drambuie from Tesco on Wednesday, at £18. Couldn’t resist.

    Well it is the New Year…

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top